I know how to differentiate between excellence and perfection
Excellence, i can reach for
Perfection is gods business

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

U & I

29th September 2010 21:00 hours. 18 hours to go for a verdict from the Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court. This is not just another verdict. This is a verdict that will end a more than 60 year old controversy. The controversy is known as AYODHYA controversy.
As per history, Hindu god Ram was born here and there used to be a temple at this place. It is said that, when the mughal’s invaded India, this temple was destroyed and a mosque was build on top of it.  This mosque was called as ‘Masjid E Janmsthan’ for a long time. Hindu’s have being claiming this land for long. On December 6, 1992, this masjid, by then known as the Babri Masjid, was brought down by 1,50000 Kar Sevaks.
The controversy still exists, where in hindu religious/political leaders and parties still claim that there was a temple at the disputed site and a temple should be constructed at this controversial site. Muslim religious/political leaders and political parties do not agree to these statements and claim that there is no proof of a temple existing at the disputed site. One set of political leaders claim that a temple should be made. The other set is adamant on getting the mosque reconstructed.
These political and religious leaders are people with high influence and a lot of followers. They have used their influence in the past and convinced people, that getting a temple/mosque constructed at this site is of prime importance for hindu’s/muslim’s respectively.

All of us have to understand that tit for tat is will never give you a solution. It can be compared with a very simple situation where a person shouts at you and you shout back. We have to understand that shouting back is never going to help. Instead of helping solve the problem on hand, it will further complicate things.
Demolition of a temple to construct a mosque (if it ever happened) was  wrong . Destroying the mosque to  construct a temple is again wrong. Tit for Tat didn’t solve the problem. It just made matters worse. All of us know what happened next.
This was followed by communal violence of the highest magnitude that India has ever seen.
I do not know if there ever was a temple at the disputed site. But I do know that a lot of people lost their lives in the ’93 riots. Children were orphaned, women widowed, girls raped. My cousin sister who was a kid at that time had once told me that during ’93 riots, she had seen burning cars from her house’s window. The situation was so bad that govt. had given shoot at sight orders. People were totally confined to their houses. They were not even allowed to come into their balconies. Imagine experiencing the riots shown in the movie Bombay in your real life. I feel a chill running down my spine even today when I think about such a situation. Thousands of Innocent people, who neither cared about the mosque, nor about the temple were killed. Hundreds of families were destroyed.

It has been 17 years since that incident. Even after 17 long years, the verdict tomorrow is delivered in highest possible security. Bulk sms’s have been blocked since 22nd of this month. Schools and colleges are closed. The firm that I work has declared a half day holiday in Bangalore and a full day holiday in Delhi. I feel awkward when I think that a verdict, which is of least importance to majority of people in indian community has this huge an effect! Most of the people in India, be it a hindu or a muslim will want a hospital to be built at the disputed site.
I would like a park to be built there, as a memorial for all those innocent people who died in the ’93 riots. A park, where small children can play forgetting the man made barrier and discrimination called religion or caste and hence spread the message of communal harmony.
India today is blessed with people who think before acting. When the verdict is announced tomorrow, there will be a set of people who will try to disrupt peace. These people are either power hungry corrupt politicians or religious leaders or fools for whom monuments are more important than human lives. 
Let us together pledge that we will not be involved in any activity which is unlawful. India has a huge population, and it will definitely take a lot more than a few power hungry religious leaders and politicians to disrupt peace and harmony.

H I N D U and M U S L I M, both the words are incomplete without U and I.
H I N D U S T A N is incomplete without U and I.

Jai hind

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It’s September 2010. Three quarters of this year are over and we move into the last quarter in ten days time. The latter half of this year has been really exciting for me. A lot of my friends either married or got engaged. On an average three friends of mine are getting married every month starting this October!
Marriage is perhaps the most memorable and one amongst the most important milestone in everyone’s life. A milestone, where ‘I becomes WE’, ‘ME becomes US’ and ‘MINE becomes OURS’. A time to celebrate as you have never done before, and perhaps, will never do again. It’s a day when bride easily becomes the most beautiful girl in the marriage hall. A day when groom gets all the attention even if the hall is full of ladies dressed at their best :).
It’s every parents wish to have the grandest and the best of weddings for their child. They spend all their savings so that everything, from the wedding dress to the invitation card, is perfect and the best.
All this gives us an impression that bride and the groom are the most important people in the process of arranging the marriage. But is it really so?
In India the number of arranged marriages will outnumber love marriages with more than 1000(or more) to 1. Most of you people may know how marriages are arranged. For those who don’t the process is as below.
•    Parents post their child’s profile on matrimony sites and load it with the best photographs of their child.
•    The profiles are filtered based on religion and community.
•    A list of matching profiles is made and then horoscopes are exchanged.
•    Now parents take their child’s horoscope to an astrologer and ask him to tell if it matches any one of the short listed horoscopes.
•    If yes, then the guy comes and meets the girl in presence of the entire family. The girl is made to dress the best and look at her best. If lucky, the guy and the girl get ten minutes to talk to each other in person.
•    If the guy and the girl are happy about each others looks (as I personally feel that it is the only thing that you can judge in ten minutes time) girl’s parents start bidding on the guy. After some negotiations, if the final bid is attractive enough and outsmarts all bids made on their son till date, you get to hear relatives exclaim “Look at them! This couple is made in heaven!” Else the girl invariably has a twisted nose or has a bad set of teeth or doesn’t have a sweet voice!
Background check about the guy and the girl is done in the time being. But more often than not, if the horoscopes match and bidding is done properly by the girl’s family, then the marriage is almost fixed.

One small drawback with this entire process is that the guy and the girl, the most important people in the marriage, the stars of the show, hardly matter! For argument sake families say that children met, talked and hence are supposed to be in love with each other. This means that you have only ten minutes to decide on your better half!

I really wonder if those ten minutes are enough. Most of the people get married in their mid twenties. I am sure that even after 25 years of living, most of us dont have a clue about ourselves! If a human being cannot understand himself in 25 years, how is he supposed to understand his better half in ten minutes!
If the child is in a relation, then an emotional torture happens on him/her with all sorts of questions being asked. “How can you do this to us?”, “Is this why we brought you up? To see this day?”, “What community/religion is your child going to be in?”, “What will people say?” and “Don’t you care about us and our culture?” are questions that top the list.
The child’s happiness and all other practical issues which should be the top priority such as financial stability, the guy/girls character, the guy/girls family and most importantly their happiness, takes a back seat if there is a conflict in religion/caste. This is also a time when parents are most prone to life threatening diseases. The risk of these diseases is high up until their child agrees to marry as per his/her parent’s decision (to a guy who is from the same religion/community). In between all the other things such as Horoscope, Community, Religion and Relatives parents tend to forget about their child’s happiness.
In short, more often than not, the most important decision of your life is taken based on an astrologer’s opinion and family status! I feel that in the marriages where the couples happiness comes after family status, religion, community and relatives, marriage is not the only thing arranged. Emotions like love, understanding, care and most importantly, happiness are also arranged.

I agree that marriage is a bonding not only between the couple getting married, but also amongst the families. But I feel the priority should be couple first, and then the rest. Unfortunately it is the other way round. When it is an arranged marriage, more often than not, the couples are ‘Last and always the least’ important.

PS: This blog entry is dedicated to my best friends from college who have stood by me through thick and thin. Both of them are getting married this quarter. God bless them with the choosiest of his blessings. They are the best and they deserve the best. Love you guys.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


One of my biggest dreams has been to do something for my country and set an example. To do something which helps India take a step forward on the road of development, of becoming a better place to live in.
Every time I think on how to contribute in my country’s development, I fall short of ideas. Nothing comes into my mind. I feel that I am nobody in this country having the second largest population in the world, with no authority or power to change anything. The only feeling that comes into my mind is that if I had the authority and the power to do something, I would definitely have changed the way this country is run.
If I were in politics and held a responsible position, then I would be more concerned about the frequent power cuts, unavailability of water and such basic needs rather than spending time debating if Sanya Mirza has the right to play for India after marrying Shoib Malik or debating if girls going to a pub! But alas, am not in politics and can do nothing about it.
If I was in our honourable Judiciary system, I would have speeded up my work and tried to move forward on the tonnes of pending cases and files that are still awaiting a hearing. We are still fighting a case for an extremist who was caught alive in 26/11 attacks on Mumbai. It is clear and a known fact that he has killed a lot of innocent people in cold blood. On top of this, he has admitted that he enjoyed killing these people. Our government and judiciary is still spending crores of rupees to defend this person! I would have closed such cases by giving him capital punishment. I would have felt that it is a question on my ability that such cases take such long time to reach to a verdict. But fortunately/unfortunately, I am not in judiciary too.
If I were in media, I would have been a responsible journalist who doesn’t ask a widow/mother on how she feels about her husbands/child’s death in an accident or a terrorist attack! I would not telecast a dog’s marriage on the television the whole day! In simple words, I would not sensationalize a piece of news to increase TRP and try to focus on issues that are more relevant and important. But then, I am not a journalist either!

I am just another software engineer who sits in front of a computer and spends most of his time away from his family more often than not working for people in US/UK or elsewhere. Lazy as most of the other software engineers are, I also prefer to sit back at my place on weekends, switch to some news channel and blame politicians and every other citizen apart from me for the situation of our country. Am 24 years old and like most of the people in our country, I have not voted even once till date.

I was like this till I watched a very famous advertisement “CHALO INDIA”, where a small school kid tries to push a heavy tree trunk lying across the road in rain causing heavy traffic jam. Seeing this kid, everyone follow suit, lift the tree trunk, and unblock the road. This simple advertisement has a very strong message which says that you take the initiative and the world will follow. It also showed that common people can solve a lot of problems themselves, provided they take the initiative. This advertisement motivated me more to do something for the country. It told me that I am someone important and can do things if I want to.
But I am an Indian, and we Indians forget things very soon. The excitement faded away way too soon, and I was back to the lazy software engineer sympathising on our country’s situation without doing anything to change things.
A lot of people I know are working abroad. These people used to tell me that the places abroad are very beautiful. Spec clean, no corruption, efficient system. This made me think. Its sad to say this but the same Indians who pee on Indian road sides, Spit in underground passes and railway stations and inside compartments, clean even their dogs shit when they go abroad! If only they had the same attitude while in India, we could have talked about our country as we now talk about others!
We are the most law abiding people when we go abroad, but try to find loopholes in rules created in our country! We park our vehicles under a “No Parking” board. The corrupt system doesn’t help either as we know that we can get out of any mess by paying a small bribe.
There are friends who have driving licence for a two and four wheeler but don’t know how to balance a bicycle! Pay 1500 INR and you will get your licence at your doorstep. Driving Licence, which is accepted as the basic address proof of any Indian citizen can be forged if you have 1500 INR.
We do not ask for bills to avoid sales tax. Even if ten lakh people pay 40 INR sales tax on a purchase of 4000 INR, it sums up to be 4 crores! We have so many rules broken on roads everyday that even if our police force do their duty properly for one day, Indian government will be able to collect crores of rupees from defaulters! A single day of proper work can add around 10 crores to country’s income. We have not even covered 1/10th of the population of the country and can already see 10 crore income! That is the strength and potential we have.
I am living in Bangalore now. The most commonly used vehicle over here is an autorikshaw.  Each autorikshaw has a meter attached in it. But no one bothers to use it. People living in Bangalore are ready to pay whatever the auto driver demands. They demand, because we are ready to pay them what they demand. They demand 50 rupees to places which are 25 rupees distant and we give it to them. If at all someone puts meter, and the sum comes upto 36 rupees, you have to pay 40 rupees to the auto driver. He keeps the remaining four rupees as if it is his birthright! Imagine if we stop boarding auto’s who don’t use meter (or have digital meter) for a couple of days. These people will have no other go but to start using meter. If police cracks down on auto drive’s who don’t have digital meter in their autos (which is a rule), more than half the auto’s n Bangalore will go off road. But then we are not ready to do it. Ask yourselves; if you are not ready to fight for your own rights, then what right do you have to blame country’s politicians? Or any other person for that matter!
We have to understand that we are a part of the system, and this system will not progress unless we work to do so. These are small issues which can be corrected only by us people.
I decided this when I was doing my final year engineering and am following it ever since then. I can proudly say that it has been three years that
•    I don’t throw garbage on roadside and neither do I allow my friends when they are with me.
•    I walk on the footpath if there is one.
•    I pay my taxes.
•    I treat people around me with respect.
•    I don’t spit in public spaces.
•    I do not bribe officials to get my work done.
I have also decided that I will vote next time there are elections.
I know this is not much, but then, it is one step forward. Me not throwing garbage around in public places will not make India clean, but if I am able to convince even one person not to throw waste on roadside, I will consider it as an achievement.
Today, I was watching “India has got talent Khoj 2”, where a team of sand artists did a beautiful act. They showed 26/11 mumbai attacks using a sand painting. As a judge on the show very rightly said, these artists did something that even they may not have realized. They gave a tribute to all martyrs of 26/11 in one of the most beautiful ways possible and they did that on national television. I thank them for doing that act. They not only took part in the competition, but also used it as a platform to send a message to the entire country stating that we are forgetting the path shown to us by the father of our nation.
Their show also inspired me to share my thoughts with people. The best way to do that is blog, and hence my first blog entry.

As it was said in a very famous Hindi movie, “No country is perfect; we have to make it perfect. We have to work together to make it perfect”.
Let’s make India perfect. This is my first step towards a perfect India.

Proud to be an Indian.

Jai Hind.