Thursday, May 13, 2010


Last week we witnessed the quite expected media hype of Indian cricket team’s debacle at T-20 world cup, Jairam Singh’s attack on Indian home ministry in Beijing and Ambani brothers fighting over gas price. And as usual women’s cricket team, hockey team’s performance at Azlan Shah and chess glory (courtesy Viswanathan Anand) was not given the deserved limelight. Amidst all this one story which really made me smile was Bill Gates visit to India. Headlines which were splashed across news papers with captions “Bill Gates in Bihar, Amethi”, “Bill Gates to aid Bihar projects”, “Gates checks up polio eradication” caught my eye.

But unlike what I thought that he would meet the Ambanis, Birlas and top notch Indian personalities he was spotted touring in rural Indian villages with Rahul Gandhi playing guide and interpreter both. “What about caste? Is it not possible that people from influential castes might be polio immunization among children and mothers of their own caste groups?” the Microsoft founder asked the officials accompanying him a tribal village in Bihar(God knows who can eradicate Caste division in our country, try Gates if you can!!). Gates who is used to travelling continents in his private jet took a boat ride. Bill gates visited the rural India which we refuse to accept, which is indeed truth and the India which is overlooked.

He wants his company Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to tie up with Rajiv Gandhi charitable trust. Really hope that happens. Both Rahul and Gates showed no discomfort even though most rooms did not have fans and electricity or cooling systems in Amethi. Rahul Gandhi is now synonyms with rural India and his idea of change is well known. Who can forget his extensive campaign during Lok Sabha elections last year? But we saw Bill Gates in places where our businessman rarely have time to go or for that matter even our politicians(they don’t have time because they are busy fighting within their own party). His visit to Amethi and Bihar is worth applauding.

He asked few kids there “why there is no power?”. Well that’s one question which Rahul Gandhi can only answer. He asked young kids “to read English and learn computers”. Well I really hope his desire comes true and every Indian becomes educated. So what brought Gates in this 43-degree heat to rural India? Gates being the individual he is replied “The beauty of the land and the serenity of the rivers, it is a wonderful feeling. I feel very good. You can notice it.” Well beauty and exquisiteness of India and Indians is something that attracts everybody across the globe. Here’s hoping Indians continue to promote the beauty of our country so that it truly becomes a developed nation, a nation which is sought after……

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I woke up on May 3rd morning to read in newspaper that a 11 year old is demanding that Kasab should be hanged and that she isn’t scared of him. Afternoon and all day long news channels flashed "26/11 Kasab found guilty" (Who had a doubt on that?). I sat back and wondered whether to rejoice over the fact that Ajmal Aamir Kasab arguably India’s biggest enemy is found guilty and culpable or just feel sorry that we had to witness this day of trial. I don't think the feeling of losing hundreds on 26 November, 2008 has sunk in yet. Ever since 26/11 I have written articles on terror as that became the obvious 10 mark question in an English paper. But how and what do you write on terror and why do we need to write on such a topic? I still remember the night I sat in front of my television set and saw the relentless reporting of TAJ rescue operation which lasted for 3 days. Terror had captualised us. Since then every time I saw Kasab wielding a gun in CCTV footage on channels, I was angry and furious. We had seen incidents of terror before in our country, but 26/11 left us traumatized and shattered. How can this happen to us?? Why the hell did this happen? We had so many questions to ask but there was no one to answer our queries.
Every other day we have headlines that scream out loud "87 killed and 100 injured, XYZ held for planting a bomb”. Floods, earthquakes and tsunami does leaves us in ache that so many innocent lives are lost but terror attacks which are man-made leaves us shattered and wondering how the hell can somebody do this?? As we enter a new era of 2010, developing nations are trying hard to become developed nations and the developed ones are trying hard to attain new heights. Is this possible when terrorism has emerged as a global threat?? Global I say as there were threats issued by US and UK that Delhi is going to be attacked and their security agencies ended up finding a bomb in Times Square. Whether it’s the eastern part of the world or the western, every country is at danger. Everyone everywhere is unsafe. We are living in a world which is full of insecurities and fear.
The usual excuse that we hear from a terrorist when he is caught is-"we were trained to use guns from a young age”, “trainers asked us to preach jihad". So what?? You go and kill innocent people. Don’t you have any brain of your own to decide what to do?? It has been said many times that terror has got nothing to do with religion - a undoubtedly true statement. Which religion on earth teaches us violence, terror and bloodshed?? Bhagvad Gita or Quran or Bible or what?? Terrorism is a religion in its own and religion can’t be used as an excuse. It’s disgusting and unacceptable that people can kill somebody's brother, mother, son and daughter. It’s an unbelievable act of cowardice.

May be P.Chidamabram (home minister) is right in saying "Kasab's verdict vindicates India" but is it enough to sentence Kasab? Will his death pacify and appease us? India wants justice. Wounds are wet and will remain so in a long time to come. 26/11 (or for that matter any such awful and horrific terror attack) is a loss which we can never forget. We have had enough of this nonsensical act by few. The utmost important factor for development in general is peace and brotherhood and the utmost dangerous threat to this is undoubtedly terrorism. It is high time we come together and as the 11 year old victim of 26/11 say not fear anything. We might not have the power to tackle this large issue but we can at least try on our part to spread peace and serenity in our miniature ways in order to make this world a better place to live in........

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Watching television was once leisure time for families. Family members used to sit for dinner and either watch 9'o clock news or house wives fought to switch over to Ekta Kapoor’s daily soaps which probably became the most popular TV series that our country has seen. Every housewife who had no other work was hooked to these telly soaps as they found a friend, a saas, nanad and a perfect bahu to identify with. All these ended last year when we had a new entertainment channel colors which came up with a brand new series of serials(which lead to the end of K series) Balika Vadhu, Uttaran and Laado all of which became popular.

But the real shift was reality TV. Welcome to the world of reality shows. Reality TV before 3 years was not known in our country. It is the place where the reality meets fiction. Reality shows made a big entry into the lives of the ordinary people since it helped them to get rid off the clutches of the monotonous soap serials. Strange that within such a short time we have seen reality shows of all kind. Reality shows are either in the form of talent hunts (like singing, dancing, acting etc), game shows, celebrity shows, makeover shows or confessions. Reality shows give a good platform or an opening to the talented ones. But very soon everyone realized that it was ten minute fame and a permanent success for very few who are really talented. India’s first reality music show was Indian Idol. Now the show is back with its fifth season. Who remembers contestants of earlier seasons?? Barring few whom the public is familiar with, courtesy their reappearances on television screens in various shows. We have had a swayamvar (have never really got who the contestants are??) and a next season of swayamvar. When we thought we can’t have anymore we had a series of unbelievable reality shows Iss jungle se mujhe bachao, pati, patni aur woh and sach ka saamna which led to parliamentary debates and people commting suicides. We have seen it all. But the question is how much real are these reality shows? Idiot Box was the name given to TV. Wonder what will be the new name??Not to forget that we have filmstars on TV now. After Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan hosted KBC we had every other actor and actress (many who have no work in films anymore) on out TV screens. For film promotions or self promotions we have everybody who is anybody on television. There is a whole new breed of stars who are now known as reality TV stars which includes Rakhi Sawant and Rahul Mahajan. Even news channels have seen a shift(though they still report news). The breaking news phenomenon in our Indian news channels has gripped the country. We want fresh news everytime we are infront of TV. We are bored of repeat of the same news and are constantly looking for new stories. Be it the live reporting of the 26/11 Taj rescue operation or the Sania-Shoaib saga or the IPL scam. Its been a year of breaking news. Now the question is there a need of break on news??

How important is TV for us?? We can’t live a single day without it I guess. Anything that strikes the emotional chord is an instant hit in our country. So what are we going to see next on TV??(just hope we do not have a reality show where people die for money, after all UK has seen Jade Goody’s death on TV ). We need something fresh, new and productive as well?? Till then we can sit back and enjoy what ever changing and varying shows that the television channels have to offer...........