Morning Diary

mumbai-localMorning : 7:50 am

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Train Route : Thane- Mulund-Nahur-Bhandup-kanjur-Vikhroli-Ghatkopar-VidyaVihar-Kurla-Sion-Matunga

The rest I don’t know as my destination is Matunga

Morning 7:47 am train was late ,so obviously 8;03 train too got late ….well that’s my everyday train .For the first time in whole year I had got a window seat in the morning time. But I flatly refused , as it is rainy day ….and u end up getting wet even though the windows are having shutter. I normally tend to stand because it gets difficult to get down once the train gets full. I was standing exactly in the middle . You tend to see the same faces everyday , if u catch the same train. One short heighted college going girl seemed lost . She was not able to understand whether she should stand besides me or not. At first I thought ,that she realised that she will get wet if she stands .

Rule No 1 : Never stand near the door on rainy days,…u get wet . But then I realised, she was short and not able to hold the upper handle …so she was hunting for a comfy place.

RULE NO 2 : Never stand in the entry of the sitting area. U will get crushed

And that’s what exactly happened.

Scene 2 :The girl was getting pushed inside . And then again she looked at me …I said stand where u were standing b4. …(she was having no option)

She asked me ” Is this first class , is it so crowded every time ?…I am travelling first time. I said “I realised that , and showed her the handle behind where her hand could reach out. Then I asked her , where do you want to get down ” and boom comes the answer “Ghatkopar” …..I said…it comes that side.

I absolutely could understand her state of mind and her state of first class imagination .

I told her go fast that side once the kanjur crowd gets down. She somehow managed.

Here goes the imagination of people who have never travelled by train and first  class   :  Small compartment ..with few people probably sitting and reading newspaper or novel, humming to music, busy carrying their own activity…(as shown in the movies) and very diligently getting down the compartment. Of course why not : u have paid 1000 bucks and got a first class  ticket :

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Actual Condition : So what you got a first class ticket ? ….standard of living has increased ,even I can have one…..colleges provide concession….anyone can have that . So it is worst than the first class . The compartments are small….and everyone ends up cramming inside.  U are able to breathe only till thane to mulund…then u are lost and sandwiched in the crowdcentral-railway-fast-local-8-am-in-morning

Scene 3 : Now comes the vidyavihar crowd. Normally they are…college goers , office crowd ppl etc. Two ladies who wanted to get down at  vidyavihar were sitting and then at vikhroli station they realised…the crowd is getting worst …better leave our seat now and start gearing up .

Now the problem here is that…at ghatkopar , how much crowd gets down …equally worse crowd  gets inside.  So now the 2 ladies got stuck. They were begging people standing near the rod to get down and get inside again …so that they could get down….but no use. They got stuck and missed their station.

Scene 4 : Now someone had to turn out a leader in such situation . One lady who got in at ghatkopar was getting pissed …so she made a formal announcement :  “We all are kurla crowd here….so whoever is standing near the rod….get down when the station comes and get inside again . I am telling you now only …you got one more chance to come inside…otherwise you will be crushed” . That lady actually said 12 3 : push ….Lol

THE LADIES IN THE FIRST CLASS Yell EACH TIME : PUSH PUSH …. they all are under going labour pain a the same time.

And that’s what happens at kurla…..All ladies unitedly  PUSH…The baby finally comes out ….ie (They get down) and equally new babies  grow inside the stomach.  Trust me KURLA Crowd is worst .

SCENE 5 : I got the advantage of being extremely thin. So voila comes my destination and I get down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The lone warrior: Breaking barriers between soldiers and civilians

Another inspiring article which i read in the newspaper and felt , it is more than worthy enough for the world to know about it . Its worth a read . 

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Kargil 2013: The guns have been quiet for more than a decade now; but there is one woman whose voice echoes through the Valley—Anuradha Prabhudesai. Rama Sreekant met 

“Thodi si mein wife hoon, thodi si mein nani hoon, lekin pehle Hindustani hoon,” says 57-year-old Anuradha Prabhudesai, an ex-banker, whose story dates back to August 2004 when she was holidaying in Ladakh with her husband and friends.

Anuradha was ambling along the roads of Drass, drinking in the friendliness of the locals and the soldiers in a war-ravaged town, when she first spotted an army caption that read, ‘I only regret that I have but one life to lay down for the country.’ Intrigued, she stopped an army Khansama to enquire what had happened there. He in turn, unassumingly asked, “aapko pata nahi, yahan toh haazerein laashein giri thi?” That was Anuradha’s moment of introspection.

She pondered about her comfortable life back in Mumbai, the brief news about Kargil (in 1999) and the pseudo-patriotism she wore in her heart. Moved by what she heard, Anuradha, along with her friend Vikram Joshi, took an oath at Vijay Stambh (War Memorial in Kargil) to bring to light the sacrifices made by the Kargil soldiers and to visit Kargil for the next five years.

Back from the trip, Anuradha wrote several letters to army officials seeking permission to visit them during Raksha Bandhan in 2005. After some initial resistance, Colonel Jha finally conceded. The mission was possible but the trail ahead tough.

Driving through rough roads from Manali to Sarchu and finally into Leh, all seemed worth it when, after tying rakhis and distributing homemade food, the soldiers expressed, “Aap jo pyaar dete ho rakhi ke zariye, woh hosla deta hai ladne ke liye.” The bond strengthened when she returned in 2006 with a group of 36 girls.

Mission Possible
Anuradha has visited Kargil 14 times in the last ten years, and her work has been cherished by the army. She has published more than 400 copies of Hindi poems authored by her and several booklets on the Kargil martyrs. “As Indians, we do not know the names of the Paramveer awardees of our country but we know the names of new-born kids of movie stars, film award winners, etc. Where are we heading as a nation?,” asks Anuradha, who is the only civilian and only woman with access to all the regiments in the

Kargil region.

Having lived up to her five-year oath, in 2009, when Anuradha expressed her uncertainty to continue the mission to Brigadier Pal, he simply ordered, “Continue the good work.”

Subsequently, Anuradha formed the Lakshya Foundation with an objective to instill a spirit of patriotism in the youth.

In her journey so far, she has travelled to Ladakh with 450 civilians giving them first-hand experience of army life, delivered 105 lectures across schools and arranged get-togethers of army wives and war widows. Fondly called ma’am, maasi and ma, by the soldiers, Anuradha’s role in their lives kept expanding. On 26th July 2011, she received a memento from Lt Gn Dastane for boosting the morale of the soldiers and bridging the gap between civilians and soldiers.

This memento, she says, is life’s best gift to her.

Giving Back
Anuradha’s work for the soldiers through the Lakshya foundation has grown multifold. Their first activity was ‘Diwali with Soldiers’—an initiative to distribute sweets to the families of the soldiers. “Aaj kal insaniyat ki kami hai. It’s all about me, my family, my job,” she says voicing her pain.

Sharing several anecdotes of the lives of soldiers, who stay put at an altitude of 18,000 ft in bone-chilling conditions for several weeks, Anuradha urges, “If you meet a soldier, give him respect and love. That’s all he needs.”

Taking a leaf from the lives of the soldiers, Anuradha has evolved as a human being—less temperamental, more disciplined, calm and collected, with a better sense of time.

She has reoriented her life to a different compass. Now, 26th July, Army Day, is incomplete without Anuradha and Lakshya Foundation. Leading two lives—one of a middle-class, hard-working wife and another of a woman who is a beacon of hope for our soldiers, in January 2012, Anuradha quit her job, “I wanted to work for my country,” she says.

Anuradha persists in her efforts to break the barriers between soldiers and civilians. She believes her mission will be accomplished when every Indian dedicates five years of his or her life to the country.  That would be a truly patriotic India.

 

Heart Sinking

 

I named this post as heart sinking because  this is how I felt while passing by my car . I wish I had a bike to get a speedy errand feel . For me my connection to nature especially during rains are so intense, that my clicking never stops. For me to capture the moment is important rather than how the photo(graphy) has turned out . As at the end sometimes , you just want that feel to still linger in your minds . The feel you experience when have a mouth-watering food in front of you. That’s how I feel for nature. These pics by far has turned out to be best for me . The combination of a bit sunlight,too much mist and green covered mountains , I bet it looks the best in India …God’s Creation indeed!!!!

Debate Enthusiasts II

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It all comes down to education !!!!! . I was in dire state whether to write about this debate or not . May be because  it is too opinionated or may be it might sound controversial  to the readers . Or as they say you need to handle such issues delicately. But controversies never arise if the things are delicate . The reason behind my love for news debates are they explore you to a real audience and the atrocities they had to face through their life(more social ones)…And there are many young lively audience who are willing to raise their voice in the name of justice.

The debate was in short about the right age of consent to get married , considering Child Marriage as a social issue in India. As the age are biased (18 yrs for girls and 21 for boys  )…why the disparity..?? .What about today’s generation where they don’t mind pre-marital sex??? How is the society taking this?  Is it against the law…How much of personal laws should be taken into account? ..why sex education is so important for today’s generation? Again as we have various religions , according to each act(Hindu , Muslim , Christian)…the opinions differ.

UN reported as 47% girls are married under 18 in India . With the ’18’ number becoming a hot topic . ’25’ number also arose (eligibility to drink) and Javed Akhtar pointing out ’18’ as a number for right to vote and right to marriage but ’25’ as a number to contest elections ?…Why So ??

 As I am more interested in live audience Barkha Dutt comes up with : This one was one of the few which highlights the scenario :

The woman was forced to marry at the age of 14 . She was tortured  for bearing a girl child. She took the decision to leave the husband at a certain stage. Raised her children solely through great difficulties. Now the interesting part comes…she aspired to become a civil servant but was denied to sit for the exams for being the child bride….Supreme court  till date upholds her case.

The best line told by one of the panel members after they heard the story was : This is not a rare case but having the courage to come out of it is a rare case.

Sometimes I think what is it I am trying to prove by writing such article. What is that I want that the audience to know. Is it that injustice continues to prevail in the country?  Is it that I am trying to raise my voice through writing or what? The why’s still continues to linger.

In the whole opinionated debate where few panels looked like(Hear me !!!Hear me!!!)…It was the public who came up with an appropriate conclusion . That such laws should be left in the hand of  the victimized . As at the end ‘We the People’ can only come up with the issues , politicians will continue to rant their ideologies , lawyers would be stuck with the verdict and Government’s ruffle ultimately stalls the progress. ….And yes It all comes down to education . 

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Nature’s Silence III

The Indecisive Trap

 

 

 

 

 

Mind thinks pragmatic , Heart yearns tender
To surrender one , is a difficult blender

You chose the heart and got a start
As the days passed , there stood the thwart

Battling the fight , you struggled to attempt
Failing the effort , shattered self-contempt

Mustering the courage , you woke everyday
Feeling all the same , in dismay

Time had come , to choose the mind
helpless heart couldn’t unwind

The Indecisive had laid his trap
leaving behind a small gap

Another Inspiring Article

The Two-Minute Solution to Coping With Disasters 


For someone who has spent most of his childhood in Uttarakhand and trekked through remote villages in the magnificent mountains of the Himalayas,I feel not just pain but also a sense of violation seeing the man-instigated natural disaster unfold in front of my eyes.

The region is on tethers,nature is wounded and thousands of army personnel are still battling the odds to ensure we dont lose innocent lives for decisions and actions on which we should have spent two minutes more.

Why is the question many are asking.Deforestation,human greed,exploitation of the poor,lack of education,mindless projects in the garb of development,lack of accountability for inaction any or all of these could be the reason(s) why we have lost so many lives.But whatever the alibi,it is sure to be forgotten soon.

Going by past trends,there will be pity,sympathy and blame-games followed by short-term memory loss,and soon,we will go ahead as if nothing had happened.

India is home to some of the oldest civilisations and we are proud of our heritage and history.But I wonder whether future generations will say this about us.Or will they see a generation utterly self-involved and selfish ?

Indians future will be secure only when Indians wake up to not just their rights but also their responsibilities.We need those extra two minutes more from each one of the billion Indians,every day,to think of Indians first.These two billion minutes we have each day could solve many problems and save many lives.These minutes hold the promise of changing mindsets where development will be viewed from the lens of inclusiveness and long-term sustainability.

When you throw plastic in the river,uproot a tree to plant it in your backyard,cut a tree to build a dream home in the hills,build roads from nowhere to nowhere,build dams to feed the unending hunger for urbanisation in the hills,do take those extra two minutes and think Indians first.When you travel and enjoy the beauty of Himalayas and stop to distribute toffees and not books to children,think those extra two minutes.When you see shops that sell tobacco and gutka coming up in every remote village but no medicine shop for miles,take those extra two minutes to think of our future.When you see empty school buildings with no teachers and children doing manual labour,remember,they are screaming for your two minutes.When you vote the next time,think hard for those extra two minutes.When you see deforestation and exploitation during your travels,ask for the road to the district officials and raise your voice in those two minutes.

I m not anti-development;the key is to ensure sustainable and environmentally sensitive development like the Amazon Region Protected Areas (Arpa) programme in Brazil and other state-led initiatives that have slowed down the Amazon deforestation and biodiversity hazards considerably with the involvement of local communities.As I write this piece,millions of Brazilians are on the street because they care.The Jasmine Revolution was caused because the common man cared.Indians are fighting against corruption as never before because we care.Now we need to care about the fine ecological balance given in trust to us by the previous generations.

As a young kid,these mountains and rivers were my family members,and the flora and fauna were part of my community.As the images of the vast devastation started flashing on TV screens,I thought of how we have let down these mountains,how we have abandoned the community and turned our backs to the responsibility.Now we will spend billions in rebuilding homes and in trying to reinstate the faith of people in our country,but what about nature,who will earn her respect and who will say we understand and care

I am a relentless optimist and believe that when we Indians decide to turn a corner,we are unstoppable.Thus,there is always hope if we look at this disaster as a reminder of the two minute responsibility we owe to our nature and biodiversity,cities and villages,humans and hills.Just two minutes every day in our own way.Think about it.My two minutes start now,and yours 

The writer is vice-chairman,HCL Technologies

A Road Trip

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Rains have arrived in my country
Stranded in study room for a year
had left me dry and doom

Inexplicable connection to nature
I shunned my laptop for creature
Road trip to Ghats made me feel alive
Peeping my face through window
I felt my need for meadows
Watching young boys
sell berries ,my heart silently cried.

Stopping by the roadside
for a country corn is must
But having served by a minor
should my craving be just ?
Nevertheless I continue my
journey of nature .

Fascinated by waterfalls and mountains
My clicking never stops .
But unable to capture as doppelganger leaves
me a flop.

So I shutdown the screen and feel the
serene through my breathe .
The tranquil is contagious but departure
has arrived .

Way back to home is a mixed feeling
To be happy for the nature or sad for
the road kids ?
Is always a question to ponder.

 

 

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Nature’s Silence

A Newspaper Article

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Something which i felt like sharing in the blog

Dhruv Lakras courier firm delivers 25,000 packages every month by a deaf-only staff

You dont except pin drop silence at a courier office during peak business hours.But at Mirakle Couriers Churchgate headquarters,the only dominating sound is that of a whirring air-conditioner.Without exchanging a single word,its 49 staffers,all deaf,successfully deliver 25,000 packages a month within the city.Dhruv Lakra,its 32-year-old founder,who holds a degree in social entrepreneurship from SAID Business School,University of Oxford,stresses the difference between the deaf community and the hearing impaired.While the latter carry a hope of medical correction,the deaf have no choice but to resign to a life of silence.And yet,he doesnt approve of the term disabled for his colleagues.They are just differently abled, he says.They are great with operational work,good with directions and incredibly honest apt for the work they currently do.
After a job with financial management and advisory firm Merrill Lynch and a volunteering stint with Mumbai-based NGO DASRA,Lakra decided hed use the best lessons from both experiences to launch a socially-conscious business idea.Mirakle Couriers was born in 2009 with just two delivery boys.It now operates out of two branches (the other is at Bandra).
Remembering the incident that spun his life around,Lakra says,I was sitting in a BEST bus beside a boy who was looking restlessly out of the window.He was lost although the conductor was regularly announcing the next stop.I tried asking him what was wrong,but he didnt respond.Thats when it struck me that he was deaf.I helped him through handwritten notes,but I had come face-to-face with their everyday struggle.
Lakra decided hed come up with an entrepreneurship plan that would empower others like the boy.
And he sure has.Amarjeet Mistry,a confident middle-aged staffer communicates animatedly through sign language while Lakra interprets what he is saying: I was a carpenter and it was tough to make ends meet.How was I to fend for my family Things changed after landing this job.My daughter can speak English,you know!
While Mistry and his male colleagues manage delivery,the women,including Lata Upadhyay (name changed),operate the back office.Upadhyays parents were unwilling to let her work late hours.When Lakra learnt of this,he changed their schedule.We come in early and are back home before sunset, she says.I didnt want mere labourers.The idea is to get women with a difficult past to enjoy their work.They are my responsibility,so assigning them comfortable working hours keeps me at peace too, says Lakra,who learnt sign language as part of his field research.
In the absence of the spoken word,text messages have proved to be Mirakles lifeline.Its through SMSes that the staff effectively communicates and tracks deliveries.Their professional track record has helped bring in prestigious clients like Mahindra & Mahindra,Godrej & Boyce,the Aditya Birla Group and Under The Mango Tree.One staffer opens his eyes wide,and flays his arms to symbolise the fancy tall buildings they deliver packages to.
Its evident that Lakras idea is a hope for the community when he tells you he receives calls from eager parents looking for a suitable boy for their deaf daughters.It takes a while for me to explain that we are only Mirakle Couriers,not Mirakle matchmakers, Lakra smiles.

LEAN IN – SHERYL SANDBERG

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I am an avid newspaper reader. Long time back a very nice motivational article had come in the Economic Times with headlines-“Build Your Skills…Not Your Resume” , quoted by Sheryl Sandberg . In a niche it summed up the some leadership quotes and stuff. Till date whenever I feel low I go through that article .(I feel everyone should have something like this , it can be anything a book, a movie etc which will keep us optimistic). Anyway coming back to the point . After reading the book I realized that some of the points were from her book LEAN IN-SHERYL SANDBERG .

I was going through a low life (infact I am now a bit) and this book has turned out to be a savior . It has been a long time when I had read any book at one stretch . (Nowadays that’s more possible with sitcoms seasons) . It took me two nights with some interruptions to read the ebook. And the second I finished I ran to grab a copy from the crossword .(I got to have its hard copy )…something technology can never give (cuddle and doze off with).

I have never been a lover of non-fiction . I love to read management articles but books not much. Back then I have tried with Jack Welch ,Malcolm Gladwell etc but just couldn’t complete it …(Sorry no offence) The only book I remember finishing was The monk who sold his Ferrari. …Anyway again coming back to the point. I thought reading again would help me in writing the review in better way. But in each read ended up highlighting different quotes . …(So got more confused). I have never written a book review and this book left me pondering from where should I start if I want to . Because its difficult to leave anything . …(You ought to read the book). Still Here I start.

                          It’s a sort of women centric book with women issues . At times quite humorous. It highlights why women progress gets stalled in the corporate world and why men still run the world . Its not exactly her autobiography but a blend of her past work personal experiences, self-analysis of the public speeches given by her and other short accounts. Many statistical data’s are presented. They are more with concerned to US country . But India stats were frequently mentioned. (Hello There INDIANS did you know….

In India 11% seats in parliament are held by women.

A Meager 4% of the fortune 500 CEO’s are women .

Indian women hold 5% of director ships among the 100 companies listed on the BSE. 11% of the top 240 Indian companies had female CEO’s

In India about 13% of children live with one parent , usually a mother

In India , women do more work than ten times as much child care and nearly thirty times as much housework as men.

Each title of the book is a very apt and reasons out beautifully. She has tried to explain how work-life balance can be achieved without making any career sacrifices(especially women) and how equal parenting can lead to successful life. The book each man and woman should read it …(Highly recommended by me). The wisdom attained is insurmountable. Many critics have retorted and tagged it feminist , gender-issue based book ….I am like common dude have you read the book properly?? – when revealed the definition of feminism as

A feminism is someone who believes in social ,political and economic equality of the sexes” the stats increased from 24% to 65% .

Don’t we all are then? . There are many other quotes which gives you a wise laugh

LIKE – “Legendary investor Warren Buffet has stated generously that one of the reasons for his great success was that he was competing with only half of the population” OR another one

Where everyone of us are fraud and Fake it till you feel it strategy helps at times.

OR

The one where a women revealed something like this – “I shouldn’t confess it publicly but she puts her children to sleep in their school clothes to save 15 minutes of precious minutes in the morning.”

OR

Its heartbreaking to think one woman holding another back. There is special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.

The best one – Heidi/Howard case study of HBS …(People who don’t know this please read it on the net).

The (OR’s) continue with many other wise and inspirational quotes. …May be it will turn out as one of my new blog post. …(So read the book people) . Like I said before I have never written a book review and probably at the end I suck at it.   My intention behind it was to make this book known to as many people as I can . But I realized something – my tvhookedfigures have turned out to be in major number woman . ….I can’t help it .

I am waiting for Benedict alias Sherlock to return.

Debate Enthusiasts

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After watching many ongoing political debates in India , I have always enjoyed watching offbeat but complex social issues bought up by shows like ‘We the People’ or  ‘Big Fight’ .

 Wedlock to Deadlock was one among such debates which I thoroughly enjoyed watching . Should 50% marital rights be given to the women during the time of Divorce ? What about the inherited property ? The debate started off lightly with several issues coming out . Barkha Dutt as usual had chosen an excellent debate panel . 

Divorce in a country like India has always been  considered a dreadful word . A social stigma !!!!

Several issues were discussed by the panel members starting from where women had helped the husband financially and was left penniless during the divorce, to the lawyers coming up with cases where a divorce couple are a part of joint family , so how the parting of the money should be considered? , Many interesting cases arose from audience panel : Where the women was beaten and thrown out of the house when pregnant (a girl child issue) , on the counter view a man being falsely accused in (attempt to  murder charges , dowry…etc ) by the wife when he decided to part ,due to incompatibility. The wife then becoming a U.S citizen and demanding alimony and not allowing the father to meet their daughter. Another audience asking why a simple communication won’t suffice and why the state is given so much power. Divorce finally been considered a tamasha in India  where they get locked up in litigation .

India being a land of villages , rural population is often neglected in such issues , to start something from scratch, leaving the husband , is difficult for rural women .The focus also shifted to equal rights and towards woman empowerment  and children to be considered a priority .  Solutions to make a women more self-reliant was discussed upon. Be it urban or rural-the livelihood and time frame of the marriage holds an important stake . If women are able to start-up on own then she should ….(it marks the beginning of self-reliance) , at the same time job opportunities should be provided to less fortunate .

Jaya Jaitley one of the panel members ended with a positive note  by telling : We should go into making strong marriages along with strong laws .

The amendments in laws are must . But a country with such diversity in all aspects , including divorce cases , which law would really equalize the matter ? That’s a big question to ponder upon .

People can share their thoughts and reviews  !!!!!!!!