Monday, August 25, 2014
Friday, August 15, 2014
August 15th, the day India succeeded in ending the British regime and established a democracy. A democracy which gave power to every Indian to select and elect people to power to do good for their nation. Most of them were illiterates and were unaware of the ways of the world. They chose people whom they believed would propel the country to prosperity and growth.
Sixty eight years hence people mostly illiterates and unaware of the ways of the world choose people whom they believe will propel the country towards prosperity. There has been some prosperity no doubt but largely the common man still lives with the hope that there will be a better tomorrow. There will be a set of people who will indeed steer the country towards prosperity and growth.. real prosperity and real growth.
Let me define what I exactly mean by prosperity and growth. It is definitely not measured by the number of high rise buildings that this country can build, it is not the number of people who feature on the Forbes list of richest Indians and not by the number of babies that this country produces on a daily basis.
Prosperity will be achieved when every person born in this country can afford three square meals a day; when he can build toilets in is house, when he can have a house to live in and not a shack, when the girls of this country can walk outside safely without the threat of rape.
Prosperity is when the children, all children receive basic education, they don't have to work to feed their family, when every person can do a decent job and earn a livelihood, not clean up sewage waste.
So are we really independent? We are not independent from the perils of society like poverty, hunger, homeless, rape that we have inflicted upon us, so what exactly are we celebrating here? Is it the fact that our forefathers fought like one to establish a democracy sixty eight years ago? Well then my friend it's a thing of the past. The British have moved on and so have our forefathers. But we are holding onto a memory to find an excuse to enjoy a holiday, hoist the tricolor and well up assumed pride at being an Indian.
I may sound a little too obstinate here but my friends in the US or outside the country who have long migrated from India send wishes of independence and a happy one at that. My friend, you are not stuck in the traffic jam every morning, driving to work, you are not waiting for the water to appear in the tap in your kitchen, you are not sweating it out waiting for electricity.. so feel happy about your independence from these pains and enjoy life. We are good without your wishes.
India should stop having any elaborate ceremonies and celebrate independence when the country has ousted poverty, hunger, homelessness and rape.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
You are holding on to your loved one
There are smiles around
And I lonely, tired, battered
You are sharing a meal
Emotions flowing through words
And I quiet, solitary, silent
You are looking out at the cold winter
Feeling the hug and warmth
And I yearning, cold, bare
You are lost in your dreams
Of the future, of belonging
And I real, sans dreams, sans hope.
The smile which is there yet not
The loneliness in the crowd
The cold blanketing the warmth that could be
The realisation of the truth
The blind chase
Where do i stand
Where do i stand
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Prior to my onshore stint, I spent about five years at the Nila building in Technopark. It was second home, because I spent a big chunk of my day there. Post onshore, I moved into the Bhavani building which is bigger and better than Nila.
As you walk into the atrium of Bhavani, you feel its magnanimity. There would be and there are bigger buildings in other cities in India, but this is one of the biggest buildings in my small place call Trivandrum. I feel a positive energy as I walk through those doors day after day. Some days there is a floral carpet or pookalam adorning the floor of the atrium, welcoming someone in the traditional way of Kerala. On some days the atrium is decked up with stalls and party favors, from some organization celebrating a milestone or simply hosting an event. What I like about this place is that its never empty, its so full of people all the time and from one end I can see the entire length and breadth of the building.
What intrigues me more than the architecture of the building are the people and the umpteen number of stories tied to these people playing out simultaneously.
If you look at floor 6, where all the cafes and eating outlets are located, you will find a group of people chatting, laughing and having a good time. This is probably a group of people, where more commonly there is atleast one resource who is a non team member or an onsite returned person taking the rest of the group for a treat. Then there are groups just walking out of some eatery and enjoying dessert talks. What you would more find in common is someone waiting for someone. A smile erupts at the appearance of the someone on the someone who was waiting.
Floor 5 has the offices of UST Global, where I work. People are rushing for meetings from one side of the building to the other carrying laptops or notepads. They make a pitstop at the security desk to scan the laptop and move on to their business. Then there are the phone holders rooted at various intervals of the corridor. And boy this is a sight to see. Personal calls mostly with the highlight being koochikooing calls. Some boyfriend calling his outside Technopark girlfriend, some girlfriend talking to her boyfriend on another floor. A wife calling her husband in another part of the world. A friend calling another friend and pouring out her woes. All sorts of conversations in hush hush tones so as to ward off the eavesdroppers passing by. Love.
Floor 4 always has an Airtel or Docomo or Vodafone make-shift stall put up. Guys showing off their company and trying to lure potential customers to buy their product. They spend so much time talking, and the passion each of them holds to sell their product, because their daily bread is probably tied to each sale they make. Passion.
Floor 2 had some plastic chairs lined up today. There were young people, some with their parents beside them. A guy dressed in formals with a tag around his neck comes with a sheet of paper and we see one of those seated girl/guy get up and follow the guy with the tag. Looked like an interview. They had been there in the morning, when I walked into office. This is most likely their first time in Technopark and I cannot help reminisce the first time I walked into those huge gates of Technopark many years ago. I can feel the anticipation, fear, hope that these young people may be going through, because I was on those plastic chairs, once.. waiting to be called. Hope.
Floor 0 is of course the entrances and exits. People getting to work, with laptop bags, lunch bags, some alone, some with a friend or a spouse. Groups of people walking out to grab lunch or make it to some appointment post lunch.
This place has seen so much, so many people walk in and out of its space. And me a tiny speck in the realm of stories that are played out everyday.