Wednesday, August 31, 2011


There is a need to tell a story of suffering. There is little respite. The solution seems to be a bigger problem. The lesson learned: goodness is the most exploited commodity. Still, there is no bitterness. There is enormous grief.

It is a touching story of a person recently out of jail. He wrote letters to me from jail. I know not, why? I have never met him before. When we met twice after his release, he told me, he felt he could trust me. His trusting me is a great compliment. I force a smile. Trusting his beloved caused him to suffer immensely.

He is still suffering. He is frustrated. His mind is numb. When pain becomes too much it stops to be painful, it becomes a nagging numb.

He tells me story of his certain past. He was happy when he fell in love. He was betrayed. His love was unconditional. He was a handy tool for his lover. She allowed him only to the extent she would want. He always wanted more. Despite, his commitment to her was complete. She knew that. Things became messy for him. She remained spotless clean. He allowed her to use him. He was the only one she could trust. She made him do the dirty work. He did the dirty work. She made him a criminal. He did not blink. He was finally held by the police for drug peddling. He took full responsibility of the crime. She came to see him in the jail. He asked, "Why me?" She told him: "you will be fine."

He was released last month after serving two years of rigorous imprisonment. She wrote two letters to him in this duration. He is got in touch with her. She is a third generation Indian-America from California. Her biggest frustration was that she was constantly made to feel alienated in India. She did not feel at home in the US, either. He tried to make her feel at home.

"She is of course avoiding me now" he tells me. He gets no reply to his mails. When he insists to chat up, she replies in monosyllables. But when she is talking to her American friends, she has so much to say and listen, he complains. He feels alienated by her. He feels alienated by his life. He is become intolerable to her. She does not carry burden of the past. He is the burden of the past. When he begs to talk to her, she does chat up but with a qualification: "I am just going to bed or sleep." Or "I can't talk now." She is perhaps anxious to find an easy way to offload him from her life.

She tells him, "I am in a relationship now. There is no future for us." She had the audacity to tell him that given his past, a convict in a drug peddling case, he will never get a visa to visit the US. He hates himself for loving her. But, he can’t stop loving her. He is worried about her. She thinks only for herself. He thinks always about her. It is not a sacrifice. It is joy personified for him. He wishes good for her. She is away at safe distance from him.

I try comfort him by saying things like time is the greatest healer. “How I am going to spend the time?” he asks me. I suggest him to do a ten days Vipassana (silent, isolated mediation) in Jaipur. He likes the idea.

This weekend he came to see me again. Post Vipassana, he looked relaxed. He will start a new life. He has got his answers. "I love her. I cannot change it. So I accept it. And try not resisting the fact, too much. I love her failings: greediness, loneliness, pettiness and selfishness. Nobody will love her the way I do. I am jealous that she has my potent love by her side. This makes her the most unfortunate person if she cannot even feel it. She is lost me forever. My heart is full of love. I will find someone to love like no one can."

He has got a job with an export firm. He will do well. I drop him to the railways station.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Anna Hazare episode is important. Not just because it is the most popular and potent public protest against corruption. It has much deeper ramifications.

To me it has exposed the Congress party. I had no delusions about this party. But now it is for everyone to see. This party is devoid of any character. I may sound bitter. I am bitter and angry. There is nothing wrong in being opportunist and managing crisis strategically. Congress party’s reaction has no strategy. There is complete erosion of propriety in their public discourse. They show disdain for others, their cause. Their desperation level is high. They make glorious mistakes. It happens to a political outfit that is disconnected with the popular mood of the nation.

The suave english speaking Congress spokesperson and ministers, msotly lawyers, have established their credentials as rabble-rousers. Their discourse lacks facts of existence. On an issue as serious as corruption, they are trying to to win an argument, with complete disdain for the will of the people. By carrying out personal attacks on Anna and each of his core group members, like Arvind Kejriwal, in a malicious and vindictive tone, they are basking in their misplaced arrogance of power. I pity them.

The prime minster, Manmohan Singh, who looks so tamed anyways, actually blamed the whole fiasco on the sleuths of Delhi Police on the floor of both the houses of Parliament. This is a lie. There are numerous instances in public domain that shows that Delhi Police, as always, was carrying out government’s instructions. The Delhi Police commissioner, BK Gupta had a one to one meeting with the union home secretary RK Singh before the crackdown begin.

I want to specifically mention Congress Spokesperson Manish Tewari, in his over earnestness to impress his masters in the party, in the delusion that his revelations will turn the tide in favour of UPA-II government--that is already been described as the “most corrupt”-- he made malicious charges against Anna without checking out the facts. Tewari, deliberately, forgot to mention that the Sukhthankar committee report which was formed subsequently to study and take action on the Sawant Commission report, had found all the allegations against Anna baseless. Tewari is using his office of spokesperson of the Congress party to spread rumours, full of vendetta. The party and the government have lost the plot. And there can be no argument about it.

Kudos to Anna and his team for showing the courage in the face of government clampdown. I have faith in this nation because there are people like Anna and Kejriwal who have the courage of conviction to make a government tumble.

Subhadra Kumari Chauhan wrote “budhey Bharat mein aayee phir se nayi jawani thi" (Old India was awakened to new found youthfulness)to describe Jhasi Ki Rani's (Queen of Jhasi) resistence to British forces in 1857. This applies to the popular unrest in India of today that is fedup with corruption and the current breed of vain politicians in power.

While covering the protests, I too wanted to shed my journalistic objectivity, grab a tricolour and join the sloganeering. Vandematram!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tryst With Destiny

Independence Day. I thought of thinking of good things today, and would be delusional.

Corruption, Anna Hazare and Congress Party: I have a sense that something will happen here that we in the media will be obliged to call it 'unprecedented'. Congress spokespersons have lost all sense of propriety. They look desperate, the politics of recrimination is all that is left for them to pursue. I feel sorry.

Earlier today I wrote to a few friends: Corruption is a cancer, has been said ample of times. And that it needs to be addressed is also been said a thousand times. The people in power have a lot to hide: there is an unholy nexus between the politicians-bureaucrats-corporate. Present arrangement helps them. Any potent step that will disturb this cosy arrangement will be opposed. They call an anti corruption body, like Lokpal, unconstitutional. Is corruption constitutionally valid activity?

The priorities are skewed. What else do you expect?

But this Country has space for all. There is scope for good work. India will move stronger from here. It is a country of contradictions. These contradictions keep it going, not hinder. India remains an unfinished agenda. The tryst with destiny is perpetual……

Jai Hind.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Testing times!!!

The past one-week was tough time. I was grappling with small problems, but they were potent enough to unsettle my whole life. I lost my car keys. I was also dealing with certain other existential issues that did a rumba dance before me threateningly. There were emotional and psychological issues as well.

There was lot of pressure from work. So I was in a strange situation where I was unable to attend to anything. They all seem to be demanding improbable from me. And cursing me for not doing something I could not have done anyways. This situation lingered, stressing me out. This week was marked by denial of things that I needed the most. No regrets, as I tried my best.

I was being pulled into many things, directions I was unable to balance commitment to the outside world and the need to spend time in a manner to repair beleaguered me. I did do a lot of work, though. I was so busy, I didn’t blog for a week.

I was being told a lot of unpleasant things in polite manner by friends and colleagues, some sneered at me as well. There were misunderstandings at work place. I was trying hard. They thought I was trying hard to avoid work. I went to a friend to recoup. And he seemed occupied the whole time I was with him with something else. He told me things like: he gets no benefit out of my association with him. He has been demanding things from me and I am, according to him, trying to evade work that would help him. So he nagged me and cursed me for being a typical journalist, or being a sly. So that did not help either.

I am not complaining. I am complimenting myself for dealing well with these testing and nagging times without reacting, where people close to me are taking special pleasure in telling me things that would push my already hassled self to the brink.

Some good things are also happening at the same time. My family is solidly behind me. I have made some new friends. They feed me well, listen to me and repair me with their reassuring company.