Friday, 27 April 2007

Love making in full public view !

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Most widely covered by media, the episode of Shilpa Shetty and Richard Gere indulging into a robust romantic posture on stage publicly has been a matter of talks everywhere all these days. Now that they have been summoned by the Court to explain their conduct, the incident acquires graver proportions and is no more just a routine gossip. The explaination addressed to “My Dear Indian friend” by Hollywood star Richard Gere while apologizing for the incident is more irritating than convincing. His emphasis on his “…intentions as an HIV/ Aids advocate” sound to be only ridiculous in the sense that what he demonstrated in an open public show had hardly any thing to do with HIV or Aids unless ofcourse he meant to indicate that the way he and Shilpa behaved at the stage was an education on safeguards against HIV/Aids as they did everything openly except sex. The photograph inserted with this post is the one shown on TV dozens of time and published by several newspapers and magazines sumptuously. Any one can read easily the amount of provocation it carries.

Once in Mumbai I saw a police man at Marine Drive taking a couple into custody for the reason that they were found indulging in ‘obscene postures’ –the obscene posture being that the man was trying to take the woman into a waist to waist tight embrace down below the stone blocks. Certain passersby intervening with the request to spare them had no impact on the police man who was dead bent upon to take them to police station repeating his remarks that it was a serious offence in Law. True, this couple might have been of a trivial status and for him there was no escape against Law but the same act perpetrated in much higher a magnitude is capable of being ignored if the partners involved are celebrities. Shilpa Shetty became much more famous after her ‘Big Brother’ incident abroad and Richard Gere is an outstanding personality from Hollywood. No dearth of explanations and excused for them. They are quite capable of giving good names to the scandal –it could be an awareness programme on HIV/Aids or just a measure of behaving against dogmatism as ‘modern’ or say ‘ultra modern’. Shilpa justifies the act with the remarks that it was all in public interest and for their welfare. Fact as it manifests on the surface is after all that it was hardly any thing more than an irresponsible behaviour or a crude sort of lust for publicity.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Love has many a faces !

Text Link Ads This one is not the photograph of just a man in the street -he is a senior police office since retired as Inspector General of Police in Uttar Pradesh. He opted for retirement to pursue his love for his Lord -Lord Krishna not just in a manner many a people do but by transforming himself into a complete woman both apparel wise and also behaviourally. His wife having gone to Court of Law for redressal of her grievance, the Court ordered maintenance allowance for life as compensation which the ex police officer D.K Panda, her husband, readily agreed to pay. All the time he keeps himself dressed as herself fully in the attire of a woman with a broad bindi on his forehead and cluster of bangles on both her hands with bichhias in toe fingers. He sings bhajans for his (her) Lord, recites keertans getting fully mixedup with the ladies in the similar jobs. He gives discourses also moving from place to place.
Wonder, how could this man have made it possible to discharge the onerous duties of a police officer all his career. After all if he rose to a most covetous rank in his career, it must have been possible only after he performed well as such. True, now that a large number of women are in different services who adequately proved their capability to justify their role as such like if it is a Kiran Bedi it was a matter of laurels from all sides as she proved herself tobe a person of guts when she ordered crane lifting of cars of the VVIPs in New Delhi if they were parked against rules. Such an exercise on her part was so much of a great magnitude that people used to call her 'Crane Bedi' instead of Kiran Bedi. A Kiran Bedi or many more like her had certainly changed themselves a lot coming out as they did out of a deep rooted traditional culture of ladies remaining in purdah, confined to household areas and remain like a tender object of show in the family. Case of D.K. Panda is of a reverse order. The routine miens and gestures he is using these days can't make a person robust enough to handle responsibilities of a police officer. Either it is a latest adoption of such a culture on his part or his department had enough of patience to tolerate him if he had the same temperament during his career when he must have been supposed to control a unruly mob, chase dacoits at times exchanging fire with them and put in several hours of hectic schedule at a time in pursuit of his role.
Whatever it is, it is undoubtedly a typical case of human behaviour where there is transformation of roles of the nature of extreme opposites.

Phoenix [2]

Text Link AdsAfter I took over as acting Secretary followed subsequently by my election as President, AISBISF, I took it as a mission , inter-alia, to see that different representatives from different Circle Unions are given due patronage in times of need with a view to securing them the desired confidence as I never wanted them to suffer like I myself had to do on many an occasions.

An emergency meeting of the All India State Bank of India Staff Federation was held on the 15th August’1975 at Tourist Hotel, New Delhi. Grave situation alarmingly telling upon the very existence of trade union movement in the Country was elaborately discussed. My suggestion to valiantly counter the threats of the Government/ Bank by quitting the service to exclusively look after trade union work safeguarding the workers interest did not find favour with others in the meeting. Decisions taken however included that the directions of the Government of India to pin down the leaders of different Unions to desk be defied.

What followed was a painful amazement. The very stalwarts, who had tabled the proposal as a compromise to my proposal of quitting the service to serve the members , were the firsts to rush back to their place of work to join their duties as “obedient servants” of the Bank. Another instance of utter chagrin that followed was that a rival union from Andhra which was granted entry to the fold of the Federation only some time back hurriedly fell into the lap of INTUC as their “bonafide” affiliate unhesitatingly taking cudgels against All India State Bank of India Staff Federation (AISBISF). Such a move against AISBISF/ employees through their Government was obviously to secure strength only to INTUC. This sabotage dragged Federation to a situation compelling it to have affiliation with the INTUC itself.

Sticking to whatever decision was taken in the said meeting at New Delhi, I had to suffer loss of wages for several months and also the wrath of my seniors then in the organisation who instead of extending due recognition to the service I was rendering involving sacrifice after sacrifice chose to remark as if my efforts were directed to appease the people. Appeasement was never my approach but certain amount of satisfaction I did draw when I saw beaming faces of the aggrieved members and their families on cases being decided in their favour bringing them back to service in the Bank. A mental setback that continued haunting me for several years thereafter was that possibly I was in an island where convenience based flexibilities and not a committed mission counted. Whether I was fluttering my wings in vain to flow the Ganges into Thames was the question hitting my mind very often. My mental faculties had a clash on the point as to how like a stupid I was trying to assume the role of a Hamlet trying to set right a world that was without joints. No, I was convinced within myself, it was not utopian on my part to go by the convictions and commitments if not as a matter of the Ten Commandments, atleast as a matter of routine ethics on earth -an ethics relating to good or bad, right or wrong. Maybe, it sounds like I am trying to talk good of myself on certain self acquired parameters but here again let facts and not the individual(s) be the basis.

Narrations like this are unending and there is no purpose also in giving them an exhaustive coverage. What is mentioned as a cursory reference is relevant just from the point of view of situational variance. Interested quarters opened a flood gate of rumour mongering against me even after I completely withdrew myself from the main stream in the context of the Supreme Court Judgement. Needless to mention that it was an alround pressure on me from the quarters that counted not to step down but to contest the judgement. Circle Committee had already given full authority to me to incur whatever amount was needed for the purpose and in the event of funds with SBISA falling short, authority was also given to me alongwith the Circle Treasurer to raise funds including borrowings. It is a different matter that some of the persons who most emphatically joined the above decision chose to talk astray later on with a remote control applied on them by certain individuals who all along wanted to see SBISA in shambles. (..tobe continued)

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Phoenix [1]

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No blaming a Scale
There could be vultures to prejudice the weight
Accuse not the weighmen
Wait instead Phoenix rising from the ashes

Nothing like calling it a day it was when I retired from the service of State Bank of India on 31st January’1995. Much against my desire tobe at my base office at Kanpur on my last working day, I remained harnessed to the job representing various negotiational channels pertaining to Wage Revision settlements both at the level of State Bank and the Banking Industry unmindful of the conspiracies being hatched against me to ensure my ouster from trade union movement misusing my retirement from service of the Bank as a basis for the purpose -a basis unheard in the past, a basis devoid of precedents, a basis pasted on the transparent fact that majority of the major bargainers at the national level including Banking Industry were and are retired persons for decades besides a large group of persons being fully outsiders. Infact this was a joint action nefariously but calculatedly launched by certain individuals maliciously seeing some kind of a threat to their future if my representative character remained intact -there were some who took it as an irritant to their propensity of trespassing unbridled causing a sort of functional anarchy to their advantage and sadistic pleasure.

Ill designs so hatched did succeed -they rather got support from the fact that I myself withdrew from different important positions I was holding one after the other as a measure of my own inclination to sum up the odyssey and be off retiring to a peace oriented zone of activity longing as I did to be “..far from the madding crowd”. It was like what a soldier could have done to relax after fighting out many a battles for long 37 years. Such an inclination had its roots in the situation that obtained in the Organisation during National Emergency declared in June’1975 by the then Prime Minister of India.

It was flood of tortures let loose against the Bank employees particularly those belonging to State Bank in Lucknow Circle (then Kanpur Circle). The reason of more aggressive an attack against the said section of employees was that they were most powerful, well knit and solidly organised Trade Union with hardly any parallel and demolishing their strength, as political pandits of the then Prime Minister advised her, could have given life to the Trade Union wing of the then ruling party.

National Emergency having been declared in the night of 26th June, it was just the next day that several employees of Ballia Branch of State Bank were arrested under MISA besides District Magistrate, Kanpur, assisted by half a dozen officers from State Bank itself especially deputed for the job, working out the grounds to arrest me some way or the other with a view to demoralise the membership. Spree of suspensions in hundreds was let loose with first two being my real brothers. My entry as well as that of my team of office bearers in the Union office was banned with strict instructions from the Bank/Government to meticulously follow the same. Total atmosphere resulting out of victimisations, harassment and coercions was that of a sheer panic and fear. Management was at their worst with their new series of action for harassing the employees in the name of misusing DD facility and Leave Fare Concession.

I took up these cases with all the channels that could be tried. From an M.L.A to the Prime Minister, from a sepoy to the D.G.(Police)/ Chief Secretary and from anyone in the streets to the Cabinet Secretary in the Centre besides every functional tier within the Bank’s administrative system, there was hardly any door I didn’t knock for the purpose. Reply of the then Chairman of the Bank was “.....whatever be the merit in your argument, you can’t expect me to lose my job for your men”. This was followed by the remark of the then Prime Minister of India in one of the two meetings I had with her in this context “..... no leader with an image should take up the cases of dishonest persons....... My advice to you is not to persue bad cases”. I did assert my view point but it was all invain in the kind of an anti Bank employees atmosphere then prevailing. It was an atmosphere where Bank employees as a class were looked upon with a contemptuous wrath both by the Government and the public.
Worst kind of a setback I had to suffer in that nightmarish atmosphere was that the then top leadership in the SBISA/AISBISF virtually abandoned me in the lurch for the reason that I did not heed to their advice not to take up “bad cases” in Lucknow (then Kanpur) Circle. It’s a different matter that continued struggle ultimately brought results and hundreds of employees so sacked were re-instated restoring to them and their families the light of smiles to fill the lids that overflooded with tears.

This was the time when my functional boundaries were not vast enough to attract sabotage from within nor my immediate colleagues had any bargainable temptation falling prey to evil designs with reference to power and position in the organisation. For them, “Rome” was important -it was not a commodity tobe compromised for petty gains -their commitment to the Circle and leadership was chaste enough to drive away an aggressor -it was a Lilliput or a monster, a dwarf or a giant. (tobe continued)

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Where are you my Dad ?

Text Link AdsIt was a dark night. Drizzling. Repeated lightenings with thunders made the atmosphere thick and frightening. Examinations near, mother took the initiative to see that some temporary sort of arrangement is made both for me and my immediate elder brother Krishna Kant to have night halts at Bednapur where both of us were the students of class V as school at Rampurwa was only upto 4th standard –Chaharrum as it was called. This was for the purpose of extra classes late in the evening after routine school hours. Bednapur was the headquarter of Rehuwa State who were good enough to provide us a small room adjacent to their staff quarters. Besides we two brothers, the room was shared by 2-3 more boys from my village. For father whom we called ‘Dada’ like he was addressed by his contemporary juniors, it was a routine to go to Bahraich (District Headquarter) quite often for court cases and other work including political as he was a Congress party leader. The other reason for his frequent visit to Bahraich was to attend to the cases pertaining to Kapurthala State whose revenue collection work was looked after by our family as their Agents for the purpose. There was huge work tobe attended to as a followup measure even after the States were abolished. He was a poet par excellence and wrote both in Urdu, Hindi and even in English casually. Feudal system till then dominating our family culture, it didn’t consider educational qualifications as an important factor –instead what was considered more important and graceful was the pursuit of traditional Land Lords status. Obviously my father couldn’t go for higher education. It was a different matter that he was a highly learned person. He was a good speaker, ofcourse within the limited frame of the boundaries then obtaining. Given a chance, he could have proved tobe an orator. His speech during the visit of Pt Govind Ballabh Pant, the first Premier (now Chief Minister) of Uttar Pradesh in Saidaha Bagh of our village was a highly applauded event and we youngsters felt so jubilant on that count for several days thereafter. The first one who made a visible debut towards education was my Uncle Dev Pryag Awasthi who could go upto High School initially and subsequently could secure a Master’s degree in Economics from DAV College, Kanpur. This gave the family an impetus for the next generation to give preference to educational pursuits. Such an impetus however failed to reflect as an immediate manifestation for the reason that it still lacked any visible incentive capable of arousing interest amongst youngsters. Such an element was later coupled with a situation overshadowed by a badly dwindling economic condition in the family. My eldest brother Shyam Bihari and the next one junior to him Radhey Shyam and my elder cousin Deep Narain were sent to different schools but it remained confined to just a pre matric level.

On one of his visits to the city, father left a word in the morning itself that while returning from Bahraich he would see us at Bednapur enroute to Rampurwa. The popular mode of transport those days particularly during rains was the horse or Yakka (a horse drawn carriage) besides bicycle. Ours was a solitary family in possession of two made in Japan version of bicycles - a most priviledged possession those days. My father often preferred horse and that day he was to pass through Bednapur by it. The whole day I alongwith Bhai (Krishna Kant) waited for him to come and we became restive when it was late in the evening and he didn’t turnup. Hurriedly we cooked some food for him besides the routine one for ourselves tobe sure that he gets something to eat in case he insists on not breaking his journey. We became impatient and I used to rush outside the verandah to see if there was some indication or the other of father or his horse. We knew that the eyes of a horse give a blinking brightness during rains and in darkness. Nothing was in sight and we felt so restive.Our patience had crossed all its limit. Standing by the side of a pond in front of our room I just took a chance crying ‘Dada’ in the dark and to my surprise with a thrill, I could notice the two blinking eyes of the horse with a dash in the dark clearly indicating that he was there close by. He was at the other end of the pond moving towards the road to our village and, as he told us, but for my cry for him in the dead dark rainy night he might have proceeded onward. He appeared and our joy had no bounds. He spoke to us emotionally surcharged realizing what a miserable time we had waiting for him. He stayed with us overnight. The very thought that he could have gone ahead towards the village without even meeting us infact disappointed both myself and Bhai (Krishna Kant) and the very feeling that we had almost missed him that night continued disheartening us for a long time thereafter

Sunday, 15 April 2007

None can go beyond what is destined !

A cousin of mine who holds doctorate in her discipline and is a lecturer loves reading and is fond of poetry particularly in Urdu.She herself writes well. But for the reason that she is too choosy and reserved to herself, she could have made a good poetess.She had a good collection of poems and enjoys them.It's not very often that she shares such a collection with others but does so at times with the condition that the listener should not be indifferent.Such a collection she has inherited from her mother who was the one fully engrossed when going through it.Not just casual but virtually a chronic lover of poems she was.Compared to her my cousin is somewhat a slippery type-so keen at times but going casual very often.She is not the type of having any liking for loose citations -whatever she collects or whatever she recites herself is all based on a serious note.One citation she had for me some time back is much worth provoking a serious thinking. It reads like this -

बेकार कमोबेश की
साकी से शिक़ायत क्यों

उतना ही भरा उसने
जितना बड़ा पैमाना

Looks philosophical. Isn't it? But is a great pointer for those who aspire unbriddled.Infact all have a share fixed for themselves and no one can go beyond a certain limit.

Friday, 13 April 2007

What 786 stand for ?

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Many a questions are raised to me on several occasions by those who are inquisitive to know something or the other to satisfy their anxieties. One such question was asked to me some time back when I was in Kolkata. I gave an elaborate reply to the full satisfaction of the question raiser. A brief version of my reply is like this: Digital translation of Bismillah-ul-Rahman-ul-Rahim in Islaam is 786 denoting a new start in the name of Allah,the God. This one is actually the Persian equaivalent of ‘Shri Ganesh Shayenamah’ in Hindu religion. Normally in no language such a start is through figures. Figures like 1008 are used in Vedic languages denoting the personality concerned bestowed with 1008 noble qualities but it is always at the end. Islaam is possibly the only religion where 'Bismillah' starts with 786 to mark a beginning. The readers of this post may correct me if I am wrong.

Face to face with a tiger !

Stories from jungle are always a natural interest and this one is a real life adventure supporting the saying that even the beasts don’t turn violent or behave otherwise unless harmed or provoked. I was in my pre teens unable to apply a full leg pedal while bicycling on trenchantly deep tracks meant for bullock carts. I was at my maternal uncle’s village on India-Nepal border. He was highly respected a man commanding so much of respect and had a business enterprise dealing with big grain merchants from Nepal. This business centre was around 4 KM away from the village and most of it was just a dense forest. Boys were not allowed to move alone, more so on a bicycle –if some one was allowed as an exception, ofcourse with necessary security precautions, it was taken tobe a big priviledge for him. One such favour was at a stage bestowed on me and my joy knew no bounds –my bicycle moving through the forest I was more happy than terrified with a zooming silence at times pierced by chirping birds, howling monkeys and roaring big cats. I was feeling so chivalrous within myself but it was so shortlived. I noticed an animal figure with some spots here and there on the body reclining on a patch of grass behind the trees by the side of the road. I had no chance of seeing it earlier but my instincts alarmed me and I was terribly frightened on the sight. Shaking and shivering with the fear of Unknown, I felt like my breathing stopped and I had to exert for gasping it. The animal was obviously the one not to tolerate any intruder nearby –man or animal. The animal gotup, moved with a royal gait aiming his piercing gaze at me making me feel that I am nearly devoured. It was hardly a distance of not more than a yard and half between him and me and I felt I was collapsing. He halted for a moment slightly lowering his head and with a small pause moved forward to the other side of the road disappearing in the bushes across a cluster of treas unhindered, undisturbed. On reaching the shop, my elder brother (maternal Uncle’s son) was terribly amazed seeing me in my haggard looks raising a volley of questions and when I could waveringly narrate to him the entire episode he cried saying it was nothing but a Tiger and it’s only a miracle that you are safe. He distributed sweet to celebrate my safe landing. The elders talked that but for the reason that the tiger must have been in a relaxing posture after prey followed by sumptuous meals, the boy returning unhurt would have been just out of question. They also talked that unlike human beings, tigers normally don’t attack persons causing no harm.

Mother -Her sacrifice !

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The only son a mother had was a vagabond. He was in love with a girl. The girl wanted him to prove that he really loved her and the proof she prescribed was a full jug of blood from her heart. The son felt shaken on such a demand but lustily could’nt resist the temptation of satisfying his girlfriend. He agreed. Stabed his mother. Tookout the blood pouring it to the brimming point of the jug. Ranaway to the destination to meet the girl. He stumbled time and again every time finding it difficult to recover. At this stage he felt like his mother was calling –it was the voice of his mother coming out of the jug. The message he could hear was -‘Don’t feel frightened my son, be courageous, fulfill the task you have so undertaken and satisfy your girlfriend. I am your mother after all and can easily compromise my life to see you happy. Be happy my son’.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Marketing for thoughts

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Only the other day I wrote some thing on ‘Thoughts for Sale’ in one of my blogs. It was an instant writing and the moment I gave a click to ‘submit’ the post, it all disappeared without allowing any single possible trace of whatever strain I had undertaken while giving my thoughts some script on computer. I felt demoralized with the thought as if I had written some thing so unwanted. Even a smallest possible consolation of ‘pending approval’, which ofcourse is a normal trick of saying no in a gradual order, was not allowed to me. Is it that I had written some thing wrong offending the feelings of ‘experts’ who sit on judgement to accept or reject an article. I had given example of a vegetable vendor who was getting no customers as it was a rainy day with bad weather. Frustrated, he started crying ‘Napolean’ with repetitions and this made several men and women come out of their houses to enquire as to what sort of a nonsense it was. The vendor replied that he had nothing to do with ‘Napolean’ nor he knew anything much about him except that he was once recognized as a synonymn of terror for many and that at the moment he could think of no marketing device other than this to attract customers. He was ridiculed by many but the net result was that he could get some customers who chose not to let their coming out of their houses in a bad weather go a waste. They purchased some vegetables.
Desire for getting attention from others is an inherent anxiety in any human being since the human race came into existence. It is a cycle of multiplying displays. A woman in a normal attire is liked, the liking is more if there is a little bit of body exposure, the liking is much more if such an exposure compounds further. Attentionwise it is fine and works wonderfully well so far attracting the viewers is concerned but then all this to what extent is the question. Is it that such an exposure is ultimately to lead to nakedness. One could be a Nelson Mandela, a Gandhi, a Tagore, an Abraham Lincoln, a Ramanujam and what not in himself but he may not be capable of attracting as big a crowd as a dancing girl, a clown, a caricaturist, a hero from the film world. This is what is happening today and many a leaders of international stature are hiring artists from films to attract people in their functions as a measure of necessary maketing for the cause and mission they undertake.
I am a writer fully confident that I write well and honestly with no hypocrisy. I was asked to write on a heroine from films, I wrote on Mahatma Budha instead. My article was not accepted. I was asked to support my articles with pictures of beauties from the movies, I failed to go beyond beauty of Himalayas, I was not accepted. To satisfy my desire to get published, I had a compromise affixing some neat beauties from the cinema. This too was turned down obviously for the reason that there was not much of any ‘masaala’ in the photograph. True, one has to move with the times but if it is all brazenly unbridled then to what extent after all. Thoughts, howsoever good and relevant they be, have no place, no listeners, no viewers, if they are sans necessary marketing – maketing with some stunt like it is for vegetables, spices, fashion items and things like that.

No crying a halt !

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With a definite mind coupled with required zeal and ferver, one can have no difficulty in moving forward to the direction required for achieving a set goal. Those who waver and are always in a double mind can’t land successfully. Success embraces those who are determined and are equally committed to the cause they feel they are required to serve –a cause that helps others, a cause that is meaningful in the sense that it has a definite positive side for the fellow men..Vibekanand heralded the message to go ahead and ‘stop not till the goal is achieved’ and so should be the spirit on the part of every body who believes in work and who has a mission to serve without crying a lalt to the move, without giving up..

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Problems at times act as stimulants !

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Rahim was a great poet who penned a treasure of wise advices using his poetry as a tool for the purpose. Brief but meaningful his poems are a guiding factor in routine life. He didn’t use any big language to communicate his thoughts, he chose to be simple, straightforward and pointed. A mere two line quote of his like ‘Rahiman vipdahu bhali jo thodey din hoi, Hit unhit ya jagat mein jaani pade sab koi’ conveys a truck load of substance. Many a times it so happens that you don’t realize what the situation demands but after a person has to face some difficulty on that count he easily gets alerted mending his ways in a right direction which he/ she could not have thought of doing otherwise without a jolt – a jolt that is capable of cautioning people of an otherwise shape of consequences.

Snake, My Room Mate !

During my graduation, I had a single room tenement in a sort of an abandoned house in a village at the outskirts of the city –the locality was called Dhusah.After my classes plus six hours in the library besides some tuitions and certain frugal outings, I used tobe in my room for rest of the time where a snake was my regular companion.
To overcome sleep, I used to concentrate on studies by going through the books in a standing posture reclining my back to the wall or the closed door when overtaken by fatigue. One day I noticed something crawling just near my toes.To my stupefied amazement, I came across the two small but glaringly bright eyes focussed on me –it was a snake, pitch black and half curled with tinies of hair on the tail.I felt like taking a leap forward out of panic but could restrain myself for the fear that this was to give the snake an easy contact if it was to attack me.Holding my breath, I could somehow manage to neutralize myself remaining totally static without giving any reaction at all.My instinct alerted me that unless you are aggressive to others,others don’t attack. It was past midnight and I felt fully drenched through skin with perspiration out of fear –the fear that anything could happen to me any moment. Apart from the fact that mine was a body crippled and incapacitated to afford a shriek with a monster’s gaze fixed on me, I also thought that any cries on my part could have virtually proved tobe the ones in wilderness in those odd hours of the night. Somehow I managed to leap a shift to my cot nearby. The snake swiftly crawled, had a few seconds stop over partly clinging to one of the legs of my cot and slowly moved to the threshold corner of the other door in the back –ajar with a yawning gap.There it settled for a while and disappeared.The very punctuated move on the part of the snake only indicated that to whatever destination it headed, it was certainly its permanent abode.
Relaxing or lying in the bed being out of question, I counted the time by fractions of each moment for morning to dawn.Next morning when several boys and the elders of the locality assembled, they decided in one voice to trace and kill the snake arguing that it was a grave potential danger for every body in the locality. It took no time for them to get armed with sticks and daggers. Some of the enthusiasts appeared with a bag full of chilly powder to spray and blind the snake in the event it goes aggressive and attacks. On my opposition to any such move,they started howling with a murmur that ‘this boy is here to kill everybody’. One of them told me in an aggressively raised voice ‘look, if you are killed, don’t call us’. The next one snarled ‘let him die, if he dies how come he will come to us. Let us go’. They dispersed.
Returning from the college the next day, my class fellow,who volunteered to join me in my room for the night,accompanied me. Both of us felt so uneasy with none else from the locality turning up to console us or to give us some courage.Discarded, we felt totally abandoned, disheartened.Any effort to sleep or be on studies was just out of question.Both of us had to buckup ourselves for any eventuality that could be in the offing.Our own whispers frightened us on a slightest possible thud nearby.Even a small brittling toss of tree leaves sounded like a hissing.Light in the room was not switched off with a view that whatever is to occur should be visible atleast. Tonight the Snake will not spare us was the thought dominantly hovering in our mind throughout.
Something like a soothing breeze abruptly overtaking the silence of the room, there were the same two bright eyes with a dazzling gaze.Quite slowly the snake was coming out of the cavity and within a few minutes it was visible in full shape –long enough and thick.We took a sigh of relief when it stopped moving forward beyond a certain point.Fear part reduced, we passed the night with some ease.
Next day onwards it became a scheduled phenomenon.The Snake used to retreat to its cavity only after I left for the college in the morning to appear to surface in the late hours in the night giving me a disciplined company as if it was protecting me.Such a protracted schedule continued for nearly a year and half after which my session was over and I had to packup to go back to Bahraich,my home town. Surprisingly it was unusually much more of proximity it showed almost touching my toe fingers a night before I had to vacate the room going back my home.But next morning when I actually left, it was no where there.I continued delaying my departure hour after hour with a fond anxiety to get a last minute glimpse of my companion keeping my eyes consistently glued to the cavity.It only looked deserted and abandoned.There was nothing, nothing but a swift breeze responding to my strained looks.I felt like crying.Left with a heavy heart desperately looking back to the roof top of my room with the suspense if still there could be something speaking of my companion.

Behave yourselves, Ye Sadhus !

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Who is a Sadhu ? The one who practices austerity harnessing himself to the mission of service to the people or the one who just boasts tobe a Godman claiming remedies for all evils and ills on earth hypocritically claiming capability to play readily available miracles solving whatever problems could be there.A sage leading the life of an ascetic adherently pursuing service to mankind in action and with prayers is certainly the one who honestly earns love, regard and obviously an obeisance from the people as against those who are nothing but just the lusty chaps exploiting the sentiments of innocent persons for their own ill designed motives. When exposed, they turnout to be the rascals of first order –ruffians,mafias,even the killers.

Only the other day a friend of mine narrated to me an instance of how a so called sadhu was blatantly instrumental in killing the wife of a colleague of his. The sadhu is currently a kattha vachak (story teller) on religion with his disciples in tens of thousands spread over not only in India but throughout the world. He acquired more of fame when he was able to coin an attractive marketing angle amongst his disciples – ‘I don’t need any money as dakshina (presents) but better you offer me atleast one of your vices or whatever bad habit(s) you suffer from.This I will accept as dakshina and as my aashirvaad (blessing) you will get rid of the problem. Such a marketing worked well sumptuously increasing the number of his followers who easily took it as something unique and selfless on the part of the sadhu.Hundreds and thousand started thronging to seek his blessings.My friend’s colleague and his wife, who was a chronic patient of diabetes with several other implied complications, approached the saint as his disciples requesting some remedy. The saint was kind enough to say ‘don’t worry, this moment onwards your problem is my problem.and you take it that you are now no more a patient of diabetes’. The couple’s query whether she should continue with her regular drugs was emphatically met with ‘no, not at all’. The advice followed meticulously, the ailment compounded most alarmingly.When contacted again first over phone and then personally, the sadhu stuck to his earlier advice which the couple followed faithfully. The lady died.The poor chap (victim’s husband) grew half mad.Asked as to why he didn’t question the godman’s audacity to play such a havoc with somebody’s life, his answer was ‘nobody has the courage to do so unless he is prepared for the worst –thrashing, beating, manhandling and even loss of life in the hands of goons hired by him’.

This very godman once turned up several hours late on the venue of the congregation of his disciples who assembled there in a very large number to get blessed by him and obviously to listen to his godly discourse.The reason of the delay was that the organizers failed to pay him in advance the fee for his deliverance of sermons.The godman gave his darshan to the devotees only after the organizers apologized and paid him the agreed advance.The worse part of the drama was yet to happen.The godman wanted organizers to convery necessary message to the devotees that delay occurred as the Baba was in Samadhi mudra (deep meditational posture) and it was so high in degree that coming out of it was just not possible easily. Message conveyed to the gathering, they accepted it well as something so great on his part but there was some murmuring too on the part of some who started whispering their doubts.Before it could further spread, the poor lot so doing were pounced upon by the goons and beaten mercilessly with the warning that if they still continued any murmur on the subject, nothing but death is to be their penalty.Little voices silenced, everything was normal and the godman was in his form giving discourse on the topic of the day –greed, lust and vengeance.Elaborating his points, the Baba told ‘one should not feel greedy as the greed and lust are the causes of all trouble in the world and that if someone is harsh to the other one, this should not be allowed to be a reason for retaliation’.

Kumbhs/Ardh Kumbhs are great events periodically taking place at Pryag (Allahabad) for centuries.The sages, the saints who so gracefully adored these big events earlier are more or less a forgotten lot obliviously and the present scenario, with limited exception, is in no way rich in conveying any message of love,devotion, kindness or service to humanity kind of thoughts.What the changed scenario manifests is by and large the grandeur,the pomps,the fanciful gestures. Displaying themselves in heavy crowns of gold and jewels, the sadhus lead a march mounting on glitteringly decorated elephants followed by their lieutenants on the horses enthusiastically imitating what the erstwhile kings used to do.The kings did it to demonstate the strength of their state against potential aggressions by their enemies and outsiders but why sadhus should do it is a matter that puts a question mark on their entity as the messengers of Divinity, the couriers of godly blessings.

Yoga is recognized the world over as the science of vigour, vitality and over all health for the humans and demonstrations on that count are just common at any religious congregation like Kumbh, Ardh Kumbh.True, such demonstrations do impart a message of health enabling a large number of people to derive a tangible benefit out of it. But there again one can easily come across number of the so called sadhus overdoing yoga with gymnastic feats to the point of exposing their masculine organs aimed at alluring their followers-tobe mainly the womenfolk. In one instance a naga-sadhu performed an acrobatic event tying a thick rope to his masculine organ with the other end of it fastened to a hook in the back of a jeep finally dragging the vehicle for several yards.His potential clientele cheered him showering flowers on him throughout whatever distance it was.One can’t just understand what a message on worshipping the God this sadhu wanted to convey to the people by exhibiting the strength and vitality of his private part.

A lady friend of mine told me in confidence sometime back that a baba with whom she was in regular contact for the purpose of routine puja in her house prescribed her to have sex with him to get rid of certain evil spirits hovering around her as it was he only who could combat them with the supernatural powers vested in him.She reacted to baba telling that she didn’t in any manner feel any presence of some spirit or the other around her, the baba threatened her of dire consequences cautioning ‘you can’t see what I can through my divine capability. I see certain evil spirits in your house and some day you will be killed.The lady stopped going to him.

Such stories are innumerable and as said Shakespeare through his ‘Hamlet’ that ‘the world is without joints’, it appears it is really so, rather it continues tobe so worse confounded. None is yet ‘born to set it right’.

Drowning, I stretched my hands.....

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Drowning,I stretched my hands for a straw
The high waves pushed me back
And the turbulent river warned me
Threatening me of dire consequences
Thundering clouds roared on me with a caution
Not to indulge in a fatal venture
None was there to help me and rescue
My cries invain,none came in the circumstances
Disheartened,dismayed and disappointed
Beaten by waves,crushed and tired
I felt like succumbing to onslaught
Becoming a softy, neutrally submitting to attacks
'NO'came the reply from my conscience
cajoling me for my lapse and languor
With the command to rise,relive and fight
Fight the hurdles undaunted whatever the setbacks.

They also serve who stand and wait!

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It looks philosophical but what Milton meant by saying ‘They also serve and wait’ was that in whatever shape or form a person is placed he/she is capable of doing his duty subject ofcourse to the respective physical capacities. The root point is that one should shirk of his/her responsibility. It is never expected that one should act as a Hercules but in a limited from it is possible for a limping person to have a giant spirit. Milton became blind as a result of his indefatigable attempts on work –writing,reading and creating historical books like Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained. What he indicated in ‘On his blindness’ was a definite message that handicapped one can be but not necessary that he rendered fully invalid to discharge a function which otherwise is possible for a person if not gigantically certainly in a frugal order.

Calling spade a spade !

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Calling spade a spade is a matter of guts and all can’t do it. It is a different matter that many a people identify their ill speakings as being frank and calling a spade a spade but that’s not a correct proposition. Be firm, be clear in your thought and approach, be straight forward on your view points and then claim that you are really talking what you are doing in practice yourself. Call some thing by its name meaning what it actually is but it should never denote any malice or hatred. Candid utterances if made with malice or hatred in the background, the honesty part of it becomes a matter of doubt and the very purpose of being honest in expression is lost.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Blow,blow, thou winter wind !

There is nothing like a measuring rod to calculate how many types of men are there on earth –the type that speaks of their mode of conduct, their behaviour, their role as a human being, their conduct as a social factor. Urdu language calls a human being as ‘haivaan-e-natique’ meaning thereby that a human being is equally an animal with the difference that he can use his tongue and speakout to others what he feels as against an animal incapable of doing so or may be they are equally able to speak out their emotions but we the humans fail to understand it. Speaking out one’s mind is not enough in itself –what counts more is what is it that he talks. The saying ‘achhi vaani boliyey man ka aapa khoi, aapan ko sheetal lagey auran ko such deyeya’ is the purpose and purport of the talk a person can have. There are faithfuls and there are those who are ungrateful and innumerable stories on that count we have been hearing for ages. Out of disgust at certain delicate stage, Shakespeare had to say ‘..blow, blow thou winter wind, thou art not so unkind as the friends sometimes are’ For ages such a grievance has been there and again for ages it has to continue like this. What the man can do to satisfy himself is to express his agony and then keep quiet like his predecessor generations did.

Mysterious Woman

Came across a blog with a poem full of melancholy and sadness only the other day.It was something much more than what Keats penned in his ‘ode to melancholy’.Poem followed by some scriblings spoke volumes of seclusion pangs denoting a tempestuous depth of feelings she might be undergoing. ‘Save me against myself’ was the appeal. Her extraordinarily beautiful picture appearing in the blog was itself capable of telling a thousand stories through her deep looks glued to something just invisible. Sympathies sprangup from the core of my heart and I felt like I could share her grief whatever it was but she was inaccessible sans any consideration for her sympathizers –she could be callous or is helpless I don’t know. It’s like I see something and I don’t see. I possibly can’t identify her beyond what Shakespeare might have kept in his mind while talking about ‘Dark Lady’ of his sonnets

Gandhi's love affair !

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Going through what Raj Mohan Gandhi has penned in his ‘Mohan Das: A true story of a Man’ makes it an interesting reading, ofcourse surprising too. When 50, Mahatma Gandhi fell in love with Sarla Devi, a niece (sister’s daughter) of Gurdev Ravindra Nath Tagore. She was 29, a singer, married to Ram Bhuj Dutt Chaudhary who was an editor of a paper in Lahore. Despite his hectic schedules otherwise, the Mahatmass could make it tobe a frequent visitor to Lahore to meet her. Her husband Ram Bhuj Chaudhary was taken aback when he could lay his hands upon certain diary notings made by Mahatma Gandhi in praise of Sarla Devi. The issue caused a furore aggressively turning to a highly unpleasant scenario at the family level with Mahatma’s son Dev Das making all efforts to get it resolved some way or the other.Since it is all revealed by the Mahatma’s own grandson Raj Mohan Gandhi, it is just difficult to doubt the authenticity of the contents.
Read in the context of certain other references like the Mahatma testing his celibacy by applying sexual acrobatics on the inmates of his Ashram e.g. Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and other girls –his modus operandi being allowing erection to his male organ on contact with the opposite sex and then restraining himself from discharging. What a peculiar way of test for control on matters like celibacy and sex ? Read further in conjunction with the fact that he could afford a sexual session (with his wife ofcourse) at a time when his father was breathing his last obviously denotes what a tremendous urge of the kind of lust he had for sex.
No harm, nothing wrong in any one falling in love with someone irrespective of age,caste or creed. It is just human and natural too as love is something never to know barriers of any kind.. But identification wise, an individual’s personality –be it an ordinary person or a celebrity, is tobe analysed dispassionately. An era and a history in himself, Mahatma Gandhi was a giant figure of his time and even for times to come. The posterities can’t afford to ignore him. It was after all a Man in him that is revealed otherwise none could easily believe that the author of several dozens of books including ‘My Experiments with Truth’ too could stoop low to a dimension otherwise not considered quite ethical in social circles. One who could give a thousand sermons on ethics with unlimited advices on ‘DOs’ and ‘DON’Ts’ could equally suffer from this kind of routine weakness too. It just establishes that it is an ordinary person or a celebrity, a common Man in him ultimately dominates.

Saturday, 7 April 2007

राम रावण युद्घ में यदि विजय रावण की हुयी होती ?

सभी पुराण और ग्रन्थ और इतिहास भी परमपरागत रूप से केवल उन्ही योधाओं की बात करते रहे हैं जो किसी युद्घ विशेष में विजयी घोषित हो सके । वह भी योद्धा ही थे जो पराजित हुये । सोच कर देखें कि जिन विजयी योधाओं को महापुरुष की संज्ञा देकर वृहद रूप से महिमामंडित किया गया है या किया जा रहा है वह यदि पराजित हो गए होते तो आज उनका स्वरुप क्या होता । निस्संदेह उनकी पूजा अर्चना का क्रम प्रारम्भ ही न होता और उन्हें कोई खराब सा नाम देकर आसानी से भुला दिया गया होता । वरनु होता यह कि कोई भी जो युद्घ में विजयी हुवा होता, भले ही वह कुछ भी रहा हो , जन मानस उसी को सम्मान देता और उसी की पूजा अर्चना करता। युगों युगों से यह सिलसिला चला आ रहा है कि जो जीता वह भगवान् हो गया और जो हार गया वह शैतान कहलाया ।
राम और रावण के मध्य जो महा युद्घ हुआ उसमे रावण का पराक्रम कहीं से कम नहीं दिखता । रामचरित्र मानस का यदि संदर्भ लें तो उस महा युद्घ के बीच एक ऐसा भी अवसर आया जब राम को अपनी सामर्थ्य के विशे में सोचने पर विवश होना पड़ा -

रावण रथी विरथ रघुबीरा, देख विभीषण भयो अधीरा
इस संबंध में बाल्मीकि का कथन महत्वपूर्ण है -कथन यह कि इस महायुद्ध में रावण ने राम को कयी कदम पीछे धकेल दिया था । यदि इस युद्घ में रावण अपने आप को विजयी घोषित करवाने में सफ़ल हो गया होता तो आज पूजा राम कि नहीं बल्कि रावण कि हो रही होती । लेकिन विजय घोषणा राम के पक्छ में हुयी । पराजित होने से रावण को निशाचर की संज्ञा मिलना स्वाभाविक था क्योंकि परस्पर विरोधी दो योद्धा न एक साथ विजयी हो सकते हैं और न उन्हें एक साथ भगवान की संज्ञा मिल सकती है। कुछ स्थान ऐसे हैं जहाँ लोग समूह बद्ध होकर रावण की पूजा आरती करते हैं और उसके पराक्रम को याद करते हैं । महाभारत में दुर्योधन का संदर्भ भी कम महत्वपूर्ण नहीं है । वोह भी एक महान पराक्रमी योद्धा था । छल कपट का सहारा लेकर भगवान् कृष्ण उसको पराजित देखने में सफ़ल हुये । महाराष्ट्र में एक स्थान ऐसा है जहाँ उसके नाम का मंदिर है और वहाँ दुर्योधन की पूजा की जाती है । आवश्यक नहीं कि इन गाथाओं को समग्र रूप से विपरीत दिशा में देखा जाये किन्तु स्थिति अनेक स्थानों पर भिन्न दिखेगी यदि शास्त्र, पुराण, ग्रंथ और इतिहास का अध्ययन परंपरागत कुंठा से हट कर तार्किक दृष्टिकोण से किया जाये । ध्यान से देखा जाये तो सारे संग्राम के पीछे कारण था वर्चस्व । किसी भी विषय विशेष को माध्यम बनाकर जिस किसी बात पर संघर्ष रचा गया उस सब के मूल में महत्वाकान्छी ब्याक्तियों की लिप्सापूर्ण लालसा वर्चस्व की ही थी। आज भी यही हो रहा है । कुछ एक वर्ष पहले धूल चाट रहे लोग राजनीति के अखाड़े में पहलवानी करते करते श्रीमान कहे जाने लगे। श्रीमान से महोदय , महोदय से माननीय, मान्यवर , अति सम्माननीय और फिर विकास पुरुष तथा युग पुरुष की संज्ञा से संबोधित किये जाने लगे। कोई विधायक हो अथवा सांसद प्रायः सब की भूमिका संदिग्ध ही होती है । इन को एकमात्र भय वोट का रहता है । इस भय से मुक्त होने का कोई विकल्प इन्हे यदि उपलब्ध हो सके तो पता नहीं ये क्या कर डालें । भ्रष्ट आचरण , भ्रष्टाचार और आतंकवाद की प्रतिमूर्ति इस प्रकार के ब्यक्ति इतिहास में वर्णित क्रूर मानसिकता के तमाम तानाशाहों को बहुत पीछे छोड़ सकते हैं यदि तमाम बातों की तरह वोट पर भी किसी प्रकार से इनका एकाधिकार स्थापित हो जाये । यह बहुत भारी विडम्बना है कि इनका स्वरूप कुछ भी हो परंतु यदि ये अपने बनावटी मसीहा की छवि बनाए रखने में सफ़ल हो जाएँ तो जन मानस को इन्हें दैत्य अथवा नर पिशाच के स्थान पर देवता अथवा भगवान् कह कर पुकारने में अधिक देर नहीं लगेगी । ठीक इसी प्रकार से सद्कार्य में संलग्न कुछ गिने चुने लोग यदि अपने विशुद्ध अनुष्ठान में अंततोगत्वा असफल हो जाएँ तो जन मानस को उन्हें विपरीत संज्ञा से विभूषित करने अथवा उन्हें भ्रष्ट एवं दुराचारी कह कर पुकारने में भी अधिक देर नहीं लगेगी।
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Friday, 6 April 2007

क्यों कि मेरा नीड़ मुझ से दूर था !

जब कि शाम आयी पखेरू फिर चले
कारवाँ निज पन्थ पर आगे बढ़ा
मैं अकेला दर्द का मारा हुआ
उस घड़ी में भी अथक चलता रहा
क्योंकि मेरा नीड़ मुझ से दूर था ।

रात भर चलता रहा येह सोचकर
कभी तो गंतब्य की डेवोढ़ी दिखेगी
नियति के परिधान की गठरी समेटे
कभी तो मंतव्य को कुछ गति मिलेगी ।

सोच लो जितना तुम्हें स्वीकार है
फूल मन के हैं कि जो खिलते नहीं हैं
एक मन है एक मन की चाह है
येह सुबह और शाम हैं मिलते नहीं हैं ।

जब कि प्रात आया विहंग वर उड्चले
कारवाँ निज पन्थ पर आगे बढ़ा
मैं उदास, हताश , हटकर राह से
रूपसी को छितिज की तकता रहा
क्योंकि मेरा नीड़ अब भी दूर था