Death…….And some wandering thoughts

 

end-of-life

Day before yesterday, my phone rang at 4 am in the morning, I am not a morning person so I didn’t wake up.But the ringing never stopped.

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I picked up, it was in fact my father’s cell phone which I had kept with me while sleeping.

My cousin brother’s name flashed.

I was scared, my pessimistic mind took over and the hour of the day signaled bad news.

My chacha ji (Uncle) had passed away.

He was in his fifties.

He was healthy.

He was hearty.

He passed away due to cardiac arrest.

On the other end was a crying son and what was I supposed to say to him: Don’t cry (He should let the pain vent out), Everything will be okay (I knew I would be lying), We are in this together ( In sorrows like this, everyone is a loner, battling alone).

I didn’t say a word.

I could not say a word.

He has gone, never to come back.

Knowing fully well that death is the only thing that will surely happen with us all, we are never ever prepared for it. My chacha belonged to the millions of Indians who spent a major part of life in foreign countries doing a blue collared job sending back money to their family, remittances to their country and surviving out of meager in the place of their work.

They make plans, plans to have their own house, to wed off their sons and daughters, buy a land back in India and retire. And who does not makes plans, We all do, knowing fully well one single thing at that moment- We don’t know what’s gonna happen the very next moment.

Remembering of plans, I too made some

Two Months Before-

In a small diary that I write I had a well thought of story for my novel, novel based on the people like my Chacha, their lives in the foreign lands, their loneliness, their struggle, their songs, their longings and Chacha ji was my only source. I made plans and plans but alas the plans always came with a later tag. Sometimes career stared in my blank face, sometimes nothing came up but I never planned to execute my plan of going to my paternal village, making my chachaji speak and taking notes.

The evening when I finally decided that this is the best time to relocate to my village turned out to be worst time.

He passed away the next morning.

A Day Later

I was looking for solace, for words of support. I had thought that in a tragedy as big as this everything will come to a stand still. People won’t smile, they won’t breathe.

Did it actually happen? No?

Death- the single largest truth that never ceases to snatch away any of our plans.

Do you ever realize what is the most unsettling truth- the mad rush to settle down. The whole propaganda of settling down breeds survival of the fittest or to better sum up elimination of the weaker.

But can you ever call yourself fittest, think twice.

Can you ? You will always be weak in one or the other departments.

Start enjoying it. Death never leaves you any time to mend a mistake, to undo a wrong, to say the unsaid, to cry over a failed exam, to curse over a relationship gone wrong, to even say a goodbye.

Mend your mistakes, if you can’t just apologize.

Say the unspoken, Silence is what death is like: Brutal and mysterious.

Smile over your failures too.

Move out of a relationship gone wrong.

Say “I love You” to the people who care.

Go on a holiday because holidays make memories and memories support the ones left back.

Don’t equate money with life, money with care and money with family (Believe me, if it was possible my dad would have traded all of his life’s earnings for his younger brother).

Date life because like it or not you have to marry death one day.

P.S.-  My words have come out of tears, if it touched you anywhere, go say a “Thank you” to any one person who ever cared for you selflessly. That way share our grief, our pain and this difficult time.

(We will miss you always……….)

I Must Confess….

    I must confessimages (1)

    Why do i pick up a pen

    and write verses out of nowhere

    I write stories out of experiences

    When the friend list keeps on piling

    and relationships are at a downhill

    when leaders mock limits

    while a debt ends a life

    I must confess

    i pick up my pen to write

    When Aylan is washed up to the shore

    And a girl puts her “Hands up”

    When guns snatch away an innocence

    and a “Gul Makai” is born

    I must confess

    i pick up my pen to write

    when textbooks remain open

    spilled with blood

    and bread is snatched away

    again in the name of blood

    i must confess

    i pick up my pen to write

    for writing is deleting for me………………..

मेरे बूढ़े मोहल्ले की बूढ़ी माताजी

spicysaturday

मेरे मोहल्ला अब बूढ़ा हो चला है. ये तब की बात है जब भिलाई, मध्य प्रदेश का हिस्सा हुआ करता था. औद्योगिक नगर भिलाई बहुत पहले ही समय की दौड़ से कुछ अलग हटकर खड़ा हो गया है. ये आज भी वैसा ही है जैसे नेहरूवियन एरा में हुआ करता था, बिलकुल वैसा- उतना ही छोटा, उतना ही व्यवस्थित और वही मुट्ठी भर लोग.

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पर मेरा मोहल्ला इस “स्टील सिटी”से बाहर था, आज के शब्दों में उसको अगर किसी एक श्रेणी में डालना हो तो “satellite town” और slum के बीच का कुछ.एक बहुत बड़ा वर्ग जो उत्तर भारत, खासकर उत्तर प्रदेश और बिहार से रोज़गार की खोज में निकला था, उन सब ने इस मोहल्ले को बसाया था. स्टील सिटी से बाहर, स्टील सिटी से बिलकुल अलग – संकुचित, अव्यवस्थित, तंग और सभ्य लोगों की भाषा में कहूँ तो “बिहारी मोहल्ला“.

आज जब हम उस मोहल्ले से टाउनशिप में पहुँच गए हैं तो देखती हूँ कि मेरा मोहल्ला बूढ़ा हो गया है. बुढ़ापे से याद आता है मुझे वो बूढ़ी औरत जो पूरे मोहल्ले की “माताजी” थी, पोटली बाबा से भी बूढी. मैंने उनको बूढ़ा ही देखा था. एक छोटे से कोठरीनुमा घर में रहती थी माताजी. उस कोठरीनुमा घर में उनके साथ थे – उन्ही के जीवन की तरह बेरंग परदे, एक रामचरितमानस, ठाकुर जी की मूर्ती और कुछ टूटे बर्तन.

माताजी जी का पूरा समय ठाकुर जी की पूजा करते और अपने ढोलक पर अनगढ़ से कीर्तन गाते ही बीतता था.वो कहाँ से आई थी, कब माताजी बन गयी इसका पुख्ता जवाब किसी के पास नहीं था. एक बेटा- बहू थे जो उनको बहुत पहले छोड़ चुके थे.

किम्वदंती यह है कि एक बंद पड़ी राइस मिल में जब उन्होंने कीर्तन किया तो वह मिल चल पड़ी, इसका भी कोई ठोस सबूत किसी के पास नहीं, कुछ ठीक सा किसी को याद भी नहीं पर वह पूरे मोहल्ले की माताजी जरुर बन गयी.माँ अक्सर हमें उनके कोठरीनुमा घर में ले जाती थी. माँ की उन पर अटूट श्रद्धा थी और हमारी उनके हाथ के बने पेड़ों पर जो ठाकुर जी के भोग के लिए वह रोज़ बनाती थी. ऐसा नहीं है कि शुद्ध दूध के बने इन पेड़ों का ख़ास ट्रीटमेंट सिर्फ ठाकुर जी के लिये था, गाहे बगाहे कभी उनका बेटा उनसे मिलने आता था तो अपने राजदुलारे के लिये वो ऐसे ऐसे पकवान ख़ुशी से बनाती थी कि ठाकुर जी को भी काम्प्लेक्स हो जाता था.

आज सोचती हूँ तो लगता है वृद्धावस्था में बेटे द्वारा छोड़े जाने पर भक्ति ही उनका सबसे बड़ा संबल थी.अगर वो माताजी नहीं होती तो किसी दूसरे मोहल्ले की भिखारिन होती. रामचरितमानस के दोहों में और कृष्ण- राधा के कीर्तनों में अपने जीवन के एकाकीपन को दूर करती, लोगों से श्रद्धा और स्नेह की दक्षिणा ले कर वो अपना और अपने ठाकुर जी का गुज़ारा कर रही थी.

एक दिन पता चला कि किसी लम्बी बीमारी के बाद माताजी चल बसीं. उन्होंने बीमारी में बिस्तर पकड़ लिया था, आखिरी वक़्त में उनका बेटा जो कुछ किलोमीटर दूर ही रहता था, उन्हें अपने साथ ले गया. फिर वो लौट कर उस कोठरीनुमा घर में वापस नहीं आयी. आखिरी वक़्त की सेवा का हिसाब बेटे ने उस कोठरीनुमा घर को बेचकर पूरा कर लिया.

उनके आखिरी समय में माँ उनसे मिलने गयी तो उन्होंने अपनी प्रिय ढोलक माँ को दे दी.वो ढोलक आज भी हमारे घर पर है, शादी ब्याह के अवसर पर वो ढोलक भी निकाली जाती है और याद दिलाती है माताजी के झुर्रियों से भरे हाथ उस ढोलक पर थाप देते हुये.

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कुछ लोग यूँ ही मर जाते हैं, जैसे बीमार पड़ना और मरना भी एक काम है. क्या यह कम डरावना नहीं है कि उन्हें उस ढोलक के सिवा कोई याद नहीं करता होगा.

ये थी मेरी मिट्टी में पड़ी एक सूखी जड़ की कहानी.

ये थी मेरे बूढ़े मोहल्ले की बूढ़ी माताजी की कहानी.

{नोट: ठाकुर जी का क्या हुआ, कहा गए, किस हाल में हैं – इसका पता किसी को नहीं.}

 

Sudha Verghese and her story of being#madeofgreat

DSCN0007I went to meet Sudha Verghese, a social activist working for upliftment of Mmahadalit girls in Bihar through her organization called Naari gunjan for last 21 years and when I saw this opportunity to write about #MadeOfGreat , I remembered Sudha didi.

She arrived from Kerala to Bihar in her twenties as a teacher way back in 1965. She came across a community called Musahar community ,the most backward of all where the men folk worked daily as labors and then drank in evening, women were abused ,girls were married off at the age of 7-8 years , dirt and filth occupied their colonies, poverty has taken such an ugly form that they started eating “Rats” and to her utter shock, rapes of the girls by dominant caste groups were a common occurrence, never reported.

She then started working for their cause selflessly from their small needs like constructing nalas to demanding equal pay for work for the women,educating their children to making aware of their rights, Sudha Didi was everywhere on her cycle, at their call.Though there are endless stories of service and humanity by this lady what really made me salute her was when she decided to fight against the rape of the dalit girls .It all started when she persuaded the family of a Gang rape victim in 1997 to file an FIR against the rapists assuring them that their prevails a justice of land and the accusers just can’t walk away. The dominant caste from which the rapists belonged came to their colony and threatened them. They could have never imagined that a frail looking Sudha didi was the strength behind women standing against them .After Thana gheraos, Road blocks, petitions , dhamki,years of legal fight and attempts to even shoot her she managed to put the rapists behind the bars .It lits up her eyes when she tells me that within two years of that incident ,9 rape cases were reported which brought down the incidences of rape as a tool to suppress women of lower caste.

And after 21 years of self less work this woman has pulled hundreds of girls out of the trap of poverty ,rape and oppression through her Nari Gunjan which has 250 hostels, 550 self help groups and now giving training to thousands of girls for making them self dependent.

I herself asked her what drives her to work tirelessly for these girls?

You know why do I strongly believe she is #madeofgreat ,because to my question she replied : “ I found meaningfulness in life by dedicating my life to them , to the people who were left with no choices. I have seen many deaths, multiple struggles which gives me hope to carry forward this journey with people. It’s a blessing of God that I chose to work for them and without their support ,their generosity , their love and care I could not have done what ever has been achieved .Its these people who drive me , they eat a chapati less but they never forget to feed me ,they catch fish and rats and gift it to me as a matter of gratitude. what more can I ask for?

What impact she made on my life – She taught me the meaning of Service, meaning of true strength, trustworthiness and the larger cause of life.

She is a woman #madeofgreat just like Tata motors the name which symbolizes “Trust, Excellence &Self belief .With the Lionel Messi joining this team isn’t it cool that the most trusted brand is associated with someone #madeofgreat just like Sudha didi , her courage, her Naari Gunjan and belief in her work.

Watch this video for the rocking union of Tata and Messi as two brands #madeofgreat unite:

http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/

The age of Magic


Close your eyes, and envision an idea of an app, an app that reads what are you thinking right now and gives you directions through an infinite space radiations and while you count backwards from 10. Energy pulses along the interstices of the space converges, a balloon comes up giving wings of internet to your ideas and HOLA! There you are ,right there what you wanted to know.

Now open your eyes and see it all happen, like when you were just thinking about turning a tiny hamlet into one completely dependent on green energy, this app of yours in a count to ten calculated the costs involved, hurdles that may arise and how the village will look after.

The  Age of technology  is not so much a discrete collection of beliefs as like a geometrical formula , it is a complicated  intersection of  interests, objectives and motifs. The New Age ‘movement’ is not a single movement at all. The term contains multitudes.

Don’t you agree that this bunch of #Technocrats are infusing magic into our otherwise plain and boring world.

German sociologist Max Weber put it 100 years ago, a distinguishing feature of modernity is ‘the disenchantment of the world’. For Weber and the countless historians and social scientists who have taken his theories as starting points, the rise of modern science and ‘scientifically oriented technology’ replaced the ‘mysterious incalculable forces’ that pervaded pre‑modern worldviews.

In India, young generation is faster in embracing new technologies. From entrepreneurship to Digital India it’s the rich demographic dividend or the young population that can turn the tide of growth through a tool called 4G.

The future of 4G in India will depend primarily on three factors: 1. Infrastructure 2. Availability of smartphones 3. Availability of smart content. While concerns over spectrum availability and network infrastructure still remain among Indian operators, smartphone #Technocrats and content providers are sure that 4G is what will help Young India build an India of their dreams.

While 3G sparked the revolution in Indian smartphone industry, 4G is set to take it forward in the coming years. Each generation of mobile technology upgrade raises the bar on how much data it can consume, and that’s what is expected out of 4G in India. India is inching quicker to a superior and competent technology platform for mobile communication.

Growth of 4G is inevitably attributed to the surge in mobile data. The growth of Over-the-Top (OTT) services has also created the need for high-performing networks, and 4G was a natural progression to address this demand.

With data playing a key role in advancing digital revolution in India, LTE enabled devices find strong use cases in applications like m-banking, m-commerce, e-learning, e-governance and mobile entertainment.

India, the third largest country in terms of smartphone adoption, has achieved only 30% penetration in 2014, signifying the immense possibilities for handset makers and other ecosystem providers. The digital friendly millennial customers and the increasing 4G penetration are expected to drive the growth in the coming years.

So hop on  the fun train of 4G with Micromax and create an era of technology , an era of magic.

पोटली बाबा की

हम यात्रा पर निकले हैं ,गाँव की कच्ची पगडंडियां, खेत की मुंडेर के बराबर दौड़ती मिटटी की सडकें बड़ी होकर कब शहर की चौड़ी सड़क बन गयी यह देखने. हर शहर का एक चेहरा होता है जिस पर नए विचार,नए सामाजिक संगठनों और नयी ज़िन्दगी की परत चढ़ जाती है, आइये चलिए मेरे साथ ढूंढते हैं उस अनपहचाने को जो पीछे छूटता जा रहा है.

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हम चलेंगे कुछ कहानियाँ सुनने, किसी अधूरे प्रेम के गीतों पर अपने पैर थिरकने, किसी नए ज़ायके का लुत्फ़ उठाने और इस यात्रा में हम करेंगे हर देश की शिनाख्त उस देश के नज़रिए से. विकास की रफ़्तार से कुछ रंग गहरे हुए तो कुछ बेरंग भी. वक्त को खूँटी से उतारकर हम ढूंढेंगे उन रंगों को.

रुकिए….रुकिए कहीं आपने यह तो नहीं सोच लिया की यह “Just another travel blog” है. अगर हाँ तो यह जान लीजिये की इस पोटली में अतीत, भविष्य और वर्तमान लादे एक जगह से दूसरे जगह फिरते हम करेंगे उन फसानों का ज़िक्र जिसे समय की दौड़ से चुराकर संस्कृति ने रख छोड़ा है किसी बंद  कपाट में .