August 18, 2011

The New Patriot.

    He is 74. But he is young. Quoting a friend of mine, he is 16 years young and has 58 years of experience. He is Kisan Baburao Hazare. If Gandhi was the father of our nation, our beloved Anna is the guardian of our nation. He is the guardian of the Mahatma’s legacy and our future. You’d be a fool if you have no clue who he is. And I’d be a bigger fool trying to put down a man of such pristine virtues in my words. His deeds are for all to see! A man of our grandfather’s age fasting for days at stretch, for our future makes me get a lump in my throat! The fire that he stroke is as some call it, our 3rd war of independence. Rightly so!

    I’m not here to educate you about how corruption affects us, or how unethical and shitty it is. We all have done it, haven’t we? Some have given money and the others have taken! To obtain driving licences, evade taxes,  grab tenders, pass projects. In our state, which was recently rocked my the Atala drug case, involvement of the police was suspected. Yet, we didn’t care. It was none of my business, I thought. So did we all. Corruption was treated as a part and parcel of life. It is an unspoken fundamental right granted by the constitution of bureaucracy and  politics. (note to self : replace ‘is’ with ‘was’ real soon)

    I was made to believe that I’m unpatriotic, although I had my opinion  on every national issue. Yes, the national anthem did give me goose-bumps, but I guess that was not enough. It does happen to every youth, doesn’t it? They call us brash, hooligans and people who just want to enjoy life. Or that we were just interested in studies and scoring at exams. They say that we have no love for the motherland, therefore we qualify in the ‘unpatriotic idiots’ bracket. Even I thought so, I guess so did many others! Allow me to share with you what happened today.

   Today, the 18th of August 2011, started with the day wherein Anna and the Civil Society were granted permission to fast on the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi for the Jan Lokpal bill to be brought into effect. And it was also the day of the ‘All India College Bandh’. When we heard about it yesterday, we were in two minds. To come to school, or to stay home. Little did we know that we would end up doing something else. We took to the streets and joined the protest. And oh boy, what a way to do it!

   During the assembly that we attended itself, me and many colleagues of mine went around spreading the message that we should leave our classes immediately and pitch in! And we did manage to round up a crowd of about 60 people from our higher secondary school itself, out of the total strength of around 250. The rest, they either didn’t turn up in the first place, or went home. All of the juniors did that. Yes, all! A few showed that they were more concerned for the fact that they will get wet in the rain than for their country’s future. I still don’t understand why girls tend to do that. But at the same time, I salute all the girls who came down to carry out the peaceful protest.

   Once we reached at Azad Maidan, being the first institution to do so, we just stuck around for a while, listening to older citizens speak to us and stuff. The new found patriotism was wearing off everyone. We didn’t believe in the fact that shouting out slogans when we were the lone people there would change the way things were, besides keeping our spirits high. Many wanted to decay off quietly from the congregation, but in the end, they were all happy that they didn’t. Things grew better as the crowd began to pour in. The intensity of the slogans increased.

Here are the few pro-Anna Hazare slogans that we used.:

“Anna Hazare tum aagey bado, hum tumhare saath hai!”

“Brashtachaari ho saavdhaan, jaag utha hai Hindusataan”

“Ek do, ek do, brashtachaar ko fek do!”

   My personal favourite was the following. With the policemen smiling at us, we just shouted

“Yeh andar ki baat hai, Police hamare saath hai!”

   A friend of mine talked to the police and found out that if allowed, they too wanted to join the cause, but as they were in uniform, they couldn’t! Whether they meant it or not is not the question. well at least they managed to give us a positive gesture, and that was great!

   We took out a small peaceful march, shouting slogans. People peeping out of the window, wondering what the hell was on was a sad sight. Sad sight because besides a single couple on the streets (who didn’t look to be Goans) no one joined us in the naarebaazi. We screamed out throats out, and I’m sure mine will go hoarse real soon. But who cares? As much as we were frustrated with the amount people had to suffer, we were equally fed up with the power money possessed. Our state alone is touted to have a few shady public personalities who together have a sum of Rs. 49,000 crore in Swiss Banks. And our concern genuinely showed! It was a day where we all grew up! Where transformed from people who just live a life to people who live a life for a purpose worth living for! And yeah, If it was not for Anna Hazare and his hunger strike, I don’t know how long we would have had to wait for our awakening and eradication of corruption. We all felt intense satisfaction over what we had done this day! It is an indescribable feeling!

    Yes, the government is acting sour over the issue, but I truly appreciate the fact that nothing has been set on fire till date, nor has the issue taken a political detour. It’s really heartening to know that the whole of Delhi and the nation has taken to the streets. The issue has united India like never before!Why only India? I listened to a Afghan who said that he hated the corruption going on! And thanks to every news channel besides DD News, we can fight back even better! I will not single out any political party, as I know that people who are bad will take bribes and who are pure will never, irrespective of which side they belong to! While we the youth protest, they refuse to do so. They still go to work when the nation needs them. And they call us unpatriotic.

    We are the new patriots. We might not know about the people who gave up their lives for the nation’s independence or how many died fighting in the battle of Panipat. But we truly appreciate it.We walk up to a smoker and tell him to stop smoking, without fearing public ridicule. We might not protest everyday against the system,but want to focus on the task at hand. That is, freedom from all the evils. We don’t look at religion, caste or creed while making friends. We want a better education so that we can serve our motherland and the world in a better way, but we do care. We don’t look at politicians as our role models, but instead look up to those who change the way we live! We might be the Facebook generation, but yes, we do pass on our message effectively without bloodshed. We are true patriots at heart.



August 7, 2011

A cousin, a tabla and a blade.

    In the past few hours, I have done what I perhaps do the best. I’ve been myself. I’ve done what I do the best. It’s rare that I get such intense bouts of umed to blog my heart out over intense topics, but tonight is that night. I expect words to just flow out of me, to the tune of Beethoven. So here I go!

   I’ve done many things today. I’m confused whether to captivate your attention by mentioning all of them, or to unveil them as I go on. I think I’d prefer the later, for I’d like my day to be as surprizing to you as it was to me! Let me start off with a bang. A weird one.

    I ‘discovered’ a cousin of mine. Yeah, you got that right. And yes, I can explain it by saying that I am an introvert and that I don’t like to socialise and stuff. But over the years, if there is one thing that I have learnt is that excuses are for sore losers. So, if not for anything else, I’d better not give any for the fear of being a looser, a lame one that too. I don’t like talking to people, and that’s it. I prefer to stick to my people, apparently for reason! But today, I found out the answer why I find a lack of intellectual people in this world. It’s just because I don’t want to find! It’s partly because of my shyness to say, open up a conversation or so. But I just can’t relate it to my enthusiasm to do so once I know a person really well!

    She is a year younger than me, but makes much more sense. I remember seeing her loads of times for family functions and stuff, and you may call me ignorant, but I didn’t bother to remember her name too. Yes, I can again brush it off saying that I have a bad memory but truth be told, I am feeling a little guilty of not making an attempt. Yeah, like in today’s world, it all beings with a Facebook friendship request (Alas, It’s the much touted day today wherein mobile companies charge you more for texts and people make money by selling 'friendship bands’). I wondered for a while, what to do with the request, but something told me that it was a familiar face out there. A little investigation with my mother told me that yes, she was my cousin. “Oh” I said nonchalantly, and clicked on the accept button. I was accepting my stupidity more than the friend request.

    But wait, that is not the discovery I was talking about. A discovery is meant to be much more deep than a find, and so it was. It’s pointless to divulged into the details of what we talked about, but to sum it up, it was a very intense questioning session, an intellectual storm which rather felt as if I have been debating with her since time immortal! Realization strikes all, albeit a little late for some. But what matters is that it does! She writes poetry, plays the guitar just as I do! What I learnt today is that life is short, and we should not always rely upon the other person to initiate the discussion. And you should never guess about what a person will be, it’s not a true or false question that we are dealing with over humans, but it is humans instead.  Unpredictable creatures, they will either stun or surprize! Prejudice sucks. I have faced the brunt of it, so has a friend of mine. We both know how baseless and hollow it is. If you do not have experiences with people, you naturally will be scared and shy to interact. It’s a vicious cycle, beware!

   My cousin turned out to be one of the handful people that I was very much comfortable talking and philosophizing with. Blame my socializing ‘prowess’, or accept that it’s the truth but it is hard to find people who talk something more than the marks that they wanted to score or the latest trend in town. Nothing wrong in that, but I find it deeply unsatisfying to talk about material things. Every person has different needs and capacities, agreed. But I’m just stating a point here. I find a lack of people who can pose questions and work out their answers for contentment and deep satisfaction. I don’t need you to be a poet to communicate to me, a photo or a work of art can do the same. A piece of music can do the same job. They take you on a journey to discover your own self. And that’s where the tabla comes into the picture!

  I’ve always wanted to post on my connection with music, I didn’t do much justice to it with the monsoon playlist, but here is a better attempt. I’m a guy who is a fan of western music, international music sometimes, as I belong to the class of people who think that language is no barrier to the tunes that we connect with. Music is truly universal! But my interest in jazz, operas and instrumental along with genres like antifolk and alternative have tuned me off from the pop, rap and hip-hop that prevailed over everything a few years ago. But slowly, it did lead to the decline of my inclination towards Indian classical music, I had this prejudice. But just a few hours ago, my school-mate linked me a video of his, wherein he was playing the tabla with a sitar maestro. I was really eager to watch it, as I had heard that he played the tabla really well. But I leave it upto you to decide how amazing he is, after watching this video.

Ram Bhakta, my friend playing the table

   Within a few seconds, I was overwhelmed by the power, the potency of the music I was listening to. I was mesmerized, to say the least. I drifted away into a state of bliss. Although it was not Bismillah Khan’s Shehnai, it was magic to me. Maybe or may not be for you. I went back to the chat and being a learner of the guitar, and knowing how tough it is, I complimented him like a good audience would.

   But there was a much deeper lesson to be learnt from what I had just witnessed. I had linked him to a hair-raising piece of opera by Luciano Pavarotti, and he too appreciated it. We joked about how much of the Italian we understood, and then I again complimented him on his performance. As humble as he was to me, accepting that he was a nobody, we both agreed upon the fact that it was the need to improvise that kept us going stronger and stronger in our respective fields. That this was the simple but truth, the secret to a successful life!  Ram said that he never faced any problem in learning the instrument, as he loved to do it! In fact, answers came to him naturally!  Everyone has a niche for themselves in this world. It’s just that we have to struggle to discover and sharpen it. I’m talking stuff that we all know about but we hardly practise. We think it is tough. But here is a song, which was originally sung by Miley Cyrus. It suits the topic I’m posting on, plus the girl’s raw emotions make it worth watching!

   Sometimes, people ask me how much hours I study or what tips I can give to them to score good marks in examination. I start wondering whether they have learnt anything at all from 3-Idiots, the movie. I firmly believe that our passion decides the greatness we can achieve. Agreed, that there is no success without hard-work and talent combined, but when one has the passion, one doesn’t feel that he/she is working hard. It’s like powering your boosters in space, you are in cruise mode! It doesn’t matter what we become or do. It is the sincerity, dedication and love that matters. Or as the saying goes, Success follows the pursuit for excellence!  To sum it up, I make use the lyrics of the very same song!
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb!!

  And yeah, this leads me to the final part. My love, my passion taught me a small, but valuable lesson in life. It concerns a simple blade. I’m keeping the technical stuff aside for another post, you can skip to the last two paragraphs if you want to, or read on! In the recent past, especially in my XIIth std, I’ve taken a liking towards trying to apply or perform everything that I learn during the theory classes. And like every other guy (or am I alone?)  I’m fascinated by light and it’s dual nature. We learnt that light sometimes behaves as a wave and sometimes like a particle. To prove the wave-nature of light, we take the help of that property of waves known as interference. And at the time I learnt it, it looked as if this is the stuff that you can cook up, or see for yourself only in a lab. But, spending two days in Poinginim (mum’s place) and trying to utilize every thing that I saw with the help of my cousin brother who had returned from the U.S.A.,lead me to the internet where I saw a way of checking out the wave nature of light using only a glass slide, some candle soot, a blade and a LASER.

  Coming back to Panaji, I swung into action and within a day I got the experiment done, although I had to contact every person I knew for a LASER. I was not overwhelmed at the results I got, but yes, I did get what I wanted. But somehow I was not satisfied. In the evening, I went to the observatory, my second home on this planet and was guided by Videsh Khandeparkar and Rakesh Rao to do the best I could with the apparatus I had. But after a while I was pleasantly shocked. Using only a deformed blade and a laser, I had one of the most thrilling sights of my life in front of me! There was a diffraction pattern as beautiful as I saw in the books!

   Now you might ask me what’s so great in that! But what I feel is that beauty lies in simplicity. It’s not complicating things things that is fun, but simplifying things that is! What I had thought of as an experiment that I would just dream about as this juncture was done with the minimal amount of time and equipment! And now I’m sure that I’ll never forget the working of diffraction because I actually produced one, and I got pleasure in doing so. The stuff that we learn is not just to be locked up and forgotten. It’s meant to be applied in every sense we can! Funnily, I can find similarities between nature’s laws and human behaviour. Yeah, as I said, I am pretty much crazy!

  So if anyone asks you what one can learn in a day, tell them to speak to me! It took me around 3 hours to put this down, and I guess it is a pretty long post. If you made it through all of the stuff that I could cook up, then you do deserve a good dose of laughter, and I guess this song will just do that. It’s sung by the same girl as above, but thanks to the nonsensical lyrics, it is even worse than the disaster called ‘Friday’!! Do check it out! Don’t blame me if you faint!

Life Rocks.
Creative Commons License
Me, Midas Touch by Raj Kunkolienkar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at