The Indian Dream

Utkarsha got admitted into a government school when he was in class six and his friend, Anurag, had got the admission into a convent school. Lemme explain what a Government Inter College looks like. So, this is how a 10 year old saw it in the past

“I was standing in front of the gate of Government Inter College. Outside the gate, there were students who were enjoying the golgappas, the chuskis and the bhelpuri. Some of them were wearing slippers, some were wearing shirts with some missing buttons and some were neatly dressed in white shirts and khaki trousers.

Then I went inside the college. There were huge buildings. Some of the rooms were packed with young students. I stopped for a moment to see what is going on inside the class. A teacher was beating a child with a stick just because he had not completed his homework. I was scared. In the next classroom, there was no teacher. So, I moved to the next room. There was a teacher but he was blind. Nobody was giving attention to him but he was patiently delivering the lecture. I thought what kind of school is this? How will I study here? Will I learn something?”

What his friend saw on the first day of his school:

“I was standing in front of the gate of the school. There was nobody roaming around. All the students were well dressed. Almost all the classrooms were filled with students. All the students were paying attention to what the teacher was saying. There was a huge playground….”

“Wish I could study in your school”, Utkarsha interrupted.
“Of course, you can. I have talked to my principal. There are a few scholarships sponsored by our school. They shall be conducting a test for the same on the next Friday. If you pass in that test you can get admission into our school.” said Anurag.

Utkarsha studied along with Anurag until class 12th and then they went to the same engineering college. They did well in their undergrad. Utkarsha got a job in US. Anurag chose to stay in India. When Anurag heard that his friend has decided to chase ‘The American Dream’, he decided to convince him to stay back in India. He went to his room.

Utkarsha: Hey!! Look I have received the admit from one of the best universities of US. They are also giving me the financial aid.
Anurag: Why do you want to go?
Utkarsha: I want to follow my field of interest. I want to become rich. I want to live my dreams.
Anurag: Will you come back after the studies are over?
Utkarsha: I don’t think India will be able to give me opportunities. There is no point in coming back.
Anurag: Do you think India have not given you the opportunities in the past?
Utkarsha: It has given me ample opportunities. But, I want to become rich and I can’t get money in India.
Anurag: If you have the will, you can get anything anywhere. Money is a very small thing to achieve.
Utkarsha: Yes, I can earn money if I get into business. But, I don’t have money. I want financial security first and earning in dollars is the only possible way.

“babul chahe sudama ho,
Sasural chahe suhana ho,
Naya rishta Jodne par,
Apna Ghar Chorne par,
Dulhan jo hoti hai,
do ansoo to roti hai,
aur idhar har ke ko khushi hoti hai,
jab matrubhoomi santaan apna khoti hai,
kyon desh chorne ki,
itni sashakt abhilasha haim
Kya desh main
Sach much itni nirasha hai?”

(Even if the father is poor,
Even of the in laws are dear,
When a new relationship is formed,
When the bride leaves her home,
She sheds down tears,
But everybody gets happy beyond imagination,
When a country loses her son,
Why is there so much desperation,
to leave the country?
Is there really
such a frustration back home?)

So saying, Anurag left.

Anurag’s eyes got moist when he came back from the memory lane. There was an announcement for the arrival of flight KZ-121 from US. Utkarsha was trying to find someone in the crowd coming out of the terminal when a familiar face smiled at him. Utkarsha had come back after completing the post graduation to chase ‘THE INDIAN DREAM’.


Taare Zameen Par

A dyslexic child, a strict father a loving mother, a caring brother and a teacher who knows how to bring out the best in a child, who have a vision to settle even the mentally challenged into the mainstream. They have made me think. Now, Bollywood has started producing movies which will make a social impact.

“Any of various reading disorders associated with impairment of the ability to interpret spatial relationships or to integrate auditory and visual information.”

Every child has a world of his own; a world of fantasies; a world where everything is like the way he/she wants; a world which is

A little sweet,
A little sour,
A little close,
Not too far.

The child said

All I need,
Is to be free
Choo loon main,
Itna kareeb,
Chal padoon main to kitna door,
Sapne ka buna sweater sa warm,
Safed badlon ke paar,

But, the world didn’t listen to him. Everybody had expectations. They wanted him to be a good student; they wanted him to ace each and every exam; they wanted him to do this; they wanted him to do that; they were not ready to set him free and when he failed people cursed him, they called him idiot, duffer etcetera. They asked him:

Why, why, why can’t you?
Idiot, why can you?
Kya hai problem?
Kyon tera bheja kam?
Kyon maths main ho anda?
Kyon roz khate danda?
Darma Profeling spellin all worng?
Akshar ho nache kya kaai hai bhang?
Idiot duffer lazy crazy
Kyun bhasha kharab?
Kyun na dete jawaab?Kyun karte nahi try?
why why why but why why why cant you?…”

The child got lost but he did fight back. Every second, every minute, every hour was a challenge. He tried, he kept trying but he did not accept that he couldn’t do it. His parents thought that their child is not interested in studies and a boarding school might help. He cried, he pleaded but he was sent to the boarding school. He was missing his mother badly:

“Bheed mein yun na chodo mujhe
Ghar laut ke bhi aana pau maa
Bhejna itna door mujhko tu
Yaad bhi tujhko aana pau maa
Kya itna bura hoon mein maa
kya itna bura ..
Meri MAA…”

Then a new art teacher (Nikumbh) came into his life. He tried to find the problem with the child and finally he figured out that Ishaan was a dyslexic child. He visited Ishaan’s home and came to know that the child was a very good painter. His paintings were clearly indicating that Ishaan was a child with above average intelligence. So, he decided to save him. He talked to the principal. He started teaching him in his own way and Ishaan was catching up fast. He brought his self confidence back. Ishaan came back to his own world which he had left behind:

“Tu dhop hai jam se bhekhar
Tu hai nadi o bekbhar
Beh chal kahin
Ud chal kahin
Dil khush jahan
Teri to manzil hai wohi”

In the end, he stood first in an art competition in which his teacher was also participating. Ishaan was back with a bang and everybody bowed down to his skills.
Really, every child is special but all of them do not meet Nikumbh who will help them to find out their true self।

“Jaise aankhon ki
Deebiyan mein neediyan
Aur neediyan mein meetha sa sapna
Aur sapne mein mil faristha sa koi
Jaise rango bhari peechkari
Jaise Teetliyan
Phoolo ki kyari
Jaise bina matlab ka pyara rista ho koi
Yeh to asha ki lehra hai
Yeh to umeed ki seher hai.
Khushiyon ki nehar hai
Kho na jaye yeh taare zaaamen per”

This is a must watch for everyone. It will bring back many memories that will make you feel that you could have become something else if you were left free.

“Hum jaise dekhe ye jahan hai waise hi,
Jaise nazar apni,
Khul ke sochen aao,
Pankh jara failao,
Rang naye bikhrao,
Chalo chalo naye khwab bun lein”


The Blogger and the Beautiful

There was a male blogger and there was another male blogger and there were many other male bloggers. There was a lady who was a blogger and there was another lady who was a blogger and there were many other ladies who were bloggers. Utkarsha, who was one of the existing bloggers, had got a crush on a lady who was also one of the existing bloggers.

Utkarsha had keen interest in Orkut and he used to devote his idle time to ‘The Orkut.’.
Once he happened to have a look into the album of one of the fine ladies, fortunately in those times there was no provision of locking the album and fortunately she didn’t lock her album even after the provision was given. (I sincerely thank to all the gorgeous ladies who do not believe in hiding their beauties on behalf of all the members of OSLA (One Sided Lovers Associations. Yeah, they are not frustrated anymore because they are contributing very positively towards spreading love and Father D’Costa has said that spreading love is one of the primary tasks which every living being on earth should contribute to. Even Pundit Narayan and Maulvi Anjum agree on this. )). She was such a beautiful lady that Utkarsha immediately forwarded the link to one of the posts in which he had mentioned all the qualities would look in his prospective dream girl.

She didn’t respond but some other person had written a comment which said Utkarsha shouldn’t be writing anymore. After a couple of months Utkarsha himself was convinced that his post was not good. He shouldn’t have sent her the link. Anyway, whatever happens happen for the good. Utkarsha thought that he would write again, and he will keep writing until he starts writing well, and he will keep writing even after that. Blogging had gradually become his hobby. Even on the busiest day, Utkarsha would write. Utkarsha was still hopeful that a day will come when she will respond. “Par, haasil karne ka naam hi to ‘CRUSH’ nahi“. When Utkarsha saw her photograph for the first time, the lady was not smiling but gradually she learned that we laugh for our happiness and not for other’s.

She is still a beautiful blogger and Utkarsha is still one of the male bloggers who is still a member of OSLA.

The first few lines of the song I am listening to:

“Tujhme agar pyaas hai,
baarish ka ghar bhi paas hai,
roke tujhe koi kyon bhala,
sang sang tere akash hai,
tu dhoop hai cham se bikhar,
tu hai nadi o bekhabar,
beh chal kahin ,
ud chal kahin,
dil khush jahan
teri to manzil hai wohin…”


Another Day in Paradise

“Ek rupaye de do, gareeb ka pet bhaar jayega, kal se khana nahi khaya’, she said. She was a kid clad in rags and aged less than 10 years. I didn’t respond and after sometime she moved the next person. She kept trying until the traffic signal turned green but nobody gave her a single penny. The scene reminded me of the song “Another Day in Paradise”.

She calls out to the man on the street
sir, can you help me?
Its cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?

He walks on, doesnt look back
He pretends he cant hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there

Oh think twice, its another day for
You and me in paradise
Oh think twice, its just another day for you,
You and me in paradise

She calls out to the man on the street
He can see she’s been crying
She’s got blisters on the soles of her feet
Cant walk but she’s trying

Oh think twice…

Oh lord, is there nothing more anybody can do
Oh lord, there must be something you can say

You can tell from the lines on her face
You can see that shes been there
Probably been moved on from every place
’cos she didn’t fit in there

She was a bit disappointed but she came back to the pavement and started playing. After all, she was a kid. I went close to her. Asked if she wants to eat something. She didn’t speak; kept looking at me. Her eyes were filled with hope. I took her to the nearest eating joint. After we came out of the restaurant I bought her a bunch of roses. I asked her to give one flower to everyone who pays her money on the traffic signal and say, “dhanyavaad, Main Ishwar se prathna karoongi ki apka din aacha gujre”. I asked her to buy flowers again with the money she gets.

When I met her the next time, she was really happy. She told me that people gave her a lot of money. I asked her whether she bought the flowers again. She said, “Yes”. She gave me one flower and I returned the favor with a five rupee note. She said that she will not take money from me. But, asked her if she gets anything for free. I told her that she gets money from the people on the signal because she says nice words to them which, unfortunately, are rare in this world.

After a couple of weeks, I happened to pass through that road again. She recognized me and came running to me. “Dekho, ab maine phool bechne shuru kar die hain. Ek phool paanch rupaye ka”. I asked her if she would sell me a flower. She said,”Lekin apko 5 rupaye bhi dene padenge”. We both laughed. “Haan, haan jaroor.”

After a couple of months I could not find her on the signal. She got her lost self esteem back.

Can we do something about it?

I was sitting alone in Barista, MG Road. Was sipping the coffee and looking at the people sitting around me? Some were smiling, some were stealing glances (may be they were on their first date), some were looking askance at the people at the other desks, some were overjoyed because they were in the company of friends, some were seriously discussing business.

The waiter came and asked if I want something else. I ordered for one more coffee. Then a bunch of boys and girls came and occupied the place beside me. They took out their books and started discussing something. After some time I figured out that they were students and they were discussing the script of a drama they were going to enact in a competition soon.

I went to their place and asked if I could join them. They agreed happily. I asked them what the drama is all about. One of them told me that it’s about a dialogue between Shaheed Bhagat Singh and someone who incidentally has got the same name but he is still alive and he is still young. What I mean to say that he’s one of us. Would you like see the rehearsals? You can give us feedback. “Can you give me a copy of the script?”, I asked.

They gave me the script. The script was something like this

Shaheed Bhagat Singh: SBS
Bhagat Singh: BS

SBS: Bhagat Singh, how are you doing?
BS: Excuse me. Who are you? I am unable to recognize you.
SBS: I fought for the freedom of India. I am Bhagat Singh. I thought you know me.
BS: Yeah, now I remember. You are the one who was hanged for throwing a bomb in the parliament and killing some *@#%*ng officer.
SBS: Yes. I am the same guy. So, how is life in independent India?
BS: It is cool. Every body is chilling out.
SBS: But, I still see a lot things happening here which used to happen before independence. People are still poor, they are still oppressed, they are still divided, not only does the social system divide them, geographical boundaries and language are also playing a role, I still see bloodstains, they’re still suffering, we are still not developed. Some things have gone even worse. Now, people don’t respect each other, people don’t stop to help someone, people kill others just for the sake of money, and sex is driving everything. Is this what we sacrificed our life for?
BS: Dude, a lot has changed since you died. We’ve got freedom. We’ve got recognition. We are making a mark on the world. I agree that there is a lot of corruption in the system. But it is there in every country.
SBS: Are you doing anything for this problem?
BS: Well, what can I do? I don’t think an individual can make a difference.
SBS: Will you be the next Bhagat Singh?
BS: Well…
SBS: Answer me. Will you be the next Bhagat Singh?
(The answer is still awaited…..)

Hello, won’t you tell me your name?

“Decency is not dignity but is the lack of opportunity.”
What is your name?
So, Miss What? How are your doing?
Excuse me.
What? What do you want?
Want to know your name?
Why the heck shall I tell you my name?
I want your phone number also.
Enough. You want me to call people.
Where are you residing in Bangalore?
Hey, I know you are crazy. Don’t create a scene here.
I know you are alone. I mean you are single and ready to mingle.
You are crossing the limit.
Hey, there is an insect on your nose. Let me deal with it.
Don’t touch me.
Ok, do it yourself.
What are you waiting for? Let’s go.
What? Are you crazy? Why on earth would I go with you?
Ok, suit yourself.

Can you see those boys? They have been chasing for quite sometime. They know you are alone. I heard them talking about you. So, I came here to give them the impression that y’re not alone. Anyway, I have accomplished what I was supposed to. Be careful. Take care. Bye

Hello! Won’t you tell me your name?
But, you are supposed to tell me yours first?