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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

HAPPY FESTIVE TIMES!

The Indian Festival Season is in full swing now!

Eid is being celebrated today all over India after a month of fasting 'Ramzan'. The new moon had been sighted last evening and festival declared for today. Muslim people throng to the mosque for prayers and exchange love and greeting between each other.

From tomorrow the 11 day Ganesha Festival starts all over Maharashtra. Idols are being installed today in thousands of public celebrations and millions of homes. Devotees worship Lord Ganesha one and


half days, three days, five days, seven days and up to the 
grand finale on the eleventh day.                                     HAPPY GANESH CHATURTHI!

 Celebrate and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Driving The Rains!

The day Anna Hazare made history and had his breakfast we decided to relax! It was raining heavily for past two days and we set off to Lonavla amidst black skies and pouring rains. When there it was just raining and we enjoyed nature in rains with our car drive.

We were driving through Mumbai-Pune Expressway and in places of Lonavla, Karla and Khandala. These are not sample of excellent professional photography. But sharing our ecstasy is important. Enjoy! 



















































































 Happy rain driving! 














Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tomorrow's Breakfast With Anna Hazare!

Saturday, August 27, 2011. History made at Ramlila Ground and in the Indian Parliament. A Bill that was pending since 1966 was finally realized after a day long debate in both the houses. All members of the Parliament, irrespective of their political or ideological differences, thumped approval of the Jan Lokpal Bill Draft resolution which will now go to the Standing Committee for making it into a law. Let's pass over now whatever happened in the past 12 days and only celebrate for Anna Hazare, the Indian democracy and the Indian people.

The final moments of victory! Anna Hazare addressed the sea of humanity at Ramlila ground--his posture strong and positive, his voice strong and resonant--not at all indicating that this 74 year old crusader against corruption had been living only on plain water for the past twelve days. 'This victory belongs to all of you-supporting me day and night all over the country for the past days. And this only half the battle won. We have to carry on our movement for the most important other half.' The second Gandhi invited all of India to join him for breakfast at Ramlila ground tomorrow morning, the 28th of August, at 10am. And of course, the most loved and respected man in India at the moment appealed to all to maintain peace in all forms of celebrations.

A historic day with all the drama, all the classical twists and turns till the last moment of the final triumph. Citizens, activists, spiritualists, journalists, experts--all were glued to the intense activities throughout the day and even the victory at the last moment seemed to have eluded them all. The voice vote which was expected to be taken up in both houses of Parliament did not take place. Everybody including media presenters were puzzled smelling another conspiracy. But the Parliament upheld the great Indian democratic tradition with all its members thumping the resolution to victory. Like a true suspense story it kept everyone guessing and finally gasping at the ultimate triumph.

Celebrations are on from Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra to Ramlila ground at the national capital and across all villages, towns, cities and metros of India. Rightly so. Finally corruption has a deadly enemy to deal with--the Indian people! Jai Hind!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Anna Hazare Fast Goes On! Political Plunder Rages On!

The 74 year old crusader against corruption continues his fast unto death--entering the eleventh day today. Destroying our hopes of breakfast lunch and suppers for the last two days. Anna Hazare is becoming the hottest trump card for almost everybody involved in the process of fighting corruption.

Everybody is benefiting from Anna. The members of his team are riding high on unprecedented mass support and do not seem ever wanting to lose it. They are talking gesticulating and dictating not bothering who is before them. Anna's frail body is their constant source of inspiration.

The government seems to be in all sorts of dilemmas. Do it, don't do it, promise, don't promise, find a solution, camouflage it and so on! The Prime Minister delivered the positives on the last two days consecutively, but somebody or the other within would inevitably utter something contrary to the scheme of things or create whirlpools of confusion diversion and utter dejection. Constitution, parliament, law, democratic procedure etc are the most uttered words conveying no commitment attached to the very words. Anna's frail body is their constant source of strategy building.

The opposition political parties seem to be making the best of all worlds. They have a godsend opportunity to side with a good cause and make all the gesticulations in support of it mustering the undivided attention of the masses and shedding crocodile tears in plenty. Secondly and most importantly, they are having the greatest entertainment of all time seeing and pinning the ruling party against the wall. Bill or no Bill, they are set to the course of embarrassing their rivals to the maximum extent possible. Anna's frail body is their constant source of gleeful merriment.

168, 184, 193! All rules galore! Hope imprisoned in them. Maybe tomorrow's likely Parliament debate on all drafts of Lokpal Bill  yield some ruling. Maybe hoping against hope!

Anna Hazare must realize the 'reality show' of his fast and give up it up as soon as possible so that he can effectively lead the sea of humanity to the deserved goal and build his dream country.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seasonal Shots!

 The fast unto death of Anna Hazare continues on the tenth day today. Lots of discussions, mediation and parliamentary debates for two days.

A breakthrough seems imminent as Prime Minister of India addressed Parliament today making way for meeting most of  Team Anna's demands.

Till then, lets enjoy shots of Mumbai's rainy season!



See you later!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Anna Hazare Sets The Essential Qualifications!

  • You must be well behaved.
  • You must have a liberal frame of mind and spirit. 
  • You must be without a spot in all your life and career. Spotless honesty, that is to say.
  • You must be capable of sacrifice for the cause of the nation and people. 
Only if these essential qualifications are met you are eligible for participating in Anna Hazare's revolution to eradicate corruption.  You are welcome to be married and having a small family; but you must have 1 to three hours a day to devote for the bigger family that you have outside your four walls. Most importantly, you must be capable of sacrifice, okay, not to the extent that Anna himself did by adopting a life of celibacy and spending all his life of 74 years in a 8 by 10 temple room at Ralegan Siddhi, Maharashtra.

Anna Hazare, on the sixth day of his fast, gave a rousing address to over 100 thousand citizens gathered on a super Sunday at Ramlila ground, Delhi this eventful evening. It was like Gandhi come alive, Anna speaking comfortably seated on the dais often putting on and out his specs and then after the speech sipping a glass of plain water and lying down for rest. The crowd was cheering clapping and appreciating every word uttered by the second Gandhi.

  There were huge crowds and processions all around in major cities of India. Hundred thousand at India Gate, Delhi, another hundred thousand taking a five kilometer procession in Mumbai--said to be the largest gathering ever in this workaholic business hub, and so on with other equally electrifying scenes. A welcome change already--people sacrificing their weekend trips and television sets. A revolution against corruption has finally and truly taken shape.

The CHANGE is imminent. The clock is ticking for CHANGE from now on. This will be the beginning of the CHANGE. Now, all must have patience for the realization and materialization of this CHANGE. Let the aftermath of the CHANGE prove all rightfully concerned supporters including this writer and skeptics and cynics wrong!

Beware! O' corrupt ones! Anna has arrived! And, the legend lives on!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

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Anna Hazare--The Indian Dilemma of The Century!

Millions of Indians supporting Anna Hazare are basically moved by the cause--ending corruption that has affected almost everybody in some way or the other. Most of them, though, do not care a dime about the methods adopted to achieve that goal. It is quite possible that the government is finally blackmailed into accepting Anna's bill. But what after? Anna could hardly afford to resort to the same tactics when it comes to implementing the Jan Lokpal Bill, meaning he just cannot say, 'Hey corrupt ones! Admit  your guilt in public and give back all your ill earned money to the affected. Or I will start fast unto death!' The millions supporting cannot ignore the methods if  they are also interested in good implementation. Then, the middle classes--coming out predominantly in the streets. We very well know about their normal mentality--closing their flat entrance to the world hardly caring what problems are there in the immediate neighbor's house, lacking a civic sense walking biking driving parking at will considering only self benefits, ignoring parents and elders and so on. So, the middle classes must introspect what are their basic reasons for supporting Anna ? Showcasing so-called honesty, political links and career and personal benefits could be the hidden reasons.

Naturally, there is an intelligent opposition to Anna growing all the time. Of course, they support the cause overwhelmingly, but are skeptical of the methods adopted. They must find out too how they could positively influence the public opinion.

Anna Hazare, the devoted crusader against corruption, is an extremely lovable person. The nation loved how he ran yesterday to escape the rains leaving behind the cops guarding him! But while you love him to extremity you must acknowledge the fact that problems like corruption cannot be solved overnight, particularly in a vast and varied country like India. The huge numbers and the usual Anna talk are just not enough. Besides, you must also be on your guard as to how his civil society members are going to behave in future.

Meantime, Anna Hazare magic continues. Next 2-3 days are going to be crucial. Jai Hind!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Now Showing: The Greatest Fasting Spectacle On Earth!

Anna Hazare was arrested early morning yesterday and was reportedly allowed to go free by evening. But since then, Anna Hazare has been refusing to leave Tihar Jail, Delhi that has meantime become a tourist spot globally. Apart from people of all walks of life having an electrifying time out there bestowed with generous attention by the ecstatic news channels 24 hours a day, famed spiritualists, self styled saints babas sadhus and what not have congregated there to mediate and convince Anna that the jail was not a very healthy place to live in for long and that too inhabited by very embodiments of corruption he was fighting against.Even the harassed jailors politely asked Anna to leave as soon as possible.

But Anna is not convinced at all. He wants  to fast unto death wherever he is and will  leave only if he is allowed to carry on at a prime venue of the national capital. The problem does not stop there as the question of how long to fast is the basic issue. The hapless government offers him the same venue where the fraud Baba staged his antics leading to a controversial endgame only recently and also offers him 7 to 10 days of splendid fasting. One channel citing sources said that Team Anna was more or less agreeing to that, but some member did not agree, wanting at least a month. So, now the fight of 'Our Bill' Vs 'Your Bill' has transformed into 'Our Conditions' Vs 'Your Conditions'! Extraordinary! People fight hard for food while these noble souls are fighting to fast!

We tend to see a plot there if we think like a commercial formula film producer. You obviously know the impact of a sympathy wave if you create tragic conflicts tension and drama. Now, with Anna languishing in a jail is some sympathy and he out of jail is no sympathy unless he goes empty stomach for as many days as possible-at least a month. Civil society members who have become global celebrities thanks to Anna just cannot afford to let go. The greatest fasting show of the world must be continued at all costs.

The question is how the government failed to anticipate this plot and walked straight into the trap watched gleefully by the opposition political parties. While the government is having the worst of both worlds, the opposition is devouring the cake and the pudding too! 

If corruption was a man of flesh and blood he would have already laughed himself to death setting free the wonder that is India completely! What?

Did someone utter 'Lokpal Bill'? Well, we completely forgot about it! Anyway, what was that?  If you know kindly  spread the knowledge among the captive crowds littering streets and campuses in many parts of the country day and night chanting only 'Anna', 'Anna'!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Anna Hazare Arrested!

Anna Hazare, the crusader against the evil of corruption, was arrested early this morning by Delhi police. Clearly, to avoid having a law and order situation with thousands (including fascist lumpen elements) expected to gather for an indefinite period at a public place in the national capital with hounding news channels hungry for 24/7 sensation. Anna Hazare's second fast unto death was not allowed to go in public. This is undemocratic, everybody is saying. Yes, it seems to be so.  But, there is one more angle to it.

The April fast was a huge success and the government of India had to agree to draft the Lokpal Bill promising to present it in Parliament in the monsoon session which they did. But the civil society members had been adamant since, constantly demanding what they thought was the best and soon making the movement 'Our Bill' Vs 'Your Bill'. Blackmail of another fast followed insistent demands despite the 'Your Bill' being presented in Parliament for open debate and discussion. Why? If government has been dictatorial, the Team Anna has been dictatorial too. Who are they to dictate terms to the nation, honestly? If they are so democratic why they don't believe in the democratic process?

Anna Hazare's arrest has created the mess that everybody politically involved wanted. The opposition parties are flocking on merrily at this godsend opportunity to condemn the government again. Of course, there is lot of love and respect for Anna and his supporters are already in full gear all over. But, most of the protest marches are likely to be organized and orchestrated by the opposition political parties and different factions attached to them making the common man missing conspicuously.

The chaos is most tragic when we think of the noble cause. The fight against corruption is set to degenerate into a routine political fight between ruling and opposition parties, the Prime Minister being the unfailing target both for civil society members and opposition.

The common people want corruption to end so that they are spared of paying bribes at every step of their existence. They never want a political circus on this most serious malady. Team Anna must wake up to the reality and allow the democratic process to take charge.

Monday, August 15, 2011

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

India is celebrating the 65th Independence Day today, the 15th of August, 2011. This is the Day to wish you all the very best. This is the Day to take new noble pledges or start on new socially relevant commitments. This is the Day to inspire others by examples. And, this is of course the Day to celebrate your great country's birthday.

This Independence Day is significant on two counts--raging inflation and the fight against corruption. The Government of India is moving forward with commitment on both of these issues--with the Lokpal Bill (Ombudsmen Bill) against corruption already presented in Parliament. But on the other side, Anna Hazare and his civil society members are fighting the govt tooth and nail for not including crucial points in the govt version of the Bill. Anna is set to start his indefinite fast from tomorrow with conditions set by the govt. While we all want corruption to be demolished, we do not want rivalries and politicking on this issue.

Nobody can be hundred percent correct and binding. The government of India has its restrictions on law making and the point is the Bill is yet to be debated upon in Parliament. Anna Hazare civil society group is veering towards opposition politics and obstinate demands. Its first mistake was that of supporting a fraud spiritualist called Ramdev Baba. I hailed Annaji as the Gandhi of India's second movement for independence (from corruption), but now I am not sure if all the supporters rallying behind him are genuine or hired.

Today we must focus on the issue and not on rivalries and politics surrounding it. It's very easy to get corrupt, but very difficult to be honest and stay so. We all must set ourselves on a united pathway to end the evil. TODAY!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Shammi Kapoor: Homage to a Hero!

Singing and dancing, restless with bubbling energy-- Shammi Kapoor, the romantic hero of Hindi cinema of the fifties and sixties finally calls it a day. We saw him, loved him and adored him since our birth. We, my generation, literally lived with him. His mere presence on the silver screen was a boost up, a flash of positive energy and sheer entertainment for us. Singing fun songs of Mohmd Rafi Shammi Kapoor is still a treat for us. After leaving acting he got busy with many projects not necessarily films. He was busy till the last minute, though his health has been failing for quite a few years. Today the great actor breathed his last at Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai.

We salute the great hero and the greatest entertainer. May his noble soul be blessed.

Keep loving him and his evergreen movies.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Movie Singham! Loving the Honest Super Cop!


Honest cops, almost an extinct species, are always common peoples’ hot favorites, because they are immensely capable of doing immense good to common people despite the ‘system’. Real life honest police officers are adored as heroes and reel life heroes portraying honest cops are worshiped all around. Particularly at a time when fight against corruption is at an all time high in India you will rejoice seeing your hero cop exterminating corruption with the power of a lion (Singham) punch.

Remake of the original 2010 Tamil film of the same title, Singham in Hindi has become a super duper hit. It is directed by Rohit Shetty of new Golmaal trilogy fame (check old Gol Maal), produced by Reliance Entertainment and starred by Ajay Devgan in the lead role of Bajirao Singham-the honest super cop. The film is a real power-punch with high voltage action, powerful dialogues and high intensity performances. The plot may have structural weaknesses and logical flaws, but its strength lies in the enactment bringing back the Bollywood action genre with a bang. The movie is a bundle of good intentions, positive energy and clean entertainment. A few hilarious scenes also highlight Rohit’s mastery over comedy. Powerhouse performance by Ajay Devgan and evil incarnated in Prakash Raj’s role as the antagonist.

The movie rekindles memories of a few very good cop movies portraying honest efficient police officers like Zanzeer of the early seventies, Hukumat of the late eighties staging a comeback for Dharmendra and relatively recent movies like Sarfarosh (Aamir Khan as the honest cop), Shool (Manoj Bajpai) and Gangajal (Ajay Devgan). All these films were huge hits blessed by the masses. We also remember character actors like Balraj Sahni and Iftekar in various memorable honest cop roles.

The climax of Singham is pure utopia. Your dream-come-true kind of a situation which is bound to wipe out evil and corruption from the face of India if realized in reality.  No harm wishing all that. It’s only good that can inspire cowardly souls.

Let the Honest Super Cop rule India. With the unbelievable power of a punching lion. India needs it desperately.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cricket: Comment and Get Paid!


It’s hardly surprising that eminent ex-cricketer commentators, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, are in the payroll of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). There has been a nagging doubt in my mind about the integrity of the cricket commentators in what they say and utter. Hardly anyone you could find among them who speaks or spoke about the policy and wrongdoing of the BCCI. They all sang all the time in praise of the Indian Premier League (IPL), main money spinning spearhead of BCCI, and never even mentioned about it when discussing the phenomenon of ‘too much cricket-no rest’ for Team India. Why only two of them? Most of them are fed and enriched by the richest cricket board of the world. If our beloved legendary cricketer Gavaskar says IPL is healthy wealthy and wise, what can we lesser mortals do but to flock on to the three-hour shows! That’s the crux of business, you see!

BCCI’s money-centric policy is further exposed with the selection of Rahul Dravid. In the overseas fast pitches you need technically sound proficient players who have to be test players only. Dravid was made an icon for the IPL tournament which was done clearly for money. And, he was dropped from limited overs national team, that was too done for money only. In the Indian flat fours-sixes pitches the unorthodox and technically less proficient or even faulty cricketers can deliver more eye-thundering shots. Poor Dravid has no option but to retire from limited overs matches after the England tour, because he knows that he will be dropped again in the near future.

Call it BCCI or IPL or call it Indian cricket, it’s all for money and business. Authentic people are needed to carry it forward. And, who will object to earning hundreds of thousands of bucks by doing a job? While fight against corruption rages on in India, these people are just doing what they would like to call legally and essentially righteous jobs! Who are we to differ?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cricket Shame and Magnanimous Dhoni!


Team India suffered the worst defeat under the so-called aggressive captain M S Dhoni, beaten by England at Trent Bridge today, the 1st of August. The second defeat of the ongoing test series with a margin of 319 runs, the first test margin being 195.

Team India has almost lost the series and gave away the No.1 position in test cricket after just about two years. But, did they at all deserve to be the No.1? Team India and the Indian cricket Board are more comfortable with limited overs games, immense money, absolute power and an overwhelming dose of generosity to get more mileage. What they do in real cricket is hardly of interest. Now, if you compare them with Australia the following scenario will emerge:

Would Australia have:
  •     Done the same thing as Dhoni did to an admittedly naive Ian Bell given rightfully out by the umpire?
  •    Given away the advantage after putting England at 124 for 8?
  •    Allowed England to gleefully score their highest ever 417 runs in a single day’s play?
  •   Crowned most of the England bowlers as the instantly best ever all-rounders in world cricket?
  •    Played a listless Harbhajan again and again?
  •  Allowed limited overs experts to come into the team as replacements? 
  •  Kept quiet over a consistently non-performing captain?

The answer to all these questions is a big NO. And that’s why Australia dominated world cricket as the No.1 team for nearly a decade and a half and still lurking to come back bang. You may hate them for a variety of reasons, but cannot take away their authority.

In India, cricketers are being groomed only for the T20 format of the money-spinning Indian Premier League. What is not understood is that such players cannot take the demands of test cricket. Only good test cricket players are likely to excel in all forms of the game. The focus is all wrong. You just cannot escape with time tested colonial excuse.

Team India, try to play real cricket, for a change! 



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