Friday, April 26, 2019

191. About God of Cricket

24th April was the birthday of Sachin Tendulkar. A lot has been written about his sporting talent and his qualities as a human being over the past two days. I also had a few occasions when I could meet him and observe him. The following is the piece I wrote this 24th April on my first meeting with him when I truly understood what a phenomenon he is.

Happy birthday
A few years back when I was serving as Joint Secretary in the Department of Sports, Sachin Tendulkar was one of the invitees to a meeting, chaired by the Sports Minister.We did not inform anyone about his arrival, but people came to know somehow.
Shastri Bhawan in New Delhi is a sprawling complex with a lot of gates,staircases,corridors and floors.Quite a few Ministries and organizations of the Government of India work from here. Sports Minister sits on the fourth floor.
It was around lunch time when Sachin reached Shastri Bhawan. The scene was unbelievable.Thousands of employees were waiting to catch a glimpse of him. Many of them must have skipped lunch. Staircases and corridors were overflowing.
By the time the meeting ended, the crowds had swelled. People had not gone back to their seats. They had been waiting to catch another glimpse of Sachin and new people had joined them.He could be taken to his car with great difficulty through his cheering fans.
It was on this day that I realized what Sachin actually was. I had not seen anything like this before.It was on this day that I realized, Sachin was truly the God of Cricket. What is remarkable is that he carries this aura with a lot of humility.
Happy birthday, Sachin. I am sure, India has not seen a more popular sportsperson than you.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

190. On vulgar language in elections

Election fever has gripped the nation. Campaigning is in full swing. As campaigning gets more and more intense, candidates become more and more intolerant. They start crossing all limits in abusing their rivals.There is nothing secretive about this.Huge public meetings are the platforms from which they choose to use vulgar language against their rivals.

What I find most disappointing is that those who use abusive language often get lustily cheered by crowds. The more abusive the language, the more the crowds enjoy. Many of these people come back home and join the social media campaigns against the abusive candidates.

The Election Commission is taking action against the delinquent candidates, but who will take action against those who egg on such candidates and then behave like saints once they return home?

Sunday, April 07, 2019

6. Being different

These purple leaves may not look as beautiful as  green ones, but they have chosen to be different. It takes courage and conviction to tread a different path. If there is a good purpose in being different, sooner or later, people will take notice and start appreciating. Javed Akhtar said, 'जिधर जाते हैं सब, जाना उधर अच्छा नहीं लगता। मुझे पामाल रस्तों का सफ़र अच्छा नहीं लगता।' 

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

189. Victory of Bougainvillea

This bougainvillea was planted inside a boundary wall, but it refused to remain confined. It was willing to risk spikes. It was desperate to come out of confines. Finally, it crossed the wall.

It was too tender to break the wall, but had the patience and will to leap so high that it ultimately grew taller than the wall and crossed it.

The stony wall was a mute spectator.It was very strong, but was not growing at all. It underestimated bougainvillea.

Do you see bougainvillea smiling? This is the smile of victory and freedom.

Friday, March 22, 2019

5.Spring in Delhi

Even before winter could make full exit, spring has arrived in Delhi. All small and big parks and gardens in the city are full of flowers of various hues and fragrance. This is the time to savour the bounty of nature. A few days hence, this spectacle will be gone.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

182. Company

I was seeking company,
I found you,
But with you alongside,
I felt lonely.

I kept walking,
Holding onto you,
Hoping for a day
When the solitude will end.

Now, I am alone,
But no longer lonely,
I walk with myself,
Sleep, wake up and
Converse with myself,
Now, I relish my company.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

188. Text, don't call

Texting is gradually becoming the in-thing. Not long back, face-to-face communication was replaced by telephonic communication. People could talk for hours over phone, but even a few minutes face-to-face were difficult. This is gradually changing. Today, people, especially youngsters, prefer texting to calling. They can indulge in long chats through texting, but avoid talking even while sitting in the same room.Preference of youngsters for texting is confirmed by a number of recent surveys.

What has brought about this change? One reason could be aversion for noise. There seems to be so much noise around that we prefer to indulge in noiseless communication even with our loved ones. Silent moments are so few and far between that we are desperate to create such moments. Instant messengers have made the whole process so much more easy. 

Another reason for texting preference could be a bloated sense of privacy. We are too concerned about our own private space and are equally scared of intruding into others' private space. So, even if one has to talk urgently to someone, one is expected to first text the other person and take his or her consent for calling.  

Texting is also extensively used to silently intervene in oral communication. If there are three persons in a room, two of them can communicate through texting without the third person knowing what actually is going on.In a sense, texting has made it easier for a person to be nice to another person in oral communication, but at the same time, very nasty about him or her in writing. Texting can silently influence the course of oral communication.

What I find very irritating is the mechanical use of texting. Today, we greet a much larger number of people than before on special occasions like anniversaries and festivals. Ease of copy-paste and almost no cost of texting has made this apparent sociability possible. We have started wishing and greeting indiscriminately without anyone feeling anything. We are dealing with so many people that we have to go in for short-cuts. On someone's death, we can shamelessly write "RIP". At least on such occasions, one should be more considerate. But alas, even death cannot move us any more.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

181. New Year

Every year
You stand smilingly
In front of my abode,
Knocking at my door,
Seeking to come in.

With same promise of hope,
Same dream of bliss,
You teasingly urge me
To let you in.

Every year, I believe you,
Every year, I let you in,
But you fail to keep word,
You fail to deliver.

New year,
You are a fake lover
And I, your constant victim.