Wednesday, 24 January, 2007

My India

My Dream

As I snuggle into my blanket warm,
I sense the magic come along;
The magic... of an India New,
Of domestic virtues and a worldly view;
My India transcends me into lofty dreams,
Of triumphant mountains and sunlit gleams;
Dreams of men who strive to lead,
Sowing global plants with an Indian seed;
And I see empowered women too,
Powerful in thoughts, words and the things they do;
Communal harmony, abolished casteism make their way,
Into my India, my India of another day;
Our culture too soaks in out heritage,
My India is akin to a bird out of cage;
My nation finds flight in prosperity,
What with economic freedom and eradicated poverty!;
India dances in colours as well,
Its vibrant diversity makes me swell
with pride; I sleep and nurture my land,
Holding its sanctity in a grain of sand;
Well Almost.

Almost till Mr. Reality dawns on Me,
Tells me "Son, dreams are never meant to be!";
I ask him, "Mr. Reality what makes you so convinced?";
He says, "Do not argue! - Take my heed";
Anguished, I tell him : "I seek the Truth!",
Aggravated, He says, "Go Ahead. I will follow suit";
So as I live another Indian day,
Mr. Reality lets his tongue wagger the Real Way;

The Indian Day, The Real Way

As I gently brush my pasted teeth,
I observe the toothbrush and its manufacturing feat;
"Son, by falling prey to multinational brands,
You aren't increasing domestic but their selfish demands";

Pondering over that nationalist thought,
I let the water run unstopped;
He said, "Water, like other resources, is flowing away,
You will sell diamonds to buy water, someday"

The train, as I get in, for college today,
Is crowded with men and sweat gone astray;
"Crippled infrastructure and population disorder,
Is the way of your Law & Order?";

My college meets me with a lecture free,
My dissent for the professor compounds my glee;
"The essence of education is the stimulation of the mind,
Alas! for the multitude who seek but do not find";

And as my friends and i engange in mindless banter for hours,
We spare little thought for a country that is Ours;
"The mother needs her children strong,
Mental strength, brute force and an attitude that tolerates no wrong";

Tolerates No Wrong in the judiciary
Tolerates No Wrong in the administration
Tolerates No Wrong in the name of liberalisation
Tolerates No Wrong in the name of conservatism
Tolerates No Wrong in the name of right
Tolerates No Wrong...

In the darkness of the night,
I see a beggar's plight;
"Poverty, my child, is not God's delight,
Together to uplift - We must strive, We must fight";

I looked at Mr. Reality in the eye,
And as he looked back, he heaved a gentle sigh;
Of concern, of despair and helplessness,
Of feeling disempowered, of feeling less;

He spoke of inflation, corruption and disparity too,
His voice now louder and it only grew;
Questioningly, as I retire after my day spent,
The last ounce of optimism I need to vent;

A Belief

Civilizations survive in their quest to become the ideal society. Over two thousand years my India has relentlessly strived to become its absolute self. It has stumbled, stuttered, scraped, fallen...risen to fall again but It never gave up. At this moment in time, heroes from the hallowed portals of our ancient past voice their wisdom - "Tread the path of excellence with a fearless mind. Live the noblest life for yourself and your India". Because when dreams meet vision and vision meets clarity, they form Belief. My India is no longer a dream, it is my Belief.

A Belief that rises to the occasion and exults : "Its time to fly..."

Monday, 1 January, 2007

What's your New Year's Resolution?

The concept of a New Year, the celebration and all the hoopla has missed my probing mind for twenty years now. Apart from the alcohol and a pseudo school reunion that invites my attention every year, the higher purpose has deluded me - always. So today, from my exceedingly busy schedule of doing nothing I spare whatever time is required of me to understand the significance of a New Year.

The New Year for obvious reasons will make us write 2007 or 07 in our notebooks if and when we choose to go to college. Also the accounts sums will feature the new year in the form of "You are required to prepare a balance sheet as on 31st March 2007". Beyond these academic significances none have been important enough to draw my curiosity.

Anyway, I am pleased that I am now exploring the fundamentals of a New Year albeit a little philosophically.

A school friend of mine and i'd liberally take his name, a certain Mr. Mayav Movdawalla worked under the premise that what you do on the first day of the year more or less sums up the year for you. He would practice mathematics etc. rigorously on any such auspicious day. I did something similar. I got drunk.

Sorry to go a lil' off tangent but this is a very candid write. So logical sequence and other such inconsequential things will obviously be missing.

Coming to why Mayav practiced such unpopular practices was I believe to anchor his priorites in life. Anchoring or soaking deeply into the subconcious your innermost commitments is very essential. Because when you anchor or commit deeply enough, your subconcious does the hard work of remembering your priorites for you. Its akin to the subconcious action of shifting the car gear into neutral mode every time you take the driver's seat. Subconscious Reinforcement, i'd say. Aanh... and thus resolutions happen to be an integral part of a New Year celebration.

Hmmm... that puts forth the questions then :

A) Would I participate in the "What's your New Year's resolution" activity?
B) If yes, How should I go about?
C) Pehle haan to bol.

NO would have been my obvious reply and would also make for a lame end to this uber cool exercise. So, after donkeys' years I shall be a part of the "What's your New Year's Resolution?" Event. I would obviously choose to word "Resolution" differently because resolution as on Pg. 445 of the New Oxford English Dictionary means a promise to self, lasting for as many hours as the alcohol effect on the day of such an act of promise to self. (Often used in logic examples as If alcohol then resolution)

Now that question A) is answered we will look at the seemingly trivial "How should i go about it" question. I mean isn't it as easy as :-

Ladies and Gentlemen, on this special day, December the 31st, of the year 2007 which allows me to live like Bond (007) I, Mr. Anuj Jayant Gosalia, resolutely resolve to drink alcohol only socially and that I am inherently an introvert and that social gatherings along with alcohol shall henceforth be restricted to social gatherings which serve alcohol. I also on this sacred day resolve to resolutely resolve. And also to understand what resolve and resolutely mean in the New English Oxford Dictionary.

By around this time I should have received my first round of applause by my goodwill ambassadors. Thankyou.

So as seen from the aforesaid extract of my friend Mayav's very popular "How to take Effective Resolutions & Doing Other Unpopular Things" (Pg. 792) you can see that it is an easy task.

Damn. Lost ground again. Question B) and typical self-help answer beckons.

Going about what resolutions to take and how to go about them is a very personal issue. Typically the 4R's should work well namely Reflection, Realization, Resolution and Resurrection. I personally too wouldn't want to glamorize the exercise and wish to retain its sanctity. Because our year just like our life is in our control. Some moments, some cirumstances, some freak events do disturb the alignment but not our faith. Because life like history is a bad motorist. It will not warn us of the upcoming hairpin or an unnerving bump nor will it flash the "Express Way" banner. Year after year and moment after moment we are asked to make a choice. We don't need a special day to make special choices. But if our unspecial, ordinary lives walk that lil' extra on this day towards an extraordinary life, then this day is worth celebrating. I've always held that our values, our beliefs, our passions, our family, our work, our friendships and our integrity to all of these will determine the kind of life we will eventually lead. So today I raise a toast to Integrity. Integrity in thought. In words. And in action. Because many men come on the battle field with bold thoughts, some with words too. But the man who triumphs is the one who does what he thinks and at the age of seventy years and forty seven days speaks to his grandchild about it.

So to all, including me, who think and talk but little do. Lets turn the tables this year. Let all gas and no shit be restricted to gastro-intestinal disorders only.
And for all those who've read until here, may I ask you :

What's your New Year's Resolution ? ;)

Anuj Gosalia