Friday, October 16, 2009

DIWALI – The global festival of lights…..

I have never been so happy on a Thursday. A lot of you may think it’s because of Diwali; but my reason was different. After the end of the day, I had a four days long holiday on account of Diwali and Bhaubij.

However, when I left office on Thursday, I wasn’t even thinking about the festival. I was flying high thinking about the looooooooong weekend that had started. But, just as when I parked my bike at home, I looked around. The car showrooms, the service centers, the hospital and all other building had lights all over. Suddenly, a deep sense of excitement prevailed within me. I realized how amazing the festival of lights can be.

Diwali has a special and yet, different meaning to various people. The reason why it is celebrated differs from place to place. Towards the North, Diwali is celebrated as the return of Rama, King of Ayodhya, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana to Ayodhya after a 14 year exile, and a war in which he killed Ravana. In Goa and other areas, it commemorates Narkasur’s killing by Lord Krishna.

During my Singapore and Malaysia visit last month, I had seen quite a few areas being decorated on account of Diwali. It is a national festival in these countries and not restricted to the Indian community alone. In Malaysia, Diwali is known as "Hari Deepavali," and is celebrated during the seventh month of the Hindu solar calendar. It is a federal public holiday throughout Malaysia. In Singapore, the festival is called "Deepavali", and is a gazetted public holiday. Thus, Diwali in true sense is a Global Festival.

The reasons may be many. But the purpose is more or all the sense. It celebrates the victory of good/god over the evil. I hope, this Diwali bring a lot of happiness and prosperity to India and Indians.

Today, India faces threats from both Internal as well as External agencies. The growth of Naxals is a worrying factor. Someday or the other, the fight will have to begin. Such anti-India movements will have to meet the same fate as Ravana and Narkasur. And only then, the country can be lit again. To celebrate, yet another victory.

Happy Diwali..

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Country - Is it moving the right way?

No matter how many times I watch the movie "Rang De Basanti", I want to watch it one more time. The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility refuses to apply to my penchant for good dialogues coupled with great songs especially when they are so well written.

You may think I am writing a Review on the movie and might end up giving it 4 or 5 stars. But my purpose is different. I don’t wish to talk about the movie or its story. However, its imperative to note, that the movie has a lot to offer; especially, to our younger generation. The movie might have been brushed aside by a lot of us by calling it unrealistic or whatever. But if we failed to get the message, then I feel, India should consider itself unfortunate.

“No country is perfect. We need to make it perfect”. I believe, this is the essence each one of us should draw from the movie. We can join the armed forces, or enter politics, etc. to govern this country in the right way. Sitting back and criticizing will neither solve the problems nor do us any good. Its high time, we become proactive and take initiatives which will push the country to the next level

Our freedom fighters laid their life only to give us “Free India”. People like Bhagat Singh knew they would die. But they fought; for a cause. I don’t expect each one of us to sacrifice our life for the country. And that’s not necessary as well. We can actually do a lot of good for the country only through our actions.

We have various burning issues which could be taken up by us converting them into mass movements. Some of them are:

1. Early resolution to the Kashmir issue can be pushed through. Defense remains to be the biggest revenue getter for our politicians. And having tension serves their purpose very well.
2. Anti-Reservation movement has to get a bigger share in the media and in people’s mind.
3. Eradication of poverty should be initiated by giving education to the poor and rural people. Unless people are made aware about their rights, they will refuse to stand up and be counted.
4. Improvement in the situation of women in the rural areas. Crime rate against women are increasing with each day. Our politicians in response only hand over the matters to CBI or CID. What happens after that remains a well kept secret.
5. We keep cribbing about corrupt politicians. How can we keep a check until they are made accountable due to strong pressure groups? And why not infuse fresh blood? Nobody likes to be called a politician. But if we want the change to happen, this perception will need to be changed. More and more talented people will have to come forward and run this country.

I can go on. But this has to stop here. It’s a blog after all. But before I sign off, my request to all my friends – Do think over this. Let us do something for our country, in whatever way possible. Let us join politics, IAS, IPS, Armed Forces, etc. A better future awaits us. Let us leave a much better India for the generations to follow.

Jai Hind !!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Crazy - 4 on a Crazy Sunday.....

It was 12:30 P.M. on a Sunday. I was still changing sides on the bed when I decided to switch my cell on. Now, when I look back, I thank god for having done that. Within 10 seconds, I had about 20 missed call alerts. Before I could figure out who had called, there was a call. Raj had not given up despite my phone being switched off.

I was told that plans are being made to go “somewhere” and that they were scheduled to leave at 1:30 p.m. The place was neither known to Raj, Prasad or Aditya. Now, when the planners were clueless, there is no way I might have known. Also, I was too sleepy to even suggest. But from the fact that Mardol Temple was one of the stops, I was sure we would end up at Mollem Retreat or Bondla Zoo.

I promised to be ready by 2. However, by the time Adi could gather all the punters, it was 2:30 and we started from my house at around 3. When we halted at Mardol, we took a tea break at Mahalasa Café after the Darshan. A stop which has become customary for me and Raj. We had 2 Bhaji Pavs, 2 Kokums, 3 teas and 1 Cofee. The Snacks that Raj purchased cost our coffers Rs. 30 over and above Rs. 60 which we had already spent on the drinks and stuff. Pretty Expensive. From there, we headed straight to a Sweet Mart. Packed as much stuff as we could (which included Nevryo, Churmo, Khajiche Ladu, Chips, etc.) and we had embarked on a journey, which even till then, was not known to us.

Reaching Mollem, we were neither hungry nor thirsty. So we decided we would go upto Anmod. Here, the whole game changed. Prasad suddenly thought about a very good restaurant in Belgaum which he thought could be visited since we had reached so close to the city (only 80kms away). After a lot of convincing, Das agreed to cancel his friend’s birthday and we were off. To Belgaum.

We reached Belgaum, we reached at 7. First, visited the Nucleus Mall and then shopped till about 8:30. Had a peaceful and yet, tasty dinner at Hotel Eefa, a new business class hotel in Belgaum. The dinner will be remembered for the lovely Sizzeler. But more than that, we got to see people going crazy after celebrities as Ms. Sayali Bhagat was dining on the adjoining table. The traveling was certainly worth the effort we had put it. After all, we had to travel for 6 hours for our 3 hours stay in Belgaum.

Our dinner ended at around 10.00 when we finished our Triple Sundae. By 1 a.m., we were at home. Extremely tired, but very happy to have done something, which we could have never thought about. Driving over 300 kms only for dinner is something crazy. At least, by our standards. But now that we have done it, we are PROUD about the feat and also, have resolved to do it far more frequently. If anybody wants to join, do let us know.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The last exam of my life....

This always happens to me. Every time an exam approaches, I start blaming myself for not having started earlier. I am frankly tired of doing this. If my memory supports me right, I have been doing this since my 1st Standard exam (I have come to this conclusion with some valuable inputs from my parents). And now, I am on the verge of answering virtually the last exam of my life. At least, academically. I say that because, Life, in itself, is an exam forever. But for the time being, let us only focus on the simple Black and White Question paper and the Black and white answer sheet which we are supposed to paint BLUE.

Till my last exam which I answered, which now looks like was my second last one, I had decided to devote clear 3 to 4 months for the Final Semester. Now, when exams are about to start from the 8th of May and I am yet to start (almost), I have no other option but to blame myself all over again. Forget 3 to 4 months, I don't even have four full days per subject. The task is uphill. And confidence level, as always, is on a shaky wicket. But I can't remember a single exam where I have been more confident.

A lot of you must be feeling as to why I am wasting my time on writing all this. Instead, I would have been better off studying. But I had to give a vent to the frustration which is building up with each passing day. Oh hold on.. Each passing Hour.

I am feeling like an employee on the verge of retirement. With my last exam just around the corner, I am mulling over all the missed opportunities. All the days wasted which could have given me those extra marks needed for a distinction. Just like an outgoing employee will think about the opportunities he missed whilst in service which could have given him his promotion. And then, they do something which is quite a common sight. Give advice to others. On the similar lines, my advice to all of you who are going to answer some exam in future; Do study well in advance!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I, Me and Myself......

Been thinking about this for a long long time. Been wondering where to start from. Days went by but I could not figure out. So today, I decided that Enough was Enough. I would pen down anything and everything that comes to my mind. No censorship. No reviews. It will be so extempore that I won’t even bother to read it twice. Not even for spelling mistakes.

Lets not waste time on that. Let me introduce myself. The very fact that you are on this page means you know me. But for those, who have accidentally bumped into my blog, here is my brief intro.

I am Giriraj. An Indian by birth. An Indian at heart. And an Indian by religion. Though I was born and brought up in the scenic and picturesque state of Goa, I would still like to identify myself with my country. For I believe, that all Indians are one. That anything which can divide us should be avoided.

Its been tough for me to live with such views. People believe I take too much of importance for myself. People feel I talk about issues which I am not even qualified to talk about. But that’s their view. For me, patriotism means a lot. Not just by saying that I want to help the country but by actually contributing in whatever way I can. You may feel, I have severe political inclinations. But let me tell you. There is loads you can do for your country without joining politics. Best example I can think is of Shri Narayan Murthy. He is politically so aloof but someone, who will make all Indians proud worldwide.

A lot of you may be unsure as to why I am writing all this. But if I don’t express here then where else can it be? As I said earlier, my blog is my punching bag. The more you read, the more you will be convinced as to what I am.

I have lived with many tags in life. Been known as a typical village boy. That’s when I spent whooping 17 years of my life in my native village, a place, which is still very dear to me. Even then, I was known to be arrogant, brash, etc. The reasons for the same are not known to me till date. But those who know me well, will surely disagree. Or at least, I hope they will.

In Mumbai or Pune or Delhi, I was just another Goan with a high flying lifestyle. I was used on so many ocassions as an example of a brat, guy with arrogance, politician and what not. It had to do with my strong views. It had to do with my anti-reservation arguments. It had more to do with my penchant for good food and craze for good restaurants. For me, money is a medium which can allow you to enjoy. But for eternal peace, you need something else. You need a family. You need a sound mind.

I always wanted to and will continue to serve the country in whatever way I can. I am not an atheist but I am not religious either. I am not someone who will leave things to God and expect miracles. I believe that even one person can change a lot of people around him. Initially, they may laugh. And they will. However, if you are focussed, such petty things will hardly bother you.

You can do a lot of things to change the way country functions today. You can join active politics, join an NGO, contribute in newspapers helping in opinion formation, can encourage people to exercise their franchise to ensure the right candidate wins, etc. etc. If I keep writing, I am sure, I will be killed. So believe, for the time being, I better take your leave.

To some, what I am saying may not make any real sense. But as I said, who cares? Now if this is the arrogance that people talk about, then so be it !!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Vote - For a better tomorrow.....

Politics.. One topic I breath, eat, sleep and so on. While I was a kid, my excuse not to study was "I will become a minister. And none of them are educated." At a tender age of 6 too, I dint have a very favourable opinion about the people who are so called the policy makers and the leaders of the country. But I wanted to emulate them only because, for me, that was an exit option from studies. Over the years, as I grew older, I wanted to enter politics only to change the system. I believed, one person could change the system to a large extent. Even till recently, I harnessed a dream to join active politics.
But today, I feel politics is a dirty game. The reasons are many, but the 2 of the most prominent ones are:
  • There are no permanent friends and enemies in politics. Though it is good to be flexible, its a sin to compromise on your ideologies. A communal party suddenly dons secular colours during the elections. Its nothing but cheap vote bank politics.
  • Those who are really sincere and efficient, don’t find their way automatically. Unless you manipulate and play a dirty game, its tough for a politician to grab power. And its virtually impossible to bring development unless you are in power. (People of Gujarat are the only exception in the recent past)

This brings me to an important question. Is it really easy to be sincere and yet, survive in politics? The possible answer could be a NO. Then, What is the solution?

I think, the best solution to the problem is VOTING. If every individual exercises his or her vote, we can see a better country. Rather than voting for the person we know, we should vote for somebody who is Efficient. Its of paramount importance for the voters not to fall prey to the various Poll Time goodies like money, bikes, gifts, etc.

My advice for you is:

  • When you expect an explanation from your elected representative as a matter of right, remember, rights comes with responsibility. If you don’t Vote, you should have no right to criticise or question the system.
  • If you feel your 1 vote is insignificant, work towards creating a group of voters. With this, you can form public opinion and also, work towards the desired results. Even otherwise, fall of Vajapayee Govt. by 1 Vote must act as an fine example about the importance of each and every Vote.
  • If you don’t want a particular person as your MP/MLA, go and vote against him/her. Abstaining from voting is not the solution.
  • If people start voting in large numbers, there are more chances that the right candidate will be elected. This will encourage more deserving candidates to come forward and stand for elections.
  • Last, but not the least. Relate to your country. All your actions affect the country. And thus, it is of strategic importance to take the right actions.

Just as we are nearing the Lok Sabha elections, I earnestly hope that people will vote in large numbers and help themselves by electing the right candidates.

Stand Up NOW for a better TOMORROW

Monday, January 12, 2009

A life changing incidence......

I don't know if the incidence which I am going to share has anything to do with this phrase. But I thought, both had an equal effect on me, emotionally.

I die in the battle zone

Box me up and send me home

Take my medals, pin them on my chest

And tell my mother, I TRIED MY BEST.

Here, the person tries to narrate that he lost his life but not without giving his best. He fought till the last minute. It was his commitment which he never broke and dint give up.

On Saturday, I met a similar character. I was amongst the volunteers for the Mandir Suraksha Maha-Sammelan, a massive gathering of Hindus from all over the state of Goa, to condemn the recent attacks on several temples in the state. To top it all, the Government has not been able to take any action to ensure that the guilty are punished and any such occurrences in the future are prevented. People were angry. One could sense that they wanted to make a difference. For once, they wanted to send a message, that Hindus should not be taken for granted. Well, I will write another post to inform you about the sammelan in detail. Here, I want to discuss an Individual, who according to me was the STAR OF THE SHOW.

I was a part of the Emergency Services Committee at the venue. Our role was to take care of any emergencies arising at the venue. Accordingly, we had arranged for 2 ambulances, 1 fire brigade and most importantly, plenty of medicines to provide first-aid. Just as the program was about to begin, we had our first customer. Ha ha. Customer is not the right word. But he was the first one we serviced. He came up to me and ask for a Band-Aid. Just when we were finding one, we realized the guy was bleeding. Later on, we discovered, he had bruises all over his hands and legs. We immediately cleaned up all his wounds with Dettol and applied a cream. The person was not in favour of any bandage being applied but he was forcefully made to agree as we were worried about he getting infection due to the dust all over.

After we were sure that we had done our best, we asked the cause of his bruises. He had met with an accident at St. Cruz, which is several kilometers away from the venue. He was badly hurt with several wounds. However, his commitment for the function was so high that he bought a new shirt on the way and headed straight to the venue. He said, when Hindus are getting attacked, it was his duty to be a part of every move to condemn the same. And before we could ask him anything else, he asked us to excuse him as the program had already started. As he walked away, we were stunned. At that moment, I felt so small. His dedication towards the cause had probably made him numb. Else, nobody else would have been able to ignore the kind of pain he might have been going through.

The incidence has changed me forever. Whatever may be your passion, if you follow it and give your 100%, there is nothing which can stop you from achieving your goal. Hats off to the man. I am only pained as I could not touch his feet. Hope I meet him again, sooner or later. I just wanna thank him for teaching us all a lesson, we will remember for life.