Wednesday, November 26, 2008

After supporting the Congress party in India for as long as I can remember having any political acumen (if one can call it that?), I have decided that I no longer understand the congress party. This should not mean that I support BJP now though, because that party I will never support.

So back to Congress, I clearly remember the day I became a congress supporter. It was 6th Dec 1992, I was in 6th grade and Mr L.K Advani had led kar sevaks upto Babri Masjid and demolished it. I remember sitting down infront of the TV and learning about the events of the day. What I saw, made me very very mad. It made me very sick.

Though Congress didn't really have a clear leader. PVN was a sad case, he brought about the economic changes in the country, but then he was engulfed in scandals after scandals. The Nehru-Gandhi family has collectively rulled over India for 38 years out of the 61 years of her independence. I cannot say if India would've been better had Indira been brought to justice for all the things she did. I am sure communal violence would be lesser, Punjab would probably be more progressive. I know for sure though that if Nehru had so much as listened to the people and to S.V Patel, Kashmir would probably have been a non issue. PROBABLY. But then the steel plants, the airways, the industries would they have been better or worse? Would we still have not fought over religion and region? One cannot be 100% sure.

On the other hand BJP was flourishing, when Mr Vajpayee became the PM, Kargil happened, I was very happy with the way Indian Military might was displayed. It was very heart warming to see images of Indian flag atop Siachen glacier again! I had started to think that if Mr Vajpayee was a congress man, I would have been very very excited. I remember thinking right man, wrong party.

Those were not the best of the times for Congress at all. They were playing political games, withdrawing support at the drop of a hat, being in power meant more to them than the money that the country was loosing holding elections every now and then. I wasn't even convinced that Sonia Gandhi should be allowed to make crucial decisions. Not because she was not a natual citizen of India, but because I couldn't understand what her credentials were. I still don't think she has any.

And then Godhra happened and I was once again very mad. Very pissed and I wanted Narendra Modi, Advani and that saffron wearing woman from MP, her name escapes me right now. Oh yeah Uma Bharti, I wanted all of them put into prison. Again I was sure Congress it was for me.

Then the party elected Manmohan Singh to be the PM. I have a lot of respect for this man. Very well educated, intelligent and smart. But as PM? Would he have what it takes. And my worst fears came true. MMS is a puppet PM, the reigns are in the hands of Mrs Gandhi. The man dare not do a thing to offend her or displease her, she'll have his chair in the second! It's a spineless government.

It's a party without direction. It will always look upto a Gandhi to lead them. If not then they will fight within, because politics is not about the country, but about their pockets. The party will divide like it did when it didn't have a Gandhi at the helm. It's full of corrupt politicians. Old politicians who are hankering on caste and class to get votes. Not one of them says that caste system politics hurts the economy, Pseudo secularism is at it's best when a Congress politician speaks. I am tired of thinking someday they will change, they haven't in the past 16 years and I don't see why they will going forward.

So today on 6th Dec 2008, I am no longer a congress supporter. Phew, I am relieved.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The books I like.

So these days I am reading Harry Potter, not telling which one, I don't want a bunch of people giving away the plot to me! (Please, don't :) ).

So I have been thinking about the books I like and here my all time favorite books, Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, Little Women, Lord of the Rings. And there is something common between them, so I think. It's the fact that the protagonist in these books, male or female, is not some really special, intelligent, extra ordinary person/hobbit/wizard. Common people who have tried to do the things they thought was right and live life on their terms.

Almost all the characters I like have had help in their lives, like Harry, he was very brave, but had it not been for Hermione, Dumbledore and others he'd not have been able to do the things he was able to. Similarly for Frodo, he had Gandalf, had it not been for Gandalf, Frodo probably wouldn't have been able to succed. Pride and Prejudice, Little Woman and Gone with the winds, are stories of very ordinary girls, who had grit and determination who again did their best and took help when they could and did the things they could.

Someone I was talking to the other day said to me that it's necessary to read books about great people and people who have made changes in the world, Abe Lincoln, Gandhi, Mozart. Because we need to learn from them. But here's my $0.02, I don't aspire to become like any of these people, world leaders or accomplished performers. And almost none of us really succeed without any help in our lives, there is always someone who is guiding us, we are taking help of. I can't believe it when people say that they have had no help in their lives. And so if Harry did have help, is he any less successful because of it? I just want to be a good person and do the right things when I can and live my life simply and enjoy it. I am not an ascetic, I am a person of creature comforts, I don't aspire to give all this up. This is not to say I don't believe in helping the needy, I do and I often do what I can or want to do.

The best part about reading fiction is that they don't preach. Every person dead or alive has taken it upon themselves to sit and preach these days. Dead by means of the books they left behind and living of course in every possible annoying way ;)

So here's to all the great people who surface in books and make me feel happy about their ordinary and regular existance. Cheers!!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pensieve

So much's been on my mind lately. My new niece, my mom's visit, work frustrations and then some more thoughts.

On 5th Nov. 2008, my sister gave us a brand new niece. Tanvi got a baby sister and Gourav and I, another little girl to pamper and love. She's the cutest little thing and I cannot tell you how much we love her.

This Diwali, Gourav and I took the day off to be able to celebrate the day properly. We cleaned the house, put lights in the front yard and made rangoli. After the usual pooja and temple visit, we gorged on some typical Indian food. There were lots of parties before and after and it was a fun festival. It was fairly close to the Diwalis we celebrated at home. But sans our families and the fan fare and the hustle bustle. There is one memory I have from my childhood, that keep coming back to me. It was of the mud doll house (Gharonda) we used to make every Diwali. We were very young and neither my sister nor I were very capable of building the doll house, so our gardener would assist us at this and then we'd help him paint it. Then we'd decorate it with rangoli and diyas just as we would decorate the house. So much fun it was. I miss this little aspect. Of course I am not that young anymore to play with a doll house, but I do miss the doll house. :)

So another thing on my mind is, Sarah Palin. Why is she now on every news channel, doing all these interviews, what's this obsession? Why does anyone care what she's doing now? Suddenly, she has all this respect and faith in Obama. Who is she kidding? I think this is just a publicity stunt and an effort to repair the damage she had done, which of course she fails to see!

India beat the Australians 2-0!!!! yeayyy, way to go! But this also brought about two fabulous careers to an end. Ganguly and Kumble retired. I have always found it hard to imagine an Indian batting line up without Ganguly. But it is what it is and it's time for the new players to shine.

Meanwhile, more people loose their jobs. More industries need to be bailed out and yet there are lots of ex CEOs who sit on a mountain of wealth, who created this whole problem. Who knows what will happen tomorrow, the most optimistic of us are now shaking their heads, so we'll see.

This post, really was a means to get things out. To write about mundane and yet things important to me. I didn't mean for it sound like i was perusing the headlines, but I think it well has. Oh well. Tomorrow is Friday and Mom will be here! Smile.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

So proud of America


To be honest, I didn't think that US would vote for an African American President. I had heard about the Bradley Effect and I thought it was going to take place.

But I have been proven wrong, much to my delight!!! I am so excited and so proud of America today. So happy that negative campaigning didn't work, so happy that the best man won and this in spite of his race. Barack Obama in his speeches said time and again how this could not have been possible in any other country and I truly believe him. As an outsider and non contributor to the politics of this country, I cannot say how much my heart swells with happiness and pride that Barack Obama is going to be the next president.

I loved McCain's speech. It was generous, humble. I wish he had been this way in his campaign. But well, the best man won and I am so glad for it. what's interesting was the stark comparison in the crowds, there was booing and jeering when McCain spoke about Obama at his speech but when Obama spoke about McCain, there was cheering and clapping! the difference between the two campaigns to me was fairly obvious.

America is a great country not because of people likethis guy but in spite of them.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Mom has a crystal ball.

Isn't it true? I think it is. I'll tell you why. When i was a kid and I had a problem going on with friends Mom always knew something was the matter well before I would tell her about. Well, she was there, she could see my expressions you would say! When I took a drop year and studied for the Engineering entrance exams, the days i didn't study much, she would always know! though i had the whole facade of 'I am studying really hard' you know! Then i moved out of the house.

The days I was struggling with my exercise regime and I was feeling fat, that day she'd ask me so are you working out? (Naturally i would defend myself tooth and nail!) The day i got a bad grade in school or didn't want to study, "Are your grades good". Out of the blue. How did she know???

And now, without my even hinting at it, is work ok? when that's the day I am not concentrating much at work. What are u eating today, when that's the day I want to eat some cheesy oily totally sinful thing. How does she know??? When I am not in the mood to clean the house, she'll ask me how the house was and if I had done anything new.

This is not supposed to mean that my Mom is a person who controls her kids, but just that she's someone who seneses her childs problems well before I even know that I have a problem with something. That's what a mom's full time concern is really, wouldn't you say? I know my Mom worries about us all the time, esp. since we're continents away.

I am not sure when I am a Mom, if I'll know it too. Maybe w/o my knowing i sleep dial her and let her know the biggest issues. I don't know! But she sure knows!!!