Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dada is back!

The "Prince of Calkoota" is back in the reckoning..but for how long? The saga of this tug-of-war seems to go on forever..fluctuating Greg's nonchalance etc etc. At least for the time being "Shonar Bangla" will be happy that "dada" has come back. No further comments as that would be foolish !!

Goa trip...

The last weekend was a good time as I went to Goa. Goa was calling for sometime but could not manage time out of my schedule to go there.It happened twice that I had to cancel the ticket to Goa the very last day to honour some professional commitments. Goa caught my immediate attention with it's splendour and charm.I must admit Goans have tremendous civic sense as the city is very neat and clean.I guess the govt is also active in keeping the city clean to keep the tourist revenue flowing.The traditional christian houses are pretty, conveys a royal and sophisticated touch as was evident on our way to Miramar beach in Panjim.We also went to Calangute beach , an attractive tourist destination, and went on for sea surfing in a motor boat.That was exciting! True to my nature , I loitered around in the streets of Panjim talking to people, savouring a biscuit and a cup of tea now and then, trying to understand Goa and it's culture! Oh yes ..we did take pictures too.Last but not the least, the night bay cruise on a ferry was something worth remembering...dancing to the tune of traditional goa musical/dance performance ...oblivious of the surroundings....didn't realise when I emptied the beer bottle in hand :) I must go to Goa again!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Children's day

"Nanhe munhe bachche tere mutthi mein kya hain ?
Mutthi mein hain takdir hamari....
Humne kismat ko bas mein kiya hain"

These lines reverberate in the minds of fellow Indians whenever we get close to celebrating a day of national importance.An independence day would start with such a tune of hope and prosperity.It makes us to believe in the dream of a prosperous and happy nation, a nation in which children can decide their fate and pursue their interests and course of life without an iota of obstacle and hindrance.Doesn't the constitution guarantee us the right of self determination and way of individual life ? It does, precisely so, but then how many "nanhe munhe bachche" of modern India can claim to possess the freedom and means to choose what they want to do in life and how they want to earn a living ? Our country has one of the highest infant mortality rates, childcare is something like a Greek or Latin script in most of rural India (Urban India cannot claim to be well versed either ! ). People might easily point their fingers to the billion and growing population of India, cause to such a catastrophe.But a closer look would suggest a horrendous failure on the part of the policy makers and generations of governments to put in place the basic health care and education infrastructure in our country.India's basic education system is probably the most overburdened in the world.The reasons are intertwined into a complex chronology of events dating back to the time when India got out of the shackles of the British imperialism. Our leaders did get us freedom, marching ahead sometimes through non-violence or sometimes with the gun in hand. Freedom we got all right, but the leaders collectively failed to churn out an economic model that would ensure the long term growth of the country in all spheres, be it health care, education or embracing industrialization.

"Chacha Nehru" would have charmed the countrymen with his words of wisdom and hope, but he failed to ensure a proper growth path for the country owing to his socialistic way of governance. The Bhrahminical way of teaching as was prevalent in ancient India took decades (to say the least) to embrace the scientific and practical way of western education.The result is what we find today, a country full of concerned parents fighting it out for ensuring their kids a place in some private institution.Who cares about government run schools ? Why should one care (rather dare !) to get enrolled into a government school ? The government has become tired of opening more mismanaged schools,leaving the public without any option other than provisioning for their education, via private means.The story of India's health care also follows a similar path, public resorting to private health care means rather than govt way of things.Once(when I was a kid) on our way towards a "Mithai shop" , I asked my father a simple question when I saw the next customer buying a hell lot of sweets.." Baba.. amra ki gorib? "(Dad ..are we poor ?).. he said .. "Na amra gorib noi , nahole tumi bhalo school e porte na" (No , we are not, else you wouldn't have been in a good school). The question sounded hilarious to him..I guess! I did, after all read in a "good" government school.I do not have any complaints or grievances either, but really I wonder how many kids in India would hear such words of assurance,when I see the small kids begging and banging on my car window for a paisa or two, at traffic signal junctions.
Hum honge kaamyaab, hum honge kaamyaab ....
hum honge kaamyaab ek din......
How long should we wait for "ek din" ?

P.S : Few days back , it was children's day.So wrote a few lines about what I feel.Readers ( if any) may differ in their opinions...but I wanted to write what I feel about kids in India.