If you had the power to get somewhere where would you go right now?

Memories are tricky things. Bad memories can take us to a place where we are uncomfortable and unsafe……  whereas a Good and Beautiful memory can take us to a place where we not only feel safe but also it is something that stands out in the course of our life.

In my case some of my best memories are at the fort of Sinhagad,  in the outskirts of  Pune.  The winding lanes leading to the fort are lined with little yellow and orange wild flowers. So much that from far it looks like a carpet of yellow and orange. The low clouds touch your hair as you drive up the lanes. The cold wet feeling of having them over your face  is a wonderful feeling. Then comes the lovely trek up the fort…… Yeah it is tiring but reaching on top is worth every drop of sweat. By the time you are on the top you have the blood pounding in your ears. You stop awhile to catch your breath and take a small break and drink the cool clear water from the well and then look down to the beauty of the city way below you.

Everything seems so small and inconsequential at that moment. No problem or worry seems too big that it cant be handled. You feel invincible…… you can do anything. The moment of peace envelops you and you feel calm. Thats the feeling everytime…… every single time.

That moment when all the sounds in your mind stop and you can not really speaking hear anything, is what I try to capture. I dont really have any thoughts passing through my mind at that moment….. just a sense of stillness. Nothing seems to matter at that moment. I get that feeling every single time I have been there.

I havent been to sinhagad in a very long time now…… almost a decade plus……. now that I go back and calculate. Guess I have to rectify that before long.  With the industrialisation and IT boom in my city there has been a total geographic and demographic change in the city and the outlook of the people of the city. I doubt whether things are still the same….. or is it just me who has gotten older, bitter and disillusioned.

Sinhagad has been and will be for more years than any person living right now on earth.  Only people change around it.  A new generation looking for peace and solace like I did years before…… I hope they find it as I did and still do!!!

 

 

IPL finals today…… SINGH IS KING!!!

Yes!!! today is the finals of the Indian Political League and man it is more interesting than any IPL T20 match. What an election!!! Mind blowing!!! Fullto entertainment and extremely gripping!!! After a long time I watched something so closely and Kudos to CNN-IBN to put up such a great show.

The verdict is out……… The Hand rules!!!! Can you believe it Dr Manmohan Singh is going to be the second PM after Jawaharlal Nehru to come to power in two consecutive terms. Congress makes an impressive comeback after years as the single largest party and entire credit of the whole Congress campaign goes to the rather dishy Rahul Gandhi and Mother Sonia and sister Priyanka.

The complete washout of the CPM (till now) in states of Kerala and West Bengal is simply SUPERB especially their phenomenal loss in West Bengal. After almost three decades the CPM has finally been dethroned. A lot of jubilation on that front. Whether or not she is ready for what awaits her (A crippled state) is yet to be found out.

The whole state of West Bengal has been on PAUSE mode for the last 30-40 years. There has been no change or any kind of development there. I do not say this as a bengali but as a citizen of this country. We still talk of Bengal as having the old world charm…….. because there people are still living in the 1960s. It is not as if things have not changed….. it has, but the change has not yet been able to change the mentality of the people there.

I am so glad that people have opted for a change. I don’t know whether the change is for good or bad….. Mamta is not really my favorite person but at least the Bengali babu/dada who cant think beyond his office where he is employed, has finally decided to experiment and take a risk….. that is big time change. He has decided to peek outside the secure confines of his domain and wanted to change his circumstances. Sometimes instability and venturing into the unknown is actually good. It can only get better now because the leaders are now aware that they can be toppled. That is big time change!!!

As was rightly pointed out the only places that CPM had its strong hold world over was in West Bengal, Kerala and CUBA. So now only Cuba is left.

Pawar is fabulous!!! He was a strong contender to become the Prime Minister and very deserving. As chief minister of Maharashtra he was great and we had seen golden years in his regime. There was peace and prosperity.

Though it is a pity that Lalu is out!!! He was my favorite cartoon character!!! BTW what happens to the samosas from now on…… new stuffing??? Samosas will not be the same without him. (Pun intended)

Apart from Modi there was nobody in BJP who could lead. Advani being too old. Thank God that Modi is not coming to power. I personally don’t want a racist and communal leader to lead any state or country. We ought to have a global outlook. We need stability and jobs. We want a secular government and we don’t want any more terror attacks and communal riots. We want peace!!!!

I am so glad that the people who voted have voted wisely. Not because Congress is the best but Congress is what we need at this moment.

Singh is king again!!!

I am happy 😀

Is Monsoon around the corner???

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I WANDER’D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;

Yesterday on one of my drives spotted one lone cloud in the sky. It kinda reminded me of Wordsworth’s Daffodil. A probable harbinger of MONSOON!!! No daffodil though but one assurance that monsoon is not faraway. I guess that should be one hell of a thing for people like me who are pining for rains. I can’t take the heat any longer, especially with all my plants drying up.

Elections over today is the big day. The big counting day as the number crunching goes on I wait for the obvious outcome. At least I hope that is the outcome. On the eve of change of hands of power or the congress getting another term, I am posting the very impressive resume of the most educated Prime Minister of the world.

CURRICULUM VITAE

DR. MANMOHAN SINGH
PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA

ACADEMIC RECORD

1962 D. Phil., Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Topic: India’s Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth. [Published by Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1964]
1957 Economic Tripos [First Class honours], University of Cambridge
1954 M.A. Economics, Panjab University – First Class with first position in the University
1952 B.A. Economics(Hons.), Panjab University – Second Class with first position in the University
1950 Intermediate Panjab University – First Class with first position in the University
1948 Matriculation, Panjab University – First class

PRIZES AND AWARDS

2000 Conferred Annasaheb Chirmule Award by the W.LG. alias Annasaheb Chirmule Trust setup by United Western Bank Limited, Satara, Maharashtra
1999 Received H.H. Kanchi Sri Paramacharya Award for Excellence from Shri R. Venkataraman, former President of India and Patron, The Centenarian Trust
1999 Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi.
1997 Conferred Lokmanya Tilak Award by the Tilak Smarak Trust, Pune
1997 Received Justice K.S. Hegde Foundation Award for the year 1996
1997 Awarded Nikkei Asia prize for Regional Growth by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc. (NIKKEI), publisher of Japan’s leading business daily
1996 Honorary Professor, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, Delhi
1995 Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Award of the Indian Science Congress Association for 1994-95
1994 Asiamoney Award, Finance Minister of the Year
1994 Elected Distinguished Fellow, London School of Economics, Centre for Asia Economy, Politics and Society
1994 Elected Honorary Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford,
Oxford, U.K.
1994 Honorary Fellow, All India Management Association
1993 Euromoney Award, Finance Minister of the year
1993 Asiamoney Award, Finance Minister of the Year
1987 Padma Vibhushan Award by the President of India
1986 National Fellow, national Institute of Education, N.C.E.R.T.
1985 Elected President, Indian economic Association
1982 Elected Honorary Fellow, st. John’s College, Cambridge,
1982 Elected Honorary Fellow, Indian Institute of bankers
1976 Honorary Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
1957 Elected Wrenbury Scholar, University of Cambridge, U.K.
1955 Awarded Wright’s Prize for distinguished performance, & St. John’s college, Cambridge, U.K.
1956 Awarded Adam Smith Prize, University of Cambridge, U.K.
1954 Uttar Chand Kapur Medal, Panjab university, for standing first in M.A.(Economics), panjab University, Chandigarh
1952 University Medal for standing First in B.A. Hon.(Economics), panjab University, Chandigarh

Recipient of Honorary Degrees of D.Litt. from :
– Panjab University, Chandigarh
– Guru Nanak University, Amritsar
– Delhi University, Delhi
– Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupathi
– University of Bologna, Italy
– University of Mysore, Mysore
– Chaudhary charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar (D.Sc)
– Kurukshetra University
– Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology, patiala (D.Sc)
– Nagarjuna University, Nagarjunanagar
– Osmania University, Hyderabad
– University of Roorkee, Roorkee (Doctor of Social Sciences)
– Doctor of Laws by the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
– Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar University (formerly Agra University) – Doctor Letters degree
– Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad (Deemed University) D.Sc. (Honoris Causa)
– Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur

WORK EXPERIENCE AND POSITIONS HELD

May 22, 2004 – till date: Prime Minister of India
March 21, 1998 – May 22,2004: Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha (Council of States) Parliament of India
June, 2001: Re-elected from the Rajya Sabha for a Term of six years
August 1, 1996 – Dec 4, 1997: Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce, Rajya Sabha
June 21, 1991- May 15, 1996: Finance Minister of India
June, 1995: Re-elected Member of Rajya Sabha for a term of six years
September, 1991: Elected Member of Rajya Sabha
March 1991-June 1991: Chairman, University Grants Commission
Dec 1990 – March 1991: Advisor to Prime Minister of India on Economic Affairs
August 1987 – Nov 1990: Secretary General and Commissioner, South Commission
Jan 1985- July 1987: Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission of India
Sept 1982 – Jan 1985: Governor, Reserve Bank of India
April 1980 – Sept 1982: Member-Secretary, Planning Commission, India
Nov.1976 – April 1980: Secretary, Ministry of Finance Dept. of Economic Affairs, Government of India

Member [Finance], Atomic Energy
Commission, Govt. of India

Member [Finance], Space
Commission, Govt. of India
1972 – 1976: Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, India
1971 – 1972: Economic Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Trade, India
1969 – 1971: Professor of International Trade, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, India
1966 – 1969: UNCTAD, United Nations Secretariat, New York Chief, Financing for Trade Section
1966 : Economic Affairs Officer
1957 – 1965 : Panjab University, Chandigarh
1963-65 : Professor of Economics
1959-63 : Reader in Economics
1957-59 : Senior Lecturer in economics

OTHER ASSIGNMENTS

Leader of the Indian delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Cyprus (1993)
Leader of the Indian delegation to the Human Rights World Conference, Vienna (1993)
Governor of India on the Board of Governors of the IMF and the International Bank of Reconstruction & Development (1991-95)
Appointed by Prime Minister of India as Member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (1983-84)
Chairman, India Committee of the Indo-japan ;Joint Study Committee (1980-83)

– Leader, Indian Delegation to :
Indo-Soviet Monitoring Group Meeting (1982)
Indo-Soviet Joint Planning Group Meeting (1980-82)
Aid India Consortium Meetings (1977-79)

– Member Indian Delegation to :
South-South Consultation, New Delhi (1982)
Cancun Summit on North-South Issues (1981)
Aid-India Consortium Meetings, Paris (1973-79)
Annual Meetings of IMF, IBRD & Commonwealth

Finance Ministers (1972-79)
Third Session of UNCTAD, Santiago (April-May 1972)
Meetings of UNCTAD Trade & Development Board,
Geneva (May 1971 – July 1972)
Ministerial Meeting of Group of 77, Lima (Oct.1971)

– Deputy for India on IMF Committee of Twenty on International Monetary Reform (1972 – 74)

– Associate, Meetings of IMF Interim Committee and JointFund-Bank Development Committee (1976-80, 1982-85)

– Alternate Governor for India, Board of Governors of IBRD (1976-80)

– Alternate Governor for India, Board of Governors of IMF (1982-85)

– Alternate Governor for India, Board of Governors, Asian Development Bank, Manila (1976-80)

– Director, Reserve Bank of India (1976-80)

– Director, Industrial Development Bank of India (1976-80)

– Participated in Commonwealth Prime Ministers Meeting, Kingston (1975)

– Represented Secretary;-General UNCTAD at several inter-governmental meetings including :

Second Session of UNCTAD, 1968

Committee on Invisibles & Financing Related to Trade, Consultant to UNCTAD, ESCAP and Commonwealth Secretariat

– Member, International Organizations :
Appointed as Member by the Secretary-General, United Nations of a Group of Eminent Persons to advise him on Financing for Development (December, 2000)

PUBLICATIONS

(i) Author of book “India’s Export Trends and Prospects
for Self-Sustained Growth”
[Clarendon Press, Oxford University, 1964]

(ii) Have published a large number of articles in
economic journals

—————————————————————————–

S/o. Shri Gurmukh Singh

Born on 26th September, 1932

Married in 1958 to Smt. Gursharan Kaur

Have three daughters

(Courtesy Prime Minister’s Office)

Darkness chronicles

I was reading some of Dhir’s forgetfulness in one of his blogs and there was this blog which mentioned how he once forgot his wife…….. you can read the same here . I really wanted to comment on that but my comment was a long one so I just linked this post to his and dedicated a post to this topic.

This incident happened a long time ago with Ma and mashi (maternal Aunt). This incident is so funny and even now years later……. almost 45 years……… everyone in the family laugh at the mention of it……. including me!!!

This happened before Ma’s marriage to Dad. Ma’s paternal aunt (Pishi) was a widow and lived with them. She had become a widow at a very young age (people used to get married very early in life then…… refer to Ballika Badhu in Colors channel). When this incident happened, she was around her 70’s and had lost all her teeth. She was usually clad in a white dhoti cloth….. which was a dressing norm of widows at that time.

Ma’s Paternal aunt wanted to go to the take a dip at the Ganges for the Gangasagar snaan Jatra. Gangasagar Snaan Jatra is basically a festival that takes place at the time of Makar Sankranti when people take a dip at the holy ganges…… something like the Kumbhmela. Lots and lots of people gather in hordes to take a dip in the Ganga at at particular auspicious time.

After a lot of consultation, Ma and mashi (maternal aunt) were designated as her companions. They left early to avoid the rush. When they reached, there were already a lot of people there. In fear of getting lost they decided to hold hands of their Paternal aunt (Pishi) lest she got lost.

Amidst all the crowds it was very easy to get lost and their Paternal aunt (Pishi) did not know her way back….. so ma and mashi were very cautious and never left her hand. They went in the waters of the Ganga together. Paternal aunt (Pishi) started saying her prayers and that took a long time for the whole thing to take place. It started becoming dark and the duo started losing their cool and started telling Pishi to hurry else they would miss the bus back.

Suddenly there was a huge influx of people who were travelling in a group who came between them and they lost Pishi!!!! Ma and mashi were totally terrified. They could not go home without her. It was getting dark and they were getting petrified. They looked for her everywhere……. but they could not find her amidst the hordes of people. It was hours and very dark when they finally saw Pishi already in the bus.

They were very happy that at last they had found her. At that time mashi noted that the bus was a wrong one. She panicked and started calling out “Pishi neme poro” (Pishi get down). Pishi said something which they could not hear. Then Mashi and ma marched into the bus and started yelling “Pishi neme poro bolchi”……. (Pishi get down I tell you) Pishi started crying and said that she would not get down. Now both of them were very agitated and dragged crying Pishi from the bus just in the nick of the time before the bus started and left.

When they alighted from the bus with Pishi they heard announcements of their names. The administration was calling them and asking them to collect their elderly relative who was waiting there in their office. They were totally disgusted with Pishi thinking that Pishi had made those people announce for them and then very conveniently went and sat in the bus. It was very dark and when they reached the temporary office of the administration where the announcements were being made. There in the light of the hurricanes they saw their Pishi waiting for them!!!

They were totally aghast!!! They had made some other old lady miss her bus. The mistake happened because of the common attire and that both old ladies looked similar in the dark. They started apologizing profusely and the old lady in question started crying more saying that these two women had made her miss her bus and now she would not be able to go home as her family had already left in the last bus.

Pishi then consoled the old lady and told her to come to their house and that her brother would leave her home the next day. It was already dark when they reached home and recounted the whole story to the family. That night amidst lots of apologies, she was given the treatment befitting a queen. She forgave my Ma and mashi. The next day my maternal uncles and grandfather all went together and left her home and apologized to her family.

My Ma and mashi were totally grounded forever and were never again sent for Ganga sagar. Even today when it is Sankrant, Mashi calls up ma and they have a great laugh over how they had kidnapped an old woman thinking it was their Pishi.

This incident still puts the whole family in a laughing frenzy and Ma who has been blamed for the incident…… since she was older of the two…… backs up her stand saying…… “It was very dark!!!”

basket ball chronicles

Hey guys

I am back from a very long sabbatical but I am afraid not to stay. These days the computer is seldom accessible to me so I have to make do with the small sessions that I am able to get my hands on. I hope that the scenario does not stay for a long time….. cause addicted that I am to computers and blogging….. I am afraid I will have to resort to net cafes which very honestly is not something that is palatable to me and I am not very comfortable with.

Time has been moving too fast at the moment and lots to do and very less time to do them all in resultant…. I am having to prioritise and make do with all the scrap sessions that I can lay my hands onto with my beloved computer.

You must be wondering what has all this got to do with my title basket ball!!! Well this is the latest news making rounds in my society, which I must say is causing a lot of controversial scenes and lots of eyebrow raising….. also I wanted to raise an open question…. not on the right and wrongs of the issue because I am sure that there are many and there are no pros and cons on the issue but a lot of perceptive ideas which could make every individual right in their own regard.

Flash back: So here is what happened……. My society is HUGE…… by mumbai standards…. it is really huge with lots of lawns and lots of open places which makes the society very self sufficient. The kids in the society till date have enjoyed the privilege of living and playing in a secured and happy environment. So what happened??

The major population of the society primarily comprises of senior citizens from government sectors who till date have run the society very skillfully. The whole thing has changed with the current elections where the young crowd won the elections. The Older generation did not like it and were not willing to take it lying down so on and of there have been spats and signature campaigns for this and that….. with everybody taking this side or that.

The children of the society have seldom ventured out of the society to play because there was place enough for the occasional gully cricket and a badminton court. The mothers rest in peace thinking that their children are playing just around the corner and the small children had their own park with all the small kiddies delight. There have been occasional incidences of the kids breaking the window panes and hitting the cars with their balls…. causing dents but apart from that not much harm done.

Present: The whole scenario changed when a new basket ball court was set up in one of the lawns reserved for the kids to play. The adjacent lawn was reserved for badminton….. so what happened??? The kids playing occasionally made noise which irked the senior citizens in the vicinity….. that’s not all they also said that the basket ball playing was ruining the sleep of their beloved plants and therefore like all other legitimate societies the playing inside the society should be banned.

I donno about the plants losing their sleep but this incident suddenly became very important with the paparazzi blowing it out of proportions….. in the press and subsequently the secretary of co-operative society intervening and officially banning all games. The mothers who have been able to live contented lives till now were not going to take this lying down so they in their turn issued letters to the secretary and again there were signature campaigns and lots of letters going to and fro with everybody having their own opinions and in some cases people within the same families having diverse opinions in the same letters. All in all an extensive public display of public opinions in various languages….. it actually made excellent reading. Bargains were worked upon with the senior citizens with parents saying that the kids would play for two hours only (6 to 8) every evening….. but apparently that is also the sleeping time for the plants…… so nothing happened there. The younger generation claim that the reason they bought flats in the society was because their kids could play safe and the older generation claim that they bought their flats knowing that it would be a retiring paradise….. as all the people who bought the flats at the same time were all going to retire at the same time…… making the society a retirement paradise.

The lid on the boiling stew blew up when the senior citizen alleging the whole thing threatened suicide and the whole thing was again blown out of proportions in the press and this time police coming into the scene. The younger generation suddenly took note of this and of late there has been animosity brewing but the letters reduced.

The kids have stopped playing in the vicinity of the society. As for me I am not able to take sides. My own parents are old so I know that at times the kids playing does disturb them. I also understand the need for kids to play safe specially with the current onslaught of the vehicular traffic and specially in cities like mumbai where there is no place for the kids to play this society’s USP has always been its lawns and its open and green spaces. Donno who won and whether at all there could be a win win situation but we all live in hope that the war between the generations will be resolved one day.

A VERY HAPPY REPUBLIC DAY TO YOU

A VERY HAPPY REPUBLIC TO ALL INDIANS ALL OVER THE WORLD

I play for you today the national anthem and vande mataram on YOUTUBE. Ladies and gentlemen jana gana mana and Vandemataram, E mere vatan ke logo and sare jahan se achcha by lata mangeshkar that had Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India in tears.

I also take the opportunity to wish our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh Speedy recovery and good health. The country needs him back hale and hearty.

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