I Love you PB…

Follow traffic rules. Live long. Friends, I love you all.

 

 

In what was seemingly the saddest day in my life, I couldn’t cry my heart out. I was left with friends to console, and shock to absorb. Every now and then, I had to wipe out the tears that have automatically filled my eyes. It was something that fills my heart with grief every single second of every single day. I’ve lost a classmate, a teammate, and above all, a friend in an unfortunate mishap. I couldn’t sleep; I didn’t dare to close my eyes. The moment my eye lids were shut, I could see his image; he was smiling and greeting me. Finally, at night, when none could see me, I was in uncontrollable sobs. I wanted him back. I wanted him to live. I wanted him to stay with me, beside me, forever and ever. My mind was turbulent; my heart was in utter chaos. I was angry with fate. I was upset with destiny. A young and jovial boy of my age was taken away from his parents, relatives and friends at such a tender age. He had dreams to fulfill, and promises to keep but god was unfair. I was dumbstruck when his mom asked me if I could give her back her son if she had stopped crying. I had no answer for that question. None of us have.

 Wherever he is, whatever he does, he’s above us all, watching us, and hoping we’re all safe. To make him happy, let’s make our hearts hard, and let’s consolidate ourselves, and let’s give his parents the strength and support they need. After all, we’re their children too.

Friends, I love you all. I cannot see any of you suffering. I request you humbly. The biggest respect we could pay him is to obey the traffic rules. Speed thrills but kills. Let’s drive safe and slow, and let’s all take a vow to use helmets. Each time we drive let’s think about our friends, and family. Can we all put up with another of us suffering?

With watery eyes, grief filled heart and hallucinating and disturbed mind, I convey my heartfelt condolences to our very own PB, and I pledge to drive safe. I wish you all step ahead. I miss you PB till my last breath. You live for eternity in our love filled hearts.

Requiem for a Dream

First things first. The title was inspired from a film. I thought it would be apt for this post. The main source of inspiration for this post was a friend of mine. She said she loved to watch the sunrise, and I had asked her to write her feelings after watching it. It was also at the same time that a few of my friends have been depressed about their future. I then thought it is not a bad idea to transform my thoughts into words, and the outcome was this post.

Requiem for a Dream

 

It has been a long time since I’ve seen the sunrise. I last remember having bothered to wake up so early in the morning when I was in primary school. I have metamorphosed a lot since then. My priorities, my tastes and my interests have taken up a new dimension. As a kid, it was almost a part of my daily routine to wake up at cockcrow and watch the orange spread in the azure. At this point, I can vividly recall instances when I’ve cried for not being able to watch the ecstatic sight.

Today, at sunup, as I stood in the balcony, I was breath-taken for a couple of moments. My thoughts travelled with the rays of the sun. My mind left my body for a while, and it had reached up to the distant horizons. I was in what I call a turbulent state of mind. Thoughts that disturb the students of the present day academia have been running tempestuously within my mind. I could relate to my friends who have had similar experiences of riotous thoughts running in their minds. The cause may be either the stringent competition in their respective fields, or it may be due to their own complexities.

In almost an hour long battle within myself, I had travelled to a dreamland, a decade ahead. I saw myself in an authoritative position, commanding respect from my colleagues, and friends. I lived in an extravagant bungalow and lead nothing less than a prodigal life. Within a few seconds, I travelled to another destination where I found myself amidst the poor and the needy. Leading an austere life, I worked for them, and the problems prevailing in my motherland. It was a life of intense pressure and immense pleasure.

Soon, I journeyed back for eight years, and I found myself at the convocation. I could see the happiness in my parents’ eyes, and appreciation in my teachers’ hearts. I was showered with praises and blessings. It was a moment I could never possibly forget in my lifetime. I walked up the stage to receive the honors’. Seconds later, I sped fast to tear land. I sat alone, in a room, in complete darkness. I was in uncontrollable sobs, and there was nobody to console me. My parents’ were in tears, and I realized I’ve lost. I failed miserably, and I was in a slump. My heart skipped a beat or two, and the impact was sufficient to transport me back by a year.

I was glued to a few voluminous text books, burning the midnight oil. It must be the day before the exam, or may be even days or months before the examinations. It was something I had always wanted to be- studious, serious and sincere, yet I know I can never be. It must be this factor that had deported me back to reality.

I’m a student, fun loving and irresponsible; irregular and ignorant. I’m a son, playful and loving. I’m a friend, irritating and caring. I am a teen, confused- about my dreams and aspirations; worried- about my future and personality; and concerned- about my friends and family. I’m a teen, perplexed, lazy, and ambitious.

I wiped a tear or two that have rolled down to my cheek and soon found myself in the stop, waiting for the bus to arrive. I had put aside the stormy dream, and resolved to complete the record.

I have hurdles to jump over, and obstacles to avoid. I have promises to keep, and I have miles to travel before I sleep…

 

After Twenty Years

Two very good friends decide to part ways on the look out for livelihood on the condition that they meet at the same place exactly after twenty years. What happens when they meet at the specified date and the specified time ?

Watch out this video we’ve made…Its based on a short story by O’Henry…

 

Save your Sympathy . . .

We have named our movie “Save your Sympathy” because we all share one common belief. As long as mankind exists, so does hope. We believe there are a lot of people out there who satisfy their conscience by sympathizing with the poor and needy, by sympathizing with the needs of the very much needy world , in fact sympathy is pretty much all they are ready to give. Unfortunately, sympathy doesn’t feed hungry poverty stricken children on the streets, it doesn’t console the elderly men and women who have been abandoned by their own flesh and blood, it doesn’t cure cancer and it sure doesn’t heal the wounds of a dying planet….mother earth. However, there are “the few” who do more than just sympathize, who actually bend their backs and do something in spite of their own personal grievances, who work for the welfare of others even though its considered to be “ugly”, “hard”, “shameful” and “downright painful”. There is a lesson to be learnt from the actions of such men which words simply cannot describe. Hope exists with them.
In the movie, we try to teach this very lesson. A young man learns this lesson by witnessing an act, which involves two complete strangers who have their own problems to worry about. We touch diverse topics such as the importance of brotherhood, integrity, protection of the environment and how the little things make all the difference.

This extremely short film filled our hearts with pride, because it’s this film that has got us the little bit of recognition we possess today. It was adjudged the best film from amongst forty odd entries at Aadhrita’08, a National Level Technical Symposium conducted by the MVGR College of Engineering, Visakhapatnam, and also stood second at Vajra’08 organized by the Pydah Engineering College, Visakhapatnam.  

Driven by passion, Powered by Anguish . . .

Right from the time I was a little kid, reluctant to go to school, I was fascinated on seeing those superstars perform daredevil feats, and dance to the catchy tunes. Though, I have no serious plans to make film making my profession, driven by the passion, I had decided to take it up as a hobby. Since then, my friends and myself, all driven by the same passion, made our hands dirty in film making.

This one, titled “Child Labour” is a way of expressing our anguish, and resentment over the social evil. It’s about a boy called Ramu, an orphan who has been working in a household from the age of eight. His dreams, aspirations, and emotions form the crux of the story. Barring a few lapses in editing, the overall outcome of this short film is satisfactory.

Thanking you all for the support, and hoping the same would continue for our future endeavours as well!!!

Inspired, thus transformed . . .

Inspired, Thus Transformed . . .

 

On a bright and sunny Friday morning, I found myself on the streets of Visakhapatnam, a city where rapid progress in every sphere is evident. The roads were already bustling with speeding motorcyclists, and vulnerable pedestrians hustling about their way to work. I was however, an exception, for I had nothing noteworthy to do, and thus, I kept myself busy looking around aimlessly. I was alone in an auto, the commonest form of transport in most parts of Urban India. After a not so tiring journey of almost a quarter hour, something drew my attention, and it was something I couldn’t let go unnoticed. No, it was not a beautiful desi girl, and it sure wasn’t the only R1 in town. It was something none of us, including me, if only I were reading this, could expect. It was an average Indian’s strong desire to lend a helping hand to those in need, in whatever little way he could. I became an instant admirer of this tiny, physically challenged yet mentally determined auto driver from the slums of the cosmopolitan city. He, on the rear side of his auto, had written, “Free transport will be provided to the old, the handicapped, and pregnant women during time of child birth,” in the local language, Telugu. I was so impressed by this noble gesture that I had immediately taken a few snaps, just for anamnesis. It left my inactive mind, rusted by weeks of laziness, pondering. I condemn child labour, I sympathize with the diseased, I convey my resentment over violence against women, I protest against dowry, and corruption, and I demand my rights, and resort to any means to get them fulfilled. But, what have I done about my duties? If only I have the audacity to dream of a better India, a nation free from all evils she has been cursed with, the dreams of billions of Indians would no longer remain in the distant horizons’. We could one day live in such an India, if only we have the audacity to dream, and act.

 

Inspired by this . . .

The Ant and the Grasshopper

Each of us, in our childhood, must’ve read or heard about this very famous story. But, very few of us know about an Indian version of the same story, and its contradiction. Yes, what I just said is true. I spotted an Indian version of the old story in some magazine, and this post is an immediate outcome of it. I’m posting the original version, and the Indian version of the same story, and also the contradictory views I have. I hope I’m right.

 

An Old Story:

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter. The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed. The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

Indian Version:

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The Grasshopper thinks the Ant’s a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving. NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the Ant’s house

Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter.

Mayawati states this as ‘injustice’ done on Minorities.

Amnesty International and Kofi Annan criticize the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper.

The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the Grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance).

Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Left parties call for ‘Bengal Bandh’ in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry.

CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among Ants and Grasshoppers.

Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the ‘Grasshopper Rath’.

Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the ‘ Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act’ [POTAGA], with effect from the beginning of the winter.

Arjun Singh makes ‘Special Reservation ‘ for Grasshoppers in Educational Institutions & in Government Services

The Ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, it’s home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.

Arundhati Roy calls it ‘ A Triumph of Justice’.

CPM calls it the ‘ Revolutionary Resurgence of the Downtrodden ‘

Kofi Annan invites the Grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.

Many years later…

The Ant has since migrated to the US and set up a multi-billion dollar company in Silicon Valley.

100s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in India,

..AND
As a result of losing lot of hard working Ants and feeding the grasshoppers …India is still a developing country…!!!

 

 Indian Version of an Old Story: A Patriot’s Perspective

 

As I was reading in a nascent magazine, a story “The Ant and the Grasshopper” caught my attention. The original was an old story, I remember, having read as a little kid, when I was in school. But, this one’s special, for it has got its own flavor- a perfect blend of immaturity, lack of understanding about social problems, the political system of our nation and more importantly an uncontrollable rage for reasons known, and comprehended only by certain specimens.

It was an Indian version of the old story, criticizing the system, the politicians, the media, and the social workers. I tried to ruminate over the motive behind the story, only in vain. Honestly, I am clueless of the writer’s motive.

Being an ardent patriot, I couldn’t digest the opinion he had on his country, and her people. I therefore decided to choose his own way of expressing anguish, and the outcome this time is “The Indian Version of an Old Story: A Patriot’s Perspective.”

Centuries and centuries ago, in a beautiful country called India, the people were divided into classes depending on their societal status, and profession. They were broadly classified into two classes namely the Upper Castes, and the Lower Castes. As the old saying goes that a big fish eats a small fish, people of the lower castes have been suppressed by their self proclaimed “superiors.” They were denied entry to temples, they weren’t allowed to go to schools and colleges, and they were, in simple words, treated as “untouchables.” It’s become a practice until recently, and still, in some parts of India, this evil is still in practice.

Then, the English invaded our nation in the name of trade. Slowly, and steadily, they established their colonies in our motherland. Unable to collect taxes from the farmers, they assigned vast stretches of lands to certain men, who were later called “Zamindars.” Also, some of the Kings, and other landlords, implemented their own rules, and tax systems. All of them were from the upper classes of the society, and they started their ruthless reign. They implemented their own rules, and regulations. They collected taxes according to their will and wish, and none could revolt. The brave who tried to revolt were punished severely and killed. This created fear amongst the suppressed, and they never dared to fight back. This process continued, and after attaining independence from the British rule on August 15th, 1947, the then established, and their ancestral governments have been promising to uplift the downtrodden and new rules and regulations are being implemented, even today.

People who now blame the governments for introducing reservations do little realize that without such laws, the caste system would have been still holding its roots intact on Indian soil.

Firstly, is the root cause for poverty in India laziness of the poor? Are they really the lazy grasshoppers? Who cultivates the food we eat? Is it the rich or the poor? Who cleans the drainage in our houses and streets? Is it the rich or the poor? Who works day and night in the hot sun and the shivering cold carrying heavy loads of bricks and cement to construct the luxurious houses we reside in or the colleges and universities we study in? Who makes the decorations in our homes? Who makes the beds we sleep on and the chairs we sit on? Who work hard to give shape to the vehicles we drive and the roads we travel on? It may well be the brainchild of the engineers, the investors, the developers and the promoters, but it’s also the untiring physical efforts of the poor that enables us enjoy the luxuries we do today. So, how far is it true that the poor are lazy? Moreover, they are not even paid the minimum wages they deserve. So, is it wrong for the Railways Ministry to introduce a separate coach for their travel? Could they afford the luxuries of air conditioned travel? Is it wrong for the opposition parties to stage a walk out, echoing their protest over the malfunctioning of the governments, and their indifference towards the poor? Is it wrong for the left front governments in West Bengal and Kerala to formulate laws for their benefit? And, is it wrong for the media to showcase the suffering of these voiceless men and women? 

The UN was started with a motto of world peace, and it spread its roots to social welfare as well. It was started, keeping in mind, not just India, but the under developed and developing countries on a whole. It protests the existence of poverty not just in India, but each and every nation across the globe.

Finally, when there is no real injustice being done to the rich, why do they need to go to the Silicon Valley, and sell their brains which were a product of the institutes within our country, to an alien land? Are there any such instances where the rich lost to the poor? Is there a single such real life story? Who blames a Tata and Narayana Murthy or who blamed Mr.Rama Linga Raju until recently? Aren’t there icons within our nation, who set up industries and have successfully given livelihood to millions of the poor? The ANTS’ are leaving their mother soil, not because of the lack of opportunities, but because of the greed for better opportunities. A truth that has to be thrust upon every individual is that the GRASSHOPPERS are in no way responsible for the brain drain of the ANTS. The opposition parties, the ruling parties of the states of West Bengal and Kerala, social activists, and the media have nothing against the rich. They just sympathize with the needs of the poor whose voice is not given any heed by the rich. Moreover, neither of them passed any laws preventing people from getting rich. If only that was the case, why would there be an investment of rupees twelve lakh crores in a state in our country? Isn’t it an opportunity for the rich to get richer? Isn’t it an opportunity for the capitalists to capitalize on? No one fought for equality of poverty amongst the rich and the poor. People have only demanded the safeguarding of rights of the poor, and urged the governments to provide better living conditions for them.

I tried not to mention this, but with the outrageous burst of anger, I couldn’t resist the urge. It’s disappointing to read something of this sort written by someone with a minimal knowledge of the society. Dumping practicality and facts into the bin, I just have one thing to mention. Let’s for a minute get back to the story. The grasshopper was lazy, I admit. It had dug its own grave, I admit. But, why does the ant have to be so selfish? Why does it not offer a piece of its food to the suffering grasshopper? Don’t our religions which preach us to befriend our enemies as well, teach us to help those in need? Is there any religion which preaches us not to help those in need? Why don’t the rich, with their enormous wealth, step ahead to see a better neighborhood?

On a conclusive note, I’d like to pierce with an arrow, that India is still a developing nation, not because of the presence of grasshoppers, but because of the greed of the rich ants. It’s because of the corrupt politicians and lawmakers, and not because of the voiceless, hard working grasshoppers. Sure, we need a “revolutionary resurgence.”