Monthly Archives: August 2008

Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni (Welcome To Beijing)

8/8/8 – the day when the dragon opened its wings and welcomed the world!

The spectacular opening ceremony took away the breath of the entire world at what was a fabulous showcasing of Chinese culture. The magnanimous stage and even more graceful performers rocked the evening in front of a crowd comprising guests from more than 200 countries.

If that was not enough, China followed the grand opening by powerhouse performances by its athletes, sweeping the medals across all categories. For a nation who won its first ever Olympic medal in as late as 1984, topping the medals tally after mere 5 games is no mean an achievement! But who else other than China would have managed this mega accomplishment!

Not to forget an absolute peaceful organization, China went all the way to ensure the safest possible playing host to the games. Nothing’s perfect ….. a Beijing citizen would agree to that ! It’s Beijing which has suffered the most to make the games a success that it was. Beijing has suffered near non-human restrictions while the games were on. Next on the list are travelers from all over the world who were denied visas to China for more reasons than one to ensure more security. Last but not the least, the athletes suffering from the pollution and the omnipresent thick fog in Beijing. Did someone talk about global warming effects?

Even such critical issues failed to take the glory away from China. If the opening ceremony was fabulous, the closing ceremony put an icing on the cake. The panorama of Chinese culture enthralled the audience world over. Let’s not commit the mistake of comparing China with India for these two countries are more different than similar.

The world got to know China better. The nation which has long been behind the curtains has come upfront and how !

China has arrived !

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When he takes to the water

Take your seat, hold your breath, disconnect yourself from the entire world, only to have a snapshot of those ‘golden’ moments …. Yes, you guessed it right ….. Moments of watching the legend swim!

Take a bow, Michael Phelps, The greatest ever Olympian who might even beat the water while swimming. Winning 8 gold’s is no joke after all …. Phelps it was who made it look ridiculously easy. It takes hell lot of efforts to make the performance look effortless. The guy from Baltimore has toiled all those endless clocks to beat them eventually.

The legendary performance makes not only America but the entire world proud of him! His next destination, the London games might become yet another stage for this humble superstar to shine and take the sports to another level.

Let’s wait for 2012 to watch that golden splash of water again!

Happy growing, India

How do you identify the independence day approaching ?

1. You see children selling the tricolor on the signals

2. You undergo tardy ‘full-proof’ security checks at almost all public places in India, airports being the most ‘looked after’ places

3. You witness ‘independence day special’ on television, be it a news channel item, talent show or even a sitcom

4. You receive smses, read in newspapers about i-day special sales going on in the mall nearest to you

5. Entire roads, city skylines filled with tricolor commemorating political party-specific patriotism

6. People around you discussing, planning their holidays, scheduling sickness

Six of the most common scenes, perhaps and six is the number of decades we have completed as a free and independent nation !

India, the emblem of progress, the yet much undiscovered prowess, the habitat of energy turns 61 this midnight. As a nation, we are very young, better nascent. The growth and the potential developed have reached the height, with such wide and varied presence that may not be spanned with 2.4 billion Indian eyes. We are dealing with the most powerful nations in the world, we have made them think and introspect with our riches and reaches.

Young nation of young people is today, on the brink of another evolution, we are metamorphosing:

1. We are pragmatic when we deal with the nuclear deal, no non-sense principles

2. We don’t think we are third world, we very much belong to the first world, we now use cold war in the history books only

3. We are no more ashamed of our color or culture

4. We are global and perhaps, the most diversified nation and guess what, we are now flaunting our speckled face

5. The world is following us against terrorism

6. We are the greatest reservoir and supplier of talent to the world

There may be a few grey areas, but if someone can improve, it’s got to be India !

For that, I and you, shall make a few resolutions today:

1. I will make it a point to cast my vote every time, in any of the public body elections

2. I will work towards true women and youth empowerment through education, beginning from my home

3. I will not just watch or plan, I will act or execute the plan

4. I will be a more caring member of the society in cleanliness, discipline

5. I will be using the energy, any sort of it made available to me, frugally

  1. Last but not the least, I will keep faith in my constitution, my government and the court

Let us all join together as a single identity and spread this singleness all over … Vande Mataram

Blasts : A routine in India

Blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad ! We are bleeding, we are suffering !

Twice in as many days and all the states / metros in India were under surveillance, security put on high alert. We have been unfortunate to face this echelon of brutality and extremity of cowardice coming out through inhuman attacks on hospitals.

The things that annoy the most, are the predictability of patterns of these incidents as well as their smooth execution following well-thought out planning. Blasts happen, people die, ministers condemn, Police / Intelligence trace the suspects – come out with possible motives behind blasts and possible reasons behind intelligence faux pas (which is simply lethargy in reacting to alerts, caution) and acronyms like HUJI, SIMI or whatever, neighboring areas’ security gets beefed up, one week passes on while we add a page to the history books which nobody is going to afterwards ….. by the way, there are a few variables in this storyline – names of ‘Casualties’, names of ‘injured’, names of cities ….. Who cares ?

All of you who are now deriding the government/security, lamenting the lack of political will and fragile security measures – tell me honestly, Haven’t you been one of those involved in complaining about long security check queues at the airports/railway stations or even at your own offices/colleges ? Don’t you ever get irritated when security persons ask you to display your identities ? Aren’t you one of those who talk at length about custom check that takes multiple hours at the JFK while lambasting the ‘lazy and tardy’ security process at Chhatrapati Shivaji international airport ? Don’t you ever pass through cantonments or toll-booths without paying the toll ? Don’t you ever take advantage of your relatives/friends at the helm of security ?

Now, sample this – many of the waarkaris (devotees) to Pandharpur had to stand in queues for more than 24 hours, many of them had undergone security checks that lasted for nothing less than half an hour ….. all of this, after some 15 days walk barefoot and to put cherry on the cake, I would not be exaggerating if I say that all these activities were carried out with a smile, with a gratitude …. Wow, devotion is great !

Spare me for waywardness of my thoughts but I would take another focus liberty out here (I really hope it’s not diversion by any means). I have started asking myself a few questions ….. Are we degree holders really educated ? [Disclaimer : this conclusion has been drawn over possession of widespread knowledge that citizens of India staying in metros are more ‘educated’ compared to their small-town counterparts]. Do Indian degrees (I am not much aware of educational standards outside India, though I know you must consider yourself lucky to have an Indian degree) impart the education and culture they are supposed to ? We metro residents, being the most educated society in this country, are supposed to be most aware of the lot that understands we don’t have a technologically superior system in place, we don’t have good ground level laws out here for we are still a young nation. We are soft targets. Can we hereon ask ourselves and our children to care for the society and be more tolerant ?

Coming back to the original discussion, there are a few positives that have come from these blasts which show that we are learning, we are growing, albeit a bit slow ! I would like you all to know them :- 1. This fight has been unanimously identified as our fight, India’s fight against the terror 2. As usual, there has been a flow of sympathy and help towards the affected. It is heartening to see people, even the most disgruntled ones providing helping hands to the victims, volunteering in hospitals 3. People have taken initiatives and come out to lend resources towards rehabilitation of those affected (all this, without much help from governments) …. I really wonder when shall these people outnumber those who regard Independence day or Poll day as a mere holiday …..