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Archive for March, 2007

IITs and IIMs Spared

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on March 30, 2007

Supreme court stayed OBC reservation at IITs and IIMs. This will definitely bring smiles to the faces of those who dream to see India as the nation of dreams.

When the whole world has woken up to the noise India is making, politicians it seems are determined to remain fast asleep willing to stoop as low as possible to meet their political ambition of ministerial post with several opportunities of under-table transactions. When it is impossible for most intellectuals to see the rational behind such reservations, politicians have always considered reservations along with religion as short-cut to “success”.

Indians still have a tough battle to fight if they yearn for times when right will be right and wrong will be wrong.

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God As Your Soulmate

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on March 27, 2007

This is not about whether god exists or not. However, if an abstract concept, if it is an abstract concept, has the capacity to bend our minds to behave in certain way, it is as real as anything that we can see, touch and feel.

I like to think of God as an anonymous entity who is my soul-mate. Somebody who challenges me to excel. Somebody who challenges me to rise despite all adversities. Somebody who challenges me to live.

I heard somewhere “I dare not assume for the fear that I might be in error.” So, I refrain from making assumptions regarding god’s existence, his appearance or anything that will conflict with my logical understanding of “Life”. Luckily, I don’t see the need to make such assumptions about his existence. Any of my assumptions are philosophical which lifts my spirits and boosts my confidence just enough to give me the ability to fight yet again.

One of my friend casually mentioned once, “Bhagwaan load usi ko deta hai jo usko utha sakta hai.” (God pressures those who he thinks will be able to bear it.”) I like to think myself as one of those. If this belief raises my spirits and takes me to a point where I start feeling invincible, can anything be more “real” than this?

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Cricket, Crime and Passion

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on March 23, 2007

If cricket is considered to be a gentlemen’s game, we need to think again. Sport does not only get its weight from the players who take to the field but also from those who are off it. And the people off the field, it seems, are finding it hard to behave like grownups. Very hard. As one of game’s most passionate exponent, Bob Woolmer, was quitely eliminated by what can only be called another act of passion, it is time to take a pause and reflect.

As India plays its do-or-die match today with Sri Lanka, it might very well be the case of do or you will have to die. Thats what we are being made to believe.

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Brilliance of a New Day

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on March 21, 2007

Yesterday was a very stormy day. Freezing temperature and winds managing to reach speed of 40mph.I almost got blown away while walking on one of the footbridges over the river that flows besides the office building.

This morning what I saw through the window as I opened my eyes to the new morning brought smile on my face. It was view of spotless blue sky and it was almost difficult to believe that I was waking up at the same place which was in so much turmoil last night. It was as if something had a telling influence on this weather which led to sudden calm. And calmness so beautiful that any hammering that it took only a few hours ago was a distant memory. I could not help but draw parallel to our real lives. We are made to witness so many instances where we wish that events that made our world turn upside down just disappear without us having to know as to what made it disappear. But, that never happens. How desperately we wish it did.

But, would this life be worth living if we did not get the opportunity to show our might by overcoming everything that this live had to throw at us? I guess not.

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Idiot’s Guide to Cricket World Cup

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on March 19, 2007

(Published on 17th March)

Being an Indian you are obligated to share the excitement generated by Cricket. What more, its World Cup! So, I was feeling a bit low when I was required to be reminded of India’s first match today. I don’t do well when I am at my memory’s disposal. In India, it would have been so different when cricket takes over the entire nation and deserted streets scream of an on-going Indian match. This is the tournament where eight cricket playing nations (and the rest who have made the numbers on first come first serve basis, it seems. Canada and Bermuda?). India is playing their first match today with Bangladesh. Mind you, Bangladesh have beaten Australia. But, everybody beats Australia these days. Anyways, not having prior knowledge of this game almost gave me the feeling of having cheated my Indian spirit. Come on, after all, cricket is one thing that unifies us- the Indians. Ofcourse, Saurav Ganguly has to be IN the team otherwise Bengal becomes a different nation altogether. And it helps if India is winning every game or else a couple of players might get attacked. But, considering the number of people who sanction this game’s patriotic spirit far undermines these couple of exceptions. (Note: We never considered Shiv Sena part of this mass as they are very eager to destroy every cricket pitch where Pakistan will (or might) play. This goes against our moral conviction to build a secular country. And moreover, they don’t like Valentine’s day which is simply unacceptable when we are trying to build an image as a tolerant nation.)

Talk of cricket is incomplete without the mention of Australia. The most famous Australian we have on our soil is unanimously considered a legend. But, he, Mr Greg Chappell is more famous for being the Indian coach who managed to show Saurav Ganguly the door. Now, thats the Australian way of doing things. One year hence, Saurav Ganguly does nothing impressive on the cricket field and makes his way back in to the Indian cricket team. Now thats the Indian way of doing things. We reach greatest of heights with least of effort. You just need to know the right set of people.

So, whom will I like to win the World Cup? Being an Indian, I will love to to see India win and it seems like they have almost got the right combination. But, have they got the right attitude? Thats for us to wait and see. If India fails, I, like most others go for the underdogs. So, it has to be Australia. Now, before you take my right away of tagging them as underdogs go and check their record in last few matches. I mean I know that there has been lots of Australian action but most of that has been off the pitch. And our very own Mr Gavaskar has given them a crash course on good behaviour. Gavaskar has been so energetic to air his concern when he has got chance to do so that it is almost difficult to believe that he is the same guy who managed to stay on the pitch for entire 60 overs and failed to score the century! Hey, nothing should surprise you. We are Indians!

PS: I have to talk about England. I am sure they will win the World Cup but, not this time. The good thing is that they seem to be least bothered.

Update (18th March): Well, so India did it again. Good thing is that so did our neighbours. For Pakistan world-cup is over. For us, we are almost there. Unless, I have spoken too soon. Well-done to Bangladesh. Honest passion that they have for this sport owes them several great moments like these. And what about Irish?! Seems like these countries are doing more than making up numbers. Far more than that. Ask a Pakistani fan. Or an angry Indian for that matter if they are not busy destroying “hard” earned assets of our beloved cricketers.

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The day I agreed to get married – Part2 (Finally)

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on March 8, 2007

(Flashback: Continued from here . Delay in this post was caused due to my employer showing me the contract that I indeed have been hired to work.)

If for Jane Austen (Ref: Pride and Prejudice) single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife, for parents, its jobs.

A conversation/argument with your dad probably ranks only next to waking up early on a winter morning in terms of difficulty. I have tried to be an obedient son and I was being put on trial here. Say, but make sure you are not disrespectful. Stay quiet and “Yes” will be taken as the implied answer. There was no way out. Chances of success were looking bleak. In the past I have dealt with desperate situations like these by estimating the worst case scenario and convincing myself that it was not bad enough. I was struggling to convince myself here. Its interesting how your most significant qualities desert you when you want them most. I have generally tried to latch on to humour to get me off the hook but, here I was not finding anything funny. It was getting serious.

Me: Do I have to answer now?

Dad: Why, who do you have to ask?

Me: No, but I mean there were so many things I wanted to do.

Dad: Well, Isn’t marriage one of those on your sorry list?

Me: Well, yeah! I think….But –

Dad: (Without letting me finish) This is the problem with today’s generation. They think more and do less.

(I kept quiet hoping that the conversation would end on this note as any answer might provoke him to speak.)

Dad: Do you realise that most guys of your age and from your batch are married? Or is there somebody you have in London you are not telling us about? (Without waiting for me to answer) Listen, I understand that there is some generation gap here. If you think that I don’t understand that then you are wrong. I understand. I understand more than you think. I will not impose my thinking on to yours. I am quite liberal when it comes to that. I don’t believe in telling people what to do. If there is a girl there, I have no problem with it. Why will I have problem? After all its you who has to marry and its you who has to live with her. Why do you think we will have problem with that? (And I was thinking ‘wow!’ and he goes) Just make sure that it is not one of those white girls. After all there is something called society that we have to consider and keep in mind. After all people have been following these traditions for ages. There must be some meaning to it. So, just make sure that she is a decent maithil brahmin girl of a different Gotra to ours. (Background: Maithil Brahmins are one type of Brahmins belonging to Hindu religion. There are certain rules that you need to follow. This link has something to say about it. Quality is a suspect.)

Me: There is nobody in London! (‘who fits your profile’ I thought in my head)

Dad: Then what is the problem then? Haven’t you heard that behind every successful man there is a woman?

(Flashback: This almost made me laugh! I never thought this will be used as an argument to convince somebody to get married! Moreover, this was one of the (in)famous old adage we used to amuse ourselves with during our fun-discussions in student life! I never thought I will have to argue this point with my dad. And what more, I did a terrible job!)

Me: But papa, I don’t consider myself successul yet!

Oops! It doesn’t take time for you to realise when your sarcasm is badly timed. This was one of those and I was almost sure that I will have to pay for it dearly. I was right. My dad went quiet. My mom came to my rescue.

Mom: Beta, koi bhi kaam sahi samay par hi accha lagta hai! (Son, everything should be done at the right time!)

At the same time dad got in to action not willing to let this go that easily.

Dad: What the hell in this world is wrong with you? Do you realise that all good girls are married off at an early age?

Surprising it might sound, no answer in my head sounded appropriate for this question.

Me: So, do you have anybody in mind who you think might be suitable for me?

Dad: There is no shortage of well-educated, beautiful girls in our caste. I tell you that. We just need to start looking.

A sudden spark of genius made me realise that the actual event is probably not as important for my parents as the whole process itself.

Me: Okay. If you think thats the case then I don’t mind you looking at proposals. I mean, I don’t think I want to get married just as yet, may be late next year or something (keeping my voice low here) but, I don’t mind you looking at proposals.

And my dad goes(looking at my mother).

Dad: Didn’t I tell you that he will understand? And didn’t I tell you that he has nobody in England?!

And I was thinking “What???”.

Dedication: This is dedicated to my dad who has made sure that I never had to look far for an ideal to draw inspiration. He has shown great faith in my ability to grasp his teachings and has left, for most part, to lead my life on my own terms allowing me to experience all shades of life. This is also dedicated to couple of my very dear friends, Ramanshu (no effort made to protect his identity) and Ahmar, who got married recently. Their names have been published to embarass and punish them for not staying in touch after marriage.

Not-so-useless post article commentary: It is quite obvious from this post that I belong to Bihar and I wear the badge with pride. I don’t do so because of its bad roads but, inspite of it. Bad roads don’t represent Bihar neither do high illitracy rate or poverty. I do. And several thousands others who have done very well in their chosen field inspite of what the then government of Bihar had to offer. Bad infrastructure etc’ are mere symptoms of bad governance. People of Bihar being subjected to ridicule merely suggests the ignorance of those who do it.

PS (Post-script): Was very tempted to address the dowry issue but thats for another day.

Repeat: Please note that although the event is real, conversation is totally fictitious.

Extra: There is no mention of Maithil Brahmin in Wiki (I didn’t know there were so many types of Brahmins!). There is no mention here as well. I wonder if its bad editing. Hmm..

Posted in Bihar, India, Me | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

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