Category Archives: Experiences

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

“Mother, where should I throw the packet?” Satilekha asks her mother while travelling on a bus. “See wherever garbage is lying on the road and throw it there. There is no harm in throwing garbage at a place which is already dirty.”

This is the typical attitude of people in our country. Like a line of ants, people follow people. Garbage goes on increasing at a place where the tiniest bit of garbage is already present. Soon a clean road turns into a garbage dump. House flies infest such garbage dumps which carry pathogens from there to sweet shops. The same people responsible for throwing garbage eat such infested sweets and fall ill with cholera and dysentery. They run to the doctor cursing the poor sweet seller for selling rotten sweets. Back from the doctor’s chamber on a bus we again start throwing garbage on the road. This process begins once again.

We see that this process continues in a cyclic manner. We are responsible for our own health, for our own cleanliness. And we must take ‘help from self’. I believe that the ‘Swachh Bharat Campaign’ run by our Government is started with a purpose to cut off this chain of events and make India a better place. I do not believe in the fact that a person can run down with a broom in his hand and make the roads dust-free. To make India free of dirt we have to follow a simple procedure-

First, remove dirt from our mind i.e.; we must not have false ideas. Making India clean is our own responsibility.

Second, we must rid our self from our laziness. We can get up from the seat and throw garbage in the dustbin a few paces away from us.

Third, we must stop throwing the garbage we cannot clean. Can’t we stow empty food packets in our bags and throw them in the dustbin when we reach our homes?

Fourth, we must stop people ruining our efforts. If we find garbage thrown in the middle of the road in our colony by some family we must go in a group and reprimand such people who are harming us.

Just like ‘water drops make an ocean’, ‘little effort also makes a difference”. I am sure that all the people in India shall like to make the difference to make my dream come true. Wondering what is my dream? Here it goes-

“I am traveling in my car. My windpipe is not choked by dust and pollution. I see lush green foliages enveloping the wall of tall buildings. I see a road shining like polished silver in the wake of dawn. A sweet aroma reaches me from the words around. My heart leaps at the music which reaches my ears instead of the chaotic noise they are used to. I leave my car to embrace my country as the most beautiful place on the Earth.”

I hope that everyone has more or less the same dream for our country.

What is love?

This was a question asked in “Kuch kuch hota hai” movie and suddenly I thought I should try to answer it. So here is my analysis-

Love is a restless feeling, wonderful in its own ways. You do anything for something or someone you love. Love gives you hope for life but itself it is very hopeless. Happiness is the very essence of love. Love is the very essence of life.

“If there could only be a little more love in this world.”

The man who conquered sleep

Many great men have walked on Indian soil- many of those whom Bharat Mata has nurtured and cared. Today I write about a man who had been born hundreds of centuries ago who has been an inspiration to millions of students. He was an archer- a relentless one. He had never missed a single aim. He had never been defeated in a war. He used to stay up nights practicing archery. He had conquered sleep in his relentless struggle to become the best archer in the world. Hence his name- Gudakesha. He trained himself to wield arrows with both his hands, Hence his name Savyasachi.

Yes, I am talking about the son of Pritha, Partha better known by the name of Arjuna. He is the protagonist of the world’s greatest epic- Mahabharata. He is known for his enormous valour, patience and generosity. A student of this century has a lot to learn from that man born under the constellation of Falgun (thus called Falguni).

First of all is patience and determination. These two factors are key to enabling your success under any circumstances.

Second, concentration. When you see your target, everything around it vanishes. We find an example in Drona’s bird eye test. Some students of Drona, the preceptor of the Kuru prices, complained that he favored Arjuna the most.  So he arranged a test of archery for students to prove that Arjuna was a supreme archer. He placed a wooden bird on a far tree and his students were asked to shoot it. Yudhistira, the eldest Pandava was called first. Drona asked Yudhistira to describe all that he could see. He named the wooden bird, the tree, the branch, the stream, the sky. Drona in a disappointed manner  asked him to go back. Each and every of his students including his son Ashwatthama  were asked the same question but the answer of none satisfied him. Arjuna was the last. On being asked the same question he said that he could see the bird’s eye and only the bird’s eye. At that point, Drona asked him to shoot. He hit the mark. So, concentration is man’s one of the biggest weapon.

At last we need to hold our duties in life over everything. Let us again read a story. once a bhramin came running to Arjuna to save his cows being stolen by bandits. It so happened that his bow was in the room of Draupadi, the shared wife of the five Pandavas. On advice of Sage Narad, the Pandavas had pledged that only one brother will be with Draupadi for a year. In that period if any other brother enters Draupadi’s room he will be exiled for twelve years. Arjuna did not stop for a second to think and went to collect his bow from the room which was being occupied by Draupadi and Yudhistira. He fought of the bandits and saved the Bhramin’s cows disregarding the pain he would have to bear for it.

For success, we need to be patient, concentrate only at our goal and seek to achieve it with every last bit of energy we have. Remember-

‘To get something, you have to sacrifice something”

 

 

 

The Beautiful Forest: The Sundarbans

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It was a journey of a kind– expedition on a river encircling a jungle- the Sundarbans. Sundarban (pronounced Shundor-bon) is named after the Sundari trees it is famous for. Sundarban National Park, a mangrove forest on the islands of the Ganga Delta, is home to a hundred Royal Bengal Tigers. It is spread over both India and Bangladesh, with 1,330.12 km2 (328,680 acres) in India alone. Tigers, unlike humans, have no boundaries. So they keep travelling between both the neighboring countries and attacking humans as if all humans are the same. Such foolish creatures!

Staple rice and fish is the common diet of the poor humans who co-exist with these carnivores. For us, the citizens of the modern world, life seems miserable there. People lack basic amenities. They are always in the pincer grip of fear. There was a time when people used to enter deep forests for fishing. Only a few of the fishermen who went on such expeditions were lucky enough to see dusk falling on them again. Life was such that women, when they bid farewell to their men leaving for work, removed all signs of marriage- the vermillion and the bangles from their body. They put those back on only when their husbands, with great luck, returned to their huts. It was not just a simple return home, but something akin to a return from visiting Yamraj himself.

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Conditions have certainly improved a manifold from those days. Sunderbans is now famous for its splendour and the regal beauty of the fauna it nourishes. I was awe-struck by the serenity of the scenery that surrounded me as our launch made its ways through the river. We were all waiting in anticipation for the royalty of catching a glimpse of the Tiger and cry out–

“Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?”

(William Blake)

Unfortunately, I could not pay homage to the Royal creature. Instead, I paid homage at the temple of Bandevi (the Goddess of the forest, pronounced Bon Devi) who is depicted as an idol being worshiped by the human-tiger devotee. I also saw the muscular Spotted Deer watching us in the shade of the trees.

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It was a romantic journey, with an especially ecstatic night spent listening to the stories of the Sundarbans from the boatman, with the boat docked mid-river, the shimmering water reflecting the moon.

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For those who love friends…….

A guitar was playing and we, all the classmates sang in chorus. The next year will only show where we will all will end up. Not all of us are going to be together. Some of them are joining colleges, some are going to hostels, some of their parents have taken transfers to go to distant lands. This is probably my last month with the guys I have spent seven hours of each day for the last seven years.

It was a beautiful song from the movie ‘3 Idiots’. The song has somehow ingrained in our mind, I think I will still remember this song as a part of my school days 25 years after. This song is something symbolic to us. We had last sung it in the last year’s Teacher’s Day Celebration. Today also the whole classed encircled the class guitarist and sung it. There were moments of fun- sudden entries of suspicious teachers where we all ran to our seats hiding all the shooting instruments that were being used to record the wonderful moment. Many half-lies were told to prove our innocence. After all, breaking oppresive rules is a part of the school life. Even Shri Krishna used to break rules many times!After the departure of the teacher, we again gathered together. Thus began a new song. With the new song, began the dance. With dance began the clapping and cheering, There was something in this moment that was special. it was fun, it was also heart touching. All these years we have spent joking, laughing, pulling each other’s legs, fighting and forgiving. All these years would soon end and then would begin a new phase of life whose anticipation feels me with both fear and excitement. The days of childhood and innocence would be lost. There would be always the rush of adrenalin.

So, when all these innocent years are soon to become bygones, this 15th Valentine’s Day of my life, I felt a kind of love for all my friends, rivals- all my classmates. After years of anticipating the future I look back at the hoards of memories that I have collected, that little pangs of jealousy and indulgences I have felt, all the moments I had taken pride in me. There was always these classmates beside me taking part in every situation, molding me into what I am today. Its funny that people around you whom you even may care about the least, shape your life in such a way. So today to all my classmates, even to whom I have talked only twice or thrice in my lifetime, I want to tell you that I love you all and will miss you all. Happy Valentine’s Day!

From the last century!

I have been lucky to share my house with the lady of the last century- a person who was born in the midst of struggle and movement for freedom. She was one of those persons who heard the cries of ‘Inkalab Zindabad’ and ‘Chalo Delhi’. A highly qualified woman for that age. She was adept in more than one language, wrote wonderful poems and cooked delicacies that were no less than heavenly.
I am talking about my Grandmother, someone I grew up with and whom I greatly miss. A true fighter. Circumstances could not break her even at the age of eighty-five. She was a multi-faceted woman. A mother with unfailing love, she rode five miles everyday to buy groceries filling her three bags. What she put into her recipes is a secret between her and God but for all I know, many would have given their left hand to take a taste. The sweets used to melt in in the mouth.
It was agony on my part to bid adieu to such a charming lady. I have saved a treasure trove of memories. She will be remembered. Let her soul be as jubilant and notorious as they were on the Earth. Let her abode in heaven be peaceful.

The Friend

You know, when you travel the path of your life you meet some people you would like to be like. For me there were very few such people. I am not a sort of person who bestows her heart easily. So I have loved very few people in my life, I have respected even fewer and even fewer have I wanted to be like someone. But I have a friend of a character quite opposite to mine. She is not an indulgent person , a character like mine. But in all other traits she is different. She wakes up at 4:45 in the morning, takes her morning walks, exercises, eats a balanced diet, avoid junk food but yet her body has yielded no result. No trace of weight loss after so much hard work. But she goes on in this routine never losing hope on her beliefs. Unbelievable grit and determination!

She yields up designs that could glorify mansions. Her work to the last is neat, beautiful and perfect. She is never too much of angry or too much of happy to make her a serious problem. I love her neutrality, her patience, her understanding. She has every quality that I lack. She has every quality I will want to have. It saddens me to say that her nerves are not as stable and all her problems are the problems created by nervousness. But we all know that some day this nervousness that acts as a barrier in her path shall yield and that day her determination will be awarded. She will reach the goal that she works for so determinedly, a goal that is of a greater dimension then a small problem with the belly.