Saturday, November 24, 2012

26/11...A Remembrance

Hi Readers,

Wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! For all those lovely friends who have immensely supported and made my stay a memorable one in America, I shall always be grateful for your love. I miss shopping in this season. Especially the Black Friday sale...I don't know why its prefixed black, it should be called a colorful Friday indeed... at least for shopaholics like me. Galleria Mall Houston, was almost like weekend home to me.  Only a fellow shopaholic can understand what I crib about.

26/11..what reminds us is the worst ever massacre that happened after the 1993 bombing fiasco in Mumbai. My heart goes out for all those victim families. What horrifying marks it would have left in those victims who have witnessed it and struggle to get out of the tragedy till date. I still remember the day...I was at the office( in America) and my colleague who was an avid news watcher rushed to me reporting that Mumbai was burning...I was shocked to hear the news. To my dismay, the visuals of the burning Taj hotel were displayed in news websites. The initial news that came out seemed a bizarre  Only after few hours, its understood that it was  another terrorist attack and hundreds of people were killed and injured. The next day, all of my office folk came rushing to my desk asking about the attacks. They were all worried whether it was going to be another 9/11 tragedy. By then., the exact no.of casualties was also not known. It was very disturbing...the entire day seemed gloomy although I was miles away from Mumbai and none of my relations were there. But, as a fellow human, it struck me. My colleagues who were all non Indians had great concern about this incident. Lot of them recollected the 9/11 tragedy.
Renovated Taj Hotel, Mumbai
When facts came out after a while ago, and the video was released with the prime criminal Kasab's confession, my heart moaned for the victims again. And many questions pondered in my mind.They were all absolutely innocent and had nothing to do with those conflicts. Killings would never do a least favour to those terrorist organisations who planned this massacre. What do they expect out of some random crowd in some random corner of the country being bombed or shot?? Will that bring any sort of relief to their so called "ideals" in the name of Islam?. Its a shame that they use Islam and defame the entire Islamic community with these atrocities. In fact they are not Islamic and do not belong to any race on the planet...because even the wild kill only when they are hungry. These nameless and shameless beasts kill for the pleasure of it and attribute a useless motive to their acts.
Kasab who was one of the attackers, confessed that he was psychically incepted to carry the act of violence, he was exploited of his poor economic situation and he was a mere killer robot for the operators.  While this could be partly true..therez an irony in this confession. If they were very well incepted to kill, they could have been well inducted to hide the truth in order to camouflage the secrets of the actual source. So his confessions cannot be completely true according to me. Most of the time, we only concentrate the face of the violence as we often ignore the sources which instigate this behind. Its more important to curb the sources and of course punishing the criminal is also necessary.
When Kasab was hanged couple of days ago, there were people who have opposed his hanging..that he was a mere killer machine and hanging him would not suffice anything. I want to say that, let him be a machine or a tool, he has to be terminated/disabled for the destruction that has been done. If not for those humane people who plead for mercy to him, but at least for those victim families, hanging him was totally justifying. After the innumerable trails and errors and wasting lot of time and money on this mere machine, our government had finally executed the punishment which I opine is very late yet a must. 
The martyrs who have lost their lives fighting this violence need a special mention here. They have not only saved the citizens lives but protected a nation's security from being ceased by 2 nameless folks who were on a killing spree. In spite of the cold reaction from the government towards the martyr's families, we the people will be always grateful for their bravery.
As always, there has been a war of words between the two nations following these attacks. How can we attribute the crime to the entire nation when few individuals were responsible. In that case, we have to blame our nationals too who have housed those terrorists and helped them execute their task. And we have to blame our security system for not keeping proper vigilance at those susceptible ports through which these terrorists entered. Also the over excited media which filmed the incident and telecasted it live giving an access to the operators and criminals to escape and execute better. 
After 4 years of the violence, we still cannot forget the mayhem. Perhaps it will dawdle around for many more years to come. Although we have not waged a war to destroy the entire nation, we also have not curbed the sources in its entirety too.
May the souls of the victims who lost their lives rest in peace and may those victims who sustained injuries come out of the trauma soon. Lets hope and wish such tragedies never happen in future not just to our nation but to any other nation in the world. Let there peace and harmony!



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Come back or Stay back

Hello Readers,

I hope your Diwali was celebrated with brightness and happiness. For my readers from the North, Wish you all a very happy new year.                                     
Its National Book Week my friends. Celebrate by picking up a good book that you have been longing to read and get engrossed. Most of you have an answer at the tip of your lip, that you are too busy to read or too bored about reading but as you know books are real good friends and I bet you will love reading once you start. 

Coming back or staying back??? Which one will you vote. No confusions, its all about residing abroad or returning home. I know this is the most trickiest question although it seems simple in words. Most of them have the confusion not essentially from the day, they arrive at a foreign land but when they start getting used to the place.
Like a famous Bollywood song goes "Ghar aaja Pardesi tera Des bulayi re" which means your 'motherland beckons you, come back'....this could have worked magically a decade ago but not any more. It was once an emotional rendition now its melodrama. Its a fact that many people who reside abroad love the motherland more than people residing here. However, the question is does the love bring them back??? Not really! It doesn't always work. Forget about the land, the nostalgia, the patriotism etc; but above and beyond all of these, for the two lovely people out here, how many want to come back? I know I sound like hypocrite. Let me clarify. When I was staying out of the country, I was also very confused about coming back. My career was a priority then, I assumed that I cannot survive happily here. I had many arguments with my parents who always wanted me to come back. The confusion was existing even after coming back...I never thought I would be happy with my decision. This is the problem with many people like me who were staying far away from home.
Wondering why am I writing about something that I myself didn't believe at one point? Well, I read an article recently written by geriatric expert whose daily dealings were with the elders, most of them all by themselves with no or least help from their children staying abroad. He mentioned this is the worst situation for any parent who have spent all their life in giving the best to their children. And when they need a helping hand, their children are out of reach. These parents cannot leave their motherland and end up living their last years in a foreign country. However, this is quite contrary to the elders from Gujarati communities. I have seen and known lot of Gujarati families(including elders) making home there with no qualms. But, this seldom happens with south Indian families.
While elders have hard time leaving the country, how about those youngsters who have made an attempt to come and stay back? Family friends of mine who have come back to stay with their parents after some 12 years of staying abroad, struggled to settle down in spite of so much advancements in lifestyle here. Be it with work or school for kids, they had hard time soaking in. Now, they are returning to their second home after trying for about 3 years to stay back. This happened with few other friends I know. God only knows, if this will happen to me as well. The question here is: why is that we are not able to settle down in the place that was home to us from the day we arrived in this world?? Is it the organised living that attracts the most or the ease of living?? According to me, our country's biggest disadvantage has been the struggle for basic needs. Our system is never reformed to function in an organised way. Daily dealings are not easy, they have to be struggled for, to be competed for and sometimes have to wait forever for them to happen.
Although there are drastic advancements in lifestyles, strong influences of the west among the urban crowds, it is still difficult to survive here for a person who has spent substantial amount of years abroad. Things seem much complicated, people seem narrow minded, and life seems messy around here for most of the returning folk. And of course, the reason to crave for motherland has also been diminishing. Gone are the days when people used to miss mother land be it the temples, the food, the culture and films, coz almost every nook in countries like USA, UK & Australia have Indian hubs. So, people hardly miss anything except for the "dharthi ka khushboo", "mitti ki shaan" (dramatic elements) :D
On a serious note, its hypothetical to decide who have to compromise...the elders or youngsters. While the elders want to spend a peaceful nostalgic life in the last few years of their journey, the youngsters have millions of miles to go.

And herez the interesting part, lets see if this seems hypothetical only to me or many others.

I want you readers to choose one of the option, please leave your response in the comment box.
a.) Coming Home 
b.) Staying back 
c.) Undecided. 



Saturday, November 10, 2012

English Vinglish

Hi Pals,

Some people are so energetic and inspiring that their energy is very contagious and your spirits also get elevated. I got to meet one such person recently and believe me, hez like a mobile encyclopedia, a knowledge bank indeed. You ask him and hez got it. I should really thank my lovely hubby for arranging a meet with that wonderful person. Inspired and totally fired up to do something exciting in life!!!


If my title says it all that this post is going to be another film appreciation notes, you are mistaken. I just borrowed the title, but the content is going to be different, not entirely, but certainly to an extent. 
For people who live in big cities & metros, especially who live in urban communities this has become very normal...almost a part of life. Wondering what I mean??? I meant English. Yes, a language most spoken around the world and is used as the biggest communication tool as well. So it definitely deserves to be a part of our life. The British have really outdone everyone else in the world in this aspect. They spread their culture through their language to the nooks and corners of the world.  

Though many countries including America made English as their national language..we have resisted it. The fact that we have several different languages in our country did not allow English to creep into our cultures for quite long time. But,in recent times the influence has really gone overboard not essentially the Brit influence but the influence from the west(American) blew us out. Well, in the name of adopting western culture, we have literally erased all boundaries and went crazily ahead of the west in some aspects. One such is the language which is an integral part of any culture and can  hugely influence too. Our officially recognized 22 languages are struggling to weigh significantly with English these days. 
The western influence has also reduced the standards of English. Seems weird but true. The reason I said so was because, my grandfather was educated during the British reign, when the medium of instruction was English...He used some very sophisticated terminology, for which we need to go back to the dictionaries to find the meanings. The British standards were undoubtedly top notch. No offense to American English, but they have adopted an easier way of cutting short the words while speaking, pronouncing it differently, and writing an easy spelling too. Ease attracts the most, and that's what we are adopting these days. Thanks to the internet, which made this more easy and Microsoft word which corrects automatically to American spellings. While not only losing the original essence of English and adopting to the modified version, we are also losing our own language. 
The sad part is parents encouraging their kids to speak English even at home in recent times. When asked why at home, they say just to be more fluent. Well, I never spoke English at home with my parents (before and after my foreign stay) but I never really lost the fluency. The fact that loosing fluency when not in touch does happen with non mother tongue, but English is spoken everyday at school, college, office etc. Why would anyone loose fluency if not spoken at home??? This is no way a justified answer to ignore one's mother tongue. Its okay to broaden our horizons, embrace new cultures but need not ignore our own. I observe this happen in my apartment complex, many parents do not speak their mother tongue with their children. I am not sure, if they do this just in public or even at home. Even the toddlers are fed in English by the fancy parents. It appears like they take pride in speaking English. I can't help but leave a satirical smile at their stupidity. I pray that I shouldn't end up like that!
Just yesterday my teen cousin asked me which English do we speak...American or British? I said neither of them, we have an Indian version here with insertions like 'da's, 'ki's, 'na's and 'no's in unnecessary places. These words have officially crawled into the Indian version of English. In fact every region has its own touch called the MTI(mother tongue influence) to the language. Our so called most fluent English speakers also have this jargon. Probably, that's the tribute they think they can give to their mother tongue. How generous of them.. isn't it?. 
Going back to the film 'English Vinglish', when a homemaker can learn and speak English in a short time, why can't the kids whose primary medium of study is English excel in the same?? Simple fact ignored!!
Like every story, this one also has a flip side. That is, there are people who take too much pride in speaking their own language that they do not learn/speak English even when it is necessary. They superstitiously think that those who speak in English are too fake and fancy. 
Both these scenarios cannot be supported, English is certainly the most prominent language in the world today. Learning to read, write and speak properly is important. However, ignoring one's own identity and getting succumbed to something that is not own is not a positive move. One request I can make is that, please take pride in speaking your mother tongue. While learning to adore our culture, learn to appreciate others too.