My New Relationship!

I don’t know how this relationship will work out! But if it works out as well as my last one, then I will consider it successful! Honestly, I was very skeptical before starting out on this new and latest journey in life and hence, I had to take my brother’s opinion! He, surprisingly, gave me the nod, and thus, the green signal.

It hurts a lot to ditch and call off my old relationship! But I knew I had to take that harsh call sometime soon and be rude to my ex! I had to be selfish. But I think my effort to be patient with her and stay with her as much as I did must be appreciated. But she just was not ready to cooperate and it almost seemed to me as if she wanted to move away from me! Yes, she was rude to me! Or at least she seemed to be!

Well, as they say, everything happens for the good! My new love is nice! Real nice! She’s good looking! She is colourful! She can sing well! I have just started speaking to her, but I know this relation will last long, unless some smarty tries to snatch her away from me! But I ain’t gonna let my new Nokia 5200 go, but have kept my 3315 with me to show it to my grandchildren! It was after all their grandpa’s first cell-phone and trusted lieutenant for three years!

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My opinions on… (Part 2)

Sanjay Dutt’s sentence
Seems so filmy! No, not the sentence and its many post-mortems, but the fact that the longest running trial had to end with the sentence to Sanjay Dutt.

My opinion about this won’t be too different from the opinion of the majority! Or at least that’s what I think. Judge Kode’s judgment seems very much fair to me. The guilty, no matter who you are, should not go unpunished in the eyes of the law! If I read the papers right, the punishment for the crime committed under the Arms Act can be anywhere between five to nine years of RI. So, six for Sanju seems harsh, yet reasonable under law!

But, and this is a big but, I am not too sure if I’d agree with the statement, “Law is fair to all.” Because if it was, then Sanjay Dutt would have had a few high profile politicians as his inmates in prison! Am talking about those who were found guilty by the Srikrishna Commission Report for inciting the 1992-93 riots! Check these numbers: People killed during the 92-93 riots: more than 900; People killed by the blasts: about 250! They do tell a story. I am not justifying the blasts by any means, for it was one cowardly act by a bunch of losers who cared not a bit for innocent lives! But if law was fair in bringing those involved, directly or indirectly, in the blasts to justice, then why can’t the same law of the same land put those politicians behind bars! The fact of the matter is the current government is scared. Scared that arrests of these big-wigs might well lead to a burning Mumbai! And the previous government, because its own were going to be on trial, accused the inquiry commission’s report as “politically motivated”!

And to be honest, even I am scared! All I can say is, Bad Luck Munnabhai!

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My opinions on… (Part I)

Pratibha Patil becoming the President

A women becoming the first citizen of the country was long overdue and the fact that it came 60 years after independence kinda makes it a little too late. However, I do feel India deserved a better ‘First Woman President.’

Sonia Gandhi has once again showed how shrewd a politician she can be! Two instances come to mind! One, when she appointed Manmohan Singh, a man with impeccable character, ahead of her as the Prime Minister! Two, when she resigned as the MP and contested to win by a huge margin again, after she was accused of holding an office of profit! And now, when the Left was clearly against any of the earlier names doing rounds (Arjun Singh, Karan Singh, Pranab Mukherjee, Sushil Kumar Shinde etc), she came out with a real googly, stumping the opposition and garnering the support of the Left and other allies by bringing out with a woman candidate, who till that point of time, was never even heard of by commoners like me!

The then-incumbent President Abdul Kalam deserved another go, despite accusations that he was soft on certain issues. He was rightly called the “People’s President”! Truly, no other president was as accessible or as friendly as Kalam! And this statement is not just from what was seen from news clips. But from a personal experience of a close friend!

Never did India have any Presidential-nominee with a tarnished image! Not until Patil came into the fray. Pratibha Patil may not have anything to do with the controversies, but the fact is that these establishments in question were in her name and it’s a touch difficult to believe that she didn’t know much about it! And even if she genuinely did not, then she should have! But the blame-game is over and done with. Just turned out to be another point for opposition to lurk on! Unfortunately for them though, it didn’t bring any fruitful returns as Patil had it easy, with even some of the opposition’s ‘very own’ disowning Shekawat.

So, does a woman President mean better times for the fairer sex in India? I doubt! But, it’s way too early to comment on that as the President usually turns out to be a rubber stamp of the government! And the way this presidential election was politicized, chances are even higher that we might just see another of Government’s rubber stamps at Prakash Vir Shastri Avenue (formerly, North Avenue). But, let’s give Patil a fair chance! She’s got about 60 months! I hope she proves me wrong and I will be surprised, pleasantly so, if indeed she does!

PS: Don’t get me wrong. If given an authority to vote during Presidential elections, I would have picked Pratibha Patil! But no points for guessing who I’d have voted for if Kalam was also contesting!

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Our two days of ‘fun’, if one can call it that, was over! Now, as the trains had started working to some extent, the ‘family’, as it was called then, was taking its leave— one person or a small group at a time.

In our two days, we had all fallen in love with this great city! I had always loved Mumbai, but my experience/s on 26th and 27th July, 2005 made it special for me! The group of 10 made the most out of getting stuck at South Mumbai, as elsewhere, rains were playing havoc. I saw Mumbai by night and soaked in drizzling rain and the yellowish light made it just so spectacular. For two nights, bus stops and Sterling steps were our over-head roofs that doubled up as our resting houses! Day time, we were back to our good ol’ Xavier’s catching up on lost sleep inside the Foyer.

But now, as Mumbai crawled back to normalcy, the group trickled down to just the two of us! Biprorshee and Blessen! One from Kalyan, the other from Thakurli. We were more than one and a half hours of train ride away from home. In simple words, we were more than 50 kilometers away from our folks! Both of us were really tired! We had gotten tired of staring at the white ceiling of our foyer! We had gotten tired of warming the Foyer benches stretching out our stinky legs to another bench, resting our head to the back-rest! We had gotten tired of eating the food at Mess!

Frequent trips to the majestic Victoria Terminus (now CST) gave us disappointing news! “No trains beyond Thane until further notice” was what we got to hear time and over again! Both of just came back and did what we could do best—“wait and watch!” It was more than 2 days back that I had last seen my the ‘Brave New India’ poster that was stuck to my bedroom. It was more than two days back that I had worn my blue shirt with dark-cream trousers. It was more than two days back that I had last seen my mummy and pappa! Ditto with Bipro for most of these things!

This is when my stomach suddenly started reacting, maybe to the drenched and soaked Pav Bhaji I ate at Cannon! But the loo at Xavier’s beckoned me every once in a while! And trust me, it wasn’t a very pleasing thing to happen! Make no mistake about it, the Xavier’s loo is clean and tidy, but a loo is after all that—a LOO! I had gotten tired of my stinky socks and shoes that I had been wearing for two days! I borrowed Bipro’s floaters to make my trips to the Loo!

In the meanwhile, the time that we were there, we had befriended this SYJC guy, Joel, who was from Dombivli! All the members of the then family had reached home, safe but not so dry! That was about the only positive news we were getting! We again went to VT and there, people were giving us different ideas on how to reach our homes! We weren’t convinced! We came back! I was tired! And weak! Drained and drenched and stinky too! And so was little Bipro! The time was way past 2 on our third day!

I got up and went over to Bipro. “Bipro, we gotta get out of here man!”
“How Blessen? Where to?”
“I don’t know, but I just can’t stay here for one more night!”
“Dude, I think it’s much safer to stay back than venture out and getting stuck at no mans land!” Bipro was making sense. But…..
“The trains are going till Thane! I don’t know, but in this condition, I don’t want to stay here. I have one of my Pastoruncle at Vikhroli. I am sure you can join me and we can stay over there for the night!”
“That’s fine. Even I have my friend at Matunga. I can drop in at his place. But are you sure you want to do this?”
“Yea man! I don’t want to be here for another night!”
“Well, ok then!” Bipro agreed reluctantly!

And we called our concerned people at Vikhroli and Matunga and told them they’ll be having an extra guest for dinner tonight!

I made my, what I thought was, my final visit to the loo. We packed our bags, the contents of which were wet and ‘stenchy’! We ourselves smelt like dead fishes I am sure! But we had lost a good percentage of our sense of smell! Our PoA (plan of action) involved first heading towards Gayathri’s PG and hand her Nokia charger back. So, off we went! Bipro turned in another direction for a smoke and told me to carry on and he’ll be there in sometime! So, I went ahead and called Gayathri downstairs! And as we both were talking, Bipro came over with a worried look on his face!
“What happened?” I asked him.
“That guy, Joel. I just met him on the way. Well, he’s alone! He doesn’t have any friends with him! And as he came to know that we are leaving, he was about to cry. He doesn’t even have a single paisa with him! I gave him about 15 rupees that I had with me!” Bipro said in a dejected tone.
“Where is he now?” I asked Bipro.
“I don’t know. He will be going back to college I guess.”
“Well, in that case. He’s coming with me! And if he’s not ready for that, then we ain’t going anywhere. We are staying put! Lets go back to college and ask him.”

So, we were back again at the place where it all began! Joel wasn’t there. So it gave me time for one more visit to the loo! As I came back, I saw Joel sitting with Bipro. I told him about my offer. He readily agreed and seemed happier at seeing us back in college! I called up pastor uncle again. Praisy, his daughter, also my friend, picked up! She said it won’t be a problem at all to bring in my friend!

So, with a sigh of relief, all of us headed towards the station. Gayathri gave us company till the station! We crossed the subway, but it dawned onto us that we might have to wait for one more day to see our folks back home!

It was nearing 4! And as we were about to get closer to the entrance, my ears went wide open when I heard the word ‘Kalyan’ getting announced through the microphone! Both, Bipro and I, hurried up the stairs from the subway and to the station! The writings on the indicator were blocked by a pillar in between! Both of us ran side ways saying, “wait a minute, waaaaaait a minute”! And to our utter disbelief, we saw what we wanted to see! In red was written, “3:51 K” (Indicating, the train will leave at 3:51 PM to Kalyan). We didn’t know how to react! “Yahoooooooooooo! Wohooooooooooo!! We jumped hugging each other! We did not care if people around us termed us as “whackos”! We were definitely whacked out then! Even Gayathri gave us her blank expression!

We wasted no time and hopped into the train! I fell in love with Mumbai’s local train again! I smiled at my co-passengers! Bipro and I, even got seats! Surprising, because it was only the second train to leave out of VT after the deluge! I guess people who were stuck, were yet to be informed! Joel stood by the footboard! He came in for a brief while and with a little smile on his face, I saw him giving Bipro some money back, saying “thanks”! Bipro smiled back! My stomach now was behaving quite alright!

We had updated our “family” about the latest! A few of them called back to check on us! Matunga passed! Bipro sat still in his seat! No ways was he going to get off now! Vikhroli passed! I stayed put too! Prince and Praisy will have to wait for me some other day when I will at least be better dressed!

It took us around 3 hours to reach home! I got off at Dombivli as the train wasn’t going to stop at Thakurli! Joel got off with me! We walked back home!

There was no electricity as I reached home! But it didn’t matter! My cell rang. Birporshee! “Yea Bipro?”
“Yesssssssssssss! Home Sweet Home!!!”

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