Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Pakistani's Anthem of Hope!

A hope of a new dawn, a dawn much awaited after a long dark night. A night that has been full of of tyranny, terrorism, bloodshed and hopelessness;


Jigar dareeda hoon, chaak-e-jigar ki baat suno
Umeed-e-sahar ki baat suno

Alam raseeda hoon, daman-e-tar ki baat suno
Umeed-e-sahar ki baat suno

Zubaan bureeda hoon, zakhm-e-guloo sey harf karo
Umeed-e-sahar ki baat suno

Shikasta pa hoon, malaal-e-safar ki baat suno
Umeed-e-sahar ki baat suno

Musafir-e-rah-e-sehra-e-zulmat-e-shab se
Ab iltafat-e-nigar-e-sahar ki baat suno

Umeed-e-sahar ki baat suno

-Faiz Ahmad Faiz

Hope of the dawn

I'm torn inside; hark what my tormented entrails tell
Hark to the hope of the dawn

I'm swept by sorrows; hark to what my tears have to tell
Hark to the hope of the dawn

My tongue is tortured; hark to my wounded throat
Hark to the hope of the dawn

My feet are lacerated ; hark to the travails of my travels
Hark to the hopes of the dawn

From a traveler through the desert of the dark dark night
come! and listen to the tidings of bright & beautiful morn

Hark to the hope of the dawn

(The poem has been sung by a Pakistan pop band, LAAL, and video can be seen on this link; )

You might be a Taliban if...



1. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.

2. You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.

3. You have more wives than teeth.

4. You wipe your butt with your bare left hand, but consider bacon "unclean."

5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.

6. You can't think of anyone you haven't declared Jihad against.

7. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.

8. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.

9. You've ever uttered the phrase, "I love what you've done with your cave."

10. You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least one.

11. You bathe at least monthly whether necessary or not.

12. You've always had a crush on your neighbour's goat.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Changing The Indian Roadscape The Nano Way

Much has been discussed over Nano's launch this week. Most of it has been appreciative of the way the Tata group has achieved its goal of gifting India and the world a cheap, very cheap and cost effective car. It really gives goosebumps thinking of how many people will benefit from this. Will pictures such as this soon become history on Indian roads?

Yes, that possibility is very much there. And there is also this negative feel about how Nano will result in the Indian pollution getting superlative from the very bad situation that it is in presently. And I am not ruling that possibility out too; well aware of the fact that Nano is less polluting than most motorcycles on roads today. That's because of the society giving in to the Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

Today, Ramu, a mechanic has a cycle while his master,Sunil comes in a Moped. Now, with Nano in, if Sunil decides to graduate to a Nano, then Ramu is definitely going to feel it necessary to graduate to a motorcycle. That is how the society is going to graduate forward with the motorcyclists of today moving towards a car and cyclists moving to a motorcycle. So, pollution is definitely an issue at hand.

But what is more enchanting and where I hope I am right is the way Nano is going to change the Indian roadscape. Why do Indians feel so nice about the roads abroad and not about those here? Why aren't the road rules not followed here as much as they are in the West? The answer lies in the lack of vehicular homogeneity.

Lanes are made for four wheelers and heavy vehicles. You cannot expect lane rules to be followed in a country where there are people with bullock carts as well as Mercs. Yes, it is possible to manage them if India is going to go the Chinese way and simply bar its citizens from traveling in certain modes of transport, but that is not going to solve the case, and has not been solved here in India.

With Nano, I truly hope we acheieve the vehicular homogeniety. If we indeed achieve a considerable number of cars, and the number of two wheelers reduce as compared to today, it is indeed an easier job to manage the traffic. Yes, you no longer can zig zag your way through a jam in order to be the first to jump the line when the light goes green. But it certainly improves the way the road rules have been followed.

Road rules have always been on paper. With Nano, we get a rare chance to put that into action. Nano is truly going to be a trendsetter and here is a moment to say that I am indeed proud to be a Tata Product!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Prince of Wounds..!


Accept certain inalienable truths:

Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You too, will get old.

And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young,
prices were reasonable, politicians were noble,
and children respected their elders.

-Baz Luhrman
(The Sunscreen Song)


I cannot agree more with him. But sometimes politicians surprise you by disgusting you more than you thought they could. I can call myself as someone who finds politics interesting and follows it closely. With election fever at it’s peak, I was expecting some fireworks. But what I saw completely disgusted me.

           I have never been a great admirer of the Nehru- Gandhi parivaar but Varun Gandhi’s antics nauseated me, to say the least. His speech about Hindus being killed was distasteful and very unworthy for a person carrying this name. More because he was contesting from a ‘safe’ constituency  which he would have won anyway giver the fact that his mother, Maneka Gandhi had the seat since last 20 years.

                I do understand that politics is dirty and is abhorred by most Indians and by playing communal politics, they don’t exactly endear themselves to us. Still, Varun Gandhi, only 29, graduated from the London School of Economics and a poet and a gifted mimic held more promise than what he turned out to be. He shares him mother’s passion for animal rights and has 22 strays or abandoned dogs living with them.

    It is very sad to see someone like him who had great potential and great promise being tainted with the same brush as the abhorred species. He was caught on tape making speeches about protecting Hindus from imaginary threats and that too, in Pilibhit which is yet to see communal disharmony of any sorts. I do understand that as a  budding politician he wanted to make a good start, but apparently has landed on the wrong foot.

And very recently I made an observation about our democracy, in India, people come into ‘power’ and to ‘rule’ us and never to ‘serve’ us..!