Thursday, April 23, 2009


Innocent face with a coy smile when asked what she wants to become when she grows up,the 9 year old Rubina Ali replies"Mujhe Preity zinta banna hai"with enthusiasm. She is one of the garib living in Garibnagar slum in Bandra. With no proper roof on the head and a uncertain future she was living with her father Rafiq Qureshi and her stepmother Munni.

Rubina along with her two siblings was left under the care of her father by her biological mother Khushi who absconded five years ago to marry a rich man in hope of a better life. What could this child expect for tomorrow when she could not expect the next meal of the day. Such a sad situation can even melt the hardest of hearts.[But unfortunately there are harder than the hardest hearts.]

One auspicious day when luck was in favor and the right opportunity strikes. This young neglected child had in store a destiny which every child of her age could envy.!! The camera went rolling to focus her as the young Latika in the movie Slumdog Millionare. Little did her family imagine the movie would be grand success to win 8 oscar awards and their little girl would be a celebrity overnight walking the redcarpet in Hollywood with the other members of the cast. I am actually imagining do they even know what Oscar award means.
When Joey Fatone and Lisa Rinna interviewed the kids during Academy award red carpet, she was just a tender mind in awe of the glamor and glitter around her.Though the other kids of the movie could speak English and were voicing out their excitement, she and another co-star Azhar who is also a resident of the slum, were just mute spectators. When Joey suddenly shifted the attention towards her and asked 'How are you feeling?are you OK?' she could only answer YES, and when next question was 'A little crazy,huh?' her answer was again YES. I can say that at least the kid knew how to mask her illiteracy.

After the glitzy glamor of the dreamland evaporated into thin air and she was back into the same filthy and sleazy slum with some money following her success in the movie and funds by Danny Boyle, the director of the movie for her education. The Maharashtra Housing and Development authority have decided to give her and her co-star Azhar new free houses because they have brought laurels to the country. [Till now it was sleeping and will continue to sleep once the media stop bothering them as what the country has done for this young stars!!zzzzz....]

She was away from the limelight until recently a British Tabloid screamed of her father trying to sell her for a sum of ₤200k, roughly about 1.5 crores in a bid to escape poverty.

The claims were made that 'The news of the world' hosted a nasty sting operation by sending two undercover journalists posing as a rich Arab couple wanting to adopt Rubina.

Rubina's father dismisses the allegations made against him saying that he is being framed. He was initially asked by a rich man to bring Rubina to the hotel where he would discuss a job. I think
he happily agreed on the money since he could dream for a better future for his daughter and his other family members. A local newspaper claims that he dint understand anything much until he realized that they were actually not offering a job but making a deal to buy his daughter. He realized the folly and quickly he made a way out of it until the next morning when the news was all over that he tried to sell his daughter. The British tabloid said that he
was looking for a higher bid to sell his daughter. [Do you believe in holy crap??...;0]
He told the local reporters that he was a victim of a dirty trick and they tried to tempt him.

Can you comprehend the situation?....According to me,the Britishers have no right to make a mockery out of the poverty in India. Cant they just bother about what is good for them,cant they bother more about why 13 and 14 year old kids are getting pregnant in their country?
They wanted to investigate into child exploitation in mumbai and hence send their journalists posing as sheiks from the Arab world who happen to see the clip of Rubina on Al Jazeera TV. How nasty and dirty can they be to fall so low??

What can you expect a person living in slum who might have seen few thousand rupees after the success of his daughter in his life resist to the temptation of 2ook pounds in his life????
You must be kidding me if you said he would not give in to the temptation when life has been so hard on him all this while. I am sure the huge figures and thoughts of luxury he can have with that money must have been circling his mind than concentrating on the other details spoken to him about his daughter's deal in their British accent.

A father who has seen the dreams and hopes in the eyes of his young child amidst the cruelty of dog's life would certainly want to give her a decent life especially when she has been the reason to bring luck and fame in his downtrodden family. What can he do when he is caught up in heinous negative press story,but merely try to defend himself all alone.

Whoever has tried to gain publicity out of this poor man's life is a utter shame and disgust to his country.KINDLY KEEP OUT OF OUR BUSINESS. We Indians should strongly criticize and condemn such acts. The negative picture they want to paint in the world will only result in more stronger Indians trying to combat the crudity existing today in India.

To tell you honestly my friends I have personally faced many painful questions after Slum dog Millionaire. Staying in India we share the same story but living abroad we represent our country.
Questions like are ''Is your country so poor''?or "Do the scenes of the movie be a part of real life''? or ''Is their child prostitution and child beggars?" has made me live that life of Latika in real life. Though we Indians have made great contributions to the world and are the largest democracy in the world, the foreign documentaries on India focuses only on the poverty and filth in India.

We may win Oscars or go to space, we may have the best engineers and doctors, we may have the most talented people but to the people around the world we are poor people who can be brought at a cheap labor.
I wonder what the politicians do when they visit other countries of the world? They only marvel at the cleanliness and the prosperity of the developed countries and go back and forget it all. Do you also wonder???Please do send in your comments as what you think about it.
I end my blog for today sending a clear message to the British media condemning this shameful sting operation from their shameless minds.

Keep smiling and do one small act today to bring a smile on the face of a poor child living near your locality or area. Why wait for the government..what say??:)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Select your leaders:VOTE

''Si j'etais un pays serais l'Inde'' was my spontaneous reply when my pretty French teacher popped the question that if I was a country what would I be. I know it is a little comical but these French are different class of people altogether. We were having the class on Le conditionnel Present[present conditionals in english]. So we were each given different hypothetical questions.

Answering the question was a little sentimental, I was dewy eyed missing my Bharat, my home, my family, my friends. When we are living in India we want to go abroad and when we are abroad we want to go to India...irony of life.

The resplendent colors in the saris of the traditional ladies to the jingling bangles of a traditional girl.[I know it is changing with western influence, that is why I am specifying traditional] The mouthwatering roadside panipuri to the heavenly halwai ki dukan. The celebration of lights to the celebration of Eid.  Drinking cool Lassi , sucking on cold watermelon in summer to adorning light sweaters in Bangalore winter......I miss it all and miss much more.

It reminds me of a particular incident when I was for a vacation in Bangalore and would love to share it.

One particular day when I decided to meet my friends, I chose to travel by BMTC bus to Forum mall where we were supposed to meet. I roughly calculated about an hour to reach there considering the ever growing Bangalore traffic. I merrily hopped into the bus towards Shivajinagar. As soon I climbed in the bus, people started scrutinising me with their looks. I sighed and muttered to myself 'It happens only in India'. The ride was nice after a very long time. It was a mixed feeling seeing the mediocre and the underprivileged in the bus.

There was immediate comparison running with slideshows in my brain. It was feeling of jealousy that the Europeans do so much for the common man and in India our politicians do so much for themselves. My eyes were filled with sympathy as my eyes darted towards the torn cotton saree of the woman with a flower basket. 'Life is so tough' was clearly written on the creases of her forehead and the roughness of her shriveled hands.

May be when I start to live in India for good it would become a part of my life and I would also be a mute spectator caring only about my life, but the sting is felt when you have just returned from a different part of the same world inhabited by humans only but who live differently and think differently. I was lost in the feeling of anger towards the government and anguish towards the indignant politicians, when a yell from the driver brought me back to my senses. Due to heavy traffic, he was asking all of them to get down and walk to the stop which was about 200 meters away. Oho, I was already late as per my calculation, I had already exceeded 15 minutes to reach my destination.

I got down and could see a sea of people on the road at half past four. I quickly decided to take an auto from Shivajinagar to Forum mall. I showed my hand signaling few auto rickshaw drivers.

One auto halted in front of me and the young driver quickly brushed his hair with his fingers and raised his collar, looking in the eye.

He asked 'kahan jaana hai'?(For a minute I wondered whom is he talking to, but figured out there was nobody other than me.)

'Forum jaana hai bhaiya'..

I replied stressing a little more on Bhaiya. He gave me a weird look.

He said 'pundra rupaiye extra'[15 rupees more,baap ka paisa hai kya??]

For heavens sake the clock did not yet strike 9 pm. I said thank you looking at his old conventional meter and sensing his clumsy demeanor, walked towards another auto driver. The uncle was slightly better with less attitude and a digital auto meter.

Driver:yes madam

Me: Forum bartira(I decided that I will speak in Kannada from my previous experience)

Driver:huttu rupai jasti madam,tumba kashta wapas barakke.

(He asked me 10 rupees extra quoting the reason that he would not find customer
coming back to the same place)

Me: (@#%*%* in my mind)Yakri kodbeku,innu ratri agilla.nanu bere auto thogantini.

.....I meant that why should I give you when it is still not dark, I am going to take another

Driver: Ok madam,yake kopa maadqullotira, banni.

I think he read what I said in my mind than listening to the words from my mouth..he he.
He agreed to give me a ride.

Me: Swalpa begahogi ( can you go quickly? politely with a 32 teeth smile, I was running late)

Uff !!the auto guys can be full of attitude, they behave as if they are the bosses of the roads. I was reading the information given in the template behind his seat and casually asked him where exactly was the place where he stayed. He replied he stayed in a low lying area to the south of Bangalore. Then I casually started asking him why auto-drivers still used the old meter thinking that traffic police had a rule asking them to change the meter 2 years back.

He said casually that they make rules there in Bangalore, they don't care much for the corrupted police. He said with difficulty they earn throughout the day, a policeman stops them and with some cunning pretext takes away money from them. He explained that that the recession has hit them hard, with no call centers and no much businesses running well it was a difficult life. I told him that I see no much development since a year and half that I was away.

The driver poured his heart out giving his opinions, his complaints against the government and his suggestions for a better Bangalore. He was telling about the difficulty of raising his children. It was surprising that he had in depth knowledge about GEORGE BUSH. He was cursing him for the bad economy of the world.

He was pleasantly amused that I was giving a keen listening ear and sympathizing along with him. When the destination was close, I had changed my mind and decided to give him 10 rupee tip which he had initially asked and which I had refused. I could help him in a very small way.
When the auto stopped the meter showed 53 rupees and I dint have change of three rupees.
So I gave him 60 rupees and waited till he could give me back the change and then I would surprise him asking him to keep the change.

It was something which I dint expect, he handed the 10 rupee note and said it was OK if I dint have the extra three rupees. I told him to keep it, he said he could not accept the note as I dint have a good feeling to offer him the money initially and that money would bring only harm in his life. I gave a smile and said I wholeheartedly offered it now. His weary eyes suddenly twinkled and his sagging face lit into the most broadest smile. He thanked me and accepted it after insisting. He bid goodbye and it had made so much difference to my soul. I went ahead to meet my friends in the mall, though I was 3o minutes late, I was the first to arrive. Grrr..I had to wait another 15 minutes to see them and it was a great evening discussing, laughing and reliving college days.

Thinking about the incident, I feel that's how the people of India generally are, the poor may be weared out from the difficulty of life but still have great values and warmth in their hearts.
If only we as one nation worked to together to build a better country, We would be the greatest nation in the world. No where you would come across such people who consider a goodwill more important than a bill, despite the need. I feel such people deserve more in life and I am sure God will help him someday.

We need to fight dirt on our hearts which may be in the form of corruption, greed, ill mannerism. I am sure you look closer the dirt can be wiped to reveal a human heart that is in ever need of care and kind words. You need to take the initiative to wipe. It only needs direction to work in unity to help in the progress of our country. That direction my friends can be with the help of genuine leaders and each one of us can make a difference by choosing and voting for a good leader.

Best of luck for the coming elections and go ahead and make a difference.

Well friends, considering the time and the text of today's blog I bid goodbye till my next update.

Smile is a curve which sets everything dont forget to smile:)


Sunday, April 19, 2009

....continuation of time

Maandag, Lundi, Montag, Somvaar, Getsuyobi, Pazartesi...I think by now you must have figured out what I am talking about. If not, well thats how Monday is called in different parts of the world in different languages. Hmm, the week has started on Sunday according to USA, Canada and Japan. For me the week begins today, the blues begin today which decrease through mid Tuesday and start diminishing by Wednesday, then by Thursday the anticipation of the weekend starts and transforms into eagerness by mid Friday and converts into pure pleasure by Friday evening. Viola! the weekend finally. Every learning child, college going teen and workforce look forward. Well don't give me looks, I know some schools and colleges and offices make us work on Saturday. The mood is a lighter weighing against any other weekday.

The weekend was great with respect to events and tried my hands on Hariyali Chicken. You can sure try this green dish with no much pain bothering about exotic ingredients,

Ingredients1/2 kg chicken boneless
1 cup mint leaves
2 cups coriander leaves
1 1/2 tbsp ginger, garlic paste
3 green chillies
Whole masala (3 sticks cinnamon, 5-6 pods cardamom, 3 tsps jeera)
2 sliced onions
2 tsp oil
2 tsp butter

  • Wash and cut chicken into pieces.
  • Boil chicken with 1/2 cup water, add ½ tbsp ginger garlic paste and little salt for 5 mins.
  • Meanwhile heat oil in a pan, add cinnamon and cardamom, add onions and saute till golden brown.
  • Grind mint and coriander leaves in a grinder with a small onion and green chillies.
  • Put some butter in the same pan, add jeera and when they splutter, add this paste, mix well, reduce heat and cook paste for 5 mins,.
  • Add boiled chicken (check salt) and continue cooking till chicken done and gravy thick. (you can add lemon juice if you want to)
  • Garnish with onion rings and serve hot with naan.
 I tried and can assure you it tasted succulent and appetizing.:)

Ok, let me get back to where I left my last post unfinished. The people who achieved a lot at a blossoming age to lay successful foundation for a life ahead, who managed to get most of time. I wrote about Sania and Lewis(yeah, my buddies) and today I continue with another two examples.

Gary Kasparov

Well let me introduce Mr.Gary to people whom it still dint strike a cord. He was a world champion in the game of chess. He is regarded by many as the 'greatest chess player of all time' he has many victories to his wizard name. He started playing chess at the age of 5 with his father and at 7 years of age he started his training in the game. He started a serious study of the game when he had to come to a solution for a chess problem proposed by his parents.

(Can you believe that! At the age of 5 when I asked my mom what I was doing? She said she doesnt remember much except for my tantrums .Oh my god, my family tells me i am an expert at it. So does that mean I have spent so many years specializing in it..ha ha ha)

Gary Kasparov went on to win the junior soviet championship in chess at the age of thirteen. He was already a chess master at the age of 15 which convinced him to choose chess as his career. By 22, he won the world championship to become the youngest chess world champion.

He continued to bag victories and he became the highest rated chess player continuously from 1986 to 2005.Kasparov holds the record for the longest time as the #1 rated player.Even when he was retiring from the game of chess, he was considered number one player.What can one say, only marvel at human ability. He is now a active writer and political activist.

Elton John

Who doesn't know this British musical legend, one of the most successful artist of all time. If you search his house you will find five prestigious Grammy awards, one academy award, a tony award and a golden globe award. Probably you will also find lot more trophies and medals, just guessing this one.;)
Travelling down my nostalgia, I remember the admiration in my eyes when his live song Sacrifice was churning out emotions in my head, during his concert in India. My all time favorite are 'sacrifice 'sorry seems to be the hardest word'. Though 'Candle in the wind' was much speculated, it did not go well with my taste.
Elton john could play piano at the age of three and his mother once noticed that he was playing a famous number at that time, which he had just picked it up by ears. He started taking piano classes by the age of seven and continued to show great musical aptitude.When he was eleven years old, he won the scholarship to the Royal academy of Music.
He father was not supportive of his music career but his mother was contributory to his interest. A local pub hired him as a weekend pianist when he was only 15 years. He then never looked back in his musical career and is still standing through his continuous fame and fortune. He has sold over 200 million copies of his records and considered one of the top song writers in UK.

Well that's all for Lundi meaning Monday in French which happens to be one of my favorite language.

Keep smiling, be loving, look adoring:)


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Time....An enigma

I was one vivid writer during my school days. Loved writing and churning out creative sentences with the latest swanky words. I used to look up for new words and had the passion to find synonyms and to tailor make my sentences to fit in the exact word in a eloquent manner. It definitely was a sense of achievement and not to be forgotten that I kind of managed to really impress some of my seniors in school and at home who complimented me on my work and also managed to win some prizes in writing.

I loved to write poems and still do, the rhyming words dancing with synchronization in my mind and I would weave them in stanza. Alright, I am Blogging not bragging. Ok! Lets get to the point.
Thanks to one of my friend, who is also a recent blogger for giving me this way where I can vent out the true writer in me. 

Writing just relaxes me, makes me think best of all. Life can become monotonous with the same mundane tasks. Everybody needs to discover some passion or some activity to keep their mind off over the future, fears, fantasies and facts.

Time flies away before you even know, leaving us a plethora of memories. The magic is to make most use out of it. I remember the proverb I read as a child and it affects me till today,
This proverb will tell you a lot about the achievers, the go getters who have accomplished a lot in a short period of time or the conspicuous people who have invested a lot of time of their lives in finding what best they are at and to be able to set an example to others.

The most impressive people are the people who start young to tap the potential in them and manage to achieve success and fame in a short period of time. It is their early investment in time for doing something they love or something they are passionate about.
The examples that I can remember are

Sania Mirza
Who doesn't know about this sensation who set out to carve a place for Indian women at the face of international tennis.She was merely six years of age when she held the tennis racket given to her by her Dad Imran.What started as an early dream in the eyes of her parents, she lived up to their expectation and more, carving a niche in world tennis. She was 13 years when she was already an international player in a junior tournament for INTERNATIONAL TENNIS FEDERATION.

The biggest breakthrough was when she reached the third round of Australian open 2005 against the tough Serena Williams. This certainly opened a lot of eyes around the world to recognize India is not far behind in the good game of tennis for women. She made India proud again when she won the Australian open 2009 along with Mahesh Bupathi earning her maiden Grand slam title.

Starting a tennis career in 2003,in a span of 6 years she has made Indian history. She has achieved so much at her best learning years and can look forward for more in the time ahead that can offer her. Way to go gal!!

Lewis Hamilton
He started his first motor sport career at the age of 8 and at the age of 10 won his first British championship and went on to win four more championships.McLaren and Mercedes spotted this young champ and decided to make him a part of their Young Driver support program providing him financial and technical support. In 2008 ,he was the youngest world champion in formula one history.

What started as a craze for playing with remote controlled cars led to winning championship at an age of 10. He was only ten when he walked up to the Mclaren team principal Ron Dennis at an award ceremony and told him. ''Hi, I am Lewis Hamilton and I won the British championship and one day I want to be racing you cars.'' Can you believe? A young man with such a big dream and he actually worked through time to fulfill it.

More people to admire and adore in my next blog. Till then keep smiling.:)