Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Can India Become a World Leader?

My cab entered into the Campus of the University of Mumbai. As I instructed, the Cabbie stopped at the Security Cabin. Seeing me getting out of the cab, the gatekeeper, clad in spotless ironed uniform, got out of the cabin and came toward me so swiftly, as if he wanted to help me. I asked him where I should go to get a duplicate mark sheet. Very respectfully, he told me the building number and then directed the Cabbie how to get there. Thanking him, I got back in. The Cab headed forward.

Amid blossoming flowers, lush green lawns on the both the sides, and under the sunlight filtering canopy of trees, the cab was moving along smoothly on the beautifully paved cement concrete road. In blazing heat of summer, the cool breezes from the Cab window had been literally drying out my perspiration. I was feeling so fresh, as if I was in an air-conditioned office.

Five minutes later, the cab stopped in front of a well-maintained fifteen-storied urban structure of glass. I got down, paid the cabbie, sped to the gate, and joined the queue that had fewer people. Within a minute, I got my turn. The well dressed security personnel asked me the reason why I was in the campus. I told him.  He let me get in. I passed through small air curtained electronic gate. One of the security personnel scanned me with his electronic gadget and told me the floor number and room number.

I headed to the elevator area. To summon the elevator, I pressed the button on the wall. In a few seconds, one of the six elevators’ doors slid open. I got in. As the doors closed, I felt an upward boost as if I was lifted smoothly. I didn’t even know how fast I got there. The doors slid open. Feeling cool and peaceful, looking at my own reflection on the granite floor, I walked along the hallway. I got into my room number. The room was divided into two parts with the glass partition.

As I went to my window, a well dressed representative asked me: “How can I help you, Sir?”

“I am looking for the duplicates of my mark sheet.” I replied.

Handing over a piece of paper, he said:”Please fill up this slip.”

It was a small slip with four lines – first name, last name, faculty, year of passing and seat number. I filled it up with whatever information I had and handed it over.

“Don’t you have a seat number?”

“I am sorry…”I told him regretfully: - “I lost everything…”

“That’s ok… May I have your ID please?”

I handed him over my driver’s license and passport.

Reading my name, he punched some keys on the keyboard. I saw from the glass that he checked and rechecked my driver’s license, passport and then looked at me as if he was making sure that I was the same person. “How many copies do you need Sir?”

“Two.” I said.

“It will cost you three hundred and ten bucks, Sir...”

“That’s fine…”

Returning my IDs, hitting the key on the keyboard, he told me: “Please collect your copies from window number 6...”

Collecting my IDs: - “I appreciate Sir, Thank you very much...” I thanked him and went to window number 6. I saw the associate behind the glass, who was stamping and signing my papers.

I tendered exactly three hundred and ten bucks. He counted and handed me over the duplicates with “Have a nice day, Sir…”

I checked the copies and thanked him. On my way back, I received greetings from the personnel at the gate in such a way as if serving me was a great pleasure for them.

Within next three minutes, I was out of the building. I got the same Cab and was the out of the campus of the University of Mumbai.

Dear Readers, 
If you are living in Mumbai and if you are reading this post, I am sure you are confused. You might be thinking what the hell am I talking about? Which world am I living in?

Let me clarify, this was the “Scenario of my Imagination”. This was the sequence of what I imagined before I got in to the Campus of University of Mumbai. 

Now, let me get out of my IMAGINATION and get into the FACT.

My cab entered into the University of Mumbai campus and halted at the gate. From the cab window, I saw two gatekeepers in a dilapidated cabin. One of them was having a glass of tea and the other was crushing tobacco on the other palm. I got down, went to them and asked where I should go to get a duplicate mark sheet. He curtly told me to ask at the next cabin. His discourtesy compelled me to glare at them. However it was in vain, as they were so busy chatting with each other that they didn’t notice my livid reaction.

I got back into the cab. The cab moved on the totally run down and wrecked road. A minute later we were at the next cabin, which was almost same. I got out and asked same question to the “cabin keeper”, who was sitting on the wrecked chair, same as the previous one. Without any expression on his face, he told me the building number and direction so mechanically, as the robot was talking to me.  I was simply unable to react!

Within five minutes, my cab was in front of a three storied building, which seemed neglected for a long time.

I got out, paid the cabbie, headed towards the gate keeper and asked the same question. As his mouth was full of Paan - he was unable to talk to me - pointed his hand at the queue on the other corner. What a disgraceful way of helping the people! I had an irritated reaction, which he noticed and responded with the same resentment. I ignored his response, as I didn’t want to create a scene. I smiled pathetically and joined the queue in scorching heat. It took about 25 minutes to get to the counter. I had to ask the same question again. I don’t know how many more times I will have to repeat!  The burly lady behind the window wrote the floor number and the room number on the yellow card and handed over to me. I turned to the building gate and the gatekeeper – now his mouth was not full of Paan - lets me get in.

Walking on the broken floor, I entered into a corridor that was so dark as if the light also didn’t like to get in. Walls were not painted for years. Litters were spread all around and across the hallway. Obviously I didn’t find the elevator. At the end of the hallway, I took the stairs and got on the second floor. The condition of the second floor was worse. As the yellow card suggested, I went to the room number and found my counter and few people at the window. I joined the queue.

After a couple of minutes, a helpful gentleman gave me a slip and said that I had to fill it up. I wrote the information that I had. After about 30 minutes, I submitted the slip at the counter to the ‘clerk with shabby clothes’. He read it and asked me my seat number. I said I don’t have. Giving me a room number, he told me to go to the first floor. I asked the reason. He said I need to talk to his senior as the matter is very old.  I took the slip back and rushed to the first floor and entered a room that was so small that it didn’t have a space to accommodate five regular tables and chairs. Small room, no counters, few tables and crowd of people! The situation seemed kind of chaotic. All of the representatives were so busy that I waited more than fifteen minutes to ask the question to one of them. I, handing over the slip to him, asked the same question. Yes, again repetition!  

Looking at the slip, he said: - “This is too old… you have to pay Search Fees… we will try to find your mark sheet but we don’t guarantee… and in that case Search fees will not be refunded…”  Many furious questions surfaced on my mind. But before I get them out of mind, he scribbled something on the slip and told to go back to the same counter at the second floor to pay Search Fees.

I came back to the second floor and entered the room. The queue was longer than before. After 15 minutes, as I got my turn, the "clerk with shabby clothes" disappeared. I observed that the other people behind the counters who seemed senior were busy talking, eating, having a cup of tea. Nobody bothered about the queue that was getting longer. My patience was on the test.  The "clerk with shabby clothes" came back after about half an hour. Hiding my rage inside me, I paid the search fees.

He gave me a receipt. I asked him how long it will take. He told me to come after fifteen days. If mark sheets are ready, I can pick them up or else forget about it. Again my jaws clenched. It was very difficult to control my rage. I left the counter, took a flight of stairs and was out of the building. In scorching heat, I walked more than fifteen minutes to find the Cab.

After two hours of ordeal, I got a PROMISE to get the duplicate of my Mark sheet after fifteen days, and that too if it is possible!

And what happened after 15 days has been another story of harassment and corruption. I would never like to narrate it to anyone.

University of Bombay – the name was changed to University of Mumbai in 1996 – was founded on July 18 1857. It is second oldest educational Institute in the country after the University of Calcutta.

It’s really pathetic to see the University of Mumbai, being one of the top five universities of Asia, in such a sorry state. I was a student from 1987 to 1990. I had visited the facility - at another place - couples of times. Believe me; it was better than this one.

This is a temple of knowledge. This is the place where education is born. This is the place where a pool of brilliant thinkers, scientists, educationists, economists and technologists are being produced every year and year after the year. With their knowledge and skill, they are enlightening the lives of human beings in our country as well as across the globe.

Why the people, who are administrating this facility, have brought down this temple of knowledge to this level?  Very simple. This is the outcome of our corrupt administrators and politicians, who are pocketing the resources granted for the noble purpose.  

Now and then, we all hear our Prime Minister – leaders – politicians are trumpeting of economic success and to be “World Leader” in the next decade.

I don’t think - It is going to happen. We won’t be able to see India as a world leader, unless our politicians and leaders start thinking about the country rather than their own interests.

In brief, the day “Scenario of my Imagination” will take place at the University of Mumbai; I would definitely imagine India as a “World Leader”.

What do you think?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Finding a Right Life Partner, When Parents Are Arranging Your Marriage

In our Indian culture, it is the parent’s responsibility to search a match for their children at a marriageable age, even though they are unaware of their children’s outlook. As always, they look for caste – religion, economic and social status, which is rational from their point of view.

Since last decade, in the course of globalization, today’s generation has become more educated, matured and is looking for emotional compatibility, goals in life, personal aspiration, likes and dislikes, which is practical from their point of view.

Balancing these two viewpoints, finding a compatible life partner, when parents are arranging your marriage is a complex subject.

Let’s try to figure out some elements, which can help you choose right one to be happy for the rest of your life.

First of all, you have to figure out, what you are expecting from your life partner. Make a list of your expectations and look for the individual, who can fulfill your criteria. If you are looking for a partner who stays at home and takes care of you and children, then avoid choosing the person, who has high professional qualification and interest in making a career and vice versa. Suppose you love sky diving and your spouse doesn’t but he/she is of adventurous nature, then you can teach and both can enjoy the activity. There are hundreds of permutations and combinations that you can consider. You just have to make sure that your expectations should not clash with your partner’s individuality.

First of all, in our culture, marriage is not a knot between two individuals; it is a union of two families. Secondly, your parents, who gave you birth, raised you, got you educated, have their own expectations and you simply cannot ignore them and same with your siblings. Many a times we all have observed that the conflict amongst husband, wife and in-laws have resulted in a split. It happens due to a clash of expectations, not individuals. So keeping yourself and your partner on top priority, you have to consider your family also and then compromise as much as possible. You just have to keep in mind the only bottom lines that you and your partner are going to live to gather for the rest of your life. It’s all about creating a balance, which is a daunting task to accomplish. It requires a high level of understanding.

How can you select a life partner of your dream in a small meeting arranged by your parents? The answer is you cannot. So you have to meet and talk to your prospective life partner over and again.  The most significant aspect that makes any marriage happy is the desire to give happiness to others without any expectation. You have to go different places, you have to talk a lot and get an idea how your prospective partner treat others; such as waiters, taxi drivers, bus boys. Make sure you check how he or she is behaving with his or her parents and siblings? So meet your prospective partner at different places over and again, talk to him or her, you will definitely get an idea of attitude, approach, communication and level of understanding. One thing you have to remember that someone who treats other poorly will someday treat you poorly as well.

In astrology, some believe and some do not. We have observed that even after matching horoscope, couples have been separated. Astrology and Numerology is an ancient science. But we hardly find the people who possess profound knowledge of astrology and numerology. If you find a genuine astrologer or an authentic numerologist, there is no harm in consulting them and look for a piece of advice. I would rather like you not to depend totally on this but treat this science as an additional help. You never know sometimes it can tell you an untold story and help you, when you are confused and unable to take a decision.

Bottom Line...
We need to accept the reality. Two individuals are not born same. No marriage is or can be ideal. Marriage is a bliss, which can become a misery too. Marriage is an understanding between two individuals. Balancing the view points is a huge challenge. You have to take on this challenge and succeed.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Let the Flowers Speak, If You Can't

Flower is a replica of the heart, reflection of feelings, synonym of love, and especially darling of women.

Flowers please the eyes, gratify the heart, revitalize your senses and give the feeling of happiness, peace and calmness.

Giving someone flowers is a symbol of both, honor and affection. We usually buy flowers in order to celebrate the occasion, to perform a religious ceremony,  or to express our affection to our loved ones.

Some of us may not know, but every type of flower has a meaning. Choosing a flower based on its meaning and significance tells others how interested you are in their feelings.

Red Rose and Tulips signifies love. Dark Pink Rose shows thankfulness. Yellow Rose refers to friendship. Violet tells about faithfulness. Iris is for warmth or affections. Snowdrop means Hope. Lily reminds you of majesty. Daffodils give your regards. Veronica conveys fidelity.

So pick the type of flowers, which is right for the occasion and the one that accurately expresses the true feelings, be it a heartfelt apology - deep love - fiery passion – hidden feelings – best wishes – congratulations - or any message that you want to convey. And if you have received the same, make sure that you know what they mean, what they are saying.

Flowers can talk. Flowers can say what the lips cannot. Flowers can put a smile on the lips. Flowers can bring tears of happiness. Flowers can make you laugh. Flowers can get you love. Flower can mend the relationship. Flowers have helped many a relationships bloom through the ages.

If you are not able to express yourself, you can convey your passionate feelings, interesting ideas, or fiery emotions through flowers, as flowers carry a message.

Let me tell you, when I think of flowers, I think of a smile on the lips of a newborn.

What do you think, when YOU think of flowers?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Khoobsurti Ki Surat

Khoobsurti Ki Bhi Koi Surat Hogi, Woh Surat Se Bhi Khoobsurat Ho Tum...
Tujhe Dekhke Sab Jeene Lage Hai, Zindagi Jeene Ka Muhurat Ho Tum...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My First IndiBlogger Meet in Mumbai

The excitement ended on Saturday Feb 16 2013 at #OttoInfinito G, Block, Raheja Towers Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (East) Mumbai 40005 1India.

I reached the venue and registered at the counter outside the restaurant. Many fellow bloggers were roaming around. As I registered, I had been welcomed with the drink, soft one. Around at 3:10pm we got into an upscale restaurant with beautiful ambience. The meeting started with some funny vocals and screams. 

Then we all have been told to connect with all fellow bloggers with the signatures. We all introduce ourselves and got signatures from all. Then, along with the food, HP marketing head started his presentation about the laptop that contains the free and legal #ConnectedMusic, which is a really cool feature.

I enjoyed some of the songs played by HP team, chosen by some of the bloggers. It was a quite nice experience. And then some contests and some give away followed.

The introduction of restaurant Otto Infinito was begun. Chief Chef introduced and talked about the history of Italian food.
Mean time during the HP presentation and contest and Otto Infinito Introduction, the food was constantly being served to everyone.

At the end, a T shirt from #IndiBlogger team, a headphone from HP #ConnectedMusic had been distributed to all.

Finally, after group photo, we departed with the smile and sweet memories.
It was a warm experience.