Saturday, 29 November 2014



"The World Suffers A Lot...Not Because Of The Violence Of Bad People, But Because Of The Silence Of Good People" - Napolean Bonaparte

The Government at the helm of affairs at the centre has changed, with the help of a massive public mandate. The mantra of 'Down With Corruption' was loud and clear, and with the power of their precious votes, the people brought in a government that they deemed was 'clean' and 'focused on development'. The Prime Minister, massively popular and gifted with commanding oratory skills, launched the Swach Bharat mission. Since then, it is a regular sight to see hordes of people, celebrities and laymen alike, going on their own 'swachhta' drives, sweeping localities clean of grime and dirt.

The mission is a welcome move. I personally know of some foreigners and NRIs who say the country looks a lot better of late. The cleanliness drive is working wonders, and this is commendable. Why the previous government's similar drive named 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan' did not get such support among the masses (did we Indians love our country less then, and does it take a special PM to make us love our country more?) is a different matter that can be talked about in another post. But yes, it is nice to see India getting cleaner. On the other hand though, no matter how clean our roads and localities get, can we really say India is becoming clean?

Being clean transcends beyond merely maintaining physical hygiene and looking good. Cleanliness is much more than taking out the garbage and making your surroundings spic and span. It is like purity, and being pure is being clean both physically and in spirit.

We Indians have made a good start with these cleanliness drives. But we need to introspect and clean out some really heavy garbage. We need to get rid of dirt like:-
  • Corruption
  • Crime
  • Bribery
  • Religious Intolerance
  • Casteism and Racial Discrimination (we Indians are absolutely 'dirty' in this sense)
  • Dowry
  • Female Subordination
  • Oppression of the Poor
  • Absolutely unethical business practices
  • Greed, among others
These social evils are very much a reality. They've existed since eternity. Where there are humans, there are bound to be social evils. But evil acts take place only when the evil-doer has confidence that no one will stand up to them. In other words, if you want to reduce evil, speak up against them whenever you get to know about them. Let the evil doers know that someone will stand up and object.

But we all have evil within us too, don't we? We all need to clean up our own dirt too. That doesn't mean we should stay put and resolve our own issues first. We need to be proactive. Learning comes with experience. Good comes with cleaning up evil, whether or not it is your own. Goodness and cleanliness always rub off. 

#AbMontuBolega is a campaign that talks about the Power of Voice to Clean India. This power vests in each and every one of us. Whether it is places that need cleaning, or people who deserve your attention, or persons in authority who need to pay attention to your opinions, it encompasses each and everyone out there! It's time to cease being silent spectators, and to raise your voices to make a difference.

We all have the power to bring forth a Swach Bharat. Let us use that power wisely and responsibly.

Kyuki Bin Bole Ab Nahi Chalega #AbMontuBolega.

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014



"Are you going to be late again tonight?", Neha asked nonchalantly, without taking her eyes off li'l Yash. 

"Umm...I dunno. Hopefully, I'll be home by 10.", said Aditya, still gazing into the mirror and adjusting his tie. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed her giving him a cold look. He quickly reframed his sentence, "I'll be home latest by 10.30, I promise."

Neha wasn't really expecting a convincing reply. The man of the house had been jobless for almost a year, till three months ago. And then, one fine day, he found a job that seemed like a dream - good pay, flexible working hours, a laptop and phone, allowances, employee engagement programmes, et al. But since then, he'd been spending three-fourths of his day at work and travelling to and from work. The rest of the day was only spent on dinner, sleep and getting ready to go to work. On many occasions, he'd go to work on weekends too. His whole life now revolved around work, and she wasn't liking it at all. Of course, this schedule brought home the money and rations, and savings. But all this at what cost? One year old Yash had been down with high fever since two days, and Aditya was nowhere around. She had to manage his treatment all alone. She couldn't blame Aditya much, he was still on probation after all. Unemployment was not a luxury that they could afford again, at this point in time.

As she patted Yash to sleep, like all mothers do, she remembered the Aditya from a couple of years ago, when Yash wasn't born yet. On weekends, after having helped with household chores, Aditya would rest Neha's head on his lap and pat her to sleep, all the while holding her hand and gently rubbing her thumb. Neha smiled while thinking about how she sometimes pretended to fall asleep, simply to savour the feeling of being loved and touched. Aditya really was a loving guy.

But what had happened to him suddenly? After the kid was born, all his attention simply seemed to have turned towards Yash. He'd spend all his time around the baby, singing to it, cradling it, changing nappies...Of course, she loved Yash too, but sometimes she felt envious of him.

And then Aditya lost his job. He suddenly seemed to have gone into hibernation. He'd always stay indoors. He'd stopped meeting and speaking to friends. Most importantly, he'd lost his smile and the ability to spread joy. He stopped showing love.

Still patting Yash, Neha suddenly began to feel that she was being unjust to Aditya. The poor man had been through hell while he was unemployed. He'd wake up in the middle of the night to look for jobs on job portals. He'd look up unconventional sources of income. He tried to think of business plans. In other words, he had been trying his best to get work and support his family. Even now, that was exactly what he was doing - trying to support the family the best way he could. She fought back a tear.

"Aditya", she mustered, this time in a more loving and inviting way.

"Hmm". He was now shoving his breakfast down his throat.

"Come here baby".

Aditya was slightly amused at the word 'baby'. He hadn't heard it for months. He left his breakfast and sat himself down on the bed, next to her and Yash.

What she did next stunned him. She simply kissed him gently on the lips, and lay her head on his lap, and placed her hand in his.

The touch of her hand suddenly evoked a feeling of love within him that seemed lost since ages. As if by instinct, he began patting her to sleep, all the while gently rubbing her thumb with his fingers.

The Power of Touch is PHENOMENAL.