Wednesday, October 31, 2007

mallu hindi

I am a keralite who came to mumbai in my mid forties. i knew no hindi 'cos i did most of my schooling in tamilnadu at a time when anti hindi sentiments ran very high there- so landed up in mumbai with fifteen words. believe it or not I managed beautifully with them. with fifteen words and kathakali mudras, I could even gossip with my domestic help! but my first attempt at communication with my first domestic help was disastrous. wanted to tell her she isnt doing her job(cleaning the floor) well- so found out the word for’ dirty’ - gandhagi, my neighbour told me it was. i memorised it and waited for the help to come. she came late and i forgot the word but remembered the first sound. as she started mopping the floor, suddenly the word came to me and i blurted out - bahoot garibi, I said. should have seen the expression on her face!!!!!
u must b wondering how i got hold of 'garibi'? well, i grew up in the heydays of mrs indiria gandhi and her populist vote catching slogan - GARIBI HATAO! the term surfaced from somewhere deep in my sunconscious mind.i instantly realised my mistake but how was i to explain to her with my fifteen words?
she didnt come aftet that day.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Doctor or Engineer - by hook or by crook

Kerala is a strange place. rather, it’s truer to say that keralites are strange people. they carry certain mulish ideas thru their lives, and to whichever part of the universe they relocate themselves to. one such notion is : if you offspring is not a doctor or an engineer, you are a failure in life. thus it is that we have this hilarious scramble for medical and engineering seats. the other day, a friend told me her relative paid 25lakhs as donation to secure a medical seat somewhere in tamilnadu for his son who did not want to become a doctor!

I am a humanities person and an acqaintance of mine once had the temerity to ask me of what use my education is of to humankind? needless to say he is an engineer whose monthly salary is more than all the money I have ever earned, or will ever earn, even if I live for another hundred years.

with infinite patience, I used, initially to explain to those who posed similar queries that it takes more than docs and engineers to run this world. tried telling them life is not about science and technology alone – it also about philosophy and history and economics and commerce and logic and art, all of which which bring you closer to life and makes you understand this business of living. I couldn’t then quite guage the expressions on their faces when I uttered such sentiments. older and wiser, I have now learned the art of decoding human facial expressions. In retrospect, those faces which suffered me when I lectured on the relevance of a holistic approach to life mirrored their pitying attitude to a sour grape blabbering of a ‘woman’.

coming back to my acquaintance who questioned the utility of my existence, I now realize the crux of his attitude. be a doc or engineer and you can mint money. not that I don’t like money. I love it. but I am not prepared to bulldoze my children, or anyone for that matter, to become docs and engineers just because there is a mountain of currency waiting at the end of the road. nor am I willing to sacrifice everything I care for - like job satisfaction for one thing - for a huge bank balance. My take is this: if a person wants to become a medical practioioner, it is a great thing – if he has the competence, compassion and the dedication for this noble profession. if a person wants to be an engineer, it is a great thing, with the gigantic technological leap that the is happening now. but if a person doesn’t want to be either, please please leave her or him alone to explore and experience other areas. this big world is a land of opportunities, also for people other than docs and engineers.

I would like to tell all the fathers and mothers of kerala not o be heartbroken if your son/daughter does not manage to get a seat in a ‘professional’ college, or does not want to go to one. there are a huge number of people in this world eking out very decent living without an engineering or medical degree.

When Do You Wish

When do you wish
that life was not so beautiful
that your loved ones didn’t love you so much
or you, them
that music didnt transport you to regions of ecstacy
that the view from a high rise didn’t suspend you breath
that you weren’t intensely conscious of man made wonders waiting out there to be explored
that the world didn’t lie before you like a land of dreams?

When you suspect
that the moment you inhabit
might perhaps be your last.

What's the LDF up to in Kerala?

A few weeks back, in reply to a submission raised in the Assembly, the Law Minister replied on behalf of The Health Minister that “the Government would think of constituting a high-level team for conducting studies into the epidemic outbreak in the state”.

Hilarious? scandalous? outrageous? the appropriate epithet escapes me. With more than half the population of mid- travancore literally limping its way thru life, thanks to chuikingunya/strange viral fever, the govt is only thinking of setting up committees to look into the matter. What on earth were they doing all this time? Never has there been such a wide spread epidemic in Kerala, and when the govt should be talking in the past tense about the action taken to fight the disease, we get such perfunctory, inane statements in the indefinite future tense.

But then what else can we expect from this totally disoriented govt? The marxsist party which leads the coalition government, is a house divided against itself, and is led by a comrade driven by an obsolete ideology. The demolishing man fascinated children in Kerala who clamoured for JCB in toy form. But the thinking adult is still waiting for the man to rescue himself from the rubbles of his demolition feats, and get his act together..

Yes. Kerala is very patiently waiting for the government to address the problems weighing down on its day to day life - but the govt. appears to care two hoots about validating the trust placed in them by the electorate. While mosquitoes went on the rampage and the waste accumulated and diseases spread like wildfire, the CM went on a demolishing spree. While the people lived in fear of the epidemic and tourists fled or kept away from the state, the top man continued smacking his lips after the tearing down expedition,- like a predator replete after making a meal out of prey.

Then there is this education Minister hell bent on jerking the carpet away from under the educational infrastructure in the state – again all in the name of ideology.

These people seem to think governance is all about destruction. At all cost.

Hearing Keralites groan with pain from either the epidemic, or injured backs riding thru potholes filled roads, the Finance Minister came out with tall promises of repairing roads in a month.

The deadline is over. and the repair work? light years away from completion.

Nobody believes this bunch of jokers anymore . Why, the CM himself called his team of ministers a good for nothing lot!.


The hot topic discussed by the public through the Letters to the editor in the Indian Express is the imposition of President’s rule in the state/making it a Union Terrirtory. Can Kerala do without a govt? Yes. Definitely, I think. I agree with all those who strongly feel that the state is better off without a govt. What have successive govts done for the state? have they improved the infrastructure? have they created a good work culture? have they streamlined and cleaned up the administrative functioning? have they banished bandhs and hartals? have they been able to develop cities to cope with booming population? have they lifted the education in the state from mediocre to excellence? have they made day to day life, leave alone comfortable, bearable for the people?

the answer to all these queries is NO NO, NO and NO.

No governance is happening. But the people have survived and progressed - inspite of the nonperforming liability that have successively appeared in the shape of state government. Such is the lust for life and never say die attitude of the average keralite.

Then why have a govt. at all? WE can surely manage without these self seeking, double faced politicians who are clandestinely corrupting the youth, spreading rot in the system, infecting campuses with politics and and and - - - - -

unfortunately, there is no provision to bring the state under President’s rule for a longer period than 6 months. Would be ideal to have a referendum on the issue to see what the people want.

Guess it can be argued that the very suggestion of doing away with an elected govt. is an insult to democracy. But when democracy is misused, it ceases to become rule of the people - it becomes DEMONcracy. and that is what we have in Kerala.

DEMONcracy. Rule by demons called politicians who have been shattering the hopes and lives of hundreds and thousands of parents by using their children as pawns to achieve their demonic political ends. These demons have a system in place for trapping the youth. Catch them young, while at school and train them to be goondas to be used to kill, rape, loot, stone buses, destroy property and create artificial communal tension while the politicians backstage fish in the troubled waters of their own making with a demonic glee!

The state desperately needs to be exorcised politically.

Desperate and helpless people have begun clamouring for a radical change in the political dispensation that would deliver than from these irresponsible, ruthless, megalomaniacs who have completely ruined this state which had a head start over the others at the time of independence.