18 October, 2016

Farmers, Cauvery Calling

Munnekolala Lake Park, Bengaluru

It was 13 years ago when economist S. Janakarajan formed the Cauvery Familya non-political initiative by farmers, engineers, hydrologists, and economists across Karnataka and Tamil Nadu (TN) in an attempt to find a ‘lasting solution’ to the 125 year old inter-state Cauvery water dispute. 

Almost a decade later, in 2012, they came close to a breakthrough. Five formulas were shortlisted of which one was nearly finalized to resolve the issue. Lack of government support stalled any progress and the Family was caught between the rigmarole and the red-tapism of Indian government.


Read the full article here as it was first published in sbcltr.

08 March, 2016

In Kashmir

जब जन्नत थी यहाँ
वो ज़माना कबका गया
आज तो आग है, जलते मकान हैं
लाल चौक पर काला झंडा मेहरबान है
खौफ में जीते इंसान हैं,
डर नहीं खौफ I

Where the mind is with fear
how is the head held high?
And if it is, is it afraid to die?
Or speak?
Khalid and Kanhaiya,
It's not what they say, it's why.
How every other day,
a top militant dies
in Kashmir.

And if Indian army is any better,
it must have killed more, and so
more than the Army and Bhakts
someone should be angry
in Kashmir.

30 September, 2015

Web 1,2,3 point .. oh no.

FightTheTPP @Wikileaks on 13 Oct, 2015
TV fed us with whatever it wanted to, Shaktiman or Chitrahaar, we gulped it down with joy. Enter Internet and we liked it more, for its variety, class, and the choice to watch what we wanted to. So today, the American TV viewers have moved from 'cord-cutters' to 'cord-nevers', and broadcasters offered them this choice to sustain their own businesses.

"… arrange with telcos to give away bandwidth" "telcos may bundle internet access with voice by restricting it to a few hundred megabytes rather than to a few websites". We are not traveling on Indian Railways. As the open letter points out, 'Neutrality Violations have Started Already' - ".. all discriminatory practices by ISPs are forbidden, including zero-rating, throttling, blocking, paid prioritization, toll-gating.." I didn't know there was a term for it (throttling) as my 'Cisco & ex-Reliance' friend explained, "Haan! Danda upar-neeche karte hain (Yes! We manipulate the signal)." We laughed.

03 October, 2014

Silence and Jokes Apart

Rape is a natural phenomenon, common in the animal kingdom. The female animal adapts in these ways - (1) submission (2) changing habitat (3) forming alliances (4) resistance (5) developing bodily protection. But a raped female animal doesn't commit suicide, she moves on, and rest of the animal kingdom neither shames nor cares. But kingdom of the most advanced – the human – shames a raped female and doesn’t care. 

It’s a very old story - be it Draupadi’s Cheer Haran or Seeta’s Agni Pariksha. Yudhishtir questioned Draupadi even after her death, while Sita asked for death herself. Where was god? Or does it really help those who help themselves?

23 October, 2012

Taxpayer's Palace in the Sky

- Public Sector Under-achings of India.

So what’s new about civil aviation in India? Or what’s old, considering it is celebrating 100 years since its inception in 1911 when the first commercial flight was flown by a French pilot Henri Pequet from Allahabad to Nain on 18th February. It was a Humber Bi-plane, a humble beginning for a nation which is waiting in line to realize its dream of flying the Dreamliners. The 58 day long agitation by Air India pilots over rights to fly the aircraft has concluded with the abolishment of the IPG, some travel benefits, and a 25% salary cut for employees due to losing PLIs. Five and a half years since the merger Air India has suffered total losses of over Rs. 28, 046 crore, and even today according to the MoCA, 74% of the integration process is complete, but manpower integration - the most important is still pending.

19 September, 2012

Nayi Naveli Soch

We Are Born
“Breathe in, heavily, yes, now push.”
“Push harder; breathe, yes, yes, good …. good”. Silence. A sweet cry.
Somewhere, a mother is ecstatic and a father proud.
Somewhere else a mother is scared and a father angry.
In Lyallpur a boy is born, in Amritsar a girl.
In Lyallpur, this birth will be followed by drums of liquor being rolled out with the distribution of sweets to friends and family.
In Amritsar, it will be followed by attempts to end a new life.

September 27, 1907 was marked by a quiet and sunny afternoon ensued by the birth of two beautiful children. But as darkness prevailed, darkness prevailed upon humanity, reflecting upon the differences between the births of two sexes. On this day, Bhagat Singh and I were born few miles away from each other, and both of us grew up to be revolutionaries - he by actions, I by thoughts.

Baba’s Witch
Once again a bright morning had started with a mourning. My father, Hardeep, was displaying his usual sorrow of not having a son to work with him on the farms. And on noticing an expected ignorance to this repeated act of his by his wife Kuldeep, he did next what he knew would make her flinch, would make her cry and in turn would make him content.  

05 July, 2011

Should Know Before You Go

It seems so meaningless
you know I could just die.
Cut my vein in two and
bid my perfect life goodbye.

But then a petal speaks to me -
in springtime I come to life.
So before you go, you should know,
sweet raindrops keep me alive.

A butterfly sings softly -
what you miss to feel, for me is divine.
So before you go, you should know,
I steal my breaths from the sunshine.

20 February, 2010

Child is the father

This was the day I had to be mega-strict. It had taken two hours in just trying to convince Emma and Ben to get ready to go to the hospital. It would be another hour before they decide upon the clothes that suit their moods, and the food that suits their taste.

“I don’t like the smell of the hospital”, 5-year old Ben, the younger of my two kids would whimper. Ever since he had come to hear of hospitals this was his reason for not wanting to go to one. Someone told him that hospitals had white-tiled walls and green carpets and everybody wore either white or green coats.

“White and green – doesn’t sound fun”, Ben told himself, and came up with a smelly reason 
to not go to the hospital. So now he would eat slow, dress up slow and even walk slow to delay the visit. He wouldn’t talk much on the way and reply only in monosyllables – an expression of extreme sadness for him.