My Golden Days ...

The hostel life is memorable for everyone. The freedom, the responsibility and need to standup for yourself, makes you better equipped to take on the world. I’ve been lucky to spend my last few years of studies in hostels and that too in the best ones available in India, the BIT Mesra Hostels. The abode to exuberant individuals, all amazing, different from each other. Few of my best friends are my hostel mates. The hostels in BIT gives you the feel of a glorified prison sometimes. The reason being, its distance from the city and outside world. The seclusion does helps you get along with the other prison mates well. During my stay in BIT, there were no mobile data and mobile internet. Orkut was yet to become a hit and Facebook was yet to be conceptualized. Sports, meals-together, interaction sessions, quizzes, studies, chit-chats kept us involved. Luckily, those days were less virtual. Even computer games needed physical presence of the opponents, barring some, with their networkin


ब्राह्मण, सामाजिक न्याय के दौर का सबसे अभिशप्त शब्द। भारतीय परिवेश में सामाजिक न्याय ठीक वैसे ही दूषित है जैसा धर्मनिरपेक्षता। और इन दूषित शब्दों के बीच फंसा है ब्राह्मण। ब्राह्मण, जिन्हें धर्मनिरपेक्षता और सामाजिक न्याय, दोनों का ही दोषी माना गया है। मैं जातिवाद का धुरविरोधी हूं, किन्तु जब तक मेरे देश के सरकारी प्रपत्रों में जाति का कॉलम रहेगा, जातिवाद भी जीवित रहेगा। आजादी के ७३ सालों के बाद भी अगर सामाजिक न्याय राजनैतिक मुद्दा बना रहे तो वह सामाजिक न्याय रास्ता भटक चुका है। सामाजिक न्याय के अनेकानेक पुरोधा स्वयं सामर्थ्यवान हो चुके हैं और अपनी कई पुश्तों के लिए पूंजी जोड़ चुके हैं। अब बात न्याय की करते हैं। न्याय आप किस से और कब लेते हैं? अगर एक समुदाय के एक व्यक्ति का कोई दोष हो तो क्या आप उस समुदाय को दोषी मानते हैं? नहीं ना। तो फिर कुछ पीढ़ियां पहले दिए गए त्रास के लिए आज की पीढ़ी के लोगों से बदला कैसा? सामाजिक बुराइयों के लिए ब्राह्मणों को अक्सर दोष दिया जाता है। कुछ हद तक ठीक भी है। क्यूंकि छुआछूत जैसी भ्रांतियां अभी भी देश में है। मगर छुआछूत अब शहरों में, विद्यालयों और संस्थान

Pathak Chacha

Born with a natural smile, a God's gift, Pathak Chacha was one of the beautiful human being, I came across. The cleft lip, a disorder since his birth, always attracted people, definitely for wrong reasons. I must confess, I too noticed it first and found it weird, but I was a kid then. But that weirdness went away as we came to know him more. Pathak Chacha, often visited our place during morning tea, to the discomfort of the people living around us, the neighbors, who considered him a bad omen, if sighted during morning. Weird, as he was also the creation of the same God, they believed in. Anyway, we enjoyed his light hearted interactions of 15 or 20 minutes of short stays during his morning walk break at our place. For others, he may was a bad start of the day, for us, his visit used to bring morning joy. Pathak Chacha, was a colleague of my father. Born in a family with humble financial background, he achieved a lot he could. He joined the Education Department Engin

The Kashmiris I met

Kashmir, the name referred to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, is heaven on the earth. It indeed is. One of my dream destinations, these days it is in news due to political reasons. Last few decades it has been in news for terrorism, exodus, army camps, wars, tough life and all negatives. Once a destination for film makers is now destination for news makers. This story is about my Interaction with two Kashmiris. Mukhtar and Reyaz, who used to come every season, used to bring Kashmiri shawls and used to stay entire winter. It was late 1990s. I had approvals from my father to play cricket in local clubs. I was playing in a club which largely stayed in a ghetto. And the Kashmiris coming to my town find it more comfortable to stay there. In one of those seasons, two Kashmiris joined our team. They used to come to practice after end of their business hours. They added spark to our team, we acknowledge by sacrificing our places in playing eleven whenever they accompan

The Pumpkin Bheeshma

Pumpkin is a popular edible in our native. No feast is complete without this glorious saffron coloured cultivar. But this story is not about Pumpkin, the food. Neither is the story about Pumpkin of the Halloween of the west. This story is about the horrific incident, the innocent  member  of squash family suffered through the hands of two notorious kids. In 90s, the most popular TV serials of India, Ramayan and Mahabharata, inspired us to make bows and arrows, during our summer visit to our native village. Inspired by the fancy Bows, I and my younger brother made two marvelous bows, using bamboo sticks, laced out by beautiful borders of my grand mother's old sarees. They were great, but nothing without arrows. In junk section of our large house, we found the blind made of slim bamboo stick. It took no time for two of us to convert the sticks to dozens of arrows and completely destroy the "state of art" blind. Now that we have bows and arrows, we needed a target.


आज मुझे देर हो रही थी। कायदे से तो मैं समय से पंद्रह बीस मिनट पहले ही चल रहा था, मगर रिक्शे के गुज़र जाने का समय हो चुका था। सोमवार से शुक्रवार, बस एक नजर भर देखना मानो कोई पुरानी रिवायत जैसी थी, जिसे मन, बिना सवाल किए, रोज निभाने को दृढ़संकल्प था। मैं हड़बड़ाहट में घर से निकला, साइकिल उठाई और इस उम्मीद में कि वो रिक्शा भी लेट हो, चल पड़ा। थोड़ी दूर पर वो रिक्शा नजर आया और उसमें बैठी वो भी, जिसका नाम भी मुझे नहीं पता, मगर जो अनजान भी नहीं थी। सुकून से भरा मैं, अपने गंतव्य की ओर चल पड़ा।

Pleasant Summers

India lives on farmers and middle-class runs it, thou no one gives a damn to both of them. Middle class values, often considered as gaucherie and mocked upon by haut monde , who consider themselves way above the rest. However, this middle class sends the maximum number of engineers, doctors and civil servants, who literally run the country. I come from the same fragile yet strong middle class. This is from the chapter of my life, which was full of struggles yet was pleasant. I am sure, many, with middle class small town roots, can relate to it.  Shivsagar, a newly built colony during the decade of 1990s, built over the dampened barren land, primarily occupied by water and water hyacinth, a plant with expansionist's mindset, which occupies every inch possible, once get itself rooted in a water body. The colony was built by explicitly filling up sands brought from outside. Situated in the northern part of Bihar, city named Darbhanga, the administration of which is located

The Theft

Indian middle class can be inspiration for many developed countries on how to utilise the resources. They can also be inspiration for poor countries on how to find happiness in scarcity. You may be surprised to see the household stuffs if these middle class, who otherwise would have costed them an arm and a leg, but with patience and over a period of time they achieve their goal During one summer of 1990s, we went to another town to attend a grand Mithila wedding of our family. Which meant, our rented accomodation would remain vacant and locked for weeks. Our schools were closed and hence it was also a bonus summer camp for us, including all our cousins.  We enjoyed the month long stay and came back to our home, only to know our home had unwanted visitors in our absence. The thieves.  It was a shock for us. My parents must have had tough times. All our utensils, new set of clothes, winter clothes, toys, piggy banks and many goodies, that we have forgot by now, went mis

The Departure

"You have to be strong", she tried to console me. "Isn't there any other way?", I asked, struggling hard to control my emotions. "No. I have to do it. Do it for my parents", she paused. "I know it is unfair, but I can be fair to only one side. I chose to be unfair to you." She was firm. I remained shocked, my hands shaking, and barely able to hold my phone to the ears. "Promise me, you'll not spoil your life for me" she commanded, as if she still owns me, despite the news she just broke. I nodded, thou I don't remember if I uttered anything verbally. It was a long and deafening silence, occassionally interrupted by couple of words, which meant nothing at that moment. I cried and felt she was crying too.  My phone was continuously getting calls from my friends, I was supposed to leave for a party with them.  But here I was, over the phone, alone in the apartment of four, struggling to be on m

The New Arrival

Life cannot be understood in one life. I was in a new place, new city with several new people. Allocated to a new project, where the location was as gloomy as it can be, but co-workers were good to keep me going. It was a hard time, after the loss, nowadays termed as breakup. It was a departure, as I never ever broke up, neither did she. Yahoo Messenger, chain mails were in full swing those days. Orkut was, what facebook is today. I was struggling to keep myself busy and disconnected with myself. I got habituated of talking, chatting, surfing. Internet was costly, but office net was not. Friends, all of them seems to be busy, except when partying. I often felt alone in the apartment, where four friends stayed together. Then as I said earlier, life cannot be understood in one life. I got habituated of talking to one girl, a completely one sided one. She has time to chat, and that was enough for me as others were too busy. Also talking to strangers, sometimes sav

Tales of two rainy nights

Deja vu My life took me to a city called Noida, which is rain deprived. Howbeit, today the nature was generous on the desert city, it was raining like there is no tomorrow. It was Friday and I had some weekend commitments in New Delhi, so I decided to leave early. It was raining since morning, the otherwise bright and hot Noida was looking gloomy, wet and cooler. At 4:30 evening, it was as dark or as bright as 4:30 AM. The issue with almost all the metro cities or for that matter all the cities in India is, that they are not able to or prepared to handle rains. It happens in the city of Mumbai, where rainfall is generous and a day or two dry days during the monsoon months are Golden or in NCR, where a day or two of rain in the monsoon season are little two much. Traffics have another connection to rains. Come the rains, you will have immediate traffic jams. God knows why. I kept on moving towards Delhi, avoiding all the big jams until I reached just near the coveted DND flyover

India, Gandhi and Dissent

India is the land of seekers, the land of debates, the land of truth. In India, even the Gods and their acts are allowed to be questioned. Indian heritage teaches us to appreciate the fiercest of enemies, find good in the most evil souls and punish our very own, if needed. Nothing, literally nothing is too sacred in Indian philosophy, which cannot be questioned or debated. Ironically, India has stopped questioning, if not questioning, then perhaps questioning the right people and with right perspective. We have started following the mediaeval foreign practices, of making people and things related to them sacred and unquestionable. We made them so sacred, that the sacredness suffocates the very essence and existence of theirs. Gandhi is probably the greatest son, respected more than anyone in the modern history of India. Gandhi is inspiration, Gandhi is sacred. But what makes Gandhi, a Mahatma? Gandhi in his several writings has mentioned about the weaknesses he had, the

The Richest Poor Lady - Goitha Wali

Life is beautiful. We don't need a raison d'etre to live. We live and life finds a reason for it. You may touch many lives, without being wealthy or educated or social. The story is about a wealthy lady, whose wealth cannot be determined by just monetary parameters. My mother is a kind hearted person, one of the reasons, our home used to be a shelter for a lot of old aged women at different times. Some of them were annoying to us, but we, the family, respectfully accepted my mother's concordat with herself, to have her kind of social duty. One such old lady, became part of our daily lives for few years, when we used to live in a rented accommodation. This old lady was a domestic help for our home owners. She was respected and loved in that family. The kind act of my mother, slowly made her part of our lives too. In her early days, the lady used to sell "Goitha", the cow dung cakes, which earned her the nickname "Goitha Wali", meaning, the one wh

The Sporting Heroes of India - #2 Dhyan Chand (Field Hockey)

Dhyan Chand, a name as synonymous to hockey (field hockey), as Pele is to football, Jordan is to Basket ball or Mohammed Ali is to Boxing. A legend, who was the architect of the Golden Era of  Indian Hockey. His legacy inspired a lot of players to take up hockey as a game and make India proud. Thou during his heydays, India was not independent. The country was short of self-esteem, confidence and only politicians or revolutionaries were it's heroes. There was little room for sports. However, Dhyan Chand, born in a humble family of Prayagraj, joined British Army, and was enlisted as a sepoy (private) in 1st Brahmans, a regiment, named after communities those days. He was selected to represent British India in Olympics. It was start of an era, where India (including British India)  was a brutal force in the sport, winning 7 out of 8 Olympics Gold Medals. Dhyan Chand was terrific in the field, dribbling was such précised and controlled that it appeared that he was playing with a

The sporting Heroes of India - #1 Sunil Gavaskar (Cricket)

India does not have a dominating sporting history till 1980s. Apart from the Field Hockey Super Star, Major Dhyan Chand, India mostly struggled to produce real sporting icons. Cricket, which became one of the most prominent and popular sports of India, was just coming out of being a royal game, under Wadekar. But dominance was still a far fetched thought. However, the landscape of the Indian cricket was about to change. A 5'4" tall, or rather short young man, from a middle class family, came in. He went on to become the most successful Cricket Opening batsman of the history of cricket, that too, without a formidable partner at the other end. Fondly remembered as Little Master, who refused to succumb against the bias and discrimination forced on third world nations, a norm those days. He, in a way, infused the self-confidence and self-esteem in the team. The Indian teams till then, used to get dominated and being defeated unceremoniously. We, the generation now, have

The Most Beautiful Night...

A cold and rainy day in a hill town is scary and at the same time it is lovely. A December night, rainy and chilly, the unseasonal rain had worsen the weather. I was waiting for my college bus during a weekend, which usually departs at 8 PM from the city center to my college campus, situated in jungles outside the outskirts of the city. There were hardly six or seven of us waiting for the bus. All of them were unknown faces and mostly were workers from the neighboring village of our college campus. It was a cold day, even the known faces would have been difficult to recognize, given everyone was under the cover, masked by mufflers or monkey caps or both.  The era of smart phone zombies was yet to arrive. Forget about smart phones, even normal mobile phones were rare those days, and hence time pass at the bus stop was a little harder. So chit chat was the best time pass. While looking for the know faces, I recognized one familiar face. It took a while to realize, that a shy &

Sport - One of the imparatives of Life

The true character of a human being comes out during adversity. Human beings are as good or bad, as their characters are built. The characters cannot be build overnight. Every stage of one's life has an impact on the psyche of an individual, the environment we grow in, inculcates our behavioral and personality traits and certain characters. One of such character is how to handle defeat. Depression, arrogance, hatred, jealousy and several other negative aspects of behavior creeps in, or become visible, when we fail. This is due to lack of ability to handle failures. It further halts the progress as an individual. In real life, there are no superheroes. Superheroes are mythical or fictional. And hence, there are no one in real life, who will never face any failure. Thus, the preparation for handling failures or defeat is imperative, same as the preparation for handling success. There is an old saying, "Failure is the stepping stone to Success". Sport teaches a lot of

Bicycle - A treasured possesion

Bicycle; it was a dream to own one, when I was a kid. The two wheeled, pollution-less, personal mover, has lured me more than anything, till date. The thrill of balancing the iron structure over it's narrow rubber tires, used to instill stinging sensation inside. This was all, I used to dream as a child. Howbeit, never shared this dream with my parents. Mostly, because I thought it was not needed. One of my friends, who is no more, used to visit our home during summers, riding on his bicycle. He had a troubled family, the reason he used to roam around the town entire day, only to get back to spend night at home. Summers, we used to have morning school. He used to come to my place post lunch. He was little weak in mathematics but excellent in literature. I was exactly opposite. So we complemented each other while studying together. More than boring study of literature, that he had to offer, I was more fascinated by his bicycle. My dream was to have a bicycle like he had, and p

Sparrow - The lost companion of Human Race

I never thought, we have to celebrate or rather observe "Sparrow Day" to make people aware about this harmless little passerine bird, being on verge of extinction. I grew up seeing sparrows everyday, during my childhood. It was a sight, so familiar. In my native,  sparrows were co-owners of certain part of our houses, that too with authority. They use to litter a lot, around their nests. But no one thought of dismantling their nests. It was their abode, same as ours. It was their safe haven, because we were supposed to be their protectors. Unfortunately they considered us untouchables. The moment one of their young ones falls out of their nests, they use to banish them and leave them to die. If someone put them back to their nest, they used to throw them out, abandon them. It was easier for those sparrows to build their castles in the southern section of our large clustered house, because that part was made up of clay bricks, Bamboos, wood and straws (or rice/wh