Friday, June 29, 2012

Another Speed Devil Kills An Innocent

Most people die of road accidents than most diseases, so much so the Indian high ways are among the top killers of the country.

Justice V.R Krishna Iyer said in a court ruling in 1979.

Kshama Chopra was a witness to this gory testimony of words. She was two weeks pregnant, happily married just another thirty year old who was heedless of the rashness on roads, and on one such fateful day lost her life to necrotic negligent driving. On May 5th while returning from a medical check up along with her husband and parents, the Indigo she was traveling in, was rummaged by an over speeding BMW. The driver of the BMW was reportedly intoxicated and the impact of the fatality was so grievous that the car rolled over several times before landing on the ground. Ms. Chopra who was a few weeks pregnant died on the spot along with the driver of their car, while her family members suffered serious injuries and have been bed ridden since then. The rich drunken brat driving the speed devil fled the spot and until this day has not been arrested. He continues to roam around scot free while also retaining his driving license, which the police was supposed to cease immediately after identifying him as the culprit.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ah! Poetry by Various Authors

Book: Ah! Poetry.!
Author: Members of Ah! Poetry
Language: English
Publisher: Nivasini Publishers
Date of Publishing: 2012
Price: Rs 150

The anthology offers variety in verses and verbiage with a simple and subtle language that explores all the emotions of the human heart in free verse, rhyming and some other newer invented forms except that love was over exploited in deed and discourse, sometimes bordering somewhere between cliche and originality. So also, in some poems rhymes seems to have been forced. The poets have tried to discover the Indian identity and ideology which reminds you sometimes, of your home state or your favourite Indian food or the social life in the cities or just to say, the simplicity of the rural rustiness.

Abhishek Dua's Two Square Meals A Day stalks the mind of the reader with oxymorons of human emotions plaguing the heart.
Ajinkya Raut's Deflowered explores the lives of sex workers, some that happen due to miseries and others that happen in act of shameless satisfaction.
Akshat Gupta's A packet full of Your Memories is a walk down a lane forgotten and forbidden.
Amanpreet Singh's Vacant Horizons discovers the darker mysteries of life with ease and elan.
Amar Singh' The Day Vision inspires the reader to treat each day as a gift from God.
Amit Charles travels through his grandma's childhood reminding us of hey day innocence with his poem Ammama, Puttu and the Summer Rain.
Amiya Cahtterjee's Middle May explores the good and bad and the middle road running between them.
Anand Madhukar's A letter to my Father pay a tribute to his father's memories that stalked him for a good fifteen years before pouring out in this poem.
Anantha R's I am ready For Marriage talks of a dream theme for a perfect non-plagiarized wedding in these suffocating times of arranged marriages and matrimonial websites.
Anu Cowalgi's Perspectives magnifies the present day scenario in the nation with truthful honesty.
Baljeet Randhawa's A Philosphy of Colours is a poetic perspective of philosophy and its parameters.
Charbak Das magnifies his unsaid memories of love by exploring nature's elements in his poem Sand House.
Deepti Agarwal's Free at Last is a poem delving into suicidal freedom with breath taking beauty.
Dolly Singh's poem A Designer's Muse is a distinctive poem, the kind I haven't read till this day, which poetically pens the kaleidoscopic beauty of the world of fashion.
Hiral Trivedi's To the end of the Tunnel is a lovely collection of short poems talking of a silent suffocating soul wanting to attain nirvana.
Indira Mohanty's poem Love is an an amalgamation of emotions of various hues from red to white to black and even grey.
Jayachandran Ramachandran salutes the supreme sacrifices made by Irom Sarmila Chanu in her fearless fight demanding withdrawl of the AFSPA from Manipur.
Jatin Kuberkar's An Unusual Biography exploits a forsaken love's journey towards nothingness.
Jennifer Robertson makes use of unusual metaphoric images to tell the story of a dream unfulfilled.
Krihsna Dasani's poem Women salutes the power womanhood has been bestowed with gracious charm.
Kunal Sen's poem Vermilion is unusually structured and digs into the elements of an Indian arranged marriage very beautifully.
Leenuka Reddy is a womanist talking of Eve's curse with sad sinister detailing.
Madhav Bhandarkar's Loyal Husband is an exploration of everlasting parting love that doesn't die even with death while Maulik Trivedi respects the yin and yang of fakery and reality in Opaque Reality.
Mayank Sharma is innocence personified in his poem Dedicated to a Bird.
Manish Gautam's Coin in economically worded poetry talking of how life can never be traded for coins.
Mehul Jain skectches his philoshphy of life with attractive adjectives in his poem Life Unexplained..Unexplainable while Nishant Shah's poems Aum had chants of Hindu philosophy driving it.
Nivedita's poems written for her friend is a very honest dedication in the reverence of friendship.
O Sudhir Janardhanan is an imaginative poet with intelligent use of imagery while Payal Aggarwal's Acrostic offers variety to the reader with form poetry.
Philoment Chaudhary explores darker and dreaded secrets of love in all her poems while Pratibha Sofat hankers on hopelessness in an incomplete efforts in her poem Hope-less.
Pravaas Ranjan does justice to his professional paranoia in his poem Raincoat.
Preeti Venkatesan's poem Death Wish looks much like a Suicide Note with Prerna chaudhary utilizing abstract elements to ulterior use in all her poems.
Rajashekhar Sen seems to write a memoir in his poem Intro. Rohan Sen's poems are twining love to nature while Sanket Karkare's uses the Metaphor Butterfly to wonderfully describe independence.
Raj talks of love like other poets but from the purview of a teenager. Sashus' poem Love Note is again a wonderful love poem dancing to the tunes of nature.
Saurav displays his acting skills quite convincingly in his poem A Question while Shabbir Khorakiwala again takes you to a wanderlust journey of nature discovering God's creative prowess.
Shashank Mishra's poem Those papers in my Drawer is a good attempt at rhyming poetry while Shigufta Uzma's The Changing Prefixes and Suffixes talks strongly of the surname culture in Post Colonial India.
Shirish Kota's poem Revised Recklessness is a wonderful tribute to womankind.
Shivraj Amin's I the Thief on the Left is biblically inspired and does justice to the hallowed honour in the crucifixion of Christ.
Simranjeet Singh's Skinless layers of I is a memorable memoir poem while George Everett writes two poems to relegate and honour a martyr.
Sudeep Singh Rawat's I am Sorry explores shameless guilt while Sunita Prasad's Pearls of Wisdom are those you might want to keep.
Surabhi Goswami's finds love in her poems.
Syed Qaisar Gilani's is a wonderful journey of life penned with both innocence and maturity.
Yamini Periwal completes the collection with her poems on love and friendship.

The book is available here.

My rating 2.5/5,  2.5 points go away for some poets who did not manage to strike a chord with me for the poetic prose they had to present.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at . Participate now to get free books!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Yamuna- How we managed to raise hell on a piece of heaven?

Two thousand years ago as parables and poems testify, this piece of the heaven landed on earth. And we raised a hell on it, since then. Today it is nothing more than a corpse, a carcass of ashes, coins and sweets forcefully fed in the name of religious rituals.

New Delhi is aware of the importance of this dead water body and the need to resuscitate it, for it is the only wealth of water the city can afford as tap water for four hours everyday in households across the city. The other times bring water to the people in the form of municipal trucks that they pay for or the water tanks installed in the buildings. What is saddening is that sometimes they have to pay doubly or three times than the amount they would have paid had they running water supply at home.

The Yamuna enters the NCR region cleaner from its 246 mile descent from the head of Himalayas. The New Delhi Jal Board collects 229 million gallons of water from the river which forms the single largest source of drinking water for the city. As the Yamuna leaves the city, it becomes a drain for the drab and the drench. To add to the river's torment, the residents pour 950 gallons of sewage into it everyday. As you pass the city, you can see the river as a black barren desert of waste, smothering your nostrils with the repressive rot. Clumps of crap flaot on the top making it unsafe for fishes leave alone for drinking or bathing. With the population of Delhi having expanded by roughly 41% in the past fifteen years, two decades of labor and an expenditure of nearly 1,500 crores pollution in Yamuna has not shown a decline and the government audit last year suggested that the DJB spent USD 200 million which yielded little value. More sewage plants have not done the trick since the lines are heavily clogged and are left at the mercy of the power which fails to keep it up most times.

To add to the woeful worries, colonies like the Janta colony are not connected to sewage pipes with open sewers drowning the alleys with sulking scum. They give the sight of green black ribbons of muck sloshing the sewer line with mosquitoes. Malaria and Dengue are epidemics that visit the areas every year.

With the burden of the Delhi, Yamuna bends to head south to cities like Agra and Mathura which are forced to treat the water heavily, all thanks to the curse of Delhi hiking up the costs by three to four folds.
As per the RTI act, the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan extracted information about the extent of pollution and it is alarming to say that the river is now spoiled upto a 600 km stretch.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Are we Racist? Yes we are! For racial slurs like "chinki" and "madrasi" are a reality in this part of the world

The Ministry of Home Affairs on 4th June 2012 has directed states and UT's to take action against the usage of the word "chinki" for people from North East India, which has been appraised across the nation while also receiving brick bats for the longevity of the jail term proposed.

Chinki is a racial slur used for people with Mongoloid features and is often conferred copiously for people from the North Eastern Indian states like Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur etc. The offender will be booked under the under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and can face up to five years in jail.

While some people believe this was a move in waiting for the racial discrimination against the North East Indians was appalling, others feel that the move is an extremity and a week or so of jailing would suffice. Also North East Indian women feel that being called a "chinki" stereotypes them as easy and attacks their dignity and integrity. And many more say that they were treated as aliens and sometimes were also called "Non-Indians", and such a move would keep such kind of a differentiation in check. It’s not just the victim who can complain, the MHA letter says that anyone, who knows that such a comment has been passed can lodge a complaint. The law states that the accused can end up spending five years in jail and he could be denied anticipatory bail as well.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Marriage: The Indian Consumer's favorite product

The other day while watching an Indian advertisement which portrays how their new gold scheme can be an intelligent investment, reminded me of a mother who is an acquaintance, and has already started saving their stakes for their five year old daughter's marriage. While a few have started stocking up on gold, the others see Insurance policies with high returns as an endowement for a daughter,  some of them inspired by these television advertisements and many by the tabloid. I was wondering how typically tyrannical can advertisers get and how frivolously foolish are the Indian parents?

How can they portray the future of a young girl barely six or seven years old by stereotyping her as "a wife in waiting and a mother in making"? Maybe they could have traced the character of the young girl more thoughtfully, and not made her a sacrificial scapegoat to sell their scheme. They could have talked about a Gold saving system that she could have utilized at a later stage in her life for her higher studies or to become an entrepreneur like this advertisement does. 
Any magazine you open sells marriage on its glossy pages as rich brocade silk or gold or platinum jewelery. So is the absolute obligation for most Indian movies or Television serials to shoot a marriage sequence, atleast in one of the episodes , and yes the more the merrier.

Browse through the wall of your facebook page and you will notice how every second Indian newspaper link you have "liked" talks of how a marriage can be planned and where a would-be-bride can train herself to be the prefect "husband welfare organization".

Most of these newspapers and magazines have very little space to detest the social evils in the society. Alas! How hypocritical we are?

Marriage is the eight letter verb that is being force fed to us, in newspapers and magazines, on the facebook wall, in movies and on the television.

Why? Because the Indian consumer is ready to pay a huge price to buy it. They are willing to churn out a fortune to buy this event into their lives, for that they think will rid their child of all the societal stigma and give them a respectable position admist their peers who are always spying on the lives of young people to score a point with the "We know it all, we have seen more life than you" attitude.

I am smothered to smithereens to see what is being shown on the couch potato or on the glimmering pages of newspapers and periodicals. They will sell fairness creams for a Bride-to-be like in this advertisement promoting shameless sexism, for an Indian bride has to be beautiful and fair, come what may she has no other choice, to a mother who thanks the LIC policy her husband invested in, that gave her daughter a future in marriage. So can't daughters imagine a tomorrow without marriage and a husband.? Then this advertisement that sells a marriage market promoting the idea of community or so to say is advertising casteism by coaxing consumers to log on to their website and find a suitable guy from their own community before they spot their daughter with a man of their choice on a motorbike someday. This guy on the motorbike could supposedly have been the girl's friend or class mate but that kind of a possibility is unexplored here.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

How I got the name "Rinzu"?

Back in the mid eighties, Malayalee Christians were fascinated by the "Any letter" incy series, I mean Bincy, Rincy, Lincy, Tincy and what not. So when I was born my dad insisted on me being named with a letter "R" since he wanted his children to be named after the first letter of his name. So someone suggested a name from the most trending names then and I was named "Rincy". But mom was not supportive of the idea of naming her daughter with a common name and series!