Sunday, December 28, 2014


I have always thought about writing a blog on corruption. At least, in our country's context, for people who believe in nationalism rather than saying how and where I was born decides my association to a country is a bogus concept, just because you want to overcome your guilt of staying away, again in our country's context, I feel is the most important problem we face at the hierarchical problem tree we have. A lot of you will agree with me, but what shatters me is the hesitation of the majority to actually acknowledge it when few events occur in real life. I used have these conversations(I have stopped a lot now due to a lukewarm response and that answers my delay in writing this) with people I know and I respect, when we hear about an accident due to wrong side driving or child in bore well or bus in railway track. I used to argue this is all due to corruption and nothing else, because every other problem, say administration or mis governance or lack of facilities in my opinion will be a child of corruption in the tree I was talking about.

 Many of them acknowledge this when it comes to direct government facing services like passport, RTO, ration etc, because the cause and effect is very direct. If I say that corruption is the reason for two small daughters of a construction working staying at the parking of a newly opened huge supermarket not having basic facilities of a toilet or clothes or some toys, will you agree with me? I hope a lot them do, because I believe in it very strongly and the thought that economic disparity has increased exponentially beyond repair due to corruption alone is deeply rooted in my heart. A lot of people talk about growth and relate it to GDP, and increase in overall quality of life in humans. Our model is too top down and as we move down, we get peanuts. Though everyone is growing, the rate of growth is inversely proportional to your depth in the tree.

India is a huge country when it comes to population and classes of people(I hate to use this word, but it is important in this context). The ones we(as in my friends, social space and acquaintances) interact with, I feel, are in some sense, more of beneficiaries of corruption than detriments of it. We all hate it in the broader sense, but are happy for it to exist in pockets wherever convenient. Some elementary examples are trying to save tax, buying things without receipts, donations for kinder garden admissions, recommendation of any sort from getting a parking space to buying a land. I have seen people look at me with the stare that says "this guy is completely lost" or "is he nuts?" or "he is too idealistic". Balance is the word used by many, they say, "corruption is done by the big shots, we are just trying to balance it and save our money being wasted." There exists a no rule based convenience as a by product of corruption which the majority love and depend on, hence it is very difficult to plant this thought into their heart.

I am big fan of Indian government and they way our constitution is written. Sixty plus years down the line, and we are still very stable in governance, robust in policies. Alarmingly, we are ridiculously lacking in execution. How is that possible? As you expect, my answer is corruption. I sincerely feel that in trying to make the one nation theory of India a reality, we had to make too many compromises in every part of british India to convince every inch of the diversity that their ideology and interests will remain. And one of the compromises was to ignore the rising corruption in the system from the root of its inception because we had lot of growth potential in numbers and like I tried to elaborate, there were beneficiaries. I strongly feel, corruption has gone up after we opened up to the world in the early 90's because we had huge potential for both growth and corruption already in place and hence it was foolish to think only growth will increase and corruption won't.

There is no magic wand with anyone. With rising population and its dreams, it may sound possible to make the majority acknowledge the deepness of this problem, but almost impossible to make them understand that they too have to drastically change and it will take time to solve this problem. At grassroots, if we can try to create a system where politics is independent of administration, and even a small magnitude of corruption is socially looked down upon, and more importantly, a very responsible media, then we may be getting there. I may sound like "Anniyan Ambi", but I am glad I sound like him. We are culturally too tolerant, like the "Adjust madi" advertisement symbolises, like our women for generations due to whom alone we are the leaders today in setting an example of family bonding and values across the world, and more sadly, like the gigantic tolerance and indirect support to corruption in our everyday life. If tolerance on corruption is our weakness, then our callousness is the biggest betrayal to this country of ours. I am a programmer. Every problem I face has a solution that needs either an ideal approach or a practical approach. If I take the practical routes making compromises because it makes my life easy for that day, I fail miserably as a programmer and every programmer knows that. Doesn't it sound exactly similar when we replace problem with corruption and programmers with citizens of our country? 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Why my grandfather was a great man!!!

I think frequently about my mindset relating to purchasing properties. I never wilfully wanted to or will ever want to own plots or houses when I have to shell the money to purchase them. If you are asking me, "who else will?",  I am just taking the rare possibility of acquiring a legacy out of this discussion. The fact is I own a flat right now but I would rather spend that money on a holiday, enjoy, and not regret.  I felt this behavioural aspect of me is slightly uncommon, but was stunned to hear from a very genuine source that a recent survey has proved I am part of the majority.  It was difficult to believe because most folks I meet everyday invest in properties having at least a scattered vision on its returns and strongly feel it is necessary to protect their future.

This made me analyse deeper into "why I have this mindset in the first place?". My only reasoning is family. My grandfather never owned a square foot of land. My father owns a house now, but he built it with more anxiety than happiness, which meant it was never his aspiration to build a house.  And he told me he had sleepless nights thinking about his loans and that took away some happiness he had before. Eventually, he got used to the emi's, figured out it is manageable, and got his peace of mind back. That sounds reasonable because when he applied for a bank loan he was already 47.  That thought process eventually got into my head. What astonished me even more is how my grandfather had managed to skip it.

He never owned a square foot of land in his whole life. He lived one of the most complete and happy lives, no big regrets as far as I know. He had two sons, my father being the younger one. What were his achievements in life? He brought up his two sons and knew they would coexist in harmony with him and his wife. Till he passed away, my father and him never shared salary/pension details. He and my grandmother could decide(still my grandmother can) where they wanted to stay at their will, and more importantly, could take care of themselves financially. After retirement, he took my grandmother to bank every time he went, to keep her abreast on every financial detail of them. When he passed away in 2003, my grandmother was not left to suffer alone with too many unknowns and mysteries and uncertainties. She had been well informed of all channels of his, which could make her as independent as she was when he was there. Now, was there a need for her to be independent? actually not, because she had very less or no problems or issues with her sons or daughter in laws. But, the question is, does being independent made her strong and wilful to lead the rest of the life without him, definitely YES. He lived a happy and complete life and planned things for his wife after his death so perfectly and knew his sons would take care of themselves. He never owned a square foot of land in his whole life.

Now, why did he not own any land is a different question. May be he was not financially liable to own one during his earning days, or he did not want to own one. But, for me, the reason is immaterial. We hear, see, like a lot of motivational examples around the world, get inspired by them and try to get influenced by it and motivate us towards our goal. Why do we do this? mostly, because we need them to break the barrier of mindsets our previous generations have created on us, we thrive to be more open to the idea of chasing our dreams. All that is great and positive.  But, personally for me, at least in the subject of owning properties, all I can think of is the example of how my grandfather lived his life and how that simplicity is very aptly supporting my mindset which I am very happy about.  I may change the trend, (I already slightly have by applying for a home loan at 26, but one house is nothing for this generation), by investing more in the future for obvious reasons or good influence, but I am absolutely sure I will be more anxious than happy with that decision.

Some things inside you are like that because of some solid reasons and I absolutely enjoy trying to analyse them and arrive at a self satisfying conclusion. 

Monday, March 24, 2014


I was searching for a word to describe my orientation towards God, religion, and my opinion towards the depth it has created in our grassroots, not just in India but across the world. I am usually not very convinced about the mythology, its ideals, and its projections in society. Most times, I feel I argue well with people having the opposite opinion, which makes me believe more that the direction of my thought process is right. And then somebody coined this word to me in the context of God. "Do you know who is called an 'Agnostic'?", he asked. "Someone who never says outside that God doesn't exist and he/she doesn't believe in God, but in their inside they feel it very strongly.", he said. That is when I started wondering if "Agnostic" is the right word to describe me in this context. I still am.

The word is bidirectional. I can use it conveniently on both an atheist and theist contextually. So, what do I, as a human being think about existence, God, and religion. I strongly believe the reason for our existence is either an accident or a well planned event to prove reproductive capabilities, therein proliferating the happiness of the souls who proved it. Happiness getting multiplied is a byproduct here, because if it was not, we would have had far less orphanages, reproduction enhancing drugs, and surgeries in that field. I usually try to compare religion with the Indian government post independence era.  There is no doubt in my mind(given I know the word now), that I am agnostic about existence of both. But a simple similarity between them is that all religions have sound fundamentals and the problem with them are the preachers and implementations if I can call them so, and Indian Government has impeccable fundamentals in terms of policies, but the problem is in the execution. This comparison was extremely important for me understand the effects on misuse in the case of religion because we as citizens, know and see the misuse in the case of our government.

When my daughter was 6 months old, she fell off from her bed. Her head hit the floor, she started bleeding from the nose and it was 2 AM. We rushed her to a pediatrician and he assured there was nothing to worry. We came back home at around 2:30 AM. All my opinion on these subjects went for a toss and I was praying that she should be fine. I came back to normal the next morning when she woke up and smiled at me. A day after that, I thought about the reason I prayed. It was no rocket science. Sometimes when the events around you look like they are not under your control and there is no one around to share and create the positivism around, you create something that is synonymous to God. I have underlined 'and' in my previous sentence because, if there was someone for me to talk to, I would have shown signs of positiveness. Because, everyone around me was more worried than me, I could not expect it from them. This incident made me realize why religion and God are so deeply rooted in our society and consequently, how the preachers take advantage of this emotional spread.

Most often, ideologically speaking, the conflicting point is between "I" and "WE". And these two dimensions may not have any intersection between the other dimensions of religion and no-religion. To put it simply, all religions fundamentally preach "WE", they never want you consider "I" ahead of "WE", even communism,  the sworn enemy of religion preaches that. But what is the point of propitiating God, but acting completely against his/her principle in life. And when I see so many examples in people, I bend myself more being agnostic because the world, however modern or old school it is, doesn't care a damn about ideals but likes to exploit it to become long term beneficiaries.

The purpose of life is nothing. All we should do is try to make it better for future proofs of your "reproduction capabilities" or accidents. If this thought process is clear, then there is no need for multiple mediums as it is a fact that all mediums ask you to the follow the same path during different time intervals with few intersections. I still do not know if I am agnostic or not, but I am very sure about the simple fact that if you believe is karma, no matter whom you preach or don't preach, you are doing justice and you should be proud of it.