Friday, September 24, 2004
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
This might sound funny but whenever I am attending a boring lecture, or am thinking, my hand starts making a pattern for which I draw a stem and modify it into a flower. These are almost similar to the ones you will find on my notes and some of my text books:). Today I am actually piled with papers and assignments and so was deeply immersed in my thoughts. As I was on the computer I was able to give shape to these patterns which often come to mind.So here are my thought stimulators or dreamflowers?
Was trying to dabble with my paint brush and create something. Sort of a pressure to keep my blog going:).
However, this might look like a painting by an elementary school kid or may be a piece of modern art:)(too much of self praising).
Well, whatever it might be wanted to publish this. There is a hidden figure (or infact many figures)between those shades of color. Can you spot them out?
Thursday, September 09, 2004
This is w.r.t the question you asked me and I shall try to be as concise as possible! So far, this has been my experience.
I was in science group in 12th and in computer science in engineering college for 4 years. I have been the in US for MS in computer science for 2 years from now.
The people I meet somehow have been very superficial. Most of these people have very little interest in humanties. Most of them read novels. i.e pulp fiction. They neither have a clue of what their own mothertongue has to offer nor do they have any interest in exploring the oppurtunities available to them to know their own culture/society better. Indianness is gone in their minds. Everyone wants to dress in Lee cooper jeans, foreign deodrant and Niki shoes. But if a festival comes, then everyone show up with silk kurtas ready to dance. Here is a set of questions and the default answers you would get from a typical engineering student.
Who is your favorite author?
- Jeffrey Archer.
Have you read any work in your language
- No. nothing other than what was in the compulsory text book
What career options have you searched?
- Nothing. I am very interested in computer science. I want to be a software engineer.
Do you love your country?
- Offcourse. I cheer for India whenever they play cricket.
The indian pop culture is such a shame/sham. Watch any bollywood movie. Each one breaks the others hypocrism record.
With this sorry state of affairs, how could I be optimistic??
After coming to USA, I am used to hearing irritating remarks about India and its system from people who are basically escapists. No one is ready to agree that they could not handle the competition in India. The veil of ego puts the blame on India. I have stayed in this university for 2 years now and only 1 computer science student has gone back to India (offcourse not for some desi company but for an MNC) since the day I have come here. People beg, plead lie or do anything they can to stay in this country. They work illegally in gas stations, become servers.. for what? its not the american dream.. its only for a few pennies more than what they could have in India. I have seen the contempt on us in an American's eyes (again its applicable only to my experiences).
But, indians ignore it. They try to term it as professionalism.
You should have seen our independence day (rather the mockery of it)... faculty and families used it as a picnic, single students used it as a platform to hit on girls and romantically uninterested people saw it as an oppurtunity to grab as much free food as they can. There were few who helped us a lot but in return, they expected valuable contacts of girls, and a chance to give girls a lift back home!
The level of superficiality we have sunk into is scares me. There are no more real emotions.
Life is not all about money. I am not blaming someone if they do not think so. But, my personal belief is, life is atleast a bit about your country. Hence, when one is selling his own soul for money, its also true that his countries image is also tarnished, for no fault of hers. This is totally unacceptable for me.
I did not care to think about all this. Moreover, whether I realized it or not, I was also in the same crowd. All said and done, I myself did not do anything that I am proud of in engineering college.
Outsourcing a job to India is all great. Think about the idea behind it. It is basically doing a country's cheap jobs which they dont want to do because they have more important things to do in their life. We are waiting with open arms so that someone throws some cheap project at us so that we can make some money. Whatever business name and model you call it with, put in plain english, its Cyberslavery.
Forget all this... have Indians ever thought why we have to have computerize India? we are one billion people with enough number of unemployed people to make sure that every business process runs at its maximum efficiency. has anyone cared to stop and think why.. why should indians be so crazed about this alien concept? aren't their other important jobs that to be filled?
Today the Indian youth are proud to say that they hate politics and do not care what goes on in the country. today the the average indian youth is so corrupt that, for him, as long as his job gets done fast, he does not mind bribing people. (again this is my experience)
With this kind of people around you, when it comes to India, how are we to hope that our country will change? Who is to tell them that the life they are leading is the essence of slavery? that their minds are still captured by greed and the west? do they have the necessity to listen? if they continue with this greed operated ideology, what will happen to my country, my religion, my culture... this forces me to be cynical about tommorow. What I do does not matter. I shall put my effort to things I believe in. I will not care for the results. But, knowing that nothing is going to change whether I work for it or not makes me an avantagrade pessimist. Its not because my efforts are inconsequential. Its because the destiny of our land is to be decided by people who do not even know that they are the pillars of thid monument we call our home.
Do you see light?
Whatever Sham mentions seems very much relevant to how most of us think. This is in fact reality wherein we frame our own definitions for patriotism, proffessionalism, civic sense,community help etc.. etc.. Everyone has their own set of rules and beliefs which ultimately help them to survive the competition .It is indeed easy to crticize but really very difficult to be more wiser than others. Well wiser here doesn't refer to intelligence or the knowledge one has but with one being more selfless and pragmatic. One needs to think of oneself or to be too frank, one needs to be "selfish", but we also need to have the wisdom to act in a more wiser way without compromising one's comforts or needs. It is possible.
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Time to Act
I was in Hyderabad giving this lecture, when a 14 year old girl asked me for my autograph. I asked her what her goal in life is.
She replied,"I want to live in a developed India".For her, you and I will have to build this developed India. You must proclaim. India is not an under-developed nation; it is a highly developed nation.
Do you have 10 minutes? Allow me to come back with a vengeance.
Got 10 minutes for your country? If yes, then read; otherwise, choice is yours.
YOU say that our government is inefficient.
YOU say that our laws are too old.
YOU say that the municipality does not pick up the garbage.
YOU say that the phones don't work; the railways are a joke,The airline is the worst in the world, mails never reach their destination.
YOU say that our country has been fed to the dogs and is the absolute pits.
YOU say, say and say.What do YOU do about it?
Take a person on his way to Singapore.
Give him a name...YOURS.
Give him a face...YOURS.
YOU walk out of the airport and you are at your International best.
In Singapore you don't throw cigarette butts on the roads or eat in the stores.
YOU are as proud of their Underground Links as they are.
You pay $5 (approx. Rs.60) to drive through Orchard Road (equivalent of Ma him Causeway or Peder Road) between 5 PM and 8 PM.
YOU comeback to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have over-stayed, identity.In Singapore you don't say anything, DO YOU?
YOU wouldn't dare to eat in public during Ramadan, in Dubai.
YOU would not dare to go out without your head covered in Jeddah.
YOU would not dare to buy an employee of the telephone exchange in London at 10 pounds (Rs.650) a month to, "see to it that my STD and ISD calls are billed to someone else."
YOU would not dare to speed beyond 55 mph (88 km/h) in Washington and then tell the traffic cop, "Jaanta hai main kaun hoon (Do you know who I am?). I am so and so's son. Take your two bucks and get lost."
YOU wouldn't chuck an empty coconut shell anywhere other than the garbage pail on the beaches in Australia and New Zealand.
Why don't YOU spit Paan on the streets of Tokyo?Why don't YOU use examination jockeys or buy fake certificates in Boston?????
We are still talking of the same YOU.
YOU can respect and conform to a foreign system in other countries but cannot in your own. You throw papers and cigarettes on the road the moment you touch the Indian ground.If you can be an involved and appreciative citizen in an alien country, why cannot you be the same here in India?
Once in an interview, the famous Ex-municipal Commissioner of Bombay, Mr. Tinaikar, had a point to make,"Rich people's dogs are walked on the streets to leave their affluent droppings all over the place," he said. "And then the same people turn around to criticize and blame the authorities for inefficiency and dirty pavements. What do they expect the officers to do? Go down with a broom every time their dog feels the pressure in his bowels?In America every dog owner has to clean up after his pet has done the job. Same in Japan. Will the Indian citizen do that here?"He's right.
We go to the polls to choose a government and after that forfeit all responsibility.We sit back wanting to be pampered and expect the government to do everything for us whilst our contribution is totally negative. We expect the government to clean up but we are not going to stop chucking garbage all over the place nor are we going to stop to pick up a stray piece of paper and throw it in the bin.
We expect the railways to provide clean bathrooms but we are not going to learn the proper use of bathrooms.We want Indian Airlines and Air India to provide the best of food and toiletries but we are not going to stop pilfering at the least opportunity.This applies even to the staff that is known not to pass on the service to the public.
When it comes to burning social issues like those related to women, dowry, girl child and others, we make loud drawing room protestations and continue to do the reverse at home.
Our excuse?"It's the whole system which has to change, how will it matter if I alone forego my son's rights to a dowry."So who's going to change the system? What does a system consist of? Very conveniently for us it consists of our neighbours, other households, other cities, other communities and the government.But definitely not me and YOU.
When it comes to us actually making a positive contribution to the system we lock ourselves along with our families into a safe cocoon and look into the distance at countries far away and wait for a Mr. Clean to come along & work miracles for us with a majestic sweep of his hand or we leave the country and run away.
Like lazy cowards hounded by our fears we run to America to bask in their glory and praise their system.- When New York becomes insecure we run to England.
When England experiences unemployment, we take the next flight out to the Gulf.
When the Gulf is war struck, we demand to be rescued and brought home by the Indian government.
Everybody is out to abuse and rape the country.Nobody thinks of feeding the system.Our conscience is mortgaged to money.
Dear Indians, the article is highly thought inductive, calls for a greatdeal of introspection and pricks one's conscience too?..
I am echoing J.F. Kennedy's words to his fellow American to relate to Indians?."ASK WHAT WE CAN DO FOR INDIA AND DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE TO MAKE INDIA WHAT AMERICA AND OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES ARE TODAY"Let's do what India needs from us.
Dr. A P J Abdul Kalaam
I really agree with Dr.Kalam. India is what it is because of it's people. Dr. Gurujada Apparao who is a famour Telugu writer had once quoted, "A country is not represented by it's geographical area but by it's people.
Indians are spread everywhere in the world, in various field, trying to be the best and striving hard to make it in adverse conditions. However when they talk about India, people think of poverty, dirty stinking roads, caste system, communal violence, child labour, dowry deaths, anything and everything bad under the sun. So the irony is that when people of the same country can excel exceptionally well and make a difference all over the world, why is the country still poor? Why is it still in the clutches of darkness and misery caused by all the evil factors? Is it because we are selfish to just take care of ourselves and not bother about the welfare of our country as whole? Or is it because we shy away from doing anything as we feel it hardly makes any difference?
It's high time we Indians realize the power and strength we have within us and utilize it for the betterment of our country too.