Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Shattered Dreams & Hopes....

When thought that the winter has passed by, Jammu & Kashmir received biggest snow fall in years, due to the effect of which whole North India is again under harsh cold wave.
It has brought with it, very low temperatures & rains which have ruined the hopes of millions of farmers. Ripened crop on thousands of hectares of land in Punjab, Hariyana and many parts of Rajasthan has suffered severely.
I read in a newspaper last week that farmers had received bumper crop this year(wheat, mustered especially), & the report indicated that if all goes well for at least 10-15 more days, farmers will be able get good money this year but….
Agriculture is the biggest gamble in India…& when everything seems to be alright… even few hours of rain can ruin the efforts of months, and there seems to be no way to fight against this cruelty of nature. After all…nobody expects very low temperatures in February end…and God save Meteorological Department …..There is still no concrete mechanism to communicate latest information & weather forecasts to farmers in remote parts of country. They still have to depend on there own indigenous techniques and predictions & of course…God to get returns of their hard work….
Isn’t it unfair to them….who toil hard…. in scorching summers…in freezing winters with minimum resources…. ?
And what do they get in return….? Only shattered hopes & dreams……

Monday, February 21, 2005

Ground Reality

Another week has passed by but this time got only Sunday off. Had a field exercise on Saturday & that was an experience worth sharing.Here it is.....
we takeoff from college on 9 in morning (Saturday morning & I woke-up as early as 8:30!!!!) Destination…Village Samarda, arnd 35 Km from Bhopal. First we visit a Nursery near Barkatulla University…& then heads off towards Samarda. The village is in interior, 10 kilometer from main road…no other connectivity. We reached at arnd 12:30.
We have already made groups which had to concentrate on various issues & we scattered in the village.

My grp enters the village….my first encounter is with Narendra, He is arnd 8-9 years old, & he says, Namaste sir, when he looks us. I try to start conversation…. abt him, his family, his education. He is in 4th std, has two siblings & his father is a Nakedar (Forest watchmen) with forest department. He also have agricultural land, & when I asks him that who works over land, he proudly says that he joins his mother in fields. He says that there are total 96 students in his school from std.1 to 8th but only one Ma’ssaab (Teacher) we also come to know that there are several television sets in village & also four CD Players,& …which was the last movie u saw, he shyly tells..”Billa No.786”, A Mithun Dhamaka(proves that not Shahrukh, but Mithun rules Indian grassroots still :).

After talking several minutes (when I think that there is nothing more to ask) we move further inside the village. The scene is, that almost everywhere…I encounter my classmates in groups of 2 or 3, talking to villagers.

again I encounters a child, girl this time(arnd 7-8 yrs), but she is too shy, & I only get her smiles in answers to my queries, but I manage to know her name(Puja) ,that her father & mother are not at home, that she also goes to school but didn’t went today(holiday) & when I asked..what abt food, very proudly, she tells that “I prepared it & also fed by little brothers”….

Here, we meets, Vrindavan….he is arnd 30 years old..& after several minutes we also come to know that he is the father of Narendra(the child whom we met earlier). We talk abt the problems of villages & the first among many is connecting road…he did not had to say much because we reached by that road only…& that 10 Km patch (from main road) is pathetic. & this is the condition when this village comes under State Chief Minister’s constituency. He says that whenever elections come...they get huge promises that the road will be made this time…...but promise are promise only.
Regarding other probs…it is drinking water, drainage system, education, health…to name a few.There r only 4 hand pumps in village & only 2 are working. There is a well at forest rest house and once some pipes were also laid to village for water supply but the work halted in between and those pipes are stolen by now & there has been no progress since then.

Regarding health…in major cases they have to take patient to Bhopal & in most cases it takes too much time to reach Bhopal that the condition of patients worsens in middle.

Regarding education as we already heard from that child, there is only one teacher on 96 students & he is also not very regular. We can very well think what a person will teach to 96 students.

There is not much agricultural land with villagers…the other sources of income are..works provided by Forest department, Tendu Leaf & Mahua Collection..

We again start moving & encounters some more villagers…but it is that old lady(arnd 50) years who gave us some bitter truth pills which I can never forget. I m writing her words in Hindi here as that generates more effect.,
kya hai ye…tum log har mahine aa jaate ho.(I protest that its my first time)..to koi aura aa jata hai…yaha aate hai..ye sab likh le jaate hai..karta koi kuch nahi, mai 40 saalo se dekh rahi hoo, is gaon me kuch nahi badala, kuch nahi hua.(I says that I m a student)…to tum log yaha picnic manane aaye ho. Aaj shaniwar hai na…tumhari chutti hogi, tum ghumne aa gaye, nahi to yaha Samarda me kya milega jot um yaha aaye ho, Abhi 2 mahine pehle bhi ek camp laga tha yaha…log aaye the 8 din rahe, khele-kude, khaya-piya aur chale gaye…kiya to kuch nahi.yaha log aakar 50 baar road kaa naap leja chuke hai,aaj tak road nahi banaya.tum jaise log bhi aate hai, ulte-seedhe sawaal puchte hai..aur chale jaate hai.(an elder person (age arn 65 is sitting near her 7 he tries to cool her but in vain.)

I just listens the grnd reality with bewilderment, unable to answer anything, whatever she is saying, there is truth in her words, & though there is anger in her words there are also traces of pain. also it leaves some questions in my mind
Who gave us right to interfere in there lives? OK we have our studies and field work components but doesn’t asking question like this raise false hopes in their mind? They tell us our pain, with expectation that here is someone who has come to listen me & he will do something for me once he goes back…& what will we do…make a nice presentation…a nice looking report…talk some big words(sustainability. livelihood, capacity building, blah., blah, blah…) and then forget everything. Is it ethical?

Imagine the way we behave with the door to door salesman in cities…and here we are…44 students…attacked a village with just 50 houses with our absurd queries and question, asking the problems abt which we can do nothing (at least at present).

(some examples…how people were asking questions there…”Aapke yaha BPL families kitni hai?”, “Aapke yaha family planning hoti hai?” & the poor fellow is wondering over the words “BPL” & “family planning”).

How can India Feel Good when a village, just 35 kilometers from State Capital, constituency of State CM has not got proper road connection, have a school with only one teacher, have no employment and no water (whatever bloody interdepartmental & governmental conflicts are there)?

One question to myself…I m writing all this stuff, so big words…but once I get a job ..will I think abt them…will I prefer to go & work in a village like that? I don’t know….

Friday, February 18, 2005

The "Class" of 2004-06(Me- Last Row 4th From Left) Posted by Hello

Monday, February 14, 2005

DD Quiz & 2nd Term Grades

So Today was a good day finally. Though started on a bad note but….all well that ends well :)

First…woke up early (at 7:30 & that too when I was getting up at arnd 9-10 since last 9 days, full Kalpataru week) & then when was getting ready… came to know that 8:30 class will not be there (professor informed only early morning).
So disappointed on losing THAT precious 1 hour sleep… OK….no probs…went to class at 9:30 & again…no class …Prof on leave. @#~&@&$#..If all this would have been informed earlier…I could have enjoyed 2 hours of sleep. So bad.

Me & Bhaskar had to leave for Doordarshan Quiz, & so missed last 2 classes (with permission) & left for Doordarshan Kendra at 12.I was too anxious & excited for the quiz & a bit nervous also but nothing was ready there. All the three teams had arrived in time but those people were not ready. & so waited…& waited..& waited. Meanwhile got some makeup…but had not eaten anything since 8 & was feeling so hungry (Nothing available in canteen there).

Finally it started at arnd 3... & the good part starts now…The quiz was too simple (especially for Bhaskar) & we cracked it like anything. We managed to lead from the first round itself and finally the difference between us & first runner-up(MANIT) was 70 Points. Felt too happy but…. no incentives for winning…no prizes…no certificate…not even claps... Nothing & the telecast is also far away(25th March). OK… again no probs..

But one more surprises was remaining…when came back to collage… found that All second term grades r out (except UB). Heart Beats increased…& noted down grades somehow....OGPA 3.28 (compared to 3.03 first terms). At least a bit improvement.

QT was my Waterloo again (worst performance). If had managed well in QT…the OGPA would have been much better. This term has no such bad subject...let us see what happens ….

Now abt coming 2-3 days…The good thing is.. ..no 8:30 class for full week :)
But the workload will increase now with much more assignments + term projects and Mid Terms r also approaching. So shud start study by now…….
P.S. - Today was Valentine's Day. ...Feels so bad when someone asks..."what u did today.....something special":(.But not for me.Wait n wacth(others).Till then Lagey Raho India :).

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Kalpataru Ends....

So, Kalpataru comes to an end with yesterday’s final function & with this comes end of holidays & classes will start from Monday.
Anyway the good thing for me was winning second prize in OpenHouse Quiz contest (Intercollege) as I did not took part in any other cultural or sports activity.
The week saw a lot of GBMs by the class on the issue of conflict with staff (their attitude & behaviour). First it was decided that we will only organize & not participate in any of the event which continued for starting 2-3 days but later due to PEER PRESSURE the decision was taken back.
On Monday I (along with Bhaskar) have to take part in a Quiz at Doordarshan, Bhopal. The other teams participating are MANIT, Bhopal & SATI, Vidisha. The Quiz is based on Indian History & Culture. I have to prepare well for that & WIN this Quiz.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Thought On A Quote

"You Learn more from Failure than you can from Success."
- From The Book "Brand Failures" By Matt Haig.

I should have been a Genius by now!!!!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

A Bad Day..A Book..& A Movie.

Kalpataru is just 3 days ahead & the campus is warming up. Also thanks to cool 'n' warm sunny days the climate is too good for sports.

But I m Feeling so bad! Today was really not my day.First, in early morning hours (around 2 A.M.) I lost my carom doubles match (against Virendra & Lokesh), played very bad & missed even simple chances.Then slept at arnd 3 and slept like anything. Missed first three lectures!!!. Though second one was free
Then in the evening, had Volleyball Matches. We managed to win the first game of three sets by 2-0(against faculty) but then the next match was with seniors & we lost it by 2-1. Performance was not too bad but I think there is some jinx working when we play against seniors. In the whole year we have lost three times(100%) in volleyball against seniors. Though they say that they also never managed to win against their seniors & that means that there IS some jinx.

Cultural Prelims will start from tomorrow & I m participating in every event except Dance & Singing(hope i can do some better there ).

I have started reading “Da Vinci Code”…& the thrill is really gripping from the first page. Have reached till 100th page now & cudos to Dan Brown , he has really done a lot of homework on novel. All those puzzles, anagrams & theories seems so realistic (on first page he claims that all this is true, should I believe him?) I will also try to get hold on his earlier works.

Also Watched Movie “Page-3” yesterday. Once again a good piece of work by Director Madhur Bhandarkar & and a true portrait of so called High Society. If this is what they call “Mumbai Life” or “Fast Life” is, then I m really sorry for those people.Konkana Sen Sharma is marvellous in her charm,eyes,looks, acting everything.(once again a "Sanwali Bangali Bala", after Rani Mukharjee, Bipasha Basu...). These Bengali girls r really good!!!.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


I have been in hostels since I was in 6th standard. It has been around 14 years now outside the home & as far as I remember the longest duration for which I stayed at home continuously during this time was arnd 3 months.

Have stayed in various hostels, in rented rooms, single or twin shares basis, hostels with up to 20 guys in one single hall, rooms with very good neighbors & landlords, rooms with worst landlords, mosquitoes, with or without fan, Common or separate toilets & many more.

Ate food at different messes, tiffins, self made sometimes and sometime by cook also.Ate rubber like chappatis, tasteless curries, pani & kankad wali dal.

Tasted & seen so much in life, met with of many people, made many friends, guys who never studied & managed good grades, guys who only studied but were never able to get good grades, guys who were great painters, dancers, singers.
Many memories are associated with my hostel life (both in school as well as collage). Some were really joyous and pleasant at that time & now also, & some were dreadful at that time but seems funny now. What i felt to leave home for the first time , then how was it to go 2000 kilometers from homeland to study @ God’s Own Country for 2 years, whose language & culture was very much different from mine. Then there was Engineering Collage…the fear of ragging & The Ragging. :)

There is so much that I can write some thing on each event & moment. So I have decided that I will start writing all my past memories, memories which are deep inside my HARDDISK.

The problem is, I don’t know how and from where to start so I have thought that I will start randomly and write whatever comes to my mind. Also one more thing I m uncertain abt is should I publish it on blog or shd write on paper. Hope I can get an answer soon from inside.