Sunday, April 6, 2014

Why Elections 2014 would be the most eventful election of all time?

As the mercury is rising in India, emotions are rising high too.  And I am not just referring to the cricket fever - which has become more or less like a chronic disease ailing people all year round.  I am talking about the national elections 2014.

A friend of mine recently had the following status message on facebook - "I need political detoxification". Well, all of us do. Ever since the polling in Delhi, politics has been the top of charts for any conversation online and offline.  And that is not without reason.  What we are about to witness may just go down history as one of the most important elections of all times. And if you still have managed to remain aloof politics or refrained from expressing your political opinion, worst still, if you haven't yet formed your opinion, please read on,  pull up your socks, and cancel your plans to sleep through the voting day. Here is your chance to be a part of history.

1) Largest number of voters ever and largest electoral in the World
When India goes to vote this month, 800 million people would be eligible to cast their vote and exercise their right to decide their political and economic destiny. That not only makes India the largest democracy in the World, it is also the largest number of voters ever eligible to vote in India as well, making this year's National elections the largest electoral exercise in the World. Ever.

2) The power of youth voters and social media
This time 814m people are registered to take part and estimates suggest that around 120m of them, or about 20 per cent, will be first-time voters.
In places such as the huge northern state of Uttar Pradesh, with a population of 200m, the youth vote could play a crucial role in deciding who emerges as the eventual winner.
24 million voters aged 18 to 19 will be polling for the first time in an election in which social media and internet-based campaigning faces its first electoral test. Therefore all those twitter and facebook fans of Modi or AAP would finally have an opportunity to actually put into action what they have been preaching online.

3) The choice of NOTA
Voters will now have an option of selecting "None of the above" or NOTA on their EVMs when they go to vote this time. This means that even if you feel that none of the parties deserve to form a government, you still have an option to express your opinion. This is a very strong tool especially in the backdrop of extreme grey political sentiments without any clear public favorite.

4) The rise of a revolution
This the first time since India's Independence that the political staples have been challenged at the national level. The strength of the Aam Aadmi is here to test the mettle of many a seasoned politicians. A party that is the epitome of the common man, that challenges the motives of every established party, that is fearless in uncovering the harsh truth that no one talks about, that has the guts to stand up against power, money, strength and diplomacy and only push one agenda forward - The agenda of the common man.
The common man on the other hand, is clearly fed up. Recent demonstrations, social media opinions, public gatherings and coming together of people during the Nirbhaya tragedy are all pointing towards this sentiment. The common man is done with status quo. The common man is ready for a radical change. For action. What this means for the existing political parties - and their unchanged promises, we will know soon.

5) A promise for change but for a price
This election is not about BJP vs Congress. It is about Modi  vs others. Lets accept it, the people that defined BJP are all gone or alienated. The new face of BJP is the face of Modi brand of politics. That is built on a strong corporate lobby, a sharp business acumen, and a merciless approach towards minorities. That aside, the extremism that Modi brings with himself may not be good for any community given that peaceful coexistence is what keeps India together.  Modi is running this election over his Gujarat model of development. What kind of development we are talking about, remains questionable.
I am told that thousands of stone pieces have been gathered in Ayodhya. The temple could be built in days. Everything is ready and waiting. If Modi wins, we might build a concrete structure within days. But what about building a country that is being crushed under the need for fairness, equality, honesty and every man doing his job righteously. We are about to give up our chance to all that, for a fight of primitive land rights. This country's entire future is a big price to pay for a piece of history - rather a piece of mythology.

6) Abki baar advertising ki bauchaar
Right from Ms. Ansari's yuva soch, her spoof's sharp retort, to the poetic "Abki baar" campaign, advertising by various political parties has been at loggerheads with each other. That may not have any political or historical significance and I would be surprised if a single vote converts simply by the strength of these punch lines, but nonetheless, it definitely ads lot of drama to the existing cacophony of pre-elections mudslinging.

With so much simmering around the country, if you as a citizen still prefer sleeping over voting, then you are a moron. You are lame. Please go find your voter ID and save face.  More importantly, save the country.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Being Cranky

Hi Folks, I must say I vanished midway through my so called Marathon rather unannounced.

Well, you being mommies, ladies, executives and slaves very well know the kind of demands this society often makes of us. And in the event of giving in to these demands, one is often left with ignoring ones' inner calls. Such as my inner call to reach out to you all through my blog. The call to write something funny, or sarcastic, or analytical - more importantly something fun.

You may ignore these calls, but then they come to haunt you. In the form of guilt. Sometimes that guilt grows so strong that you feel hesitant to face that inner call ever again. For example, I don't call my friends (inner call to call.. ironic!). No matter what excuse I give, it is not justified. I feel guilty about it. So I don't call them even more. Then my guilt grows a little more. And then it becomes so constant, that it turns into a vicious circle that I am ever unable to break.

The above might just be a rant for you. But you have to listen.

I am feeling very cranky because of it. When will I start addressing the things that I feel are truly important to me? Like joining that yoga class, finishing my book or calling that friend I havn't spoken to in years.

Life is just passing by too fast, and all I am managing to do is barely meeting deadlines.

This whole concept of working for a corporate employer seems flawed. It demands too much off your life in exchange for money. Money in the end, is meant to help you live the rest of your life well. But it takes away so much off your life, that you are barely left with any time to live life. Is living only on weekends justified? Or is even a 45 hour work week plus 10 hour commute justified? Who invented this? Who thought this was appropriate?

Why should I earn all the money that I will probably spend on putting my kids through college and getting them married. Where is my share of convenience?

When I die, I dont wanna have one of those top 5 regrets that I heard on one of the TED talks today.

1 - Wish I hadn't worked so hard
2 - Wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
3 - I wish I had let myself be happier
4 - I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself and not the life others expect of me
5 - I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings

Hmm. Lets start addressing them today. Better be happier than regretful. Gosh. I am getting quite deep.

I am more bothered about points 1, 2 and 4. So I will try to do something about them. What about you?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blogathon Day 23: Why I went missing

Weirdest thing happened. I suddenly got busy at work. So busy as I have never been, in my entire tenure at this company. My kitchen, family and blog are on hold. Hang on. Tomorrow is weekend, and promise I will update ! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Blogathon Day 20: An ode to Sports

Before I start, let me clarify that I suck at sports. Any kind. The very few times I brushed shoulders with sports are all joke-worthy. So I am going to tell you about all of them.

Primary School, Jack and Jill Race - Gold

This was the first time I was participating in any sporting event other than group PT displays or mandatory class marches. I got a Gold in that race. But you know how? I was playing Jack in the race and I had another partner playing Jill. As per rules of the race, Jack was supposed to pick up the bucket and Jill, a little distance from the starting line, then all three of them were to run together to the finish line. My Jill was extra competitive. She started running even before I reached her.I could barely catch the bucket before the finish line. While all other Jills wanted to care about their Jacks, my Jill was happy going for the Gold. Ofcourse I shared the credit but the bucket was solely mine.

Graduation, College Sports Day, 400 Metres relay - Silver

Before you wow this. Let me clarify that there were 4 runners each running 100 metres. So it was 4*100 metre relay. Due to extremely low turnout on the college sports day, there were no teams to participate in the girls relay. So, we put up three teams from the girls hostel to fill the event. All three won medals. In my defense, we were not last. And no one knows about that fastest girl on our team who took a good enough lead from the last team so that the rest of us could just walk.

Post graduation, Table Tennis - the Bat won

MBA college had a TT table that everyone used for improving their TT skills. When I joined MBA I bought a new TT bat, good quality. I intended to play often. But I hate standing in queues. My second day of practice, I couldn't take the long wait anymore. As I was beginning to leave, a guy asked me if he could borrow my bat. I gave him the bat and left. I never went back again. The bat changed several hands and landed with someone I couldn't track. I'm almost certain it won a championship or two there.

And then there were the times when we played badminton on family picnics. For some reason I always imagined one song playing in the background. "Dhal gaya din.. tuk.. ho gayi sham.. tuk"

Hmm. That's pretty much the story of my friendship with sports. Promise will learn swimming this year. As I have been promising myself for the past 5 years. Blame it on the weather. Grr.. It is never right.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Blogathon Day 19: Typical conversation between a woman and her hairstylist

I bet 90% of you have the same conversation. Every single time.

Woman walks into the famous hair cutting place where she has taken an appointment days in advance and has been looking forward to breaking the boredom from her mane. She is made to wait for a few minutes before she is given a seat in front of a large mirror. If the staff is pleasant, she is offered coffee. Then walks in the stylist.

Stylist: Hello, I am XY. May I know your name?

Woman: I am AB.

Stylist: Ok. AB. Tell me what you want. What are we doing today?

Woman: I don't know. I want a new look. I am very bored of my current curly hair/frizzy hair/flat hair/straight hair/U hair/V hair etc. etc.

Stylist: (running her fingers through her hair). Ahan. When was your last haircut? Do you want the same cut?

Woman: (Remembering that it was between 4 to 6 months ago).. hmm.. I think 2 months. No, don't do the same one. I want something different this time.

Stylist: I am thinking layers.

Woman: Don't make it very short. I want to keep the same length. And it should be low maintenance. I don't have time.

Stylist: Ok.

Woman: And I want little bit of volume. And something in front.

Stylist: Ahan. Ok. Lets first wash your hair. Please come this side.

Then while washing her hair the stylist will ask what shampoo she uses and weather or not she uses a conditioner everytime. Maybe also how often she oils her hair.

Back at the chair. Snip Snip begins.

Stylist: Have you considered colouring/rebonding/straghtening your hair?

Woman: No no. I tried it once, it spoilt my hair. I lost so much hair since I moved to this town/put certain treatment/changed water/had kids

Snip. snip. And then blow dry.

Stylist: We are almost done here. I will now show you from behind how it looks. Its easy to maintain. Just after you shampoo in the morning, blow dry rolling your brush like this and take in inwards/outwards. When you go to a party, you can try this parting. Or otherwise, just let be naturally like this.

Woman: Looking at her hair in the mirror. Wow. Looks nice. Thanks!

And then she walks out, feeling like a model, with pretty much her old haircut, just refreshed and hyper blow dried.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Blogathon Day 16: The ultimate wishlist of an online shopper

Half way through the Blogathon!

Cougar town has this episode where Jules and Elli drink some wine and look at clothes and shoes online. I love that episode. I love doing that too. Window shopping online I mean. Today I am going to list down 5 things that make me happy. They are so beautiful, lovely and purely for pleasure. And for envy.

They are top on my dream list. Right next to publishing my own book. That is what I am going to do with all the money I make writing.

# 1 This Prada calf leather tote

# 2 These katespade metallic heals

# 3 These citrine stone and diamond earrings
Kiki Classic Citrine and Diamond Oval Drop Earrings
# 4 This awsome wingback fireplace chair for reading and an appropriate ottoman to go!

# 5 The most sophisticated sewing machine ever made - Brother Quattro 6000D!
Brother Quattro 6000D Sewing and Embroidery Machine

:) :) ;) ;)

I am getting goosebumps. Bye.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blogathon Day 15: Modi flies with Salman

One, I am writing this post first thing int he morning from work. My bosses don't know that, but the sheer pressure of daily updates keeps me distracted all day. So I am getting it out of the way first thing.

Two, the subject of the post is more positive than I am. To drive Modi crazy traffic you know.

So, I have always praised the marketing skills of Modi Ji. The guy knows how to drive the masses, or to say, majority vote bank. He has a super dedicated team of online fans that promote everything he says or does. Then he has a Twitter account to wish people on different festivals - some of those festivals you wouldn't even have heard of.

Yesterday, he bragged about his meeting with Salman Khan and his participation in Uttarayan. I'm sure you all heard about it. Now, me thinks, there is a bone for both in this. Otherwise, this unnatural meeting can't just be shooting accident.

Modi's agenda is clear. He is going all the way with clearly polarized majority votebank as well as large corporate's support.  But for some strange reason he is trying to create this camouflage of peaceful co-existence with the minorities.  This may have something to do with his vision of becoming a historical figure. He just doesn't want to be PM. Even Machiavelli could do that. But he wants to go down  history books. He wants to be popular, and probably that is why he is posting pictures of himself reading ET with Obama's book by his side.  And taking Salman Khan out for Undhiyu lunch. What kite is he flying? Or will this kite fly?

On the other hand, beloved Salman, your fans are bedazzled. Has it got something to do with securing your position in the event of the imminent Modi-raj? With all the legal hassels you have been involved in, it might just help to be on the good side of the devil. We understand. But hope you know that your heartless participation and kite flying is going to buy him same number of votes as AAP's Kumar Vishwas' praises of Modi during his past Kavi sammelans. In the meanwhile, hope you enjoyed pulling a few strings in Gujarat.