Monday, June 30, 2008

Farewell Sam Bahadur


A couple of days back I head the sad news of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw's demise... I am pretty sure that many people are not aware of him. Not until the news was broadcast and his story was published in the news papers... To be honest, though I have a great interest in armed forces, even I didnt have much information about him.. I guess, its like out of sight is out of mind...

Sam Bahadur, as he was fondly called, was the first of the only two army officer to be honoured with the highest rank of Field Marshal of Indian Army. The other one being, Field Marshal K M Cariappa. Manekshaw was one of the 40 cadets of the first batch that passed out from the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun and earned the sobriquet "Sam Bahadur" from soldiers of the 8th Gorkha Rifles of which he was Colonel of the Regiment. His distinguished military career spanned four decades from the British era and through five wars, including the Second World War. Manekshaw became the 8th Chief of Army Staff when he succeeded General Kumaramangalam on June 7, 1969.

During the 1971 war, Manekshaw showed uncanny ability to motivate the forces, coupling it with a mature war strategy. The war ended with Pakistan's unconditional surrender, and the formation of Bangladesh. More than 45,000 Pakistani soldiers and 45,000 civilian personnel were taken as POWs.

He was the recipient of several honors, the special ones being Padma Vibhushan and Field Marshal.. Handsome, witty and sporting his trademark handlebar moustache, Manekshaw had the rare distinction of being honoured for his bravery - Military Cross - right on the battle front itself during the Second World War. He was also the first Indian officer to command the Gorkhas after India got Independence.

Manekshaw believed in what he did and stood for what was right, come what may... His whole persona, sense of humor made him a favorite among his men.. He led a glorified life, created by him. He commanded the respect of not just his soldiers, but peers as well as his seniors and the all the distinguished dignitaries.

While his last rites were performed, it was sad to see that none of the three service chiefs or the defence minister or the President or the Prime Minister of the nation were present to attend, specially President being the one who is the supreme commander of all the three forces.. Such are the poignant state of affairs in our country... My small tribute to the departed soul.. May his soul rest in peace...

(With excerpts from various sites.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Musical Discrimination

A few days back one of my friend told us, how she got angry at her folks for addressing her guitar teacher as 'Master'(teacher in hindi). She told them that he doesnt come to teach some tabla that they should address him as 'Master'. Its guitar, so he should be addressed accordingly... What caught my attention was the way, tabla was addressed...

Is learning tabla below dignity or is learning guitar something very sophisticated and of high standards?? If learning tabla is so below standards, then why do we have maestros like Ustaad Zaakhir Hussain or Ustad Allah Rakha Khan... I dont have anything against guitar.. I personally like that music instrument... I have noticed this quite frequently these days. A person who is trying to learn any Indian Classical instrument is considered backwards, if I can use the term... On the other hand, if we find a person who is learning an instrument like guitar or a banjo or drums is considered, modern or cool... Why is it so?

My main point is why discrimination with Indian Classical instruments. Why can’t we accept these instruments with same dignity or pride as any other instrument of the world? Every instrument has its own importance in the music that is created or played. So why do we hold such discrimination against instruments who produce nothing, but soothing music. Or in order to become 'Yo' kinds, we ought to do these things!!!

The story does not end here. Even in my society, during summer holidays, I find families sending their kids to learn music or dance which is of any form, but Indian. Nobody wants them to learn Indian Classical music or dance in any form. Reason being: They want their child to be considered cool or modern... If we as adults don’t understand or give the importance to our own heritage or culture, what else can we expect from our future generations...

I guess something(s) is beyond my comprehension.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weighty Issues

Offlate, all my clothes have started becoming tight. If I use the appropriate word, it will be fit.. They do not have that margin which I want in my clothes. So my jeans, tops, shirts, trousers, suits have all become fit... and that raises an alarm in my head.. I have gained weight... How, where and when - I have no idea or clue. My lifestyle has not changed.. I still eat the same, what I used to before... I have not started eating anything extra...

I dont feel even a bit good about it. I need and have to lose weight and come back to what I was before.. Seeing myself in the mirror gives me a shock.. I have not received any strange looks or comments from anyone, but I still know the fact.. Where I used to eat whatever I want to and whenever I want to, is now under scrutiny. I scrutinize it myself whether I should eat or not.

I have changed my whole diet plan... No more sweets.. No eating out at all.. Rigorous exercise till I come back to my normal else.. This whole weight gain has become an issue with me.. I remember how I had gained weight when I started working almost 8 years back and what kind of effort I had put in to lose it... Again the same situation has arisen..

I am going to fight and be back in my original shape. Dont want to end up buying new jeans or tops later on....

Friday, June 13, 2008

Comparisons

Comparisons - How much I try to keep myself away from this word!! The reason being I dont like it.. I dont like to compare anyone with anyone. But the truth is that the more I try to run away from it, the more it gets closer to me and stays with me.. It comes in every form and everywhere - home, office, among friends, relatives, peers... I guess it sometimes creeps into our love life as well....

I have seen comparisons being made and voiced ever since I was a child... In school, in college, while I grew up I saw among siblings and cousins, then in my office - between managers, between team members, between friends and now I see that in love life as well.. I have somehow never liked to make any comparisons between anyone.

My opinion is that everyone is an individual and has his own individual personality. You cant expect person A to behave in the same manner as person B.. Comparisons have always disappointed me. Why cant we accept the person the way he is.. Why do we always compare him with someone else... Are we not bringing down the importance of him by doing that?

The biggest comparison that I saw recently was in someone's love life. How a friend of mine was comparing her boyfriend with her ex-boyfriend. Her present boyfriend dotes on her and does everything for her, one can dream of. The only short-coming that one could see is that he is slightly bald and dark. According to her, her Ex was really good looking and looks matter a lot.. I simply could not digest the fact that even though her Ex left her and is on his way to marry someone else, still she is comparing her present with her Ex.. It needed some amount of coaching to her, to make her realize that her present is not that bad, the way she thinks. Not that she is gorgeous or stunningly beautiful or a glam doll...

If someone ever tries to compare me with someone, I shut my ears.. I cant hear anything and dont even want to hear.. I cant be that person and that person cant be me.. So let the two remain, the way they are... I dont say that I am perfect.. I dont even intend to be... I am just me.. I dont like comparisons and dont do it myself.. I prefer to keep them away as much as possible, atleast try to.....

Friday, June 06, 2008

UK Rocks

Yes, I am back... Back to apna Bharat Desh... Came back on Sunday but have been extremely busy catching up with the pending work.

What a trip it has been... A mix of hectic as well as pleasure... I did get to see some new places, catch up with old school,office, close friends, relatives, cousins.... I managed to visit Edinburgh (part of Scotland) as well.. I wanted to see more of Scotland but didnt manage to... Atleast I have this label that I did go to Scotland... UK, as always is fantastic. The weather was not so friendly this time still I loved being there.. It rained sometimes, was cloudy or windy or chilly sometimes. Once in a while it was sunny as well. Still it did not dampen my holiday spirit...

I ate a lot, roamed a lot, travelled a lot, slept very less and most important - spent a lot. The prices have shot up like anything. The amount of money I spent on travelling is unbelievable. Though I have not kept any account of it, still am sure it must be more than the airfare.. But I am happy with it... UK has always fascinated me and this fascination grows with every visit. I wish I could spend more time in London than I did..

I did manage to take a few pics with my new Sony DSC H3 camera, which I bought from there. Did some shopping as usual. This time I had decided not to buy any gifts for anyone except for my family and I managed to stick to it. I had some of the best desserts, ice-creams, chocolates, food in UK... I visited London, Leamington Spa, Cheltenham Spa, Oxford, Edinburgh, Reading, Birmingham... Every day I had a different experience and I did meet a lot of interesting people on my every train journey...

I am not very sure whether I will be able to make a trip to UK again. I guess its too much for me to afford. May be I have to find a job there to satiate my hunger to see more of UK. But whatever said and done, UK rocks.