Tag: India

Not Your Regular News Update

“Laal Batti” banned, what next for our friendly neighbourhood politicians.

I proudly pronounce, I belonged to a town where you have more “Laal Battis” than taxis on the road. Where I used to feel that every night was Diwali. Swirls of brightly lighted cars jam packed on a road banked by brightly lit shops. Where the police resemble the royal guard when a “Neta” goes out for a walk.

Now I have come to realize what “red-tapism” and VIP culture is. Sometimes you realize how free you feel only once you get rid of the shackles.

Anyways let’s get back to where we started from. “The Laal Batti.”

So it seems the “Laal Batti” has been banned. Clearly an attempt to curve both the problems. From the standpoint of neutralist, Jolly Well Done Sir! But this is just the first hole, seventeen more to go.

Talking about holes reminds me of another topic, the undertaking to fill all the potholes across my hometown. We’ve all heard this one before, but strangely enough, it seems to be different this time. Don’t take my word for it. Now, I only remember it through facebook. Just saying.

Sorry! “Laal Batti”, that is what I’m supposed to be writing about in this piece but “Laal”, that color reminds me of something else again. A lot of bloodshed in a part of the country where a major political earthquake has hit and the sacred animal of one religion has become a good enough reason to kill. It may have been a fantastic political move, but the whole thing has gone sour. Forget the religions for a second, Tom & Jerry would fight for everything but do you ever remember them killing each other? For me, that famous daily cartoon would have been the ideal world.

Trying to outsmart each other with friendly banter, unity for a cause and still living together.

The media will also be a major part of this daily soap. It will be “The Narrator”.

Mr. Narrator what you say is what will guide the attention of your audience. Implement caution. This one could be a fuse to a time bomb set way back when Cyril Radcliffe drew that famous line.

Before I forget, I must say, I put my hand up for the ban on “Laal Batti”. Best of luck Mate!

Here’s also a shout out for one fantastic undertaking by a state government to provide free cylinders of cooking gas in villages and to release all pending loans under ₹1 Lakh for all the farmers of its state. The wind doesn’t blow by itself, something forces it to. In one fell swoop, a large part of the population has been swept away by the generosity.

All in all, the sentiments are mixed. One side of me is excited by the whole wave of change and the other fearing a full-blown civil war. The whole feeling of inevitability hanging over me.

Ladies & gentlemen, like I started the “Laal Batti” has been banned except in use for emergency services.

By the way, two more colors are left, “Peeli Batti” & “Neeli Batti”.

Let’s really nail this one.

 

Author: Toorjo Sengupta

Sounding Board: Abhishek Sharma

I Still Want To Know

How far can you control speech?

This sparsely illustrated text books in our school, which we so loved and adored, have always taught us that every Indian has a right to voice his opinion. You can blame the civics text books of 8th & 9th standards and my teacher used to constantly ask me to ask questions.

A figure of speech or something more sinister?

With the right to speech, we assume we also have a right to ask questions.

Recently, a well known journalist rebellious to the existing statues of his trade, decided to walk the plank and take a dive in open waters. Little did he know that the enemy was not only on the creaky ship but also in the waters in which he so gladly jumped into.

The journalist asking a straight forward question. A question which we all have a right to ask. Naive enough to underestimate the sharks and as if the sharks were not enough even “Nemo” had a darker side. And then, the attack began. Like how the fish gather when you throw the bread, they all attacked.

The latest in a series of attacks being a summon if the phrase “Nation Wants To Know” is used. My question to you Sir!

Will you summon me as well?  Will you summon my teachers as well? Will you summon the text books as well? Will you summon the education system? Will you summon the whole country?

Go ahead!

The “Nation Still Wants To Know?”

 

Author: Toorjo Sengupta

Sounding Board: Abhishek Sharma

 

Let me tell you a story about a “Poor” guy.

This guy was born to his parents, both lawyers in #California. His childhood was normal and he went on to study in the prestigious Stanford University. Unfortunately he left Stanford under the pretext of pursuing his dream to set up a “Small” mobile application. Probably he didn’t make the grade and dropped out.

Three friends embarked on a journey to set up a company and make millions. One of the three was later betrayed and screwed out of the deal. A dastardly act to say the least. The remaining two friends continued the journey to fame and money.
One fine day, this guy decided to put his inner feelings on an email and share with his friends. The most famous of this string of emails read: “Hope at least six girls sucked your d*cks last night. Cuz that didn’t happen for me”. The exchange of emails continued amongst friends and the content is too explicit to share. Clearly the “Poor” guy was desperate.

Nonetheless, the two friends were “Lucky” and ended up creating a mobile based application which they had dreamed of. They set up a “Small” company in Silicon Valley where so many have made fortunes. Their future seemed bright and the world seemed a much better place for forgetting this guy’s misdemeanors.
But, this guy not content with insulting the beautiful gender, decided to insult a whole country by calling it “Poor” and that his application was not meant for “Poor” countries.

The aftermath…
The “Small” company’s ratings dropped drastically and people started uninstalling the application as the whole country decided to boycott the application.
The “Poor” guy who had made the comment hid under his bed weeping, while his company decided to completely deny the fact that this guy had ever passed the comment.

The future…
It remains to be seen if this guy comes out from under his bed and apologizes for his comments or the country continues to tear apart the company until it lay in ruins. Surely the people of this country have a big enough heart to forgive this “Poor” guy. After all, he might not have meant what he said. He’s just a “Rich” guy who looks upon others as if they are all “Poor”.
The moral of the story…

It is better to be a “Good” guy than a “Rich” guy.

 

Author: Toorjo Sengupta

Sounding Board: Abhishek Sharma

Spare A Thought_Version Infinity

“98 years have passed”.

That’s exactly how any other article would have started, if this would have been just another article.

Lets talk about the human impact. Not numbers! there are many other article available if you need numbers. Just the sheer loss of life. Imagine knowing, in your locality, may be just around the corner an incident yesterday where most of the friends you knew are no longer today. “Peace To The Lost”

I’d like you to, for once, imagine the heavy atmosphere and try to breathe in it knowing very well that every other human being you pass and as soon as you meet their eye, you stir up a story that you’d rather be a thing of the past.

Imagine knowing that one shall always be known as the oppressor and the other as the inflicted. Imagine the weight of opinions on their families on both sides.

Don’t be naive enough to think that all of this is now a thing of the past. Jallianwala Bagh is happening everyday. The story may be different on another article but the message is still the same on the most. Loss of Life!

And I thought, I would’nt start this article with;  “98 years have passed”. They indeed have. One may or may not owe reparations. #SashiTharoor

But never forget, those lost and impacted by this tragedy on boths sides.

 

Author: Toorjo Sengupta

Feelings Shared By: Abhishek Sharma

 

 

 

Storm Clouds Gathering_Version Infinity

Pulse racing, hearts beating…

And yes they are! And this time neither is quite sure, how the other is going to react.

The irony of the fact is that all of this sounds very familiar to the first great #war. Escalations happen at the slightest of pretext at these times. The last time a “Person of Interest” died and this time AGAIN there is a “Person of Interest” in question.

There is a thin line between #Nationalism and #Radicalism. Not questioning the intent of any party privy to the situation, but, every part of society that exists needs to tread carefully. A balancing act is required.

Just like last time, both parties have their own set of nations that are backing their cause. #Terrorism is still the name of the game. Roles have changed, not the #Characters. This is like a classic being remade, only a little more cynical than “just another movie” and this is not just on Broadway Street, but in the #Global theater.

Like last time, before the entry of the main protagonists, the sub-plots have already been enacted. “JULIET HAS ALREADY DESCENDED AND BOTH THE LOVERS ARE FACE TO FACE”. The #World will be watching knowing very well, that human existence is in grave danger. If not, at least a major portion of it.

One country has just taken a baby step towards #Development. The other has probably just had another stutter after a brief period of stability.

AGAIN like last time, mass movements for the right and worryingly enough for the wrong as well are being accepted by the general population. Remember, this time the stakes are much higher. The potential for loss of lives is much like a GIANT BLACK HOLE looming over a tiny #Planet.

Now let’s talk about the anti-protagonists, like the poltergeist hidden in the closet, nuclear war looms large and the atmosphere is heavy with the smell of dead rotten corpses. There have been nuclear threats before, but this time, there are two more supporting villains; SPACE & INFORMATION. Death may not be the worst possible outcome! EXTINCTION is an overly used word during such time but, this time it seems to be ON THE CARDS. APOCALYPSE just may be on its way.

#HIROSHIMA & #NAGASAKI are just mere blips compared to what’s a small tactical nuclear warhead can do. THIS TIME THE MUSHROOM IS ON STEROIDS.

Every party has started to openly showcase their nuclear arsenal. Nowadays, this is being done behind the veil of DEVELOPMENT OF CIVIL NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY. If you know how to bake a CUP-CAKE, I am sure you can figure out sooner or later, how to bake a CAKE as well. And well, if you are unwilling enough to learn the skill, might as well buy one.

Yes! there are Global organizations with representation from all countries, but what if just one decides to blow his lid. Remember the scene from “THE DARK KNIGHT”, where the Joker misleads the criminals and the public into believing that the other party has the remote. What if anyone of them would have pressed the button? Not suggesting, that there is a Joker in the scenario, but doesn’t it sound familiar?

Some would say that a crossing of swords has become a necessity, but remember how that old saying goes; “Be careful what you wish for”.

AGAIN, there are unpredictable leaders on all sides of the table. Don’t get me wrong! I’m not stereotyping any single party, organization or individual here, nearly the sheer dynamism and volatility of the nature of parties involved.

The World seems to be sitting on a keg of gunpowder and the fuse is a tiny one. The supporting cast has started to take sides NOW, and you can just feel there is an axis forming on both sides. For those who are still thinking, “Ah! we’ve heard all this before and eventually, everything fizzles out”.

GET UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE, SIR!

Children of this generation aren’t safe either. Remember even toddlers are entangled in the spiderweb of information. “What you sow now you shall reap later”. There will be a generation or may be more lost to the darkness and there shall be a veil between them and the TRUTH. Every religious book narrates that the truth can never be hidden. “THEY DID NOT HAVE SMARTPHONES THEN”.

This request goes out to each and every world leader, directly or indirectly involved. “EXERCISE CAUTION”.

The media has a BIG part to play in all of this. Probably why I’m writing this piece.Years of education and experience in everything else apart from journalism, yet being pulled by that peculiar force predicted, calculated and perfected by Newton & Einstein.

I am not a doomsayer, but mere spectator sitting on the banks of the theater curiously worried about my existence and I’M NOT EVEN MARRIED!

STORM CLOUDS GATHERING AGAIN, INDEED!

AuthorToorjo Sengupta

Sounding BoardAbhishek Sharma