India’s Choice–Congress’ Qalandar or BJP Calendar


Indians need to get out of sycophancy mode and decide forever what their democracy means. A procession of gimmicks or a Solid leadership without cultism.

Do we want a Gandhi-less calendar or a Gandhi as PM?

Monsoon Spotting -2 Morning After


Still entangled the morning after the big Pre-monsoon shower. Temperatures are down from 38 Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius. Opposites seem to be attracting each other here. Sun and cloud might be falling in love here.

GDP and the Monsoon Poets

hills 3I loved this quote in an article on calculating the GDP of a nation. It is from Robert Kennedy. I am taking the quote from the Economist of 30th April to 6th May–‘In a famous speech in March 1968, Robert Kennedy took aim at what he saw as idolatrous respect for GDP, which measures advertising and jails but does not capture “the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages.”

As a poet I had a heavy outpouring of words at the sight of the first monsoon clouds. I wrote numerous words welcoming these harbingers of rain. Alas, the rain did not come, the clouds disappeared.

Seeing my own elation I think Monsoons and Poetry surely should be included in future GDP calculations in India. As for the strength of our marriages we see it constantly and daily in the evening Hindi soap operas.

Parting Such Sweet Sorrow


I am guessing here but if you see the young maybe twelve year old hunched up boy in a red turban in the forefront- he is crying and his mother is consoling him. He is most probably going to the city to earn a pittance to send back to his poor parents in the village.

Meanwhile people are waiting for their train, talking, discussing big things while others look in the distance just thinking about where to get their next meal. A beggar with a big cloth bag and a wooden staff waits patiently for some alms from the group talking near the tea shop. Life goes on in its constant harshness for the poor people of India.


Water Seeker



Walk just ten kilometers out of your city in India and you are met with underdeveloped villages and shanty towns. Water, houses and toilets are in extreme paucity.

People in Chandigarh are lucky for the water supply is reasonably efficient but not for the slum dwellers who are provided with one tap or two for a thousand residents. Water is supplied for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening.

Some enterprising youngsters fill up their empty plastic jerry cans loaded on to a flatbed rickshaw from friendly and Good Samaritan residents of big houses in the neighbourhood.

Manoj with his team-mate in the water project.

I met them a few days later and they wanted their names to be included under the Photograph. So I am updating here. The senior boy is Manoj Masih (Masih, I’m sure means Messiah) and the young teammate is Golu (Golu means Rotund, which he is not now any longer) but his real name is Vishal. They asked me to write down the website address where the photo was published. They will contact someone with a smartphone or a laptop, maybe an internet cafe and have a good laugh over their photos.

Ad Infinitum for Mr. Bachchan

English: Illustration of a "bullshit grin...
English: Illustration of a “bullshit grinder” created on 11/4/2006 by Matt Strauss and Matt Harter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Uneasy Crown for Mr. Bachchan


The mantle for making pained and sad faces belonged to Nazir Husain generally as a father in old Hindi movies. I think the crown is worn now by Mr Amitabh Bachchan in his sad spiel for various causes. I remember there was a rumor that Mr. Nazir Husain chewed on an analgesic to make that pained face. I think in the case of Mr Amitabh Bachchan in his ads it is a mixture of quinine and a powerful laxative. Please Mr. Bachchan enough is enough. Please desist. That wig too is atrocious. Everyone has the right to grow a beard like Dr Manmohan Singh. Everyone has the right to aspire to being regarded as a pillar of honesty.


I am an avid fan of your talents as an actor. Please Mr. Bachchan some people consider you to be a God. I hear there is a temple devoted to you in Kolkata and perhaps many other places. Be fair to your believers. Stop being a hypocrite. Don’t hurt their faith by promoting rotten hair oils, doomed projects and false politicians.


At least my heroes should remain heroes before I die.