Monday, January 24, 2011

The Great Gujarat Glossary

Different words have different meanings to everyone. Considering India is such a vast country, we all have our own opinions on various things, especially on things we don't know much about.

As a proud Gujarati, I can write about the state, the people, the quirks, with authority and can poke fun because I know that there is more to us than the whole, 'hole-hall' joke.

I've decided to write a glossary of the Gujarati words. :) in an attempt to clear the myths

Since this will be updated as and when I think of things to write about, I will not follow a sequence.. it's not that I'll write only the A's first and then the B's. I'll write them the way things occur to me. :P Because of a supremely wavering mind, it's not easy to keep my attention limited to just one alphabet! :D

Let's start off, then :D

Ahmedabad - The city I have spent my entire life in. The city I love, despite the heat, the pollution, the traffic and the lack of traffic sense. The city of contrasts, where on one side of the walls live people who count fastest than the rest of the country, spending sleepless nights completing assignments at the premier management institute, and right outside the walls, under plastic roofs, are the labourers, who earn their wage every day, and are not sure where their next meal will come from, if at all it does, sleeping peacefully. The city, which is a wonderful blend of the culture and tradition and urbanisation has stood the test of time, right from the Indus Valley Civilization days to Mughal era, to the British Raj to Independence movements.

Ahmedabad has also faced and survived the earthquake, the floods, the riots, the terrorist attacks, and each time, just like rest of the country, Amdavadis have been resilient.

Ahmedabad is the city of alcohol prohibition, and where perhaps the maximum amount of illegal daaru is caught. A friend once told me that Ahmedabad is like Delhi minus the crime and alcohol. His argument was that like Delhites, Amdavadis are also the rich, spoilt brats, minus the drunken driving.

It may not have the 'nightlife' you get in other metros, but then, ever been to Manekchowk post midnight? The place offers you the best pav bhaji, paani puri and kulfi. Is it a rule that night life should always include alcohol?

Ahmedabad is a city very close to my heart and it shall always be.

That's it for now.. :) More to follow!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Justice delayed is justice denied?

No one killed Jessica.

So a girl is shot dead because she refused a drink after the bar was closed.

Politician's son was carrying a loaded gun with him to show off, and unintentionally shot a girl because the girl dared to refuse a drink to him.

So there are a lot of things wrong with the country. Everything that happens to us everyday, we have found someone or something to put the blame on. And seeing all these things happening around, I feel that it is just so much easier to be cynical and whine about the thing that are wrong with the system and be oblivious to what happens around.

One of the easiest way out is to put the blame on media, after the corrupt politicians, that is. Somehow, all these things are inter connected.. corrupt politicians and media are like cousins in some way. And why not? We all know that journalism and media is not unbiased. The opinions given by all these so-called journalists like barkha dutt and gang are more personal in nature.. There is no objectivity in their opinions and views.

But I must say that if there is one thing the media has done any good is in the Jessica Lall Murder case. We all know the whole story and it is indeed a victory for someone when a politician's son, who has left no stone unturned to pull all the possible strings to save his son, was involved. Yes, so maybe the punishment awarded to him came some 10 years too late, and too mild for a murder.

Maybe justice is denied in some ways. One can only imagine the emotions the parents would have gone through the whole ordeal from coping up with daughter's murder to seeing the murderer get away freely to seeing helplessly how easily things can be bought in a country like India. Quite sad.

But, at the same time, it has raised hopes. Perhaps all is not lost yet. Perhaps there is a hope for justice in here for common man.

About the movie no one killed Jessica, I have to say that I did feel like going up to Shayan Munshi and slapping him hard for turning hostile. At the same time, Vidya Balan was a fool. Yes, so she is Sabrina Lall, and is a lone woman fighting with the system to get her sister's killers to justice, but honestly, she was so emotionless. She showed no anger.

And Rani Mukherjee. Someone please teach her how to act. In fact, the guy who played the role of the police officer, he was more angry at the corrupt system than either of the leading ladies.

Honestly, I wish they had shown more of investigative journalism portion of the story. Rani's Kargil coverage and all was unnecessary, I think. Tehelka had done a fantastic job on getting things moving in the case. Also, the movie doesn't quite end on a high note. It just ends. There is no feeling of "triumph" when the credits roll.

Since the movie is made for dramatic effect, why not end it with a feel good feeling that justice delayed is not necessarily justice denied!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy New Year!

So the year 2011 has begun and I am feeling quite positive about the year! Though I am currently jobless, I am sure I will find something I like in this year! So I brought in the new year with a trip to Mount Abu with relatives and it was quite fun!

Mount Abu is the highest peak of Aravalli Mountain ranges (kya yaar, school mein itni geography toh padhi thi.. and i have awesome memory when it comes to remembering arbit trivia) and let me tell you, it could easily pass off as an extended part of Gujarat. (it's in Rajasthan) Most signboards there are also in gujarati and everyone there speaks gujarati too. Well, Gujarat is the tourism backbone of Mount Abu. There are many reason. Apart from the scenic view, which is quite pretty and the architecture.. the marble work and all, the fact that it's just 4 hours drive from Ahmedabad, and a place where daaru is legally available works to its major advantage. (no, i did not go there for daaru)

I last visited Mount Abu when I was a little girl.. back in 1994-95, I think. I was 10 years old.. and I could only vividly recollect the scenic places. I remembered the Nakki Lake and how there was one slope right there at the market. Though in my memories, the road was more broader and had more shops. In reality, it was full of local photographers who insisted I wear a local dress and get a photograph clicked. It was quite disappointing in some ways, because instead of enjoying and taking in the natural beauty, most of your time was spent dodging away the guides/magicians/photographers. I know that tourism is their source of income, but dude, back off!

Apparently, the days we stayed there were the coldest days, and the temperature went below 0 degrees in the night. The direct rays of sun felt so good on the skin.. Of course, once the sun set in, you'd feel as if suddenly the heater in the room is turned off!

Yes, that's my shadow. This man was playing this instrument right outside the Delwara Jain temple, which is beautiful, btw, and he just kept playing. It's a bit sad to see these kind of things around you, and feeling helplessness for not being in a position to do more to help them.

The Sunset Point. We went there twice, because we didn't quite have much to do in Abu. The second day, the sky was clearer and we were able to catch the bright yellow golden ball of fire turn deep red and finally disappearing behind the mountains ending the day, and rise in some other part of the world, bringing in a new day, a new hope!

On that note, happy new year everyone! May you have an interesting year!