The Bests of Delhi (#Part 2- Best Street Food) July 29, 2013Posted by Akriti Bahal in Food, India.
Umm, so okay after a week of *hard work* (yeah, it takes immense hard work to eat! eat! and eat! I most probably would have gained 2 kilos by now! :/ ), roaming places, eating (and giving marks, literally ), my Delhi’s street food venture has come to an end. I’ve finally jotted down the list of my favorite street food. (It was an awesome expedition, I must say ) And, here it goes (*Slurrp!* *Slurrp* ) :
1.) Kheer at Bade Miyan, Chawri Bazaar
Well, those who personally know me would know that I am a huge sweet lover! And, topping that, I love kheer. Until now, I have never really liked this sweet rice pudding of anywhere else, except for my Mum’s. But, believe me when I say, you put this one in your mouth, and it will melt right there. Bade Miyan truly won me over with his smooth, creamy, dry fruit rich rice pudding. Loved it! Loved it! Hence, it finds the number 1 spot of the Delhi’s best street food in my list.
Well, to reach here by metro, you need to get down at the Chawri Bazaar metro station, walk till the Badal Beg Mosque, and opposite to it would be your sweet destination. In fact, ask anyone around, they’d guide you.
Oh, ya, and I love the kheer at Haveli, Murthal too. Whenever I go there, I just have that!
2.) Gulkand Kulfi at Kuremal Kulfiwale, Chawri Bazaar
Sorry, I’m biased towards the sweet stuffs that the Delhi’s street serves. (What to do, when my sweet tooth totally overpowers me each time. ) Hence, it bags the second spot in my list, of course it might vary for each person. So, yeah, as much as I love cooking and experimenting with every edible thing possible, so does my brother (the future chef of our house! ), and he had already tried making the gulkand kulfi much before I had even come to know about this place, and it turned out pretty well (even the second time, when he forgot to add sugar ). Anyway, so going to this place and seeing this on the menu, I had to try it! And, it was- freshness in your mouth. Other than that, they also serve seasonal fruits stuffed with kulfi; I tried it with mango. (Was good enough. Only sad part is that, I’m not that big of a fan of mangoes, so, yeah.)
Reaching this place is pretty easy once you reach Bade Miyan.
3.) Chhole Bhature at Sita Ram’s, Paharganj
Recommended to me by my Mom, and no doubt worth the trouble to reach Paharganj. These Chhole Bhature are the best in Delhi. The paneer stuffed bhaturas and the piping hot chhole, indeed pleasure on a plate.
Other than that, since I’m a Montfortian (and fellow Montfortians would totally understand), so I’d give Montfort’s Canteen’s Chhole Bhature the title of the second best chhole bhature in Delhi.
4.) Keema Parantha and Rabri Parantha at Paranthe Vali Gali, Chandni Chowk
Think about street food and not go to Chandni Chowk? Well, that’s just not possible! So, there I was last week (yeah, just my second visit there), exploring its streets. And, no doubt the Paranthe Vali Gali stood out for me as well, like for everyone else. From a wide range of paranthas (I don’t eat paranthas otherwise though :p , unless we’re at some dhaba :p ) from stuffed paneer to aloo and every other veggie possible, but what’s the best deal there is the weird ones like keema parantha and rabri parantha. (As a kid, my Mom used to make Milkmaid Paranthas for me, and they were really delicious, the latter reminded me of that. :’) Memories !! )
5.) Butter Chicken at The Dhaba, Rajouri Garden
I A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y love Butter Chicken, and what better place to have one other than at an authentic Punjabi joint with authentic Punjabi flavors! Desire for creamy and *slurrpy* in your dreams? Then this is the place to be. I will just recommend it, I won’t say anything else, try it and you’ll know what I mean. (*Sentimental* :’) )
6.) Chocolate Lassi at Sukhdev, Murthal
I remember when I was a li’l kid and I used to hate the sweet Lassi ( I’m sorry ), and then one day, we (my family and my relatives) happened to stop at the Sukhdev’s Dhaba at the Murthal Highway while returning from Chandigarh, and I don’t know why the item in the menu- “Chocolate Lassi” really fascinated me. And, ever since I’ve been searching for another outlet (a closeby one) that either serves chocolate lassi or serves as good as the one I had at Sukhdev’s. Well, my Street Food expedition wouldn’t have been complete if I hadn’t visited this place once again, for a last time. Loved it then, loved it now.
Though, now mostly, I fulfill my chocolate lassi yearnings by making it at home. Very simple, just add yogurt, nutella (as much as you want ) and loads of ice, into a blender and blend until frothy, and there you have your very own chocolate lassi!
7.) Gol Gappe at Raju Chaat Bhandaar, Ashok Vihar
Now, most people would not have heard of it, but I’ve been eating their Papri Chaat and Gol Gappe ever since I was a kid. So, naturally, for me Raju Chaat Bhandaar serves the best Chaat and Gol Gappe that I’ve ever had.
Now, for others it might be Nathu’s or Haldiram’s (being more hygienic, but then isn’t the literal meaning of street food, food that is eaten on the street? ) or BTW, but then again, it’s a personal choice.
8.) Tandoori Momos at QD’s
Not “literally” street food, but Momo’s do come under the category of street food, hence I say Tandoori Momo’s too! Tired and bored of the mundane steamed and fried momos? Then visit QD’s to have a completely different-momo-experience , yeah, a crunchy one. They’re delicious! Now, I usually go to the QD’s at the Hudson Lane, but it has its outlets at other places too, South Delhi, maybe, so you can drop in there too, if that’s closer.
Also, there has been a hype for quite some months now, over this (apparently) “un-named” cafe that serves Cheese Momos (un-named, because my dear friends didn’t remember the place’s name, only thing that they remembered was- “The cheese momos were verrry delicious!” So, to tell them, I found the place ! ) Well, it is “My Kind of Street Cafe” near IIT Delhi that serves this cheesy delicacy that makes you wanting for more! (You only hold on thinking about the calories. )
9.) Mutton Patty at Wenger’s, CP
Again, not exactly street food, but I didn’t know where exactly should I put this one, so anyways. This outlet, in the CP’s Inner Circle, serves a wide variety of bakery stuffs, that would only leave you all the more confused. Try everything one day at a time, if you have time , or on my recommendation, try the Mutton Patty from there. Also the Macroons (they’ll melt in your mouth. Yum!) and the Apple Strudel.
10.) Cold Coffee at Keventer’s, CP
I’ve been going to this place since I was in school. Now, they do serve a variety of flavors in cold milk, from Chocolate to Butterscotch to Strawberry to Vanilla, but Cold Coffee is what I found to be the best, by far. As told by my Dad, it is a very old shop and has been a popular joint right from the time it opened.
Locating it might be difficult though, for those who don’t know about it, as it doesn’t really have a name board now, but then ask anyone, anyone and everyone would definitely be able to guide you.
So, that’s it. Did I miss on any place, anything, in my journey for the Best Street Food of Delhi? Maybe. But, this is what I found to be the best ones, from among the WIDE variety available at every corner of the city. Surely, Delhi is a *Street Food City, and Delhiites- *Street Food Lovers*!
It was an awe-delicious-some journey, with many people to thank for it!
Next up on my list- Delhi Best Cafes! This week’s gonna be legen-wait for it-dary!
The Bests of Delhi (#Part 1- Best Religious Places) July 21, 2013Posted by Akriti Bahal in India, Uncategorized.
Ever since I finished high school, I have been wanting to do a “The Bests of Delhi” chapter, but never really got the time to, but now that I finally have to bid farewell to the city in a few weeks, so I thought maybe do it by remembering all the memorable stuffs about it, and not just hating it (uh, I have my million reasons for that, but enough on that topic.) (Also, I didn’t have this blog then, but some other stupid blogspot blogs, sorry no intention to defame blogspot, but just what I wrote there was stupid. So, maybe it’s a good thing that I didn’t do that until now.)
So, now that I have a chance, I think there wouldn’t be any better way to do it, than to begin my very own The Bests of Delhi section right here, right now, and that is what will follow in a couple of posts in the coming weeks.
Beginning with, aah, the old is gold, well renowned, religious places of Delhi (Now, I am not that much of a believer in the old is gold temple culture, or in fact in differentiating the level of beliefs of each place, because I believe that God is one, it’s up to you to find a place where you feel maximum peace, now be it any temple, church, gurudwara or mosque or even any room of your house, but well, as is with most of our elders, they do believe in “this temple is very old, and has far reaching beliefs from olden times, so visiting this place is really good”, so okay, I abide by their wishes and based on my experience and learning from them, here it is) :
1.) Jhandewalan Temple
Alright, so as told by my mother, this temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Maa Aadi Shakti (avatar of Goddess Durga). My earliest memory of this place dates to, I think, 1st January 2001. When my family decided to begin the new year on a pious note, but well as did everyone else. I remember standing in a seemingly never ending line near the Videocon Tower, that too running in multiple folds. Man, but to my family and all the other devotees as well, the 3 hour (or 4. Frankly, I don’t remember, but it was an insanely long wait) was worth it! As you enter the temple, you will see the Maa Aadi Shakti’s deity, adorned beautifully, full of jewellery and rose petals. As you offer your devotion, you are given a khoya barfi as prasaad. Moving ahead are the deities of all the other Goddesses too. The Gufa Mandir below is beautiful, and is surely one of the places where I found my peace. So, all in all the place is beautiful, but just be aware of the outside vendors waiting to thug innocent people, and the beggars who stick to you until they cash out a huge amount from your wallet. :/ (But, I think that’s the problem with most of the places here, which realy irritates me! :@) If you come by metro, then of course the nearest metro station is the Jhandewalan Metro Station.
Oh, and, how do I remember these so clearly, just been there today too, early morning at 5 am, and believe you me, Delhi at 5, is really serene.
2.) Bangla Sahib
This is again one of the places which I find to be really divine. Be it the water pond in between or the large beautiful area which it encompasses. Try sitting inside for at least 30 mins, and I assure you, you would be saying the same, i.e., divine. Well, I have been going to this place since my childhood, and as a child I always looked forward to the halwa prasaad that we got in the end, I really loved it. (Um, if you’re an oil freak, which some of you might say I am , then you might faint, though, just by looking at the oil left in your hands at the end! Really a lot! ) What one must never miss when coming to a gurudwara is the Langar (the prasaad in the form of food), really simple food, which tastes even better with the Seva that you do. Like I said- divine.
If you are coming by metro, then Rajiv Chowk Metro Station is the closest, and then you can just walk, or for the lazy bones, you can take an auto, which would probably cost Rs. 20-30.
3.) Lotus Temple
I have been to Lotus Temple twice. One, when I was on a Delhi tour, and the memories of which are really enchanting on it’s own, for then I was a child, and silence and meditation really intrigued me. The second time, was with my trio , just a few years back. Well, Lotus Temple or the Bahai Temple is a Bahai House of Worship, and what intrigued me the most is that it is open to all religions without any discrimination (well, now that’s something I really love, and would love to propagate ). It is really beautifully designed in the shape of a Lotus, and hence the name. To reach there by metro, you would need to get down at the Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station, and just walk a few meters (enjoy the walk with a refreshing Banta, if you wish, I did. ) Well, the temple welcomes you with vast and beautiful gardens, neatly maintained and you’ll just fall in love with the greenery. The inside room is a completely quite room, coz if you speak your voice would echo. You can sit there for as long as you want, meditate, find your calm or whatever. Don’t be surprised to find so many foreigners actually volunteering to manage the Bahai House of Worship. The place seems very elegant and beautiful.
4.) Birla Temple
Located really close to the Lotus Temple is the Birla Mandir, a temple dedicated to Laxminarayan, and again deep rooted in its beliefs. The temple is adorned with many shrines, fountains and a large garden, which no doubt are beautiful. I personally have been here once, and as for my experience, I found it to be really and highly overcrowded and congested, but then again, that says for the belief that attracts such large number of devotees each day, be it a weekday or a weekend (if is it a weekend, then be prepared for a wrestle, like literally, since people don’t really care if they crush your feet and the whole of you, for that matter.) And again, in this crowd, be really wary of pick pockets who find this site really advantageous for themselves.
5.) ISKON Temple
The main ISKON Temple is located in the Hare Krishna Hills, in the east of Kailash area. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha, and is a really large complex. No doubt the place is really peaceful, with the chanting of Hare Krishna Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare filling the background, but several devotees visit this place everyday, which makes it overly crowded as well. And, now that ISKON Temples are found in many other parts of Delhi too, I would suggest visit those instead. They are equally peaceful, and with lesser rush. The little shops are really cute too. Though frankly, I liked the ISKON Temple of Bangalore more, with the location being just perfect, on a huge road and a really large complex, with really good management of the crowd as well.
6.) Akshardham Temple
Not exactly Delhi though, but yeah, we can say that, and now since we have Metro, so the Akshardham Metro Station makes it an easily accessible place, just walk or take rickshaw. But, really, this one is extremely beautiful, and I mean it. As for the stone carvings and the deities, they are just so beautifully done, that you’ll find yourself just staring at them. Other than that, there used to be a musical fountain and light show, when I visited this place last, it can be a good option to watch, if visiting during the evening hours, though I’m not sure, if that still takes place or not. But, a surely good option is the movie that plays, on the life of Swaminarayan, his early life and everything. I quite liked that as a kid.
7.) The Old Hanuman Mandir
Well, it is one of the oldest and among the most famous temples here. The story behind this temple dates to the very ancient times, which my grandmother used to tell, but sadly I can’t recall as of now . The only negativity about this is the cleanliness issue of the place, with people uncaringly throwing polythene bags and leftovers around, the beggars, who almost harass you by their words (maybe they are trained for that or something) and of course the pick pockets, who are eyeing to run their business amidst the hefty crowd. Another old and famous Hanuman Temple is the one in Connaught Place, and has its own beliefs. I personally have been to this one many times and the former a fewer number of times, just owing to the location.
Days to visit are Tuesdays and Saturdays, but like I said, be very cautious of your belongings. :/
So, here it is, my list of the most renowned religious places of Delhi. Slightly astraying from the topic, and on a cliche’ yet serious note, if people really are so devotional and religious here, then why is Delhi called one of the most brutal places of India?! I know a lot has been said already, we all know, but still my heart aches sometimes.
Anyhoo, coming back, next stop Delhi’s Best Street Food. Beginning the expedition from tomorrow. I just can’t wait.
Will be up with the list soon.
Till then, XOXO.
Guwahati’s Shame? Nation’s Shame? Or Humans’ Shame? July 14, 2012Posted by Akriti Bahal in Feelings, India, shameful acts.
Tags: ashamed, shock
An appalling incident of disgrace took place on the streets of Guwahati on 9th July. The sounds of “Please help me” filled the street, yet the apparently inaudible shrieks failed to even move the butts of the city dwellers. A 16 year old girl, after attending her friend’s birthday party was on her way back home when she was molested by 30 men (well, men? The term is surely not apt for such creatures), verbally abusing her, chasing her, hitting her, were these symbols of cruelty. Finally, the girl was rescued by a reporter who happened to cross the area and called the police.
Okay! Most of the people have read about this, and most of us might have just digested it with a cup of chai, while some of us would be enraged. Alright ! What next? You are angry, you are abashed of the shameful incident, but what’s the point?
Has the standards of human beings fallen to such filthy levels that we see such shocking incidents almost daily, with a different victim and in a different city, but in the same country? Or is it the anger in the individuals that has risen to indeterminable level?
My hatred is specifically with such men, who transgress the criterion of being called a human, but filthy creatures. What do you think of yourself after all? Not left with any shame? And family? No respect for your family even? How can you go ‘home’ after performing such opprobrious acts, to your family? Eat? Piss? Or even shit? Or do you think bathing yourself in some Gangajal is gonna clean all your sins just as it moves through your body? Well, then let me tell you that even ablution would burn off with the filth contained in you.
And the problem with our country is, such people are usually not punished severely under the court of law, under other circumstances such incidences keep inundating the tables of the law enforcers, but with no effect. Is it too late to expect that humans are a superior class of animals? Well, in fact animals even have a sense of realization when they do wrong (not that they do any such filthy acts), but humans don’t.
Maybe then all I can say is, such humans are just a class of psychopaths who deserve only two things, either entombment in a mental hospital or death.
In the end, they may not receive an adequate punishment in the eyes of law, or may not even feel the slightest of compunction, but in the eyes of God, you are sinners, who have no pardon.
And to them (again) –> Stop being a stigma on the human class !
Tags: Domestic Violence
“I am superior, I provide for her, and it is my birth right to beat her up.” says activist Kamla Bhasin, in this week’s episode of Satyamev Jayate, as she wittily comments upon the idolized society of today.
It is a patriarchy that we have always been living in, where men are taught to be the superior ones, and they consider it as their right to cow down the ‘supposedly’ inferior class, the women, either by verbal abuse or physical abuse. As rightly educated by Ms. Bhasin, the real problem lies with our societal teachings, where, since childhood, a boy is taught to be above the opposite gender and the girl is always taught to adjust, be it in festivals like Raksha Bandhan, where even that little brother, who still feeds on his sister’s earnings, stands up to claim that I am your protector (and again the society quells the sister, the self-made independent sister, as inferior) or in festivals like Karva Chauth, where wives (only wives) fast for their husband’s (their owner’s) long life. The problem is with our culture, where the term life partner or husband is designated as ‘pati‘ (as said in Hindi), which means ‘owner’. When they are given the titles of owners then they will innately be accustomed to treating their wives as slaves; it’s an owner-slave relationship that they follow. And whose fault is it? Our ! Our adjusting attitude (which basically arises as pressure from the girl’s family) ! And our cowardice to raise a voice !
In this patriarchal society, where men consider themselves as God, hit their wives and proudly admit that they do so, are we really leading towards development, towards growth, rational or otherwise? Or does the statistics of 84% violence on women, only depict a large vacuum? An emptiness of humaneness, a void for sensitivity. ‘I think the culture has played a major role in de-humanizing the men. Patriarchal culture encourages a false notion of manhood, and suppresses humanity and kindness in males’, says Ms. Bhasin, and I completely agree with her. In a survey asking men whether they ever exercised violence on their wives, they openly (and to our shame, proudly) agreed that they did, and reasons : ‘My wife had been sleeping till 2 in the afternoon, so I hit her’, ‘We work, so we except our wives to take care of our homes, and children, and when they commit a mistake, it is our right to beat them’, and many more. Well, it’s a shameful reality, a reality which leads us to one question, are we ready to adjust and keep enduring this pain (which believe me, will keep increasing because the actions will keep on festering), or slap back, just like Shanno did, and fight for equality? I think the latter is what we all want, because even though we, today, may term India as a nation where women are superseding men in every field, but the reality lies within the homes, within the brains, which still feeds on outmoded thoughts and functions with superannuated actions.
Like everyone, I would also conclude the same, that there are only two solutions to this problem. One, and which is really required (although, at the same point, quite unlikely to happen) that men’s thinking need to change. They need to respect their partner and treat them as equal and not as slaves, because whatever rights you have got, she has got as well.
Two, women need to be stout, to be able to raise a voice and fight back. Forget, the notion of you being inferior and you need to adjust, you too are the breadwinners of the day, so you have no reason to feel inferior or be suppressed.
Women! We are strong, we earn, we are stand on our own feet, we are equally independent, hence we are equal ! Believe in that; I do.
IITs: We want a separate exam ! June 16, 2012Posted by Akriti Bahal in 2012, Education, India.
The big question doing rounds these days is, should IITs be allowed to hold a separate engineering entrance exam as opposed to the Union Government’s decision to conduct a common engineering entrance exam for all institutions?
When even the internal bodies have conflicting opinions on this, as among the IITs, IIT Kanpur and Delhi oppose the decision, while the remaining five claim to be on board with the Government, then the masses surely have a lot to say, with widely differing views, of course.
With regards to the curiosity and taking into account my engineering background, I conducted a small survey (mostly among the people whom I know) to get an idea of what people (of different ages and different backgrounds) think. As I had thought, and as it is with our country, people who are not really related with the field or an issue that does not concern them, usually are insouciant towards it, and hence don’t have a say for it. And so was the case, where people who couldn’t get enough of their everyday problems, found it cumbersome to get involved in ‘other’ matters, (‘Other’ matters? The country’s matters!) and just came up with ‘I really don’t care, since I have no linkage with engineering at all.’ Well okay, then even I don’t have a say in XXXXs (just to remain discreet) are a minority group and should be made eligible for the minority quota (actually I do, but anyway).
But, I did find quite a few sentient people, who did have a say and didn’t hesitate to express their opinion on it. Of course, a former IITian, he had to say that ‘IIT is the most prestigious engineering institution in our country, which has its reputation not only here, but also throughout the world, hence what they can incorporate is only the cream and that to sifted cream, because it’s the world reputation that they hold.’ Another man, whose son tried into the IIT, but couldn’t get through, expressed, ‘IITs seem like a separate body of institution, they seem out of reach to most of the students, but they do have other exams for which they feel capable of, which again boosts confidence in them. Making the engineering entrance exam as a common one, not only creates extra pressure on the child, since it would be an all-institution exam (including the IITs), which is enough to scare them off, moreover what if the child isn’t able to do well in that single exam, are there any other exams which he can look forward to? No! Hence, his year gone.’
Good points, we have here, but there were many who supported the inclusion as well. For instance, according to my teacher, she feels, ‘No doubt IITs are the esteemed institutions, but who is taking that tag away from them? They will still remain the same. The smarter lot will anyhow get admission in them based on their performance in the test, which obviously will be outstanding even if IITs have a separate exam or a common one.’ Acceding to this opinion, my mother, too, feels that a common entrance exam will only help to reduce the pressure on the child, and not endanger the quality of the students it intakes. Although, my father is in the favor of having a common exam as well, but he made a good point, ‘What if due to some unforeseen circumstances, the child isn’t able to show up on the exam date, then what? No more exams. The single exam gone and the child has to wait for one whole year.’ Well, I agree to that point.
Finally, coming to my opinion, I think what I have gathered here are sporadic pieces of opinions, which can be combined together. Personally, I agree with the Government in having a common engineering entrance exam, but only to a certain extent. What I believe is that if in most of the countries in the world, SAT is the exam required for undergraduate study, and GRE/GMAT for graduate, then why can’t it happen in our country? For instance, Stanford, Harvard, Cambridge, all are the dream institutions of most of the students, aspiring to study abroad, all of them have these common exams, based on which they decide the merit of the applying student (there are other criteria too, on the basis of which decisions are made, but let’s not go into them, for now). There are no Stanford entrance exam or Harvard entrance exam, so why in our country? Can’t our education system be so flexible as well? Moreover, just having a common exam is not enough, what more is required is what is asked in the exam. I think, apart from the concrete subject knowledge testing, the student’s logical thinking must also be tested, and of course, English too! This will not only improve the student as a whole, but also help in preparing the child for a more worldly environment, which is usually required in these prestigious institutions (IITs, to be specific). Lastly, I also think that just like the rest of the ‘worldly’ exams, this common exam should also be held on regular basis throughout the year, and there should not be just a single ‘do-or-die’ day for the exam. This will not only help the student to get acquainted with the exam in the first go, and increase his possibility of doing fairly in the second go (without wasting a year), but also this increased strike rate in the exam will help in increasing the standard of education of our country even more.
But, everything can’t be as simple as it may seem, they certainly do encounter some problem or the other, and similar might be the case here also. So, I am not the central body, the Government is, hence they have to decide. I can just express my opinion, and that’s all I had to say.
Satyamev Jayate #6 June 10, 2012Posted by Akriti Bahal in Feelings, India, Life, Satyamev Jayate.
Yet another inspiring episode of Satyamev Jayate marks its close. “We can fly”, as today’s theme rightly states; it couldn’t have come at a better time.
In our country, disability, whether physical or mental, both are looked upon with a tinge of disgust. Treating them with equality is a far off question when what resides inside most of us is repugnance and pity, and the feeling that they are incapable of fighting with the rest a.k.a “the normal people”. Iniquity in the field of education, where children with disability are rejected in the first go itself, is a major run down for our country. As duly said in the show, that providing them education is the first step that will lead to them being employed, which will ultimately help to improve the country’s economy only. So, we keep blaming our country, our fate, for the poor economy of our country, but who is really at fault? I think us, all of us; our thinking which never really grew out of the microcosm that- what will this poor soul be able to do? Oh dear lord! God has done injustice to him. Well, they don’t require our pity, they are stronger than we are in striving for their life, and they thrive better than us (there are countless number of Sais, KKs and Ketans); and they aren’t asking for any special treatment, all they ask for is equality.
Another thing that I saw in the show was their fighting spirit. At the point when most of us would have lost hope on our lives, they not only stood up, but also ran, embracing their life and accepting everything with full strength.
Fighting spirit, most of us give up on it very easily. I lost a competition, oh I’m no good, I won’t participate ever again; I don’t have anyone, my life is full of misery, oh I’m giving up on it, I’m committing suicide; I scored poorly in an exam, oh I can’t do anything, I’ll just conceal my apprehension with ‘Fuck off! I don’t wanna do it, do anything’. C’mon! These are just petty things, which can change easily, but only if you want it to. I think we should learn from them, because unfortunately we are “normal”: we are coward, we scare easy, we give up easy and we lose our temper easy.
Going through a similar situation, this is what I wanna say to my friend as well. They are the ones who have some form of disability, yet they carve it into their strength. What’s wrong with you? An intelligent, “normal” ( ), self-sufficient guy, who can do anything that he wants, again only fighting spirit is what comes into play. Just try to see through, everything is fine, all you need is to get up and run, but you’ve gotta run, nothing would come by just lying on your bed. I can understand what you’re going through, but believe me it is just nothing once you are determined. I’m always there to pick you up, but for that you need to, at least, sit up from your bed.
I learnt something today, wanna pass it to you:
कैसे आकाश में सुराख़ नहीं हो सकता
एक पत्थर तोह तबियत से उछालो यारों |
(And I would be waiting for you, with my sport shoes on, so that I can push you fast-faster-fastest, as you run!)
Satyamev Jayate #1#2#3#4#5 June 3, 2012Posted by Akriti Bahal in Corruption, Feelings, India, Patriotism, Politics, Satyamev Jayate.
Okay! Cut the crap, I can’t wait till 4th June (which is tomorrow) for my exams to get over, because what I saw today was exactly what I have always wanted to raise a voice for.
Today’s episode of Satyamev Jayate dealt with everything that we often read in newspapers every now and then, and yet choose to close our eyes towards it. Uh, well actually we all are lackadaisical enough that we close our eyes to everything that happens around. But, the truth is, things are happening are they need to change. To bring in this change and awareness among people, the valiant Aamir Khan with his ‘Satyamev Jayate’ has stepped forward for a one-on-one combat with the evils prevailing in the Indian society.
But, the problem with India is that if you step inside a quagmire to clean it, it clinches your leg so tight, trying to pull you down; most of us give up then, and only a few heroes survive it. One same thing, I came across in the newspapers yesterday, stating, ‘Aamir Khan should apologize to the doctors for besmirching their image.’ (For those who missed the last episode of Satyamev Jayate, it handled the corruption prevailing in the medical field, among the doctors, with nicety.) After reading such a thing in the newspaper, I had immediately thought, what would he do now, would he apologize? Oh please, he shouldn’t do that for whatever was exhibited on the show and the way he handled, it was perfect. We all know what evils are prevailing in the society, we all know who all are corrupt, yet we just choose to be silent, and when one guy begins his quest, trying to eradicate them, if not eradicate then trying to make the people aware towards them, then we point a finger toward him? Well, whatever. Aamir Khan handled those fingers quite well today, in the beginning of the show, giving a pellucid answer that- ‘My aim is not to tarnish anybody’s image, my aim is just to create a society where everyone can talk about their problems and sufferings openly. My aim is to make the people aware, so that what happened with some of them, doesn’t happen with the rest of us.’ *Impressed* (Yet, again.)
Okay, returning to today’s topic of discussion, it revolved around honor killing, morale policing in the name of gram panchayats, khap panchayats etc., and inter-caste marriages. The highlight of the episode was Aamir Khan’s encounter with the khap panchayat of a village of Haryana. It’s funny how one can be so complacent with themselves and their decisions that they start considering themselves as self-made-leaders.
Some part of the conversation between the members of the khap panchayat and Aamir Khan was-
On of the members proudly said that, ‘When youngsters, in their passionate thoughts, commit the crime of breaking the rules of the ‘samaj’ and ‘parampara’, then we simply punish them, we don’t charge their lives, we just simply punish them.’
To this Aamir Khan very humbly questioned, “I just want to know for my own knowledge, do you have the right to punish anyone, in the eyes of law?’
Their reply, ‘In law, gram panchayats, khap panchayats have been given no right at all, but when we see that our ‘parampara’, our ‘samaj’, is being hurt, then we think it is the right thing to do.’
Aamir Khan promptly said, ‘But, we have judiciary in our country to make the decisions.’
One of the members retorted, ‘Judiciary is judgmental, it doesn’t give justice’ (‘nyaay‘). Even in England there is no written constitution, and everything is followed according to their ‘parampara’, and that’s how it has been going.
To this Aamir Khan, very rightly remarked, ‘But, this is not England!! We have a written constitution!! The judiciary is responsible to take the legal decisions and not anyone else.’
Okay! One, what is “samaj” after all, and who makes it? I think it is made by the people, its definition needs to change with the changing times. Moreover, if they can make comparison with England then they must also know that they follow their tradition in which every individual has a complete right to his/her life. I don’t think there are any boundaries to the word ‘samaj’, and nobody can go on a killing spree in the name of setting the youth right. If the constitution defines a person of age 18 as an adult, then it gives them the right to make decisions about their lives as well.
Two, who gave you this right, anyway? Nobody!
You are no Robin-hoods, so please don’t be hounds too.
Lastly, hats off to the “Love Commandos” as well!
My First Experience With Voting April 15, 2012Posted by Akriti Bahal in 2012, India, Patriotism, Politics.
As the city enjoys the pleasant weather and the unexpected shower the follows, with the cool breezes disseminating a new splash of life away from the mundane heat; the city also steps out, today, to cast votes (at least some of them do) for the MCD elections.
Anyway, not much of a “party-political” person myself, but what it was for me was a FIRST TIME – with Voting! I feel big already (no, not in size, but in senses and maturity!).
In this place where preoccupation is your second name, your best friend as well as your enemy too, I had never really stopped to realize that “twenty” years had actually passed, or maybe I just closed the eyes, each time, to the very thought of it.
I remember how I used to go with my parents, as a kid, to the same voting place as I went today. It used to be a sort of game, clicking on the button, getting that ink mark on the finger, and then telling my school mates that, “See, I too have cast the vote.” And today, I have a “real” mark for my own vote.
Ambivalent feelings inundate my heart. I don’t wanna grow old so fast. I wish time could turn around, so that I could freeze it and keep my childhood, the best time of my life, with myself forever, because the life that lies ahead is harsh and very hard, and I don’t know until when I’d be able to withstand it.
Anyway, till I deal with my tribulations, happy voting!
Because I Was Too Busy Too Care January 27, 2012Posted by Akriti Bahal in Humaneness, India, Sad, Satisfaction.
How many times do we find ourselves present in a place of commotion and we actually act for it? How many times have we stood up to support a cause to bring in any change? How many times have you stepped up for others, if your aid could be the one that could change a person’s life?
Of course you don’t remember, because you were too busy to care.
We all do stop by traffic signals every now and then and we all, surely, do come across young kids begging with wounded and bruised hands. I agree that’s a different sort of business that goes on in our country, but have you ever stopped to humbly ask any one of the little souls; maybe have a complaisant conversation with one of them? Who knows, out of his innocence and ‘love for chocolates’, he might just end up telling you what goes on behind the scenes. Did you ever get down of your luxurious car to do so? Oh! Maybe you were just too scared of the rash Delhi roads to get out. Okay, understandable! I sympathize with you.
India. Winter. The hot tea. And the tea stalls. Yes, I know you get the very picture of it, we all Indians do. As much as we love to bring in the Indian-ness by binging in on a cup of strong hot tea (or I should say, a glass of strong hot tea) from a tea stall, that much we also like to ignore the things that goes around us. Yes! Yes! You would probably speed up your car to specially reach your favourite tea stall, get served by a chotu, but you would never care to even give a second thought to talk to the kid, trying to make him cognizant of the wrong and thus,saving him from child labour. Have you ever stopped to spend a minute of your precious time to do so? Or, probably it was just too cold for you to act. Okay, justifiable enough.
Living in a country like ours, where everyone is on a run, a different form of F1 race is seen on the roads everyday with new participants signing in each day. When the number of participants increase to a myriad, so does their racer-cars, and also does the road accidents. How many of us have actually come out to help a victim of an accident? Or maybe, you just considered it as just-another-histrionic-event and sped your car away from it. Of course, you were in a rush to reach home as you were missing your favorite TV serial -a better dramatic deal. Fair enough.
Then, can we say that humanity still dwells inside us? We easily expostulate for what we do or just say, “Who cares?!”
In one way or the other, we are always carping and find excuses to blame someone or something. How many times do we actually act? Sometimes Yes, Mostly No! Because most of us are just Too Busy To Care. We feel for the issue, imbue the commotion, we even feel inspired to do something, but most of the time, that inspiration loses its way in our packed, no-time-to-think, no-space-to-breathe, BUSY schedules.
Realizing, I can say that if I had stopped to help the tenuous woman in rags who abruptly fell on the road, maybe out of undernourishment, then maybe humaneness still existed, at least for her it did. If I had politely reacted to the kids begging near the shopping complexes, and hadn’t angrily rebuffed their presence when they touched my arm, then maybe mankind still persisted for some lots.
And It won’t go without any events of healing.
Yeah This time.
Because everything is disseminating into the air.
And this time
I am not too busy that I won’t care.
India – It’s a One Day Drama here. August 7, 2011Posted by Akriti Bahal in Anger, India, Patriotism.
Ever got the privilege to witness those local MLAs’ moment of hullabaloo, those expressions of pride on their faces? And for what? Of course, their seminal issues! (Yeah, right!) Their major accomplishment of bringing the LPG gas pipeline to their locality. Bringing in underground telephone lines. Why? Don’t feel these are huge enough? Okay! Okay! Let me tell you even more paramount accomplishments. Decimating the already “finely” constructed road, and getting them re-builded. (Wondering that it is still good, considering atleast some work is done? Wait! Scamper your thought here, let me put it this way.) Defacing the already “finely” constructed road only in front of their houses (mansions, rather) and rebuilding it (and that too, not once or twice, after every fixed interval of time), and this doesn’t end here, it comes with an afterglow. The whole road (their road) is decorated for their “success bash”.
Continuing with their laurels.
Remember the “hugely successful” Common Wealth Games 2010? (yea! yea! I’m not here to salvo the very respectable Mr. Suresh Kalmadi and his achievements, we all are very well aware of that, already. Yeah, filling your pockets over the maximum limit is surely worth to be called an achievement!) Anyway, remember how Connaught Place was cracked and crashed with the speed of light, only to make it appear B-E-A-U-tiful for the “foreign” gentry, which by the way hasn’t been completed even till now and CP is still crashed. Even huger, remember how the roadside beggars and the homeless people were cleared away from the roads with the blink of an eye, to find clean roads decorated with plants everywhere. (ya! I know it’s a good thing, making your place presentable for the guests but, what about abiding by that change later on too? Can’t we always be so presentable? The beggars are back on the roads again, the flower pots have vanished and we are back to being “normal” again. Infact worse.) But, the in-charge people always prefer to keep their eyes closed, and carry on with their gala of celebration.
Caught sight of a similar thing yesterday. The passage crossing for the Keshavpuram Metro Station had been under contruction for ages now, which finally completed yesterday. And like it is a usual scene in India, less work more time, less requirement more material, obviously, it was the same here too. Until yesterday, this passage had been a private “rest house” for all the sleazy kind of people, which was converted into a decorated piece of art, with all the simmering and the flower pots, yesterday. Build under the orders of the Ashok Vihar MLA, of course it was a moment of pride for him and so there had to be a carousal. And so it was, yesterday. Guarded by millions of policemen, clearing off all the Rickshaw valas, that place looked nothing less than a carnival, with songs like Nanha Munna Rahi Hun pouring into my ears. But, like any other person, I was so sure that the moment the Sun sets in, the party would be over forever, and the newly made museum-of-jokers would be converted back into a “bedroom” for cheesy people, (obviously, which would, thereby, help to increase the unpleasant activities) and that’s what exactly happened, today. (Maybe, now it’s my moment to feel proud, after all I had already predicted it. Haha. But, disgusted at this sight too, at the same time.)
Tried to capture it. (Not so clear though, as it’s done rather covertly. But, just a moment of I-Told-You!)
(Wish I had captured what it looked just 24 hours before! Totally contrasting.)
Well, that’s India. Don’t know how we can change it, till the major part of our population continues to be occupied by such “learned” people. But, there’s one thing we all surely can change. Have you got a chance to visit BhartiVidyapeeth “Deemed University – A School of Distant Learning”, lately? (Yeah! That’s what it has been converted to, now. But, that’s not my point of concern at the moment.) Where I’m trying to point at, is the Plantation Drive just near the Paschim Vihar East Metro Station. It’s a really good start but, it seems rather sparse there, and we all can help to make it dense. Not necessarily there, we can plant a seedling anywhere and then who knows it can be a start to make our country presentable always!
Plant a sapling, nurture it into a tree! We would definitely be contributing to Earth as well as our country. That’s my chore for Friendship Day. A friendship with Earth (and to the land where I belong, too)! Hope you include it in your errands too.
~Happy Friendship Day.