Friday, March 11, 2011
Saturday, February 27, 2010
When Sachin Tendulkar travelled to Pakistan to face one of the finest bowling attacks ever assembled in cricket, Michael Schumacher was yet to race a F1 car, Lance Armstrong had never been to the Tour de France, Diego Maradona was still the captain of a world champion Argentina team, Pete Sampras had never won a Grand Slam.
When Tendulkar embarked on a glorious career taming Imran and company, Roger Federer was a name unheard of; Lionel Messi was in his nappies, Usain Bolt was an unknown kid in the Jamaican backwaters. The Berlin Wall was still intact, USSR was one big, big country, Dr Manmohan Singh was yet to "open" the Nehruvian economy.
It seems while Time was having his toll on every individual on the face of this planet, he excused one man. Time stands frozen in front of Sachin Tendulkar. We have had champions, we have had legends, but we have never had another Sachin Tendulkar and we never will.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
A few days ago a shocking but inevitable incident took place in our hostel. More shocking was the drama that unfolded after the event.
Our college lacks a proper boundary wall and a road connecting two important points passes right through the college. The combined effect—we regularly have outsiders in our campus creating troubles and that often is the cause of conflict between them and college employees/students. The problem is more pronounced in our hostel areas which are very close to outsiders village. Everyday few of so called Leaders/Rangdars from the ‘Basti’-as we call it, come to our hostel mess for lunch and dinner for free. Both the mess contractors and the college authorities keep ignoring the problem as they didn’t considered it to be a big issue. The mess contractors who are mainly from West Bengal agreed to it as the price that they will have to pay as they are living in ‘pardes’—foreign land.
As was expected, the problem steadily grew. From 1-2 free meals a day to 10 even 20 free meals a day and still there was no response from mess contractors and concerned authorities. Then on one day, an event marked the culmination of the ongoing scenario. Few man from the basti demanded Rs. 500 from our mess contractor Lucky Da. He had previously refused demands like this and got away with it easily. So he did the same this time. But this time they were in different mood. After some arguments when Luckyda again refused they started beating him. He ran away from mess and called us(students) for help. We quickly went there but they had already disappeared with their bike. We searched for them in other hostels to beat them but couldn’t find them.
A large crowd started gathering outside the mess. The incident shocked everyone of us—the students, mess workers and other mess contractors. Till now the problem was ‘contained’ and so we ignored it but now it has crossed limits of tolerance, said an angry mess contractor(Ghosh Da) who was elder brother of Luckyda. I was the mess secretary at the time, so it was my responsibility and also my duty to come forward and take some action. I consoled Luckyda who was in a state of shock and was crying and then tried to contact the authorities. The first year students had arrived only few days back so there was constant patrolling of Director, Chief Warden and other authorities around the campus. In some time they reached our hostel and started ‘evaluating’ the gravity of the situation. We apprised them of the incident and demanded strict actions to be taken to punish the offenders and to take decisions to prevent entry of outsiders in our campus. But to our surprise they started blaming the mess contractor and the mess workers for their ‘unresponsiveness’. Why didn’t you beat them? What were the mess workers doing at the time of incident? When we interrupted that we tried but they ran away the authorities shouted at us. You students don’t need to involve in all these. You need not take law into your own hands, said the Chief Warden. We were all shocked by their response but we kept asking and demanding. We asked them to file a FIR immediately and then to install lights and arrange for security. The problem was big and it could become even bigger. Today they have beaten Luckyda, tomorrow they will beat us. The mess workers and the students can’t live in such dangerous conditions, I said. They tried to dilute the seriousness by agreeing to lodge an FIR. A FIR was not a permanent solution. Some permanent solution needed to be found out. Security needed to be arranged. At the very least proper street lights and a boundary wall should be put in place. But they didn’t agreed. It was shocking for me the way in which the authorities were behaving. Either they had no emotions left in their heart or they have got so used to these things that these have become usual business for them. May be because they weren’t involved themselves, they were not responding. I said sir, if your own son would be studying here would you be reacting in the same manner? Dean behaved as if he didn’t even listen.
On the other side Lucky da wasn’t revealing the identity of the persons. He was so frightened that he wanted to pack his bags and go home for ever. But going home was not a solution. Wherever we are, we can’t give up to crime and injustice. Just because he was in a foreign land didn’t mean he had to tolerate these things. He needed to stand up, fight. We told him that we will beat them if they come again but he has to first reveal their names. He was unmoved. The authorities struck back at us. They said they know he will not reveal the name. After some arguments the ‘meeting’ concluded without even a promise of solid action. Even the FIR wasn’t launched.
I came back to my room and tried to sleep but couldn’t.
Why were they both behaving in such a manner? Where is the actual problem? Where lies the root of this type of thinking? The problem is in the mentality, problem is in the way they have grown, it’s in the way we have grown. No one wants to fight for others, for right things until they themselves are a victim. We all see injustice happening in front of our eyes everyday but we do nothing about it. We think we are not a part of it and ignore them. We can easily declare people to be mean but But there is also a different side of the coin. Why are they mean? Why don’t they interfere? Is it because they don’t want to or they don’t feel sorry for it? People don’t attach themselves with these ‘Dirty things’ because they have a promise to fulfill, they have a family at home waiting for them. They have their children, their parents who are completely dependent on them. Ordinary people don’t have the courage to leave their family and get involved. They want to secure a good future for their children. They don’t want their children to face the problems they faced. They can’t leave their parents whose only hope for happy life is their son. He can’t involve because he has to pay back to his parents for the sacrifices they have made. This continues and perpetuates. Where is the end of all these? People can’t remain like this. Something needed to be done and they have to be a part of it. People should be made to realise that the crime they are ignoring today could happen tomorrow with them, with their children. At the same time government needs to ensure a just and equitable society for them. It needs to eradicate poverty rapidly and mitigate the inequalities prevailing in our society. We can’t expect big changes in one day. The change will be slow but it will be there. People, if encouraged and guided properly will come forward although slowly and according to their capabilities, but they sure will. We all have to be a part and parcel of it. It’s a great challenge in front of our modern society and our coming generations. We cannot afford to fail.
Friday, October 3, 2008
From the very first day Raj saw her, he fell in love with her. Her deep eyes, beautiful face, and flowing hair which gave the impression of a shadowy waterfall, captured his heart and imagination. Her name was Kusum...
Raj had got admitted in BIT a month ago. Ragging period was on and as a fresher he had to frequently undergo the physical and mental trauma brought about ragging. Running with hands raised, jumping like a frog and wishing the seniors with backs bent at ninety degrees was the order of the day. Raj got to class five minutes early each day, so that he could sit next to Kusum and Friday was festive for him--Chemistry Practical with Kusum in the same group. He had never talked to her, never looked into her eyes though she was mild as a dove. Shy as he was. He kept loving her from deep within his heart without exposing it through words or deeds.
It was a similar festive Friday. Raj had got up late in the morning. All his friends had left for the class. It was already 8 O`clock, the time for Chemistry Practicals. He would miss some marks due to absence but more importantly he would miss the much awaited company of Kusum. This appeared painful to him. He thought hard and decided to use the TIGER ROAD. Love had made him blind for in love heart commands and mind follows. He walked on the dreaded road for some distance, trying hard to remove all the nervousness and fear. He had opened his collar buttons, folded his sleeves and was walking fast; his heart was pumping so fast that seemed to jump out of his mouth.