Saturday, March 19, 2011

Reflections of the day.

Reflections of the  day.

Nice Pleasant morning complimented by a huge breakfast of stuffed pranthas and tea. A good beginning of another day in this world. Long refreshing bath rejuvenates me to go ahead confidently with my daily routine. My briefcase is ready and the soft murmur of car engine reminds me of the punctuality of my driver. Time to go out and justify existence in this world through my work contribution in the system, though at miniscule level. Beautiful system of life planned and implemented by human beings . Necessity is the mother of invention which has prompted us to make life most comfortable through multiple inventions, discoveries and intellectual assimilation of knowledge for the betterment of humanity.

My thoughts are interrupted by sudden appearance of a postman wearing a huge smile on his face. Well, some more typed communication having set terminology and irritant similarity. But I am pleasantly surprised on receiving a neatly packed envelope with hand written address and senders details. I must mention here beautiful and most legible handwriting which has otherwise become rarest of rare trait these days.

The sender is none else but Preeti Shenoy herself and it does not take much time for me to understand that this parcel would be containing most eagerly awaited latest book by this acclaimed writer. My professional posture bereft of sensitivities is immediately transformed into a personalized look of gratitude and the postman is quick to acknowledge the change though with well practiced artificial smile. I take the parcel along with me in the car and depart from my home to the office. Once again I look and admire the finely  handwritten envelope conveying most personalized touch and finally I open it to reveal brightly colored and well designed cover page of, “Life is What You Make it”.

It delights me to notice handwritten note from Preeti Shenoy complimenting me on my winning entry . I feel honored and it gives me immense happiness to get appreciation from such a celebrated writer .

The Driver is standing with the open door of the car looking doubtfully at me and the parcel which has managed to engage my attention to the extent that I failed to notice that the car had come to a halt in front of the office building and even when the door of the car had been opened by the driver. I can face read my driver who in most likelihood is thinking at the moment of passing on this peculiar behavior of mine to my wife to win appreciation and gain importance by playing the role of Sherlock Holmes in our home. I hurriedly get out clumsily managing my briefcase and the parcel before this driver of mine looses his patience and asks me to get out.

Here comes my secretary , the perfume factory of our office. GOOD MORNING. SIR YOU ARE LATE. Was it a greeting or a complaint?? Doesn’t make much of a difference though since  thankfully she is my secretary and not my boss. A courteous smile acknowledging her presence does the job and I walk down to my office. Businesses are prompted by passion, expectations , ambitions and aspirations and driven by hardwork, persistence and perseverance. I have time bound goals in my life which I hope to achieve through intelligent planning and concentrated effort. Now that I am in my office I am automatically drawn towards these materialistic pursuits.

The day passes in a jiffy and lot remains to be done, yet the office hours are over. I reluctantly pack up to go back home. “Life is what you make it” by Preeti shenoy again draws my attention towards it which has been lying on my table since morning. I decide that after the regular game of tennis this evening I will start reading this book which looks so good and inspirational. The title itself conveys the crux of life.

Destiny is first to be blamed for all ills of society. Everything that happens wrong becomes the role of destiny and all the positive happenings go in our individual credits . We fail to understand that for everything that happens in life, there is a reason and that reason has been somehow created by one of us and not by the destiny. In such a vast universe with so much happening it becomes difficult to know who bungled up. And the easy prey is destiny which is quickly blamed. We need to understand the complexity of life and its interdependence which leads to vastly distributed effects. Moderation is the key to happiness. This remains my personal belief. I advocate moderation in every sphere of life. We need to adopt a balanced approach towards life. Trying to do too much too soon leads to stress and we tend to commit errors .There has to be a time for everything . We need to live life intelligently and try not to overstress ourselves or the prevailing system by being overambitious. We are living to learn and in doing so we are learning to live. This is natural phenomenon and is part and parcel of life. If we fail to assimilate knowledge properly in our lifetime we fail in life itself . This means that we just spent time and ours was a compulsive living bereft of the real happiness and contentment. We may just be burdening the system through our existence. Life is a balancing act between joys and sorrows, goods and bads. The numerous constituents of life have to be balanced properly to attain eternal happiness and contentment .

These are my views of life and I am sure that after reading, “Life is what you make it” by Preeti Shenoy, I will definitely have better perspective of life. This love story with a important message may as well transform my way of thinking and living.

With Love

Jolly Ghuman.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Birth in a slum.

Birth in a Slum.
Gloom descends and darkness envelopes the slum area in a city which otherwise is illuminated by huge lights and big glow signs. The pungent smell emanating from this area covered with thatched dwellings could kill a rat leave aside we the fancy beings. Shrill penetrating cries of a female break the silence of the darkness, which seem to emerge out of polythene covered small hut surrounded by mosquitoes and pests. Small kerosene lamp the sole source of illumination has made this hut discoverable in the eerie darkness of  night and light thus generated is peeping out of the torn pieces of polythene giving it a distinctly scary look. Human excretions, broken bottles of country liquor are signaling everyone venturing out in these forbidden and forgotten areas to tread carefully in this merciless place of deprivation and hunger. Cries are becoming shriller and by now a crowd of inquisitive living beings, young and old covered scantly by the dirtiest of the rags have gathered to watch this event of another unfortunate soul taking birth on this dirtiest place of earth. A closer scrutiny unveils even more shocking state of affairs with an old lady carrying out the delivery of the child by virtually pulling the child out of the mothers womb completely oblivious of painful cries of help coming from the gravely suffering mother. Finally, the child is pulled out mercilessly from  protective womb to the heartless world of slums where he is destined to suffer for the rest of his life. Father of the child in a berated state is shouting and abusing his wife. He disowns the newborn child . Life in a slum is just a collection of miseries. Fight for survival begins from the birth of a child and continues till the death. Every birth in slums is an addition to the numerous deprived, undernourished and uncared children exposed to the worst situations in life.
The life of a child in a slum begins with depravity and abuse. Slums can be termed as living hell on earth .A single visit to a slum can change your perspective of life and living beings. The contrast between city dwellings and slums is so stark and harsh that it becomes difficult to accept it.
Coming back to the birth of a child, I notice that the newborn is just the same as other infants with same innocence. The child is born innocent but only to be taught latter on the dirtiest of the etiquettes of slum dwellers.
I am forced to think about so many of us who are leading lavish lifestyles in the air-conditioned bungalows. I do not hold it wrong but still the sense of guilt is nudging me to contemplate more on this issue of justification of wealth and poverty. How can we justify our multi cuisine meals whereas at that very moment there is child dying of hunger?What is the justification of our air-conditioned comforts when the children of slums are dying due to heat stress? How can we justify our very existence in this world when we have failed miserably to help and protect our fellow human beings?What remains the justification of the millions of rupees being donated to religious places when so many lives in slums are fighting for mere survival? For these multiple questions about the justification of our assets and the liabilities there are no satisfactory answers but only the biased opinions based on our individual situations.
Good cities like Mumbai with sizable earnings and flourishing trade and thousands of affluent wealthy families have the wrong distinction of large slum area. Even the smallest of donations given jointly by these rich families could change the face of slums in the city. Why cannot these people fix some percentage of their earnings for the betterment of this deprived part of humanity? Why is it so?
My one visit to slum area made me to think so intensely about the troubles being faced by these fellow beings and I request every one of you to visit and see for yourself the sufferings of these poor people .Lets join hands to help these people and strive to bring them in the mainstream of humanity.
With Sense of Shame.