Happy 2009?

जुन्या वर्षाचा शेवटचा दिवस.
उद्या नवीन वर्ष उजाड़्नार.
हे नेहमीच होत. नेहमीच आपण जुने वर्ष सरताना झालेल्या घटनांचा आढावा घेतो. कोणाला हे वर्षा कसं गेलं, या वर्षाचे हीरो कोण ठरले, येणार्र्या वर्षातल्या ठळक घटना वगैरे वगैरे.
पण हे वर्ष वेगळ आहे. वर्ष सरताना नेहमीच्या उत्साहा पेक्षा वेगळा मूड आहे. निदान माझा तरी. आणि मला खत्री आहे माझ्यासारख्या इतरांचा सुदधा तसाच असेल. ह्या वर्षाने सरता सरता खुप प्रश्न उभे केले. अन्तर्मुख केल.
अक्षांशांनी आणि रेखांशानी आख़लेल जग,
नकाशात बांधलेल जग,
दिशांचे सन्दर्भ घेउन भूगोलात लिहिलेल जग,
वास्तवात किती अस्तव्यस्त आहे,
किती दिशाहीन आहे,
किती अनिश्चित आहे,
हे या वर्षाने दाखवलं.
माणसाचा अंहकार आणि निसर्गाचे नियम यांच्यातला संघर्ष एकीकडे तीव्र होतोय.
आणि या युद्धात, निसर्ग एकजुट आहे पण माणसांमधे मात्र सर्वत्र केवळ यादवी माजलेली आहे. कधी धर्माच्या नावाखाली, कधी जातीच्या-पोटजातीच्या, कधी देशाच्या, कधी भाषेच्या नावाखाली.
कुठे चाललोय आपण? चारी दिशांना फ़क्त हव्यास. आणखी हव, आणखी हव. कोणाला पैसा, कोणाला प्रसिद्धि, कोणाला status, कोणाला सत्ता! हाव कुठे थाम्बत नाहीच. मृगजळा मागे धावण्यात सगळ्यान्ना धन्यता! हे धावण म्हणजे क्षितीजाचा पाठलाग केल्यासारखा आहे हे कधी जाणवणार? हे अस उराफुटी धावताना आपण पायाखाली कायकाय चिरडतोय हे कधी बघणार?
माणसाने, माणसासाठी बनवलेली ही राष्ट्र? की माणसाने माणसाचे शोषण करण्यासाठी केलेली सोय?
सगळ असुनही सगळेच असमाधानी. कारण प्रत्येकाला फ़क्त हवे. पण गमावायच काहीच नाहीये. सगळ कसं safe, smooth, without struggle हव (स्ट्रगल ची नव-श्रीमंत वर्गाची व्याख्या म्हणजे पुस्तक घोकण्यात घालवलेल्या रात्री आणि ऑफिस मधे कंप्यूटर पुढे केलेला रात्रीचा दिवस).

आणि या सगळ्या सगळ्या प्रश्नाच्या भेण्डोळ्यात मला सोडून हे वर्ष निघून चाल्लं?
कोणाकडे बघायच? उत्तर कुठे शोधायची? चन्द्राकड़े आणि सुर्याकड़े झेपावणारे आम्ही, अजुन आमच्या पृथ्वीला तरी खरया अर्थाने आपलस करू शकलोय का?

नवीन वर्षाच्या संध्याकाळी एकच प्रार्थना,
त्या चंद्रकडून थोडी शीतलता आणा. त्या सुर्याकडून थोड़ा प्रकाश.

Happy 2009!

Just a thought

Initially when I had joined this new office, I used to see people playing Nintendo in club-chai, occasionally a round of UNO or a carom. And it used o feel nice. A friendly open environment, a perfect balance between work and fun!
Today, as I looked around in the office, I found very few people busy working. Some were busy playing computer games, some were watching movies on u-tube, and some were just chatting. But it did not feel nice. It felt scary. Very very scary. Games were not fun. Work was. It was a sign that not enough work is flowing in. It meant not enough business, not enough revenue. It meant recession that could cost us our jobs!

And this may mean different to different people. To some it may just mean finding another job. To some it may mean a willing break and a fresh start. To some it may mean a temporary turbulence while to some it may mean a dead-end.
Multi-faceted person may be able to find alternatives and means of survival. But those who are not may just lose their minds. What if a person is a sole bread earner of the family? A long list of expenses would keep scrolling through their minds; school fees, EMIs, monthly expenses etc.

What would it mean to me? Will this happen to me? It may not. It might. There is a natural tendency to think that severely bad things always happen to other people. But this time it is at my doorstep. I might lose a job anytime. I might get shot by a terrorist anytime. I might lose my money anytime. It is scary. Very very scary!
What if I lose my job TODAY?
Ok. I have enough savings to pay my EMI for next 6 months. I can cut down on expenses. I will start finding another job or worse case, I will think of going back to my previous employer. People around me may think of me as a loser. But there is a say in Hindi: Sar salamat to pagdi pachas…

Thoughts went on and on…
What is the root of all these sudden problems? Till some months back, everything was alright। Economy was booming, careers were stable and growing, lot of employment opportunities were available and youth were optimistic, we had recovered and forgotten the past terror attacks in Mumbai…everything was so smooth। Life was set.

And one day, suddenly a stock market crashed। The world woke up from a dream.
Big companies were bankrupt. People were jobless.

Isn’t it all about money? What if there was no money? I mean, money is such a man-made thing. And if it is man-made, why can’t we just make some more? Why is it a controlling factor or it would not be an exaggeration if I say the only controlling factor in man’s life? What if there was no money and only a barter system? No one would be superior or inferior. Everyone would be the best at the core skill. One would not require being the master of all. No one would have the ego that he/she can buy everything in the world. Everyone would take pride in what they do. A farmer, a cobbler, a fisherman, a craftsman, a teacher, everyone would be equally important and equally unique.

But who has made this damn ‘Money’ so important? I remember times when I used to spend the entire month in just 100 rupees. Sometimes I used to have just 10 rupees in my pocket and I never bothered. Needs were minimum. I never bothered about branded cloths, never felt the need of staying connected to the world 24X7 on the mobile, never worried about “weekend” plans, yet I was so happy and content.
Why? I was very happy with my basics. I was not materialistic.
Whether one accepts or denies, the fact does not change. We have become materialistic. By ’We’, I mean everyone except few exceptions who are truly busy in paying back to the society.

Can we make this demon called ‘money’ less important? Can we go back to basics and find that peace and harmony? Can we discover ourselves in the light of ‘Nothing’?

Just get out of the house one day, without a cell phone, and with just a minimum amount in the pocket…just get out of the trap with a mind, completely uncovered.

Just a thought!

अस्वस्थ : २६ नोवेम्बर २००८ मुंबई ताज हल्ल्यानंतर

I can’t describe the feeling. anger, helplessness, fear, insecurity, frustration…I felt like going on the top of the mountain and scream. as loud as one can. Everyone is ahead in the competition of blaming the politicians. But are they the only ones to blame? As citizens of india, aren’t we equally responsible? we can’t change the system just by criticizing the politicians. We are the system. do we ask ourselves even a single question while bribing the traffic police? while bribing the school management for admissions? How much interested are we in voting? Who elects the politicians? Do we have guts to stand up and work for people? don’t stand for elections but do we even think of joining a political party and work for our areas/people?
Most of us are just interested in the secure jobs, enough savings, safety of our near and dear ones, good weekends, reasonably presentable houses and maybe a four wheeler at the door..that’s all. No one even realizes their duties or wants to go out of way (a liitle not much!) to contribute towards Nation. No one is vigillent enough to look around and report the suspicious. “Hamko kya karna hai? police bhi kya karegi? sab corrupt hai…” these are the ways we have conviniently found to skip the duties.
We can have big long debates about global warming but can’t cut down on electricity. Power cuts in Mumbai? How dare you talk about it?
We can blame the BMC for the dirty and unhieginic city but easily forgive ourselves for throwing a piece of paper on road.
We need everything. But we are not ready to pay for it. We are not ready to sacrify even a 0.1 percent of our selfishness for that.
Only paying incometax is not enough. we have to take pride in being indians. We have to take pride in refusing short cuts for long term goals. Once in a year we donate an amount to some charity and feel that we have right to comment on ananrchy in the society, the government, the police department and everything on the earth. This needs to break. until then we would not find solutions to our problems. Future generations will never forgive us for we are going to give them only problems…global warming, terrorism, scarcity, and a cruel brutal selfish world.
We have to stop denying our duties. We have to leave the negative attitude that keeps imposing “kuch nahi ho sakta. kuch nahi hoga“. The fact is that ‘hum kuch karna chahte hi nahi’.

Take pride in being an Indian. Start doing the right thing, morally, ethically. Contribute your bit. “Kya hua agar koi law nahi obey karta..mai karunga. Kya hua agar mera kam hone me der lagi..I will wait but not bribe.” Why can’t we take these stands? Atleast the modern educated youth can do this. Jab har koi karega to sab karenge.
Stop blaming. start acting.