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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Random Scribbling

Notes I captured during my last visit to Gujarat in May 09.
  • Observed - A tightly covered, barely holding under the waist belt and making you look like 6 month pregnant – well pot belly is definitely not an ornament to be proud of. Some find a nice excuse saying its sign of prosperity. LOL…If having 2 distinct tiers around your inflated stomach is sign of prosperity, then I am happy with zero prosperity in my life!

  • Observed during recent marriage ceremony – Now there is clear difference between “wrapping up good clothes around your body” and “dressing up”. Just like good ingredients do not guarantee great taste, good fabric does not guarantee great looks.

  • Relatives are lot more unpredictable and complex then the most complex project you have done :)

  • Way to go Modi! Highways in Gujarat are awesome! I remember way back in 1995, we had 2 lane roads from Rajkot to Ahmedabad and had frequent accidents on the road. Now I saw highways reaching to the towns and villages and that too in excellent condition! As smooth as cheeks of your favorite bollywood actress :)

  • A decade after leaving a place, it’s so nostalgic and thrilling to see the same place where you had studied! While going from Surat to Rajkot, I passed through Nadiad and I could sense strong rush of adrenalin through my veins! Heartbeat became faster and within moments, I did time travel! I went back by a decade...WOW! The same college building where I spent four years to be an engineer, the same collage loan where we used to sit to write journals, the same canal where we used to go to spend peaceful hour by bunking a class :), same cafeteria where we had umpteen tea every day, very same roads where we used to walk, the shops, buildings, fountain and everything!

  • Paras theatre at Nadiad - the theatre which is the closest to the area where students live. During engineering, we used to go every now and then to kill evenings as there was no other entertainment except playing cricket in evening. We used to get all latest Hindi and English movies there. I saw the same theatre. It’s still in same pathetic condition :) But looks like either students have found another theatre or their preference has changed as now this theatre shows porn movies rather than latest Hindi or English movies!

  • Mango pulp and sugarcane juice are two god gifted heavens during peak summer. Nothing beats yummy mango pulp during lunch and sweet, cold sugarcane juice at the night! I had both the heavens when I went home this summer :)

  • Airport and state transportation buses are two extremes you find in India. In terms of cost, facilities, service and people. If you happen to use both the modes in a short span, it’s an opportunity to see two ends of a spectrum called modern India.

  • Most of the travelers are consciously snobbish and serious at the Indian airports. It feels as if a smile is also charged at the airport! I find it little uncomfortable when I am surrounded by snobbish creatures. GRRRRR… I prefer to pick up a book and kill the time at the airport while occasionally looking around to see if I can find a human who can smile. Except few occasions, it’s always been a futile effort.
© All rights reserved with Mihir Rawal. To re-print or re-use, prior permission is required from the author.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What Next?

When I was a kid, I read a book – “How to make model planes”. After that, all I wanted to do was to make such model planes – be it gliders or having rubber band propeller or even having an engine and a remote control! Well..India was a different country at that time and such fancy toys or kits were not available. I could never make a model plane :-(

While growing up, I used to read a lot about science – electronics, biotic, space shuttles, missiles, solar cars and almost everything! After that, all I wanted to do was to be an engineer. Though I didn’t know what type of engineer does what, I was fancied by science and by the word “engineer”. Though I never made a missile or a solar car, glad - I became an engineer :-)

I am always interested in reading about war stories, military weapons, great missions carried out by spy agencies and gallant wars fought by armies. During end of my engineer, I thought of joining SSC (short service commission) – a 5 year stint with army. I sent a form to find out more information but I didn’t receive any information. So instead of being in army, I ended up playing with computers in IT firms.

During first year of college, I was scared to death by looking at the computers. I swear! I didn’t touch computer for more than a year and I used to mug up entire programs for written examination! Why? Because for one good year, I could never understand how come “a=a+1;” is a valid statement? All the mathematics learning I did over the years made me refusing this equation!

After completing engineering (and by then, I was in love with computers :-)), all I wanted to do was – to play with computers and to grow in my job faster than others. I still remember - first day at first job..my first project..my first interaction with a customer..my first promotion… Yeah for most part of my career, I grew faster than others. Though sometimes "growth" and "money" are not related...

Now it’s been over 9 years since I started my professional career.

What next?

Promotion? Higher designation? To grow faster than others? Few more jazzy words to glorify my work?


At this stage of my life, I feel like throwing everything away important job, mission critical projects, cutting edge technology, air conditioned office. Then what I want to do? Well..Just pick up my backpack and be an explorer! To explore right from a metro city to tiny hamlet, from crowded locality to almost barren terrain, from scorching hot desert to snow filled mountains, from east to west and north to south...sand, water, grass, snow, air...and everything that mother nature has gifted us.

Yeah all I want to do is – explore the unknowns...
More and more I think of it, more and more I crave for it. I feel inspired and jealous every time I see travel shows, every time I read a travelogue, every time I think of my past backpacking trip...I feel such a strong force within me which is screaming loud at me to get rid of everything and run to fulfill my desire..

Though I always love to read about places, cultures, history, people – It’s my backpacking trip to Hampi which made me realize - what I was missing in my life for so many years and what brings real happiness to the innermost part of mine.

Why am I writing this? I don’t know. I am contemplating for quite some time and I realize that with every passing day, my desire is getting stronger and stronger…

What next?

© All rights reserved with Mihir Rawal. To re-print or re-use, prior permission is required from the author.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

An Enigma Called Indian Democracy

Elections results are out. It's a mixed bag for me. From 16th May 2009, 8am – till now (and till the next election….)

I am disappointed -
  • Because I didn’t expect election results the way it came.
  • Because I will be ruled by “Puppet Singh” for the next 5 years.
Because Rahul baba will become the PM whenever he DESIRES (Yeah those are the word of Janardan Dwivedi – who is the chairman of media cell for congress). After all, India is Rahul baba’s property. He can come and rule us whenever he desires.

[On projection of Rahul Gandhi as a candidate for the prime minister's post, Dwivedi said. "the PM's chair is Rahul's future and he is the future leader of the party. It depends on Rahul when he will desire and when such a situation will arise. But as of now, Rahul has other priorities," he said.]

Reference :

  • Because its a shame that national election is not fought on national issues like terrorism, economy, vision for development, national integrity, controlling population, increasing resources.
  • Because national election is fought based on caste, region, mind boggling and unrealistic freebies, cheap promises, money and muscle power.
  • Because one bottle of alcohol, 500 rupee note and a plate of biryani decides who will rule us.
  • Because 150 members out of 544 are tainted having criminal background.

I am confused -

  • When I think - where this nation is heading for? What will be the state of this nation after 10, 20 or 40 years?
  • When I think – What is the difference between monarchy and democracy where one family rules one billion people for four generations?
  • When I think – If Indians will ever look beyond their family, home and caste and think about the nation?

I am happy -
  • That Lalu is defeated. I won’t have to see Lalu’s nautanki on TV :)
  • That Mulayam and Amar singh are brought down to earth.
  • That Mayawati must have realized that she is not what she thinks of herself… Dilli abhi dur hai…
  • That many DONs, criminal and bahubalis have lost their election – very badly :)
  • That democracy gives you a chance after every 5 years to bring a change. So hope by next election...mmmm..yeah, hope!
  • And above all, Left front is cut to the size! I am sure now they have more leaders then number of seats in parliament :-). I will pray for the day when country is sanitized from the leftover communist.

The Conclusion

Hope and faith in God – these are the two essential necessities to survive in India.

Parting Notes
A picture is worth a million words... It says ALL!

© Except image in this post, all rights reserved with Mihir Rawal. To re-print or re-use, prior permission is required from the author.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Second SHOCK of My Life…

Sounds like title of the next Chetan Bhagat novel? If so, I feel “Second shock of my life” sounds less hurting and more appealing then” Three mistakes of my life”!

Anyways, this is not a novel. Not a story. This is stark reality.

February 2001
I moved to Bangalore in 2001. To find a job, to make my career. How old I was? 23 years.

I stayed with a college friend. It was two storied house and I was staying at the first flood. On ground floor, we had landlord, his wife and two children. One was around 10 year old and second one was 7 year old.

It took little while to befriend with owners. Slowly, children started coming to our room to play games on computer.

One day, they wanted to ask something and one of them asked : “Uncle, ………………”

UNCLE? Holy Molly…! Damn…! I was so SHOCKED! I was just 23! Before that, I was never ever addressed by anyone as UNCLE!

That was the FIRST SHOCK of my life!

April 2009
I was at Surat to attend my cousin’s wedding. He is 26 year old. I was seeing him almost after 10 years! It’s fun to meet relatives as I don’t see most of them for years and years. I met my uncle at the railway station and I touched their feet a very normal Indian way to show respect for elders. I did that to all aunts and uncles I met on next day.

So on the previous day of marriage, there was engagement ceremony. By the way, my cousin and his fiancée were classmates while studying medicine. [That means bride is also 26 years old…Keep that in mind].

After engagement, my cousin was introducing his fiancée to everyone. I was sitting in garden with my dad when my cousin came.

He introduced me to her and told her : he is my elder brother. Alright. And what her fiancée did? Well well well..Keeping Indian tradition of showing respect to elders, she bent and touched my feet!!!

Holy Molly…! Damn…! I was SURPRISED, STUNNED and SHOCKED! Touching my feet? Before that, nobody ever touched my feet. I was totally zapped; I didn’t even know how to react! I said something like – congrats, all the best.. [God damn, I don’t even remember what I said as I was still in state of shock :)]

Well I touched feet of my uncles and aunts who are about 25 to 35 years elder then me.

But a 26 year old girl touching my feet???

That was the SECOND SHOCK of my life!!!

Nah – I am not waiting for the third shock of my life :)

© All rights reserved with Mihir Rawal. To re-print or re-use, prior permission is required from the author.

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