Category Archives: Politics

HALF BOY and HALF MAN

A post on today’s occasion, worth to read. I received this as an forwarded e-mail from a professor.

The average age of the army man is 19 years.

He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country.

He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father’s, but he has never collected unemployment dole either.

He’s a recent college graduate; he was probably an average student from one of the Kendriya Vidyalayas, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away.

He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or country or gazals or swing and a 155mm howitzer.

He is 5 or 7 kilos lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting the insurgents or standing gaurd on the icy Himalayas from before dawn to well after dusk or he is at Mumbai engaging the terrorists.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.

He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. His pride and self-respect, he does not lack.

He is self-sufficient.

He has two sets of combat dress: he washes one and wears the other.

He keeps his water bottle full and his feet dry.

He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.

If you’re thirsty, he’ll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food.. He’ll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.

He can save your life – or take it, because that is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.

He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.

He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.

He feels every note of the Jana Gana Mana vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to ‘square-away’ those around him who haven’t bothered to stand, remove their hands from their pockets, or even stop talking.

In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom.
Beardless or not, he is not a boy.

He is your nation’s Fighting Man that has kept this country free and defended your right to Freedom. He has experienced deprivation and adversity, and has seen his buddies falling to bullets and maimed and blown. But,

He has asked nothing in return, except our acknowledgement of his existence and understanding of his human needs.

Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so.

As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot. . ..
A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.

Prayer Wheel ‘Lord, hold our Indian Army in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.’
When you read this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our soldiers, sailors, and airmen, in all frontiers.

There is nothing attached…
This can be very powerful…
Of all the gifts you could give a Soldier, Sailor, or Airman, prayer is the very best one.

Pray for the Indian Soldier. Unlike your ‘Babus’ or ‘Netas’. He will always do you proud.

National Anthem (Collective) Instrumental Version

A journey from the land of Mahatma in 20th Century to the land of Mahatma in 18th Century

Saint Mahavir & follower saints of 18th century were born in Bihar of today and M.K. Gandhi born in Gujarat of today! We discovered few places during our journey from far West in India to far East of India – from Ahmedabad Junction to Durg (and further) Junction!

Durg in Chhattisgarh was a main station from where eastern journey began.

Nagpuraa a.k.a. Uvasaggaram is a holy place, 18 KM away from Durg – is famous for typical footprints of Lord Parshwanath.

Maadhupur Junction, a station of Bihar state is connected by train to Durg. Riju Vatika is a next place in the journey – is a place where Lord Mahavira did penance, is little away from Maadhupur.

Shikharji a.k.a. Madhuban is just 15 to 20 KMs away from Riju Vatika. This is a major landmark in the journey.
This is the most important temple for the Jains. Unfortunately the overall architecture of buildings at the base – Madhuban jain campus started giving glimpses of peaks!

The very next day – from the day we reached there, we started walking on the mountain range in early morning.

The climbing cum walking cum rolling – whatever you call was a real challenge. It’s great that we all (except my mom!) reached on our (own) feet to major peaks – Gautam Swaami’s peak, Jal Mandir, Paarasnaath’s peak.

Climbers - "Mountaineering"

Climbers -

Of course, we did not go up to last peak which is the toughest of all, and is risky.

Generally, as per the tradition, a peak on the mountain range is famous for one or other saint – living ascetic life. I was expecting quite quiet and cleanliness as per Jainism. The lack of management (actually some dispute between the Shwetambars, the Digambars & the Government as inactively-acting management authority) totally disappointed me. Even there was no place to sit a side due to heavy rush of a pilgrims, forget cleanliness!

The distance is as under:
From base to Jal Mandir – appx. 9 KMs
From Jal Mandir to Paarasnaath’s peak – appx. 3 KMs
From Parasnath’s peak to base – appx. 12 KMs

Hats off to those local laborers pulling Dolis.
A funny talk that we listen during this pilgrimage – if a Doli is pulled with 2 bamboos, it is called as 4 wheeler, since 4 persons required and if is pulled with single bamboo stick, it’s 2 wheeler!!!!

4 Wheeler Doli

4 Wheeler Doli

Bhaagalpur was a town next in the journey. Roads up to the station were giving us feelings as if they were built in 20th century – or never built!

Champaapuri next to Bhaagalpur is known for another Jain temple.

Lachchhavaad, one of tribal villages of Bihar has another Jain temple. Next, was Guniyaaji a.k.a. Nawaadaa – again a Jain temple.

Paavaapuri was another famous place in our route. Of course, I had been to replica of Paawaapuri in Rajasthan before this. So I did not find it much pleasant!! However, compared to most of previous stations, it was like a modern town for us!! There, situated few places important in Jianism.

Next, in sequence was a worldwide famous – a historic place, I was much awaiting for. It was Naalandaa. The meaning is ‘the one gives knowledge, a university’. It means in Sanskrit – Naalam (lotus, a symbol of knowledge) + Daa, to give. What a great meaning it carries!
It is famous for dilapidated building of the ancient university and Buddhist statues. The university was built thrice in 3 centuries, according to the guides. And of course, as it happened in Indian history, later destroyed. The site presently available for visitors is the result of a lot of minute digging work, which has been carried out since a long.

Nalanda

Nalanda

It was quiet funny, to observe that this historic place was much developed if we compare ratio of Bihar’s overall development v/s Naalandaa. The hidden reason is that the site is developed and maintained by Archaeological Survey of India, Indian Government!
In short, few points about this knowledge city in ancient times really impressed – what a rich knowledge Indian carries since past. A sentence that I heard (since it’s hard to believe) was that, when the university was destroyed, the books (of course, typical hand-written notes in that time) were burning for six months!
The museum is also very good.

Last destination of journey was Raajgir a.k.a. Raajgruhi. It appeared quiet congested because of heavy rush of pilgrims.

We boarded train for return journey from Kodarmaa a.k.a. Jhumri-Telaiyaa, Telaiyaa from Jharkhand.

Food:

Litti-Chauka – a mixture, a traditional and healthy food.

Litti-Chauka – a mixture, a traditional and healthy food.

Sattu Paraathaa, made from Sattu

Sattu Paraathaa, made from Sattu

Litti

Litti

Orange

Orange

Yes, it’s orange left side and lump of pulp orange!

I also agree that roots of Jainism and Buddhism are similar. Philosophy of both are driving to similar way, perhaps in different fashion.

In short the journey was good as we did not need to fight any major difficulties.
The lifestyle of Bihari villagers taught me why they can fit to any place in India – whether its Mumbai or Surat! Worst style of living in Mumbai Chalis / huts may be better (and perhaps luxurious, too) then Bihari villager’s normal living. Plus, there isn’t any significant development in almost any area (except politics!!) in Bihar. So educated people from Bihar do not stay or settle at their hometown – and they prefer to move to developing cities / towns. The only developed occupation is labor – be it pulling Dolis or any contract based work!
Also, quality of internal roads in Bihar is quite bad – rather there were no roads! In short, all above is the result of lack of development – interest for development.

A tribal village & hut

A tribal village & hut

Another hut

Another hut

Another important requirement for development – electricity has not reached many villages, yet. Or at most places, it’s very less as compared to consumptions. So load shedding is there almost everywhere!

Jharkhand, a departed state from Bihar found to be little developed then Bihar. Quality of road was better then of Bihar!

A general opinion that we heard during return journey from Bihar was quiet amazing – any train originating / passing through Bhiar always gets late – due to chain pulling and feeling like home of Railway Department!!!

I strongly favor for implementing DST – Daylight Saving Time. The approximate difference between West and East India is 1 hour & 30 minutes, which costs a lot to the nation.

I am sorry if I discouraged you since I haven’t written much details related to places and Jainism.

More photos are here
If you liked photos, congratulate my dad, not me!!!!

India or Maharashtra + North India?

Notice : Since this is a controversial article, I welcome comments. However the comment should be meaningful & written in polish language. I need to write this after receiving a comment with ambiguous meaning. The fellow expressed nothing but anger and did not dare to write his / her actual email ID!

Of course, this is just to express what I thought. Neither I am a politician, nor I take much interest in politics.

The MNS party is raising an issue that due to migrants in Mumbai & Maharashtra, the original local people does not get basic privileges, jobs etc. etc. If this is a valid reason to debate, the roots are straight forward – those migrants are really hardworking (or rather struggling) who are ready to work with lower pay – to work harder to get their bread and butter.

May be, but does the actual – originally Maharashtrian people less sufficient? I don’t think so.

Apart from Maharashtrian efficiency there is another point to think about. Many of us are used to with Chinese goods. Why? Because they are cheaper – easily available. Can we and MNS start any campaign against these items? If we can stop ourselves from using Chinese items, Indian items’ sale will automatically raise. Same is the case with North Indians in Maharashtra – like Chinese items in India. Important is Indians should get work, no matter where he or she is from. By using Chinese items, China will go ahead, not India. If we start using Indian items, those manufacturing units will work hard, more people will get jobs. Picture is quite clear.

We should feel proud that due to hardworking people & their contribution, Maharashtra is developing very fast and is economic capital, why should we distinguish them by their native??

States and regions in India are just for easy management & administration of the country, not to divide the country. Remember what Sardar Patel did immediately after independence!

Jai Hind!

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