Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thanx Team Anna- NOw a 10 yr old knws wht corruption is.

Team Anna was expanding. More & more people were joining the league. Had never seen such a huge section of youth, coming out in open to support any cause but India’s win over Pakistan in cricket.
Even in a cyber city like Gurgaon, which is notorious for being deaf, heartless & robotic, I saw young boys & girls flaring National Flag & Anna’s posters in their luxury cars, which are usually used to hang out in pubs & bars.
On the eve of 15th August, 2011, an entire nation pledged to have a light out session  for an hour. The response was far much greater than it was on World Earth Day.
Even the most apolitical person like me, was getting drawn towards this magnetic field which was getting created. I was standing with the people of my society, where some news channel reporters were recording news bites. A very unusual gathering. I had seen people in my society fighting in the most uncivilized way over electricity, water & issues related to sanitation but had never seen all of them standing & supporting each other in the most civilized manner.
Reading history text books in schools, I always regretted not being born at the time of freedom struggle, not being a part of that movement which changed the fate of one entire nation. But now my sense of regret has lessened. Was watching a movement taking shape right in front of my eyes. And once again, it is surely going to change the fate of the entire nation. Yes, it is bigger than what we all can see with our normal vision. I did not realize it until I met that young boy in the crowd.
In the same group of protesters, I saw a group of small kids with slogans louder than any one else’s. I got pulled towards the enthusiasm. “Poor things, would not even know what they are protesting against. Mom & Dad must have made them rehearse all this to perform in front of the new channel cameras” I thought. Cynical as I am, I went ahead to interview the most enthusiastic lad in the group. A 10-11 year old boy with t-shirt off his chest & on his head. “ Do you know who Anna Hazaare is?” I asked. “ yes, he is an old chap who appears like one of those leaders drawn on our history books” the boy replied. “and what is he going to do?” “ he is not going to eat food till our nation is free from corruption.” He replied like a young leader. “and what exactly is corruption?” I probed further. “ Hmmmm. Corruption is when that telephone guy asks for more money from my dad for fixing the telephone line. It happens when my dad had to give up some bundles of money packed in news paper to the chairman of my school  for my admission. it happens when the electricity guy asks for money to resume electricity supply in our house” he replied.
Thanx to Team Anna, now a 10 yr old in my nation is aware of what corruption id & how does it affect our lives. Now even a 10-yr old realizes his rights & refuses to be cheated by thugs disguised as Indian Govt. Thank you for the revolution. Now the children of our nation are emotionally & socially aware about the injustice its government has bestowed.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Delhi To Leh- 100 Rupay Jeb Main : From Travel Agents To Roof Top Restaurants

Found a lovely hotel, a little away from the  main market. Almost on the outskirts of Leh, home like interior, warmth & an excellent view. A trip for all travel lovers – always find a place to stay in the outskirts of your hot tourist destination. It’s not only relatively economical but it also gives you that peace & view which you would require once you are tired after the daily travel. It also gives you a beautiful view of the entire area around. I have tried it in Manali, Mussorrie, Shillong & now Leh.
After freshen up, we went out to the main market  to find out certain possibilities & some food. Possibilities of moulding our journey ahead. Since it was getting too much time consuming & tiring, we were divided into two minds- To ride ahead or to stay & go back. The first travel agent we met was a middle aged Ladakhi guy who laughed at us when he heard that we had come there all the way from Delhi. He told us that when he was young, he had travelled on his scooter from Leh to Delhi & then he had to lie down on his tummy for the next fifteen days. Thank God, our situation was much better. He said it would be unfair if we don’t see the place & go ahead. He suggested us to send the bike through some transporter & roam in and around Leh. He also suggested a transporter with the name “ Chinar”.
Checked airfare with a couple of travel agents, But still in double minds. Surprisingly,  nowhere could we see any restaurant. A very wired observation but do people really eat food here or do they all have the problem of lost appetite like me. Then another observation that the place had the beautiful trend of terrace restaurants. Fresh food with fresh air & awesome view of the entire city. Lovely combination.
On the same terrace, amidst a number of groups of foreign tourists, I saw a Ladkahi couple sitting in a corner table & looking at each other with dove like eyes. College lovers may be. Small town love story. I could not comprehend their language but could see them very much in love.
Breaking the calmness around, I could hear the shrieking bikes rushing in the town. The three musketeers were in the town now. We were separated on the way but now could see them again. We waived at them but they could not catch a glimpse.  We knew they would meet us again. The town wasn’t that big.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Delhi To Leh 100 Rupay Jeb Main : Reaching Leh

 Royal Palace at Shey

The road ahead was beautiful. There was an entire range of mountains which appeared to be an artwork of some artist. One could see structures of several faces coming out of those rock mountains. Some of these were chocolate brown in color & some as golden as pure gold.
I was not as enthusiastic as I was in the beginning of the journey. The struggle last night had weakened me entirely. Yet my eyes were capturing all they could see. When I couldn’t, I would close my eyes for some time to reload & then again start capturing.
We stopped somewhere around Upshi, to get some food. Had a white chapatti & mix veg after a really long time. This reminds me of one observation that vegetables here will always taste to be undercooked. It is because of the weather, that they stay half raw even after cooking for a really long time. At this place we met two bikers who were coming back from Leh. They said it was heavily raining there & we must cover ourselves well. While they were telling all this, I happen to see a 3 yr old boy who had just returned from his school. Wearing no sweater or socks. Absolutely nothing to keep himself warm. Probably he doesn’t even require. He was running, jumping & even skipping while I can’t even walk 100 mtrs properly. The small houses around were beautiful. Didn’t want to leave but had to. Packed with rain coats, we moved ahead.
We were riding on a road parallel to a very small river and then came a turn where we could see this river pouring down into a huge river. This was the very first view of Indus River when it enters India. Huge reservoir of clear natural water. Calm like a mother. The real nurturer of our civilization. Her surface was still but I could sense that there was a lot inside.
We were now entering the army camps. Camps, hospitals, schools, shops on both side of the road. Neatly planned colony & an excellent road. Followed by several villages. The Indian Army has been extremely helpful in setting up these villages. They have also adopted some of these villages. Green patch in the middle & barren sand hills all around.
My eyes were tired, so I closed them to rest. When I opened my eyes next, we were in the middle of hundred of white stupas . I don’t know what they are actually called. But they definitely belong to Buddhism. Made of white clay & bricks, they appear to be symbols of peace. But when I saw them first, I thought they were there to symbolize death. We were now in SHEY.I could see the Shey fort almost standing on my head.
Entrance Gate of Leh

When I opened my eyes next, we were in LEH. It was 1pm. School kids all around. It was a simple city as is yours & mine…..