Tuesday, December 24, 2013

We are Law Abiding Citizen!

Prior to our country’s independence, politicians, freedom fighters and citizens alike used to break the laws ignoring the British ‘dikats’ and used to get arrested to go to the jail protesting against the British Raj. Today the entire scenario has changed and ‘We the people’ have become law abiding citizens of India unlike our predecessors.

We sincerely believe that ‘Law will take its own course’ whenever a crime is committed like rape, molestation, tax evasion, traffic violation or even murder. The first thing we do is to go underground to facilitate the police to do their duty of searching in right earnest. In their search, sometimes we take them from Gujarat to Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to Haryana at Government expenses giving them an opportunity for sight seeing as well. By chance if they are able to catch us with our pants down, we tell the countrymen that we are not hiding or running away. We are very much here in the country and how strongly we believe in our judiciary which allows the law to take its own course.

As a law abiding citizen, we mow down people sleeping on a footpath and sincerely produce a dummy driver before the law to deal with. In case of rape & molestation, we blame the victim in the name of consensual sex. We do all kinds of illegal querying, constructions of multi stored buildings and shoddy land deals in benami names but when caught, blame the administration or the opposition to frame us in the deal. Being a law abiding citizen, we overcome all these hurdles with right connections at the top.

If we are politicians, it is most likely that we get a chest pain when police come knocking with arrest warrant. We usually get admitted into a hospital much before their arrival. Whenever our political party is defeated in the election, we always take stock of the situation and retrospect as to why and what went wrong but still arrive no where! If caught in ‘horse-trading’ or rigging the votes on camera, we plead not guilty blaming the very media whom they patronize.

We always show our full faith in judiciary but the moment the court verdict goes against us, all our faith and respect vanishes. We are never afraid or ashamed to go to jail because we always come out on bail or pay-roll. Our learned lawyers ensure that the case is dragged on and on. Finally, we go for appeal in higher court.

 No doubt, we have mastered the art of saving our skin through various loopholes in the system. After all, all these loopholes are part of the law and we are abiding citizens of those very laws!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's all in a family relationship

Relationship of any kind is complex in nature. As long as things are fine relationship goes well but it is very difficult to judge or predict when it can turn sour. I am not here to discuss the Behavioral science of human nature. They are far too complex to understand by a common man like me. I have only questions in mind about those relations.

There was a time when three or four generations living harmoniously and happily under one roof. The head of the family was like Godfather who used to command immense respect from each of the family members irrespective of their age. Men folks used to earn, women folks looking after household chores like kitchen, cleaning, looking after children, washing clothes etc. Every thing was shared by all equally. There was no sign of jealousy and back biting.  The head of the family had the last say in every matter of the house and every body used to listen and abide by them without any questions asked! This may be out of respect or fear, nobody bothered.  Every thing was accepted without any grouse, ill-will or opposition from any quarter.

Now, this concept of happy joint family is disappearing barring some business community where all are in the same trade to look after their business interest. The urge to go for greener pasture abroad, onset of education, moving out for jobs, inter caste/ religion marriage, need of privacy and space have all taken its toll on joint family. It has disintegrated to make way for nuclear family concept. Individualism & self centeredness has crept in the minds. While needs of family and their aspirations are going up, lack of time, zeal and initiative are taking its toll on the family relationship.

Gone are the days when during summer holidays, all family members with their children used to assemble in one place to spend quality time with others. Children used to wait for summer holidays months ahead. They all used to have gala time playing, going places, chit chatting and enjoying movies/shopping without any ill feelings towards the other. Even after going back to their respective homes, they used to be in touch with each other by way of letters.

Now when a faster mode of communication like email and Skype is available children have neither interest in bonding nor the time to be in touch barring few of their friends. The love, affection, bonding, closeness of yesteryears are no where visible now. What if they all have grown in age? It is said that ‘Wisdom comes with age’ but here the wisdom seldom works! All such relationship has now boiled down to say just ‘Hello’ or ‘How are you’ when they meet ‘by chance’ and not beyond. Sometimes not even that. They do not have any other matter to talk to. In fact, they don't feel the need to talk!

No serious issues, no differences, no fight, no arguments but still the gulf between them widened silently over a period of time.  If at all there were any unknown issues, not necessarily between them directly, those issues may be pretty old amongst their parents or even grand parents but not even known to children, the spill over continues. The bonding of childhood days becomes very weak and sometimes arrogance & ego overpowers those relations.

Today very often we read and hear that without clinging to the past, one has to move on in life for happiness but does it anyway stops one from wondering as to how in a family these relations become sore leaving several unanswered questions of when, how & why it all went wrong?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Marriage Market

“Mera yaar bana hai dulha, aur phool khile hain dil ke
Arey meri bhi shaadi ho jaye , dua karo sab milke”.

These are the lines of an old Hindi movie of 60s wherein the comedian is seeking blessings to get married early. Now we are in 2013 and situation is similar where many prospective bride grooms are struggling to get a partner of their choice and needing blessings!

 It is said that marriages are made in heaven but now the heaven is falling on bride seekers! It’s becoming extremely difficult to find a suitable match in marriage market. Many of our states like Haryana, Punjab, in North to down south of Tamil Nadu & Karnataka are facing acute shortage of brides. Situation is so alarming in Haryana, it is reported that the brides are being imported from other states irrespective of caste & creed. Down south the situation is no different and certain communities too are feeling the heat. While girls do not want to get married early, boys are getting overage. The days of ‘Khandan ki izzat’ seems to be over as the table has turned and bride side is ruling the marriage market.

 The imbalance of male to female ratio has resulted in Bride side having upper hand in certain community in South India. They are in a commanding position, wanting to know the details of grooms financial status, fixed assets, stability of job etc. even before their first face to face meeting with the counterpart. In certain cases, they also want to know if any aged people are there living with the boy (reasons are obvious). These kinds of enquiries were never in practice a couple of years back.

Not that, this was unexpected. Now, brides are exerting their rights in the bride groom selection. Not all are prepared to tie the knot with a person chosen by their parents simply because he is from known family or respected family. They have their own ideas of their life partner. Education and awareness have made them on equal footing with the counterpart. They want to decide about their own life, career and future. Majority of them are career oriented wanting to go up the ladder. They are in no hurry to get married. Many are in high position of their career and do not want to shoulder additional responsibility of running a family. Even when married, going ‘family way’ becomes a far cry.

 With the change of mindset, they have many other options like Live in relationship or prefer to remain single and later adopt a child. That explains the reason, why so many celebrities are single. Inter caste/ inter religion/ interstate marriages which were taboo a few years back is irrelevant now. In view of the tight marriage market, all options as above are being explored & accepted.

. The whole concept of marriage as an institution is undergoing a drastic change right at the moment. Awareness is the key to change and this wind of change is visible now. This change is for good, better or worse, only time will tell

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Filmy Story

Those of you who are exposed to Bollywood movies of yesteryears will agree that films of those days used to be made on expected lines.  In all the family movies, the hero or heroine has to be poor. If hero is from rich family, the heroine would be from poor family or else if hero is poor, heroine has to be rich. Both will never be of same status. They would fall in love and undergo conflict of ‘Ghar ki izzat’ & ‘Samaj kya kahega’ syndrome.

If it is a suspense movie, invariably the heroine’s soul would be in white sari singing the signature song of the movie in the thick of a jungle or around an old haveli where no one lives except a crooked looking watchman with a lantern in one hand & stick in the other. Unlike rich or poor hero/heroine, the soul would never be of our hero. It has to be female only! The hero will be following the white sari clad singing heroine who keeps vanishing behind bushes or would be surrounded by thick white smoke. In all such films, our hero is able to hear the song but can not make out from which direction the sound is coming even though the heroine would be around. For a normal person like us, it is not that difficult to guess the approximate distance and direction of sound in real life. At the end of the song, the heroine vanishes leaving the hero gasping with sweat on his forehead.

Another character of interest in those films is the villain. Not exactly with 6 or 8 packs on his body but will be a chain smoker with wicked looks. He is always eying on the heroine and her father’s property. Invariably, this villain gets a chance to rape the heroine in all the movies. Alas, despite all his muscular body and strength, he is never able to tear heroine’s cloth even after several minutes of struggle. Sometimes his goons chase the heroine but they are not able to run as fast as the heroine (what a shame!). Finally, poor villain gets blow after blow from the hero who arrives at the spot nick of the time to save heroine’s izzat.

Comedian is one more character necessary to carry the film forward. He keeps appearing and disappearing on the screen like filler in newspaper. His job is to make the audience laugh with his antics and buffoonery. It is absolutely not necessary that his character has to have any link with the story. Sometimes his track runs parallel to the main film which used to end when the entire family of both the hero and heroine unites happily.

The End.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Coterie........The Gang

A small group of people with shared interest or tastes are called a ‘Coterie’.  I heard about this word only during Emergency days of 1975 when a close group of 3-4 ministers in the then ruling party suddenly became very powerful. This bunch of powerful people was branded by opposition & the media as ‘Coterie’.  Their dikat became the last word and those who dared to oppose were hounded and either put behind the bars or made to fall in line with them. Freedom of speech took a back seat, censorship of News became order of day, those asked to bend started to crawl and Government officials suddenly got wings to harp on subordinates.

Over a period of time, I could relate to coterie in every sphere of life. Take a look at any office, one can find such coterie working overtime to ensure that their interests are protected. They keep reporting to their higher ups about all the happenings in the office & at their back. Their bondage with higher ups would be so strong that a sincere & honest junior will always be doing the additional work of that coterie. He would be externally patted for the good job but would never be rewarded with timely promotion or posting of their choice.

Writers have their own set of coterie who will be indulging in self promotion at every available platform. They work on premise-‘You praise my work, I shall do yours’. Be it a writer’s meet, book release function , felicitation function (even at their own expenses ) or routine meet, they ensure to hog the limelight  through  media coverage like photo session, interview etc. They work in unison to get  a Government or Literary awards.

Now this business has also entered into social networking sites. From time to time, I have come across comment on Face book like- ‘People expect likes and comments on their post but do not like or comment on other’s posts’, or ‘I am going to undo friendship with those who are not reading or commenting my post’! So, if you are on such social network sites and sending someone friendship request, make sure he is from your inner circle i.e. coterie so that he keeps liking/sharing your posts irrespective of the fact you like it or not otherwise one day, you would be removed from the so called Coterie.

The less said about coterie in any Association, ladies club or temple trust, the better. Unlike other fields, here the members are always divided and self interest becomes the prime goal. Once Shining India was eclipsed…….by the legal & illegal advice of the coterie. Their actions can be disastrous if not handled with care & diligence. If they can create a King or a monster, they can make a pauper as well!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Banks that care…….

There are ‘dada’ type of tenants including shopkeepers who default in paying the monthly rent to the owner of house or shop. Sometimes their arrears run into months fighting with the owner in the court, but can you imagine Government office or public sector organization defaulting in rent payment?

Recently Bangalore civic authority (BBMP) has sealed branches of three Banks and a post office inside a shopping complex for recovery of rent since 2007!Unbelievable? Well these bank branches are of Vijaya Bank (arrears Rs.3.24 crores), S.B.I. (Arrears 63.56 Lacs), Apex Bank (arrears Rs.33 Lacs) and Post Office (arrears Rs.33.54 Lacs). Here is a unique case where banks are chasing the loan defaulters for recovery of their loans and the civic authority chasing the banks to recover arrear rents in default. This is what is called “The fence eating the crops”.

In another development, The Reserve Bank of India is chasing those banks which are violating the KYC (KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER) norms and anti-money laundering norms by slapping hefty fines on the banks! While talking about the banks, who care…. (!), here is another revelation. Don’t think that everything can be foolproof in fully automated/fully computerized bank.Another case where the banks are playing the games played by Dons & bookies!

Other day a depositor got a computer generated ‘Interest paid Certificate’ from the bank for 3 of his fixed deposits even though he held 6 deposit receipts. He had transferred other 3 FDs to other branch of the same bank during the month of November. Interest paid on those three FDRs till the date of transfer (i.e. November) neither appeared in the interest certificate issued by transferor branch nor the transferee branch. 

Isn't this a nice idea to save income tax on interest earned on FDRs by transferring them to other branch midway?