May 27, 2009

'Slumdog' Slum Kids

The 'Slumdog' kids are seen getting involved in many controversies with each taking a new turn every day. The last time we heard of them was when their houses were brought down by the railway officials because they were allegedly built on an occupied land owned by the railways. Now, the news is that these children have again set their base in the same land by building new houses.

Slumdog Millionaire might be a 'great' film having brought a couple of oscars to the country, but one thing I don't understand is that why should the actors be treated as if they have done something tremendous for the country - something that India could never think of or has been dying to feel good about. The cast of the film or particularly the slum kids Azhar and Rubina Ali have not done anything so great that people expect the government to recognize their effort and honour them with free income, a free apartment, or may be a free car too. They have just acted in a film like any any other child artiste or actor in any other film. There are many children like Azhar and Rubina who are left to their destiny to pull their lives through these slums across the country. What about them? And, they will not even get a chance to re-build their homes if demolished by the government once. Azhar and Rubina are at least lucky to have lots of support from the media and the public who think they have brought laurels to the country.

May 18, 2009

House Hunting

Despite persistent efforts to rent a house for the last two weeks, we fall short of coming across 'the perfect' house - flawless is what I mean. We must have seen around 15 apartments or individual houses, but nothing falls into the i-love-it-and-ready-to-occupy bracket. What all virtues does this bracket hold then? Well, nothing much... I would like big spacious rooms, at least three bedrooms, a neatly done living room and lots of storage. Oops! missed some other details like big balconies, good ventilation and more importantly all these at an affordable price! :D

That's too much you might say, but what's wrong in desiring something that brings satisfaction? By the way, I didn't mention the city we are house-hunting in - Hyderabad. If we come across a good apartment with most of the requirements met, it will either not have closed cupboards among others or has serious problems like seepage, which are hard to tolerate in the long run.

We thought recession has had a big impact on real estate and would help us in getting a worthy yet reasonable bargain. Nothing happened that way. The rents are still sky-rocketing in prime localities. But, we are positive about the hunt and hope to negotiate a fair deal soon.

May 13, 2009

Long gone democracy

The final phase of the general elections 2009 will end in a few hours from now. The results will be out by the 16thof May and the governments at both the centre and the state level would be sworn in by the end of May. The last couple of months saw the luring of masses by different political parties across states with money, liquor etc. Regional parties in few states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are already celebrating their ‘guaranteed’ success to power. But, where is the common man in all these? The common man is lost somewhere in between. He is lost in the road between rags to riches… between vote banks and power politics. He is lost all along, only to realize that he is nowhere seen or heard in the next five years until the next election campaign when the political parties will storm into their lives all over again as angels in disguise, as the immortal prophets of brotherhood. This has become fairly common in India, so common that it hardly affects anybody anymore.

The term democracy often intrigues me. We have been taught in school that India is the largest democracy in the world where people choose their leader and that the government is of the people, for the people and by the people. ‘By the people?‘ Is the government by the people? I do not really think it’s true. Democracy means the party which gets the majority of votes should assume power.

Let us assume the following to conclude if there is any democracy still left in the country.
- Party x, party y and party z are contending elections at state level or higher
- There are 120 votes (read number of votes) in that particular state
- Out of these 120, 59 vote for x, 46 vote for y and 15 vote for z
- A maximum of 60 votes are required to form the government (The clause)

Who will form the government now? As per the definition of Democracy, party x should assume power as a majority wants it to come into power. But, don’t forget the above clause ‘at fault’ – the culprit! There are two possibilities here – one, party x join hands with party z and forms the government or two, party y forms the government with z. Both ways, Z is the king in disguise. Now, party y forms the government with the additional 15 seats from z and x is left behind. But, who got the majority here? X, and who got the power? Y. Nearly 50% of the people chose X as their leader, but got Y in return. Where is this so called democracy when people do not get what they want? People are deceived by money bags and power games. Is this real democracy, or are we supposed to make this one?

May 12, 2009

The Notorious Saree

Gosh! I never knew Ms. Jayalalitha's saree would become so famous, so famous that people still like to read or know about the notorious incident that had occurred few years ago in one of the Tamilnadu assembly sessions.

Now you would ask me why I am referring to this particularly sad incident all over again. So, let me tell you that I am getting nearly 20-40 hits a week for only this post of mine. And, everytime I search for the referring URL for a particular blog hit, it turns out that every 7 out of 10 hits on this blog are directed from google with search words like jayalalitha saree + pulled etc..

Should I feel happy about the ever increasing blog hits or sad confused about the rising interest of public in this age-old incident? It's strange though. :D

May 07, 2009

తొలి తెలుగు మహిళా బ్లాగరు

I am overwhelmed.

There is an active group TeluguBloggers on google. One of their discussion forums lists my name as తొలి తెలుగు మహిళా బ్లాగరు (the first Telugu woman blogger).

Thanks to all my blog readers and well-wishers. I would like to see myself writing more in Telugu now. :D


May 05, 2009

Everybody cheats thambi

I took an auto-rickshaw yesterday near the city outskirts on a share basis as I could not wait any longer under the scorching sun. A lady got into the auto at the next stage and she looked like the typical woman from the jhopadpattis (slums) with a white ration card in her hand. She asked the driver how much he would charge to drop her at a particular place to which he said five rupees. She told him that she had never given more than four bucks to any rickshaw fellow. What followed was a very interesting conversation between the two, one which started with the rising prices, the scorching summer and the loot done by people, finally gave way to politics and the poor-man-friendly government. It's a first hand account of how the actual illiterate Indian masses think.

I have translated it to English for reading convenience, but retained Telugu lingo here and there,

Lady: How much till Tolichowki?
Driver: Five rupees
Lady: It's just four, right?
Driver: No amma. It's five. I have been running this auto since 2003.
Lady: Auto drivers are looting public.
Driver: Ayyo amma, not auto drivers. It is public who is looting.
Lady: Public?
Driver: Yes

Both went silent for a couple of minutes until the lady started shouting again.

Lady: They asked me to come at 3 O'Clock in the afternoon. $%&&@#.
Driver: Who?
Lady: The people selling 2 Rs. per kilo rice at the counters. I went in the morning and they asked me to come back at 3 in this heat. It is so far from here. #$&$@#.
Driver: Why do you have to go so far to buy it? There will be counters at your house also.
Lady: Ayyo ledu thambi. They asked me to come. Government gives subsidised rice among others and these people... #$&$@# they eat it off without giving it to us. &%$#@
Driver: Who gives what?
Lady: Arey. Government gives rice thambi. And they cheat.
Driver: Who doesn't love money amma! People gather near money like flies. That is how it is. People loot.
Lady: Who? People? People do not cheat.
Driver: They take money from political parties to vote in their favour but finally vote for someone else. Everybody cheats.
Lady: No. I did not take money to vote.
Driver: Every 5 out of 10 are like that amma. It is true.
Lady: Everybody loots - government and people. #$%&@
Stop here thambi.

I was looking at her hand curiously when she got down from the auto to see how much she would pay him for the ride. And, guess how much she paid? Five rupees thambi!