Friday, 26 December 2014

Dear FB! It was not a Great Year

Many of you have shared the Facebook-’innovated’ slideshow which proclaims  this has been a “Great Year”. But I did not bother to look at those photographs. When this “innovation” called ‘Year Review’ popped on my wall as well, with my photographs, I had already ignored some 100 such Year Reviews of FB "users". I ignored my Review as well.

FB again stuffed my wall with my 'Year Review'. Ajeet’s Year: “It has been great year. Thanks for being part of it,” FB wanted me to share this manufactured slideshow. Though I did not want to say, I knew it has not been a Great Year, with any standard, at any level: Personal, national or international  But Facebook kept poking me with album of my pictures saying, “It has been a Great...” asking me to share the slide.

Let me tell why this had not been a Great Year and request FB not to use its "users".

How can you term any year a “Great Year” when the ocean and the sky had been competing with each other for who will engulf maximum number of human lives.

We lost over 300 people in the Korean ferry disaster. Photo: Wikipedia 
This was the year when flight MH370 took off and flew to nowhere. This was the year when MH17 was blasted mid-air. This was the year when South Korean ferry sunk into the sea leaving, not only Koreans, but the entire world sulking and sobbing.

This was the year when floods washed away whatever little beauty J&K was left with and Ebola switched off Christmas lights in many homes across Western Africa

This was the year when seven armed gunmen stormed into a classroom, asked the students to stand up and shot them point blank. A classroom with over 700 students, kids cornered and gunman firing, The helpless kids, as young as six-seven-years, faced the horror for over seven hours. What sort of horror takes for you to say this was not at all a Great Year?

How can a year be a Great Year when humanity killed humanity.

This was the year when over 2,000 people were killed on the Gaza Strip. This was the year when so-called Islamic State butchered journalist and civilians alike. The beheading were recorded and released on social media by the killers. The world saw, the world cried.

How can such a year be called a Great Year? I’ve seen those videos. You see it and you know why I am arguing this was a very bad year.

When all these happened one felt like hiding and crying hard somewhere,  privately. Certainly it was not a Great Year.

How can I forget the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar, ongoing ethnic clashes in Assam and death of women in Chhattisgarh sterilisation camp.

I don’t want to mention that over 20 people were blinded during a botched eye-operation camp in Punjab. This perhaps does not matter, for we have “endured” far greater intensity of losses this year.

I have no problem with FB's “innovation". But clearly there is a problem when you pick and choose some photographs, arrange them randomly and declare, "It has been a Great Year", world wide. You do it on FB and the world sees it. And when the FB does it, world shares it. You cannot simply throw away the more telling photographs into the dustbin of history.

This attempt of FB reminded me of the horrific year 2014 had been.

How can I forget the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar. Photo: Google
We have lost many in 2014. Kids have been killed. Mothers have been murdered. Fathers have carried their sons to funeral. Humanity has been buried.

To those who are still around I’d just say, I want to hug you, I want to clinch you, And I want to say you, “We have just managed to survive a very bad year. Hopefully 2015 will be a Great Year—on Facebook and otherwise”

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Sentence me to life once

Sentence me to life once  
send me to those narrow, badly-managed streets 
those narrow streets where happiness widens itself 
those badly-managed streets where life cultivates itself   

Sentence me to life once   

send me among those huts, small temples
through those broken roads, riding bullock-cart     
the huts that house life, love  
the temple that blessed me with childhood

Sentence me to life once 

send me among those peeple and guava tress
in those fields criss-crossed with uneven, serpentine path
the peeple tree where spirits dwell, I was told
the guava tree where my heart dwell, I know

Sentence me to life once 

send me away from the metro 
away from these glitter & glitz
among those people who have seen me naked
among those days when nobody was neighbour 
everybody was bade papa, chhote papa, badi maai, chhotti maai
bhaiya, bhauji and so on...

Sentence me to life once

send me to my culture 
where there is no sir, no madam
no sorry no excuse me
just life, life and life

Sentence me to life once

send me to my very own no-internet, no-mobile zone
to my place where nobody slaughters children
where nobody carries out carnage like NDFB does


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

With Pakistan in this mourning

Right from the playground, to classrooms, to faces, everything in that Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, looks Indian. The school-bags, the pens, the watches, water-bottles, no no to exams. Any Indian student can relate to those students.  

What we cannot relate to however is the cold-blooded killing the school witnessed. 

Six Taliban gunmen stormed. They killed. Most of the deceased being students. The attackers pronounced, "Your army kills our family, we will kill you. We want them to feel our pain." One is stunned, from which verse in their "religious text", they have derived legitimacy for this cowardly act.

The Dawn App sends me first notification this forenoon (I don't exactly remember the time), 'Taliban storms Army School, 4 students dead'. The report added, over 500 students are held hostage. 

Mind was sandwiched between Sydney and Peshawar. Yesterday, Sydney Siege was in the headlines, today it was going to be Peshawar. With over 500 students still trapped, it was going to be a black and bloody day, I was sure.    
                                 Protect those kids. They are innocent. They are cute. Photo: The Hindu
Within an hour of the first notification, the toll went up to 84, majority of them school kids. In an hour 84 dreams were shot dead. For no fault of theirs, 84 families were devastated. 

In the next one hour, the toll went up to 126. Then to 130 and counting... The number of students being massacred was getting updated like a cricket score board.    

I was in the metro, in the way to office, and my heart was with those kids. Only thing I could whisper to myself, May Sanity Prevail. In the office then. Nothing can be more depressing than visiting website for live coverage of students-slaughter. 

I don't know who coined the term the God Cop, Bad Cop. However, Good Taliban, Bad Taliban is a Pakistani discovery. Read this interview.    .             

This is not the time to show Pakistan mirror. But I want to tell Pakistani authorities this much.

"Don't be irrationally India-obsessed. Put your house in order. Rethink your strategies. Change your game plan. Divert your funds. Channelise your energy. Do everything possible to protect those kids. They are innocent. They are cute. Take care of them. India can be taken care of at a later time. India is not going to go. It will stay in your neighbourhood. You will look east, you will find India."

In this national mourning we are with you.