The Dance of Democracy

Here are the real choices for the largest democracy in the world.

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1)      The Indian Congress party and its cronies. (Officially called UPA- it’s a mix of different ideologies coming together for their common lust for power).

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This party (Read the GANDHI family- a dynasty of corruption)  has ruled India for the majority of its existence after independence. The current culture of Corruption and unhealthy Public sector(Railways/Power/Infrastructure/Heavy industry etc) can be largely attributed to its policies of copy-pasting the USSR’s model of economy mixed with the drab parliamentary state of the United Kingdom – (we all know what has happened to both these countries and the sad state they are in).

This is also the party responsible for the Sikh riots of 1984; 2000 Sikhs were brutally killed after Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. Her son and interim Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had justified killing innocent Sikhs by saying, “When a big tree (implying his mother) falls, the earth is bound to shake (implying some retaliation is justified).

Sickening, you say?

Well here’s your lofty alternative (ha ha. Sarcasm heavily intended)-

 

2)      The BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) –

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Currently BJP is trying its best to distance itself from the communal mindset of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) responsible for dividing India based on Hindu fanaticism. They were largely responsible for the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 which caused widespread riots and caused un-healable scars on the psyche of the minority Muslim community.

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Its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujrat when Muslims were brutally murdered during the Gujrat Riots in 2002. It’s a known fact that all riots are aided by the government or else they are easy to quash by the state machinery of Police and para-military forces. Also his golden handshakes extended to the stinking rich industrialists in Gujrat scare the common man.

Gosh, You Indians are screwed you say?

Wait up…….

3)      The Aam Aadmi (common man) Party-

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Then we have an incumbent. Arvind Kejriwal. He is the quintessential ‘Common Man’. He promises a corruption free India. He’s the common man and promises no allegiance to his own religion. An ex-income tax official, he quit his job to clean-up Indian politics.

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Skeptics say he’s all promises and nothing can happen. Nothing will be done. But he stirred a lot of water in the 49 days he was in power in Delhi (elected Chief Minister).

Well, for the first time, I see hope. I see a chance. He might have no idea how to run a country but look at the god-awful alternatives we have. If the only property he has is HONESTY- just that is unique enough, promising enough.

For the first time in my 43 years, I see the Indian political scene and I am hopeful. I can afford to smile.

It’s about time the common man smiles.

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A Tale of Two Shirts

     abuelo2

      Eres un diablito, Luis. Un nino el diablo.” My grandfather’s bony fingers rapped my head. “How many times have I told you not to chew gum. Spit is out, en este momento.”
     Phoooey. It flew in the air, headed for the yellow plastic bin.
     It missed.
      Whaack. He wrung his hands together. “Go pick it up. Don’t they teach you to not litter in school.”
“–But Abuelo everyone else–” I covered the back of my head and shrunk.
       Pain seared through my fingers.
      My brother jumped in between us. “That green bus will go to Guadalajara, Abuelo.” He flicked his wrist behind his back, urging me to go pick up the gum.
       “Guadalajara?” My grandfather leaned on his walking stick.

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       “To our boarding school, Abuelo.” My brother draped a shawl over Abuelo’s shoulders.
       “Yes, I forgot. Yes. Let us go.” He took a few painful steps towards the bus. “Your mom and dad were so good at taking care of you. I can’t even control just your brother.”
        I jumped onto the aluminum steps of the bus. “El dictador, but you love me.”
       “El diablito. Surely the devil.” He coughed out.
       The bus lurched and stalled and sputtered forward and he began telling the story of our mother and father. How they met and how they glowed when my brother was born. His bony callused hands patted my brother’s head. “Mi pichón, go to sleep.” He hummed a phlegmy tune.
      “Look Abuelo, he’s drooling on your shawl.” I nudged.
       He encompassed me in his frail arms. “Let your brother sleep.”
The smell of jasmine made me cringe. “Uuuugh Abuelo, you used Abuela’s parfum again? Your bottle is in the right hand cabinet.”
      “I forget, Mi Gauchito.” He squinted his eyes to reach some hazy corner of his brain.
      “I’m a gaucho not a gauchito.” I pouted. “I’m big enough to take care of you.” I splayed all five fingers of my right hand and two on my left hand.
       He clasped all my fingers and kissed them. His bristly chin and long grey moustache ticked my hands. “The only thing I never forget for a moment in my life are your ages, mi Corazon. Seven and Ten.” He looked out into the sunset and sighed.
      Click click click. The bus conductor snapped his ticket cutters. “Tickets please?”
      “Three tickets for…” he lost eyes stared into mine.
       “Guajjara.” I managed.
       “OK Three for Guadalajara. That would be eighty one pesos.”
        He stuck his arthritic fingers into his shirt pocket. “Madre de Dios!” he looked around.
      “Is there a problem, Señor?” The conductor held Abuelo’s shoulder.
      “I forgot to bring money.” He patted his shirt pocket.
       “Maybe you dropped it.” The conductor bent down and looked around the seat. I put my head under the seat and ran my fingers through some dust bunnies. I retrieved an orange colored half sucked piece of candy covered with lint. “Abuelo, can I eat–”
        He held his head in his hands. His woolen monkey cap was partially off his bald head. “My brain. Oh my brain. I forget such simple things. How will I ever show you the path, my boys?” He sniffed.
       My brother stuck his hand into his pocket and held out three coins. “Don’t cry Abuelo, I have three Pesos.”
      “And I have orange candy,” I wiped it off my shirt and offered it to the conductor.
      The conductor sat down next to him. “Don’t worry about it, Señor. You don’t have to pay.” Abuelo lifted his face. The conductor’s eyes lit up. “I know you. You’re that famous contractor. My Papi worked for you for thirty years.” He touched Abuelo’s knee. “What happened to you? You’re the millionaire that employed half of our–”
       Tears had pooled by the rim of Abuelo’s thick glasses. “These are my assets now.” He ruffled our hair with each hand. “Other than that my brain is so weak that I keep forgetting to do things, to carry things.”
       I took the slimy piece of candy out of my mouth and held it in a pinch. “He’s my dictador abuelo. The doctor says he’s got –umm — err…”
       “–He’s fine,” my brother hugged my grandfather. “I don’t think he forgets. I think he remembers too much.”
       I chuckled and put the candy back in my mouth.
       His vice like grip clasped my cheeks. My lips protruded out like a fish. He stuck his gritty finger in my mouth, hooked it and flicked out the candy.
       I reached out for the glistening orange candy lying on the bus floor.
      Whacccck.
       I stumbled and fell, held my cheek with one hand and the candy in the other. “Daddy had taught me about the three second rule.”
      “Out of all he taught you, this is what you remember?”
       “At least I don’t forget to bring money.”
        Soc. My brothers small fist made contact with my shoulder.
        Abuelo pinched the bridge of his nose under his glasses.
        My brother buried his head in Abuelos chest. “He’s a silly boy, Abuelo. Don’t mind him. You don’t forget. You never forget anything about us. You remember our birthdays, our school fees and the parent teacher meetings.” He twirled the topmost button of Abuelo’s spotless white shirt. “You just have a lot to remember.” He twisted the button round and round. “You just remember too much because you care too much.”
         Abuelo’s ivory colored button broke off. His white shirt’s opened up.
My brother peeled back his shirt and looked up at him with brown saucer like eyes. “Look Abuelo, I told you that you remember too much. Here’s your money.”
         Beneath his shirt was another identical white button down shirt.

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The Sunshine Award for Blogging.

A very big thank you to my peer, kcg1974, who blogs at,http://kimgosselinblog.com/author/kcg1974/ for nominating my blog for this most cheerful Sunshine Award.  

10 fun things about me— That’s a tough one.

– I love riding motorcycles.

– I love playing Tennis (and I overdo it)

– I travel, every chance I get. In college my friends never really asked if I would plan a travel with them. They automatically assumed it. 

– I love animals and work with Rescue organisations

– I stand up for animal rights and even turned Vegetarian two years ago. Its the best decision I ever made.

– I can recite the story and dialogues of the 3 hour long Movie Sholay word for word.

– I grew up in 4 different countries- each better than the last. Tanzania, India, UK, Algeria.

 

via What a Wonderful Sunny Day to Receive the “Sunshine Award!”.

Alcoholics Harmonious

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     Where’s my husband?” Mrs. Sodhi yelled. “What did you do to my husband last night?” She charged right into Dad’s room.
     My father pressed his fingers to his forehead and cringed. “Uhh. I don’t know. He vanished.”
     “Vanished? You left the bar on your scooter. Then you’re saying he vanished,” she rubbed her thumb on her fingers, “into thin air.”

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     Dad pressed the coffee mug to his temple. “I was driving. We were talking. Then he stopped responding. So I stopped and looked back. He was gone.”
     Mrs. Sodhi threw her arms in the air. “Goddamnn you drunkards.” She slapped her palm to her head. “Let’s go find my husband. Are you sure he was seated behind you when you started your scooter.”
     “I…Think so.” Dad ran his dry tongue over his chapped lips and labored toward the bathroom.
     The revered Mr. Homer J Simpson said, “Alcohol is the cause and solutions of all of life’s problems.” My father would just say, “Chakk Glassy, te napp de killi (pick up the glass and hurry up to getting drunk.)”
     A highly decorated Engineer that worked for the Government of India on deputation to several countries during his tenure, my father lost his way after he retired. Directionless, him and his retired friends took to binge drinking. This was a regular scene at our house.
     However this was the very first time he’d actually misplaced a human.

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     After a few hours of scouring the small town of Chandigarh in Northern India, we ultimately found Mr. Sodhi in the state hospital.
     “What happened to you, Yaar (buddy). We’ve searched everywhere for you.” Dad traced his finger on the bandage on Mr. Sodhi’s noggin’, where some blood had seeped through the gauze.

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     Mr. Sodhi clutched his pant pocket with both hands. “Yaar, last night while you drove me home we both forgot where I lived, right?”
     My father nodded. “Yeah. And I was driving around the neighborhood so you could find your house. We sharabi’s (alcoholics) understand each other.”
     “Yes” Mr. Sodhi nodded. “We always look out for each other. You are my dearest friend. You know I always look out for you.”
     “Ofcourse. But what happened to you. I turned around and you were gone.”
     Mr. Sodhi smiled. “I saw my house and I got off. I knew you were getting late and I didn’t want you to stop the scooter.”
     I leaned in. “So you just got off?”
     “Yes.” He smiled. “I put my feet on the ground and your father kept going.”
     I shook my head. “Really?” I pointed to Dad. “You both are honored engineers? Ever heard about inertia of motion?”
     Mr. Sodhi winced, took one hand of the pant pocket he was clutching and touched his head. “I know now.”
     The doctor flipped his chart. “They found him in the morning. Sixteen stitches.” He put his stethoscope to his ears. “He was bleeding but he wouldn’t let go of his pant pocket.”
     “What do you have there?” I reached for his pocket.
      He angled his thigh away from me and beamed triumphantly at dad. “You see, Yaar. I fell, but I saved my pint.” He produced a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label from his pocket.
     I covered my mouth with my hands. “Really? You fell down and broke your crown. But you wouldn’t break your fall with your hands. You chose to protect whiskey over your head?”

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     Dad on the other hand was sharing the most blissful moment with his drinking buddy. Like co-dependent druggies they pored into each other’s eyes and smiled; in unison.
     Harmoniously.