KID THEM NOT

One of the biggest mistakes that parents sometimes commit is to think that their kids are not old and smart enough to know or understand. This often has some amusing fallouts. A little girl was asking her granny how did her papa arrive on earth. The granny replied that the stork brought him. Then the li’l girl wanted to know how was grandfather born. Once again granny said that the stork brought […]

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MUSINGS IN A NAVY HOSPITAL

The word hospital, Wikipedia informs us, comes from the Latin hospes, signifying a stranger or foreigner, hence a guest. Another noun derived from this, hospitium came to signify hospitality, that is the relation between guest and shelterer. Hospes is thus the root for the English words host (where the p was dropped for convenience of pronunciation) hospitality, hospice, hostel and hotel. I was recently admitted in the Navy’s hospital Asvini in Mumbai because […]

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ANNA HAZARE AND THE INDIAN DEMOCRACY

I brought it out, a few months earlier, in an article (How Proud Should We Be of Indian Republic at 62?) that despite the dream and objectives of the Indian Constitution, brought into force on 26 Jan 1950, the lot of the common Indian has not changed even 61 years later. The article was based on facts and figures (say, from UN Human Growth Index Report) rather than my perception or […]

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SLEEP AND I – LOVERS ONCE STRANGERS NOW

Last night, with body full of Psoriatic lesions, as I tossed around in my bed, waiting for (what I thought to be) my beloved Sleep to come to me, take me in her arms, and give me the much-needed relief from pain and itchiness, I found that – what has become common now – Sleep had abandoned me. Like a jilted lover I have now decided to make my affair with […]

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DEMENTIA – IS IT AN INDIAN NATIONAL DISEASE?

For something to assume the status of being ‘National’, it has to be accepted thus by the people of the country and not merely by the authorities. For example, though Hindi speaking people and the central government, sometimes in the sixties, claimed that Hindi is the National language, states and people from the southern and eastern parts of the country (non-Hindi belt) rebelled and rioted. They claimed that Malyalam, Telugu, Tamil, […]

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ANNE’ NA RAHO (DON’T REMAIN BLIND) (POEM IN PUNJABI)

ਹਜ਼ਾਰਾਂਅਨ੍ਨੇਯਾਂਤੋਬਾਦਪੈਦਾਹੋਯਾਅੰਨਾਹਜਾਰੇ, ਲੋਕਾਂਨੇਹਜ਼ਾਰਹਜ਼ਾਰਦੇਨੋਟਉਸਤੇਵਾਰੇ, ਅਤੇਕਹਿਯਾ, “ਜੰਗਕਰੋਅੰਨਾਅਸੀਂਤੁਆਡੇਨਾਲਹਾਂ.” ਮੈਂਕੇਹਨਲਗਾ, “ਤੁਸੀਂਅੰਨੇਹੋਸਾਰੇ.” “ਜਿਦਾਂਦੇਤੁਸੀਂਹੋ, ਓਦਾਂਦੀਹੈਤੁਆਡੀਸਰਕਾਰ, ਵੋਟਿੰਗਲਈਤੁਸੀਂਹਰਦਮਰਹੰਦੇਹੋਤੈਯ੍ਯਾਰ, ਪਰਐਸੇਬਦਮਾਸ਼ਾਂਔਰਮੂਰਖਾਂਨੂ, ਕ੍ਯੂਂਵੋਟਦਿੰਦੇਹੋਬਾਰਬਾਰ?” “ਲੋਕਪਾਲਬਿਲਨਾਲਕੋਈਫ਼ਰਕਨਹੀਂਪੈਨ੍ਹਾ, ਇਹਬੋਝਥੁਆਨੁਅਤੇਮੈਨੂਹੈਸੇਹਨਾ, ਜੇਇਦਾਂਹੀਅਸੀਂਅੰਨੇਬਣੇਰਹੇ, ਤਾਂਇਕਅੰਨਾਅੰਨਾਹਜ਼ਾਰੇਨੇਕੀਹੈਕਰਲੈਣਾ?” “ਲੋਕਪਾਲਨੂਛਡਕੇਲੋਕਸ਼ਕਤੀਕਰੋ use ਸਾਰੇਲੀਡਰਾਂਦੇਬੁਲਬਕਰੋ fuse  ਰਿਸ਼ਵਤ ਮੰਗਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਨੋ ਖੋਲ ਕੇ ਮਾਰੋ ਛਿੱਤਰ, ਤਾਕੇ corruption ਦਾਰਹਜਾਏਨਾਕੋਈ excuse.” ਜਿਸਮੁਲਕਦੇਲੋਗਹੋਜਾਣਚੰਗੇ, ਉਥੇਭਰਿਸ਼ਟ leader ਆਪੇਹੀਹੋਣਗੇਨੰਗੇ, ਸੋਅਗਲੀਬਾਰਉਸਨੁਕਦੀਦਾਨਾਨਾਪਾਯੋ, ਜੇਹੜਾਕਰਮਚਾਰੀ underhand ਪੈਸਾਮੰਗੇ. Hazaran anneyaan to baad paida hoya Anna Hazare, Lokan ne hazaar hazaar de note uste waare, Ate keheya, “Jang karo Anna, asin tere naal haan.” Main kehan laga, “Tussin anne ho saare.” “Jidan de tussi ho, odan di hai thuadi sarkar, Voting layi tussin hardam rehnde ho taiyyar, Per aise badmashan nu ate moorkhan nu, Kyun vote dinde ho tussi baar baar?” […]

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JAI HIND

Reproduction of a poem I wrote in May 1999 when Pakistan perpetrated the most heinous infiltration into Kargil, the Indian side of Line of Control (LOC): जाना है तुमको आज इक फ़र्ज़ निभाने की खातिरइस देश की मिटटी का क़र्ज़ चुकाने की खातिरउठो ए जवानो सर पे बाँध लो कफ़नशहीदों में अपना नाम दर्ज़  कराने की खातिर   दुश्मन ने इक बार  है  फिर तुम्हे ललकारादोस्ती के नाम पे है फिर तमाचा […]

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IF ONLY

Sometimes I feel life is blaséAn alluring mirage that I chase.Sounds of fun and laughter areLike gunshotsPiercing through my heart.   Sometimes I feel I lost you long agoYou were near and yet so far;Knowing that I needed youBut imagining that I’d live without you.”Let me, then, throw another dart.”   The last time, our last time, when we talked,I found you far, very far.I wanted this, I wanted that,I […]

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ADMIRAL AND MANTRI JI

Now that our Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister), Shri AK Antony, has, like all politicians before him and probably after him, shown aversion to talk to his service chiefs we need to examine why is it so. Even our bureaucrats are used to putting the uniformed personnel in their place. We have reached a situation in our country when the collective neglect, indifference and aversion of the government, administration and police towards the armed […]

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WHY READ WHEN YOU CAN ‘LIKE’?

God, do me a great favour Offering to you I will hike, Let people read the stuff I put up, And not just press the ‘Like’. Also, God, this is straight from heart, With no offences meant, Why don’t you goad them on sometimes, To press the button called ‘Comment’? There are others who don’t even ‘Like’ God, So, those who do are better; But, whilst I like their spirit […]

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TERRORIST AT HOME

Terrorists, it is said, are people like us; human beings with similar interests in school and college and office and everywhere; and in everything. Indeed, if you have looked at the profiles of some of them; their neighbours, relatives and friends have been surprised that such and such turned out to be a terrorist. The earlier revelation,  with immense scandalising potential, was if someone had to tell us that Mr. Saxena (name withheld […]

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CHINA – IMPRESSIONS OF MY VISIT

To most Indians China is a quaint country. One hears of it, admires its culture and food but does not routinely plan to visit it. It is only recently that we have had a renewed interest in China, thanks to a series of postures and events culminating in the efficiently conducted Beijing Olympics; and later Expo at Shanghai. China fills us with emotions ranging from awe to anxiety. Last year […]

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SAILORS WILL BE SAILORS

Okay, guys and gals, I am back again. As you probably know, ‘Leave’ in the Navy is called ‘Leave’, whereas short leave ashore is called ‘Liberty’. Unlike the Army, which has a lot of manpower, ships don’t have much to man all Action Posts and, at the same time, send people on Leave. From the time I joined the Navy in 1973 until I left last year, ‘Leave’ was always […]

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WHY ARE WE RAPED AGAIN?

What exactly is a rape? It is essentially an act of force and violence perpetrated against a weak being who has no choice but to submit. It causes great trauma and changes the victim’s behaviour, hopes, anxieties, responses, beliefs, suspicions, complexes, proclivities, and emotions forever. The keyword above is ‘weak‘. The carnage and trauma caused by repeated rape of Indians, through acts of terrorism, doesn’t fill us with resolve to […]

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LIKE

Every innovation, new organisation or set-up comes with a new vocabulary that changes the way we look at things and respond. The Navy, for example, has a totally different lingo that the land-lubbers find quaint. ‘Port’, ‘Starboard’, ‘Aye Aye’ ‘Bundleman’ ‘Son of the gun’ etc are some of the words that have invaded our consciousness because of the Navy. When Internet was launched, we were exposed to a brand new lingo, which […]

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