The Dead Innocent Kid

Deep down in our hearts, we’re all little kids,
An unnoticed innocence lies within, nurtured by our soul,
Our thoughts and intentions, are benign at the core,
Then what is it, that so artfully moulds,

Our good intentions into evil acts,
Which make us the opposite of who we are,
In the end, we’re all but innocent,
And the benign intentions stand miles apart,www

Is it the false pleasures, that the world has to offer,
Or the fear of lagging behind in the race,
Is it the demon, better known as money,
It’s certainly a greed, in many different ways,

We strive hard, to fulfill these desires,
We manage to grab more than we need,
What, then, keeps the feeling of fulfillment away,
Is it the guilt of our wrongs, indeed,

In the process of achieving all that we want,
We ignorantly murder that innocent little kid,
We successfully achieve money, power, even fame,
But fail to achieve the peace which we once did,

Then how can this all be worth it,
Why do we give up our souls, in a glance,
Lets not let the false pleasures drive us any more,
Let’s give that innocent little kid another chance…

The Innocent Little Kid

Should I be a proud Indian?

The 69th anniversary of our country’s independence is here. The patriotic in me feels proud of what my country has achieved over the past seven decades. From being known as the land of rituals, snake charmers, and superstitions, we’ve really come a long way. Today, the world knows us as engineers, CEOs and scientists. The Mangalyaan makes me proud, and so do men such as Mr. Sundar Pichai, Mr. Satya Nadela or Mr. Kailash Satyarthi. I feel honoured to be a part of such a nation. I feel like waiving my beloved country’s flag.

Proud Indian

But as is true for anything else, there’s another side to me. The ‘I hate this country, it can never develop’ side. I find myself complaining about my country’s problems every day. When I start my day and head out for work, I resent the overly crowded streets I cry about the densely polluted air and poor traffic control. When I see beggars and poor children clad in torn clothes, I curse the government for their condition. Of course, it’s the government’s fault. Had the ministers and political leaders been doing their job with sincerity and honesty, problems like poverty, pollution and population would not exist. I go through this round of thoughts every day. However, that’s precisely where I leave my country to its problems. My responsibility ends there. No one blames me. No one asks me to not stop there. No one expects me to be doing anything else about it. No one, except the evil whom I hate the most. My biggest critic, Mr Conscience.

Ashamed of being Indian

That demon questions my right to be proud of my country’s achievements. What exactly, have I done to take India where it is today, he asks. I want to punch him in the face. He goes on to ask if there’s any tiny contribution that I’ve put in for my country in the twenty five years of my existence. I try hard to recall the last time I did something for my country, so that I can shut his bloody mouth. But I can’t. I begin to feel irritated. It’s only the beginning. Mr. Conscience tells me on my face how I have no right to make any complains about my own country and it’s problems. Since I’m not the part of the solution, I must be a part of the problem, he says. That’s it, he has done it. It’s time I shut his damn face and go to sleep. The best part of sleep is that you get to escape whatever you want. Sometimes, that’s your only way out of dealing with your conscience.  I love sleep.

Honestly, I know I could have contributed a little in all these years. I know I still can. I can perhaps donate a small amount of my monthly salary to a charity. I can resist taking my own car and use the public transport, for the sake of one less car on road. All those times when I wasted food, I could have saved that and gave it to the needy. I can also give up the greed and pay all taxes with sincerity. I can spread awareness among people to keep the country clean, or at least, make sure that I myself don’t litter public places and roads.  I can perhaps plead to my friends on Facebook to do something good, instead of posting that selfie that I was about to post. I can start on this Independence Day, for what else could be a better day. But I’m probably too lazy to turn ‘can’ into ‘will’. It’s a lot easier to feel proud while other’s give us the reasons. So is to complain and forget. I think I’ll stick to the routine. I will probably fly kites in the morning feeling proud, and drink beer with friends at night, cursing my country and its problems.


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The Big Fat Indian Wedding, is it worth it?

“Dad, my phone is too old and outdated. Please get me a new one.”

“Forget it. It’s good enough. Besides, money doesn’t grow on trees. We have to save for your marriage as well!”

Looks like your story, doesn’t it?  This is a typical conversation that occurs every now and then in Indian families. Right from the moment a man and a woman get married, they start planning and saving. They save for a healthy future of their family, education of their kids and what not. But wait, all this consumes only a part of the savings. Where does the remaining, bigger part go? You guessed it! The day their children were born for. Marriage.

India is a land of hugely diverse cultures, traditions and ethnic groups. While their ways distinguish them, the fact that makes these different groups one, is their common ultimate purpose in life. This purpose is none other than to spend all they can on their children’s weddings (pun intended).

Wedding decoration

I belong to a Punjabi family, and have been a part of many Punjabi weddings. A typical wedding costs somewhere between ten lakhs to one crore rupees. I’m talking of average middle class families. For upper class families, the budget can go as high as fifty crores. Lets take a deeper look into where this giant sum of money goes.

Average count of guests in Indian weddings is about 300 to 350. In a banquet hall located in a metro city, a dinner usually costs at least a thousand bucks per head. Simple maths tells us that dinner (or lunch) alone costs a sum of about 3 to 4 lakhs. Wonderful! It does make sense, doesn’t it? I mean, I know we could feed a country of poor homeless children with that money, but why care? Lets move ahead and talk about the lavish gifts. In a wedding, the girl’s family is expected to bring along a plethora of gifts. We don’t like to call this dowry. We’re a part of modern India, we don’t believe in dowry anymore. These are just gifts! When I was a lot younger, gifts usually meant a pack of chocolates, a nice shirt, or a bouquet of roses. It was stupid of me. I should have known that gifts mean kilos of gold, a modern car and enough dresses to last a decade. I almost forgot about the plush decorations, which, again cost lakhs. Too bad they last only a day. But what the heck, it’s the day we were born for! At least all our relatives and friends are happy and proud, or are they? There’s always this aunt who will still not be happy with the saree she got, or that uncle, who didn’t find the pricey liquor he was hoping for.

Wedding Food

Wait a minute, I just realized the most important purpose of spending the life’s savings in a day. It serves as a status symbol! While we may exhaust all our bank balance, we manage to build our status in the society. The wedding becomes the most talked about stuff among our friends and relatives. Some, who are yet to marry their children, take a note of the details, so that their children’s wedding can surpass our standards. Yay! We’ve given something worthwhile to them.

I don’t want to spoil the mood, but really, couldn’t we do a more sensible job here? Couldn’t we save half of what we throw at the weddings, for a more noble cause? How about donating to charities which raise and educate the poor children? If we can’t be that kind to the society, how about saving half of this huge sum for a better education of our children, or on gifting an international vacation to our parents once they retire?

When I look around today, I see a lot of young blood who doesn’t really favor such extravagant weddings. However, they still go for them for the sake of the will of their parents. Our parents wish to wed us in as lavish manner as they can afford. They do it because every one else does. They don’t want to be looked down upon by the society. What they probably fail to realize is the fact that this society is made of nothing but them. Many people who think just like them. If all, or at least most of them change their ways, this fear of being seen as the odd one out would cease to exist. If the youth does believe in the fact that unnecessary expenditure on weddings should be done away with, it has to take the responsibility of convincing the older generation. Some will understated, most won’t. If even a mere one percent of our country’s population succeeds in this, it will certainly make a huge impact.

Wedding is perhaps the most important day of our lives, but we don’t have to throw away our’s or our parent’s whole life’s savings for that. This is the day when we are blessed with a life partner, what else could we wish for?

Life Partner

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