Bollywood

Most of you who know me personally or follow me on social media would know my love for films.

I have thrived on watching films over the 4 decades of my being. This love affair that started with Hindi Films aka Bollywood and has taken me to Hollywood to Regional Cinema and to World Cinema thanks to the advent of sub-titles.

Hindi Films i.e. Bollywood shall forever remain my first love. For they have made me happy and sad, made me question and also made me hate, all with equal measures. Their music is the only one that I can comprehend for they tap into each emotion and occasion.

Besides the movies the people that light up the silver screen and those who enable them have been inspired entire generations. They have been there to serve the nation: the case in point being actors who have gone to the frontiers to boast the morale of our Jawans amongst others.

However my heart pains when some sections of the media goes on to paint the entire industry as the den of all vices. The industry has some issues but isn’t these matters that plague our society irrespective of the industry. The film industry is an easy target and scapegoat, for there is too much money and lives at stake. One bad weekend can be death knell for a film. Targeting films and their actors makes for good politics and that’s what we are seeing these days.

Sensationalising news on Film Industry makes for good TRP’s. Look what has happened to a particular news network that have been garnering substantial eyeballs and thus filling in their coffers. Like in all other matters they are the Prosectutor, Judge and Jury all rolled in to one.

Well sorry for using the “roll” word, for Rhea has been put in jail for rolling things she shouldn’t have and for that matter no middle-class person should have, after all these are things only the rich and famous do and not us.

For the Film Industry I hope this crisis gives you time to put your house in order or what the hell, Wait !!

People have very–very short memories they are going to come back to watch movies of the very people who are now being shamed and disliked. Till that short time work on good scripts and take us back to the magic of a dark Cinema Halls and lit-up Silver Screens !!

रुक जाना नहीं तू कहीं हार के, काँटों पे चलके मिलेंगे साये बहार के…..

66 Years Later

Rajasthan

1954  

श्री जयनारायण जी व्यास राजस्थान की राजनीती में शीर्षस्थानीय, सर्वोपरि अडिग चट्टान थे. लेकिन राजस्थान की राजनीती में उनके प्रयोग प्रदेश कोंग्रेस को न तो स्वीकार थे न सहन थे. इसलिए सन 1954 में राजस्थान प्रदेश कांग्रेस कमेटी की जयपुर में होने वाली बैठक में, जिसमें खचाखच भीड़ थी, श्री माणकयलालजी जी वर्मा ने एका-एक उठकर कहा, “आज से व्यास जी , मैं आपकी हुकूमत के खिलाफ विद्रोह करता हूँ. आप भी हीरालाल जी शास्त्री जी के रास्ते जा रहे हैं. कांग्रेस की बात आप मानना नहीं चाहते, यह चल नहीं सकता. आपका नेतृत्व कांग्रेस की हथेलियों पर है.”

व्यास जी यह कहकर सभा से चले गए, “तो ले लो तुम लोग मिनिस्ट्री …..”

6 नवम्बर 1954 को श्री जयनारायण जी व्यास विधान सभा में कांग्रेस पार्टी की बैठक में 8 वोट से हार गए और श्री मोहनलाल जी सुखाड़िया नए नेता निर्वाचित हुए. 13 नवम्बर 1954 को, सात दिन बाद राजप्रमुख ने उन्हें मुख्यमंत्री की शपथ दिलाई. और इस तरह मात्र ३८ की उम्र में राजस्थान में लोकतंत्र वाद ने सुखाड़िया युग का शुभागमन हुआ.

2020

66 साल बाद कुछ ऐसा ही विरोध राजस्थान में फिर दिखाई दिया. जहाँ पहले यह विरोध 55 साल बनाम 38 का था, इस बार यह 69 साल बनाम 43 का है.

जहाँ पहले मारवाड़ से दिग्गज लोकनायक श्री जयनारायण जी व्यास ने मुख्यमंत्री पद से रुखसत की थी ठीक उस के विपरीत इस बार मारवाड़ से ही जननायक श्री अशोक जी गहलोत ने अपना एक बार फिर सभी कोंग्रेस विधायकों के समर्थन प्राप्त कर लिया. आलाकमान के हस्तक्षेप के बाद विरोध थम गया. एक महीन के अंतराल और व्यथित करने वाले घटनाक्रम में स्थितियां अब शांत हो गयीं

हम कांग्रेस जन ने आज चैन की सांस ली है, विपक्ष की सरकार गिराने की कोशिश को पूर्णविराम लगा दिया गया है. सरकार फिर से आम जन के हक में और अपने वायदा पुरे करने के मार्ग पर अग्रसर हो गयी है. 2023 तक की चुनी हुई राजस्थान की जनता को समर्पित कांग्रेस सरकार अपना कार्यकाल पूरा करेगी, यह हम सब का विश्वास ही नहीं बल्कि पूरा यकीन है.

जय कांग्रेस !!

Jai Siya Ram

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आप सभी को राम मंदिर के शिलान्यास पर बहुत बहुत बधाइयाँ.

2019 में सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने अपने ऐतिहासिक फैसला मंदिर के हक में दे कर, हमेशा के लिए इस विवाद पर विराम लगा दिया. कल उसी राह में आगे बढकर आदरणीय प्रधानमंत्री जी ने मंदिर का शिलान्यास कर अरबों लोगों की आस्था और आकान्शा पूरी कर दी.

इसी के साथ लगभग 500 साल के क्रूर खुनी इतिहास का अंत हुआ. जो बीत गया सो बीत गया अब आगे की सोच. लेकिन शायद कुछ अति उत्साहित लोग इस जीत में भी दुसरे का उपहास करने से नहीं रोक पाए. मेरे एक फेसबुक मित्र को ले लीजिये दो दिन पूर्व मेरी एक पोस्ट पर कमेंट करते हुए लिखा की “Biggest day tday ram mandir ka shilanyas hai bhai sb uski badhai do” !!

हो सकता है यह एक बिना सोची समझी ऐसी ही टिपण्णी हो या मैं खुद ही इस का ज़रूरत से ज्यादा मतलब निकाल रहा हूँ, लेकिन आज उन्हीं के तरह बहुत लोग हैं जिनकी यह धारना बन गयी है की मेरी राजनैतिक विचारधारा मुझे इस भव्य मंदिर की शुभकामनाएं देने से रोकती है. यह मंदिर किसी विचारधारा के होने या न होने से नहीं बल्कि न्यायपालिका द्वारा सोचा-समझा फैसले के तहत संभव हुआ है. अगर किसी के मन में कोई भी संशय रहा होगा वह 9 नवम्बर 2019 से हमेशा के लिए ख़त्म हो जाना चाहिए था.

मेरी आस्था और मेरे भगवान् मेरे अपने हैं, दुनिया को दिखने के लिए नहीं. यह बात अलग है की सोशल मीडिया पर मैं कई बार इन के पोस्ट डालता हूँ लेकिन ऐसी पोस्ट डालने और ना डालने से मेरे धर्म और आस्था में कोई फरक नहीं पड़ता.

आज ऐसा माहौल बन गया है की हम सब को अपनी आस्था / अपना धर्म अपने साथ ले कर नुमाइश करनी पड़ती है की जैसे कोई प्रतियोगिता चल रही है की मुझसे बेहतर हिन्दू कौन ?? और यह अब हर धर्म अनुयायिओं पर लागु होता है.

पिछले कुछ दिनों से मीडिया समूह अयोध्या में डेरा डाले हुए थे और वहां से सीधा प्रसारण कर रहे थे. एक व्यक्ति जो की काले चश्मे पहने हुए था का इंटरव्यू लेते समय टीवी एंकर ने मज़ाक में उस से पूछा की यह काले चश्मे फोटोक्रोमेटिक (धूप में जो काले हो जाते हैं) हैं क्या , तो वह बोले की वह हमेशा काले ही चश्मे पहनते हैं !!

यही हाल कुछ लोगों का हो गया है की वह एक ही चश्मे से आठों पहर देखना चाहते हैं जो उनके दृष्टिकोण को संकीर्ण बना के रख देता है.

अयं निजः परो वेति गणना लघु चेतसाम् |

उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् |

अर्थात् : यह मेरा है ,यह उसका है ; ऐसी सोच संकुचित चित्त वोले व्यक्तियों की होती है; इसके विपरीत उदारचरित वाले लोगों के लिए तो यह सम्पूर्ण धरती ही एक परिवार जैसी होती है |

चलिए हम सब प्रतिज्ञा ले एक शांत, समृध और सौहार्द से परिपूर्ण भारत की.

जय सिया राम !!

IMMUNITY

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Dear Doctor,

I am taking the following for COVID prevention.

Yoga + Walk + Lemon Water + Turmeric powder in water + chayvanprash + Kachha Garlic + Kachha Ginger + Almond Kabuli + Anzeer Kabuli + Khurmani + Kali mirch + Laung in the mouth + Gargles of hot water and salt  + Drinking hot water only full day + Tulsi Batti ( Patanjali )+ Giloi batti ( Patanjali ) + Neem  Batti ( Patanjali ) + Arsenic Albs Homeopethic Medicine 5 drops in two spoons of water 5 days a month + Camphor 1M tablets plus HCQ plus azithral plus ivermectin.

Please suggest if I should take anything more.

Doctor’s Reply :: बस कर पगले, वरना तु अमर हो जाएगा !

Well above is a whatsapp forwarded message and in the real world the patient is me and the Doctor is my wife, who is now sick and tired of trying on any new medicine to boast immunity!!

So कोरोना काण्ड हुआ and it had me shit scared with waves of varied feelings hitting me one after another. पहले थोड़ा defiant होने का ढोंग करा और उदयपुर में positive cases आने के बाद वोह ढोंग भी हवा हो गया. फिर डरना चालू करा तो बेहतर recover rate रेट और vaccine की खबर सुन कर फिर थोड़े चौड़े घुमने लगे ही थे और शहर में कोरोना विस्फोट हो गया. 3 महीने के बाद इसी अच्छी-बुरी खबर के साथ जीना सिख रहे हैं.

The one thing that remained unchanged was the need to boost immunity, but again immunity doesn’t hadownload (16)ve a barometer by which it can measured. To measure when one needs it and when one needs to discontinue the supplements. Well I for one ensured most of my family members lived by the maxim: Better Safe than Sorry!!

Thus the need to boost immunity started with me calling up my Ayurvedic medicine sources luckily for me and unluckily for my members who became unwilling guinea pigs on this quest of boosting immunity, one of our neighbours runs an Ayurvedic Medicine Store.

download (17)So the first dose of immunity started in the month of March with some immunity syrups. Then came Rajiv Bajaj’s famous whatsapp messages about the benefits of Homeopathy and thus we all took the CAMPHORA – 1.

Because of the lockdown the immunity syrups were in short supply and I needed the daily immunity boosters thus came the homemade bitter powder: a concoction of God knows how many dry spices to be taken once a day.

I wanted more so I pestered and pestered my neighbor and who suggested some kind of Chaywanprash, the taste of which I have abhorred since my school days. But क्या करें, कोरोना के लिए वोह भी खाया and finally he had to tell me, बस भैया इससे ज्यादा किसी और चीज़ की ज़रुरत नहीं है!!

Besides the above there was lukewarm water, allopathic self-medication for even a slight deviance from the normal, less intake of cold-substances, washing hands, sanitizer, baths etc. etc…

Anything to keep this Corona at an arms’s distance or like they say 2 गज दूर.

सोच रहा हूँ की अब भी कुछ गड़बड़ हो गयी तो किसी आश्रम में शरण ले लूँगा !!

GO CORONA GO !!

Suicide

Yesterday we all were left shell-shocked with the news of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death by suicide: From a small-town and making a successful transition from TV to Films, his was a success few others have been able to replicate.

According to media reports he was suffering from depression and this is what made him take his own life.

But can we ever know what goes inside someone’s brains?? When do those billions of neurons in the brains start malfunctioning? Who are we to judge and offer solutions?

Are suicidal thoughts a pre-cursor to an attempt to suicide and is attempt to suicide a step towards that last fatal one? When staying positive and strong does not help what do we do? How do we seek help?

Not everyone is blessed with family/friends to take care of one’s mental health even they are sometimes ill-equipped to handle these matters. Seeking help of a psychiatrist conjures up all kind of reactions and reluctances.

Every other day we read stories about suicide for one reason or another, how does one start the journey on the ardours road? I have an aunt who is known to have luckily unsuccessfully attempted this thrice and each time she has managed to have her way and come out stronger. She has been lucky that her family was there to support and listen to her but not everyone has fate on their side.

These are the beautiful lines from a song of Ghazal Maestro Jagjit Singh’s album Someone Somewhere that he released after the death of his young son in 1990 that encapsulates the feeling beautifully.

फ़ुर्सत किसे थी जो मेरे हालात पूछता,  हर शख़्स अपने बारे में कुछ सोचता मिला

उसने तो ख़ैर अपनों से मोड़ा था मुँह,  मैंने ये क्या किया के मैं ग़ैरों से जा मिला ….

MIGRATION

migrant-workers-agencies

On 24th March 2020 at 8PM our Prime Minister Respected Narendra Modi ji announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days that was to take effect in the next 4 hours i.e. 12PM. This was done in order to combat the deadly Corona Virus.

Since the disease was first detected in India we all were anticipating it, however in absence of any clear guidelines most of us went about our daily routines and subsequent to the above announcement entire country came to a standstill with a notice period of 4 hours.

The mayhem that followed was unprecedented, with workplaces shut and with that the sources of livelihood for the marginalised. They had no one to fall back to and this started a mass migration to their home states. This migration was something that continues to surpass to the migration that happened in 1947 i.e. The Partition.

FACT :

  • According to one World Bank estimate approximately 40 million people will be migrating from their workplaces to home states. While during Partition 12 million estimated people crossed borders in both directions.
  • As of 16th May 2020 Indian Railways has operated 1,074 Shramik Special trains ferrying more than 14 lakh workers. While during partition between August and November 1947 around 673 refugee trains transported 28 lakh people.
  • As per a recent survey of 18,000 households across 10 states in India since the lockdown, they have found that most of the above have lost 60% of their Income in April 2020, 20% have already run out of money and supplies and a further 60% will run out in next 2 weeks.
  • The lockdown most definitely has not flattened the curve and nor has it reduced the growth but we have been able to buy some time to fight the disease.
  • Lockdown 4 has resumed most of the economic activity with questionable availability of manpower. However there is simply no other way but to resume economic activity and learn to live with the virus because we got to be ‘AATMANIRBHAR’

HINDSIGHT:

Cambridge Dictionary defines Hindsight as: The ability to understand an event or situation only after it has happened.

In view of the above facts we can now in hindsight state the following:

  • Due to this virus other countries has started imposing lockdown much before ours. Government had some idea what had happened in other countries and what needed to be done to make lockdown less painful. It should have done a better anticipatory analysis.
  • The Government could have allowed the trains/buses to run to ferry labour/people to their home states after announcing the lockdown. Lakhs could have been saved of the hardships of the ardours journey home.
  • Now when Lakhs are returning home thru the Shramik Special Trains, there are more virus carriers than what would have been if they were bought back home in March itself and yes this should in no way disqualify them from going back home.

How many generations will it take to wipe out the suffering of millions of our migratory fellow citizens? To the lives lost, to the dreams erased and to find answers to questions that could never find a voice.

Economic Lockdown

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It has been more than 45 days of Lockdown and we are nowhere near reaching a plateau, on the contrary we are now witnessing an upward trend. To put it in perspective ; the day the Janta Curfew was announced there were 403 COVID+ cases in India and now that number stands at 53000 and counting.

The economy has crumbled. The last modified lockdown has started opening up the economy but we still have a long way to go. The livelihoods are lost; the lives are being lost because the doctors are too scared to treat patients; millions are on the roads trying to reach their birthplaces.

After the man-made tragedy like that of Demonetisation and GST, the Central Government is still walking in dark alleys of lockdown and Corona to find a foothold.

To see how this government has tried to navigate the first two catastrophes, we need to see how they behaved in them. Below is the no of notifications/ clarifications that the government issued during their implementation:

This government has had many meetings with the Finance Ministry but yet to announce a stimulus package. Between the clapping, the Lighting of the Lamp and the showering of petals; we are still awaiting an economic relief. In absence of which some of the SME’s, MSME’s and others will shut shop forever. If the government cant work one out, take the help of experts for in difficult times its OK to ask for help.

For some who will question the intent of this article I would like to say:

Yes I am a Congressman and the role of opposition is to ask questions.

Yes my hardships are nowhere near what most of my other countrymen are facing.

Yes I am willing to stand united as one but that doesn’t stop me from questioning an elected government.

As a Citizen of this country questioning an elected Government doesn’t equate with questioning my Country.

In the end request you to Stay Safe, maintain Social/Physical distancing, boost your immunity and Pray to God to give us strength to Passover these troubled times.

Favorite Authors

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In an article that I wrote for a magazine some time back I had shared how I got hooked on the reading and why books continues being such an internal part of my life. https://dsukhadia.com/2016/01/09/have-we-stopped-reading

This article is about five of my favorite authors:

  1. Jeffrey Archer – He was one of my first fiction authors that I read and loved. His books are fast paced doesn’t beat around the bush and keeps the reader hooked. I must have read all his books starting and some of them still find place in my library albeit on the topmost shelf hidden behind the more recent ones.
  1. Arundhati Roy: Her first book- The God of Small Things was published when I was in college and reams of newspaper were filled with amazing reviews of this book. It took me sleepless night to know the reason why. This is the only book that I have read more than once and whose copy I have on all three formats i.e. Paperback, Hardback and on my Kindle. It took her years to come out with a second one which is another masterpiece and I had a fan moment when I received a signed copy of this latest one.
  1. Rohinton Mistry – Having lived in Mumbai for seven years and a brief period as a paying guest with an old Parsi Lady. The Parsi community notwithstanding the caricatured version in Bollywood, has always fascinated me. His books brings out the humane side of this very community will all their traits and customs. A Fine Balance stands out amongst all his other works. This books is how Emergency and its aftermath brings people of different backgrounds to form a bond and navigate those troubled times.
  1. Shivaji Sawant – He primarily writes in Marathi, a language that I never managed to go beyond इकडे-तिकडे but his translated versions are available. I read the Hindi version of Mrityunjay and was completely blown away. This book brings out the depth and pain of Karan – the eldest of son of Kunti and how his character pans out in Mahabharata. Another is Yugandhar – on the life and times of Lord Krishna. Both these books bring out facets of Mahabharata I was never aware of. The story, the back story and the compulsions of each character is laid out in great details.
  1. Atul Gawande – Once upon a time I was very fascinated by medical professionals and wanted to become a doctor but खैर वोह हो न सका. But the urge to know how things work continued and was fulfilled by Dr. Atul Gawande. He is an American surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. His books bring out the functioning of health professionals to non-medicos in a language that is both interesting and uncomplicated.

Besides these there are others such as Erich Segal, Malcom Gladwell, Julian Barnes, William Dalrymple and likes. My only regret is that I do not read Hindi books because few are available as e-books and those that are my Kindle doesn’t support.

Happy Reading in the Lockdown !!

Lockdown Diary

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For starters we all deserve a pat on our back for staying indoors and surviving the first stretch of the lock-down. If not for the foolhardiness of some, things would have been better. However we are still in much- much better position as compared to most of the so called developed countries of the world.

There a few things that I have realized over this period:

  • How important it is to have a hobby – the ones that you can enjoy doing from the comfort of your home, without anyone’s company.
  • The people you call, message and try getting in touch with are the people that matter. Henceforth whenever you have to choose, you know who to hold on to.
  • The neighbors are and will remain our first source of contact in case of an emergency. If we can’t be pals with them at least be cordial.
  • I have survived till date in 2 pair of shorts & T-Shirt and a pair of nightwear. I can also do away with processed food.
  • Those of us who are gloating over the fact that our needs have become less and we can live with these curtailed wants are absolutely wrong. There is a term in Mewari “मशानों का वैराग्य”, all the above feeling is just that. All this back to basics bullshit is till the time lockdown remains. We are once again going to jump head on into this materialistic world with much more fervor.
  • The political leadership will always have the best interest in their mind in times of crisis irrespective of cast, creed and region. We also need to get above these narrow boundaries.
  • There is a saying, “Hands that serve are holier than the ones that pray”. To all the religious leaders – we have enough places of worship what we need more are the Temples of Healing i.e. the hospitals.
  • There are some genuine people who are doing their job and helping the needy. If they want then they must do their publicity, for the others please spare the theatrics.
  • Our elected representatives, who have not stayed in their constituency to monitor the aid-work, have a lot to answer for in the next elections.
  • For other political workers – not everyone needs to be on the field, you can contribute by staying indoors and stop the spread.

This virus that has shaken the world has its origin in China and they have lot to answer for and pay for.

Corona & Financial Aid

 

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The mighty Corona Virus is on a war path devastating everything that it touches moving from city to city, country to country leaving behind mayhem both in terms of human loss and economic meltdown. However I am sure that it is matter of time that we will surmount this devil with our resilience, scientific progress and more importantly by community outreach or rather lack of it, thru social distancing.

Places of worship closed, travel restrictions, closed airports, countries on lockdown etc. governments across the globe are taking whatever it takes to curtail its spread. On an individual level we also need to keep the social distancing, to flatten the curve of its spread and while all of us do this it will have a massive hit on the economy.

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For starters the tourism, airline and hospitality have taken a massive blow and there is no immediate relief in sight. It is only matter of time that the effect will be seen across industries. There will be some who will be able to take this hit while for some it will cripple them. Some will grow back but for some it will be a death knell financially.

While the government is able to pay its employees in spite of shutdowns same cannot be said about private enterprises. Thus I request the government whether of the Local Bodies, State or the Central level to ease out the financial burden of its citizens to help them cope up with this crisis.

Here are few of my suggestions to tide over this Economic Tsunami:

  • The Local Administrative Bodies i.e the Municipal Bodies and Zila Parishads defer the collection of taxes for at least a quarter.
  • There should be no late fees charges for the deposit or filing of returns for GST or Income Tax. However the government should pass on these benefits to small business owners like shopkeepers, SME etc.
  • Hospitality Industry should be given Tax Rebate and concessions for 2 Financial Years.
  • To ensure that no hoarding takes place of essential food items, medicines and items of daily necessities.
  • The citizens should be given the option to pay their bills of essential utilities in installments.
  • New academic sessions will be starting soon and this entails a major outflow for a middle class family and keeping this in mind the education department should take some steps to ease this burden.
  • Worst hit are going to be daily wage earners; government should ensure opening affordable, subsidized kitchens to ensure proper nutrition to them.
  • Loan servicing and Interest for SME’s, Home Loans should be kept in abeyance with no penal action.
  • CSR funds should be mandatorily be used to fight COVID-19 and ease out financial discomfort.

These are some recommendations, I am sure there are better suggestions and views to fight and shield us against CORONA!!

PS: Last but not the least: – No sitting government should be destabilized and no No Confidence Motion moved against them. Let them handle the CORONA and not waste time in safeguarding their law makers.