And Diwali 2019 will be history…the bright lights, crackers, laughter, good wishes will all be gone…
I don’t know if you will agree with me, but I feel Diwali 2019 has been quite unlike any of the previous ones.
A strange kind of uneasy calm prevails over the whole country. Though everybody is following the traditions, praying, fasting, feasting, giving, donating, celebrating, deep inside, our nerves are on edge.
With RBI and various government institutions turning into puppets, our money is no longer safe in our banks. Live frugally and save, save, save, that’s what I was taught since childhood. But with banks behaving like robbers and constantly imposing new levies and taxes to eat into savings of ordinary people, parking money in banks no longer makes sense. Common people have no idea what the central government will do next.
Who knows what the hatemongers will come up with and where the next terrorist attack will happen.
Anyway, enough of negative thoughts. Something to do with my sore throat and cough, I think. It’s lasted longer than usual this time and we Delhiites are in for worse days ahead…pollution, even-odd, etc, etc…
The article makes it quite clear that the plan to selectively massacre Sikhs was hatched much before Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination. It was meticulously and systematically executed, like a highly focused corporate marketing campaign with accurate demographic data. It was not a knee jerk reaction.
A political party and a government that join hands to inflict pain and suffering on the very people they are supposed to serve have no right to exist in a democracy.
For a lay person like me with no knowledge of law, it is hard to understand why our courts are unable to punish the guilty in spite of so many witnesses and huge piles of evidence with complete details of damage caused, both to human lives and property.
The only reason we can think of is manipulation of legal records and a toothless judicial system that allows criminals and murderers to walk freely.
Already 34 years have passed since the Sikhs’ massacre and the only thing the government can do now is offer compensation! For people who saw scores of their loved ones murdered in cold blood right in front of their eyes, no compensation can be enough.
Ever since independence, our leaders have only had ulterior motives behind all new initiatives and all they seem to have done is divide and rule. Sometimes, like Hitler, they go after a certain community. In November 1984, it was the turn of Sikhs.
India takes great pride in being a nation of diversities and peaceful coexistence is the only way we can survive and prosper. By planting fears, both real and imagined, in the minds of people, our leaders force us to move with shackled feet as a nation while smaller countries like Japan, Singapore make great strides…
Come 2019 and all political parties will seek our votes. It is time to wake up and remain vigilant. Let’s bring out better people, leaders who can bring in positive change instead of unleashing bloodthirsty hounds upon us. That’s the only way to save our country.
Thank God, we have the NOTA (none of the above) option too now. It can serve as a very powerful tool in compelling political parties to pitch candidates who will work the way they are supposed to, as public servants, not as masters.
Yes, one happy moment, frozen forever…My parents, looking happy and carefree…That’s the way I like to think of them. Always. When things go downhill, I look at these pics and I feel better. Ready to go on again…
I have never been a BJP supporter and my chances of becoming one in the near future are very remote. Like every other political party, BJP also has its share of extremely aggressive fundamentalists and their tendency to saffronize every burning issue fills me with insecurity as a writer and a citizen of a secular, freethinking country.
But UP’s current Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, to my pleasant surprise, has turned out to be a big exception. A lot of positive changes are already quite visible if you go by the qualitative difference these days in a patch of land near my office. Garbage is being removed very fast, public spaces illegally encroached upon are being freed, and so many developmental projects, both big and small, that were stagnant earlier are being revived and pushed to completion; and all this is happening very efficiently, quietly, silently, peacefully, without any clashes, loss of lives or property.
This is what India needs at this time. Sabka sath, sabka vikas (Hindi phrase meaning “Everyone’s support, everyone’s progress”) seems to be turning into a reality…We need many, many more dedicated politicians like Yogiji in future. If development goes on at this pace for next 5 years at least, UP will probably become India’s best state…
Just take a look at these pics of the area I am talking about, clicked both before and after the elections about 2 months ago. It will help you understand what I mean.
Before elections…Till around Jan.16…
After elections…Can you see the huge difference? This pic was clicked in Apr.17.
Some more construction pics post elections…
Can you spot 2 tiny men working inside this huge framework?
Purple Jarul Flowers near Hari Nagar Depot Red light
Pink Jarul flowers at AG-1, Vikaspuri
Around mid-April, a huge purple patch of purple Jarul flowers suddenly appeared near the Hari Depot red light. I noticed them while travelling in a bus on my way to work. They looked gorgeous and seemed to add a special touch to their drab surroundings. I tried to click their pictures that day, but I couldn’t; the bus was moving too fast. I tried again during the next few days, but all in vain. Sometimes the bus didn’t stop and when it did, it was too far from the spot. I promised myself that one of these days, I would come here specially to take their pics. But unfortunately, due to work pressure, I just couldn’t find the time.
And then one morning, I observed that the flowers were much fewer in number. Day by day, they kept decreasing and I wondered sadly if I would ever get the chance to take their pics before they disappeared. Compared to Gulmohur and Amaltas, Jarul trees are much fewer in Delhi. You don’t find them everywhere.
On 5 May 2016, I read Mayank Austen Soofi’s post on these flowers in his blog theDelhiwalla.com (http://www.thedelhiwalla.com/2016/05/04/city-season-the-jarul-flowers-of-summer-jor-bagh/). That was sufficient to make me decide that it was now or never! I pushed my work aside as though it was a big emergency and I dashed out from my office that day to grab those shots before the flowers got trampled under the ruthless feet of Death. While I was on my way to that place, I had the same heady, tingling feeling of excitement that I had when I went out on my first date!
After reaching the spot, I clicked lots of pics of the Jarul flowers to my heart’s content and I plucked a few to keep in my poems diary. While returning, I took some pics of the plucked flowers too. I noticed that these flowers appeared to be of different color in different intensities of light.
And next evening, while walking from the bus stop to my home, I was pleasantly surprised to find another Jarul tree. Its flowers were of magenta color; some of them had fallen off and were lying on the ground just below the tree.
Here are all the pics. They give me a deep sense of fulfilment every time I look at them. Photos are, after all, one way of immortalizing special experiences.
Jarul flowers @ Hari Nagar
The images below are all of one particular Jarul flower. Amazing, isn’t it?
Jarul flowers @ Vikaspuri (AG-1)
And finally, here they are, those lovely Jarul flowers, resting in peace forever in my poems diary…
Mom & Dad…(photo clicked on a relaxed Sunday, 17 Jan.16)
Every time I look at this pic of my parents, my heart sends a grateful prayer to God for letting us survive through so many storms and live to witness this wonderful day of peace, joy, and contentment, far away from cyclones, drought, war, and terrorists….