Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wind Of Change

The wind of change is blowing through this continent. Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact.

The historical wind of change speech was made by Macmillan to the parliament of South Africa. It would be wise to say that the winds of change have changed direction and are blowing through Middle East. A huge geo political change is under way.

In 1914 the spark that inflicted the First World War was the assassination Archduke Frank Ferdinand, in 2011 the spark is the self immolation of Tarek el-Tayyib Mohamed Ben Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire, little did he know that his act of self sacrifice would start a fire within thousands of Tunisians who took to streets and overthrew the 30 year old regime of then president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Ben Ali fled the country (cash intact). A ruthless dictator like him could only find refuge in another tyrannical government like Saudi Arabia. The people of Tunisia deserve praise, as they proved the old adage “A government is supposed to be by the people, for the people, of the people.”
The revolution spread like fire throughout the Middle East, giving despots the “hell of their lives”, jeopardising the smooth transitions of their kingdom to their sons.

Not far from Tunisia is the “land of pharaoh”, one of the best tourist destinations in the world. Egypt. The epitome of historical artefacts and culture, free of Islamic extremists begins the March towards democracy.

A march made possible by the social media sites like twitter and facebook. It all started with a facebook page, followed by arrests, and suppression of media.

The Tahrir square became the centre stage of the protests, with millions of people pouring in day and night. The difference between the protests in Tunisia and Egypt was that in Egypt people of all stature took part in the protest. Business men, journalists, writers, doctors, service class, irrespective of their occupation, age, gender , irrespective of their status in the society, they all poured in to topple Hosni Mubarak (The Last Pharaoh).

Experts all across the world were worried as there is no solid opposition party to lead the protest or lead the country if Hosni Mubarak is to step down, but how would there be an opposition in a tyrannical government. The opposition is either under house arrest or expatriated.

The army also deserves the credit, by taking a neutral stand and refusing to fire a single bullet be it rubber or metal at people. This reminds me of the tank man or the so called unknown rebel who stood against the fleet of tanks in China. But who inspired me the most was the man in the tank, who took a stand and didn’t run the man over, who tried moving the tank around him rather than over him.
Unlike Egyptians who put out a brave front, united states of America fall short in this category, there mute stance on the ongoing revolt showed there vested interests with Hosni Mubarak Regime. Israel and Saudi Arabia too backed Hosni’s Rule.

With Hosni Mubarak out of the picture and army taken control of the interim period till fresh elections are held, there lay another issue in the backend. Countries such as Israel and Saudi Arabia will try to cajole the military into taking control of Egypt indefinitely. After all, the transition of Egypt to a democratic nation is still not complete. From a Dictator regime it has landed into military one.
Not so far away from Egypt lies Algeria and Bahrain where revolt has sprung up against the ensconced Kings.  

Down South of Egypt lies a country where boundaries are being drawn to divide it into Northern Sudan and Southern Sudan. Africa’s largest country to be split up, into Muslim majority Northern Sudan and oil rich Southern Sudan. Let’s hope these winds of change bring peace and prosperity in the land of savannas, jungles and deserts. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Engaged with Arranged

Reality struck me on a Saturday afternoon, when at 2:30 pm my parents asked me the inevitable question. Should we start looking for a girl for you? It struck me like a bolt of lightning. A sharp painful shiver ran throughout my body like i was stung by tens and thousands of jelly fish.

It all started in 1997, ‘Dil to pagal hai’ made me believe in soul mates and since then I have been the Romeo who roam the streets at midnight on Valentine’s Day whistling the anthem, believing that somewhere my girl is waiting for me. Coming Valentine’s Day, I marked the 23rd anniversary of my loneliness. Cupid miss fired again; no wonder he never gets to compete in Olympics.

Some are happy with their single status; to me they are the biggest liars. Deep down inside, we all need someone to love and getting a dog is not the option. Some hide their single status with “I don’t care about Valentine’s day” or “I am proud to single” status messages. This year was no different with people flooding my wall with “Happy Single day’s messages”. But this year we touched new heights of foolishness, people tagging each other in ‘teddy bear’ bearing pics, even boys were tagging each other and singing the happy Valentine’s Day carol.

But this Valentine’s Day was special because I let go of the only person I could imagine spending my life with. I let go of My Soul Sister. I let go of any possibility of our future together. This time there was no regret, shame or pain like the last time when I had to let go of the girl I was in love with for past 14 years. This time I was self-complacent. You might wonder why let go of someone who is so near to your heart.

Truth is the acrid cocktail that we have to consume one way or other. In real life, not every childhood friend would turn out to be Josephine Potter. “For every Dawson there is a Joey” is an old fashioned adage that has lost its significance over time. No matter how hard you try, you can never make a person fall in love with you.
Can we be friends with someone and not fall for them? According to jumsumtak (a good friend of mine) the answer is no, and was he right!! I have never seen a man so sure of things, listening to him is like epiphany every day.

Thanks, to my new found passion for twitter, i might come through. After all who needs love, when you have friends like jumsumtak, you can grow old with friends, all you have to do is pull yourself together and fight this day with every ounce of strength in your body.

When the going gets tough, keep a tissue paper and “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen handy, and cry it out loud. It was during this weak moment when i picked up my phone, dialled home and said “Yes, I am ready to marry Malhotra Uncle’s daughter.”

P.S : This post is dedicated to Grammy award winner Lady gaga (girl I let go)!