Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Honey Collector and Vanishing Bees

There is a huge bee-hive right outside my widow and it never bothered me.  I believed,  we had a tacit understanding with each other ' live and let live'. I could see  the hive grow inch by inch and simply marveled their technology as millions of black bees clung to it with their lives. As I would sit sipping my tea looking outside my window I could see bees buzzing around.  BUZZZ....... they would zoom past.  Some flying away from the hive , some flying into the hive. They had no time to look around.
Busy-bees! They had a job assigned and all were at it- diligently- disciplined- dedicated to their job.  I envied their discipline and dedication. They were least concerned that I was watching them or the world around existed. I was so amused by the hive that I even began to conceptualize  a work in my head. I visualized the material that I was going to use.

Never ever I  had a thought of complaining to my society manager that there is huge hive growing outside my window and it needs to be removed. And yet one day  I saw some noise outside my window. A few bees had flown into my apartment- which is on  the seventh floor.  As I peeped outside the window I saw a  lean teenager  hanging on a rope.  Before I could have the  time to comprehend what was going on; following visuals unfolded before me in few minutes time.

The boy was hanging from a rope with a tin can tied to another rope.

He swung to the ledge quickly grabbing the sanitation pipes.

Next, he was in a touching distance to the bee hive.

A small branch of leaves with fire and smoke, was quickly pulled up.

In a swift move he dusted the bees hanging on to the hive with smoking branch  and with bear hands pulled the pieces of hive.

 As bees began to fly in frenzy. He had few seconds to collect honey.

In just couple of swoops he filled the tin can. Mean while bees had covered the sky.

He began his descend.

This when he saw me standing in the window clicking pictures. He requested me if he could enter my apartment, and walk down the staircase.

Grudgingly I opened the window and allowed him in. But not before admonishing him for destroying a harmless hive. He was fully drenched in honey. And few  bees were cling on to him. He quietly dusted the bees. He was not wearing any safety gear by which he could protect himself from bee stings. No gloves , a protective suit. or a head gear.  Yet not a single bee had  stung him.

"Honey chahiye" ( want to buy honey) He asked with out flinching an eye.
" Nahi" (No) I said emphatically.
No further words exchanged , he quietly walked out of the door, stamping honey feet on the floor.

I looked back at the hive. Still few bees were hovering around the place.
Their world had been destroyed in few seconds. But on a second look- I saw everything was not over. The boy had not completely uprooted the hive. Some bees clung on to whatever little bit of hive that was still remaining.  Probably Queen was still  in there. In few minutes they quietly restarted rebuilding their world. They buzzed in and out - back and forth- collecting honey.  No time to complain or lament over loss.

For moment I was transported in  meditation hall sitting besides fellow followers- and felt the words ringing in my ears " phirse shur karen"... " lets start again".. words hammered into my brains by my Vipassana guru. Late  S. N.Goyenka. There is no time left to think/brood/regret just start it all over again. Move on...

Bees had understood this essence so beautifully, and were demonstrating it for me how to live in present , now and here.

 I  was still shaken by the event- for few  moments world had stopped for me.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why did I vote a looser?

"So you voted  a looser?" asked one of my dear friend, who is passionate about current politics. "Yes. I did" I said with a grin. ""why waste your vote when you know he is going to loose the election?"
My answer was simple - " I  have voted him for the next election."

Let me say this upfront. I don't like Indian politics and politicians. Politicians are a hated lot all over the world , so there is nothing new about such feelings. And Indian politicians are breed in themselves. I had refused to vote over the years, till I understood  the importance of voting  and my sovereign right. So last few elections I voted- rather grudgingly  - with a feeling "whats the point? You have no choice between one corrupt politician from another".

Electoral system had thoroughly disappointed middle class people like me who felt helpless for electing 'criminal' elements in politics- again and again. And having exercised your right all you had to do was to suffer these people for five years. My blood boiled every-time I watched a neta on the television. If PM just starred blankly at you, others went to town with their gyans on TV as if they owned this country. Most of them criminal. Illiterate. Arrogant.  All major parties looked the same. Felt same. Talked same . Smelled same. Year or year it was same old story. Their typical CVs read like this. Age; 60; Education : School level ( This can mean even 4th or 5Th grade); Assets 100cr.; Criminal record: 15 cases pending; Parliamentary experience: siting MP for last 2 terms. Attendance in Parliament: 58%

As a citizen one felt humiliated for having to elect a  semi literate man, who has amassed huge assets through dubious means and having many criminal cases against his name can represent you in parliament. Their behavior in the parliament also showed that they were no capable of  dealing  with the  institution like parliament where one needed skills like debating and  counter arguing to make the point. It was obvious their  semi literate status and goonda culture only degraded image of Indian democracy.What can you expect from such people? And yet having come to  power they were untouchables.

Having said this -  this election is different. You have a choice. There is a hope.

This year in my constituency  I saw a CV of an candidate quiet different from others.  Age 45; Education: post graduate; Experience : former fund house manager of a leading Bank; Assets: 20Cr; Parliamentary experience : first time candidate. I had never heard the name of this candidate before. Nor did I receive any election information from his party.  Obviously- he is first time candidate standing on the ticket of a newly formed party- called AAP- aam aadmi party. A name probably was christened by Robert Vadra- with his famous words of 'Mango Man'.

AAP is a new hope for people of India. This party is formed mostly of highly professional people who have left their successful careers to clean up the corrupt politics of India. Since they are all first time  candidates they have a clean slate. Criminals have no space here- that what the convener of this party proclaims. They have no money to fund this election( no wonder no one came to my house asking me to vote for them). They have no much media presence( again no posters, banners or fliers explaining their stand) Honestly I have no idea what they are promising to this country.  Or What will be their policies.

Yet, I voted for this man who I know nothing.

People in general feel AAP is losers in this election. They have no hope to come to power.
Well they may be right. But that's not my point of view.

If we want to change our political system than who else can give us a better governance than educated, professionally successful aam admi like me and you who kept away from the political process and allowed lampoons to rule over us. Aap IS an idea that has the potential to change this country. It has similar roots like the freedom movement set out by Gandhi. If it was  not for educated men  like Gandhi who made the people of India believe that freedom is possible. And, had it not  for the people of India  believe and support  in Gandhi's idea of freedom- we would be still under British Rule.

You need to believe. Believe in Change. And Possibility of the change. The IIT graduate who started this mission is convinced that this is not just a belief but a reality waiting to happen. All we need to do is endorse and participate his mission- if we want to change . Like we believed in Gandhi and gave a chance to him- we need to give AAP a chance .
 Yes, I voted the candidate whose name I cannot recollect at the moment . And he is sure to loose this election. Only  reason I voted a looser - becasue I want to keep the IDEA called AAP alive. I want to keep this flame of hope alive till the next elections. In five years AAP should have ample time to prove its mantle. If it bytes the dust then, all I can say we as nation are still not ready for a mature democracy.

 Other political parties are trying to discount them for their inexperience. But let me ask you what was Jawarharlal Nehru's experience when he was elected as first Prime Minister of India? Did Babasaheb Ambedkaer who wrote an excellent constitution was experienced to draft such an important bill? When Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister did he have any clue of governance? So what makes you think that AAP will not do a good job? And finally if this man has been a successful fund mananger and if I have trusted this man with my money, why should I not trust him with nation? He will be anytime a better choice than a semi literate man who blabbers " boys don't rape but just make mistakes" Lets not forget there are sizable numbers of professional, intellectuals and experts  part of AAP. AAP has to survive in order to change India, and that would be true victory of democracy.

I know , I voted a looser this time. For the first time I won't grumble that I have no choice among candidates because all are criminals. I voted a looser because  I want to stop this family- raj.

I  have voted for change. And I am willing to wait patiently till next five years to see it happening.
So my vote is not for this election but for the future of India.