Reservation : my take

The reservation bomb re-exploded sometime in april, if I remember correctly. Since then I have been a mute spectator of the happenings. Kept on reading and watching activities associated with it. The cry is a bit silent now, but yet not over. This is probably the silence before the storm. As lot of things are beeing planned for August 15th. I feel now it’s my time also to take some stand on this issue.

Reservation has been there for the past 50 years in our country. If even after so many years of its implementation, we find the need for more of it, then it has. by all logical senses, failed to prove to be a good solution to uplift the socially backward elements.

Yesterday, I read the minister of social empowerment and justice making a statament that, socially deprived kids don’t get proper opportunities for education. To the best of my knowledge , no where in India, one can be denied admission in school or college because of his/her caste. Rather, one has more chances of getting admission in reputed colleges like IIT’s if he or she’s from SC/ST or Other BAckward Clas, even if he doesn’t doesn’t deserve that on the basis of merit.

Secondly, a friend of mine, who supports reservation, feels that scheduled caste people suffer from discrimination as they face name calling. They being addressed as ‘chooda’ or ‘chamar’ etc. For those sharing such beliefs, well, atleast I haven’t witnessed one instance of such discrimination right in front of my eyes. I did read about one case in Delhi University long time back. In my hostel, in my own lobby, we have people belonging to sc/st. They are good friends of mine. Such feeling never came amonst us. We eat together and attend classes together. Infact several important posts in our gymkhana are being held by sc/st. And then again , in 50 years if this tool of quota could not eliminate the evil of the name calling and all that dirty stuff, then how do they expect it do miracles now, by increasing the quota?

Only after this reservation issue was raised up, and we used to discuss things in the hostel, we realized tht in any department of our college, the under performers are mainly from sc/st. They are the ones who are amongst the rich guys . In our country, already corruption has roots strong enough to give benefits to undeserving , but rich and powerful people , will not this propsed quota hike further aggravate the situation? Ofcourse even rich people also don’t deserve discrimination. But ours is materialistic society. It was observed in shlokas also, that a rich person will always be respected, no matter whether he is learned one or not. So chances of rich being at the recieving end seem to be less. Nevertheless favoritism of any form shudn’t be tolerated, but will it be fair to ask reservations for that? Is tht the only solution?

Recently I saw one documentary on 60 minutes show of CBS. There they showed the plight of untouchables, the people of lowere castes. I learnt that in the rural areas of UP and AP, untouchables remove their shoes and bow their heads while passing by some upper caste. The job of cleaning in our society is still entrusted in the hands of lower castes. They clean laterine with bare hands.

Manual scavengers

A dalit family

Upper caste people often rape the girls of lowere caste and dalits are economically exploited by the upper caste people. The peasants of lower castes working on the lands of upper caste people are given very less or no wage. All this is indeed inhuman. My support and sympathy is with them . But can someone explain how is quota system going to improve this ? Why do we rather not have good judicial and law and order system that can severly the punish the upper class perpetrators of crime, rather than supporting them when a dalit goes to police station for filing a complain? Probably the work of cleaning is in the hands of untouchables because they don’t have any other work to earn from, because of their poor literacy level. No where they can be denied job because they are from lowere strata of society. For this some other important measures should be taken up :

Also, in our nation, we have discrimination , not just based on caste, but also on so many other factors. I have myself seen in Assam, assamese are often favored, atleast by less educated people. And what about sexual minority? They are suprressesd not just in India but everywhere . So soon, different segemnts of our society and country will in its own right ask for reservation. So we will have social reservation, regional reservation (formation of new states is a already a consequence of that), sexual reservation and many other which I can’t imagine now.

More Indian experience

I met this Indian lady today again in Hofer. She quite warm in talking last time also. I learnt that she does the work of cleaning. She told that she gets up at around 5 in the morn (And so do the people who throw newspaper in the morning, they rather begin their day here at 2). She works for 2hrs in the morning and two hrs in the evening. But it’s nice to know that these people don’t consider any work big or small. In India, such people would have been called by names like ‘chooda’ or ‘bhangi’ or ‘chamar’ and what not. Since I am also brought in an Indian society, so for a moment I was indeed shocked to learn that she does the job of cleaner. As she appeared to be from a well to do family. But that’s ok. And when I told her that I would leave after 1 month, she asked if I will come back. On listening no, she suggested that I can marry a girl from here. Man what was she telling me. I was meeting her only twice. I did not know what to say. And it is to early to even think of marriage. But she is the only lady I have seen here with so long here and with long plait. Her two kids speak german. And after some time , I don’t know what to speak to her. I am any way shy, and talking to old people or should I say people elder to me, really makes me amiss.

Indians will remain Indians.

No matter where they go .. Indians don’t give up something. Some bad habits. As they say, bad habits die hard. I have now seen quite a lot of Indians by now. And my favourite past time being observing people, knowing more about them, I have taken note of some peculiar things about Indians here. Kids of some of them, though are NRI enouigh to speak German and not a word of Hindi or Indian language, but are often dirty , with their hair not neatly tied, or some food stains around lips. Ok fine, kids are like that. But I haven’t seen Austrian kids like that. May be different fooding habits. Then , I found Baldev and one more guy, puttng on the belt only when they were on roads, or some traffic person was nearby!!. I also saw Mr. Gill yesterday leaving his glass of tea on the car when he went to a shopping mall nearby !!!! . It is worth mentioning that Indians here refer to germans or any non Indians as ‘gore’, as it used to be in pre independence era.

I felt that there are 2 kinds of NRI’s. One who really feel glad to see another Indian in their city. And they are really helpful and still retain lot of Indianess. I feel like loads of encomiums for them. Then there is another category of NRI’s. These are the ones who are desperate to get dissolved in the society they are now staying in and around. There’s nothing wrong in that, it’s indeed good to learn new things. But they don’t feel anything special on seeing a compatriot. They would rather avoid him. Rather some Germans here are better than those Non Reliabe Indians. Some fine examples of such discombobulated souls were found in Salzburg. Their kids were least innocent of all the kids I have seen in 21 years of my life. Their son (who was probably 6-7) was one pedantic piece of shit, who was trying to show of that he was not from India, when I asked him where in India he came from.

I am kinda astonished to learn that that there are people from India come abroad without visa. They take travel by sea route. Probably some cargo ship takes some 5 lakhs rupees to take them to foreign land in 6 months, or so . This is rough estimation for time for European destinations. For US they may charge some 15 lakhs and can take as long as 1 year. Time is never fixed. But it is guaranteed that the person will surely reach the destinaton, if only he survives. Because they just get a loaf of bread for the day. But the people coming here can easily earn the money they put for reaching the place, as the work opportunities here are plenty and renumeration is excellent. A person throwing newspapers in the morning can buy car and many electric gadgets for his home, within one year. Infact in vienna , I saw that almost all newspaper throwing ppl on the station were Indians! Dignity of labor.

girl power

I wonder what that girl with big balls with wanted ? Wearing a tshirt reading ‘I need Kisses’, what do they expect men to do. Similarly, tht girl with a t-shirt reading cool, but actually the two ‘o’ were mising there. She was supposedly to using her balls to make up for that, atleast the positon of ‘c’ and ‘l’ suggested tht.

when things take ugly turn….

For over one week, I was addicted to this TV show. I don’t know what had happened to me. From the beginning I knew that I will be affected by it, but I didn’t know what was it in this show that kept on puling me to it. And for the first time, I feel bad for being an Indian, for being a part of Indian society. But it’s the same everywhere, I guess. But the show was awesome. The characters just don’t get away from my eyes, even when I close them. I even skipped breakfast or lunch at times while watching it, i mean almost lost the track of time. It was as if I lived with these characters. I really laughed and cried with them, even after promising so many people that I won’t be emotional anymore. But all these shits have to be forgotten, because reality is far from this. But now I can have some idea why people go crazy about TV shows in IIT also. But mine was not really that craziness, last time I felt all this was when in class XI I saw Rockford. But I am in love with America after all this. Yes, I luv America. Only now I m able to kinda give it up, because I can’t fine more of it on Net! Else everyday i will decide tht I will study away from this, then whenever i’ll open firfox or internet explorer, first thing that I will do is go for it.

Gurudwara in Austria

I am a cultural boy. Plus good singer. (At least I believe so, but
many people don’t .. Ramjane is one of them, and Mangla feels he
can give tough competition to me in this!) And on the top of
everything, I am a stage boy , more of a performer than an
spectator. hehehe. Lots of self boasting. Now the actual point.
The other day when we went to the sole Indian shop here in
Klagenfurt (atleast till now I haven’t found any other), I asked the
guy there if there was any Indian cultural organization there
because I wanted to spread Indian culture here. He told that there
was a Gurudwara.

This Sunday we set out to that place. We asked the driver of a bus for the number of the bus which could take us there. And I was literally touched by his reply. He said, “Bus no. 45 will take you to India” . That was not just humorous but nice of him as well. Though these Germans don’t know even english much , but he knew a thing like temple means something Indian. He knew the word
temple but not gurudwara.

We finally reached there. That did not look like a gurudwara.
I mean it resembled like any other Austrianhouse in Klagenfurt.
But we could identify the place by the presence
of many sardars. Infact, there were very few sardars, most of them
had normal hair , but covered theier heads with some holy cloth.
They offered us coke when we just reached there. It was all modern
(or Austrian !!) version of Gurudwara. In place of some sweet water
that in offered in India, they gave us this! But the hospitalities
of those people was as warm as those of any other sikh, whether
Indian or in any part of the world. I was going there only second
time. I didn’t know the rituals. So were my other friends, quite
unaware of the things . In fact one of them was from AP. Pavan Kumar.
He could not anyway understand any thing there. But people explained
us the things. We did not at all fell that we were meeting them for
the first time. Then was the time for langar, which we mainly went
there for!!!. We didn’t cook good food. And Indian food here is not
just costly but rare also. Rare, because there is only one indian
restaurant here. That explains the expensive nature also. One samosa
costs some 5 euros!! So we were dying to have indian homemade food.
We really ate the food voraciously. After the food they even dropped
us at our place. Everything was unbelievable. They even offered
food for the dinner, and gave us a jug for that. We could not have
that experience even in India I guess. One funny thing was also
noticed. An old Austrian man and his wife also came there. Man
didn’t know how to sit in Indian style for such occasion!! he was
sitting as if sitting for loo. The old woman was no less funny. She
put some ‘chunni’ around her, some sikh custom, and sat with sikh
ladies with her tiny purse. Finally we left with very warm feelings.

When Chentra visits us!!!

Now I was quite settled in Klagenfurt. Time flows quite fast here, through work, through jokes with pawan!!! Now it was my second weekend here. It seems to be a crime here to stay at home during weekend!! We didn’t want to be criminals. Plus it was a good time to visit new places in Austria. We were talking about some trip with our friend from Graz. He is Mr. Alok Chandra. and we call him Chentra!! . So we planned to go for trip to Salzburg and Vienna. After lot of plannings(Indians plan like anything for even the minutest event, ample proofs of it will come during the trips we made in europe, some of them being extremely funny!) and negotiati0ons about the timings , fare and place to meet, it was decieded that Chentra wouldcome to Klagenfurt to see this place and then we would proceed together to Salzburg. There came Chentra. I went to recieve him on station. He asked how far our hostel was from the station. I told him that it wud take some 15 mins. though I knew it was goin to take some 45 mins. Me cheapskate!! After all, bus fare was 1.6 euro.

Chentra taught us how to cook.

Infact, i guess that was the first day when we cooked rice in 15 days!! I had sprouted grams which I keep for breakfast. To have a nice bod. But Chentra is a guy with lot optimism. He finds opportunity in difficulty. We didn’t have lentils then. So he made some curry with grams . I was wondering how wud he make them without boiling. But this guy knows wht to be done with that. He gave me some instructions to cut onions and tomatoes, but wht came out finally was really delicous, both in taste and looks. We really devoured the food.

I also cleaned the room. Chentra’s visit was really like a visit to my home of some cousin. He also reciprocated such feelings. I wud while away with my cousins when they come to our place, and then we would go out and see places and markes around. We wud cook also. Similarly, we had lot of fun when chentra was here. We went and see Minimundus- a place that houses replicas of all the famous bulildings and monuments of the world.

Then we also did boating in the lake. In the room we ate our food by placing some kinda ‘food mats’ on the table, lest the table should become unclean. Me clean clean boy. Those ‘food mats’ were nothing but some useless cardboards or poly bags vacated from pawan’s clothes!! But we really ate like a family then.

While preparing dinner, we screwed pawan kumar, by giving him complicated cooking instructions!! and that too in hindi!!. We told him to make sure that colors of fried onions was brown. Look at the shade of brown!!!!
All in all, these were 2-3 days of ulti masti.

New Delhi to Vienna

Last time when I came to Delhi airport, I cudn’t see it properly, as I was tired too much. And that was the first time i was there. But this time when I came to board the flight to vienna, I took note of many things. Soon some fotos will be placed here to complement this description. But I must admit that the place was awesome. It was hell lot of firangis. And quite expectedly , lot of sardars also, I guess they travel most frequently to foreign of all co munities in india. But the thing that irked me most that my family members who came to see me off were not allowed to enter in the airport. Atleast at guwahati airport I saw that there was a visitor’S gallery where people who came to see off could see the plane flying. I mean atleast for may family members this was a big opportunity. But then probably this arrangement is correct. Ater all, if such things are allowed , airport will very soon become New Delhi Railway station!!! Number of relatives of the travellers generally exceed the number of travellers there!!!. That leads to stampede, chaos and uncleanliness. Those security check people didn’t allow me to take chilly powder and shaving razor and a small scissor in the hand bag. When I purchased a small packet of chilly powder in Austria, I paid 2 euros!!!. I took some snaps of the good paintings in waiting lounge . They put it there tp please to foreign tourists. I haven”t seen one at any Railway Station, or in many other govt. buildings. But paintings were indeed gud.

Air hostess roaming around were quite hot. Finally we proceeded to board the flight. I was surprised to notice one thing – air hostess here were quite old. or shud i say tht they were far taller or more well built than the Indian ones. But they were just not as cute as indian ones. But the plane was different from Jet airways. For one thing, we didn’t need to go in a bus to reach the plane, i just didn’t get when did i enter the plane and left the airport!!! inside also it was compartmentalised in a differnt way. My seat was next to a firangi. When i reached there, that guy was already there seated in his place. He was supposed to get up for me to get in and take my window seat. But this guy got up without me asking for the same. It was the first instance of courteous nature of foreigners, or shud i say Europeans? Many more were to folllow . (every day in austria, i witness many such incidents). Then afterwards , I slept . Bocoz i was too tired and in the dark outside there was not much to see even during the take off, which could distract me from my sleep.

I missed the dinner while sleeping, when I woke up, I was feeling hungry, everyone was asleep. I tried to call an airhostess, but the system of buttons was so complicated that I pressed all the buttons!!! she came. I asked if I cud get something to eat. She asked if no one had come to me for tht. She then offered – veg or chicken.

After food i slept again, when i woke up, sun was about to rise. There was a screen on the seat which was playing either some german movie or some news channel and then it was showing our location and timings etc. we were above Caspian sea (if I am not mistaken)!!! I looked below. Nothing tht spcl I cud observe. Now i thought of talkin to this firangi guy sittin next to me. I learnt tht he was going to Spain and was actually a Swede. I asked him the indian cities which he had been to. He had visited Varanasi. Tht place is indeed popular amongst foreigners bcoz of its spiritual charisma. This time he was in Delhi for buisness reasons. He was reading stuffs about Indian politics. I expressed my surprise at that. He said he was doing so because it was intresting and also, he felt that Indian was economy growing at a fat rate, and he found a good market in India. Soon we reached Vienna. I was in a foreign land. I was seeing through the window of the plane when it was landing.

I was trying to find the feeling of being in abroad. Ofcourse there were buildings and more buildngs. Big hotels also.

But they are there in Delhi also. But I felt main things that distinguish the two are cleanliness, automation and public transport. Roads were very clean. The airport was less crowdy. Very less. Most of the things were automated there. Human intervention was not required in many things such as getting a ticket or opening of doors etc. Then public transport was excellent. Buses were big ,spacious and had lot of technology in them. They had very big window panes, so that one can kinda do a whole tour of city while moving ina bus, or tram or any public transport. And as I said that it had lot technologies, I wasn’t much aware of them earlier. When the bus came, a door opened, which i thought was the entrance to the bus as i saw a lady placing her luggage. I also put my bags there. Then I didn’t know where to enter the bus from. I saw two Indians there. (Later on learned that they were journalists from India and were in vienna for 2 days for some shoot). I asked them where was the entrance to that bus. They told that bus wasn’t open till then, and that place was for luggage only!!!! God I was embarassed like hell!! I was sure many more such scenes were to follow in during the next 3 months, after all, I had not seen such things in India. On the top of that I had not been a great movie buff, who wud see these things in the movies.

So here I was in the Mozart’s land. Setting on for another journey, the final destination, for 3 months. It was Klagenfurt.

My first flight

So thanks to this internship, I managed to fly (ofcouse without wings, but yes Jet wings). I came from Guwahati to New Delhi by flight. It is indeed magical to see that I can cover the distance of 2 days in 2 hrs. Also I take time adjust to different places. I mean while coming from guwahati to del, my mind and body does undergo a transformation of sorts ,I start thinking about home. Technically speaking values of my enviroment variable change!!! But this time 2 hrs passed in no time. But this journey was made even more memorable with the presence of my brother Sachin who was there with me all the time. Thanks to him, I was able to folow all the protocols involved. The flight crew looked like machines. I mean it was as if they were toys in which some instructions were fed. Even their smiles were artificial!!! But the food was good. I was feeeling some giddiness, or vomitting tendency, that I generally feel while travelling in bus. Mangla was making fun, by asking if I wanted to do it in a cantainer atached to the seat, which he said that was used for this purpose. As we were approaching New Delhi , things below started appearing quite clear. The buildings were all the same. Some kind of model view for a city. It was no different from google earth!!! And we finally landed on Indira Gandhi International Airport. My brother moved in one direction. I went in other direction . For 3 months.