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Tag: Nigambodh ghat

‘Nothing’

Appu has left to be with her father and grandparents on Holi. Good for her. She is mostly on her own here and being with an important part of her family will perhaps take away some loneliness. Taking decisions, taking a stand, what a toll it has taken.
Enough I guess.
No more fighting what is. what could be. God is in charge. Definitely not me. A lot of people have problems with me because I am a woman. I cannot change that. I have a lot of problems with people because they do not speak what is in their hearts. They shy away from the truth. The truth could shatter a lot of myths. So by keeping quiet we manage to get by. To survive.
I have shared the truth of my life with my batchmates of IITK, 1988 batch. I have also asked them to support us in whatever way they can. Almost all of them have responded. And some of them are planning to visit the office soon. I had thought of doing this once. A long time ago. When myself and Appu were on the roads. And when my parents refused to support me. But I did not have the guts. I wanted no one to know that I was in deep shit. So the thought came and left. I sold everything I could, except myself. I have to keep reminding myself that it is over. We are not on the roads. Not anymore. That we are safe. And taken care of.

I have been shouting and screaming a lot lately. Appu says I need a soundproof room. In the house and in the office. My mind says: what would be the cost sweetheart? The cost. There is a cost to everything. I have learnt that the hard way. There is a cost for being honest. There is cost for not pleasing people. There is cost to just living on this planet, apart from the bills of course.
I do not think we are after money or power. Its just that life becomes very easy on many fronts if there is excess money and power. It is as if with money, we can move from the Newtonian frame of reference to the Non newtonian frame of reference. Many laws,rules and regulations which are applicable in the Newtonian frame do not apply in the Non newtonian frame of reference. And then it is easier to make even more money (and mayhem). Nobody wants to know how that money has been earned (until it is too late in the day to hide a scam or the deeper politics behind it). We bow to money, to power and to a portrait of Gandhi. makes us look good you know. If we could just respect ‘time’ more than ‘money’, we would not have to deal with corruption and bribes.

We have finished the first phase of calculations for the site in Mumbai. We are also very close to testing the software module for the Santa Cruz airport. And Gagan is struggling with the kind of maps to be launched in the online shop. The basis are in place for the online shop. We just need to keep adding different and good quality maps.
We are in the process of re-structuring the team (please have one first!). I mean we are trying. More interviews (Oh God! Not again).

Dear God, please bless us.
What do you want my child, time or money?

we don’t know. What will we do with time and no money?
And what will we do with money and no time?
I mean what about a negotiation here?
A combination you know. A deal.
Wait wait God. do not just walk away like that. Let us think.
can we talk?

No, my child we cannot talk. We cannot do a deal here. You have to choose.
Keep thinking. maybe clarity will dawn when you reach Nigambodh ghat.

Nigambodh ghat?

Yes, the final destination.
When nothing else matters. The houses built, the name and the fame earned or unearned. The matches, won and lost. Nothing matters.

‘Nothing’.



‘The last call’

My father visited us last evening. Me and Appu were happy to see him. It had been a long time. Just that he mentioned that my brothers’ turnover had crossed 8 crores and that my sister was receiving rent from her two houses apart from a very good salary from the government job that she holds. All in all, meaning that compared to them we were like BPL, below poverty line. Theek hai. Its OK. We are alive. We have survived. Should be enough for us.

Later in the night he shared how he was afraid to visit us. Afraid that we might reject him. It is sad. A father scared of visiting his daughter. What is there to say? I did not know I was so scary. Maybe I have grown some horns or a few thorns here and there.

I do not know how long is the walk,
I do not know whether there is any miracle waiting for us at the end,
Or if the end just lies in Nigambodh Ghat,
I do not know whether we are in the right direction,
or whether there is such a thing as right or wrong, light and darkness, truth and lies.

We walk because that is all we can do,
We show up for life every day, every moment because the rest is not in our ambit,
We do the best we can each day,
knowing that our absence will not cause any major upheaval in the universe,
That we are only a very miniscule part of the larger whole,
And hoping that we can contribute in some small way,
to create meaning for at least one life.

Before the final departure.

‘The last call’.


A resting place

Two more wickets down. Rajeev, the accountant has left in a cold blooded manner on the day his salary cheque got cleared. Rahim, the HR guy supported him in an underhand way and left us with no choice except that of offering him an exit route. Ankit made a feeble effort to re-join but it was apparent that he had no intention of truly being a part of the team and a little probing ensured that he walked away in a huff. Money is everything. The rest is all humbug. Rajeev did not think it proper to give us a notice. Mostly, because we do not have any legal teeth. We continue to believe in honesty, freedom, trust,faith. We do not get any bond signed. We do not keep any original certificates. So it is easy to take the salary and just walk out. We thought that the team bonding would be strong enough to ensure that walk outs do not happen. But apparently, we were wrong. Rajeev is looking for a job where the Boss does not shout and the timings are 9 to 5. Ankit is looking for a job where there are no deadlines. And Rahim wants a quick way to success on other people’s shoulders. So that in short is the kind of young generation that we have created. And it is with this generation that we wish to create a better world. It is disappointing. Very disappointing. Kind of shakes the faith in human beings. And that is the real loss. The rest is temporary.

And this loss triggered the memories of all the losses and abandonment experienced in the past years before and during the set up of this company. It was traumatic. And appu also got affected. Since the drama unfolded on friday evening, I was not able to work with the technical team till about 11:00 pm in the night. We began work and discussions only after that and hence the work continued till early morning on Saturday. Appu spent the night alone in the house just like in the days when the Meerut project was going on and I was in the office for many nights. We keep wondering if a time will ever come when there will be no crisis in GC and we can live in peace.

Balmiki is currently handling the Admin and hardware. The online shop continues to be in limbo. Ashok is still struggling with the set up and installation files for the first software module. So everything is in IP (In process). There is a lot of pain. Many people have tried to damage us, directly or indirectly. It saddens me. We have never tried to cause damage to anyone. And yet we are always in the firing line.

I went to attend an NA meeting last evening. But I am not being able to share. Not being able to connect to HP. Not being able to pray. Maybe just getting down on my knees will work. I wonder how God continues to have faith in mankind when we ourselves have so little faith in each other. The worst crimes on this earth have been committed by men against men.

It is a Sunday and I am trying to seek some solace from the sound of the falling rain. We need a lot of prayers to get through this phase.I guess Nigambodh ghat would be a welcome resting place compared to the rest of the world.

A resting place. Desperately need one.



To drop it

Loss of people. The biggest loss.
We have lost Shikha. She left the company yesterday. Despite repeated discussions and multiple efforts to re-align her vision with that of the company, we have failed. Myself, Narendra,Ankit,Rahim. All of us tried. It is difficult to be a part of GC.I guess letting go is as important as holding on. Maybe more. There is a time to hold on and there is a time to let go. To drop it, whether it is an issue, a job, or a relationship.
Went to AAI yesterday for collecting the maps meant for NOC purposes. The concerned officials refused to sign the required permissions. I think we are already a threat to them. If we wish to understand the subject, if we wish to do a good honest job, if we do not wish to follow the system, we become a threat. Suddenly, everyone at AAI has clammed up. Chakkar to samajh mein nahin aata. But we are stubborn mules. So we will carry on doing what we have been doing. Walking the path we have chosen. Even if it means that we walk alone. The journey to Nigambodh ghat is a lonely journey anyway.

The past is powerful and painful, Some events, people or thoughts can trigger off painful memories and the pain then lasts for days. And it is so difficult to explain what is ‘not ok’ since everything seems ‘ok’ on the surface.
Ashok has turned around completely. from being a completely negative person, he is now positive in everything. He believes in himself and in the software he is try to create. That has so far been the most powerful transformation to witness in a team member. Our ID cards have been issued and barring me, everything is more professional in the office.

We need to begin doing some homework for the admissions for Appu. There is a lot of inertia in beginning the hunt for a so called ‘good college’. Does such a thing even exist?
If we were to unravel the myths surrounding our education system, it would tear our society apart.

I have been able to buy a cotton saree. After ages I guess. After all of them were sold to my mother when I desperately needed the money. But then what is also needed is this willingness to wear it. And I doubt if that is left. Or maybe it will come back. Maybe it never will. I am not being able to pray. To connect with HP. So I repeat the prayer and again my mind wanders off in myriad directions. I desperately need that connection.

To drop it,

A powerful lesson.


space for our graves

Appu is in school. The day has begun and I have no idea what to do and what not to do. There is work and there is chaos. There is money to shift and there is a lot of debt to be cleared. There is loneliness and there is aloneness. There is peace and there is sadness.

Another office, another transit camp. Before the time is up and we have to move on to another office space. I guess just the process is important. Not the outcome. The ‘trying’ is significant. The ‘arriving’ is immaterial.

Dimpi and Himashu are working on the Khasra maps of Nagaur. Hopefully we can finish them before the office is dismantled. Narendra is joining by Saturday and the work for the Airport Authority of India should begin then. I have yet another meeting with the AAI on friday. I am a slow learner! And these guys are complicated. I mean their guidelines are complex. But we are using our trignometry ( at least part of our formal education is being used) and so the schooling is not all useless (the major part is, no doubt about that).

Rest is all calculations (mostly money) , running the house (Amma has gone to her village for casting votes, the one time that they get importance by the village pradhan who actually sent a ‘gadi’ to pick them up, so there was no question of them not going) and the nitty gritties of daily living.

With every house boasting of three to four cars, parking is a major issue and although I try to park my car at the very outskirts of the colony (like an outcast, just so no one would have any issue), I find a lot of love notes posted on the car saying that the next time I parked it (here or there or wherever), I would find the car in a broken condition or the tyre deflated or some such threat. Go ahead guys. As long as me and my daughter are safe, it does not bother me. The seniors of the colony told me, ‘car parking ki jagah kabza karni padegi’. ‘You will have to grab the parking space’. And what about the space for our graves? Would that also need to be grabbed? At Nigambodh ghat or wherever? I mean truly, is ‘grabbing’ all that we have learnt?

OK. One day at a time again. One step at a time. Deep breath.
This too shall pass. eventually.


Dust unto Dust

My father called today and acknowledged the fact that the family had ‘deserted’ me for the last ten years. That I had survived alone and that in his opinion, I was a ‘success’ even though I had not made ’ extraordinary money’. It is a huge statement, a huge awareness. I am glad he said it, even though it cannot, will not change the past or the future. He has not committed to ’being there’ now. But he has stated that he ’knows’ the truth and wished  it was different. I doubt if my ‘mother’ or ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ will ever reach that level of ‘awareness’. Or maybe it is because they are all tied to the same purse strings. They share the same source of money supply. So it is not possible to take a stand for me when the sources of money (my mother and brother) are against me. What if the supply were to be disconnected? 

I guess the same happens in any group/party (political or otherwise). It is not the common traditions that bind them but the ‘common source of money and power’. And then it is difficult to stand up for what one believes in. Whatever needs to be done to stay in power, whatever needs to be done to get the moolah in is the ‘right path’. Even it means duping the citizens who voted for you, taking bribes, granting favors, even killing. All is fair in love and war. And then when the mess is huge, it is too late to get out. There is no exit route.

Hopefully, I have not chosen such a path. Even when it seems as if there is no exit route as of now, (from the myriad problems we have created), I am sure a path will emerge, with time.

Shivaji has left for a short trip to Vaishno Devi. Hopefully the blessings he brings back will touch the office too. Dimpi and Narendra will begin work on the cartosat maps from monday. Kya nahin karna padta, and all for a ‘completion certificate’. Its like to get your degree, you have to give an exam after you have given the original exam. Kuch chakkar samajh nahin ata. Jahan mauka mile, manipulate karo, use karo.  

Appu has been put on anti-depressants by the psychiatrist today. And money was stolen from the house. There are three part time helps, so cannot blame any one of them. We use no locks anywhere within the house. We have been trying to operate on ‘faith’. But I guess human beings are very frail and ‘survival’ is more important than the ‘ethics’ of an action. More than the loss of money, I guess it is the loss of faith in people which has always bothered me.

The system which conked off is still not Ok. The mother board needs to be changed. The UPS has stopped working long back. The plotter is still in the service center. The TOD is still to be cleared in the bank. And there is the pending salaries and bills. Deep breath. I guess we are the tortoises. mm by mm, chalte raho. Someday, somewhere the top of the mountain will be visible. I think that is why it is always said that the journey is more important than the ‘destination’.

I mean by the time one reaches the destination, one would have lost so much that the ‘winning’ would not be very different from ‘losing’. Maybe I am not making any sense. Most of the times I don’t make any sense anyway.

Everyone tells me, business aise hoga nahin. Duniya ke hisab se chalna padega. Maybe they are right. Maybe not. Going by the measurement of money generated, they are right but going by doing what one believes in, they are not. Dekh lete hain.  When there is nothing more to lose, there is no fear.

Many times I wish to go into a cocoon. Not interact with anyone. Not read the newspapers (the number of ads/lies irks me). Every line, every article is written to grab your attention somehow. When I used to conduct ‘Time Managment’ workshops on behalf of  the ‘Times Of India’ in schools, the kids would always ask me, why are mostly womens’ photographs printed on the first page of ‘Delhi Times’? And why are they mostly nude? or close to nude? I always felt cornered. I mean, here I was talking about ‘mission statements’ and the newspaper on whose behalf I was taking the workshop was printing stuff just to increase their circulation. Kya bol sakte ho? Just like a ‘pornography’ magazine in France has been able to takeover a leading national newspaper with a very good reputation for presenting the facts. Money has no ‘color’. Kahin se bhi aye, aane do. How can we blame the current generation for anything? The foundation has been laid by us.

Pain hai. But there are no painkillers for that kind of emotional pain. And I cannot drink. Anymore. I have finished my quota long back. It is strange that there are so many painkillers for all kinds of physical pain but nothing for the emotional pain that causes all the physical ailments.

‘Nigambodh ghat’ mein to jagah mil hi jayegi.

‘The final destination’. For each one of us. After all the drama and dance and music is over. Silence will prevail.

‘Dust thou art , and unto dust shalt thou return.’


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