Archive for May, 2010

My country my pride

It started as a dinner conversation with my colleagues. We were discussing how horrible the traffic is in Cairo. That’s when I told them about traffic in Delhi. One thing I have learnt in my globe trotting is that if you can drive in Delhi you can drive anywhere. And that would apply to most other Indian cities as well. We have mastered the technique to occupy every square inch of the road. The traffic pattern is no longer linear – just think of any geometrical figure and you would find that there. However our conversation did not stay on traffic. It got interesting when we started talking about how over a billion people live my country which is about the size of Texas and some neighboring states. How’s life in India? That’s when I started telling them about India. We are a service oriented country and there is a fee for every service. Well you have to understand the cost of time and that’s when you will appreciate this fees. It would normally take couple of months to get your passport but the guy standing outside the passport office can get it faster for a nominal fee. You can probably get away with a traffic violation for a fee. You can get some legal documentation sitting at home again for a fee. There is a fee for everything. This is the system but then I thought – India works, this system works! We may not have the highest standards of operations but work gets done – probably faster than most developed countries. Yes again there is a fee! Which other country has a billion people and a system which is this efficient? Believe me, I am not a supporter of such practices but I am proud of my country – every aspect of it. Even with a low literacy rate and high poverty we are still one of the strongest economies in the world. There has to be something that keeps it going, whatever mechanism is that – it works!


You may be thinking everything that’s happening in my country is correct. Not really because every house has a good and a bad and so does India. There are people fighting against corruption, people protecting women’s rights, people helping small children and people helping other people. Remember those people. There are things that need to be fixed but think about it – we all live in a complicated social-religious-political-economic web – and it still works!

 PS: My colleagues left with a good impression about India and a desire to visit it sometime.

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Dastak do is darwaaze par
Dekho andar kaun rehta hai,
Lakhon dhadkane tumhe sunayee dengi
Kuchh muskurahate bhi dikhayi dengi,
Ek kone mein hogi yaroon ki mehfil
To doosre mein parivaron ki jamghat
Apnepan ka samandar jaise behta hai.

Sanskaar aur prathayein ab bhi hain kayam
Vishwaas har insaan ki hai ummeed,
Takrar thodi si hain deewaaron main
Fir bhi pyaar hai parivaron mein.

Bacchon ki kilkariyan hain goonj rahi
Aane wale sapnon ki jhalak dikhlati hamen,
Ujjwal Bhavishya ki kirnen jagmagati hai
Hazaron ummeedon ki kahanian sunaati hamen,
Shan Shan mein suno to sangeet behta hai,
Phir jhaank kar dekho andar
Yahan aur koi Nahi par mera desh rehta hai,
Sun lo mere yaron
Aisa ab kavi kanchan kehta hai.


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