Indore's pathetically Woeful state  

I feel pathetic writing about this state of affairs of a city which I like to call my home...

This city has not received drinking water for the last 1 whole week... I landed here on 10th, and today also, there was no water supply... and this has been happening since 4 days before I landed
Do you think such cities of the nation can ever attain any kind of progress when the basic amenities like water and electricity are being so pathetically mis-managed

the state of affairs of the middle class is that they can at least go buy some drinking water.. what about the poor.. lately, I read that water is being distributed under police supervision.. what a state of affairs.

The state of MP is going to dogs as I see it with no positive progress seen except the city being raped point blank by concretization drives which are turning everything that this city once felt proud of into a cemented grave... everywhere, they have dug up the roads, there seems to be no plan to do things in phases but it all seems chaotic, there is no greenery left in this once upon a time green city
now the corporation is 'driving' people to plant trees.. where??? is the Re. 1/- question.. when all spots have been covered by concrete.
but who cares to ask as long as their pockets are getting stuffed..

the citizens of this city are taking everything sitting down.. and they are not bothered a bit to do anything but to go earn money amongst all this chaos...

I feel ashamed that I can't do much about it but write and spread the word that this is the situation - AFTER - the elections have been completed... now the elected officials know people can't do anything but crib and then they too will bear the suffering silently...

hopes are really fading but people here are not bothered at all...

Cable war or Customer neglect  

The attitude of the people of this city is really getting too crappy..
they put up with anything and everything.. and they don't care about what happens around them.. as long as it is not happening to them..

this is the attitude with most of the people esp. also because the governance is callous and also because there is a huge influx of people from around the state into the city and there is total mismanagement

the cable operator in my area - SR Cable - has been giving us a lot of trouble of sorts...
we have been the cable consumers way back since 1992 when Parsai was the distributor.. who eventually sold it off to SR.
Parsai was a known friend, so things happened smoothly.
SR cable never has been able to maintain proper service quality. People of course are willing to pay money but they do not demand anything in return from the provider.. so whatever they get, they are just satisfied with it.
in my place, this Feb, I got set top box installed - initially it was for free; for the cable war between BTv, SR and one other operator was in full force.. with each of them cutting off the others supply often

apparently over the set top box distribution issue they reached an agreement and now they charge Rs. 1000- per customer for the STB - a grossly over rated figure and an openly looting policy...

Now let me tell you what our need is... we are the few South Indian families that live in Indore and are still keen on maintaining our interest and touch with our traditions and culture and most important - Language - for which TV is the only option today other than reading the newspaper/magazines.
We need thus to get access to the Telugu channels of Zee, E-TV, Maa, or for that matter Sun network. Other than getting the Tamil and Malayalam channels which seem to have a higher penetration and demand, the Telugu channel penetration is very limited... maybe because the demand too is limited????

Probably the need to give customers the right treatment and attention has not yet come into most TierII cities and below.. for you still find local ruffians involved in the operator wars, and in ensuring that the monthly charges are collected from the customers coercingly if not otherwise.
As a result of this behavior, low volume demands like ours for channels which others are not interested in, cause a lot of issues..


Double Murder  

On my recent trip home to Indore.. got to read about this ghastly double murder... by a son of his old parents... contracted out to professional killers...

a pathetic tale of what the greed for money can do.. and how value systems are all going down horrifically... and people are giving up everything for money..

is this the life that the parents would have thought they'd end with?
the son apparently was a wagabond .. having probably tasted temptations early in life and fallen for them.
even the old couples' daughter seemed to have left her home in a love marriage situation.. no matter how the parents would have been themselves, maybe the father was a more valued disciplinarian.. or maybe an aristocratic or an authoritarian.. never the less, to have them murdered for they not paying for the son's habits.. is something horrific..

shocking to imagine what is to come of this world

An SOS for Anshuman of St. Paul's Indore  

Dear Pranjal,

As per the discussion we had over the phone I am sending herewith the details of our student:
One of our extremely talented students Master Anshuman Dubey of Class IX, who is also a prolific poet , equally at ease with English and Hindi , is in a critical condition, suffering from a rare disease CIDP (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polymyopathy),a kind of degeneration of the muscles .

His father Mr. Ashutosh Dubey has made a fervent appeal to the staff , students et al for some financial aid. So , may I, on his behalf, earnestly implore your help for this noble cause. You may donate any amount and help your ailing Paulian brother . The mode of remittance may be by cheque , draft or cash as per your convenience.

You may forward this to all your batchmates.

With love and best wishes,
Amitava Saraswati


It was a day of erconnection of sorts with people from the good old past

Spoke to Pranjal, in a while since I came back on 2nd.
Then Called up Naresh D to thank him for sending a boy to help pappa.
Hope this boy is a sincere and good helper.
I am always scared reading all those news items of such people...
I just hope the lords will be keeping them safe from all harm and he will prove to be a good help..
then Naresh told me about Navin being in town...
it was a wonderful reunion.. talking like the old school boys
incidentally, Navin took time out to come meet me at 11pm... did'nt expect this of him but maybe he has found his good bearings through time....

Weathering the weather  

The weather is changing.. and it is signaling very openly to those who are smart enough to understand, that there is more drastic change to come...
it is changing at a pace that for most of the world seemingly unnoticed but for those who have been watching nature so far, it is VERY Evident.

Few examples I can share... point 1 - the flowers which are referred to in Hindi as 'Tesu' which - I am not so sure but - as the link shows, is related to the Flame of the Forest or the Gulmohar flower.
These flowers at least till 2005 didn't bloom by January. They usually bloomed just a few days before Holi which is usually in March.
This year, these flowers are in full bloom, in the last week of Jan. I happened to see these blooms along the NH3 in M.P. on 25th Jan.

Since they are in full bloom then it means they began blooming a few weeks before, that is much into the first week of Jan.

Point 2 - The Indian cuckoo, or the Koel, usually comes out of its hibernation in the beginning of April, if not a week or so earlier.
This year, I heard the cuckoo off and on through the fall season, around Oct-Dec and then again last week.

Way back in the 80s, the arrival of summer and mangoes was signaled by this bird.

So in 2009, is the cuckoo getting the blues of the weather? or is it telling us all something that we might want to hear and take notice immediately?

Is it telling us that the weather is getting warmer as the cuckoo would expect it to be early April... though it is still end of Jan when we are known to have temperatures as low as 6-7 deg through the Day, and not just in the night???

point 3 - Snow in London. No reason for an alarm as London does experience this kind of weather once in a long time, but in th last 3 years, it is the second time.
So does it need to be noticed and thought about?

point 4 - snowstorm in the northeast US and Ice storm in the lower southern US. Normal phenomenon? ask the weather men!!!

bottom line... the signs are here in India, the world and in the arctics where the glaciers are breaking off...
People in India - the man on the street - understands some of it, but does not bother as we are not a 'scientific' society, we do not think logically and we do not think cause and effect though our culture did bring up the whole concept of Vedanta which is basically cause and effect theory...

But we hardly put it to practice and never relate it to things around us...

So we will be panicking when the effect comes up in a drastic form, and all we shall see will be politicians blaming someone and the rest of us blaming the politicians...

We shall hopefully try and rest in peace at least - in large masses

of apathy, indifference and some stupidity  

With deep sadness and supreme feeling of helplessness I have to write that eventually people and systems in this nation would be coming to a colossally sad and gory end given the extreme apathy and carelessness that exists in our society.

I am for some reason experiencing these events myself and finding that there are hardly anyone who can come forward to help or even suggest options in such situations.

Today as I was traveling back home to Indore by bus (HANS travels) from Bombay, I had this urge to relieve myself early in the morning at about 530am. I probably drank too much of water last night and the A/C in the bus was in full blast (another apathetic and uncaring expression by the service provider - they don't care, just turn the A/C full blast and shut the door and the people in the sleeper coupe will deal with it) but i was awake by about 530 or so waiting for the morning stop the bus drivers usually halt at.
And I was feeling uncomfortable and wanted to get out at the earliest to relieve myself.
At about 6 AM the bus stops somewhere and I see that everyone sitting in the front near the driver have probably got out to help themselves.
So here I am, getting out of the bus and trying to locate a suitable spot. It was very dark outside with no street lamps at all.
When I got out, I could not see clearly who was where though i could see a guy probably 10 ft in front turned into some corner, and there were a couple of people who were sleeping by some shop front about 20 ft diagonally to the left where i was standing.

Trying to locate a corner I began walking, again, it was dark and I had no clue of anything in front of me and there.. the next step of mine, I am falling into something.
I have no clue what happened after that for I sure realized after a few seconds, that I had fallen into a mucky ditch, as the smell hit me and I felt drowned in the muck. I was cursing left right and center, as luckily the water in the ditch was not too deep, but the ditch itself was about 6.5 ft, for just disappeared into it.
Having no clue what I was into, I somehow, and again, I don't remember how, got out of it, still trying to locate where i was going, and somehow got to some point where I relieve myself, cursing myself, feeling the muck drip all inside me, feeling - not so cold as dirty and totally helpless - but yes very much ALIVE. That's what I am thanking the Lords for, for this was a sure death trap, as I could have hit anything anywhere and probably might never have even lost consciousness, without anyone knowing that I had even fell into the ditch.

There were a couple of people who had gotten out of the bus, who I believe had seen me moving into that direction, there was one guy for sure - he was the cleaner of the bus - who was standing almost 3 ft. from me when I just about landed into the ditch, but he too probably was not sure whether I was a passenger from the bus or some passerby. None of them noticed, except one man who said to the driver that someone had fallen into the ditch, whence the driver began to laugh.
I was seething with anger that these guys were just standing there and no one moved a bit to come and see what the matter was and who was in and if someone needed help.
anyhow, I went to the roadside stall on the opposite side of the road, with the shooting pain in the left shoulder and asked the guy there to help me with some water to clean up. I guess in the light of the tea-stall he was able to see my clothes caked in muck and laughed at the image in his head of me falling into it. But he gave me some water and I tried to clean myself up as much as possible.
While cleaning up, thought about the weather, it was not chilly AT ALL. This is January, no chill, and even the water was okish. I thought I'd catch a cold washing up but didn't.

So after whatever cleanup I did, I realised my phone was gone. Went over to the bus side of the road and asked if someone could help me look up the phone. No one was willing to come up but one guy somehow said you won't find it in the dark so I asked for a torch. Looked around but no clue. I even decided to take another step into the ditch and scavenge the water with my hands to see if I could find it. Not remembering that I could have called the phone and heard it.... but no.. I was too shaken up for that. Nothaving found it, I gave up and got back into the bus to change into another pair of clothes though i was not fully cleaned up still. But I had no choice. The bus driver was not wanting to wait any longer and I was helpless.
I got in, asked which place that was and was told that we had halted at the roadside stall at Sendhwa, M.P.! No wonder, I thought, this is M.P. and this is how it will remain forever - despite the global investor meet the CM of the state was talking so frikkin highly about... I just wish him all the failure of his life and failure to all the governments of this state henceforth!!!

It sure was my good luck, that I am alive right now to share this event and wonder how many such people are there who might be meeting with accidents and not getting up again. I hear of so many accidents in Indore, where people are falling into open man-holes and not regaining life back, people who are meeting with accidents due to rash drivers and not able to see the next moment.

Saying so much, I simply feel that India has lost its soul of helping caring 'unknown' people. It might be just the case that there are people who are surviving BECAUSE they 'know' someone who came to help them, but otherwise, in general, if you are someone who does not know anyone in a new place or during such travel it is very difficult without people displaying the so called social awareness and social empathy for fellow human beings.
No wonder you hear of so many people dying in public places because there is no immediate help from the human circle around them. This is a VERY sad and dangerous situation and no one but every individual himself or herself have to fight for themselves if they are by themselves.

I am thus, right now alive with a gash in my shin, an injured left shoulder (which was already broken 3 years back) and my senses totally knocked out - and a mobile phone that seems to have either fallen into the ditch or somewhere there abouts.
Unfortunately, my senses were so disturbed then esp. also because the bus driver was honking away to get me on the bus, that I didn't think about calling my phone and locating it. Would have saved me the pain of the loss, and that thought of relocating would have at least salvaged some of my self respect.
Of course I have been equally stupid to have not gathered my bearings properly before I started walking and now I have doubts about my vision too, maybe a part of which didn't help my brain register where I was going, or that I was still too groggy without my conscious brain being aware of it, or too much in a hurry.. but I will definitely say that in my last 20 years of bus travel, this kind of a situation has NEVER come forth, so I do blame the bus driver also for this situation. But he, and everyone else in the bus, are not sensitive and sensible enough to accept a lot of such things, which have a logical thought attached to it, more than common sense - like not thinking about their own familiarity of the area when it comes to driving people around, but also showing more concern for the people who are their responsibility. Anyways, this aspect could go into a whole new tale!!

But yes, lessons learnt for myself, for the people in general; - when traveling
- carry a torch with you ALWAYS

- keep your cell phone on your person, but always covered and safe so that it can be traced in case of a mishap; today, the cell phone is you and your personality, so you have to keep your identity safe for people to come back and trace you in case you are lost as a person

- ALWAYS tell your neighbor in the bus, train, flight where you are going and how long you expect to be gone; Even if these people don't bother to listen then, they will remember later when there is an issue and they have to clear their names off suspicion

- carry a cell phone with it's Mobile Tracker software enabled (some phones now do have such trackers) or set up a password for important notes you store in the phone

- make sure you do not keep any 'critical info' stored as SMS in your cell phones which can be used to hack into your life

So here I am, reviling in the loss and pain helplessly wondering how apathetic will this nation and it's people get before they realize they lost it all...
We are in some very difficult times and the value systems are at a very low today.

Hopefully the value qualities can only go up, but will be possible ONLY when the majority of our population - the ones who do not spend their time on the internet (reading and understanding the changes of society and its impact on them), the ones who are still grappling with the transitions of their lives from small towns to bigger cities and coming to understand what it takes to live in the fast city life - come into their new lives WITH the basic human values and not leave them behind in their homes and towns.

India is getting poorer in its ability to maintain old infrastructure, old roads and lanes what will it do with the new ones that are being put in place all over?