Give peace a chance in 2014

meharbaan ho ke bula lo mujhe chaaho jis waqt,
main gaya waqt nahi hoon ke phir aa bhi na sakoon
– Mirza Ghalib

(Turning kind towards me, call me back any time you want;
I am not like the time bygone that cannot be recalled*)

*Translation from Love Sonnets of Ghalib by Sarfaraaz Niazi

As Mirza nausha said “ke phir aa bhi na sakoon”  the year 2013 is about to say good bye and it would never come back. Personally for me new year isn’t something that grand of a celebration time but it does signify a unit of time; one more year has ended. Of course there would be many disappointments everyone of us faced in the last year but here is a chance to look forward to new hopes and opportunities in the new year.

Like last year and last to last year’s post this year again I would pray for peace in this world. Although scientists claim that we are going through the most peaceful times in the history of man kind but still the violence all around us is heart breaking. Thousands of people are losing their lives in suicide attacks, bomb blasts, wars and so on. We must not gift this violent planet to our upcoming generations. Everyone of us must work for peace in whatever way we can. Hope this year brings a new hope for peace and humanity.

As Bashir Badr saab has said:

saat sandookon mein bhar kar dafan kar do nafartein,
aaj insaan ko muhabbat ki zaroorat hai bahut

Here is wishing you a very happy new year 2014 ! Have fun !

Dussehra street

The Dussehra celebrations at the place where we live in Delhi are pretty huge. The local residents arrange a big function every year where there some local singer is called for performance and then there is burning of the effigies of Ravana. In our language there is a kind of mela where there are many stalls for different type of food, toys for children and more.

Looking from the 3rd floor balcony the scene in the street looked somewhat like:

  • Stage for Dussehra celebrations is being set. People have started gathering in the street.
  • All the locality residents are participating in the rituals as if burning effigy of Ravana is going to get rid of all the problems in the life. Though half of them have been fighting over ‘i-will-park-my-car-here’ issues an hour ago.
  • Rehri walas are also finding places to set up their stalls. For them today is the day to earn more than what they can daily.
  • Some homeless poor children are also roaming around thinking they might get to eat something without paying anything. Today is the festival of winning of good over bad, after all.
  • Our neighbor aunty is worried that space in front of their house might get occupied by someone. Then where would his (idiot) husband park his car ? So she has asked a rehri wala to park his rehri there to keep that space occupied. Of course till her husband comes and has to park his car.
  • We also tried gol-gappas from a rehri wala but they were not good Sad smile . So now back home and just standing in balcony observing all this.
  • The music is going on in full swing. Some politician also seems to be present on the occasion. After all it is election time in Delhi dude.
  • We hear the crackers are being fired. Seems Ravana is being burned. Hope it will end all the evil in our society.
  • It is 9:15 PM. Most of the rehri walas are gone now.
  • It is almost 10 PM. The street looks empty now but is full of litter. Hopefully someone would clean the street tomorrow. It looks really dirty !

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  • It has been 2 weeks to all these celebrations but the evil is still there. Newspaper are full of such terrible news. Seems this year again burning Ravana didn’t work Sad smile.
  • Hope it does next year !

Paris…

So here I am sitting at Paris Airport for the second day waiting for my flight to Madrid…

I had to fly from Delhi to Madrid and there were no direct flights. So I booked the one via Paris. It was my first experience with a connecting flight as I always try to take direct flights and haven’t had even the experience of a domestic connecting flight (where the things obviously are less crazy than an international one). All was well till I landed in Paris to find that the connecting flight has been cancelled Sad smile . There was another colleague of mine who has to come from China and board the same flight to Madrid. She reached well before me and had already done the research and asked the Air France guys to put us on some other flight. It was snowing like heck in Paris and so many flights were cancelled. Almost everything was messed up. Long queues at all the desks, people running around to get their flights changed etc. Finally that guy put us on another flight that was 2 hours later but it was departing from the other airport (Orly). And as we were boarding a different flight so we needed to collect the luggage manually and check in again. When the time is bad everything you touch goes wrong. We followed the process to claim the luggage manually and got the luggage ticket. We went to the corresponding Air France desk (after asking 3 or 4 guys) and the reply we got was ! “We have got too much of luggage collected over here, we aren’t handing over any luggage. So you need to tell us the address where the luggage has to be sent.” Sad smile . In the mean time a lot of time was wasted and there were not much chances of catching the flight in which they put us. So both the luggage and the flight got missed !

While running around, one guy had told us that there was an evening flight to Madrid and he could put us in that. So after missing this morning flight we went back to ask him to put us in the evening flight. oh boy ! all the flights leaving in the evening were full. damn !!!

So now back to another Air France desk. That kind lady took around 30 mins or so and said that I can put you in an Iberian flight that leaves in the evening from Orly. What could be better than that. We said yes. There was a plenty of time so we thought of grabbing something to eat and then leave for Orly (by bus). At this moment I swallowed some amount of chocolate also Open-mouthed smile (People who know me can understand what that means).

So we started looking for the bus stop and found that due to snow all the buses have been cancelled ! Other options were to catch the train to half the way and then get a taxi or get a taxi from here itself. But people here said that taxi is really expensive. They charge some 90 Euros. Moreover due to weather it was really difficult to find a taxi and also it may take long time to reach.

So we chose the train option, went to the train station and with the help of someone got the tickets. Boarded the train with a map in the hand to match what all stations were on the way. One, two, three, four stations passed but we cant find the names of the map. Something is crappy again man ! Then a dude told that the stations on the map were yet to come on the way forward on this route. well finally the next station was there on the map. We DIDN’T board the wrong train ! Winking smile

We got off at the station where we were told to and started looking for taxi. It again was a struggle but anyway after some 30 mins we got a taxi and reached the Orly airport…to find that the Iberian flight in which they put us has also been cancelled ! We queued in the line at the Iberian desk for 1 hour or more to get the answer “we cant do anything”.

Some more research and we were back to Air France desk (some other desk dealing with all such crap that we faced). They told us that no more flights for Madrid were there so the only option was to fly the next day. She arranged accommodation and taxi for us and put us in one of the morning flights. I said when time is bad…there were two hotels with the same name and the taxi guy dropped us at the wrong hotel !!! Again walked in snow for 25-30 mins and finally found the actual hotel.

It was a nice hotel and stay there was good too.

In the morning we left for the airport to catch the flight to Madrid. Here we reached and that one was also CANCELLED !!!

Back to the Air France crap dealing department and after a lot of struggle they put us on another flight that leaves an hour or so later.

So here we are waiting for that flight. Lets hope for the best !

Oh yes and the baggage status says “received at the airport”. God knows it is Paris or Madrid airport ?

Lets  hope for the best Smile.

RIP Arfa Karim

It was while going through Morning With Farah videos on Youtube that I came across this interview of Arfa Karim with Farah and came to know that she was the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional who cleared MCP at the age of 9.

Then from comments I came to know that she had suffered a cardiac arrest attack and was in hospital. Since then there used to be an on and off update about her health through twitter or news. Yesterday was the unfortunate day when she lost the fight and said goodbye to this world. Life seems to be so unfair at times. Such a brilliant, intelligent kid and she had to go from this world at the age of 16. But  strange are the ways of God. We are the mere audience.

May her soul rest in peace. You were a brilliant kid Arfa and will remain an inspiration for many others.

Happy New Year 2012

waqt rehta nahi kahin tik kar, iski aadat bhi aadmi si hai – Gulzar in Marasim
(time has an attitude like that of a man…it doesn’t stop anywhere…)

…so another year is gone and we are welcoming the new year 2012. In most parts of the world, the first sun of 2012 has already risen. 2011 was an year of mixed emotions. Along with the personal & professional achievements & happiness, this year snatched from us legends like Jagjit Singh & many others. Also this year was marked with political turbulence in many parts of the world. Many innocent lives were lost.

In India, we saw a big change when people came on the streets to challenge the way governance was being done. It sparked a ray of hope of some betterment. Hope 2012 brings even more, people get their long lost rights and the administrators are held accountable for the goof ups that have become so frequent.

For me, on the blogging front it was a lazy year; could write very few posts. I will try to be more frequent in blogging in the new year 2012.

I am ending this post on a sad note with this song by Legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan:

I hope the answer to the question asked in the song is 2012. Hope it marks the end of pain & suffering of the innocents in this world. Hope everyone gets justice.

A very very happy and prosperous new year to you and your loved ones. Hope you achieve all that you ever desired for. Stay blessed !