Pride of Bengal – Durga Puja

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Link to the article : http://thesparktimes.com/pride-of-bengal-durga-puja/

 

Just imagine, festive mood starts in the city of joy – Kolkata from two months in advance – new clothes, shoes, accessories .Most all shops especially around Gariahat and New Market will be over-crowded – the restaurants will be full till the time it’s not closing down – bad traffic on the road due to amount of crowd, you will hear the hawkers on the road selling different goods shouting with the maximum volume in their vocal cord throughout the day. Once the Puja starts for five days – The full stretch of roads covered with lightings and once its evening when someone passes by , a feeling of second Diwali lighting celebration will definitely strike anyone’s mind – pandals located after every signal on both sides , few small ones and few big ones – I can hear the sound of drums and clash of cymbals from almost every pandals – numerous people on the road walking through the pavement with their new clothes – police very active on the road to control crowds and traffic together.

Looking back to the past, the origin of public celebrations of grand Durga Puja can be traced back to the 16th century. With the ascent of the Mughals, Durga Puja became more of a status symbol in those days. Annual festival of Durga Puja soon became the most celebrated festival and as a day for merriment with friends, relatives, neighbors and acquaintances. Since it’s a festival hosted for over a week and is considered as one of the most expensive festivals of India, earlier in my childhood days the celebrations were littler and was mostly performed by richer class of the society but after the economic boom gradually from the time of my mid-school days the scenario started changing – the evolution of clubs, association and societies has made the Durga Puja truly cosmopolitan in nature. The social and ritualistic significance of the Durga Puja has also been modified to a certain extent.

Throughout five days, multiple rituals are being performed as a custom for Puja but one ritual which really allures me from within is Vermilion play – probably a four hundred or more years old and perhaps the best ritual so far I like about the weeklong celebration – mythology says ondashami evening – goddess Durga returns to her husband’s home , hence all married women mostly in white or yellow saree with red border are seen this time , honoring the goddess and each other with red powder “Sindur” , a sign of Bengali married women. The entire scene during this time appeals to me with elegance – all women putting vermilion on each other’s and goddess Durga’s face , greeting each other with sweets accompanied by the sound of drums and cymbals . I recall, vermillion play portrayed wonderfully in Bollywood Blockbuster “KAHANI”s climax scene.

Though the Puja is hosted for just five days but it keeps zeal of excitement, hopes, and wishes alive for the coming year within the heart of millions.

 

 

Young Voice – Inevitable Future Of India !! ( Published in The Spark Times )

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Link to the Article :  http://thesparktimes.com/young-voice-inevitable-future-of-india/

There is a famous saying that “There is so much to do in one life and time is so less”, in my views the same is applicable for India as a prosperous nation in future years ahead.

When I grew up in Calcutta, my hometown – apart from my parents, I have noticed others too discouraging their children from taking much interest in politics for certain reasons, most of which in my views today’s matured crowd can understand but before I go further, I would also like to mention that this discouragement is not limited to a politically vibrant city like Calcutta but it’s the same story nation-wise.

According to survey, India as a country is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 65% of the population is under the age of 25 then if you now take a look at the political structure of India, except few, major chunk of crowd is 60 – 85 years of age who have the responsibility of running the governance of this country and this is where a question strikes my mind, why the major chunk cannot be between 30 -50 years of age??

It’s an inevitable fact that experience plays a major role when it come to such roles but in my views , today’s youth are incredibly responsible  , sensible , matured compared to our times and given the right training , they can surely take up the responsibility of playing a key role in development of political structure of India .

In current information age, the entire globe’s eye is on India because they know – this country is the future with a mix and match of intelligence and natural resources. In simple words, India is on hot seat!! and rather than fighting for power , senior members of all political party should come forward and train the youth’s , inspire them to take politics as their profession , not to forget it is a herculean task but not impossible .

Someone was asked once by a journalist – “Do you think in near future India can be super power?”

Journalist got reply – “If you are talking about near future, then no – we cannot be super power and super poor together

66 years after independence, poverty is still the major problem in our nation; there are millions of kid who does not get sufficient meal each day, government have to aggressively address this issue first more than anything else – remember, if you make the pillars weak and built a high rise, it might look good but after sometime, the building is ought to collapse; same logic is applicable here – these kids are future of the country , once politicians of respected constituency reaches out to address this issue as a major priority , our major problem of poverty can be possibly reduced to a large extent , kids will get a better and healthy life which might result in restoring confidence on political structure of India by these kids and their parents .

Let’s not forget one thing; kid’s initial surrounding is built by his/her parents and once the mentality of parent’s changes probably be it Urban or Rural India, a kid in growing won’t be discouraged from political interest.

Be it a small or a big crime, in my views, it happens due to lack of social awareness as a major but India is changing – the mass protest of Nirbhaya’s Rape case across the country is the biggest example and people should be united in similar fashion to face any odds in future.

The program “I lead India” organized by Times group is a tremendous attempt to motivate today’s youth to participate in nations development and more such program should be organized by others

If we can almost eradicate polio from this nation with active and aggressive campaigns to create awareness then the same can be done for poverty, illiteracy , restore faith, motivate youth and bring in energetic minds of this 21st-century to take this nation ahead to the place where it deserves to be.

We have the ball in our court,

Young population

Natural resources

Intelligence with man power 

If these three ingredients are mixed properly, result can be magical. If we are waiting for this magic to happen then this is the right time – “India seeks Youth actively in Political System

“The Storm in my Mind – Ami Kolkata & Confessions” in Deccan Chronicle

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Got featured in ” Deccan Chronicle , Bangalore ” ,  with discussion in detail about my recently released Novel – ” The Storm in my Mind – Ami Kolkata & Confessions ” , read along  !!

Link to E-Paper : http://www.dc-epaper.com/Gallery.aspx?id=17_09_2013_103_003_010&type=P&artUrl=Riding-a-STORM-17092013103003&eid=1049

Deccan

Rabbit & Tortoise race of Nehru’s India

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15th –August 1947, India was declared as an independent nation along with its partition into two different newly formed countries – Pakistan and Bangladesh. In my views, this was perhaps the biggest compromise our nationalist leaders made to regain independence from British.

On 15th-August , standing in front of the Red Fort , the first prime minister of Independent India , Jawaharlal Nehru addressed our nation – “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment, we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity

 

From the speech, I will stress much on the last line which Nehru said – “we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity

In the 200 years of rule, British have established massive infrastructure in terms of constructions and not to forget introduction of Railways but on the other hand they have taken enough of India’s rich resources and wealth to their country moreover the partition of India into two more countries leaving millions homeless and dead due to communal riot was add-on to the massive loss. Nehru was aware of the situation and the tough task ahead but he was hopeful with a vision that nation could be rebuilt again and that’s only possible with good leadership, governance and support from the people of India.

Fast forwarding to today from the time of Independence to now in 2013, does the vision of Nehru or the speech which he gave been fulfilled? Partly yes as when the world took a slowdown in recession, India was growing at a GDP rate of more than 8 % with massive progress in development across the country, foreign investors showed interest and invested billions which resulted in making us, one of the first growing countries of 21st century but sitting now in 2013, I ask myself, where did we lose the track??

Where 4G connections have already made way to many states across the nation, government is still struggling to solve the scam of 2G accused ministers and businessman which involves some big names so that guilty can be punished ,

Some major scam shattered the entire nation when sports was also not spared and some big names came out in Commonwealth games scam , here too government is struggling to punish the guilty ,

The latest one was IPL spot fixing where the names of accused were a big shocker for cricket fans of India, the mining scam where even prime minister’s name got involved, the drama of Lokpal Bill, the Indian accounts in Swiss Bank, Biggest Tax invasion by Hasan Ali, the power grid failure which left entire north and east India without electricity for more than half a day – I can go on further and write a book if I have to sit and go by years and number of scams revealed.

Result today – Our nations GDP is down from 7-8% to 5-5.5 % resulting in valuation of dollars to 60 INR and major rise in inflation. Big guns don’t get affected but Middle Class, Lower Middle Class and population below poverty line does .To add on more investor’s are losing confidence over the growth prospect which is not a good sign for the future days ahead.

Politicians fight among themselves for power and common man are the greatest prey of those fights. Funny part talking about scams – 8 out of 10 accused is on bail from Supreme Court of India are living a normal life and all these possibly happened because of “Rise in power of corruption at every level in this countryover past one decade or more.

But blaming only bad governance will be unfair because it’s only we the common man who elected them to take our country ahead of other nations through development and have been betrayed on repeated basis.

I don’t think neither of us including government are living up to the vision of Nehru or what he dreamt of new independent India , I don’t think my forefather’s who gave their life for their countries freedom would be happy with the current state of the nation.

The nation somehow has slowed down in these rat race era but I am hopeful as a common man that end of the day the tortoise wins, not the rabbit – 2013 involved drama and Rajtantra but with common man which involves majorly youth now becoming more responsible and sensible , I am hoping for a better 2014 for shining Incredible India.

Cover Page of my Debut Novel – “The Storm in my Mind – Ami Kolkata and Confessions”

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Cover page

SEPTEMBER RELEASE

Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/AmiKolkataConfessions

Video Trailer : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2HP19_JM5c

Website : http://www.talk2ayaanbasu.com

Publisher : Srishti Publishers & Distributors

“It’s a Girl” – I am Proud to hear that … ( Evan Grae Davis ) Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012

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( Evan Grae Davis –Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012.)

Gendercide is a term which has been accelerating momentum globally but specifically more in India and China for quite some time and is indeed not a good sign for humanity as a whole.

Question is what is Gendercide? Well the meaning is self explanatory yet to put it across in simple words – “It’s a gender-selective mass killing” (Victims are mostly girls) and wherever the term Killing comes into existence only two things strike’s my mind – 1. Murder and 2.Crime

As I mentioned earlier , this is a global issue but India & China are the two countries badly affected with this but I will mainly focus on India for now .Let’s read further and figure out why Gendercide is a Murder and a Crime??

While watching the video filmed by Evan Grae Davis from United States of America, I was shocked to see a woman from southern part of India strangled eight of her new born immediately after they were born when she came to know that they all were females … what made her take such inhuman steps not once, not twice but eight times???

Is a female child a taboo in this society?

The answer is NO, how can it be? For me if I run my imaginations to live in a world without female gender around then it would be one of those most boring places on planet to live in and moreover how would I have seen this world if not my mother have given me birth??

They are the best creation of God!!  Not only is just another human being but beautifies this world and our lives.

According to survey researched by Evan, around 5 millions girls are selectively aborted annually and more than 107,000 dowry deaths occur every year … the figures are indeed disheartening and shameful.

Let’s look around, some of the known faces be it Corporate world, Politics, Bollywood, media etc, girls hold some top and influential positions for their higher education and intelligence. I would say they are not inferior but superior in our society.

Now looking at the Gendercide issue in a developed nation like China, Evan’s researched figures are even more shocking to know:

  1. 37 million more men than women
  2. 1 million male Childs more than girls born every year
  3. Major increase in sex trafficking
  4. 70000 child bride kidnappings

In 21st century, with modernization of overall infrastructure of this globe, we still lack certain measures to stop this Gendercide and educate others that girls are pride to our society not a taboo or curse.

We need more people like “Evan Grae Davis” to come forward to be a change in this society to lead a meaningful life themselves and to teach others, how to live a meaningful life.

Government of every nation should also join hands with common man and people like Evan in educating and raising social awareness among those who practices Gendercide because, “You can educate a male child to make them do something meaningful in their life but if you educate a girl, you are going to establish a better and healthy generation for betterment of this country and this universe.

A Filmmaker Evan Grae Davis is using his talent with camera and lens to capture and highlight this issue from removing the word “Deadliest” from 3 simple words “It’s a Girl” and me as an individual who have a mother and a sister at home is proud of his disciplined efforts, the more we use our network to educate others and raise social awareness about Gendercide ill-effect’s, I am sure this world will be a complete different place to breathe …

Truth and Honesty always prevails over Evil ….. Satyamev Jayate!!!

Extraordinary efforts by a common man towards Women empowerment – “White Revolution” for !incredible India ( Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012 )

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YouTube Link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1iWhljEbTE&feature=player_embedded#at=23 ( Franklin Templeton Investmentspartnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012 )

With 28 states, 6 Union Territories and I National Territory, India truly is diversified in varied ways. If one travels across each state, one will see a major cultural difference for example – dressing, language, way of living and above of everything, the avatar of god worshiped in each states changes and so on – in short, each different state or an union territory represents a single country itself and with such diversity the complexity as a nation too increases to a large extent.

At present, India made its name across the globe for one of the fastest growing developing countries where other’s took a slowdown yet with world’s second largest population, we as a nation have some major challenges like poverty, illiteracy, social awareness, women empowerment, child labor but in my views, a nation is built by common man (aam aadmi or mango people) and common man in turn elects official who forms  government for good governance to maintain and drive that path which is constructed – one such common man who contributed to some major social causes like women empowerment , social awareness , poverty all in one single pack  is Muruganantham Arunachalam .

Being from Kolkata and residing in Bangalore for almost 7 years, I am comfortable with South Indian names but yet Muruganantham Arunachalam is a little difficult for me to pronounce so I will address this visionary genius by his short name – Murugan.

In my views, every human is send to this world with talents – few possess more and few less but everyone do possess. As an individual, it’s your job to discover – what is that talent in you through which you can make a change in the society? Don’t forget some geniuses like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mother Teresa, and Dhirubhai Ambani came to this world just like us but they made a difference by discovering their own talent to bring a change and motivate billions through this change.

Just like those big name who brought changes, Murugan a common man from India started something called “White Revolution” for women. Rather than looking into some big social issues after getting married and coming to know his wife better he thought of something very basic  , along with an idea of finding or at least attempting to find a solution to this issue –  As per his research “Less than 5 % female population of India use sanitary napkins, to go further , in normal human cycle, each month during the time of periods instead of sanitary napkins – Rag Cloths, Plant leafs, Husk, Saw dust, Ashes are used as an alternative” here major reasons are two –

1. Poverty

2. Lack of Awareness

Some big corporate names that make sanitary pads are in the reach of those living in metropolitan s and other big cities but what about Rural India???

Murugan, after his extensive research (which is a dramatic struggle in his own words) invented a device through which sanitary pads can be made without higher cost involvement and a full guarantee on hygiene field. He didn’t give up midway of research but believed in what he was doing even after getting not so welcome and resistant response from people around him from Rural India.

The result which he got and the contribution which he did towards our nation is no less than a wonder,

  1. Setting up 706 sanitary pad making machines across 23 states of India
  2. Employment of almost 7000 women from Rural India
  3. Shifting more than 3.5 million women in Rural India to use sanitary pads from other alternatives for better hygiene

It’s a true saying – “The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor

Referring to this quote, “White Revolution” started by Muruganantham Arunachalam is one of the biggest examples of commitment towards excellence and to add on, one of the greatest motivations for millions of Indian youth to make India truly into !incredible India …

Muruganantham ArunachalamI salute you Sir, for your unthinkable incredible efforts towards women empowerment!!