The last few months have been a very interesting phase of my life. So far I’ve started 2013 with my original plan of working on my projects. I’ve published some fairly childish android apps (Picture with Charlie Sheen, Picture with Chuck Norris, Picture with Rajni, Picture with Mithun).
Hopefully the rest of the year will continue to be eventful.
This new year brought about many changes. One of the primary ones was my Salt Lake experiment ran its due course and life has brought me back to Chicago. Looking back it was one of my most successful experiments. I loved living without a sense of belonging lugging around my 2 suitcases from motel to inn. I loved some motels and stayed there for weeks on end and hated a few where I stayed just for a night. I especially loved my 1 week at Snowbird Ski resort where I was the only one driving down the mountain to go to work in the morning, while everyone else was driving up to ski and vice versa in the evenings.
Infact now that I’ve stayed for a month in Chicago, the normalcy is getting a bit monotonous. But it is nice not having to figure out where I need to sleep tomorrow. But atleast with my new project in Chicago, I’ve continued my process of breaking out of the 9-5 mold and remained a consultant. I do hope that this year is as interesting as last year.
Coming back to chicago means talk with friends about life and politics back in India. I’ve never been a fan of Gujrat CM Narendra Modi and I’ve often been asked on why I dislike him. To give Mr. Modi credit, he has done wonders for Gujrat the last couple of years and is probably the best CEO styled Chief Minister since Chandrababu Naidu. However till the people affected by the Godhra riots don’t get justice, I personally wont be trusting Mr. Modi anytime soon. Here’s a really nice article about the riots in today’s Hindustan times by Indrajit Hazra.
So someone asked me if my time in the US has changed me. The more I think about it, the more I realize how difficult it is to answer that question. Unless you live two different lives in two different places at the same time and then compare notes, you can never know how life has turned out different for you.
My viewpoint is that the 20’s are the most important phase of your life. You start your 20’s pretty much not knowing where your life is heading. As you graduate from college and then try to chart a career/life path, you end your 20’s with pretty much a more concrete idea on what you want from life. Of course the most interesting people keep reseting their lives and live by this philosophy pretty much every decade, but for most of us this is pretty much true.
Since your viewpoints on most issues will be formed by your experiences during this time, that would mean that my outlook in life will be more conforming with American viewpoints as opposed to Indian viewpoints. Do I follow the Chicago Bears more than the Indian cricket team, maybe. Do I think, I can gel back into life in India – I really don’t know. There is this lovely article in the New York Times about another person facing the same questions and Why he left India again. He has a pretty nice quote in there where he says that the first time he left India, he left for the US; the second time he left India, he left India. That’s a journey I have to take as well and will probably answer the question of whether my stay in the US has changed me. I really hope that I don’t leave India again, because if my identity is not being an Indian, then what exactly do I identify myself as?
It’s not often that your life resembles a movie, but yesterday mine did. I’ve been enjoying living in motels and inns for the past few months, with my room tidied up and the bed made up every day.
I’ve had the cold the last few days, so I decided to load up on nyquil saturday night. I guess I was pretty groggy on sunday when the maid came over and the scene from tommy boy played out. I’ve got to learn some spanish.
I’m sure Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi would like to escape the public limelight for some time. Unfortunately their respective attacks on whistle blowers have only reinforced the viewpoints that Dr. Singh heads one of the most corrupt governments in recent times and Modi wants to cover up his role in genocide. It’s sad that both of them are covered in the same post for after all Dr. Singh is still an honorable man.
Well I hope they get a chance to get away from it all and get a chance to retrospect their respective roles. Here’s a song by Keane dedicated to them.
To the one person who reads my blog (yes mom I’m talking about you), you know by now my laptop got stolen and I had to purchase an additional one. I’ve been looking for something which might keep me protected incase something like this happens again.
I was browsing eversave.com and noticed that they have a promotion for trackitback.com where a 5 pack of tags are available for $20 (as opposed to $100). Considering each of my electronic equipment is worth much much more than what I’m spending on this tracking tag, this seemed like a great deal to me. Check it out at eversave.com and if you sign up today, they will credit you $3 just for joining bringing the cost down to $17.
Historic blunders are always recognized in hindsight.
India’s fairly short run as a democratic state has had a few of them. Jawaharlal Nehru’s hindi-chini bhai bhai policy soon led to a Chinese invasion. On his death Lal Bahadur Shastri realized that the country needed a new path outlined in his first speech “There comes a time in the life of every nation when it stands at the cross-roads of history and must choose which way to go”. His mysterious death (because the PMO still refuses to release the cause of death or if the government conducted an autopsy, in response to a RTI) at Tashkent, cut short any major changes. Gulzarilal Nanda followed him in a completely unremarkable Prime Ministership, acting mainly as a caretaker for Indira Gandhi to take over.
This week, Anna Hazare is set to resume his fast in support of a strong Jan Lokpal bill. The government has tried it’s best to discredit Hazare and his associates, but the mood of the nation seems well with Hazare. Movies like Rang De Basanti have hit a nerve with the common people and it remains to be seen if they will take the streets with Anna Hazare.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has a quandry in front of him. Will he recognize that this is a crucial time in the history of the new India when it is at a crossroads. Will he continue with the status quo or be brave enough to choose the right way to go. If he still continues to oppose Hazare and the will of the people, the anointed one has every opportunity to stamp his authority in the congress party by opposing him. In the words of Brutus – Not that I loved caesar less, but Rome more. Singh has to debate on how history will judge him, as a modern day Shastri or just a stepping stone for the next Gandhi ala GulzariLal Nanda.