Jan 31st

Public Spaces

By Rajeev

There is a lot of hue and cry these days

about the rights on public spaces

Can’t understand why private citizens

Insist that their merry making

be done in public, that too on public roads!


Why not the merry making

In the privacy of a resort or one’s residence…

why should boys have all the fun?

appears a legitimate query

but then, both boys and girls

can have their fun in private rather than public


The same thing goes for religious celebrations

why not connect to your God one to one

in your homes or in  places of worship?

why insist on public processions on public roads

that give opportunities to the antisocial

to throw stones, to the manipulators

to sow discord among communities?


Fun and religion in private places

Instead of public spaces

So that society, read the ‘Aam Aadmi’

Is not inconvenienced….

Something to ponder, to consider?

some food for thought?

Jan 30th

काला तिल

By pranu
उसके होंठों पर वो काला तिल
उस झूठ की निशानी हैं,
कि वह मुझसे
एतबार नहीं रखती!
लाख छुपाएं पलकें 
झुककर तेरे एतबार को,
दर्द में भिंचे होंठों पर 
वह काला तिल,
आखिर दिल का राज 
खोल ही देगा!
Jan 30th

काला तिल

By pranu
तेरे गाल पर तिल, क्या गजब ढाता हैं!
चांद पर भी इक दाग है, सबको याद दिलाता है!!!
Jan 30th

खाली हाथ

By pranu
लोगों के दिलों में बसते हैं वह,
खिताबों के मोहताज नहीं होते!
दानिशमंद फकीरों के सर पर कभी, 
शौहरतों के ताज नहीं होते!
आंखों से निकलें वहीं नूर,
होंठों पर आएं वहीं दुआ,
दिल की बातों को 
बयां कर सकें ऐसे,
किताब-ए-जहां में 
कोई अल्फाज नहीं होते!
Jan 29th

The Medical Shop - Part 1

By soman

Faction: THE MEDICAL SHOP - PART I 05-02-2010 - by soman   (773 words)






She had few friends in the neighborhood, and had been doing a lot of reading (mostly Bengali literature) to while away her time. 

To be continued Often in life, we launch into something with certain expectations; what we do get however may be something totally different.


After I returned from a decade of incarceration in the sandy oilfields of Arabie, I cast my fortunes with a British firm which was in the process of laying a gargantuan crude oil pipeline stretching from upper Assam, through north Bengal, up to a central point of Bihar – a mere 1200KM in length. 

The project was scheduled to last 4 years, at the end of which I could look forward to another spell of freedom to resume wandering along the streets of Calcutta (or some other city) in search of livelihood – unless I facilitated a quicker exit by messing up my duties, a distinct possibility in a hectic project with time-bound targets. 

Any chance for my landing a permanent slot elsewhere in the interim, looked remote. 

I therefore decided, to be on the safe side, to be on the lookout for some alternative source of income for earning my bread. 

Being a bachelor, I was living in a lodge, sharing with two of my friends from Kerala. 

One day a friend told me that on the main road nearby there was a medical shop, situated in the unused garage of a two-story building which belonged to a wealthy elderly Bengali gentleman called Nirmal Dutt. The shop was hitherto being run by his son. Unfortunately the young man had died recently, and his father decided to shut down the shop. Subsequently however he came round to the view that the shop should be continued to run in memory of his late son. He himself was too old to take on the workload on his own. The son’s widow approved of the decision, but she came from an orthodox family; and her own father would frown at her taking on such a responsibility. As a compromise they decided to sell the shop to some “decent fellow” who would not cause problems of any kind – legal, financial, or domestic – on a ‘first call for repurchase’ basis. 

My friend and I called on the old man, and told him that I was prepared to take over the shop. His original demand was four thousand rupees, which included salami (under the counter for use of the premises), goodwill and cost of medicines in stock. He now scaled it down and compromised at three thousand, (as he preferred a Keralite, deemed to be less evenings (yawning most of the time), and no specialist qualifications to speak of. A cheerful soul, he was getting his pension and would hence be content with a low retainer. Customers mostly came armed with prescriptions from other specialists in the area. 

The pharmacist was adequate in his professional capacity, but of dubious integrity; and a dud when it came to accounting. The cheapest hand available, he competed with the doc in yawning. 

I was therefore obliged to attend to the shop myself after office in order to check sales, collect the day’s income, and place orders for the next day’s purchases. This meant going to bed past midnight, with only five hours left for sleep. 

The shop was just beginning to break even when one evening Kaajal, young widow of the previous owner, came downstairs to collect some medicines for her father-in-law who suffered from chronic blood pressure spiced with diabetes. I had not set eyes on her before, so I extended the usual courtesies by asking her how she managed to spend her time. She said she supervised the domestic help who came in the mornings, and then spent a little time to look after the old man - who was himself a widower. He had no other close relatives in the city. 





Jan 28th


By soman


June 27, 2011 at 12:04pm



Years ago my all-time favorite in tennis used to be Pete Sampras – affable, unflappable, no tantrums whatsoever; with a rich armory in his repertoire. Hence I was most upset when, towards the end of his career, he was dethroned by a Swiss ‘upstart’ named Roger Federer. At the time of receiving the trophy, Federer was seen to be weeping openly, and embraced Pete as a token of respect. I then felt instinctively that the boy had a good future. I was not mistaken. Learning from Sampras, he has had a glorious career since then and remained No.1 seed for years, just as Sampras had.


Top of Form


At the end of the game he was seen weeping openly; he embraced Sampras as a show of  affection and respect. I knew then that the boy had a good future. Learning from his guru, he has become and remained No.1 seed for several years.





Jan 28th

बिंदु रोशनी की

By Rajeev

शरीर रूप से देखे तो

तुम हो गोरा ,मैं हूँ काला

या मैं हूँ मोटा. तुम हो दुबला

देश, मोहल्ला, धर्म, जाति

भाषा. वेशबूषा सब है

शरीर से सबन्धित!


पर इस शरीर के परे

मैं  हूँ आत्मा

तुम हो आत्मा

सब भाई बहेनें है आत्मा..



अमीर - गरीब

अच्छा- बुरा

सब बाहर की बात है


अंदर तो, मैं सूक्ष्म बिंदु रोशनी की

तुम भी सूक्ष्म बिंदु रोशनी की

और बाप परमात्मा भी

सूक्ष्म बिंदु रोशनी    की...


तो देह्भिमान छोड़ने से

आत्मा अभिमानी बनने से

छूट जायेंगे सब भेद भाव

भाई भाई को, कर लेंगे पहचान ..


 NB: यह कविता बीके ( ब्रह्मकुमारीs)  की  पढाई से प्रेरित है।

Jan 27th

मेरी आँखों में मुहब्बत के मंज़र है

By Dinesh Gupta 'Din'

मेरी आँखों में मुहब्बत के जो मंज़र है

तुम्हारी ही चाहतों के समंदर है

में हर रोज चाहता हूँ कि तुझसे ये कह दूँ मगर

लबो तक नहीं आता, जो मेरे दिल के अन्दर है


मेरे दिल में तस्वीर हे तेरी, निगाहों में तेरा ही चेहरा है,

नशा आँखों में मुहब्बत का, वफ़ा का रंग ये कितना सुनहरा है,

दिल की कश्ती कैसे निकले अब चाहत के भंवर से

समंदर इतना गहरा है, किनारों पर भी पहरा है


वो हर रोज मुझसे मिलती है, मैं हर बार नहीं कह पाता

जो दिल में इतना प्यार भरा है, लबो पर क्यों नहीं आता

हम भी कभी नहीं करते थे प्यार-मुहब्बत के किस्सों पर यकीं,

मगर जब दिल को छू जाये कोई एक बार, फिर कोई और नहीं भाता


मेरी उम्मीद का सागर कुछ यू छुटा है

की जेसे हर जर्रे-जर्रे ने हमको लुटा है

कश्तियाँ सारी डूब गयी साहिलो तक आते आते

होसला जो बचा था तुफानो में, किनारों पर आकर टुटा है

Jan 26th

Throwing one's Hat into the Ring

By Rajeev

This was the year 1981.Around sixty-five of us joined Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Ltd, Bhadravathi as management trainees. Most were engineers; a few of us were inducted for HR (personnel, as it was known then) and materials (purchase) departments. After six months of training we were posted for 'on the job training' to our respective departments. I was assigned to the management development wing that catered to matters pertaining to executives. On reporting, the senior personnel manager welcomed me and assured of all support for a successful induction and career in the company.

 After about a month of my reporting, boss invited me to come to his residence in the township at around 6 PM. He did not give any details about the reason for this unexpected invitation. When I reached there, I was surprised to see lot of goodies spread out in the drawing room that included sweets, savouries and fruits. Fifteen minutes later, another management trainee also turned up. Boss greeted us and introduced us to a gentleman who was in the house, as his brother. He then said that he had some urgent work and slipped out of the house, telling us to talk to his brother.

 The brother timidly informed that he was an insurance agent based out of Mangalore. It was clear from his body language that the gentleman resembled boss only in appearance and that he did not possess his confidence. He suggested to both of us a particular sum assured and a 25-year coverage. I looked at a table he was carrying and said that I wanted a lesser sum assured with a 15 years coverage. The agent protested feebly but did not make efforts to convince me of the advantages of his proposal. As for us, we were novices who hardly knew anything about what this was all about- What is the need, importance or advantage of taking an insurance policy. In 1981, the general awareness was even poorer than it is now about insurance. The person got us to sign on some forms and we departed. Boss had not yet returned.

 A few days later when I received the policy by post, I noticed that the term of the policy was for a period of 25 years and not for 15 years that I had requested. Further, the sum assured mentioned in the document was also higher than what I had indicated. As a young man, my ego was hurt. "How could this person alter conditions contrary to what was discussed? If this could be done to an educated person what would he the plight of the uneducated? “These were the thoughts running in my mind. I could not even approach the agent immediately as I was in Bhadravati while he was living in Mangalore.

 I went immediately to the cabin of the boss. As the legal manager was also with him, I said that I would come later. However, boss insisted that I speak. So I vented out all my unhappiness about the way the matter was handled. He told me "You speak to my brother over phone." Those days it was not easy to speak to people over the phone, more so from small towns like Bhadravathi, which hardly had one, or two public STD booths situated far away from the township. Further, the agent could easily avoid my call if he wanted to. So I told boss that I did not know his brother at all at a personal level and that the only reason I had taken a policy from him was because of his relationship with him. Therefore, he should sort out the matter. Although taken aback by my response he smiled and said, "Let me see".

 What I did not know then was that I had bitten off more than I could chew. I had ruffled the feathers of a very senior person in the hierarchy. I learnt later that the legal manager who was in the room had jacked up the emotions of the boss. “How can a mere management trainee who has just joined the company speak to you like that?” He is said to have asked and urged him to teach me a lesson on "respecting seniors". Soon I began to get pinpricks at work and was later transferred to a mine owned by the company in Bhadigund, 25 kms away from Bhadravathi town.

 This posting was usually given to the junior most officer in HR. I was posted although another management trainee was junior to me, as he had joined the company after my date of joining. Contrary to my original terms of appointment, I received a letter stating that I need to pass an exam in Kannada with class 4 syllabus in three months’ time. It was clear that this move was more to intimidate me than anything else. First of all this was a tough ask for someone from another state with no exposure to the language and even if I were to take lessons and work hard, I felt the results of the test was sort of predetermined.

 It was later when I was visiting a relative who had a lot more experience of life that he advised me not to agonize over the policy. Even if you did not like the way the agent handled this, it is always advantageous to start early when premiums are low and the longer and higher the coverage the better it is! If the man who sold the policy had educated me properly, I would not have spoilt relationship with an influential boss and be languishing in a mine with a prospect of writing an exam that I was most likely to fail!

 After six months into my assignment at Bhadigund limestone mines, I was on a weekend visit to Bhadravathi, when a friend, an engineer who had joined like me as a management trainee, asked me why I was ruining my career by fighting with the powerful over a trivial issue. He advised me to make up with boss. I said that that I had objected on a matter of principle. Anyway, he may refuse to see me even if I were to go and meet him. The friend suggested writing a letter. Therefore, I wrote a letter drawing attention to the good relationship that we had earlier and the support he had given me and that I regretted how our relations had sunk to such a low over a trivial issue.

  The letter enabled me to wriggle out of a tough situation. However, my animosity to the concept of insurance and those connected with insurance remained. Therefore, for the next fifteen to sixteen years I kept a safe distance. It was after many years in 1998 when the matter of tax savings came up while working in another company, that an agent approached me and explained about the concepts of insurance. He was shocked that I was woefully short of adequate coverage. However, by then I had already touched the age of forty, which meant that very high premium had to be paid for the same sum assured that would have been very low if taken at a young age.

 Cut to December 2016. I am standing at a tea shop in Koramangala, Bangalore sipping tea. I hear a friendly   voice asking the tea maker to make some great tea- “should be as good as it was yesterday!” I turned around to look at the speaker and we smiled. He told me that his name was Krishna Prasad (KP to friends) and that he worked for Max life insurance as associate partner (sales).He asked me what I was doing. I told him that after over three decades of service in HR in public and private sector companies, I was now facilitating corporate training programs representing my own company Niche Learning Services. I said that I also devote time to blogging and sharing corporate experiences with MBA students.

 He immediately asked me whether I would be interested in becoming a financial advisor (read agent) for his company. I smiled and said that it was not my cup of tea as I was not from a sales background. He said that Maxlife gives a lot of importance to training and that apart from becoming an advisor I could get opportunities for training as well. All the persons engaged as advisors have to undergo a week’s training on insurance as a career and pass a mandatory examination conducted by IRDA (Insurance regulation and development authority).

 “My office is just around the corner. Why don’t you come in so that I can give you a better picture?”  As I had nothing urgent to do at that time, I went along to the office. KP explained that insurance has come a long way since the time it was a monopoly with operations by only one insurance company. Today there are 23 companies operating in India and seven-year-old Max India is a leading company in the private sector, which is a joint venture between Max Financial Services (72%) and Mitsui Sumitomo, a 120-year-old company based in Japan. When I shared my early negative experience with insurance, KP said that there is no way that Max could do business like that. “In fact, our focus is on educating customers on their needs of protecting oneself from the impacts of an early death, living too long and erosion of the value of money over a period of time.”

 I told KP that at this stage of my life and career, I have my own focus areas to which recently spirituality has been added and it is now on the top of the list. Therefore, presently my first priority is spirituality, followed by training and blogging. KP said that the focus of Max is also on educating the customers so that they can take their own decisions on securing their future. According to him, it is a noble profession that is next only to the doctor’s profession.

 Many people are unaware about the benefits of various types of insurance. It is the only product in the world that provides you money when you are there (Maturity value); money when you need it most (Partial withdrawals during emergencies) and money when you are not there (Life cover benefiting your beloved family in your absence) “We don’t chase customers. We only seek 45 minutes of customers’ time to educate them on wise financial planning so that they and their families can have the desired lifestyle throughout their lives. After our education, it is for the customer to decide whether to buy the policy and if yes, which one as per his specific needs” I was very impressed with the genuineness and clarity of the company's and KP’s mission. Yet At that time, in view of the priorities mentioned, I politely declined the offer.

 Come 1st January, and the new year, KP called to wish me. He requested me to review my decision. He said that I could venture into the field without compromising on my present priorities and that this role primarily envisages educating people and can in fact complement what I am already doing. As one interested in learning, taking up the seven-day course would certainly enhance my knowledge in one more discipline. If not anything else, I can educate the readers of my blog on the various aspects of securing one’s life at various stages of a  lifetime. KP has promised to be the expert for answering readers’ queries in the financial blogs.

 A decision has finally been made. Given my unpleasant experience very early in life, who would have thought that one day I would also throw my hat into the ring….

Jan 25th

क्या प्यार करना गुनाह है ? [ समाज की दोहरी मानसिकता और खोखले मापदंड ]

By Dinesh Gupta 'Din'

“क्यूँ ऐसा होता है जब दो परिंदे अपनी उड़ान एक साथ तय करने का फैसला करते हैं तो जमाना उनके पर कतरने पर आमादा होजाता है ‘ ? क्यूँ ऐसा होता है जब दो जिस्म एक जान होना चाहतें हैं तो जमाना उनकी जान ही लेने पर उतारू हो जाता है ? क्यूँऐसा होता है कि दो प्यार करने वाले शख्स को समाज की अदालत में बिना किसी पैरवी के मुजरिम करार दे दिया जाता है ? मुझेतकलीफ इस बात से नहीं है कि क्या सही है और क्या गलत हैमुझे तकलीफ है समाज की दोहरी मानसिकता और खोखलेमापदंडों से |

क्यूँ हर आम और खास के लिए सही और गलत की परिभाषा अलग अलग ? क्यूँ अमीर और गरीब के लिए समाज के मापदंडअलग अलग ? क्यूँ लड़का और लड़की के लिए समाज की सोच अलग अलग ?
जब आप फिल्मों में कोई प्रेम कहानी देखते हैं तो उसमें नायक और नायिका की जगह खुद को देखते हैं और उस कहानी का कोईकिरदार होना चाहते हैं | उस प्रेम कहानी को आप पूरी पवित्रता और शिद्दत से स्वीकारते हैंमगर वैसा प्रेम किसी को आपके घर मेंहो जाये तो आप समाज के खोखले मापदंडों की तर्ज़ पर खुद को धोका देते हैं और स्वीकार नहीं करते | कोई आम आदमी अगरछोटा सी गलती कर दे तो समाज उसे विक्षिप्त कर देता है मगर कोई सेलिब्रिटी कितना भी बड़ा गुनाह कर लेआपका प्यारउसकीलोकप्रियता और सम्मान उसके लिए कम नहीं होता | फिल्मों में चाहे कोई हिरोइन अश्लीलता की सारी हदें पार कर जाये आपकाप्यार उसके लिए कम नहीं होता और आप उस पर जान छिडकते हैंवहीँ अगर मोहल्ले में कोई लड़की स्लीवलेस कपडे पहनकर जाये तो उसे अच्छी नज़रों से नहीं देखा जाता |

अच्छा हमारे वृद्धों के पास भी प्रथाएँ [ प्रथाएँ क्या कहें कई तो कुप्रथाएँ हैऔर मान्यताएँ तो कई है मगर उन्हें सही सिद्द करने केलिए कोई ठोस तर्क नहीं है सिवाय इसके कि वो बड़े हैं और उन्हें जीवन का अनुभव आपसे ज्यादा है | गौर करने वाली बात ये हैकि वो लोग उन कुप्रथाओं से लड़ने वाले महान लोगों को पूजते हैं [ उदहारण के लिए राजा राममोहन रॉय को ले लें ] मगर उनकुप्रथाओं को छोड़ने के लिए तैयार नहीं है |

लेकिन मैं ये भी मानता हूँ कि कहीं ना कहीं बुजुर्ग और जवान पीढ़ी के बीच में जो जनरेशन गेप आया है उसके लिए युवा पीढ़ीज्यादा जिम्मेदार हैं | कहीं ना कहीं हम अपने बुजुर्गों को राजी करने में नाकाम रहे हैं | हमने प्रेम की इतनी गन्दी तस्वीर उनकेसामने रखी है कि उनका प्रेम ही पर से विश्वास उठ गया | जवान पीढ़ी ने प्रेम का मतलब ही बदल दिया और ये नहीं समझ पाई कि "प्रेम दर्शन का विषय हैप्रदर्शन का नहीं" |

पूरी जवान पीढ़ी प्रोप्रोज करने को प्यार समझती हैमगर मुहब्बत तुम कहकर बता ही नहीं सकते | "इश्क वो है जो तुम्हारी आँखोंमें हो और उनकी आँखें पढ़ ले" |

सवाल कई है मगर जवाब किसी का नहीं है और किसी के पास नहीं है !

Dinesh Gupta 'Din'




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