Finding People

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The year is ending
And it’s going to happen a million times
Over and over again
The new year isn’t about resolutions you don’t keep
Or for changing yourself to a better you
Every year is a chapter about finding new people
Finding a character worth keeping for your book

Consider yourself to lucky if you have found what I have
Hidden under the heap of the human crowd
A person, one in the crowd yet still
One in the galaxy
A person worth keeping
As the characters in the books that we hope could be so real
As the words in the songs we wished were true

Yes. You do find people like that.
Real and living in the flesh.
With warm hugs and kind hearts
With voices of the ocean and as free as a mountain breeze
With smiles that echo the sun’s glare
And with words that spark light in the darkest of voids in there.

The kind of people you have in the back of your mind realizing
And they are everywhere, in your books, in your songs, in your reminiscence
Make a jar with every good incident written on paper in it
And you will be surprised by how many have their name on it
Make a book to doodle on every day
And you will realise how every blot of ink outlines the silhouette of their presence
Go through your diary, relive the moments for they will fade into oblivion
But a name on almost every page of it is hard to etch out from memory

Those are the people who you wish were there
When you see a beautiful sight like an orange sunset in the mist
Or when you get good news
When you need to make an important decision that will turn your life around
Or when you don’t know which tie to wear
And when you flow through the endless river of Firsts, you will find yourself saying,
Oh I wish, oh I wish you were here.

It’s about the tiny moments that go by unnoticed
In a flash of happiness and in another world so carefree
That little moments are naught but clouds
Fleeting over a dessert of worldly predicaments.
And in those tiny moments do you find the child in you reaching out a hand
Hoping you’ll take it and be mad once again
Because I’ll tell you a secret, all the best people are.
And so they bear a part of you with them wherever they go
‘cause they are an intrinsic fraction of your soul.

People you will find like this, not among the stars
But deep in the dust messy and foiled trying to get up
For they are broken, broken enough to comprehend the pain life has to offer,
And that’s okay cause the broken cracks is what allows the light to get in.
With a flickering flame almost gone out, you wonder how
They can rejuvenate yours back into brilliance,
If only for a second there, a second all that you needed
To know the difference
Between us and them, cause in the end we are all ordinary men
That one moment of luminescence ringing the division bell
Calling all the blissful memories onto the canvas
Bringing in the hope and joy, turning the black blood red at last.

It is up to you what you do with them,
Keep them happy cause they need it the most, see through that outer mask
Give what you can for them for even unreciprocated is better than regret
Do not try to fix them for that would make them a part
Of the dull perfect crowd, you so hate with their mundane minds
And among all the darkness in them, in all the black
In their past and present and in all the deepest of abysses
Look for the stars that shine bright, and don’t forget to tell them
“And I will see you on the dark side of the moon”

Closure.

 

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The Unexplored Himalayas

 

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Now, if you ask a Calcuttan or for that matter a Bengali (Allow me to generalize for a second here) Darjeeling has had their footsteps in it. Even Gantok in Sikkim has had their footsteps in it half the time. But these places of beauty are still beautiful but in a very different way. The Nepali people speak fluent English, wear clothes like the common folk all around the world and needless to say its in India so it’s absolutely bustling with people. But if you really want to travel back in time, you’ll have to go further deep down into the Himalayas, places no one bothers to go, places one in ten thousand Indians even know about. The villages. Preserved like fossils in amber. Their traditions intact, their culture untouched, their surroundings virgin.

I’ll be talking about two places together here. Let’s look into Selleri Gaon (Village) and Zuluk shall we.

If you’re asking what makes them special, you’ll want to read what follows.

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Firstly , the Surroundings. People tend to think the Himalaya is all about the Everest. Or the Kanchenjunga. Well its not. It’s much more about the hills rolling up and down surrounding them and highlighting them out for you. These places in particular have rolling hills in every direction you can look at. There is no place you can look and not stare into the purity of the landscape. It has valleys and rivers making their way through every nook and waterfalls down every corner you turn. Dawn is early and so is Dusk. These are the places that can turn late risers into morning people and sleepless nights into enchanted memories. The hills go far beyond defying description. Words fail where the eyes take over. The mountains go from green to blue in the distance ending in grey and white where it gently touches the sunset orange of the untainted sky.

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But what appeals more than the mere view. The people of course. The people here represent what we may call the descriptions of origin of the natives. They hardly know anything else beyond their native tongue. The people here are unlike the people of the world. They don’t know the worldly complications of the human mind and are cocooned from diplomacy. They act on passion. They are furious and can hurt you when mad but a minute later they can pick you up take you to their home heal you and give you immeasurable hospitality. The people here hardly know how to hate someone. Love is their language of life. Perhaps that is why they’ve blended so well to mother nature’s cradle.

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They dress like they’ve done for centuries. Their food is of old and health. Yet hearty they are, and jovial. They know how to find happiness at times of pain and how to be kind to people who are worthy of it. They have so little , isolated from the world, but yet so much to give, so many tales to tell, such sights to show and so much to offer to any stranger passing by. They sing around bonfires, dance to folk, work sincerely through the day and revel on how everything has turn out to be so beautiful at night. They are what you may call the creator’s wish of how he hoped the human race would turn out. They are the people who build when no one can. They are the people who struggle unsung. And probably that is why they always look lovely no matter how hard anything gets.

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Another thing to behold here is green. And so many types of it too. Everywhere you look, nature makes its presence felt. The untouched slopes of the hills are filled with conifers and pines and ferns. The orchids we strive to grow in our gardens every day, the roses we nurture, the dahlia’s we flaunt on our lawns, you will find , growing with the utmost ferocity through the slopes and into the meadows, painting the slopes in all colours when its their season to shine. Its amazing as how in any time during the day a wandering cloud just rolls itself in into one of these valleys and leaves tiny dew drops on the leaves that show your reflection clearer than the king’s jewels, and how the leaves sparkle in the sunlight where the sunbeams touch down on the game trail you walk on through the brown canopy that touches the sky.

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Its amazing at night how the moon seems so close like you can catch it and you can see every constellation in the sky and the blue milky way just streaking across the sky and touching the horizon as it were a rainbow after a rainy day. The sky is so much brighter, and you’ve never thought black could look so beautiful with all the smoke gone and the clouds beneath you. The mountains are a place where you have nothing to physically feel, your eyes do it for you and your eyes even aren’t enough to take it all in.

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Occasionally you’ll see a stray glacier peeking at you from the distance and a snowclad peak hiding among the clouds or a whole range of them camouflaging themselves with the sky where no lens but your eye can distinguish the outlines of it. But if you’re really really lucky, you’ll get to see the Kanchenjunga, in its full grandeur, flaunting its colours, rising above the clouds, the magnitude almost threatening and the beauty overwhelming dominating the landscape. So near yet so far making it dawn upon you how small you are in this vast world. Only to be surprised by an occasional red panda. If you ever want to revel, now is the time.

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So to end it all, all I can manage to say is this, if you really want to see the beauty of mountains and the thoughts they echo, come to the villages. The unknown parts with people unsung. And you will see the hills unexplored looking over you and little girls happily going to school down a mountain path. You will see people offering you tea after a hike and singing to their own tunes. Sights of happy wrinkled faces and unimaginable sunsets with sunbeams lighting them up will greet you. You will experience how simple the world really is and feel like you’re a child again , that wish fulfilled after so long. And you will think of the people you love and sing Wish you were here. Come to the depths. Come to the natives. Go into the virgin lands and among the natives with their culture immune to oblivion. And you will see what we truly mean when we proudly say this is India, Incredible India.

 

Closure.

The star that streaked the sky

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When you need a talk
Or just a hug.
But a hundred of them
Wouldn’t stop your mind tug
At that tiny piece of subconscious
Saying. You need it from only one person
That you can ever think of.
Hey , are you from a shooting star ?

When you try to think straight.
But your vision foggy.
Your motivation’s sucked out
Your dreams become naught
Have you ever thought of someone.
Who can make you hope.
And lend you the strength to dream again.
Hey , are you from a shooting star ?

Have you ever been so broken.
And no one bothered to ask if you’re okay.
And you can barely crawl back from grief
And keep all that pain at bay.
Did you feel a reassuring hand on your shoulder
With the kindest whispers in your ear
Stitching up your mental scars.
And making you realise your worth again.
Hey , are you from a shooting star ?

When you near the reaper
And you can see his scythe.
And all your memoirs flash before your eyes
Saving for last the Blythe
And then at the very last picture just after the family you love.
Is their picture. The sole lifeline.
That kept you going all this while.
Hey , are you from a shooting star ?

And then it hits you how unnoticed they are
How nobody ever knew what they did.
And their proud undeservingly unsung story.
And how till your last breath you have done absolutely nothing
To remedy that situation.
And put them on pedestals in front of the world.
The bravest of heroes. The wisest of Thinkers.
The strongest of companions. The best of relations.
Oh. How you never could put them to the world.
How their feathers are too bright to be caged in even a single memory.
Hey , are you from a shooting star ?
Hey , were you from a shooting star ?
Cause your streak still shines against the night sky.
And the beautiful scar is forever.

Closure.

Ineffable

Have you ever come across people
Who shout out of words , words that
You cannot comprehend , words that
Makes no sense. And yet , yet
They speak to the soul.
Just another woman. Just another passerby
Lacking anything extraordinary to glance at
Except. Except those eyes.
Untameable. Incomprehensible.
Not meant for the world to understand.
Have you stumbled upon a person
And have decided to keep them in your life ,
Forever , not because you love her ,
But because her tangible words
Are but music to drown the world’s cacophony
And when you look at her , that narrow jawline
Those dark eyebrows , and her freely falling hair.
Makes you believe, there is not a thing
In the world to match the beauty of,
Something so unique. Something ,
Not meant to be here , not meant to be tried to understood ,
Such beauty inside her that cannot just be seen at a glance or over a cup of coffee.
Her eyes are joy. Ever shining. Yet,
You can see the eternal grief and scarred memoirs
Hiding behind them. Of how she cries ,
Alone, sometimes to even let sleep console her.
And then you feel a change in yourself. A simple one,
To try all you can. And do what you will,
To erase those scars and make her forget.
Have you ever looked at a face ,
An ordinary face that speaks tons ,
With those high cheekbones that speak
Of how high she should be and how she has
Been overlooked for years , by people
People who don’t understand the talk,
The talk of the soul. The look of stardust.
Have you ever talked about things,
Things that don’t matter over a cup of tea
And got lost in thought wondering what,
Those beautifully imperfect unsymmetrically
Chapped lips have had to say.
For they don’t speak in words ever. Just
In thoughts, of how often she has the hope
And anticipation to bite them only to be let down
And you slowly start to see how imperfect she is.
How she is not the most perfect person even where you are
And how all those imperfections slowly come together to make a person so beautiful.
So intriguing , so amazing. And yet so pure.
How it’s like magic. Not supposed to be understood
How we want her to amaze us.
How she should be above frontiers she hasn’t even dreamed of.
And you think and vow to put her there.
No matter what. Cause happiness is about pursuit.
And she is your journey.

She was like an old grand piano.
A large hollow inside , with strings old and broken.
Black keys accompanying every white in her.
But how to you when played. Came out
The purest and finest of symphonies
Ever played. Which touched people.
Connected them. Spoke to their soul.
And one which could never fade away.
No matter how much you try.
She was like music.
Chaos and imperfections blending in Harmony.

“How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.”

Closure,

Bhutan : The Land of the Thunder Dragon

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Druk Yul , also known as Bhutan is one of the most spectacular places on earth one can ever have been to.

And here’s why:

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Segregation. Yes, Segregation from literally everything that is wrong with the world. Bhutan is separated from other countries by its mountains and there is a huge gap between their civilizations and any foreign civilizations near the country. This one civilization has been isolated from other world cultures and the people are still as they were years ago. Its almost like they have lived on an island, unaltered. For a country with monarchy but where the monarchy isn’t corrupt or unjust. In fact it is the minimal difference between the monarchy and the common men in Bhutan that has made it such an united and peaceful nation.

Happiness. Many may argue that happiness is a perspective. It depends on the eye of the beholder and by what you may call being happy. Not in Bhutan. If you think you can call an unsatisfied person happy by a meager comparison with less happier people, Bhutan is not for you. This one country, among all the countries in the world , has its GNH, and yes it’s Gross National Happiness. The rulers actually care if the people are happy. And if not , how to remedy it.

Buddhism. Yes , Buddhism because it’s the only religion in the world which does not like to throw itself in your face. Everybody does the right thing not because someone said it, but because it is the right thing to do by conscience. Yes, they understand the true concept of Karma. Even the nation has free healthcare. That means no person has to die cause their forefathers didn’t establish a good business or because they didn’t have the foresight to save up money for an operation. And the land of miracles does not stop there. It has made possible one of the greatest leaps for a developing nation. Free Education. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. If you crave knowledge , you will get it. Bhutan is the one place where you can proudly say “ Help will be given to those at Druk Yul, who ask for it”.

The wildlife. Bhutan has more than fifty percent of its land as a national park. That is one of the largest national park proportions in a country. This harmony of people with nature and with the wild is what makes Bhutan stand out from all the rest. The environment is a very important thing for the Bhutanese people. They are at one with it and preserving it keeps them happy. This has lead to them having little or no pollution. The country even banned public smoking to not encourage people to smoke to maintain wellness. And the way people respect it is beyond amazing. This is not India where we hate rules and they are made to be broken.

The landscape. Bhutan has one of the most varied landscapes ever. It ranges from steep Himalayas and snow clad peaks to enormous valleys with civilizations of wooden houses. The drastic landscape with its alternating and surprising combinations of soft and harsh landscapes and peaceful yet enthralling frames can never fail to be conspicuous to the guests they entertain. The Bhutanese live in one of the world’s most beautiful places and in the perfect of weather. Ranging from crystal blue skies to cumulus clouds swiftly racing on the wind above you, the atmosphere keeps you desiring more out of your stay. Deep in the remote part of the country is Bumthang. The transcendent valley does not give away the cloak it can have during the festive season. This calm valley with its soft streams and smooth horizon and cyan peaks does not fail to surprise you overnight when the day of the festival comes. With red and yellow banners flying high and Dragons dancing with each other and monks spinning the prayer wheels and the sublime tone of a distant gong filling up the air. This valley turns into a festive centre with hundreds of people showing up from all over the country. Bumthang is the religious heart of Bhutan. And the variety , the blending, the atmosphere, the spiritual chants, the blend of peace and energy and excitement is unparalleled.

And the variety of scenery does not end just there. Other towns of Bhutan include paro, punakha and wangdue are all valleys . Situated beside rivers these valleys have an amazing view from every hut in town. Like every other one, the towns have a Dzong situated near them. And instead of treating them as heritage and preserving them as an attraction, they added an extra bit. The Bhutanese actually use them for legislation making them well maintained and more attractive and productive at the same time.  Last but not the least comes Thimpu. The capital. This huge valley has a stadium on a cliff. Playing there would be a dream come true for every sportsman, with the crowd, the view and the atmosphere. Thimpu is the hub of the country. It has malls to handicrafts to hotels to the kings palace. In a nutshell Thimpu is the Mumbai of Bhutan but Bumthang is its Calcutta.

And Finally. The balance between material happiness and spirituality. The Bhutanese do not crave for much material happiness. They have what they need and only that. No fancy iPhones and not much TVs. This keeps them at bay from changing into every other civilization. That’s the beauty of the people. They have still kept their traditional clothes. And they respect their traditions from the bottom of their heart. The dzongs still have Lamas. And their old traditions with their very simple yet beautiful lifestyle with spotless discipline. They are at peace with themselves. And hence everything they say or do, every action that comes from them resonates of self control and inner peace and being at one with nature. They are the epitome of spirituality and that is what makes Bhutan so peaceful. The people. But do not mistake being at peace for being lazy or lacking energy. Just listening to their prayers or their ritual chants will energize you, sitting in those halls of their Dzongs will charge you up and make you ebullient beyond measure. You will have a vivacious perspective of life all over again with no obstacle seeming large enough to put you down.

All in all. With its wonderful people, peaceful landscapes ebullient festivals and ever-preserved enriching heritage and culture Bhutan (Druk Yul)Lives up to the name : Land of the Thunder Dragon.

Closure.

Wonderwall Cure

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There are different types of people we keep meeting in our lives. But few leave a mark. Even fewer leave a mark so deep, it’s hard to ever fade. Scars are conceived when the memory or thought is so deep, it embeds as a core memory. Something that begins to define our personality. And in the conceiving of scars, there plays an immeasurable role a Wonderwall.  Wonderwall is someone you find yourself thinking about all the time. Someone you are immeasurably uncontrollably infatuated with. Every person who has had the fortune yet misfortune of having encountered this situation will explicitly recall the first time it happened. They were ebullient. The other was different. More different they have ever encountered, more different than any other person they could ever meet. They could swear there was nothing sweeter than the unique vibe that was in the air. However most people will also recall with a morose face, how all of it was not to be. How it fell from the sky to below the ground where it was buried but kept digging up its own gravestone time and again. That is the part which precisely leaves a scar. You ask yourself why did it ever happen, there is no logical explanation for what you saw, the non-existent extraordinary in the ordinary. Yet there is nothing left to be undone. You are who you are now. And that is a yellowed page of the book yet to be written.

However there are people who are luckier than they deserve to be. They run into people who are by far inexplicably rare and the utmost needed at that time. They are beyond the description of a few words let alone a single. They simply are the Wonderwall’s cure.

These people dare give no warning in bumping in to you and coming into your life as if you reserved a seat all along. These people are the people whose eyes speak of not joy, but hope. They know the pain. But they always find their way up the pyramid. As you get to know these people, you find there appears a small place in your subconscious. You slowly get to know them. Always asking questions like you’re already eighty and they asking none at all. Yet everything they say makes sense in a sour but uplifting way to you. It’s like whisky. Just not toxic or a turncoat. You slowly see that place in your subconscious grow. How it develops a mind. How it starts taking shape. How it forms the shadow of the Wonderwall cure. It always is there, leaving you in solitude, but coming back the instant you’re lonely. You realize after a while the Wonderwall cure does not have to do new things every time to get you going. Even while talking to them you subconsciously think of all the good they’ve done to you and how they’ve fixed you from scratch, and a little thing you had lost a long time back has rebirth. Hope. Hope sometimes is a good thing. You realize how important that strange person you bumped into actually turned out to be. How different life could be if you couldn’t muster up the will and courtesy to nod to them or say Hi. You realize that, they complete you. Rather you feel complete and one with yourself in their presence. Be it thoughts or physical. Sometimes you even think you’re head over heels falling for them, but you realize it’s just you letting go of yourself because you have faith in them. You trust them. Probably more than yourself.

But never should you just fall for them or not snap out of the delusion. Or even worse hide it from them. For that would be taking them for granted. And that would mean you missing out on all the unpredictability and radical musings of their serene stardust soul. Do everything you can to identify who that person has been in your life. Do everything everyday to thank them for what they do without even realizing it for the people who actually make a difference are the ones most in need of others doing it for them. And in the end you can only wish, and hope that one day, you too would cause someone else to feel the same way about you without even knowing you did it. And with that your eyes close on the clear starry sky. Drifting to lucid memoirs.

Recognize that person. They are the opposites yet reflection of you.

Closure.

Celebrating a Pseudo 15th August. Independence Day.

Freedom ?

As a north calcuttan you will inevitably wake up to the beats of Vande Mataram on the morn of August 15th. Calcutta is The City of Joy, and it is not named thus without a reason. The reason shall present itself at every corner, every tea stall, in every person, and in the throbbing beating heart of the city itself. The reason is we like to celebrate, be it a national holiday, be it a religious one, be it something we don’t even understand, be it something we oppose. Nobody can ever see a calcuttan not availing a holiday just because its not of his religion or about something he actually opposes. The same holds for this day. Independence day as we call it, we celebrate it with full enthusiasm, but hypocrisy does not ever lack behind us. But on this special day, the whole of India takes to following us in this matter, not only in celebrating like there’s no tomorrow, but being the hypocrite as well.

On 15th August one will inevitably wake up to patriotic songs like Vande Mataram and that too at 6 in the morning for no reason, and most unlike other days we don’t curse and go back to sleep, but actually wake up. We feel a false sense of importance. A slow and observant stroll along the streets will present you with many a sight, a speech on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose is unmistakably there in Calcutta, and in other places of their respective leaders. Tri Colors fly everywhere, from flag posts to banners and flyers and last but not the least on the cheeks of children and the youth. Even Schools have a flag hoisting on this day but lets spare the innocent from the things we normally do not see on this day.

India is a secular and free country. It is independent. A tinge of pride comes into the heart when we say it, doesn’t it ? Well, it is a free country with freedom of speech, expression, peaceful assembly , and religion. But at times just on paper.

Hypocrite is too less a word to use when we forget what we do the other 364 days. People who speak up against the government are silenced. They are socially blocked on media. In Calcutta People can’t even dare speak against the government for fear of being picked up and framed for a crime that doesn’t exist in the book of crimes for the Chief Minister can’t help but be unimaginative.

When we resort to freedom of expression, that gets taken from us too. The cartoonists, one of the gems of the common people, people who can change minds influence thoughts with mere images, are harassed. They are arrested. They are not allowed to publish it. Even Mamta Bannerjee has to lack grey matter to be afraid and show just how weak she is by picking on a nobody drawing a few pictures.

And yes, how dare they speak against the government , how dare somebody point out the idiotic mistakes by cartoons, how dare someone even oppose them, how dare the common people have the right to decide who rules and regulates the state. How dare someone voice their opinion, How dare someone speak up and tell the truth. It ‘s not like this is actually a DEMOCRACY. How Dare They.

We had one last right. The right to a peaceful assembly. Well it sure is in pieces with political parties bombing each other’s meeting places. Sure the police can beat up a student to death , sure the police can even molest someone, and not do anything when other people do the same. But a University can’t even discuss it.

When Jadavpur University students want a peaceful assembly to voice their wishes, HOW DARE THEY? They really really should be beaten up and loaded in buses with broken bones and not even driven to a hospital. When the students, the youth peacefully assemble , they really should not be even recognized, they should be pushed back and turned towards home. How dare they oppose what we did and what we would do any other day without a second thought.

Yes they deserved to be beaten up broken down and sent back without aid. Cause that’s what you get for not understanding what India really is. They are the youth. The future of the country, how dare they not blend in and agree with this big fat tradition of ours. Our Hypocrisy.

Sometime back we knew India to be Secular. All religion are the same here. You bat an eyelid and the next thing you know is Beef is banned in Maharashtra. Do the people want it ? No. The home of 24 million muslims, followers of Islam , who’s diet by religious laws is of Beef just banned Beef. How is that equality.

And the leaders want this to be all of India. They want the motherland housing over 180 Million Islamic people to ban their food. Which is their right by religion. Well we clearly know this wasn’t the people’s opinion by the figures who would be severely affected by it. Well they decided on the end of their religion on residing in this country anyway. How dare they question the Hindu party who is leading the nation.

Gujrat has a ban on alcohol for years. This, though has a good enough intention, is still restricting freedom. Anything to be discouraged is not be don’t by force. We always and by that I mean we ALWAYS have a choice.

Coming to the End of this, India bans Porn. Out of nowhere India bans porn. A country who have a lot of people working in that industry are allowed to work in it for foreign viewership but India bans porn inside the country. Well the movie censor board doesn’t always quite agree on the views of the ministers. What can we do. Also India bans porn, a decision by the parliament when in that month over 20,000 views had been just from the parliament itself. Anybody can rest their case here and still prove a point.

Mumbai police even took the trouble to round up and arrest couples from hotels when intimate as an act of public indecency as they are ruining our culture. Well by arresting them, the police made it public, they literally popularized it. And well Freedom of Privacy just went out of the window. That’s a sad commentary in and out of itself.

Besides this India has actually reached and crossed frontiers of excellence in a lot of things. From sending the British to their island of teapots to defending ourselves against a country (Pakistan) who keeps trying to invade us while we use the time to reach mars. And to running a nation for 69 whole years and maintaining peace. It has also succeeded in remaining neutral in world politics.

But all this said. We are independent from the world outside of our borders. But are we actually free from what resides inside the country itself, what we have ignored and have allowed to develop over the years. Are we actually even close to being independent as a single person with a working free consciousness ? Your Call.

Closure.