Tuesday, May 12, 2009

There are

things you learn and there are things you learn.
Ever since I have been a presenter on radio (Aahaa FM), I must say the most important hours of my day have been invested on this show. Reading up papers compulsively and lately I see that I know some news articles by heart. Also noticed that Newspapers recycle news. Again and again sometimes over several months. Yes, I guess some things need to be reminded but nevertheless...
The 13th of May 2009, I wonder whether I was this interested or followed happenings as much as I have this time. Or rather I did because it was part of my schedule and I had to do it. And if given a choice, I realize I would still read 6 newspapers a day. I read the English papers myself and simultaneously anything that is exclusive in the Tamil papers is read out to me. Obviously most information is common. Its perhaps the approach and insight, if I daresay, that is different.

In all these days of hosting the show, 2 years + of talking to a minimum of 50 people in the one hour between 8 and 9 AM every weekday, listening to their opinions, getting irate at people who still want to drive the communal caste divides deep, biting back a retort in such cases, tales of corruption, statements of hopelessness, its interesting how India has survived in spite of its people. People that complain, people that will bribe and still complain about corruption, people who are unaware of the basics of cleanliness, people who would rather be known as downtrodden because the country makes it easy for them to be that way. If you rise from the level of "downtrodden", read slums, here, and reach the middle class, there perhaps cannot be a worse treatment. Everything is difficult there. Of course it is a different matter that there are several people who choose to live in the slums do so as a matter of choice, its easy and I have heard that a lot of them own a couple of apartments, and rent it out. Some own quite a bit of property, love to live with garbage and germs and pan stains everywhere because someone has told them not to rise from there. Despite that survival happens.

I came to know of North Madras and how it is maintained that way, though that is a major vote bank, promises are made, tenure after tenure and none kept. Most callers had one question - Why? Why this? Why that? Why can it not happen? And some actually said North Madras has a lot of settlers from out of Tamilnadu and since it is not their land, they have no such attachment and maintain the area in a crappy manner. Good buses do not ply there as MTC employees tend to mention that the North Madras bus users will damage the vehicles. One man actually said that North Madras is not meant to be a residential area and permits to live there have been given illegally by the corporation and now they are facing the music. Infrastructure will always be in shambles. But despite that North Madras is still a hub.

Despite laziness, despite mediocrity, despite Indians that scream hoarse saying a hundred thousand times that India will never improve, whether the Indians are living here or abroad, despite the red tape and despite all the negativity India survives. More than anything else, I think the most magical thing is the way we survive with all the people around drumming so much negative statements, you ll never be this, you ll never improve, to the worst statements handed out to this land.

Perhaps because of the hope that every young Indian garners in his heart that beats with all its might. A heart that hopes for change. The heart that believes that change is possible and that it can contribute to it, until of course well-meaning people and uncles and aunts and sons and daughters who live abroad, especially amaeeericaaa, advice and drill it into their minds that India will never survive as reported by the callers :)

I have heard enough of that too. And I believe a lot more people do. I know for a fact that a lot of the callers on my show are hoping against hope and I know that in the heart of hearts every Indian believes we live in a magic land. A land of infinite possibilities. Perhaps someone just has to wave a wand. Or maybe we can wave the wand ourselves. At least project it from the depths of our subconscious and everyday I dream of a country that is going to prove every Indian who is contributing to the 'system' that is in my country now, wrong. And that day - I know I ll see that when I am alive and kicking and perhaps skydiving somewhere - that day I shall look forward to smiling. A smile that a country will revel in. That which will come from every Indian who is true to his heart. And on that day, no matter how much anyone tries, there will be no caste creed community thing. Sooner or later India is going to be a land which shall not have any divisions based on caste/community/creed/religion.

Hoping for that, if you are supposed to be voting tomorrow, no matter where you are, paid leave or not, turn up and vote. After all there are people who vote scores of times, subject their index fingers and its nail bed to super harsh chemicals, all for the love of voting several times in one day, travels from one booth to another, for his favorite party, in exchange for whatever or as a result for brain washing.

And All you need to do is just get out and vote once. Ain't it easy? So go out and vote.


NK said...

"Anything that is in Tamil is read out to me" lol... u have learnt french, german et al. but not Tamil? Jus curious and not evoking any Mara thamizhan feelings!!!

Hmm...... coming to ur "India survives" mantra... as u said we survive! Ofcourse u must be knowing survival is not same as living.. (living means live life king size! and fully to the core! Survival is just like mere existence. India does survive,especially as we r people with great tolerance levels...
main reason why most of marriages survive! Plain fact!

What can be done to improve! It has been discussed umpteenth time and topic is beaten to death but still nothing. Reason why? We can tolerate something but not practise something.

Sample this! ofcourse as an NRI return from americaaaaaaaaa, I hv been advising my own family members, to stop spitting in roads, dont throw trash at public kind advice, which I have started practising in public too in India... and people are like 'Vanthittangayya Vanthuttangayya"... Now wat the heck am I supposed to do but sit in vain! These r well educated ppl who needed some convincing from my end... (which ofcourse i managed to convince) still, in my absense u wud never know how they wud behave in public places... Sense of hygiene has to be inculcated from birth.

"Jathigal illayadi pappa" from Bharathi has been beaten to death but still the moment i go home, my mom reminds " Do your Sandhyavandhanam properly as u r a brahmin by birth"... ofcourse itz for my gud but still caste is routed in our birth!.. I wish everyone had the previlege to live in abroad for 2 years... any country for that matter..... as u inculcate certain values subconsciously.... such as no jathi (esp.if i am havin beer with Gujarathi, telugu et al i imbibi such qualities automatically!) ... atleast not for votebank politics... (itz different when it comes to marriage... as itz difficult for self to adjust to everything).. but atleast we can coexist well..

As for ur hopes... this generation ppl has been much better so there r hopes of faring better... APJ Kalam kanda 2020 kanavu niraivera ennudaiya venduthal! 

Niranjana Nammalvar said...

Hi Chins,
This is one of the best post I have ever read in your blog. Keep going young lady..

Unknown said...

yeah..we live in a magic land and sooner or later it ll improve and we shall live in hope till it becomes a reality....

Ram Veeraraghavan said...

Dear Chinmayi,

I was about to write on your reading Tamil newspaper.. and found out that another gentleman had written an entire essay... anyways, this is just to add a bit more pressure for you to give a response... Here you go...


Chinmayi Sripada /Chinmayee said...

I see more than anything else, the most worrisome issue about this post for the reader apparently is the thought that I cannot read Tamil. On the contrary, it is about the person who reads out the Tamil papers to me - English is not his strength. Otherwise, he would be reading TOI, IE, DC and The Hindu for for all I care. Also FYI, on some days I stick to reading the TOI and the Hindu alone as there is just not enough time. Only so much can be done in three hours. :)

Unknown said...

Does Sunitha Sarathy has blog ?

I saw you both in Airtel Super Singer programme

Parvathi said...

In my opinion, the problem with the "american returned indians (ARI)" is we preach and try to make people back home follow "our"(read american) footsteps and people hate that. There are many preconceived notions about an ARI and we prove that they are right(like we complain about the dirty roads and traffic, bribe and what not). I learnt the hard way that I will not preach but will only practise silently the good things that I learnt(e.g. throwing the garbage in the dust bin only, saying thank you and sorry to people etc) and I follow it very diligently.And I am happy about being a small drop in the ocean. And I did not have to goto America to learn it..But I learnt it there...

Aparna said...

Hi chinmayi, why are u not appearing in airtel supersinger for the past few months?

Aparna said...

Are u on twitter? Whats ur ID?

priya said...

இலங்கை இனப்பிரச்சினையில்
அனைத்துலக சமூகத்தின் தலையீடு
அவசியமா? என அமெரிக்காவைத்
தளமாகக் கொண்டு இயங்கும்
அனைத்துலக தொலைக்காட்சியான
சி.என்.என் தொலைக்காட்சி
வாக்குப் பதிவை



Priya H said...

Yes, I agree. Very soon "the system" will be changed for good and as a young Indian myself, I will keep up this hope and work towards in every single way however small it is.

Unknown said...

Hey Chin

Hope u r doing great. Jus write something about the srilankan tamilians in your blog.. Its high time we all have to wake up to help the ppl on our next door.. I was overwhelmed when i saw premgopal's speech at prabudeva program @ vijay TV. Really painful to hear tamil civilians are dying of no food and even drinking water. Cant wait for this politicians to do something. They all r mere selfish. Even international media's started focusing on this issue seriously now. But our indian goverment and politicians are playing with 1000's of lifes @ lanka.. Please have a talk about it in FM or in this blog. Coz i truely feel there will be a great impact to the society if some celebrities comes forward n put their thoughts about it.. Have look at Kavingar Thamarai's speech at youtube, if you haven't.

Hope u will do something within your constraints.



Jayamurugan said...

Hi Chinmayi,
I did voted yesterday. Its the first time ever I voted eventhough I had the right to vote for the past 7 years because of the fact that I didnt had a voter ID till now[Also, I am not that much aware how important a vote is unless and until I come to city and started hearing and viewing shows and reading articles in Newspapers or magazines]. Yesterday also I didnt had the voter ID.
I had applied for Voter ID during this march and till tuesday no official had come for verification to my residence[Of course, we cant expect them to come at the last moment].
I was having the acknowledgement form which I got after submitting the voter information form during march. I had taken it to the booth [despite the fact that my parents were told by some officers that the forms submitted during march and thereafter were blocked at collector office] and asked the officials to check if my name appear in the list which they have.
To my surprise, it appeared in the voter list and I recorded my first vote.

Eventhough the person is appearing the voter list, just because of the fact that they had not been visited for verification will give an image to citizens that there name will not be probably in the list. Now my concern, is that how many of such votes will become kalla votes?

Jayamurugan said...

Hi Chinmayi,
Gone through an article in yesterday's Indian express supplement[expresso]. Its about the celebrities who had settled in Chennai and cant cast their vote.

Its really disgusting and annoying to see such an article first of all. Also, Some of the celebrities told that they are not interested in democracy and hence they will not cast. Some told they are busy and hence skip voting.
My humble opinion is that every person do have right to tell that he/she is not interested in vote but when it comes to celebrity they cant express it blindly and set a bad role model for others as they have social responsibility[I'm not telling here that normal citizens dont have responsibility, but the impact which is made a celebrity would be more]..
Just thought of sharing the same.

Anonymous said...

I read that Kamalhassan didn't get to vote because his name wasn't on the voters list. HIS name wasn't on the voters list:-) Isn't he the nationwide popular actor that won 3 national awards? Can't mmagine the plight of the common person:-)

But voting is important. Even if the right candidates are not out there, it's a shame that most of this generation has failed on both social awareness, governance awareness, and the will to learn history. If life becomes all about bytes and science, we will have little humanity left in anyone.

Chinmayi, can you write about the senior home culture? At least, if you get a chance, to do a show and then write their opinions. The trend in favour of such is a bit disturbing.


Sreejith Sasidharan said...

Is it the democratic way of choosing the Government? I could say the whole 3 months election process helped to corrupt our people. We all are complaining about corruption in the Government organisations. Now stop talking and complaining about this as we could see people voted for 500-2000 Rs. Shame, people are voting for Money, free TV etc. The world is looking at us, USA and China were very keen to analyse our election and political system. But one thing made me happy that UPA got enough seats so they won’t be a power-share bargaining. Our county is going to face lots of issues and violence in coming years. I love to live in India where whole my family settled but now I am looking for option to settle in USA or Europe for a better life for my family.

saravanan said...


Good effort. Keep it up.