I just peed in my water bottle – November 23rd 2015

At 5:33pm one of my friend calls me at work and says, “Hey Raja, it’s raining bloody crazy outside and you should better leave now to avoid any flooding”.

Having braced so much of rain in the last 10 days, I took his advice with a pinch of salt and left the office sharp at 6pm with drenched clothes (the rain was so intense that before I could reach my car, I was soaked). My office exit was a trailer of what was about to unfold in the next few hours.

Traffic Jam in Chennai

Traffic Jam in Chennai

I hit the main road pretty soon and saw the traffic was already chaotic and the rain was intensifying by the minute. “Flooding” would be a slightly exaggerated word to describe what I saw in the first 15 minutes of my travel before I hit the signal. But the atmosphere around me and the tensed people on the road was slowly making me a bit grim.

Twenty five (25) minutes into my drive I hit one of the busiest market place in Chennai called Pondy Bazar. The scene I witnessed there made me to contemplate whether this was an illusion or reality. Vehicles were already under one (1) feet of water. Yes, now I could proclaim that this was flooding.  Vehicles were moving at snail pace when I frantically rang my wife to check the news update. She confirmed that Chennai is being battered by very heavy rain for the last 1 hour.

Flooding at the market place

Flooding at the market place

Hundreds and thousands of commuters from all directions trying to reach home after work were taken aback by the cruelty of nature and its ferocity. I was quite cool listening to the radio, but not really within. Trying to take my usual route to home was the first mistake I did because it was through one of the subway. My mental agony started when I was diverted from there. This  put me into a spin. I was already 50 minutes into my journey.  By this time I am already home normally.

Pressure started to build in me gradually. Flood alert is something which I felt was a badly missed out feature in the GPS system, I felt like that WATER has invaded the city of Chennai and showing its absolute destructive strength. Continuous rains made the situation even more desperate. It was indeed so pathetic to see a lot of two wheelers pushing their vehicle in one feet of water and it was so sad to see the ladies going through this ordeal. I was exactly 95 minutes into the journey and still nowhere close to home.

Heavy rains in Chennai

Heavy rains in Chennai

Vehicle with boiling radiators, failed two wheelers, bemused and stranded public, chaotic traffic, helpless traffic police, desperate ladies, worried families, homeless people finding refuge, erratic driving, desolate street kids, confused cattle, disappointed shopkeepers, street vendors despair, some caring Samaritans, tensed long distance travelers, was what I could see all around me. But being inside the car did not absolutely make me proud, happy or safe at any time because of the non-stop rain and the rising water levels.

Kept broadcasting my location coordinates to my family every few minutes. 150 minutes (2.5hrs) into the journey, I was almost floating in 1.5 feet of water. I was at an intersection about to take the straight road when one erratic driver made me to take a right instead. Guess what? He probably guided me in the right direction (blessing in disguise). But my relief did not last long…I quickly caught up with the majority of them in the traffic jam. Slowly news started to trickle in that a lot of my family members and friends were stranded at different places.

Flooding in Chennai

Flooding in Chennai

I honestly felt that I might have to either stay put in the car or check in into a hotel to avoid further risk to my life and damage to my car. Almost 3.2 hours into the journey I was only 2 kms away from my house. All of us on the road wanted only one thing in common. “To reach the finish line (HOME)”

With the phone battery getting depleted every minute, I called my friend who gave the wise advice to leave immediately. The guy who promptly picks up the call took a while to answer, making me a bit worried. Finally he picked up the call and sounded very relieved. I was glad that at least he reached home safe. But he told me “Hey Raja, sorry da, I just peed in my water bottle as I was damn bloody desperate holding it for more than 4 hours. I am yet to reach my home.” I got a shock of my life and only then realized that this is one another dimension of suffering which people were going through at that point in time. I felt very sorry for the women, kids and others in their stranded vehicles.

After 4 hours and 42 minutes I reached home and was glad to see my well-wishers and my family waiting for me in the finish line and cheering me as soon as I entered. I will never forget this experience in my life time.

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Kids being drugged – Next level of crime in Chennai, India

One of the top crime incident in Chennai, India

Yet did not get the TOP attention in the media.

Innocent kids are being drugged through one of their most enticing edible products which is the CHOCOLATE.

I can hear you asking…….Why do you want to add any drug to this already addictive chocolates?

Attractive & Addictive Chocolates

Attractive & Addictive Chocolates

Yes, poor kids and even the adults are slowly coming to grips about this next level of crime which has just unfolded in Chennai, India recently. Just sparing the arrest of a few of the culprits there is not much media attention and protest about this most horrendous crime.

As a citizen of this country, I am still not able to contemplate on this incident. This kind of act to me is yet another form of corruption which has become an incurable disease. Well, if these kind of activities could not be eradicated from the system, I feel that we should embrace it as a constitutional right and frame some guidelines and rules for corruption. This way we at least would have some law, guidelines, etc and possibly some punishment for any violation.

Chocolates

Chocolates

This recent incident of drug-laced chocolates is such a brutal act of crime against the innocent kids and the hard-working parents. These parents already have a big struggle to make the ends meet and provide their family with a decent food and living. Now they have been deceived by the Food Safety department which has allowed these kind of imports or locally made chocolates to be on sale without any quality check.

What were the concerned authorities doing?

Who are all involved in this shameful act?

How long has this been going on and how far it has spread?

Why are these governing bodies not pro-active? 

Holding candle light vigil for people who are sacrificing their lives or compensating the affected victims can only bring a temporary solace. The Government should be very tough in adhering and enforcing the guidelines framed for Food Safety and protect its citizens from any outright breaches like this. Also the punishment for these offenders should be very severe irrespective of whether they are officials or criminals.

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A unique condition I suffer from – Revelation soon

Raja

Raja

Seven (7) years back, I vividly remember the day. It was a very pleasant morning. Rays from the sun slowly passed through the window curtains and gave me a warmth feeling. Woke up and geared up for what the day was to unfold. Getting my daughter ready for the school was a joint exercise myself and my wife did each morning which is a nostalgia when I think about it now. Infact I have written a blog on My daughters (Ramya) first day at school which could give you some insight on what I am alluding to….

Father and Daughter all set for the morning drive in my sporty Mirage. Work and school starts at 8 am and hence we were in synchrony in timing. My little daughter was always expecting a lot from me and I never disappointed her during those 20 minutes’ drive. Like a DJ in the club, I was constantly playing her favorite songs. I would even excite her by revving up my engine now and then to create an illusion of speeding like a super hero. Sometimes I switch on to the roller-coaster drive mode where I used to stamp on the clutch unnecessarily to create that jerky effect. She enjoyed every bit of it.

Bye, bye…… she said happily and ran to her class and I stepped into my office 14 minutes later. I could never forget that day in my life when…..

 

 

 

 

 

I will be coming up with my complete blog on this. Maybe it will take some time. But my main objective here is to create an awareness among you all on this and not for any other reason.

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A playboy and his two victims – Real incident

Stop said the red signal when I was at least 100 meters away in my car. Reducing the speed and slowly getting it to a halt was no big feat. I did so on the morning of 4th April 2016 while on my way to work.

One person caught my attention while doing so. He was a very old (75 years approx.), skinny guy who was well dressed in a formal wear with shirts tucked in. He was attempting to cross the road when I started wondering about this old man’s dressing. He had a strange round winter cap on his head which was bright yellow in color with something written on it. All the while I was thinking why such a strange combination of a formal wear and a winter cap.

While he was just crossing the road, he almost collided against a lady who was crossing in the other direction. Felt sorry for him being an old man. When he just came nearby he stumbled upon on another young girl and walked away as if nothing happened.

Only at that point in time I could read the saying in the cap which said “I am a PLAYBOY

Well it made me to laugh and gaze at him more closely.

Pondering on how many more victims for this playboy until he reaches his destination.

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Sexual abuse in the bus – Chennai, India

Sexual abuse in bus

A Crowded bus in Chennai

My blog titled “A bus journey in Chennai, India – An hour of abuse in route 27c” has received a lot of reviews / comments from people all over the world. In fact it has been statistically proven that it was the most visited blog of mine last year (2015). Click here to read the blog…… http://wp.me/pXMJX-e

In the midst of so many social blogs I write, I was pondering why this blog is receiving so much of traffic and that too from various parts of the world. Well, anyone could infer that these kind of indecorous activities are either prevalent all over the world or India is becoming one hot spot for this.

Recently the Punjab and Haryana court had ordered the state authorities to check any incident of sexual harassment happening in their public transport. Of course this action came only after the loss of a 13 year old girl who jumped of the bus near Punjab fearing molestation by some youth inside the bus. Also who can forget the horrific incident of Nirbhaya in Delhi a few years back who died after fighting a losing battle.

These incidents are grim reminders for us to realize that there are some daemons who are still out at large and preying on young girls and ladies who travel by bus on a daily basis.

Like the Government being ineffective on many public issues, this is yet another needle in the haystack. I recently wrote a poem in Hindi which specifically deals with such abuses and I share with you the catch line of the poem in which a girl says “This is my body and what right do you have on that

Yeh jism hei mera – This is my body!

Is mei hak kya hei tera! – What right you have on this?

Wish the girls/ladies become more brave and courageous to expose these bad elements in the bus.

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2015 in review

Annual report of my blogging in 2015. Thanks to all of you for following my blogs and commenting on the various blogs I write. I am truly encouraged.

 

Click here to see the complete report.

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Hospitality on the roadside – A heart whelming incident….

I have read a lot of couplets from the world-famous Tamil literature called “THIRUKKURAL”. For those who have not read or heard about this great literature, please enlighten yourself by clicking on the link below. It will definitely be an amazing experience for you probably Life Changing…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirukkural

Thirukkural Book

Thirukkural Book

Every Tamilian is so blessed to have an iota of opportunity to learn this literature during the school days and remember it till the grave. One such chapter this book talks about is called “HOSPITALITY” which is classified under a broad heading Righteousness.

Well, I was tremendously busy organizing for a big festival in my apartment recently (17th September 2015). As a Chairman of the festivities committee, I was responsible for various tasks and one among them was distributing the invitation cards or rather inviting people to the pompous ceremony. My committee was so amiable and big hearted that we decided to invite all the vendors who serve our building including the maintenance staff, housekeeping, security, iron wala, flower, water, paper vendor, street vendor outside our compound, etc…Though this suggestion was spontaneous from me, my team of 20 people unanimously agreed and cheered for it as we all knew that it was a very noble thing to do.

Arrangements for the festival was in full fervor. Almost all the invitations were distributed as on the penultimate day excepting for one. Yes, I just quickly grabbed one invitation pack from my home and walked along with my kids down the stairs to drop them of at the school-bus pickup point which is in the main entrance of our apartment. Bus was on the dot and the kids boarded them in no time. I waved a big bye to them and walked towards the coconut vendor whose has got his shop in the pavement on the main road adjacent to our building. This gentlemen by the name Elumalai has a very humble, polite and courteous smile always and he was of course in our invitees list.

Elumalai - The coconut vendor

Elumalai – The coconut vendor

As soon as he saw me walking towards him he fumbled and started dusting a rusted stand in which he used to rest in between his arduous routine of standing the whole day. He greeted me with his characteristic smile and asked me to be seated. For a moment honestly I thought I have entered his house. Though we almost see each other every day, I could vividly sense a unique warmth in his hospitality at that moment.

Since it was quite early in the morning, he had just bought a cup of tea for himself and was about to relish it when I happened to go and invite him for the festival. With no second thoughts, he grabbed a disposable cup from his makeshift place and quickly poured half of his tea onto the other cup and offered it to me with all humility. I was simply taken aback by his hospitality at that point in time because I know how valuable is a cup of tea for a street vendor and how much more it is to drink it hot especially during the early morning. I instantly became very conscious about these two things and tried to politely refuse his tea. But he immediately replied to me “Sir, I have bought this tea from a good place, and therefore you can definitely have it sir.

Though I felt very ashamed of myself on his perception, I felt so proud and happy on being a recipient of such a great hospitality on the road side which many of us are not able to display inside our house. Without any exaggeration, let me tell you that I could instantly recollect the couplet written by the great saint Thiruvalluvar who had said the following in his HOSPITALITY chapter as below.

வித்தும் இடல்வேண்டும் கொல்லோ விருந்தோம்பி
மிச்சில் மிசைவான் புலம்.

Which means

Does anyone even need to sow his field if he always eats only

What remains after feeding his guests?

Thirukkural - A Great Literature

Thirukkural – A Great Literature

I was simply moved to tears that day and my respect to him has gone up significantly ever since. I was delighted to host him during the festival for which he came with his wife.

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