Thursday, October 30, 2008


इत्तेफाक़ का नाम ना दूँगा,
ये मुलाकात एक साजिश है;
दिल में अरमान जगाने की,
नव ऋतू बयार बहाने की...

बड़े दिनों से सोच रहा था,
हर पल यूँही बीत रहा था
अरमान बिना कोई, प्यार बिना,
आगाज़ बिना, अंजाम बिना;
तुमसे मिलने के बाद, कहूँगा,
हरपल एक महफिल सी है,
सुर ताल सहित अब गाने की,
हर ताल पे नाच नचाने की...

हर पल संग यूँ रहते हो,
हर पल में अब तुम बसते हो,
तुम पास हो तब तो पास ही हो,
जब दूर हो तब भी रहते हो;
इन पलों को जीकर आज, कहूँगा,
अब रोम - रोम में शामिल है,
खुशबू तेरे साँसों की,
तेरे जिस्म, रूह, और बातो की...

एक पल में कितने पल जी लूँ,
हर पल में तुझको याद करुँ,
हर याद में तेरी बात करुँ,
हर बात में तुझसे बात करुँ;
उन बातों को सुनकर आज, कहूँगा,
अब इंतज़ार नामुमकिन है,
इस दिल ने है ये ख्वाहिश की,
कोई ख़बर हो तेरे आने की... 

इत्तेफ़ाक जो कह भी दूँगा,
हर मौका ख़ुद एक ख्वाहिश है - 
एक ख्वाहिश फ़िर - फ़िर मिलने की,
बस यूँही मिलते रहने की...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Awake, Arise and march forward

In the first meeting I attended for the JaagoRe campaign, I asked a question in the QA session. The question was – What is the motivation factor? Why should I care for all this shit? Why should I not just run away to a place which is much better than this, say US or UK, and live my life happily?

 To answer my question, the coordinator of the program asked me a few more questions. It went on like this –

 “Where are you from?” He asked.

 “Uttar Pradesh.” I replied.

 “Why did you come to Mumbai? What are you doing here?”

 “I came here for my higher studies and am working with TCS Ltd.”

 “Why? Don’t you have good colleges there?”

 “Well they might be having some, but I wanted to get into this particular college and so…”

 “So you believed that this particular college was better than any other college in your state?”

 “Yaa, may be.”

 “So tell me, why did you not return to your state after you finished your education?”

 “Because we don’t have such job opportunities there as we have them here.”

 “And why?”

 “I guess… I don’t know.”

 “Try to answer this and you will get to know – What is the motivation factor.”


Since then, I have questioned myself a lot on these lines and am still searching for answers.

 Why TCS has only two branches in UP, the largest state of India (Population-wise), where as it has around twenty centers in Mumbai city alone? Why Lucknow still has to fight for electricity but Mumbai has 24 hours availability? Why despite having TAJ, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, in the state, UP still can’t boost their tourism but smaller states like Kerala and Goa are successful in cashing on it?

 No answers. I can’t attribute it to bad governance. Is the government not equally corrupt in other states? Is it not all the same? But then why is the difference in the conditions?


Ruben, a friend and the city coordinator for the JaagoRe campaign in Mumbai, once asked me, “Tell me, why you participate in CSR activities?” he was referring to my participation in a school education program initiated by my organization where I go every Sunday to help students from Dharavi learn English language; they being from a Hindi medium school. The aim of the program is to make them confident, responsible and motivated citizens of the country.

 “Well, because I think that’s my responsibility towards society. To contribute to make things better. And that’s the least I can do.” I replied

 “So how many students you think you can impact on each year.”

 “We had around 150 students last year and the number has increased by 100 this year.”

 “And may be it will increase by a 100 more by next year, right? But tell me Rohit, with all due respect to your efforts and to all such NGOs which engage in these kinds of programs; is it really your job? Your responsibility? Or is it the lack of someone else’s responsibility?”

 “I didn’t get you?”

 “You work as a software engineer and you primary responsibility is to produce good quality software. And your responsibility is to pay taxes. That’s all and you do both, I suppose. It’s not your responsibility to educate children. You do it because you think it’s important but not being done. It’s the responsibility of the government whom you pay taxes to take care of the improvisation of the education system through the various departments of ministry.” He stopped for a second and then continued, “Your contribution to this can only affect the lives of a few. But if the government education system is corrected, it will affect the lives of millions. But how the government system be corrected?”

 By the time I realized that he asked me a question and tried to find out an answer, he answered himself, “By political reforms… And that’s what our vision is. We are here to ask them to correct their system if they can else to get out and we will walk in. A system, Rohit, is there to help people to do good and complicate the work of people who want to do bad. But our current system does just opposite. So how far will it go?”

 I had no answer. He continued, “Tell me what you do when you find some problem in the software system you are working on? You ignore it because it’s not affecting you? Or you fix it because it’s your system? I hope, the responsibility of a good software engineer is to fix the problem and I also hope you do the same.”

 “Yeah…” I muttered.

 “So whose problem is the bad governance of this country?” he asked me and I got my answer – This is the motivation factor because it’s my problem.

 People from UP run to Mumbai and Mumbaikars to the US. Where shall the people from US run to? If my house is dirty I don’t go and sleep in my neighbor’s house. Rather I clean my own house to sleep. Then why do I run away when my country, my state is dirty, stinking and in a pathetic state? Why do I not stand up with a broom to clean it up?

 Ruben told me two cases of two different places. The first one was about the Corporator’s elections in Mumbai, a few years back. His team, frustrated of all the political candidates, decided to fight the elections and promoted their own representative. Other parties had money to buy votes and they did where as this team had only hope. They went around, talked to people, and at the end they did win, though with a very slight margin. Remember the Hindi movie Yuva by Mani Ratnam? Bollywood has inspired many a lives, and this one was for good if it did.

 The second case was of the recent Panchayat elections in Bihar, a state severely marred by bad governance. The state is famous for vote buyouts, booth capturing and such malicious election practices. And the youth of Bihar, like any other state in India, always stayed away from the process of voting. They never wanted to waste their time and effort. But this time, they did. A major youth population came out and voted in certain areas of the state. And the result was beyond the calculations of any election pundit. Some new candidates won. They didn’t know if these candidates would do any good, but they knew they had dared to challenge the system.

 And that’s what is needed, I suppose - The courage to challenge the system. They need to be told that if they do not perform they will be replaced. They can not monopolize the government. And this is the fear which will work. Does it not work in our offices - The fear of being replaced? And we perform; so will they.

 It all appears to be a sweet dream. And I want to live this dream. I want to clean my house. I want to hold my government responsible. And for that I need to contribute to the formation of government. I need to vote. And to vote I need to be registered as a voter. I recently did. Thanks to which has simplified the process of registration and has brought it to my desk, just a few clicks away.

 This festive season, lets initiate the process of clean up not only in our homes but the whole country. Happy Diwali!!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

पहली परत के पीछे...

पहली परत के पीछे क्या है,   
कौन समझ पाया है अब तक? 
देख कोई पहचाना चेहरा,
हम यूँही मुस्का देते हैं ... 
आँखों में जब आंसू आए, 
नज़रे कहीं चुरा लेते हैं... 
खौफ को अपने झूठलाते हैं, 
कायर कहलाने के डर से; 
क्या डर से अपने भाव छुपाना  
कायरता का रूप नही? 
पहली परत के पीछे के डर से,
कौन भला सहमा है अब तक?  

एक अरमान किया था कभी तो शायद, 
अब याद नही वो बात, मगर 
ये याद रहा कि लोगो के डर से  
दफना डाला था, कूट पीस कर | 
कभी कभी वो प्रेत ख्वाब का, 
मेरे सपनो में आ जाता है  
फ़िर सपनो में ही जी लेता हूँ 
उस ख्वाब को, जिसका कत्ल किया था | 
इस पहली परत के पीछे का जीवन, 
कौन भला जाना है अब तक?  

कह सकता हूँ, चेहरा मेरा 
है सारी दुनिया का दर्पण... 
जैसा रंग देखना चाहे, 
वैसे ही जी लेता हूँ मैं... 
पर इस दर्पण में दिखता नही कुछ, 
शायद हर चेहरे पर पहली परत है... 
हर परत के ऊपर एक परत, 
हर परत के नीचे एक कपट है... 
शुरुआत कहाँ थी, अंत कहाँ, 
कौन भला जाना है अब तक?  

हर परतो के भीतर जाने 
कितनी सारी प्रक्रियाएं हो; 
कितने सारे ख्वाब बने हों... 
जाने कितनो की लाश पड़ी हो! 
मृत्यु - दिवस त्यौहार मनेगा, 
जब टूटेंगी सारी परते,
ना तब भी कोई देख सकेगा  
जीवन इन परतो के पीछे; 
क्योंकि या तो मैं जलता हूँगा, 
या दफ़न रहूँगा, धरती की परतों के नीचे... 
फ़िर जाने उसके पीछे का जीवन, 
कौन भला चाहा ये अब तक?