Sunday, June 23, 2013

I am back!

This appeared in Sunday Times today....
                                      SSC,First Class Ambika’s journey has just begun…
A young girl came to meet me just after the SSC results were declared. She had passed with flying colours – a first class, no less.She needed a little advice as she was very confused. At age sixteen, her state of mind was entirely understandable. Ambika 9 that’s her name) is a really remarkable teenager for several reasons. And here’s why: As a resident of an over crowded slum colony close by, she is the first person from her family to have attended school. Her mother is a sweeper in the area. And her father, a labourer. Both parents have worked tirelessly, often slaving for fourteen hours a day, to see her and her brother through school. Good schools, says the mother as she opens a box of pedas and asks her daughter to touch the feet of elders and seek their blessings. “Her life is going to be different – she will not clean toilets and scrub floors like me. She will go to college. She will study hard. She will make something of  her self… I am sure of that.” So she will. I am equally sure. She is not alone. There are thousands of Ambikas in India today. And they are getting a shot at changing their destiny, transforming not just their own lives but the lives of so many other hopefuls banking on India’s prosperity and progress.
These are just a few of the more powerful and positive stories emerging out of today’s India. And we should be proud of them. Twenty years ago, a girl like Ambika would not have stood a chance  to put her foot into a school. She would have been doomed and damned from the time of her birth.And she would have accepted her fate philosophically, just as her mother had accepted her own. The big question is,what becomes of an Ambika after she gets admission into a ‘good’ college, as she well deserves to? And this is the tricky part that has no clear answers. Here we are, still concentrating on non-issues  and negatives, squabbling, arguing and fighting among ourselves as to who will be the next prime minister of our country. As if, once that is sorted, all our troubles will automatically vanish. Two weeks ago, we watched in dismay as the BJP biggies met in Goa and applied the tilak on Modi’s forhead, while a patriarch sulked in another city and other family elders boycotted the event. It was a shabby show of churlishness and disunity that sent out a distressing message to Young India. In place of wisdom, sobriety and a grand vision , what the young saw was an ugly public rift that sent out terrible signals. It was a little like a huge family wedding going for a toss when the Grand Old Man starts behaving like a spoilt brat for not getting enough importance during the saat pheras. Absurd and demoralizing said our disappointed youngsters who had hoped for something far more uplifting and dignified.
Now, all eyes will be on the Congress to see how those guys handle what could be a similar scenario. They also have an elderly gentlemen with mega ambitions of  becoming the next P.M. ( again!). And there is a Prince waiting in the wings for the Queen Mother to organise his coronation .  Well, the sooner that happens, the better. At least, the young voter won’t be left in a limbo wondering: Who? What? When?  It is always the suspense in a thriller that creates the tension – not the climax.The BJP has taken care of that. It’s Modi. Take it or leave it. Next! Now all eyes will be on the Congress, unless of course, we are all caught off guard by a brand new candidate popping out of the woodwork. Either which way, let’s just get on with it. Young Ambika’s future is at stake. Her dreams are directly linked to India’s future. If she feels thwarted and let down, we are in trouble. Big trouble. But are any of our mighty netas thinking of her?

I wish I could have offered sage advice and reassurance when Ambika sought it. But I was sounding hollow to my own ears. Our bachchalog have a built in radar and can sense discomfort very easily. I backed off and quietly accepted the offered pedas. The next elections are upon us.There are just two key issues that need to be addressed : tackling corruption and creating jobs. If the country moves forward, so will Ambika. It will be a win- win situation for both. But if not?? Will Ambika resign herself to a life without promise, like her mother did? Unlikely. Ambika will strike back and demand her rights. Ambika’s time has come….ignore her and face defeat.
Why upside down??? Don't ask!!! Because our world is also ulta.....


Abhirami Muthu said...

Glad to have you back. Now I can go back to enjoying my tea while reading your blog. I am sure you are brimming with creative ideas after your vacation :)

Anonymous said...

Notwithstanding the myriad kaleidoscopic angles created by the Congress, Modi remains the most popular leader in the nation. Trying to negate a river in full spate will result in an torrential liquid avalanche like the one seen in the Himalayas in recent times. The real one buried some 5000. The virtual one may bury the 50 plus years of Congress rule history and consign it to the dust bin of a rather miserable record.

Unknown said...

He cannot. He is a mudslinger and cribber. Trying to fish in troubled waters.

India is not internet to be manipulated by the self centred middleclasses.

As for Ambika,there are lakhs.They manage somehow. Do fish need swimming lessons?

Akansha Nahar said...

Narendra Modi- oh many come and go like such!
Ambika is one of the so called "Indian race" who always first watch , then wonder and forget.
She too will accept the defeat and blame on fate.
Whosoever wins the upcoming elections, Country just looses..and we owe to become a superpower till 2020..
What victory are we looking for?

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