Thursday, April 10, 2008

About me

An obsessive-compulsive writer of fifteen books, Shobhaa Dè has spent the last three years in the pursuit of her first vocation, journalism. Her columns are ubiquitous, appearing in nearly newspaper and magazine of note, and commenting with customary incisiveness on matters of politics, the economy, business and commerce, the heart and the hearth. Best-selling author, jet-setting commentator and honest critic, she is most at home in Mumbai--a city which is also a recurring 'character' in much of her work—living with her husband Dilip and (when they're around) their six children.

Superstar India

60 golden years! India is perhaps, one of the ever enduring mysteries of our times. There are many stories to tell. Here’s my version…

From my personal experience, it's like an era gone by... from not so glorious days of the 'Raj' to the current scenario, India has seen many a change in culture, polity, wealth creation and last but not the least, attitude. We survived partition, ushered in the green revolution, managed large scale industries and have brought our country on par with international standards.

My personal take is: From dominating hockey right from Olympics (read ‘Dhyan Chand’) to every major tournament we played, to track and field events; who can forget our flying Sikh! – ‘Milkha Singh’, we were just unmatched. Even the cricket world cup (1983) victory was something special.

Cricket - and the whole nation comes to a stand still. No wonder they say, 'Cricket is our religion and ‘Sachin’ is our GOD' the ever smiling assassin (yes, that's the word to describe him) is a treat to watch any day and now ‘Dhoni’ - jisne sabki dhulai kar di. The small town guy from ‘Ranchi’ has done our country proud. He is a true leader in the making and was quite instrumental in our T20 victory. It has amply proved that by trashing some of the world’s best teams - we are no mere pushovers.

The following years have just added more Oomph! factor. Both in terms of dare devilry and the right marketing push. Who can ever forget the great industrialist 'Vijaypath Singhania' flying on a hot air balloon and his famous solo flight just about circumnavigating the globe. And then who's the blue eyed boy of the flamboyant swim suit editions (I heard, the calendars are devovered just as fast as his beer), now he is up to racing cars. Truly Force 1.

Well, let me now focus on some traditional and modern issues. India has a rich tradition about family values, and respect towards women folk (though I would debate on the current scenario), but for me - my mother (‘Aie’) has been my source of strength and inspiration throughout.

Coming to Indian women power! We have some of the best in sports, business, leadership and just about any field. We have our ‘Payolli Express’ (aka P.T. Usha) who brought glory in the track and field at the Olympics...and let's not forget one of our youngest and terrific performers both on-and-off-the field. Wherever she goes, she makes waves. Thy name is ‘Sania Mirza’. She has what it takes to be a true champion. Youth icons is what they rightly personify...they sure have the world at their feet.

Besides them, ‘Kalpana Chawla’, the ace astronaut rocketed into space. ‘Kiran Bedi’ the IPS officer strikes terror even in the most seasoned criminal. Talking about global leadership, ‘Indra Nooyi’ is the chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, and recently Forbes group had listed her as one of the top 5 on The 100 Most Powerful Women in the world. Likewise, many of them are known ambassadors’ promoting child welfare and better living conditions, and even our former Miss World ‘Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’ has pledged to donate her eyes. Nobel deeds such as these leave a positive effect on humanity.

And now over to some reality

Well, every decade has had its fair share of problems and glorious moments. And as we glorify these sporting events (and personal milestones), we also had our infamous riots (1984) and, prior to that the ‘Maharshtra Samyukta’ movement. States were being carved out on the basis of linguistic identity. Then followed the (92-93 riots) and most recent being ‘Godhra’ (polarisation was at its peak). As if the partition was not enough. Suddenly, it seemed, we are not one country. An Indian in the true sense meant being a ‘Tamilian’, a ‘Marathi’, a ‘Sikh’ and what not. Regionalism seems to be the buzz word.

‘Intellectualism be damned!’

As if we don’t have enough troubles already, we certainly have criminalization of politics - our elected representatives with criminal background are ruling the roost; it seems what ever good done has been washed down the drain. Sometimes I really wonder is our India really shining?

But, no mater what, though we live in such turbulent times, there’s still hope. We have a ‘Ratan Tata’, ‘Narayan Murthy’ and the ‘Ambani’ household making us realise our true potential. The younger generation is demanding and they sure know what they want. I can definitely say we sure have the world…and there's so much more which I want to discuss: A growing economy, the trials and tribulations of the common man who is trying to make a living in these trying and turbulent times, and coming out triumphant despite the very odds. It shows what 'will power' can do. India shining is now definitely India everywhere..."Ham bhi hain team mein".

I can go and on... and on...there are so many issues which need to be taken care of. And for that very reason, I invite you, my friends to share my version of the new India. I know that there is a super star in every one of us. You need not have to be a 'Krrish' or 'Superman' to jump over buildings - all it requires is just a change of heart and something from within to go that extra mile. Come let’s make a difference and be a part of SUPERSTAR INDIA.