Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008, welcome 2009

On the last day of the passing year, everyone starts to get into contemplative mode. Everyone starts looking forward to the New Year with high hopes. I too am no different.

2008 for me was a mixed year. I won some, I lost some.

On the career front I took an important decision to change my job. A decision prompted by frustration but one taken with lot of patience. Quitting a job that helped me learn, make friends not just at the place of work but also in the US was not an easy one. There were few who thought that it was not a wise decision on my part to do so. However, I simply followed my heart. Today when I look back and reflect, I discover that my decision was right. Today my job demands much more responsibility, lot more interaction with customers, trouble-shooting and I get a sense of achievement at the end of each working day.

On the personal front, things did not start of well. The very first month of the year made me go through some emotional turmoil but then I got over it. Sometimes things are not the way it seems to be. I learned it the hard way. This year I also realized that friends will change and you got to be ready to deal with this change. Friends who had time for you on a daily basis will get so busy that they will not be able to keep in touch with you. We got to be ready for this change. Be ready to let go. Those who really care will stick around. It does not matter how many friends you have but how many of them are there for you when it matters?

2008 was a troublesome year for the world economy and Indian economy was not immune to the global meltdown. Many lost jobs and many lost their life’s savings in stock markets. We Indians traditionally believe in saving for the future. Those who stuck to this traditional belief could cushion the blow of the drastic economic conditions. The ones who tried to live their life on the edge were the hardest hit.

Terrorism is one issue that was in the news throughout the year. Bomb blasts rocked major cities of our country. The biggest and most daring of all terrorist attacks was the 26th November to 29th November attack on Mumbai. The Mumbai terrorist attack cost us very dearly both in terms of financial loss and loss of life but the after effects of the attack has been really positive. We saw the youth of the country come out in large numbers to condemn the attack and to awaken the politicians of this country. I am sure people of this country will now be more vocal on issues affecting them.

2009, what to expect?

Will it be better than 2008? Will it fulfill all our dreams?

I personally feel that things will only get better. I see 2009 as the year that will set the ball rolling. The hard lessons we learnt in 2008 will help us make wise decisions for the future.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A wounded Mumbai awakens India

The terrorist attack that shook Mumbai on 26th of November, 2008 and one that lasted till 29th of November, 2008 may be perceived as negative by many. However, it did have some positive outcomes. It has made both, the politicians and the people of our country realize that we cannot take things for granted. I am not denying the fact that many lost their life in the process. The targeted hotels Taj and Oberoi-Trident will get renovated but life lost cannot be retrieved. Thinking about the losses will not help us move forward and create a better and safer tomorrow. We need to unite and fight not only terrorism but also corruption and all the other social evils. Simply because each social evil is linked to each other.
The positive that we can take from this ghastly incident is that the people of India have started to do things that they had long forgotten. They have started to question our politicians. The politicians too were taken by surprise when they saw this new trend. The youth who didn’t bother to listen to what the politicians have to say and did not care how the country is run took exception about irresponsible statements made by politicians. I only hope that the revived spirits of our youth would not subside with each passing day. It is very important that we continue to keep ourselves motivated to take some focused action.
What can we do to improve things in our country? I would say many things can be done if we have the will to do it. Firstly we need to realize that a secure and prosperous India is only possible if politicians, bureaucrats and anyone sitting at a responsible position is held accountable for his/her actions. We go to the market to buy stuff. We do ensure that the stuff we buy is worth the money that we are paying. Why don’t we apply the same policy when dealing with the government that collects taxes from us? We travel on roads that are full of pot-holes and the street lights are also missing at times. The construction work to develop the infrastructure is always done at a snails pace. Have we ever bothered to question why it is so? No, we haven’t. The reason we give is that we do not have time. However, in this world of electronic communication we can find ways to get connected with like minded people. Social networking sites could be used effectively to get united, spread awareness, fight corruption and raise our voices against issues that affect our society in a negative way.

These are my suggestions for a better tomorrow for every Indian:

1) Every political party has a manifesto for elections where they make tall claims of actions that they will be taking if voted to power. This manifesto should become a basis on which they should be held accountable. If they cannot fulfill commitments made in the manifesto they should be liable for legal action.

2) Any politician, bureaucrat, defence personnel, cop found guilty of corruption should immediately be brought to book. They should get severe punishment.

3) Politicians should have minimum educational qualification criteria. We cannot allow uneducated people to take charge of our country and be involved in important decision making process.

4) Judiciary should work on deadlines. You cannot allow cases to remain pending for ages. Justice delayed is justice denied.

I hope and pray for a strong, prosperous, safe and peaceful India.

Jai Hind!!!