Thursday, December 3, 2015

Hey Soul Sister, will miss you


Hey Soul Sister,
Leaving for your Mister
You will never  disappear,
Ever from my biosphere.

               An angel you are to me in disguise,
               Your maturity leaves me in suprise
               My every thoughts & dreams you know,
               No stronger bond could ever grow.

You are the best confidant I've ever had, 
To lose you would leave me mad
Never a convo where we didn’t fight,
But the fun part sister, We both think we're right.

               No words could ever describe my luck,
               To have you my sister, as my best schmuck
               In life’s troubles, tests and rainy days,
               My sunshine were you in so many ways.

But today, I concede to you day or night,
I wonder when I will again grace your sight
If God could just listen to my prayer, 
And give to you my every share.

- Savio

Love you sis, will miss you :*

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Midnight Bicycle tour of Maximum City

Midnight Cycle said the Facebook event invite. Reality Tours and Travels  was organizing a midnight cycle ride around south Mumbai last Saturday (January 24, 2015). Mumbai at night always had a different feel, so I was very much excited about the event.  

The midnight tour started from Colaba at 12:30, We collected our cycles and were introduced to our guides, There were plenty of choices for cycles and we could choose which ever we wanted. When I was a kid I had a non-geared hero cycle, in memory of that I selected a non-geared one which I almost regretted later.  (Why almost? continue reading).

It was ironical that even before the first halt the friend who invited me for the tour dropped out saying he unable to continue cycling. With that mood downer we reached our first halt - Taj Hotel/Gateway of India. Both Taj hotel & Gateway of India is intimately connected with city's history. Gateway of India was built to commemorate the visit of British Royality to India where as Jamsedji Tata built the Taj Hotel as a taunt to the British after he was stopped from entering a white only hotel. Unfortunately how much this beautiful area has been a favourite for the citizens of the city so also it has been for the enemies of the state also.  

Our next halt was Asiatic Library where the group was introduced to each other and the guides. From here we went on to Flora Fountain, Oval Maidhan, Mumbai University, CST.  It was during this part I noticed a pair of ladies who would be calling out to check on each other as they cycled. I found it both funny and sweet, and I introduced myself to them, they were my unofficial partners for the rest of the trip.

The next halt was Crawford Market, seeing Mohammed Ali Road empty was a revelation. A place where usually you can't stand in peace, here I was cycling. Crawford Market, or as introduced by the guide,  the first mall in India, for it was was the first building in India to be lit up by electricity in 1882. Further after hearing details of Mangaldas Market, Zaveri Bazar and Mumba Devi temple we went on to the iconic Mumbai landmark - Marine Drive.

Marine Drive was our first long halt. We were given tea and snacks. Here I met Sid, an European who was teaching English in India, He has been roaming the world teaching English. I both respected and envied this guy, he's living my dream. Wish I could get the guts to quit my job and roam the world like him.

From Marine Drive we continued onwards to Chowpatty and then 
Banganga Tank
Ducks in Banganga Tank
on route to Malabar hill we stopped at Banganga Tank. I had never been to this place before though I had heard of it. It is said that Lord Ram had stopped at the spot in search of his kidnapped wife Sita. As the legend goes, overcome with fatigue and thirst, Rama had asked his brother Lakshmana to bring him some water. Laxman instantly shot an arrow into the ground, and water from Ganges gushed forth from the ground. Hence the place is called Banganga, the Ganga created on a baan (arrow). Next to the tank area  there is still an old Hindu cemetery consisting of samadhi of various Advaita gurus. Walking next to the dimly lit graves, surrounded by Banyan Tress in the quite of the night is a creepy experince.

Next came the difficult part of the journey, the climb to Hanging Gardens. It was here where I initially regretted that I had taken an non-geared cycle. But after making the entire climb without any stop, the sense of achievement I felt was unmatched.  At Hanging Gardens we had our next well deserved break, where we were fed samosas and bananas.

We had already completed half our trip, from Hanging Gardens we continued to Peddar Road, Antilia House and Haji Ali Dargah. Cycling at full speed in the middle of the road is an experince which can't be explained in words. 

At Haji Ali Dargah, I heard of the tale of the Dargah for the first time.  According to legend, once Haji Ali saw a poor woman crying on the road, holding an empty vessel. He asked her what the problem was, she sobbed that her husband would thrash her as she stumbled and accidentally spilled the oil she was carrying. He asked her to take him to the spot where she spilt the oil. There, he jabbed a finger into the soil and the oil gushed out. The overjoyed woman filled up the vessel and went home. Later, Haji Ali had a recurring and disturbing dream that he had injured Earth by his act. Full of remorse, he soon fell ill and directed his followers to cast the coffin carrying his body into the Arabian Sea. The casket carrying his body got stuck in the string of rocky islets just off the shore of Worli. Thus, the Dargah was constructed there.

Idli @ Worli Fort
The penultimate stop of our midnight tour was Worli Seaface. By then majority of the group was showing signs of fatigue, but I was so full of adrenaline that I just wanted to continue cycling. We then left our cycles near the entrance to Worli Koliwada, from where we walked to Worli Fort. Yet another place in Mumbai which I was visiting for the first time. Here while waiting for the sun rise we had our breakfast of idli and chai. Unfortunately the weather being hazy we were not able to see the sunrise properly. 

After reaching home, I could do nothing but spend the entire day in bed.Thank goodness it was Sunday. But I have to tell you, the trip was totally worth it. The cycling through empty streets, the conversations with people, seeing Mumbai in a new light and learning more about its history. It was joked in the group that it was the healthiest Saturday ever.

The trip cost Rs. 1500. I would really recommend the midnight cycle tour to every Mumbaikar.  Reality Tours and Travels gives 80% of its profits back to the community. The guides who come from improvised background are so knowledgeable, that on all stops I was learning something new about the city.

To sum up, its not that we have never been to majority of the above places. But trust me roaming Maximum City in night on a bicycle is something to be experienced.


Maximum City at Dawn

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Your Hands are the Reason I am Me


















Your Hands held me when I took my first Breath,
Your hands held me when I took my first step,
Your hands fed me when I took my first bite,
Your Hands wiped my tears after my first fall.


No Foods more tastier than those cooked by your hands,
No Sleeps more restful than falling asleep in your hands,
Never scared when my arms are in your hands,
What makes the house a home is your hands.


Your hands gave me a million things,
Your hands taught me a thousand things,
Your hands held me when sickness struck,
Your hands guided me when I lost my path.


When I ran away, you called me with your hands
When I hurt you, the love never was lost from your hands
You Guided me, consoled me, held me, fed me with your hands
Your hands are the reason I am me.

- Savio




Happy 60th Birthday Mummy,  Love you :*

Friday, May 3, 2013

Change!! Nothing you can do...



Long ago, but not so very long ago
The world was different, oh yes it was.
Fears & Worries were far away,
The distance seemed so long.
Yet time rushed, and brought the day,
Nothing you can do...


Time goes by, time brings changes, Change is what we do,
Change brings fear, with fear comes perplexity.
Nothing comes that you can't handle, so on you go,
Never see it coming, the world changes  on you.
Nothing you can do...


Sun comes up each morning, Just like it's always done.
Telling you what changes, stays the same.
Its what doesn’t, that vanishes,
Vanishes like the childhood dreams.
Nothing you can do...


Good or bad times, neither one lasts
Its just the Sun asking the stars to show the way,
Behind the dark cloud is a big blue sky waiting,
Waiting for the winds to change for you,
Nothing you can do...

-Savio

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Humanity!! Where art thou?


Humanity :- noun,
1. all human beings collectively; the human race; humankind.
2. the quality or condition of being human; human nature.
3. the quality of being humane; kindness; benevolence.

I started this post by explaining the meaning of the word "Humanity" cause the new arising from all around us I get the feeling we have forgotten what it is to be human this week.

On 14th Dec 20 children were killed in Connecticut USA, closer home on  16th Dec a student was gang-raped and thrown out of a moving bus in Delhi. These case were widely reported in the media. It chills me to think of what else has happened in this world, how else has weak and unfortunate people been exploited.

I wonder what makes us, Humans behave like animals. Why does our sense of compassion, pity and mercy go for a toss? I agree it is not right to paint the entire human race with the same brush because of a few rotten apples among us. But as they say "A rotten apple spoils the whole barrel".

I don't want to write anything about the Connecticut shoot-out, not because my heart doesn't bleed for the loss of innocent life. But because I can't understand a culture which is obsessed with Guns. It is not right nor fair on my part to be sitting miles away with no understanding of the culture to pass any judgement on them. My prayers go out to the children, and I hope USA passes a stricter gun control rules before further such incidents take place. Coming to the Delhi Gang rape case, I am guilty again for being a arm-chair critic of the system and society and there has been enough written about the disease and the cure for the evils of rape. 

But being an Indian male, I would want to apologize to not only the victim, but also to all the rape victims in India. (I hate using the word victim, but don't have a better word). I would want to apologize to all my sisters in India for the guys who stare, for men who make it uncomfortable for you to use the public transport, For the inequalities suffered by you at various stages in your life. I know my apologize to you nor this blog post is going to make a drop of difference But this is my way of telling you that all the apples haven't rotten yet.

Coming back, to the question where has the humanity in humans gone? Why do we keep hearing such cases? What will it require for all of us to live and let others live? People might give various answers like the  loss of humanity is due to the effect of drugs, alcohol, loss of morals and drifting of humans away from God. But none of these answers justify why a child reached home today, why a girl can't walk freely in a so called free country. why there are statistic individuals still living among us?

It is said the culprits of the rape were confident that they wouldn't be traced or punished for the crime. This calls in question our laws, laws are required not just to punish the guilty but also to deter people from straying form the correct path. For e.g Singapore is said to be safe due to the strict enforcement of rules. But looking at the shootout in USA, its clear that the guy knew he would be punished or killed yet he went to kill 20 kids. My take is that rules / laws are important but what is more important is change of mindset and thinking. Its not how you act when you are watched but how you act when you are alone shows the maturity of the society.

My hope is with education and more empowerment of people the thinking of society will change. In the future with better rules and enforcement young frustrated individuals get a chance or dare to go on a gun rampage or destroy a innocent girls life. My prayers are that this day comes soon. My prayers are with all the oppressed in the world.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The End of Poverty? Possible?


Being an Indian and if you havn't seen Poverty you are blind, you see it all around you, beggars on the roads  a row of slums by the rail tracks, even if you travel by air, when you land in any of the major Indian cities you will see a poverty surrounding the airports. We all know that India is not the poorest country in the world. There are countries in the world which fare much worse than India.

If in India there is so much of visible poverty, wonder how much poverty is really there in the world? So have we taken poverty as a part and parcel of human existence. From when history begins there has always been inequality existing. The Kings / Pharaohs / Emperors lived in absolute comfort while ordinary folk toiled under their yoke. A kind of extension now where Industrialist and Capitalist enjoy from the labor of workers.

But it can be said, a normal individual now is living in more comfort what the King of England had lived in the 18th Century.  Life expectancy in western Europe in the 18th century was about 40 years. Right now according to CIA world fact book there are only 3 countries in the world having a life expectancy of less than 40 years (Zambia 38.63years, Angola 38.2 years, Swaziland 31.88 years).

Basically what I trying to say is that that every generation is living a better life than a generation before. We might have experienced it, our parents talking to us about the hardship they faced, studying in candle light etc. But we don't experience that much hardship as they did. On a whole how much ever war destruction is there in the world Humans have been marching into a better quality of life slowly but steadily.


Given here is a Map of world poverty by country, showing percentage of population living on less than $1.25.
Its noticeable that majority of the poor is concentrated in Africa, South America & South Asia.

If you are reading this post, I can safely assume you are not a part of this population living on less that $1.25 (About Rs. 70) daily. But just because we are living in comfort is it that we can forget about our poorer brothers? But as I said above Poverty is a part and parcel of life especially if you are living in the developing world. So what do we, a normal average individual do? Apart from the few helps we can give here and there to the poor we go on with our daily lifes


I was also thinking the same until I read the book "The End of Poverty" By Jeffrey Sachs. He has defined how it is possible in our lifetime, basically by 2015 which I feel is not possible as the world has been able to pursue the Millennium Development Goals properly but considering the way he has explained I have high hopes of the end of poverty by 2030. Thats in less than 20 years. Cool Right?

Reading this book, I have got hope. From my earlier thinking of Humans, do we only try to survive and reproduce  to my feeling now that humanity has a chance, its not by fluke that we are the dominant species on this planet.

A Situation where all developed countries just contribute 0.7% of their GNP that is out of every $ 100 earned by a developed country if they contribute just 70 Cents we will be able to remove extreme poverty within next decade. Given the amount we spending on weapons for each others destruction I really feel this is not a very difficult amount.

More-so Right now the major threat the world is facing is not from enemy countries going to war, but from non state actors, i.e terrorists. Further if its noticed terrorists are not born, they are made. Poor improvised youth are brain washed to become terrorists. So if poverty is reduced, education is available for all then I am pretty sure we can win the war on terror. The way to end violence is never more violence.

So, End of poverty, can a day come where poverty is just a word in the dictionary? Jeffrey Sachs gives me hope, I hope I am not wrong.....

Friday, August 31, 2012

India a Peaceful Country: A Misnomer?

From our youth we have been brought up studying that India is a a peace loving country (well truthfully which country loves war?) But India has always tried to show itself as the most peace loving country in the 21st Century.

India gained independence from the British rule by a non-violent struggle lead by one of the most peace loving man ever born, our Father of our nation: Mahatma Gandhi. But the birth of this great nation was  not so very peaceful as every one knows, The partition of India filled the country with violence, riots, butchering of people and other atrocities a peace loving country will never tolerate.

But independence of India was a time of great change, and all great change are preceded by chaos, But then also we can't thus say and forget about the violence during the partition of India. But to continue on independent India fought 5 recorded wars, 

  • Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
  • Indo-Sino war of 1961
  • Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
  • Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
  • Indo-Pakistani War of 1999 (Kargil war)

We have learnt that India was never the aggressor in any of these wars which may or may not be true, I also may conceded that these wars might have been necessary to keep our hard won Independence. But here I need to mention the borders of India are not yet peaceful, and the borders with some of our neighbours are not yet well defined which might lead to the cause of the next war.

Still these are issues between nations and a lot of high politics and one man ship happens between countries, so lets not consider these to decide if India is a peace loving country or not, Because I agree how much ever you love peace, you need a strong Army to protect yourself in this world. Which is why I agree to India having a nuclear weapon and am also proud of the fact that India has said "No First Use"

But that still doesn't explain why India as a whole is not the peaceful, it is said 40% of India is under grip of naxalites, a area know as the red corridor. Schedules of trains are changed so that trains don't run through these areas at night. In no way would I call this as a sign of a peaceful India. 

There have been more than 50 riots in Independent India, (get the full list here) with the latest being the 2002 Gujarat riots. These 50 doesn't include the minor fights/riots which happen in India like the latest set of violence in the North-East. These again prove that we living in a sudo peaceful country. 

Another thing which I would like to point out is the fascination with guns majorly among the northern states of the country. Even thought there is heavy regulation against carrying guns in India, Guns can easily by procured in the states of UP, Bihar. where carrying guns is actually a status symbol. No where in the world is Guns a Peace symbol.Still I haven't talked about the violence against women or any of the weaker casts, cause lets face is no country anywhere in the world is completely at peace, even Vatican has its own police. 

India is the worlds biggest film maker, but again when I look at these films violence is glorified and only if the hero shows violence does the film gross numbers. Consider film from the south (Rajnikath films) main stream films (Dabang) or any bojpuri films from the north. Violence is always there. And as these films actually are successful I would only say that India actually loves violence.

In the latest concluded Olympic games 5 out of the 6 medals were in boxing, wrestling & shooting. Sports which can be considered as violent sports (if there is something like that).

Seeing all this I begin to wonder if peace is really in India's genes, Lets look into the history. Its said India never attacked any other country but herself has been a target of many invasions. From Alexander, to the Moghuls to the British. But what if all these invasions took place just cause India was always in war within itself, history teaches us that India has always been ruled by Kings/Princes who warred among them-self. A house divided within is always a happy hunting ground for invasions. 

But my point being considering the history present India has never been a peaceful land, so is India a Peaceful Country: A Misnomer?