An agglomerate of disparate ingredients, drowned in the sour and sweet concoction of life.. that’s our world, the GOL GAPPA way!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

this is some thing...



An emotion strong enough to rouse the dead! And it took a movie to wake us up! It’s a pity really… but the fact that we’ve finally woken up and are doing some thing, speaks volumes. ‘Rang De Basanti’ has brought about a revolution despite some disillusioned humans calling it crap… well let them go to hell! For RDB is unlike any other movie in the past. Yes, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra might have goofed up in the technicalities associated with film-making but he got one thing right… the only thing that mattered. What he wanted to convey to this nation of hypocrites, he conveyed with an unknown and unheard of conviction and sense. Sitting there with that stupid grin on your face won’t do you any good! RDB almost cries out, begs for radical and innovative change in the way people think and communicate. I’ll give to you two aspects of the India that exists today…. You’ll be amazed at how much you know of it already...

Phenomenal growth, a bullish economy, breakthrough movies, a technology blitzkrieg, Brand India… This is probably the sentiment that reverberates in every nook of this vast country. Younger and younger people are driving this surge in India’s fortunes, catapulting it in the league of world’s largest economies. Even as we study about how the market in the U.S has saturated and how China is zipping ahead at a dizzying growth rate, a precocious young man in India desperately tries to outdo his own self again and again, till he’s exhausted beyond his wildest senses. And this I guess is only the tip of the iceberg for Indians in every corner of the globe.
Talking of the India of today, it is rather painful and arduous to relive those history chapters. India today is a pivot for south-east Asia, indispensably maintaining the delicate balance of power in this part of the world. Wedged between hostile neighbors like Pakistan and China, which I must say have softened seeing India rapid ascent, India today is not far from reclaiming the long estranged title of the golden bird. Indian industries are self-proclaimed MNC’S today spending lavishly on advertising and acquiring businesses left, right and center. Film-makers in this land of dreams have suddenly embraced experimentation and for once, original stories (well, some of them at least). Technical institutes and research organizations have never had it so good. And the bureaucracy, despite its chinks, has its own share of stalwarts, even best-selling authors in their fold. All of this takes me back to a slogan (more of a rant it was than a slogan) on which NDA had pinned its hopes… At that point in time people rubbished and pilloried the NDA for being impractical. Who was to know that it’d turn out to be a prophecy that is steadily coming true. India is indeed glowing if not shining and the crystal orb suggests that the glow is not an ephemeral halo, but a sign for the future. This is actually just one side of the coin..

There was a time when India was the Golden Bird, until a storm of colonialism and imperialism ravaged and wasted this country. It was almost thrown to the wolves and then a ray of light appeared, dissipating the pall of uncertainty just enough for this country to live again. And then wars were fought, innocent lives disappeared in the unfathomable depths of a bloody ocean. Wars still continue to be waged, within the land and within minds. A dozen Godhras and blood-curdling genocides have since devastated homes and lives… and blood still refuses to cease. Then there are politicians and babus who make the headlines every day today for some scandal or the other and are promptly lost under layers of dust-ridden footage and files if the poor soul has enough money! And then there is another India (yes, its clichéd but effective nevertheless), which pulsates and vibrates with the rapid growth. A media that is responsible even though it is flawed and shrouded in controversy forever. Shrewd businessmen have only just realized that there is some thing more powerful than the belligerent government, it’s the media! The comparisons and the list of descriptions of the new India and the India of the old are epic-material… even miles of paper is just insufficient to chronicle the downfall and rise of a land christened after the colossal river INDUS.

The other India is sadly a culvert, a filthy gutter flowing beneath all the gloss and shine. Its about people who still don’t have access to drinking water and food. I talk of those who live in unthinkable poverty, those whose cries are still drowned in the roar of urban traffic, and those who sleep on railway platforms, at bus-stands.

The emotion portrayed and depicted in RDB isn’t only about celebrating the urban India and its zillion success-stories where every other person is a millionaire today. It’s not only about defeating corruption but the several other inadequacies and rooting out gangrene. It’s about changing how people feel for each other. It’s about sensitivity and most of all about passion, for the country and for fellow citizens. In the daily grind we seem to forget that we are essentially humans who are slowly resorting to inhuman behavior. RDB is a celebration of life and its sad that people are confusing it with mindless jingoism. It inspires you to do what you’re supposed to do for the society. Since the very first standard in school we’ve learnt about change and how badly it is needed, but never have we been told so forcefully by any medium how to bring about a change. In RDB, the director takes the liberty of mixing the past and present. He uses past heroes, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Suhkdev as metaphors and every effectively so. Each one of us has a bit of all three heroes vested in him/her since birth as an inheritance and it’s only a matter of invoking the passion that bubbled in them.

I feel greatly relieved that I was able to shed this burden finally. A film which has jolted us from deep slumber can be no ordinary film. If ‘DIL CHAHTA HAI’ redefined conventional and traditional film-making (again a revolution), RDB finishes an unfinished task of rousing the conscience of millions of youngsters across the country and also indifferent elders. RDB is a lesson in history, a lesson that yearns for India and its youth to dream.

Yes…there are flaws to be ironed out. And cynics have nothing better to do that rip apart such dreams into shreds the size of underwear. Shut them up! Shoot them at sight! Do whatever to keep these maniacs at bay… I think most of us should be satisfied even if this India doesn’t progress at 15%… we should be glad that the elusive Sunrise has finally broken the horizon and the first rays have just struck this great nation…

Sunday, February 05, 2006

And What Are They Doing?

Most of you would know by now about Jyllands-Posten - the newspaper that published those cartoons of Prophet Muhammad - and the outcry in the Arab world. Now, how about the cartoons that are published in the middle east? Here's some (Note: its just a mirror of this page, temporarily down). While most were not as "extreme" as those shown at Jyllands-Posten, the clincher was the last one, showing rats wearing the Star of David. Before crying hoarse about all the wrongs done to their community, why don't they see what they are doing to others? Sure Israel is the enemy of the Arab world, and they don't want to recognize it, but there are people who call Judaism their religion, right? Some double standards, these are...

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Rajdeep Sardesai's newest post on his blog at ibnlive is a thoughtful article... demystifying a journo's responsibility and moral dilemmas..its about the shocking images that were aired live on various news channels a few days back, when a man set himself on fire in broad daylight!!.. a must read..

"The latest debate on media ethics though is a little more complex. It's been sparked off by a news story that showed a man self-immolating in the heart of Patiala. The visual images were compelling: a trader with garlands around his neck, pouring kerosene over his body, and then set himself aflame. He was surrounded by a police man, fellow-traders, the aam janta and of course, the ubiquitous camera. "

projectwhy: hours after.. i sit and wonder

projectwhy: hours after.. i sit and wonder

Buliding Rome!

There has always been a controversy, a thin divide between extremism and radical socialism. Indian History gives example of Bhagat Singh as extremist and Lala Lajpat Rai as radical socialist. So, does the age balance come into effect in its determinism? In any case, the question has always fallen on the back of youth. I have less idea of politics but when Rajiv Gandhi came to power at centre, much hope were associated with him stating that he will bring the revolution as he’s the leader of young and new generation. But does that mean that the idea of corruption or unimproved society, an associated part of old rulers of the government? Shouldn’t we expect any far-sighted and radical change from the age-old political leaders who have seen the ups and downs of the national scenario? I presume it’s not only the laziness but sheer habit of shrugging the responsibilities off one’s own shoulder which makes the a large mass of the Indian population just expect and do not act. Whosoever is in power has not only the liability and responsibility but also the ability to bring in changes. One revolution, one small step, one motion towards the change to uproot the very source of corruption, defection and abuse will no doubt be carried on by the time and generation to follow towards a giant leap. But it needs a start. However, what we usually find is a continuous effort by those in power to keep on muddling with the shallow water and mixing dirt in it rather than looking for some deep sources. So, the shallow water is never still to allow dirt to settle while the deep waters remain calm and untouched.
The time is running out to stand and wait for someone young and enthusiastic to arrive and then blow the wind of changes. If those in power can’t bring the changes to remove the stains prevelant in the society and politics and economy, they should no doubt quit from their posts. Permit others to take a chance. Rome was not built in a day but the hands who built Rome never stopped.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

An Addition to the Gol Gappa...

...to make it even tastier. So, what's the addition? Well, me - Chaitanya Gupta - a terribly lazy person; never expect me to be punctual. Thanks to Shri Chandra & Deepak, you now get to enjoy the ramblings of this wicked soul. I have to say, choosing "GOL GAPPA" for the blog title was pure genius. It describes so many things so well - our lives, our world, the way we it, and, of course, this blog. Kudos to the founders. Keep up the good work guys.

Friday, January 27, 2006

THE IDEA OF INDIA.. an article

This is an article I wrote for the college magazine but unfortunately my dear seniors lost this article in a bagful of lose pages.. I was really upset when this didnt make it to the mag.. but hey! Blogger's to the rescue again..

The Idea Of India

Miles of manuscripts, thousands of articles and hundreds of books have sought to explore and describe a nation that transcends boundaries in virtually every respect. A nation, blessed with nature’s bounties, huge manpower and a heritage that is an epic in itself. Yes, India is a land of dreams and dreamers. A land that was once exalted as ‘The Golden Bird’ in the Medieval era. It has been a source of inspiration for several writers, poets and artists who’ve tried in their own inimitable styles to portray and immortalize the soul of India. Its only pertinent here to mention that the way India has sustained its secular image and preserved its traditions through centuries of turmoil, indeed is a matter of great pride for its one billion strong population. Of late India has witnessed a tremendous rise in its economy and its prowess in the IT sector is acknowledged world-wide. India has undergone a digital transformation if I can say so, in the past decade and a half. It has emerged as one of the leading nations in the world and is getting the much due attention. On the whole India is prospering and growing at break-neck speed. It is finally stamping its authority and rightly so. This is not a dream that India is living in but then you may just put it that way because it is nothing short of a dream.

Not so very far away from this land of dreams, irony is waiting to smack us right in the face. A family still waits in inexpressible desperation to see a semblance of food, clothes and water. Poverty shatters this great Indian dream. There are people who have to walk miles for that lone drop of water so that they can quench their long parched throats with just a bit of that liquid, whose name they try in vain to remember. Its true you would have heard this story ad nauseam but its also true apathy has just become a way of life for all of us. I do not spare myself on this account because I realize that the buck is only going to be passed till we forget these lines and till some one again brings it up. I’ve in more ways than one, accepted the futility of the situation like most of you. “Is desh ka kuch nahin ho sakta” is one of the more often heard excuses. It would not be wrong to say that hypocrisy is as rampant as ever. And the dirty game of Indian polity only adds fuel to the already raging fire. India has had great leaders and their great ideologies to follow. It has gifted the world personalities like Mahatmi Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai, just to name a few who’ll forever illuminate the history of Indian politics. Its saddening to see that in spite of their noble ideologies and their wisdom, we’ve time and again failed to capitalize and give life to their ideas, which remain forever confined to the yellow, frail pages of books long forgotten. Poverty, illiteracy, water, clothing still remain the sole topics on which elections can supposedly be won as they’ve been since independence. Diabolical and manipulative politicians ensure that they accumulate the votes by hook or by crook and return to power pompously. All this and more when they should be formulating policies to take the nation forward. They even murder communal harmony if it hinders their votes from getting to the ballot-boxes. What a shame this is for all of us Indians, even as a hundred articles before this that might have advocated and voiced the same cause.

When we fight against our fellow Indians, India bleeds and cries but we only pretend to be deaf and that is the best we can do. I know each and every Indian govt. till date has promised the moon and only ended up in the ignominy of doing, well, almost next to nothing. What we need today is that young leaders with noble intentions in their hearts to take up the cudgels on the behalf of all those who would prefer to work behind the scenes. There’s got to be a start somewhere to restructure a gangrenous system that is only biding its time before the ultimate collapse takes place. We the youth of this nation have all the power and the resources at our disposal. We have the latest technology and the media to carry out our revolution. Instead of wasting this technology, we should be channelising it towards the betterment of the society. We have aids that none of our predecessors ever thought of possessing one day and that is our greatest power.

Through websites, through cell phones, through various other media, we can educate people. Governments in states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are taking the technology to the rural level, and example that is being emulated world-wide. If we can not take a specific campaign to each and every house in India through the word of mouth, we can campaign online. If only the youth of this great nation can be inspired and has the will to inspire can a change be brought about. A change that’s been much publicized and written about, but no one seems to have to have the slightest of hints where to begin from. The students throughout colleges and schools in India can utilize whatever extra time they get exploring India and how they can contribute in projecting India has a force to reckon with to the world. I know you would be ridiculing me for the fact that its all very easy say and write but its not so easily done. Well, you could call me a mind reader then, but yes its not going to be easy. It’s a hope that has to be kept alive till the time we do not rubbish it as impossible. The opening can only be decided through a consensus and in unison. Fellow Indians and the future leaders of this country, its time and this is the hour of truth. Do you have the courage of standing up and be counted? I sincerely hope the answer is yes. This article has no ending in actuality because the IDEA OF INDIA is a never ending process of discovering the very essence of understanding of India and its people.
A couple of lines, that inspired me to write this, which are with reference to the very understanding of India – “ Born to privilege, you can’t, born in a humble home you must!”

Monday, January 23, 2006


I wrote and then I deleted the whole line exactly 9 times before arriving on a perfectly apt opening post. A flamboyant title was what I proposed, unfortunately Shri Chandra deposed rather indifferently. He wanted some thing much more earthy; much more, well, closer to earth. We mulled some really fatuous and amusing choices- I went to the extent of suggesting ‘raison d’être’- discussions took place in sessions of 2 hours each over two days. It seemed as if our decision or rather indecision would have far-reaching consequences, potent enough to cause international turmoil or so we thought. So we couldn’t let the matter rest just like that. And then genius struck. Shri Chandra whipped out a magic wand and let loose one of his quips, that luckily I took seriously. It was a funny situation and both of us broke into girlish giggles, only this time there were two grown gentlemen at it. And thus, ‘GOL GAPPA’ a metaphor for our ideologies, was born! Yes, quite remarkably we had agreed on a common ideology! Let us explain ourselves please—Deepak Gauri is a precocious young man who dreams and dreams and has never bothered to act. Shri Jayant Chandra on the contrary is a very real person, rooted firmly to the ground. Shri Chandra as I call him here is a venerable senior and a guardian angel literally. While walking down the mile long road from college to hostel we hit upon the idea of this blog. Both our individual blogs weren’t exactly buzzing with activity. An unsolicited inertia had settled in and I in particular was finding it difficult to breathe. So that sudden stroke of thought sparked off this whole idea and are we glad or what! GOL GAPPA is actually the way we look at the world. An oddly shaped hollow shell at first, is broken from the top and different ingredients forced into it until they are indistinguishable. Those very disparate ingredients coalesce to create a world of their own, unlike any. Furthermore, a GOL GAPPA never tastes the same at two different places. The taste and the style of preparation are endemic and thus change from region to region, just like people, languages and cultures do. Therefore, there couldn’t be a better motif for a blog that has set out to do just that. There are millions of blogs on the internet and blogging in India is only just trickling down. Different people have different purposes for blogging, some do it for business, others just for the kicks of it and still others who dream like me! We as a team would like to veer away from what’s already said and done. Did I hear you say some thing? What! Everything’s already been said and done? Is that so? Think again!