Saturday, October 30, 2010


Rinki is a dear niece of mine. Her father, Dilip is my first cousin. She has a brother younger by 3 years. I have seen her growing right from her birth. We live in the same city but in different localities, a little distance from each other. We visit each other at least once a month if not more. She is very charming girl and had been good in studies as well as other extracurricular activities. She represented school as well as college in basket ball and was in university badminton team.

After she completed her graduation she showed keenness to take up a job while pursuing MBA in HR. Dilip was keen to marry her off but I sided with her saying that 20 is too early for marriage. He reluctantly agreed. She came out with flying colours in MBA. This lead to her being offered a job in a big MNC. Another year passed before Dilip brought up marriage. He started looking out for a suitable match. I suggested that he ask Rinki if she has anyone in mind. He stated that it was just not possible. But on my insisting, he did ask her in my presence. She replied in negative but I could make out that it was more out of her fear of father than truth. So I cajoled her saying that she had been working for over 3 years and surely she must have met a lot of people, adding that it is just normal for young boys or girls to like each other. She reluctantly told that she did have affinity towards a youngman in her organization who was in another department and senior to her. She confirmed that he too liked her and had introduced her to his parents. Dilip was taken aback and blew his top as the said boy was from different caste. Rinki went off to her room in tears. For over an hour I tried to make him see reason with logic but though he did not counter me but did not relent also. I learnt that Rinki had withdrawn into her shell.

About 10 days later he called us for lunch next day which was Sunday adding that a family was coming to see Rinki alongwith their son. On reaching there we found tension in the air. Dilip was usual self while his wife, Rinki and her brother were in sullen mood. On getting an opportunity Rinki told me that she would ensure that she is not liked by that family. On my asking she said she would look at them with cock eyed way and behave dumb generally. I advised her not to do so but we can sort it out later and she can say no.
That family arrived around 6 in the evening. Apart from the boy and his parents, his younger sister was also there. After normal hello hello we settled down in the drawing room and Dilip asked his wife to call Rinki who was in her room. I was waiting with bated breath. As she entered with sullen look her jaw dropped open on seeing the boy and his parents. That is when Dilip along with boy and his parents broke into loud laughter. His sister too joined in on seeing Rinki. He was the same boy whom Rinki liked.

Later Dilip told me that after I had left that day, he thought about the whole thing keeping my logic in mind. He said that he realized that happiness of his daughter was far more important than casteism. And he also was sure that Rinki’s choice would not be bad. So he arranged to meet the boy after a couple of days. He found him to be much beyond his expectations. Thereafter he met his parents and fixed up this meeting. He had asked his parents to keep it to themselves and not to tell anyone, specially Rinki. He had made the boy a conspirator in the first meeting itself. Best part is that he kept me also in total dark till then.

She has been married for more than 2 years now and is expecting their first child sometime in end March or early April next year.

PS : I had a serious post in mind but keeping the festival season in view I decided to share something which would bring smile to you all.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


It has been over a month now that I got to my space from my home PC. It was made alright yesterday but then our internet connection went on to give trouble. That got fixed today. So here I am trying to write some of my thoughts which have been in my mind during this break.

We all take so much from society in our growing period or even later and many of us do feel like paying our debt, specially at the fag end of life when all our worldly duties are done.

There are lot many NGOs in this field with varied agendas of social welfare. Many of these are started or run by those who wish to do pay their debt to the society. Many a corporates too have opened separate organizations to do something for the wellbeing of society. While some of them have done so out of compulsion of Corporate Social Responsibility but there are lot many who have done it with genuine desire. Having been associated with NGO I have had a ring side view of what goes on. I am going to share with you some of the issues which make me happy as well as sad.

Our Government on it’s part has many schemes for wellbeing of downtrodden or backward with a huge amount earmarked for each. But unfortunately as stated by our late PM Rajiv Gandhi, it is only a miniscule part of that fund which actually reaches the end beneficiaries. It is so painful to see pockets of unscrupulous persons being filled. The only solution in my mind is that for implementation of these schemes Government must involve those at grass root level for selection of right agency or NGO to carry out the work and give funds to those who are under the scrutiny of and held accountable by the beneficiaries. This may take a lot of hard work for BABUs to do so but possible it is definitely.

Now let me say something about NGOs. Everyone is not Vinobha Bhave, Baba Amte or Mother Terresa. Those running NGOs also need to have their own needs met. It has thus become more of a business for most of them, even family business for some. This is not so bad as long as the main aim is kept alive and their needs are not luxuries. Unfortunately in many cases the main goal is on deferred priority and other aspects take more importance, like getting mileage politically or making inroads into social networking etc. Most of those who are running such organizations become less open minded to suggestions as well as do not like to join hands with other NGOs in the same field for sake of one upmanship and unnecessary duplication adversely affecting the gains for beneficiaries. Solution to this lies only in if people involved are true to their commitments alongwith little overseeing of these organizations by some agency set up by the Government.

This now brings me to the last set of players in social upliftment. The corporates or business houses. Bill Gates, Premji, Narayanamurthy, Ambanis, Tatas, Nilakeni, Bharati, PVR Cinemas are some names which crop up in my mind. Those in the helm of affairs in such corporates are keen from their heart to do something for less privileged but unfortunately the ones who are entrusted to do such acts on their behalf become more bureaucratic and kill good suggestions offered by those in the field. The mindset of many such persons is that they are doing the best and others are not even worth listening to. There have been headlines in news that some of big business houses have made huge donations to the alma mater of their founders or chairmen. It is a nice gesture but one needs to think do such recipients really need such donations. In a case it was with setting up of chair in the alma mater named after founder of donor organization. Don’t you think such funds could have been better utilized for providing basic education and other amenities to those in backward rural inaccessible areas?

In my opinion one should not indulge in charity like giving alms but provide or support facilities making the needy self-reliant.