Friday, July 30, 2010


Manjusha was a very vivacious girl of 17, almost touching 18. She was tall, very good looking and her movements were graceful. Her parents were both middle level government officers. She had an elder brother by a year as well as a 2 years younger one. She had just cleared 12th and joined college. She was very social and jovial. She was well liked by one and all in our locality. She was very respectful to all elders. We were on good terms with her parents. I used to come across her during my evening walks. She visited us sometimes to seek guidance about career courses etc. What I could gather from her talks was that her parents favoured her brothers more. Their attitude towards her was not as warm as one may expect due to her being the only daughter. However it did not seem to affect her behaviour.

She was friendly with a boy about 3 years elder belonging to a well to do family. He was tall and quite handsome. He had just graduated. I had met him few times when he was with her and he seemed to be a nice boy with an aim to make it into filmworld. They looked a very nice as a couple. She had confirmed that her parents were in the know of their friendship.

A couple of months later I did not see her around for a week or so. Later I came to know that she had gone away with that boy to Mumbai. He wanted her also to join films as she had talent. She had turned 18 just a few days before she went away. She had told her parents and left. This was about 2 years ago.

Why am I bringing it up now is because last week I went to meet her father to discuss something about our locality and saw her there. She was just a shadow of her oldself. Her father told her to go to her room. He does share his woes with me, so he told me that when she went with that boy they wanted them to get married with knowledge of his family but the boy had stated that once they establish themselves in films they would tie the knot in proper fashion. They struggled for months to get a break in films by making numerous rounds of different studios and meeting many known or unknown persons involved with film making. Unfortunately it was a dream which looked rosy but reality was harsh. Though they had financial support from his family, it was not possible to continue indefinitely. We all are aware of how advantage is taken of such persons. He persuaded her to succumb to casting couch demands as it seemed last resort to gain foothold into glamour world. They did get some bit roles but nothing to talk about. But then there was no stopping such acts. She was very unhappy with this and refused him at times. He somehow convinced her that once they establish it would not be needed anymore. However it was not so and she was desperate to end this kind of life. On her refusal next time, he abused her physically and forced her to submit to demands of an agent who promised to get them meaty roles. This finally led to her being offered to please all and sundry. She could not take it anymore and packed her bags coming back without telling him.

As expected her father said that he would have rather seen her dead than to be there with them. I bluntly told him what stopped him from killing her, to which he replied that he could not as she was his child. So I then told him that it was the reason why she came back to them. She had faith in them to provide her help to start her life afresh. I suggested that putting past behind now, she start her studies to complete graduation even as private candidate. She could also take up some job for keep herself busy as well as financially independent. I offered to speak to some known person to take her as receptionist in their company. Fortunately sense prevailed and after some discussion with Manjusha we went ahead with it. She is now working in a company known to me and I keep track of it. She has started preparing to complete graduation.

I am bringing it here to analyse as to who was at fault. In my opinion it is first the parents who did not have enough bonding with her to make her feel confident for sharing her dreams with them before it was too late. Even then there was hardly any effort from them to make her see the truth. They could have given her directions to reach her goals in much better way or even taken help from some person who could have. Then the girl as she was too naïve to understand what world is like. She could have discussed this with someone whom she had trust in before taking such a big step. She just let herself be swept off her feet with rosy talk of that boy. Lastly the boy who being elder should have taken due steps for her well being. If they could not get a break into the films, he should have come back with her. I do not wish to blame the system in glamour world as there is no way of stopping such happenings unless those susceptible to such acts become strong to refuse.

May I invite your views on who to blame for this.

Friday, July 23, 2010


In my over 3 decades of driving I have had a very rare experience which I would like to share with you all.

On last Wednesday I alongwith my wife had gone out for some household chores. I had taken Tata Safari Diesel vehicle. After finishing the work we were on our way back when we encountered heavy traffic. It was bumper to bumper. So it was clutch and brake situation with vehicles just crawling. I am very careful about not keeping clutch pedal half pressed. After about 2 kms of this situation I decided to take a side road which joined main road again at some distance after traffic signal. As soon as I turned I found that I could not change gears. The gear lever was moving in all desired directions but no gear could be engaged even with clutch pedal fully pressed. I felt panic as I was blocking the entrance to the road. Somehow 3rd gear got engaged enabling me to drive the vehicle to side and park it. I tried to engage gears again but without success. I switched off. I stopped a passing three wheeler auto and sent my wife home asking her to call me up to let me have telephone number of Tata workshop where we get our vehicle serviced. I felt that clutch plates may have given way. Fifteen minutes later I again switched on the engine and lo behold the gears started working absolutely normal. I cautiously drove back home. I left the vehicle there and went to the said workshop in our second car, a Maruti Estilo.

I narrated the whole incident to their GM. On his asking how much mileage the vehicle has covered, I told him it is about 35,000 kms. He told me that there is no idea of opening up clutch assembly as chances of clutch plates having worn off are little specially once I was able to engage gears after sometime and if we open up there will positively be some wear and tear thus changing of plates will be needed. On my asking then what was the cause of such happening, he explained that it is a very rare phenomenon in that at times air which finds it’s way into the assembly gets mixed with clutch oil. When the oil gets heated the moisture in the air converts to gaseous state. This causes forming of big size bubbles. On pressing clutch pedal these bubbles get compressed but do not allow full compression for clutch to be engaged to let one select gears. He told me that this can also happen to brake fluid thus leading to brake failure. Once oil cools the gas regains moisture state thus reducing bubble size and that is why I could drive the vehicle after it had had time to cool down. He advised that oil be changed and line bleeding carried out to ensure that there are no air bubbles inside. I got the said work done. The vehicle is running fine.

I had a chance to visit Maruti workshop for some work on Estilo and on my narrating my experience to their engineer, he too explained what Tata GM had said. I so flabbergasted as it is the first time I experienced such situation. So I thought of sharing it with you to appraise you that if such thing happens there is no need to panic but let the vehicle cool down.

This we may also translate to our day to day life. When we are angry, hot air in our head does not allow us to engage our brain properly. So it is best to cool down before doing anything.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Last month I had planned a project for rural area to be conducted by NGO I am consultant with. I was asked by President of that NGO to accompany him for a meeting with secretary of rural development department to explore if state would fund it. I was to give power point presentation. I agreed. So off we went on fine morning last week to the state capital where we had appointment with the concerned person at 1 pm. It was about 4 hours drive. Enroute he briefed me about the said secretary. I was told that he was not only honest and strict but deeply knowledgeable thus capable of asking probing questions. This was all fine with me as I always liked to associate with those projects where chances of misuse of funds was minimal.

When we were ushered in for the meeting I saw a well built Sikh gentleman occupying the chair. We sat down and I found him staring at me with little frown on his forehead. On my being introduced, he just got up and moved around the table reaching me in no time. He touched my feet exclaiming how lucky he was to see me after so many years. When he straightened, my mental computer locked onto who he was and I was transported back by more than 25 years.

I was in an organization as Head of administration & personnel. He was a junior assistant aged about 22 or so. He was hard working with a smile on his face always. He had done PG in psychology but being from a not so well off family took up the first job which came his way. He had a unsatiateable quest for knowledge. A few months down the line I found him to be little preoccupied in his thoughts. Though there were no slip ups in his work but it was evident that he was not his ownself. One day I asked him frankly if he trusted me to share what was bothering him. He told me that he had fallen in love with a girl of well to do family and she too reciprocated. Though they were from different castes, there was no objection from her family as they were broadminded. Only stipulation they had was that he upgrade his status. They offered him position in their business but he did not take it up as he was quite proud with a lot of self respect. He was not vain or egoist but practical. I told him why did he not sit for civil services examination. He frankly told that he was not aware as to how to prepare. Those days there were hardly any coaching institutes. I gave him some directions like going through guides available giving last five years or so question paper with solution, general knowledge book as well as keeping himself updated on current affairs by reading newspapers. He earnestly started preparing for it. I moved on thereafter and lost contact with that organisation.

Coming back to that day now, he did not listen to my protests while ordering lunch for us. He told that it will be such a pleasure to have lunch together. Over lunch he told the rest of the happenings. He cleared civil services examinations in first attempt. Thereafter there was no hitch in his getting married to his love. He did face some obstacles in his career due to being honest and strict but in the end it paid off. They had 2 children, a girl ,doctor and married, a boy in a good position as an engineer. He wanted me to meet them but due to paucity of time I requested him to let it be for next visit.

When we got onto presentation part, he just bluntly said that there was no need as if I had prepared the project and was involved in implementing it, he had no hesitations in sanctioning funds. He said that his faith in me was absolute.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Once all organs of a body were arguing as to who is the Boss. Brain said, “ I give directions to all to do what is needed, so I am the Boss.” Heart said, “ That is what you think, if I do not purify and supply blood you will not be able to do anything. So I am the Boss.” Lungs retorted, “ If we do not give you purified oxygen do you think you can purify blood? So we are the Boss.” And so on and on the other organs too staked their claim. AH was quite all this time but when all had finished staking their claim, it said, “ I am the Boss.” Everybody else laughed as it was without any reasoning. They all ridiculed it. So AH told, “ You all will repent if I stop functioning.” There was loud hilarious laughter from all. So AH went on non functioning mode. All was fine on first day. Second day there was little discomfort. Third day there was difficulty being faced by others for normal functioning. By fourth day all others were in panic as they just could not function. On fifth day they all were in terrible shape, so they all surrendered accepting AH to be the Boss.

So do remember even if BOSS is an AH but for smooth functioning we do need a BOSS.