April Is The Cruelest Month!

wedding procession

“April is the cruelest month.” – T. S. Eliot

Yes, it is indeed for us. The above line is the most quoted phrase from a famous work of the American poet T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ in 1922. This particular phrase seems most befitting to the Indians, especially the Gujaratis.

When Eliot framed this phrase, he had had no idea that it might ever be used in this context after 92 years of its publication. He would have never imagined this phrase could well reflect the plight of some 6 crore Gujaratis. Matrimonially speaking, April is the cruelest month to an average adult living in Gujarat and the reason being the number of auspicious timings it holds for the weddings. The whole month witnesses ongoing noisy weddings in every developed or ignored corner of the state.

April is the cruelest as it brings with it the end of bachelorhood for thousands of adults who have preserved it since birth, under careful observation of parents. The only set of people feeling wonderful in this season marriages (or also known as massacre by some) is the business houses that thrive on weddings.

As soon as April begins, the wedding drums start beating in every street of cities or villages alike as if the FIFA World Cup has been won by Gujarat. This month is preferred also because it is the month of summer vacation. So all studious pupils and college goers have no excuse to miss the wedding of their distant uncle’s son or daughter. A wedding is hit only if all the invitees attend it. The bigger the number of people in a wedding is, the more successful the mission is considered accomplished by elders.

April encourages parents to lose their lives’ savings (on which there is no refund guaranteed for unsuccessful marriages). It is a matter of reputation for a parent to get his son (however stupid or jobless he may be) married in an even grander manner than all the relatives’ and neighbours’ sons.

However, April’s black magic does not seem to work effectively outside Gujarat. There are known (and infamous) examples like Rahul Gandhi and a long list of film stars who see no April in their lives. Some heavenly powers seem to have blessed (or cursed) them with the boons of eternal bachelorhood. To stress the lack of poetic justice in life, there are those who enjoy many Aprils in their lives; sometimes they get to marry as many times as the number of goals scored by Germany against the host Brazil in the semi final match.

This same damned April took most of my friend’s bachelorhood four years ago (along with mine too). April should be omitted from calendars henceforth.

(To read the poem: http://www.bartley.com/201/1.html)

(About T.S. Eliot : http://www.en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Waste_Land)


Achche Din of Education?

No practical way to implement stuff taught in textbooks?

No practical way to implement stuff taught in textbooks?

A particular region, state or a nation gets the tag of ‘developed’ only when it can boast of two primary factors:
(i) Education
(ii) Wealth
Sometimes, this tag is also forced upon by the politicians despite not being worth it. Whenever we come across a developed part of a particular nation or state, it should have above mentioned factors across most of its part. We should keep in mind that the western and European countries are not known only for their wealth but also for their best in class universities.
When we analyze Gujarat as a developed state in the light of above factors, we can boast of the wealth largely due to its abundant business opportunities. But the same cannot be said while talking about its education. It falls below the water levels in today’s step wells.
Students holding a Bachelor of Commerce degree are not even able to fill in a pay-in slip to at a bank counter. Most computer graduates cannot manage to write software without copying from a distant source. A student with Bachelor of Arts cannot speak a small paragraph without making a heap of grammatical blunders. Project Based Learning has given rise only to photocopying business (popularly known as Xerox). The bubble of some professional courses has burst. The number of M.B.A. colleges has come down as drastically as the number of seats the Congress won in this General Election.
The hollowness of degrees is seen when the graduates venture outside Gujarat flashing their rainbow coloured degrees with high hopes of admission into P.G. courses or jobs in prestigious companies. They get the shock of their lives when they are told that their diligently earned degrees hold no value outside the state. Degrees are reduced to mere coloured sheets of paper. Most institutes regard Gujarati students skill-less which is true to a large extent. Hence, aware (not necessarily capable) parents send their kids in other states right after 12th standard. A graduate from the Saurashtra region is looked down upon even when he moves to Gujarat University or other institutes across central or eastern Gujarat.
The other shock is received when graduates who has no capacity or means to go out starts looking for jobs in their cities and towns. Most engineers are offered below Rs. 10,000 pay which they have to happily accept as there is psychological pressure on them to earn after obtaining a degree from an expensive college.
Education, right from K.G. to P.G., demands overhaul of the system. The state government has introduced ‘Pragna’ project in primary schools which is a welcome step. It is based on acquiring knowledge by practical means. Students do not have to carry bags to schools (NO BAGS! What a relief!). Let us hope, these kids grow up to be less of a talking parrots.


An Alien’s misAdventure


In a parallel world, aliens do exist and we all are damn sure about it. We have proof in our Hollywood and Bollywood films. This is the adventure of the alien named ‘Jadoo’ who got his name from his grandfather of the same name; we know his grandfather as he had featured in Hritik Roshan’s film ‘Koi Mil Gaya’. Having heard a lot about Bollywood, Mumbai and Preity Zinta’s eternal beauty in form of bedtime stories from his grandpa, he set out to visit Mumbai. But being slightly inexperienced in navigating a spaceship, he lost the right direction and landed in Modi’s Gujarat, to be precise on the outskirts of Rajkot.

Having the power to assume the form of a human being, Jadoo used it and turned himself into a grown man. He hid his spaceship behind the Khandheri International Cricket stadium that is on the highway, took out a motorcycle from the ship and started towards the city.

On entering the city, Jadoo got the first shocker. He was stopped by a man with big belly and dressed in white and khaki uniform whistling and waving his stick frantically at him. He said he was a policeman. Jadoo was asked to show his license and PUC certificate. Having none of them, he was asked to pay fine of Rs. 100 (Then he settled for Rs. 50 somehow). On getting the ticket, he read the city’s name and realized he was not in the Bollywood but the Dholywood (His grandpa has obviously told him a lot about film industry outside Bollywood too).  Instead of being disappointed, he decided to explore this new land.

He drove on the Ring road and came across the most adventurous drive. He could not understand why other vehicles drivers were honking loudly and overtaking him from both sides (Some of them honked in tune like good musicians). He observed some young men and  women with wires attached to their ears and driving as if they were zombies from Hollywood films, not paying attention to vehicles around them at all. He thanked his wisdom a hundred times for wearing a helmet. Then he saw a strange three-wheeled wonder. It was yellow and black in colour. It was playing very loud music and moved ahead in a zigzag manner. Suddenly, its driver flashed his right foot outside the vehicle, instantly turned right and disappeared into the traffic. Jadoo guessed that vehicle used music as fuel; the louder the music played, the faster the vehicle moved.

Couple of times Jadoo came across strange creatures that walked on four legs, right on the roads. They even sat on roads among the traffic. He even had to drive wildly when a small four legged animal ran after him barking angrily; almost had his foot on its mouth.


Jadoo stopped in front of a large building with glass doors and big banners of humans hung on the walls. He saw large number of people moving in and out of it. He moved along with the crowd and went in. He soon found himself into a dark hall with seats and in front big screen flashed images of dancers. He suddenly knew this was a cinema hall and this was what he was looking for. He took an empty seat and started enjoying the film. The man on the screen reminded him of his neighbouring planet’s much known guy called Superman. After fifteen minutes, his neighbouring person bent down and released some liquid from his mouth into the darkness below seats but it fell on Jadoo’s feet. Having read about the acid attacks on people through Google news, he was struck with fear, and to save his life he ran out of the hall. When he was at a safe distance, he checked his feet. It did not hurt but only that his shoes had turned red in colour. His fear was gone when he saw many people throwing red liquid on the roads everywhere. Perhaps this was a traditional thing, he thought.

Being in the human form, he felt the inescapable urge to visit the loo. He looked around in search of a public urinal but did not find any (as is the case with most of human beings). Jadoo moved ahead on in the search at the same time trying his best to hold his bladders. Just then a huge vehicle came out of nowhere in front of his vehicle. He was about to collide and before he could do anything, a beam of light fell on him from the sky.

Jadoo found himself outside his home and an angry mother (who had four hands) staring sternly at him.


Image: Wikipedi, Google