Archive for June, 2009

Karmic Connection

June 17, 2009 4 comments

I cried and cried and didn’t know what more to do…

After reading the article about the survivors of the bomb blast victims, tears just didn’t stop. The restlessness, helplessness was so acute that the thought never left me.

It was one of those moments which compels one to do something and not just sit, crib or cry!!!

So I did some research, got in touch with the Journalist who wrote the article and through her got connected with another person who had some details. This person appeared to be yet another shop keeper but as it turned out was much more than that … he was a conscientious, active member of the society who had taken upon himself to help the unfortunate and less privileged.

Mr. Ashok Randhawa has a shop in Sarojini Nagar Market, Delhi and is himself a survivor of the Delhi Bomb Blasts of October 2005. But as is the case with most of us he didn’t let this horrific event become a deterrent, instead he took it as a challenge and a thought provoking incident. He began his journey towards helping all those who were affected by the blasts. He collected the necessary information from the Government Authorities and made efforts to ensure that all the survivors and the families of the victims at least get what is due to them monetarily. Since then he has been continuously working towards this end and has helped many a victims and survivors in Delhi and outside.

Through Mr. Randhawa I collected information about some of the affected families (featured in article). After gathering this information and underlining the needs of the families, started looking for some kind of support – in kind and cash for them.

It was a moment of excitement when, with the help of my official contacts, I was able to connect the need with the resources. Shikhar, an NGO came forward and took the responsibility of the education of the affected kids.

Manisha and Mr. Ashok Ranndhawa (Left)

Manisha and Mr. Ashok Ranndhawa (Left)

After due diligence and need assessment, six kids were chosen and Shikhar has pledged to support their education. The first installment of the support was handed over to these kids in an event organised to felicitate the Heros of the Terror Attacks on 28th March 2009.

That was also the first time that I met Manisha, 13 year daughter of Michael and Sunita. Manisha lost both her parents and her brother in the 2005 Sarojini Nagar blast. She stays with her Grandparents and is not their only hope but also the strength of pillar for them.

Because of the event going on, I could not talk to her but seeing her there… all decked up like any other teenager oozing out the confidence uncommon at her age… I felt connected with her… the same connection which I felt when I read that article in the newspaper…and felt the need to do something for her and for others like her.

This couldn’t have happened with out the support of my colleague Ms. Ananya Datta, the journalist Neelam Raj, Nadeem at Shikhar among some others… thanks guys for your help and assistance!

Related Links

News Article Published on 21st September ‘08

Website of Shikhar


History of Aligarh

June 6, 2009 1 comment

Home is where heart belongs…also…home is where heart belongs!

Born in the city of Aligarh, there is no place that I love more than this place…its my oasis in this desert of fast moving life. Always a pleasure to go back…almost like a charger to charge my energy once again.

Searching for Aligarh on net… i came across the following…don’t want to loose it again and hence am just pasting it as it is…

Aligarh was known as KOL

Excerpts from somewhere on net…

The present district of Aligarh, in the state of Uttar Pradesh is situated in the middle portion of Doab, or the land between the Ganga and Yamuna rivers.

The principle town in the Aligarh district for the last many centuries has been its headquarters, Aligarh, 126 KM south east of Delhi. It is known till the 18th century by the earlier name of Kol.

The present Aligarh district was formed in 1804 after the British occupation of Aligarh in September 1803.

Like other parts of Doab, Aligarh has a hot and dry climate. The mean temperature for December and January, the coldest months is 59F and 54 F, and for May and June, the extreme hot months, 90F and 93F in the shade. Both Akbar and Jahangir visited Kol on hunting expeditions; Jahangir clearly mentions the forest of Kol, where he killed wolves. From the study of the place-names of the district, it appears that the district was once fairly well covered by forest, thickets and grooves. The early history of the district, indeed down the 12th century AD is shrouded in obscurity.

Kol, the earliest name of Aligarh, covered not only the city but the entire district, though its geographical limits kept changing from time to time. The origin of the name of Kol is obscure. In some ancient texts, Kol has been referred to in the sense of a tribe or Caste, name of a place or mountain and name of a sage or demon. During the time of Ibrahim Lodhi, when Muhammad, son of Umar was the governer of Kol, he built a fort at Kol and named the city after his own name as Muhammadgarh in 1524-25; and Sabit khan who was the governor of this region during the time of Farrukh Siyar and Muhammad Shah, rebuilt the fort and named the town after his own name Sabitgarh. After the occupation of Kol by the Jats in 1775, it was re-named Ramgarh and finally, when a Shia commander, Najaf khan, captures Kol, he gave it its present name of Aligarh.

Aligarh Fort (Qila as normally People of Aligarh call it), as it stands today, is normally the work of the French engineers under the control of de Boigne and Perron. It was a completely new construction, though its site was the same as that of the fort of Sabitgarh (also called Ramgarh and Aligarh). The new fort had been made by French their principal depot for the Doab. Prior to the British occupation of the Fort, it was a polygon of ten sides with a bastion at each angle. All around ran a broad and deep ditch, crossed at the entrance by a narrow causeway. The ditch is from one to two hundred feet in breadth and thirty two feet of depth, of which there were always ten feet of water.

The Fort gained added strength from its natural surroundings. The elevated plain in the midst of which it stands, being interspersed with large swamps and deep morasses, becomes so completely inundated during the rainy months as to render the fort perfectly inaccessible, nor can any military operations be the carried on against it. Its conquest was the prime importance for the British in this region. As it was admitted by General Lake himself, in his letter dated September 4, 1804 to Marquiss Wellesley. Lake writes “I have only to add that, without the fort of Allygurh we could not have had the entire possession of Doab, indeed, until it was ours, we were liable to be driven out of it at any time. Old buildings within the fort have gradually fallen down owing to disrepair. In addition to the modern buildings of the botanical gardens of the Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, there are small mounds all around.

For more the wikipedia can be checked at

Woman vs Woman

June 2, 2009 1 comment
Woman vs Woman

Woman vs Woman

Scores of women have been fighting for women liberation for centuries; millions have faced the brunt of physical and mental harassment and violence; thousands have given their entire lives for equality of status and liberty of speech, movement and choice.

Optimistic that I am, I do believe that things have changed, if not completely but still to quite an extent. At least in cities, girls have gained a better status, freedom of choosing their career, life partner and leading a socially and economically independent life. Some people might not agree with me but this is my experience and this is what I see in my neighborhood, my friend circle and my family.

The truth is times have changed and more importance is being given by parents, together with series of schemes by the government, to promote the girl child in the rural India also.

But … yes there is always a but… and this is not JLO s butt, but a serious thinking but which will take you to the point that I want to make today!

Today when people have started taking notice of the female power and have started respecting her for her endurance, patience and courage together with her soft female qualities … there is one section of the society which is trying to pull her down. One section which still thinks that a women can only do certain jobs … that she is fit only for a particular set of activities! They not only think so but also make it evident at any available opportunity. They do not leave a single chance of proving how irresponsible, incompetent and unfit a woman is.

Any guesses… no … u can’t… coz it’s none other than the woman herself!

Yes … more often than man, it’s a woman who finds faults with woman. She does not leave a single opportunity to prove that she is better than the other one, that she can do the job better or that she is more fit for the work at hand. In fact she highlights all the faults, makes an issue out of them, creates a scene and leaves the victim feeling wretched and worthless!

All of you must have seen this kind of a person as a boss, colleague, mother in law, sister in law, sister, interfering neighbor, boss’s wife, or a woman crossing the road.

In fact it was ‘a woman crossing the road’ that made me write this one … Just a while back I was in Green Park Market parking my car and this evidently new parking guy who didn’t know what to do made me back the car thrice and still I almost rammed in to a bike with a bullion passenger. Now though it wasn’t my fault, but still as I thought that I might have hurt someone so I said sorry. The moment the bullion passenger – a lady– saw that a woman was driving the car she didn’t even bother to think if it was my fault or not she just said to the parking guy … “Ladies drivers’ ke saath be extra careful … they are bad”. Period. A generalization yes… but it hurts more when it comes from another woman.

I mean was there really a need to generalize it… I would have been fine if she had said that I was a bad driver but no she went ahead and commented on gender. Why do we do this … why can’t we be less critical and less judgmental?

I was watching this daily soap serial on one of the channels and there was this apt dialogue by one of the female stars to a male star…“when a guy starts progressing all make way for him … but when a girl starts progressing all pull her down”

My problem is that why do girls pull girls down? Why can’t a mother in law be happy when the daughter in law keeps the house clean and makes good food for the son? Why can’t a sister be happy for brother when his wife takes good care of him? Why cant woman neighbors become good friends? Why can’t girl colleagues become good buddies? Why can’t we support each other … why do we keep fighting?

It’s not as if all of us are aiming for same thing and hence the jealousy or hatred. As the spiritual gurus say that there is abundance in all that we want then why such mean behavior… why this urge to pull down the other? Why not try and climb higher and set higher benchmarks? Why not discover new ways of attaining the success and let others go the same way?

And until we the fairer sex realize this and come out of this blame game no amounts of schemes would be able to help us. There are still some places in our country where newly born girl childs are killed, where girls are seen as a blemish on the family name, a burden on the family. We are still far from stopping or changing all this… but we can at least start respecting all the women that we come across. We can begin with giving them their due for their achievements and success. We can help them by being more considerate, caring and loving and above all making them    feel that they are not alone and that we are all together and it’s only then that we might be able to save the others who still face the danger of survival also.

Categories: Trivia