A Friend at Night…

She said “Goodnight” to the Moon as it was about to set on the horizon. His face lit up; no one had wished goodnight to the moon. Everyone wished him to stay longer for their own selfish reasons, but no one bid adieu to him as he set himself to slide in his bed.

The next night moon rose early, he was excited because of last morning’s encounter. The entire night he meandered around the window that wished him dearly. It was time for Sun to start the shift and still there was no movement in that window and no sweet voice wished him good night. With heavy heart and teary eyes he slid in his bunk bed. That morning he could not sleep properly. Nights went by and he got used to the dry business of orbiting the Earth again, when one day, something caught his eye. The window now had a pretty face staring straight at him. A brief smile appeared on his face before he spotted teardrops rolling down the pretty face. He fumbled, in two minds whether to carry on with the bed business or stay a bit longer to console the pretty face.

Going to bed early in the morning was his ritual, his habit. His mother always used to tell him “early to bed, early to rise makes one healthy, wealthy and wise”. Leaving the pretty face behind, he took steps towards his home. He climbed into his bed but again, he could not sleep. The pretty face appeared in front of his eyes, even when closed. “Why was the pretty face crying?”, this question made him restless. But soon enough he dozed off.

The next night too he decided to come early. This was actually not good, coming early than the time specified by the God. If God comes to know about this, he would certainly be angry, but what could he do? The thought of teardrops on the cheeks of pretty face made him uneasy. The Sun was still shining on the distant horizon. But after spitting fire all day round he was looking tired. He looked pale, and that was something new for the Moon. Up until now he never came to know how the Sun looks at the end of his shift, but today he witnessed it and kind of felt bad for him. The Sun weakly smiled seeing the Moon early in the sky. The cool waves coming from the Moon soothed him a bit.

After the Sun went home at the end of the day, Moon slowly shone brightly. He generally would look around and walk slowly from one end of the earth to another, but today he was specifically trying to find something.

The pretty face of a small girl. Yes, he was searching the pretty face of a small girl. By now he would have passed by that area but today he was not moving ahead, as if his feet had become so heavy that he was not able to walk. He must not stop, that was the order from the God. The God had ordered him and the Sun not to stop anywhere and keep moving continuously. Everyday they were ordered to cover half of the Earth. And there was no escape. If any of them could not cover the distance, they would be punished.

But Moon was not much worried about it. He thought if at all he had to, he would run with all the force and cover the distance anyway. He waited for the pretty face to appear in the window but it did not come for long time. It was summer in this part of Earth, so the nights would be smaller than days. He could not wait anymore and started running towards the other end of the Earth. He reached the other end somehow panting and puffing, but the thoughts of pretty face did not leave him. The irregular appearance of the pretty face made him think.

While in bed that morning he wondered, why is that the face appears in the window only sometimes and not always? Why was the pretty face crying? Today he did not even see light in that window, is everything right down there? While thinking about all this he fell asleep.

For next some days, he tried to locate the pretty face but to no avail. So he stopped searching for it and started going about his rituals indifferently. He again started following his time table and never saw the Sun since, neither while he came on shift nor while leaving for home. The thought of pretty face of course did not leave him, but he could hardly do anything about it.

One day while doing the round he suddenly spotted that pretty face again and a smile spread across his face. There were not any teardrops on the pretty face but it looked pale nonetheless. It was almost dawn, but he decided to stay back.

He stayed back. Slowly orange color started to spread all over the sky which up until now had only milky white and dark black color combination. The faint pinkish orange sky was now turning reddish and milky white color started to disappear. But he still stayed put at his place. The pretty face was staring back at him, as if it was trying to say something. The moon could see the pain in its eyes. He just smiled reassuringly at the pretty face. That brought smile on the pretty face too.

“Where were you yesterday? It was all very dark, inside my heart and outside in the sky too” asked the pretty face.

“It was my day off yesterday. After 29 days of bulging and reducing I get tired and hence a day off” replied the Moon.

With the joy of seeing and talking to the pretty face today he started walking, rather jumping, towards the other end.

The puzzle that was bugging him since some days suddenly lay solved in front of him. He realized that when sad, when there is no one share the feelings with, people often sit by their windows. They stare out and find someone to share their sadness with. The Moon realized that often that ”someone” is him. Today when the pretty face smiled back at him, he realized that he has something which soothes others. May be that’s his milky white light or his ever smiling face. Or may be the cool and calm vibes he spreads around that makes people feel serene.

“Yes, I have got some aim now. Something that makes me happy”, he thought while jump-orbiting the Earth. He started staying back late in the morning and come early while it’s dusk. He wanted to spread as much serenity and share as much happiness as he could.

May be that’s the reason why we see moon up until late in the day and quite early in the evening too.

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सूरज या चाँद…

फिर फंस गया हु मैं उसी पशोपेश में
चाँद सूरज, सूरज चाँद
किसको ताज दूँ इस सृष्टि का

लोग कहते है चाँद देखने के लिए,
सूरज का ढल जाना ज़रूरी है,
पर सच तो यह है की सूरज से तो चाँद है
सूरज ना होता तो चाँद का वजूद क्या.

यूँ तो चाँद के कारनामे भी कम नही,
बच्चों का प्यारा, आशिक के आखों का तारा – चाँद
पर अंधेरे के बाद सवेरा दिखाता है सूरज,
हर छुपे कोने से अंधकार मिटाता है सूरज.

झिलमिलते तारों का सरताज है चाँद,
रातों का नूर और मुमताज़ चाँद
पर सूरज न होता तो फसलें न पकती
सूरज ना होता, तो रोशनी ना होती,

पर फिर वो कहते है न
कि चाँद ना होता तो आशिक़ी ना होती,

फिर फंस गया हु मैं उसी पशोपेश में
पत्तोँ के हरे होने का राज़ सूरज है,
रोमांच ताज़ा होने का राज़ चाँद है,

* * * * *
Thanks to Anuradha Sharma a.k.a. @sai_ki_bitiya for making the poem more beautiful. I wrote a raw poem and she moulded the poem into a masterpiece 🙂

Minnow We…

Submitted to Theme Thursday

 

 

Every now and then Earth shakes,

Breaking its own layer in pieces,

A volcano erupts and tsunami hits,

Leaving behind the unwanted creases

 

We might’ve reached to Mars and Moon,

Maybe next stop will be the Sun,

We have advanced in Science so much,

But can’t bear Earth’s even a small pun

 

No matter how great our brain is,

And how great we think we are,

We should always remember,

We are still a planet in this plethora of stars.

 

 

People and their driving sense…

Ahead of Commonwealth Games 2010, Delhi is buzzing with various infrastructure developments (only Delhi Government knows how many of those infrastructure development programs are meant for infrastructure development and how many for internal corruption and wallet filling). The development seems to be much sluggish than a tortoise walking on the beaches. Constructions have only started but the end seems no where. May be the development will end either on the date of commencement of Commonwealth Games or after the games get over. Similarly the traffic regulation and people’s driving sense seems to have gone for a vacation on some other planet (may be on Moon as Chandrayan and other space shuttles have discovered water on the Moon).

The traffic all over India is unregulated. Traffic Polices are only for a show off and for jacking money from people. But they don’t seem to regulate the traffic. They don’t even try for regulation. People also follow the similar notes. Vehicles are provided with Upper and Dipper beams so as to facilitate people in night driving. These facilities are provided for use only. But people don’t use the dipper beam and ply with upper beams only, even though that upper beam obstructs the vision of the person coming from the other side.

Similar incidence happened with me (though it happens on a regular intervals with me) recently. A person was driving a jeep and on a narrow road we came head to head. He was focussing upper beam only. So I flashed upper and dipper consecutively so as to suggest him that lower your beam as I am not able to see anything. But he refused to lower the beam. What I could have possibly done other than cursing that man. I tried to tell him to ply the vehicle on dipper and use upper when necessary, but in vain.

Delhi Government has announced a new program wherein they will educate the Delhites on proper driving rules and practices. But I doubt how useful that will be. But there is no harm in trying things out. Delhi Government and P. Chidambaram (Home Minister of India) stressed out that Germany and China have done the same thing before hosting such big events. The education program in Germany and China were successful because people there think for their nation and feel dejected if someone from outside blames their country. But that’s not the same with Indians. We Indians have lost pride in our country. And that’s the reason we are facing issues like corruption, ill-politics etc. (the list will go on and on).

Lunatic Space Missions…

Recently the Chandrayaan mission failed due to some reason. But that failed mission opened some more windows in my brain. And through those windows came flying the thoughts, “whether these missions mean anything? What good they are gonna bring to us? Are all things like food, shelter and clothing achieved in India?”. Such and more compelling thoughts came in my mind.

 

Seriously, what Mission Chandrayaan will bring for us? The geological sample, some high definition photographs and a big hole to the National Budget. Except this what else are we going to achieve from it? Or are these missions some sort of status symbols, that Russia, America and other nations have sent their shuttles to Moon, Mars and where not and we are the only ones remaining? No doubt such science expeditions are important and necessary, but not at the cost of basic necessities. Russia and US have achieved what they could have achieved while going for such missions. They never ignored or sidelined the basic necessities of their countrymen. They have very sophisticated and advanced infrastructure, basic needs fulfilled. Thus their missions are justified.

 

But look at us. We don’t have basic needs fulfilled. We don’t have all men having food, shelter and clothing. Literacy rate is well known to everybody, basic infrastructure is not visible, not even distant. We spend less on Research and Development as compared to other developed nations. I agree that India is still a developing country, but for how long are we going to sing the same old song? We have been free from British since 62 years and what development we have achieved is nothing.

 

I know some of you will say we are the IT hub of the whole world, but what about those people who are living in rural India? What good are they getting from IT developments? They still have to pay Rs. 90 for one kilo of Cereals. They still have to face the scarcity issue, they still have to depend on unemployment salary.

 

I really don’t know what good are we gonna achieve by scouring Lunar land? Even if we find out all the elemental details of the land on moon, is it possible to have habitat there in near future? By near future I mean, the habitat is not possible for another 300 years. Even if the development is going to be achieved at astounding rate, how many from our world will be able to purchase a habitat there either on Moon or on Mars? Adding to this, Moon is having half of the gravitational power as compared to the Earth. Mars is not at all suitable for human habitat. Moreover none of the both have environment which humans need for survival. Then why to go for that?

 

Is this our immediate necessity? Lets not think of what US and Russia are doing for they have their stomachs full and are having nothing to loose. They have their pockets filled with hefty amounts and time which is not passing by. That’s why they seek such adventures. But such adventures are not our cup of tea. Our people are still dying to have at least one meal a day, forget about a cosy life.

 

I agree and will always vote for scientific developments, but not at the cost of our people. There are various other venues where we can invest these money and shift our country from “Developing” to “Developed”. Chandrayaan-I cost some Rs. 386 crores and Chandrayaan-II for some Rs. 425 crores. Now tell me can’t we turn India into a developed country with contributions of such hefty amounts? These missions are not the only wastage of money, what Hon. Mayawti ji is doing is also wastage. Our politicians have their accounts in Swiss Bank, get that money and clear all this mess.

 

Russia at this moment is sitting with a surplus of almost $75 billion. Their revenue is somewhere around $380 billion and their expenditure is $305 billion. And compare this with India and see where are we standing. For year 2007 Russia’s GDP was $1.27 trillion, and where is India’s?

 

Having said all these things, I am not saying that India should not venture into space missions. India should, but those missions should be for the benefit of common man. I have listed some of such ventures below.

 

1) Make internet available in rural India and that can be best done with such missions in space. Also make this available in cost effective price to people.

2) Build something that will give some candid and more in depth information about farming and environment to farmers.

3) Mobile service has been cost effective since some years now, but value added services are such that they add nothing in our mobile but subtract everything from balance. So with space missions we can work on this thing.

4) GPS systems which are regular things in foreign states is not even a distant dream in India. Our traffic scene is so horrible that we desperately need GPS system in India. This can to great extent minimize the traffic problems.

5) We have declared to introduce 3G service and Mobile number portability in India, but that’s still on paper. Nothing of both things are actually getting introduced. BSNL has introduced 3G but that will not be cost effective for common man.

6) With these space missions we can take education to a next level. With joining various libraries nationwide to one particular location or website or something like that, so that everybody from rural to urban India can benefit from it.

There are various other ventures which can be undertaken with space missions, but we are not going for that. Rather we are interested in discovering what’s on Moon and Mars.

 

DRDO which is a dedicated defence organisation for developments and research is doing nothing for developing some concrete solution for Indian Army. They couldn’t develop a bullet proof jacket for military, forget about something more sophisticated. US’s defence budget comprises for 70% of their whole budget. And in that respect where we stand? Might be at the bottom. We can invest this money in developing some good gadgets for Army men so that they can fight more aptly.

 

Similarly we lack research and development in Corporate India also. Companies in India pay less attention to R&D and more towards milking money. Is this the case with other nations? No! Certainly not, they pay full attention to R&D and their Govt. also supports them well. Thus they are able to develop good things for their public.

 

Literacy rate in Russia is 99.4% and where are we standing? I have a question for ISRO and other space research organisations in India, can’t we use this money for making education a better thing and joyful and taking our literacy rate to new heights?

 

There are more such things we can do to make our India a superpower, but only if we all wish and act accordingly. Space missions are good for everybody but not ignoring the basic necessities. Surely not keeping our people and their well being at stake.

 

 

Prasad B. Kulkarni

Aurangabad.