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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Year - 2014

Happy New Year 2014
Happy New Year 2014


A new dawn is going to cover the night sky,
So many mornings but this one is going to fly.
If my words have the power to come true
I will write the destiny of the coming year
In happy colors of bright violet and blue
The letters echoing my mind’s anxiousness
To break the conundrum facing the brave
Making way for the fertile mind to sway
Nurturing the will to perform and not perish
Having waited long for the miseries to end
A new dawn is going to cover the night sky
So many mornings but this one is going to fly
Having failed in pursuits is not a crime
When chasing dreams was the reason to live by
So many questions and only a silence in response
I wonder my own intent and if I did put up a fight
Going back and shuffling the past will not help now
The chaos all around is a waste to further carry
Let me pick up stories of my pain and defeat
The invisible laurels that only I recognize
A new dawn is going to cover the night sky,
So many mornings but this one is going to fly.
A New Year is at the doorstep and the stage is set
One can sing, dance and / or perform
Leading acts will set the bar and hoist the flag high
The leader in you and me will again rise
Bringing to the fore the strength of the mighty mind
That refuses to go down with a sigh
Every new day will be a limitless canvass
To paint a picture as bright as one decides
A new dawn is going to cover the night sky,
So many mornings but this one is going to fly.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Phenomenon called 'Aam Aadmi Party'

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) 

In October 2012, there was lots of furore among the masses in India when Mr. Robert Vadra , son in law of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi updated his Facebook status message by writing "Mango men in a banana republic”. Social activist then, and now a regional party Chief Mr. Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted, "Evidence pouring in from mango men from across the country. Mango men would prove to be nemesis for the 'powerful'. No political pundit, no soothsayer , no man with a logic , none of the think tanks could have ever imagined that a Mango Man(Aam AAdmi) in the form of Mr. Kejriwal will prove his prediction right. Delhi assembly election results have made people sit up and take note of this phenomenon called ‘Aam Aadmi Party(AAP)’ and has forced them to solve this quagmire.  I bet this will become a Harvard Case Study and the best brains in the world for years, will analyze this event from multiple angles and dimensions. None will ever solve this puzzle in its entirety because the power to sway fortunes lies in the minds of millions of voters who exercise ballot to give a verdict.

When I write this article, AAP is seeking public opinion on forming a ‘minority government’ in Delhi with outside support from Congress. (To share with my readers, In Delhi assembly of 70 seats BJP is the single largest party with 32 legislators, AAP with 28 and Congress with 8 of them). My bet is Mr. Arvind Kejriwal will bite the bullet and will be sworn in as the next Chief Minister of Delhi state. I intend to present some facts and in their light analyze Jan Lokpal Movement, Formation of Aam Aadmi Party, Enrolling members and gaining public support, Role of social media in AAP’s success, their strategy and future vision.

In 2011, an outfit by the name India Against Corruption (IAC) launched a campaign to mobilize the masses for the creation of a Lokpal (ombudsman) to punish government officials accused of corruption. Two prominent faces Yog Guru Ramdev and Anna Hazare a veteran social reformer with a history of undertaking fasts in support of his causes spearheaded this movement. While Ramdev brought with him millions of middle class supporters from urban areas, villages and small towns in India, Hazare’s support base comprised of mostly middle-class people from urban areas and idealistic youths. The viewpoint was that people in power are not only neck deep in corruption but have become shameless in acceptance of their deeds. This was start of a revolt against the corrupt , an uprising by the letdown and a clear expression of people’s anger, frustration, dissent and hopelessness with the system which continues till today.

To really figure out what gave birth to Aam Aadmi Party we need to understand the current social and political climate of India and also how has it evolved over the years. India has been ruled for more than five decades by Congress, a party where power is concentrated with the title ‘Gandhi’ and for few years by BJP which had a charismatic leader in the form of Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee. When we got freedom the country was so poor that the talk of providing food, shelter and clothing resonated well with the masses. Primarily an agrarian economy that had few heavy industries, small and medium enterprises, Congress was able to keep people interested in its governance model. I would rather say they could fool people, govern them, keep power concentrated within the family and run the country as a family business. The cracks started to appear when Janta Party stormed into power in 1977, National front in 1989 and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 1998. What is interesting to note is Congress could still manage to get power over and again. The countrymen who were very poor in 1947 became a big chunk of aspiring middle class in 90’s and educated and informed young brigade in 2000’s. While the working population fought for agriculture and milk revolutions in 50’s and 60’s, the people in 90’s faced reservation and liberalization whereas the present population is standing up for non-governance , corruption and accountability. This is how we as a nation have matured and continue to do so to ensure that our rights and privileges as a citizen of a democratic country are protected.

The country supported this movement of Anna Hazare and participated in massive numbers with an expectation that a new hope was born. What Hazare could not understand is that after rising to such a height and raising people’s expectations one has to deliver. Protests, Fasts, Revolts are good to bring out grievances but there has to be a plan that needs to be executed to get justice done. This is what Arvind Kejriwal could read very well and a direct involvement in politics was preferable, in order to cause change from within the system. This led to formation of AAM AADMI PARTY (AAP), an outfit that was a direct deliverable of the IAC movement. In fact it was good that Anna Hazare did not take this step or else he would have been accused of being opportunist and harboring political ambitions and betraying people’s faith by pursuing his personal agenda.

Aam Aadmi Party had to create enough noise to always remain in the news and media and they did so by picking up on scams and political figures, issues like electricity and water bill, inflation, women security, unemployment etc . Every week there was a disclosure and media picked up the threads very well. I would say much of the support and discreet information to AAP in the initial days came from disgruntled partymen of the ruling government and opposition leaders. The public already knew of all the day to day embezzlements, major scams which ultimately resulted into inflation, poverty and shrinking standards of living but they were helpless. They were excited at the prospect of a party having the gumption to take the powerful heads on and washing their dirty linen in public. Somewhere a support base of AAP was forming in every nook and corner of the society.

To grow from a miniscule base of supporters and few party men, AAP had to do radical things to ensure it was prepared well in time for Delhi assembly elections. There were few strategies that they adopted like using Social Media as a platform to talk to the youth and the internet workforce, making a portal to enroll members instantly, seeking donations in a transparent manner and building local groups within all the constituencies of Delhi to reach out to people.  While the old timers in other political parties are still ignorant of the power of internet AAP ensured that it harnesses its potential to the fullest. Other parties were unaware as to how to use technology to build a base or communicate to its supporters, and first time voters. Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Mailers, Forums, Blogs and Online news were heavily consuming information about AAP and spreading its base like a wild fire. The opponents dismissed this as a new generation gimmick and never considered this as a threat. What they forgot is that this is an information age and it takes seconds for breaking news to spread in the entire country. No one else in the battlefield was in the fray when it came to internet usage and AAP had a distinct advantage. They re-enforced there campaign by door to door meetings , Mohalla Sabhas , ads at the back of Auto Rickshaws ( the most visible and most mobile ad platform with the widest reach), protests , fasts and demonstrations making sure the noise grows louder and louder. The support base had now multiplied many folds with NRI’s pouring in money, youth participating online, middle class discussing about AAP and the poor curious to know about them.

Come elections and AAP adopted a novel way to pick its candidates. They asked ticket aspirants to take referendum from the public and prove their credentials and support to be even considered for the selection process. Out of all the shortlisted candidates the final choice had lots of weightage to honesty, integrity, morality and selflessness. I would not say that all of their candidates were high on these parameters but in general they were far better than their opponents. AAP had build in people’s mind the criteria that they should look for, in their elected representatives. Again the established parties failed to read the public sentiment and repeated most of their candidates, nepotism and favoritism playing a big part. The final nail in the coffin was AAP’s election manifesto the highlights of which were a clean and corruption free government, bringing Swaraj -decentralization of power, reducing water and electricity bills, regularizing unauthorized colonies, giving massive employment, controlling inflation and providing a safe society. The base of AAP had grown by leaps and bounds now, with the poor and oppressed joining the bandwagon irrespective of caste and creed.

The results are there for everyone to see and AAP’s success has taken everyone by surprise. No one expected this kind of spectacular debut from a party that was just 1 year old. As I wind up this article AAP is going to stake a claim in the coming week to form a government and we will have Mr. Arvind Kejriwal as the next Chief Minister of Delhi and the game will become more interesting from here on. 

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

My First Liebster Blog Award

Liebster Blog award
Liebster Blog award

I am happy to share with you all that year 2013 is ending with the Liebster Blog Award. This is the FIRST Award for my blog 'Tea Time Talk'  and I hope that fellow blog readers will continue to exchange with me their thoughts , mind's impressions and experiences via this unique medium of blogging. A heart felt  thanks to Indiblogger , Blogpost  and Wordpress for providing me a platform to talk to the world outside with the might of the mind and strokes of my keyboard.

I started writing poems at an age of fifteen and they were wayward sketches of my mind , my perceptions of life at that moment and about my dreams that were far off.  I maintained dairies where i used to pen down my thoughts , daily routines , key events etc in form of poems or simple write ups. The irony of it all was, that i never knew till then that my father in his young days had this hobby too. Physical paper and pen got moved to electronic platform and blogging happened couple of years back. 'Tea Time Talk' is a personal blog which is a compendium of articles , poems , random quotes , short stories and something unique called 'Good Morning Messages' . I have recently moved the last section to another blog on WordPress and it can be accessed here:

When my Blog was nominated for this award, I was quite curious to know more about this. Here is what I am able to gather from my fellow blogger who nominated me.

What is a Liebster Blog Award?

The Liebster Blog Award was created to recognize and/or discover (new) bloggers. “Liebster” is a German word for sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, or favorite.

Who Nominated Me?

I was nominated by my fellow blogger Rupesh Malik. I am thankful to him for appreciating my blog and nominating me for this award.

What are the Rules?

  • Link back the nominator of the award (why not show some love back as well!)
  • Nominate 10 more bloggers (except the nominator) and inform them
  • Answer the questions asked by the nominator
  • Ask 10 questions from those you nominated
  • Add the award image to your site
  • Continuing with the custom, Rupesh also asked me certain questions and my replies are below.

Q.1 What is the primary focus of your blog?
A.1 To pen down my thoughts regularly and while i do that i am able to debate with my own self as to what my understanding about life is; in general , what are my learning and what are my perspectives. If  my writing and creativity can be of any value to the external world i will feel privileged, nevertheless i would leave this legacy behind for my offspring's.

Q.2 What is the story behind your blog’s name?
A.2  Tea Time Talk is a light hearted talk that people indulge in their daily lives. My blog is smooth , easy flowing and the topics that i write on, are general in nature and hence this name.

Q.3 What accomplishments are you most proud of?
A.3 I have written articles and poems mostly and they weave in stories from our day to day lives. I have had a chance to read some of my writings to my parents and their appreciation made me feel proud of my blog.

Q.4 What inspires you to write?
A.4 To be able to contribute to the society , my loved ones , my family with a good thought process, is a big motivation for me.

Q.5 Three things you want to do before you die?
A.5 Learn to play violin, Learn skating and Run a half marathon.

Q.6 Five random facts that most people don’t know about you?
A.6 I share my Birthday with Swami Vivekanand (12th Jan) , I love silver watches , I wear brown shoes rarely( though i have 2 pairs of them), My first car was a Camry , Though i am right handed i can bat reasonably well with left hand.

Q.7 One thing that annoys you the most?
A.7 Deceit

Q.8 Anything that you would like to change about yourself?
A.8 To be more adventurous and risk averse.

Q.9 An awesome moment that you can never forget?
A.9 The first time i took my son in my hands.

Q.10 What is the most insane thing that you have ever done in your life till date?
A.10 Can't think of any that can be termed as really insane, though i am sure i do lots of them every other day. 

 Liebster Award-Action Wanted

 I would like to recommend the blogs of the following 10 bloggers for the Liebster Blog Award.

1. Saru Singhal - Words -
2. Nandini Deka - Nandini Speaks -
3. Nabanita Dhar - Randon Thoughts Naba -
4. Bushra M - Confessions of a Stilletomaniac -
5. Ekta Khetan - Numero Unity -
6. Ranjith - A Light Hearted Talk -
7. Arvind Passey - The Real Fiction -
8. The Fool - Lucifer House Inc -
9. Anupam Patra - Reflections -
10. Rajkumar - The Elixir of Knowledge -

And here goes my questions for them…

Q1. Share with us link of one blog post that is closest to your heart and why ?
Q2. Are you true to yourself when writing posts in your blog or they are sugar coated , customized ? Have you ever copied content ?
Q3. One topic /aspect that you never wrote about and would like to pick up some day ?
Q4. Why do you blog ? (A very standard question but a deeper answer is expected)
Q5. Are you an extrovert or an introvert and what is your writing style ?
Q6. Make a confession , could be an incident that went wrong, a dream , a desire , a regret .
Q7. What gives you a high ?
Q8. Sum up yourself in five adjectives.
Q9.  Why do you think your childhood was special ?
Q10. One person who had a great impact on you and why?

I am looking forward to your answers and congratulations from my end on receiving this beautiful award.

Cheers !!