Friday, 21 June 2013

When a woman sheds her very womanhood.

We've always been bombarded with examples of ladies who've literally dictated terms when they were in charge of something, of women that literally transformed the way things are done, and of women who brought a kind of revelation that changed things forever. As such it's a pleonasm where we ponder upon the supremacy and surreality of women in getting things done. Women can be leaders, managers, administrators, slaves, laborers, workers and they can assume almost every palpable role just because they are not in possession of narcissism or jingoism. Women focus on the task at hand and they do it very well. So why is it that we really have to be considerate about their safety and well being ? And why is it that we cannot simply afford to leave them on their own ? Well, the answer is very simple. Women are never seen as a counterpart, they're seen as an expendable asset and one which ought to be used that way. Her volition never matters, what matters is the utmost utilization of her prowess.

We've been a patriarchal society for ages. One that even sees upon some men, and even a handful of women, as gods in a temporary clad. We make every possible attempt to appease these magnanimous entities because we always believe that we can do away with our karmic crimes if we please these godmen and godwomen. We more or less do the same thing while we preach gods. I've seen more people who fear god than those who love them. Hence we have been of a mentality that crimes can always be condoned if you visit the right patriarch after having committed one. We are a self-centered society, too chauvinistic about our ways of life, too repulsive towards a change and too reluctant to be any other way. What we miss out amidst these so-called idealistic lives is a penchant for loving our own. We look upon as our fathers and grandfathers with sheer reverence and upon our mothers and grandmothers as someone who are simply doing their jobs. Men, who bring peace and prosperity within households are credited and heralded but women who were actually responsible for jolting the underpinnings and realizing the change, are overlooked simply because their tasks are considered too novice and primordial. The same extends beyond the usual. 

We ultimately carved a society where morals and ethics apply to your actions as long as you're dealing with men. The fraternities that exist in villages are bound by moral restrains and a sheer code of conduct. Men are ready to kill and even get killed for their brothers. Men are ready to lend money when their pals are in trouble but men are either too supercilious or too apathetic to help out a woman in her predicament. A woman who is churned and crushed daily under the barrels of tribulation enforced upon her by her family in general and society in particular, is seen as a mere case of bad fate or as an entity responsible for her own actions. No one is ready to depose for her. No one is ready to extend a hand simply because she is not seen as a free homo sapien anymore, and because she is seen as an object under someone else's control. And the gullible society actually believes in the veracity of this setup. I've seen women themselves approving of the inferiority of women and not playing in their favor, terming it as the conventional model of our society. And these words have been uttered by woman, who despite being women, have attained top-notch positions within their respective hierarchies. They either forgot their roots or their miseries or they were a lucky cohort that was fortunate enough not to to witness any. Anyways, either woman die or they sustain. And those who sustain either become a part of the society that they once despised or become the agents of change. It's the latter that I'd like to talk about.

We've seen women who feared none. We've seen women for whom the word trepidation was not present in their dictionaries. These women in a way seem odd and peculiar and somewhat eccentric as well. They're scorned for their disdainfulness and obstinateness. They're loathed for their proclivity towards changing things and for their whimsical foresight. But whatever it may be, we've had such women and still have some. These women know how to clear the path of all the bushes and get it cleared at their own behest. They are inquisitive and lucid at the same time. They are an epitome of efficacy and simplicity and at the same time, they have a bemusing and befuddling side to them. Their orders are carried out not only because of the fear they vest in the doers, but also because of some kind of faith that your own conscience had in them and their abilities. And ultimately, things did turn out the way they were planned to. There was internal opposition, blatant underground conspiracies, sleight moves to hamper progress, sheathed plans and treacheries and yet this woman succeeds in getting her trumpet of success blown at the predetermined time.

This woman has a combination of various traits. She is a visage of determination, laconicism, impertinence for outdated virtues, glutton for success, niggardly in preposterous and unrestrained expressions of love or admiration, and most importantly, she has an enormous appetite for success. She can bear seeing her beloved run away with someone else but she cannot bear missing one of her targets. She either never had any predispositions or she willingly gave them away. She knows what to do and how to do it and she eventually does it. But ever imagined what she traded for getting all that she achieved ? She traded her own womanhood, her own feminism ! Something which inspired so many artists during the renaissance, and something which logically is the source of all births on this planet. She in short has only a few vestiges of her original or destined persona left in her. She gave it all, she now keeps curiosities at abeyance, loves only when it's needed and lives only when she has the time to.

Now you must be thinking that one's gotta be kidding while even anticipating such a woman to exist. But at times, I've seen trails of this woman in women who otherwise seemed normal. The thought of her existence may seem quixotic and even imbecile, but she can exist if she is made to. I've seen her in the woman that fought for the death of her boy who was killed by the hooligans of a politician, and I've seen her in the woman who took up arms to protest and challenge the tyranny that abused her as a child, and I've seen it in women who lead their nations through wars and economic lows, and I've seen it in women who dare to come in public and charge at the convicts after they were molested, and I've seen her in a woman who used to tie her infant to her back and used to obliterate enemy battalions on her own horse with her own sword. In short, such a woman exists partly in every woman on this planet. It's just that she triggers the assertion of her presence only when her misery or the misery in front of her crosses a threshold. She is a abode of passion and bliss but she is also a reservoir of luxuriant strength. She can be titillated when she hasn't exploded but when she is, she can wipe off your entire perpetuity. She is flummoxing just because even after having so much of efficacy, she does not exercise it because she herself is not aware of it. She realizes her grandeur only when she is challenged to use it. And when she does break those floodgates, it's time for her enemies to pack up their bags.

Coming back to what women are subjected to, you'd find a morning newspaper full of stories about rapes, molestations, abductions, child marriages and what not. We see pictures of women who were burned with a barrage of acid, of women who were shot just because they were considered an iconoclast, of women who were thrown from running trains and who've lost their limbs, and of women who were victims of arsonists who set them on fire on the pretext of not getting proper dowry. All in all, the situation of women in our nation and quite a few more nations is pretty much troublesome and full of brouhaha. Everyone's willing to speak on their behalf, but none is ready to do anything comprehensive. Everyone's showing the wish to decapitate the culprits, and yet none is willing to do so. Everyone's talking about an upliftment and revamp of morals, and yet there are movies where all that women do is enticing men by singing and dancing on grotesque and obnoxious songs,and flaunting their voluptuousness so that their men could notice her. Why they do it ? Simply because people want it. People don't want women to come out of the clad of slavery and blasphemous treatment. People don't want women to move ahead, they want women to recede. And for women who are in a position to act, they're either too afraid to bet for change fearing the loss of their very position which itself is dependent on thoughts of men, or they are actually unwilling to do anything because they are too incredulous of a change. Whatever these external entities do and think, ever wondered why these destitute women don't act before they die ? Why they don't let their rage demolish our structures after witnessing every such incident ? And why they are not acquainting them with their valorous self ? That's because they want to give us another chance. Perhaps our final chance. A chance for us to better understand their positions and statures. The day our indolence or our ever increasing chauvinism renders their hope to diminish, they will turn savage. We were the ones who were responsible for the ramifications, but only we alone would not be the ones to suffer. The whole world will fall into pieces. It ought to be, because it no longer deserved to be there. How can a world that jeopardizes every second of a woman's life have any right to exist at the first place ? So, her inimitable unimaginable wrath will encompass everything that comes her way. No culpable soul shall be spared, no avenue saved from the fury of the reconnaissance. And only we and we alone can stop it by acting now. Go on, raise the alarm, help the victim, pick a case, save her life, give her a reason to be happy, threaten everything that threatens her, team up to bring the change and don't be afraid to Ring The Bell. And to sum up this post, you know where more did I see this woman ? I saw it in you !

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Royalty Unabated

As far as the common man or as the cult dictates it, the Aam Aadmi(Mango Man) of this nation is concerned, there's a scarcity when it comes to the magnitude of luxuries that he can afford. A man's life is somewhat limited to the frugal and ascetic ways of existence. Simple living dictates the larger part of his regime and thoughts. He does dare to afford a few luxuries but he always goes for them because they're are more or less an essential element that he can do nothing without. He buys smartphones that cost more than twice of his month's renumeration and then he runs after his credit card company to fetch an EMI scheme on that. He buys a luxury sedan and then he avoids driving it for the fear of it getting scratches and woeful dents after facing the atrocities which the roads have to offer. All in all, he lacks an element that was present in abundance in our prehistoric societies. A society where iniquity and inequity were somewhat restrained. The same things were available for everyone to savor and hence no one really felt missing out on a rare subject that was inaccessible due to demarcations. To cut a long story short, it was the royal food that dictated social pleasure. No matter what class you belonged to, you always had an incessant craving for tasting foods similar to those prepared in the royal kitchen because it was an attainable goal. People did not have to spend that much on clothes and houses and it was the food that made them gourmets ,connoisseurs and even gluttons. And once again, the common man is at the same juncture where he can only afford those same luxuries which his ancestors once devoured. So as it is, I'd throw up a royal feast for me and a few of my friends, all of whom are Mango Mans like me.

The most inherent ingredient of a royal feast is the food of course, but I'd also need to cover it all with certain superficial elements in the ambiance and presentation of things. The usual tubelights in my drawing room shall have to stay shut for the party and the chandler, which I don't remember when we switched on the last time, would take the lighting part. Plus, to complement the pristine yellow light from the chandler, the curtains and covers shall have to be replaced with new ones that suit the overall environment. Moreover, to make sure that the whole scene does not appear dichotomous and assumes a single line of expression, one of exuberance and royalty, all the purposeful yet incongruous elements like tables,chairs and everything else shall be removed. Instead of all these, we'll lay down carpets and cushions. One more thing that I'll arrange from somewhere is the small portable tables which kings and the elite are shown keeping their cutlery on. With all these things, my drawing room would be all set for the most amazing things it has ever witnessed - A royal Darbar which will have its royal feast. And not to forget, to keep up with the rest of the place, the guests too will have to don something royal and classy. They don't need to don a potpourri of things but they still need to appear royal. I guess as a Mango Man, a Kurta Pajama is the best that we can do. Fanciful Kurta Pajamas are always welcome and for the girls, theirs already having an enormous avidity for traditional dresses obviates any need to tell them to wear something particular.

Okay, now is the time to come to the heart of the royal treat and that is obviously the food. Now such feasts normally used to restrain to the particular culinary recipes of the specific royal house that organized this feast. Hence Mughal Darbars had host of Mughal delicacies like the Kebabs and Tikkas, and Nizami Darbars had the Biryani and likewise. However, since my honorable guests are from different nooks and corners of the country, so settling down on one cuisine can attract some haughtiness on the part of the one whose area is in close vicinity to the origin of that cuisine, and some rancor in the minds of those who were not given that privilege. Hence, my feast would encompass dishes from royal kitchens from all of India - The Mughal , The Rajasthani, The Nizami and the Kitchens from the southern Chennai provinces as well. I'd be picking up dishes that epitomize the prudence and ardent perspicacity of these royal kitchens and would prepare a final menu that will engross my guests like anything.

Okay, now the kitchens have been picked up but who in the world would possess the erudition that is needed to prepare dishes from all of them. Thankfully, Kitchens Of India is there to resolve our predicament. They offer dishes that cover the depth and breadth of the country and dishes that are in true sense a reminiscent and a faithful intimation of the royal delectables that once represented the glory of our nation. These dishes are not only prepared under the most stringent of environments in terms of taste and quality control, they are also crafted by masterchefs from kitchens of some of ITC's luxury hotels. Hence one can extrapolate that it's a pretty safe buck to leave to Kitchens Of India to provide to us the dishes that we need to consummate this party that we plan to do. Moreover, most of their dishes need either no or a very minimal amount of effort to prepare, hence it'll not be as humongous and as bamboozling a task to hold this party than it would have been without their proffering.

Although Kitchens Of India provides a whole host of canny traditional dishes, we'd choose the ones that have a sheer ostentatiousness vested in them. Dishes that in a way please your taste buds to such an extent that you're always left asking for more. So, based on that theme and without showing any impudence to the general scenario, here's the menu of my party, my own gourmet party :

Okay, this is one dish that I simply cannot afford to miss out on. The queer softness of the supple chicken pieces and the scintillating richness of the mesmerizing gravy will not only liquidate in your mouth, it will also liquidate your senses and will send you on a ferry of imagination.

Pretty much the veg counterpart of the last dish, this one also has to offer the tenderness of cottage cheese and a sheer amalgamation of softness and taste that is hard to get enough of. The kind of feeling that is persistent after having a dish like this cannot be envisaged, it can only be felt when you have it.

And here comes the dish which has an amalgamation of shrewdness and supremacy. A kind of flavor which can enlighten your senses and even revitalize your mood. I always believe that this combination of spices and condiments alongwith the rotund chicken pieces is a source of delight like none other.

And this dish is a perfect example of how innovative and insightful our royal kitchens were. A simple dish with ingredients that are so very commonplace and yet the recipe for preparing it is so audacious, that the ultimate result is something that will make you drool over its very sight.

And finally, we have that one dish which specifically represents the indomitable methods and techniques of the royal Mughal kitchen. A kind of dish that can be consumed without paying heed to obesity and other superfluous considerations. One of the best things you're likely to eat in a lifetime. A royal appetizer that in a way is capable to assert its very presence and a taste so intangible that you simply immerse in it.

And now we have a dish that is indubitably simple in terms of ingredients and preparation, but is far more superior than it seems. This dish has a kind of tinge which is so immaculate that it connives your appetite to increase itself. A kind of dish that cajoles you to have more of it. A smashing combination of freshly ground spices and curry leaves that is simply unmatched.

And what is a royal feast without a Dal and when it comes to this ingenious Dal Bukhara, it's like icing on the cake. One of the most conventional and commonplace items on an Indian plate and yet this dish shall bring that peculiarity, all credit to the coal cooking method, that it will be a divine delight for everyone who has it. The simplicity of the lentils combined with the intricacies of the simple spices cooked over coal fire in pure ghee, it will be something that is a class apart.


8. Jodhpuri Moong Dal Halwa

And to sum it all, we have the final dish of the night. A dessert that is simply too hard to resist. The conventional and yet so pleasing Halwa that literally blasts into flavors with every bite. Unlike usual sweet dishes, you'd like to indulge in it so that you could savor every bit of it. The granular and savory Moong Dal bits are enough to evangelize any person while they're eating it.

With this, the royal feast shall come to an end, but I'm pretty much certain that my royal feast would be such a success that I might very well revamp the Dawat culture that was once so very prevalent in our societies. A kind of renaissance when it comes to our food and a kind of revolution when it comes to our social gatherings. How badly I wish for those 1500's to manifest themselves again. 

This post was written with intent of submission towards Indiblogger's and ITC's My Weekend Party With Gourmet Food blogging drive. Visit the link to know more.

To know more about Kitchens Of India and their impeccable offerings, visit this link. 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Talk to the hand : Congress Critque 1

I'm no panache when it comes to expressing things clearly but still this craving to express my beliefs brings me back to my blog again and again. Perhaps that's the very reason why I set up these blogs at the first place. Nevertheless, I'm here again to express my contempt at something that has been boiling inside me and certainly needed a vent to brew out. Before I commence the main part, let me make this clear that this post is based on politics and its inherent avenues. Hence if you belong to the type that is incredulous towards the very institutions or are one from the lot that is totally indifferent and apathetic towards the systems that exist in regards of the whole political hierarchy, this post is not for you. And neither is this post for those who have a voter identification card for the sole purpose of being used as an identity proof for various purposes. This post has something to offer only to those who have a queer yet solid belief that the institutions of democracy would some day or the other find the right patriarchs.

So, Modi has been elected at a post in BJP which was considered significant enough for JDU to split with them on the pretext of a communal man leading BJP in the next elections. As a matter of fact, the final judgment on NaMo's alleged involvement in riots is impending and hence deeming him "communal" without a final verdict from the most authoritative pillar of a democracy - The Judiciary, is the most blatant oxymoron that can be cited with regards to a party that contests elections in India. Another hypocrisy that is not very palpable but can be considered legible for the case of political veterans, is the fact that JDU are okay with Advani leading NDA in the race. If one believes that Modi is communal, Advani has to merit twice as much of consideration to give some justice to equity. So as it can be concluded, JDU is simply a part of the cohort that is too scared to stand against the wind that's presently strong enough to root out entire establishments. Practically JDU's quitting NDA on the very onset of Modi being elected as the front party's leader is a classic example of Monomania, but as such this is another manifestation of Modimania or Modiphobia as his critics may like it to be termed. All in all, people are a little too wary to stand with the guy or are too afraid to stand against him. But as in case of JDU, we had a party that simply has a more specious agenda. Maybe they perceive Nitish, their own leader, as a plausibly probable candidate for the PM if the prospective third front comes into picture. All in all, there's quite some commotion when it comes to the opposition. However, the ruling party is inadvertently unaffected. Why ? You know the answer to it because you are the answer to it !

So much for the hullabaloo that exists on the other side of the barricade. New alliances are forged, new leaders being coroneted, new responsibilities being vested and Congress is still as strong as the darkest horse can be. No problems whatsoever in terms of who'll lead and moreover there don't seem to be quite a lot of contenders when it comes to fighting for the top position. You know why the BJP had so many people willing to be the front face of the party ? Because that is actually possible in BJP. It is a party that follows some niche form of democracy in its internal affairs as well. A man who rises from the scratch and works hard to take his people out of predicaments has indeed got the necessary postulates in the structure to go on and become the leader of the party. However in Congress, such a situation shall arise only if there's no one with the most revered patronymic surname in the scene. You know what surname I'm talking about and let it stay tacit because I don't want to disparage in any way the veracity that is associated with the honest and impeccable personnel who once were its flag bearers. As long as the successor of that surname is alive, no one else can assume the position of the top notch leadership within the party and subsequently within the country. Hence it's no surprise that Madam G features much ahead in the Forbes' list than our PM in the male counterpart of that enumeration.

Congress, ever since ts very inception has been free of all the cynicism which is otherwise an inevitability in our democracy. You simply know who their main leader is and irrespective of who contests for an election, it's their top man or top woman with the "G" power that you're likely to vote for. People own that visage of a sacrosanct person in pristine white Khaadi, condoning every convict, and loving every soul that comes in his/her way. A person who treats all religions equally irrespective of the fact that his/her party was in rule when more riots took place than in any other timeline. But no, how can someone with the "G" bearing be involved in something as blasphemous as a communal riot where thousands of innocents were burnt alive ? It has to be something that was cooked up by the dungeon operatives or by the filthy media. And even beyond that, this person is seen as an epitome of efficiency and moral conduct. One who conjures all the situations beforehand and never allows the nation to land in something precarious. Lest we forget the host of tribulations of varied nature and magnitude including political emergencies to avoidable droughts to gargantuan scams, this is quite true actually. When it comes to running a government for full five years, none can beat Congress. Maybe that's because of the fact that every local leader who comes under the ambit of the "G" bearer is very well aware of what he is without the backing of the "G", or maybe that is because every single rebellion is silently quashed by sheer supremacy. That's something we'll never find.

Anyways, some people do know the flaws that are prevalent within this quintessential party but quite a large section exists which wants to vote for them even after knowing everything. One reason is that they know of no other party to vote for and two, they have every reason to still vote for Congress. Congress as a party faces very infinitesimal policy paralysis when they actually have the volition to get something. The policy paralysis that they often mention as a deterrent and hindrance courtesy of them being in an alliance, actually relates to those policies that they are actually not very much interested in bringing in. A party that put its very cabinet at stake to bring in the nuke bill and a party that complained of vehement intricacies while passing the Janlokpal bill, well, that's what I wanted to depict there. So, as such Congress is capable of passing any resolution and any bill that comes under their umbrella of consideration and benefit. The whole MNREGA initiative is no doubt egalitarian, but is the underpinning of it in anyway related with the actual benefits which some people reap today ? Or is the scheme having an ulterior motive, one that is nefarious and does more good to them than is apparent. To comply with the length restrictions, I'd conclude here and continue from here in the other post that would follow sooner or later. When it comes to Congress, they're scornful enough to not to consider the common man. So don't talk to their man and their face, who of course cannot speak even otherwise, but talk to the hand, the hand of Congress. 

Saturday, 15 June 2013

I & My Seven Ages

When I posted my WeChat chronicles on Future Perfect, I tried to capture an instinct which was ephemeral and elusive. A scintilla that couldn't be downplayed and which deserved to be portrayed. This time, I'm going to use WeChat, the stunning new way to connect, in an altogether different manner. This one has got more to do with sheer retrospect and contemplation and if I could ever do what I make an honest attempt to articulate in my following staccato ramblings, I'd feel a kind of replenishment and a kind of jibe that shall enlighten the rest of my existence.

Technology and specifically the modes of communication that it has bequeathed upon us, have often being used for purposes that seemed more than palpable. In certain cases the use was somewhat out of track and in certain cases the use was predominantly unpredictable. The maxim used in all of them was more or less the same. What if a mode of communication could reach beyond the obvious and could accomplish the impossible. 13B is a quintessential example of what I'm talking about. Initially the spirits used television as a medium to circulate their message to the family of the protagonist, and towards the very end of the movie, a cell phone was used for the aforementioned purpose. So, what if I too get a chance of connecting with some reticent physically inexistent subject. I was enthralled by this concept and that's what this post circulates around.

I'm not adamant on connecting with spirits and all because I'm neither subversive and nor am I impervious to the trepidation that shall follow if such an incident ensues. But the idea still doesn't falter here. I can still connect with something that is not scary and is still evasive. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the most apt conjecture to introduce the ones whom I'd connect with.

I'm pretty much certain you all must have read and enjoyed William Shakespeare's The Seven Ages of Man at some point or the other in your life. The masterpiece puts forth the seven inadvertent and inevitable phases of any man's life. Right from the inception of his incarnate to the very event of his life's consummation. The poem described it all in its charming and mellifluous chimes. So, as it turns out, a man's got seven ages and seven phases to deal with. All of them with their intricacies. According to the dictum, I'm somewhere between the 3rd and 4th, so I express my wish and volition to connect with the ages I've already surpassed and those which I'm yet to witness. If I ever get a chance to chat with certain improbable contenders in a WeChat group, it'll be these 7 visages of my own.

Age 1 : The Toddler

One might find it hard to fathom why one would like to connect to an age and period of one's life where one knew nothing and one couldn't even communicate. There is actually something intriguing that we possess in each and every one of these phases. When I was an infant, I was gigantically dependent on others. I was dependent on my parents and on every hand that held me.I had to make copious innocent eyes to indicate that I'm hungry, had to extend my arms towards everyone to indicate that I'm feeling soporific and I had to depend on others to teach how to sit, how to crawl and eventually how to walk. In short, this is one phase that was characterized with a sheer penchant for dependence. However, it was also the time when I felt more protected. Like an initial whip in a cocoon. In the scabbard of my parents and my concierges, I was priced for my nascence. I was in a way more protected and safe from sabotage than even a VIP with Z level security. My very weakness of being dependent on others was also an advantage in other ways. I wasn't responsible for my own well being. I was being nurtured and taken care of in a 100% takeover manner. Hence I had no responsibility towards my own self and who'd care when there are so many stalwarts to look after you. I'd like to connect with that phase to witness that enigma and that impregnable wall in which was vested my importance.

Age 2: The School Boy

And as time passed by, I assumed my next role. I grew up and was now a boy all set to attend the first formal school of my life. Like every school boy, I too was one who was reluctant to leave the indispensable luxuries of home. I was afraid to talk and was hopelessly laconic in the beginning, and eventually I became the most loquacious elements of my class. I was shy and yet I was so turgid that I manifested the vagaries of primordial education in all apparent ways. I was a quick learner like many a boy of my age. Agile, quick to adapt to new avenues, always hungry to explore something new. I was also very convivial and the usual Joie De Vivre. I had an alacrity that was unmatched. If I need a reason to revisit and recede to a phase of my life, this is the one I'd consider most dearly. I was a fearless soul, full of questions and a plethora of ideas. I'd like to connect to that alter ego to see what it wants to become in its life, why it wants to live in a particular way and does it approve of the way I, its own future, am spending my life. In short, it'll be like asking questions and seeking answers from yourself. But more importantly, this phase will help me rediscover my roots whose notice I take but yet I fail to give them due merit.

Age 3: The Lover

When I read this revered poem 10 years ago, I felt that the term "lover" bears a more figurative than a literal sense. But it's nothing more than a mere fallacy. There comes an age in a man's life where no matter how strenuous and staunch he is in his conduct, he falls for the pristine beauty of a pompous lady. He may even make a genuine attempt at refraining himself from moving ahead, but all his efforts are rendered futile. He sighs as he recalls the sumptuousness of his beloved and yet he finds himself in paucity for love. He assumes the most parsimonious of lifestyles to restrain and barricade his flow of thoughts but he still finds himself yearning for that one single girl, all the time. Life in a way comes to a standstill and it moves ahead only when either this man gets that girl or that girl is no longer available to make do with. It's pretty much like that. A niche phase that arrives and goes away at an almost predetermined juncture and one that transforms a man in a moral and emotional sense. He, for the first time, finds it hard to veil his true emotions. He finds resolve in an adorable face but that same bliss makes him a nocturnal wanderer. He loses sleep, can't concentrate on work and begins to imagine things. Not hallucinations but he's very close to them. He tries to find that girl in every bit of his existence and eventually surrenders to an outcome no matter how vivid or how livid it may be. I'd like to connect with this phase to see a part of my persona that is so hard to find otherwise. I'm no longer a man of sheer resolute, my actions are deemed ludicrous, and my imaginations are my only revitalizers. I'd also like to interact with that age of mine to see what all it does to keep itself alive and what it sees for itself. I want to know how woeful his hopes are and I want to observe that whimsicalness from the outside. In short, I want to enjoy my own fanaticism.

Age 4: The Soldier

And then the man comes in terms with his purpose, with a goal he actually cherishes. He knows what is to be done in his life and he knows it for sure. His musings have now given way to one fixed image of him achieving something. He's ready to give it all for it. He now knows that he may have to consort with the evil, may have to do what he once deemed illicit, he may have to use his sleight for deception, but he does all of it. He knows that now he ought to stop at nothing less than his goal. He wants to be a winner. I'm due to enter this phase and I'm not able to enter it because I still don't know what to do in life. Have a little too many interests to follow, a little too many goals to achieve. Ultimately the choice has to come from me only. However, I'd like to connect with this phase not to see what I eventually chose for myself but to witness the determination I'm showing towards it. I've never been a man who showed even an infinitesimal focus towards a cause but I'd dearly want to see how I do it when I do it. The sheer brevity, the purposeful moves, I want to see how I plan to achieve my own perpetuity, my own prospects.

Age 5: The man of justice

And then comes the man who is wise and who holds prejudices that are not only shrewd but are also convincing. He has his own set of rules to live by. He has obviously garnered a rotund belly and has lost the sheen of his youth, but he is more contend just because he has a sense of satisfaction about what he's settled on to. He has acquired a knowledge that can be acquired only with practice and he is proud of what he has now. I've never set any rules or guidelines for my own existence but as far as this age is concerned, that thing can only be procrastinated. People just have to depend on their own instinct and ethics to take decisions. I'd like to connect with this future man in me to see how much of ingenuity, I as a man, have developed by then. I need to interact with that perspicuous man who is sure about what he's doing, because I never was. I need to tether to his brilliance and to his way of doing things. I need to witness his magnanimity, his condoning gestures, his patience and his virtues. I need to see how I'd be maybe 20 years down the line, with my life on track and with a sense of belief about what I'm doing. Once again, I'd like to question this man if he's happy with what I'm doing here, in this age and ask for his suggestions about any possible rectifications. After all, who can judge you and suggest you better than your own self.

Age 6: The senescence

And then comes the age where a man feels getting old for the first time. He was turning senile even in the previous one but his indefatigableness never made him believe so. He now resorts to asceticism because the worldly pleasures no longer amuse him. He knows that his importance in this moving world is paltry and yet he makes minor efforts to assert his utility, only to attract more ignominy. His ways become capricious and he is no longer a subject that merits a lot of thought. His achievements are celebrated but he still feels incongruous. He spends his time with his family and with reminiscent of the glory he fostered in his lifetime but even after having the craving to be more, to do more, he is out of resources. And even after all this, he feels satisfied because he knows that he has fulfilled his purpose and he shall have no regrets about it. I'd like to connect with this gentlemen to know how he feels about a world that as a stage has remained the same but one in which he has no big role to play now. I'd like to ask him what he feels about being there, how he lives through those torrid yet turbid times. And I'd like to congratulate him and tell him that he has a man has done all that he could have done in his capacities and tell him that his own younger counterpart is enormously proud of what he has done.

Age 7: The inevitable

And like the fundamentalists always say, all commencements are bound to end, so does the life of a man. This age is characterized by a sheer resort to austerity. When a man deliberately shrinks the perimeter of his thoughts and life. He has a lot of wisdom to share but he lacks the teeth to utter it, he has a lot of magic to spell but his hands won't allow otherwise. He still smiles because now he sees his own life in his dreams. He must be seeing me in his dreams doing what he did as me. He appreciates his own intellect and prowess and lives only to relive those moments as long as fate may allow him. He is a lackadaisical subject who causes repulsion in young souls because of his appearance. Then he recalls how he himself ran way from the aged whom he feared to be connected with the Satan. Yet he lives through his life, whining but only in himself, cheering but only his own younger self that exists only in tales of his glory. He vilifies the antagonists of his own stories and acts a slapstick for his grandchildren. He finds comfort only in their company because he sees in them the journey of his next incarnate. I'd like to connect with him to admire his diminishing brilliance and his lucid existence. I'd also like to witness his stoicism to which he had no option but to resort to. I'd like to ask him questions about his times and how he goes about in life. Is there still something he has a penchant for, something that he does not possess in his quiver because his younger versions failed to acquire something. I'd also like to ask the same question yet again, is he happy with what I'm doing ? Would he eventually serve the goal which my 4th age avatar had set for himself ? Is he happy with what all that he and his 6 ages have done before him going to the pyre and is there any message that he'd like to pass to any of us ? And at the end, I'd once again admire him for a lifetime of achievements and tales worth telling, for the manner in which he never succumbed, and for the sheer resilience and perseverance that he incorporated in his existence.

And with this, I'd say goodbye to all the 7 ages of myself. A WeChat group chat that I not only thoroughly enjoyed being a part of, but one that allowed me to get answers to all the questions I always asked of myself. I now know of secrets which I kept from no one but myself, and of the discreet and bemusing ways that I'd adopted before and shall adopt later in my life. Eventually, I'd come out as a man who is free of doubts, doubts that plagued his decisions. I'd come out as a man, totally different from what he is now. I'd come out as a man who now knows what he's here for. If only this WeChat group could exist in real, if only this WeChat group chat could happen for real.

This post was written with the intent to submission towards Indiblogger's WeChat with Anyone, Anywhere blogging drive.

To know more about the impeccable messaging app WeChat, visit their YouTube channel.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Savoring the 90's, the gluttonous way !

I always have this craving to go back to the 90's, 1997 in particular. It was such an intriguing year. I was still a 7 year old who was fanatically busy in exploring new things and acquainting himself with the avenues of life. Those times were so very similar and yet so different. A reward of a Rupee from your parents meant a lot. You could have bought a sumptuous packet of Fun Flips or could have bought at least four of those delectable and adorable candies. A Rupee accumulated for three successive infusions would have meant an entire bottle of the savory good old beverage - Bhanta. Delhiites may be more aware of what I'm speaking of. Bhanta was that local beverage sealed in bottles that had a gigantic marble based sealing system. Those were also the times of Tendulkar's burgeoning domination. A guy who could win matches single-handedly and those were also the times when the world witnessed Dravid's and Ganguly's rise in world cricket. Those were the times when Indi pop bands were quite prevalent and they not only produced rhythmic and mellifluous chimes, they also produced a cult that was there to stay. Those were also the times when 8-bit video games with a preloaded copy of Mario, had become almost an essential thing to be attached to your TV. And last but not the least, those were the times when no matter what shop you visited, you could have heard Altaf Raja's cacophonous and ravenous number "Tum To Thehre Pardesi" playing on their radios and transistors. Altaf Raja is back so I contemplated on all the aspects and wondered why cant the 90's too be brought back to life. And it's precisely that thought which compelled me to consider this idea of having an all 90's theme party. My own gourmet party.


The Guests 

In precisely 1997, we'd thrown up a random party where we as a family invited all of our acquaintances. There were people from dad's office, from our society, and all those friends and relatives who stayed in close vicinity. I guess people, including us of course, were much more convivial during those times. I guess our social structures and preferences have changed quite a lot since then. Our demographics now dictate the terms and gargantuan social gatherings are now in paucity. So to commemorate those awesome times we all had in that awesome era and to celebrate that exuberance for an ephemeral moment, those same ladies and gentlemen, and guys and gals shall be invited again. I don't know how much circumspection would go on about this but I'm certain that a luxuriant portion of the original cohort would still turn up.

The Ambiance 

The ambiance has to be kept pristine and largely unaltered in terms of its closeness with that from the 90's. Hence I'd hold this party on an open terrace under a very hackneyed canopy. I'd fit some scorching yet okay lights on all its four corners and will put some tables and cover them with another trite piece of cloth. Above it would be the those casseroles containing the lip smacking delights for my guests and some plates on which these dishes would eventually be served. The game changer of my party though, would be 4 large pedestal fans and 2 large Desert coolers to not only keep the heat at abeyance but also to mimic the exact cooling mechanisms that were used in the 90's and are used even now in open air parties. 

Since this party wouldn't be confined only to meals and goodbyes, I'd also imbue a genuine yearning for 90's mania in all of my guests. I'd redesign our drawing room with our old color tv which has been lying secluded in a trunk for about 4-5 years now. I'd ask mom to change the curtains to the ones we actually used during that tenure and would also ask her to change the Sofa covers and other constituents accordingly. All those fancy chandlers and other things would stay off during the course of this party. I'd put thin colorful films on the tubelights to emulate those exact lighting effects used during the aforementioned period.

A Grand Welcome

Adulation is something which we Indians have an enormous liking for. So, to keep up with the welcoming traditions of our heritage and culture and for me not being an iconoclast, I'd do something special to welcome my guests at the gate. To keep up the grandiose to a level that seems plausible, I'd tug garlands in every guest's neck and would give all of them a fitting and vehement title. Since I cannot fire a salvo for their entry, I'd arrange for a few local drummers who could welcome my guests with a minor grandeur. All in all, I'm pretty excited about this aspect.


As I've already mentioned, this party would be an honest attempt of bringing the 90's back to life. So, the entertainment quotient has to inculcate the renaissance that was vested in those time. I'd have a music system,not the current one with the pen drive and Bluetooth and all, but the exorbitantly obsolete system that we bought in 95'. We still have it for certain inscrutable reason and we still have some awesome cassette tapes for it as well. So that system in our revamped, shall I say, drawing room would take charge of the music at the party. Coming to the songs, it was largely pop time and certain other bands that either envisaged rebellion or fantasized wonderlands. Some songs that shall be played 

1.  Everybody by Backstreet boys 
2. Hey Macarena by Los Del Rio 
3. Noorie Remix by Balli Sagoo
4. Gur Nal Ishq Mitha by Malkit Singh 
5. They don't care about us by MJ
6. It's my Life by Dr. Alban

And a plethora of other timeless evergreen classics which continue to please our senses till today. 

Now as I've already mentioned, those were the times when Mario was considered to be the most prudent way of killing time. So what would be a 90's party without the guests getting to play their frivolous game again.. The original TV shall come handy here and it shall connect to its original Nintendo 8-bit counterpart. And there you go, the remotes,the cables and the unit is all set up and Mario and Luigi are ready to amaze you with their astounding pixels.

The life of the party : Cuisine 

I'm no chef and the only dishes I'm the likeliest contender to prepare, and that too in the most rarest of situations, are a foliated French toast and maybe a cup of tea or coffee. But since this party would apparently and indubitably be seen as my idea and the stakes of me rupturing into an ignominy are so very high, I have to be certain about what I do to arrange the food. Since I want this feast to be a memorable experience with a vivid assortment of dishes, I'd resort to the leaders in luxury dining, ITC. Now since my impecuniousness wouldn't allow me to arrange for one of ITC's virtuoso chefs to our kitchen, I'd have to find some other way. Well, I'm glad ITC gives us another way of rejoicing their delicacies - Kitchens of India. Kitchens of India is ITC's latest offering in terms of fine dining and it's quite contemporary. This offering encompasses a selection of some enthralling Indian dishes that cover the breadth and depth of our whole cuisine. And what's best, these dishes are crafted by ITC's very masterchefs. These dishes which have sustained over ages in the royal kitchens of aristocrats, are finally there to be devoured. Most of them are ready to serve mels and others require some infinitesimal effort which is totally worth it. But irrespective of what dish you choose, the connoisseur in you shall always feel salvaged and placated at the end. The quintessential aroma and characteristic taste of these rare delicacies is simply inimitable.

Now there are a multitude of dishes offered by these veterans and it's mine responsibility to see which ones would serve to make the overall meal an indomitable treat to the tastebuds. Given the fact that this is a 90's theme party and 90's were both about simplicity and a little bit of style, so we choose the dishes that imbibe those elements. 

1. Mutton Kolhapuri Mix 



One ingredient of a 90's theme party has to be the lusciousnes and indulgence. This culinary mix of India's best spices and condiments merged with the succulent and tender Mutton pieces would produce the most lethal combination. My guests would find it hard to refrain themselves from eating every bit on the cutlery.

Now comes the most extravagant of dishes. The savory aroma and the delectable taste of this Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani will leave all my quests craving for more. This dish will bring in the canniness which the 90's so thoroughly represented. A bowlful of this dish would be a treat to remember.


The 90's stood for transitions. Quite some transitions we witnessed during those times. From landline to cell, from typewriters to computers and what not. This dish will bring in that element to my gourmet party. A single bite of these cream laden sumptuous paneer cubes is enough to take you from your conscience to sub-conscience. You forget this world and its vagaries and jump into a sea of delight and mellifluousness.

What is an Indian party without a Dal that is prepared in luxuriant quantities of pure Ghee. This is basically the most ardent dish of my whole party. The most compelling ingredient for the most amazing feast. It'll not only bring the utility aspect of the 90's into the picture, it'll also add that exquisiteness which was highly sought after during those days. The audacity of the spices amalgamated with the arduous coal fire cooking would bring such an inimitable twist to my party that one will always be left asking for more.

The 90's had an almost quintessential element in the form of tanginess. Things used to have something unique and enigmatic that used to seem peculiar and yet they attracted us towards them. In my case, it were girls. But irrespective of what it was in your case and in case of my guests, this dish would be a flummoxing yet engaging ingredient. I'd hide  away the bottle and serve chutney in a bowl and leave to people to guess what it is. They'll literally drool over this one.

90's had a very conspicuous element in them. A craving for class and a craving for pure quality. When it comes to your taste buds which are on travail throughout the day, allowing you to taste the usual things, they'd simply fall in love with this mesmerizing and rejuvenating preparation. This dish is about pure class and symphony. The most impeccable culinary combination with the most palatable of constituents. This is the kind of dish that makes people chew away their fingers and then run for first aid kits.

I'm largely unbiased when it comes to the veg v/s non-veg question. I'm simply a lover of food and I live for food in fact. So, we simply need a veg counterpart of the delicacy that can cajole the most hardcore conservationalists, any single day - The majestic Biryani. Having said that, I believe that even the non vegetarians are going to gormandize this like anything. After all, the royalty and tradition vested in this dish is so hard to get enough of.

And here comes a dish that is spicy, pristine and inadvertently pompous. One of the most savory dishes on my party menu. A dish that imbibed the best of Indian heritage in one single preparation. The rapacious chillies, the sultry spices and the mouthwatering base of this dish would create such an intrigue about itself that my party grandeur would get an adage of its own.

 And how can one even consider consummation of a party without a sweet dish. 90's were all about sweetness so here comes a dish that has got sweetness in an abundance. For a time when the sense of taste is in a moribund condition, we need something luxurious and classy to bring those senses back to life. This is the kind of dish that can render that possible.

 And I suppose that a Moong Dal Halwa is an essential ingreident of any Indian treat. The way the ingredients of this exotic dish melt in the mouth and soothe the senses, it takes one to an entirely different world. Every single bit of this dish can assert its mighty presence and could produce a kind of magic that can be reproduced only on eating more of it.

So with this last and final dish, concludes a party which I believe would strengthen our mutual bonds a little more. To palliate the possibility of the end looking abrupt and awkward, I'd arrange for a small get together in our drawing room, post dinner. Here, I'd be distributing a small memento specifically designed for my party and would try getting names of the guests carved on them. These minor mementos would act as a reminiscent to the spectacular times we all would spend together on that night. And with that, we'd break off to the nocturnal bliss and say final goodbyes to each other. Ultimately I've got to say that this would be one helluva party. One that I and all the guests would remember for quite some time. And since you too have done your bit by reading this litany, you're invited as well. 

This post was written with the intent of submission towards Indiblogger's and ITC's My Weekend Party With Gourmet Food blogging drive. Visit the link to know more.

And to know more about ITC's Kitchens of India's exhilarating offerings, visit this link.

Monday, 10 June 2013

A day without the Internet

There comes a time when a blogger or a writer is no longer capable of keeping in control that urge to write. Your mental ramblings in a situation that is either grotesque or somewhat peculiar, force you to write down a testament of all that is going on. The eeriness of the mellowing air and the grogginess in your crumbled mind, even they don't have the power to keep your writing instinct at abeyance. You know it does not make any sense and what you'd write down would eventually become another victim of the lack of traffic from which your blog suffers. But, you still want to write, not because of that feeling, not because of those circumstances but because writing is no longer a passion, it has become a ravenous desideratum. You can swivel and do everything possible to move away, but as it turns out, your conscience was never entirely in your control.

So, amidst this situation, here I am in a hilly and lusciously green area of Mumbai. One that seems to have an enormous proclivity to vest you in itself and one where the ingeniously carved landscapes and harrowing pathways are so exorbitantly arranged, that you develop genuine appreciation for it. But wait, natural and architectural properties are impressive but what about what fuels up a blogger ? This place does not have any connectivity in regard of my cellphone and my USB dongle network. Above all, all other viable networks get an exuberant connectivity. As it turns out, I've arrived here today, and today itself some network issues have crept in the nearby network transmission systems. So, as fate may have it, an Internet hungry man is compelled to sit here in this simple and sober room with the most parsimonious of constituents and with windows that face the most picturesque scene you're likely to imagine in Mumbai city.

Here I am, with my inadvertent partner - my laptop, with my cellphone, with a few bags surrounding me, two doors, one opening to a hallway and other to a balcony, 2 windows which when opened are capable of entwining you in the aroma of the scent of night, a bedding, a few pairs of shoes, a few lights, a fan, a few wall mounted cupboards and racks, a chair with basic stuff, and an All Out machine with Good Knight liquid . One must be wondering that you've gotta be nuts to mention even the most frugal of things in a scene but as it turns out, I've got nothing else to notice. I have the two things which till a few hours ago allowed me to connect to the rest of the world – my cell which has a 3G connection and my laptop for which I have a USB dongle. But now, here I lay, secluded from the rest of my world, with the bliss of nature, but away from the bliss which silicon valley and its entrepreneurs have bequeathed upon me since 1995.

It's not that I gave up straightaway. I searched for networks, I used the cord extension of my dongle, I tried accessing a prospective Wi-Fi network which the households above me or below me might be using. You know what, I am not erudite enough to break into their networks but I simply had this rapacious craving to see a network signal with a few bars on. Just that very feeling that you have a network around you, those surreptitious waves hovering around you, their mellifluous crests and troughs evangelizing your thoughts. But alas ! , there are no active Wi-Fi networks as of now. After having tried every single thing in my quiver of acquainted knowledge, I just kept viewing and savoring the static content from Facebook and a few more pages that were opened a little while ago when I had access to the Internet. I couldn't load comments, which was obvious, I couldn't load new Facebook notifications and messages, The Chat box kept saying “Disconnected”. Then I turned to my Gmail page. Last mail was loaded at 12:24 AM on the same day. Of course, it was just a matter of a little while ago when my dongle was seething with all those network bars. Even though I had read all mails, I opened them again as they were still in cache and for that ephemeral instance, I devoured the magic that is manifested in opening mails.

I moved on, kept tethering to the cellphone screen to see any sign of network. Wait ! It shows one bar, no 3G but one bar, maybe more will follow. Yeah ! 2 bars now, 3,4,5 and finally it has all of them. I couldn't help but thank god, the magnanimous, the prescient and the all powerful god for attending to my plight and finally putting an end to my tribulation. I no longer felt being captive. I enjoyed those mighty sumptuous bars as their number kept decreasing and then increasing every 2 seconds. I was finally brought out of the gallows, I was set free. And then, then it shuddered me again. All bars went away in the whip of a second. No more bars and situation returned to where it all started. I still don't know if it happened for real or if it was a preposterous imagination. I glued my eyes to the screen of my cell so that I could find that out for myself. 5 minutes, no network, 10 minutes, no sign yet. I had to unlock it again and again as the automatic lock triggered after every few seconds of inactivity. The exercise was futile.

And it was then that I finally decided that this moment, this predicament, shall not go in vain. That it shall form the 40th post and perhaps the 12th or so ludicrous post of what is supposedly my alter ego - my blog. I knew that blogging at this point of time and then reaping the benefits of those gigantic 4 hits that follow every hour was not possible, not now at least. So I opened a slate which can copy a blog when it comes to the frolic that comes in undulating typing – The LibreOffice. As I wrote this, I did not blog this in the conventional sense. After all, blogs are about being all connected all the time. Blogger keeps saving your draft every now and then and so did this word processor. But whereas blogger saves it on its servers, this processor saves it on my own machine. For the purpose of writing this account, saving it first on my machine made more sense as it bears a true testimony to the times we've spend here.

For the first time, I blog without the officiousness of Facebook's frequent notification sounds, without the mail refreshing actions that I execute after every few minutes, without the twitter feed check out which I do after every paragraph and without the Indivine link posting and Facebook link posting that I always do subsequent to writing a blog post. As it turns out, writing this blog required the minimal of effort. Posting would require a little flex of fingers later on but as of now, writing ensued like flow in a high speed pipe. Nothing to worry about, no consideration about tags, no concerns about how to create a promotion description of the post, nothing. This was somewhere between pristine writing and prospective blogging. I've drawn a clear line of demarcation between two actions that were always supposed to be separate but which always mix up. This time, I was made to do the former. I could take a few pictures of the situation to describe it more vehemently, but I don't have the data cable to transfer pictures to the laptop right now and to inculcate them in this post. I can obviously do that later but once this post is finalized now at this point of time, I don't want anything to deprive it of its originality. It is a standalone account of this time when I actually felt some kind of lecherie for an Internet connection. I don't have a connection now but I'll get one any moment And eventually this blog post too will make its way. Because no matter what happens, there's connectivity at the end of every secluded tunnel ! This is where this account ends. A brief description of how I spent nearly a day that hereby ends with an unusual fanaticism, and A day without the Internet!

June 4, 2013
11:39 PM IST
                                                                            Mumbai City

Sunday, 2 June 2013

When the veterans ignored the warning signs.

I am no economist and neither am I a prospective student in that avenue. However, I always crave to stay abreast with a little bit of what goes in the financial world. I follow articles, certain news channels and certain other resources on the Internet to find intricacies in what is supposedly the main pillar of the present world - its economy. Countries have been trading ever since the inception of trading amongst humans. Initially, trading was done in commodities which happens even till date, for that matter. But with time, the subjects of trading moved from more inherent and manifested modes to more tacit and virtual platforms. This constitutes of stocks, liquidities and other things which though have a market value certified by creditors, rating agencies, auditing agencies and even regulatory bodies, but these components still have certain vicissitudes because they never exist as such. They only exist on paper and act at the behest of market values,company results and a plethora of other implicit and explicit factors. I wrote this prologue to my post just to vehemently assert my conjecture that the global economy has necessarily became much more complicated ever since its inception.

So now, why link up this potpourri with a moral theme of learning from the warning signs ? Well, I actually held this notion that there's no better way than to learn from a story that is just a verbatim vesting of a real life story. I came across this topic of ignoring the warning signs and I don't know why but some part of my conscience tethered me to a realization which has been mentioned in various books and various journals over the past few years. Ladies and gentlemen, this may not be a story in the conventional sense, but this an honest attempt to show you how the most virtuoso of economists failed to recognize the warning signs that eventually waned the happiness and prosperity of a countless number of people. This is a superficial yet indicative account of how the Global Recession or the Great Recession of 2008 could have been avoided. Most of the things discussed here are presented in context of the US economy and its constituents because the commencements largely burgeoned there.

A collection of the headlines which newspapers all across the world used to describe those turbulent times.

It is believed that the Great Recession wouldn't have arrived if the appropriate market factors were checked on time and subsequent rectification methods were forced. The first of these was the burst of the housing bubble. A few years prior to this great recession, interest rates on house loans were brought down substantially and buyers were also allowed to refinance their mortgages(i.e changing certain specs of the loan midway like monthly amounts or a change in the very security or possession against which loan was obtained etc.). These were the reasons because of which housing debt kept increasing as people were allowed to be very casual in paying back for their homes. And above all, banks and investment agencies provided investment products that were based on the premise of these home loans being paid back on time. And suddenly, things started tumbling in this venue in 2006-07. The underpinnings are very complex but the global economy started showing warning signs that a lot of home loan possessors would be defaulting on a host of subsequent payments. The investments in home sector kept declining more and more voraciously during the whole 2005-08 period. This was one warning sign, which if it was checked on time by govt authorities and other agencies, could have avoided the much larger fiasco that ensued later. But as the legend has it, even after a little bit of wariness from a few experts, the issue was largely ignored. When the housing bubble burst, initially loan repayments were defaulted but as a cascade effect the investment products based on these repayments collapsed woefully, resulting in the biggest financial chaos.

A cartoonist's impression on how even after knowing that recession is looming, people waited for it to become more evident.

The second indicator was the fall of consumer and company spending. Although the ambit of this was somewhat restricted because there is always some variation, but this was a warning sign, nonetheless. It is believed that as and when consumers start spending less on retail and other other ventures and when companies start getting more wary of their expenditure and restrain their expansion and mass spending plans, it is a sure shot sign that some kind of trouble is brewing. Although the initial signs in this regard were wry and quixotic to infer upon, but a few good months before the recession, certain market gurus started predicting these as a predecessor to a more massive drop in overall spending. And as it turns out, a massive drop in spending was witnessed when the Great Recession was officially declared. Once again, a very very comprehensive warning sign was simply ignored just to witness the underlying  phenomenon of that sign becoming more impregnable later on.

The expression said it all.

The third indicator was a conglomerate of various market factors which are assumed to be the flagpost of conventional markets. This includes a multitude of things like copper prices, NYSE(New York Stock Exchange) margin debt and oil prices. It is believed that these factors show certain peculiar out of the track trends just before a recession or just after an economy is revamping post a recession. These factors may either dwindle or show a rather capricious behavior during these indicative times. History has it that even during the Great Recession, these factors clearly elucidated the probability of something abnormal shoving up in the markets. But as always, even though the signs were duly acknowledged, they were largely ignored after being termed as rare seasonal variations which might dissolve with time. What eventually happened was something quite different.

The decline in USA's GDP growth, courtesy of the Great Recession.

Although the above indicators were the most comprehensive in terms of suggesting a possible recession, there were a plethora of other factors which various university and market economists deemed to be the signs of a doom. Most of these factors too were considered illegitimate and non-viable in that context and were simply ignored. Now, the question is that even after being the most inimitable and indomitable of all economies, why is it that the top notch decision makers in the US ignored such plausible signs ? That is because the overall economy was largely considered to be self-sustained and self-controlled. The nation thought that courtesy of all the regulations and monetary bodies in charge of funds and flows, the market will be able to steady and stabilize itself with the minimum of efforts. It was believed that these warning signs were somewhat intermittent and acting at their behest would have been a whimsical approach. Instead of that, it was believed that following the usual budgetary and regulatory actions was all that was needed. Eventually, the economy started to feel the blunt of not acting on these warning signs and when they acted, it was already too late.

The Great Recession seemed to have a penchant for destroying complete sects of the economy. Investment banks whose proclivity for underestimating undulating risks was the prime cause of the recession, were the first ones to feel the heat. The world literally shuddered when one amongst the largest of financial institutions, Lehman Brothers, completely collapsed in September 2008. That was the first big picture of the recession. Post that, there were reports of a substantial number of people in the US and Europe losing out on their homes as well as jobs. Consumer spending came down drastically, more and more financial institutions crippled and went away with the wind, manufacturing came to an altogether halt, investments went down to an all time low, more and more austerity measures had to be forced every now and then and to sum it all, quite a lot of people were compelled to terminate their lives. It seems that this recession was a very very ravenous one. One that was benevolent enough to warn us well before its arrival but one which, when it arrived, devoured things as rapaciously as it could. The world eventually came out of the tribulation however Forbes believes that the recession has left an everlasting impact. The govt came up with figures about the cost of the recession but given the fact that a single human life is in itself priceless, it was the most ludicrous of things to present. We sustained that recession but it has taught us a lesson of our lives. Never ever ignore the warning signs. They're there not to scare you, but to spare you.

When an institution as large as Lehman Brothers failed to sustain.

This post was written with the intent of submission towards Indiblogger's Colgate #WarningSigns blogging drive. It is an attempt to encourage bloggers to blog about the atrocities that form the ramifications of not treating warning signs with due diligence. This post had a much larger purview but we humans too have an appetite for being apathetic towards warning signs. We ignore problems in our gums and teeth deeming them as something that would go away in a while. But that is not to be. Blood can be the sign of bigger gum problems like gingivitis, receding gums or even tooth loss if left untreated. One should not ignore the warning signs your body gives you!

A view of all the products from the Colgate Total range that are in the offering.

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