Monday, March 10, 2008

Just thinkin..

What do u do when some one u trust with ur life(not necessarily ur gf or wife) ..does a volte face and turns out to be the exact opposite of the person u thought u had been seeing..?
I feel initially there is this total denial..denial of reality of circumstances and situations. Suddenly u feel like thinking that thsi is not the real world ,maybe i will wake up in sumtime and this all will go away.
When u feel that this concept doesnt work.ur self denial turns to greif at the loss. A grief that some how and somewhere u have been responsible for the loss. U have made the bad thing happen. You have made this guy turn away. It is a phase that consists of self blaming. Your confidence takes a nosedive ..and god forbid if u have no close friends..u can be suicidal. Its this phase that one finds described in arts and music as the painful loss. The second phase can last as long as u want it to last. The best and worst part about it is the fact that if u want badly ..u can pull out.

The third phase is more of a reconciliation phase where u drag the truth to the surgery table and dissect it impartially. Look at the diseased parts, see where things are rotten and where things are ok. Once u do this u are well on ur path to growing up. Doing this makes u realise that if u are hurt by this happening ...probably u are not responsible. And suddenly the world seems a much clearer place. Things start falling into perspective and u conclude that watever has happened has happened for good..

The forth and the most lasting phase is that of a constant simmering anger of being taken for a ride.This anger lasts ...! If u can forgive that guy/gal...buddy then u are in for a similar shock

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Happy women's day...oops women's day

Women ....!! I guess nothing occupies a man's mind more than that subject. If he says otherwise ..either he is lying or he is gay. And the best part is that as many men are there on earth as many opinions float around on trying to decipher women. It must be very flattering for women to be called an "enigma wrapped in mystery" but i am sure most women are too intelligent to believe this crap.

But there lies the irony of the situation. Women as a race are intelligent..too intelligent infact to realize that there is a point of singularity for every form of intelligence. This is the point where intelligence breaks down and absurdity starts. Women ride over this point as a minor bump not realizing that the breakdown has already started.
You see them "correcting" everything, bargaining for a better deal shops and also in relationships, dressing up , dressing down...they are a busy lot. And yet if u ask them honestly ..most of them are in a constant flux. Even if are not goin to admit it..they are far from satisfied. If asked they will "reason" that they are "perfectionists"...
The sheer absurdity of the statement becomes apparent when u realize that being a perfectionist is not a choice they make ..its a choice they cant avoid. Just like if a worker ant tells u that he works because he enjoys if.
The second most striking thing about women is that they are forever in "competetion"..with whom? ..thats immaterial. The world, the boys, the boyfriend, the husband..the maid , the mom..everyone is a potential competitor. And its a game of one upmanship that never ends....!! For a race which is a self confessed pacifist ..the war is always prove a point.
To whom..doesnt matter. Just "prove a point"

Monday, March 3, 2008


Most of us tend to look upon Defence sector as a huge monolithic war mongering machine with pompous generals and their toy guns. In fact Gandhiji was totally against the maintainence of a regular Defence Force in free India. Too many free thinking individuals have decried themselves hoarse about a Defnence Force that generates no income and is a strain on National Resources. Infact , the reason why an Army(for that matter NAvy and Airforce) exists in absence of War is a mystery to most of us. These guys just keep on training , getting subsidies , canteen , cheap alcohol ..cmon what do they do to deserve all this while their tax paying brethren toil away at making India an Asian tiger..!! Why should the common man even pay for mantaining a Defence Force ..let alone increase their expenditure in Budget?

The logic of having a Defence Expenditure can be summarised in three lines

(a) Sovreignity of a country is the hallmark of Political , Economic and Social freedom. Sovreignity like all precious natural resource needs protection from external and internal attacks. Without this axiom of freedom we might as well go back to the Dominion Status pre 1947. As far as the reason to weather we want to be free ..that is a philosophical debate we will not get into presently.

(b) Its not easy to convince a man to walk to his own death for protection of any higher ideal.

(c) Most of the times a guard is posted at a building not so much as to catch a thief as to deter a theif from entering in the first place.

Based on these three reasons a superior fighting force is mantained even in absence of war. But the mantainance of such a force level requires two prime expenditures on which there can be no compromise. One is that of Equipment and the other , more importantly , Morale. The spending bandwidth taken into the current budget is somewhere between 2-5% on Defence. Compared to 5-7% that the US spends and 7-10% of our freindly neighbourhood pakistan.

To see why this is woefully short of the requirements of all forces we must realise how wars are fought in todays world. In every war theatre of the world there are a few common points which have emerged :-

1. War is fast turning into a highly evolved technical game where the deciding factors are not personal valour and bravado but the material might backing the forces. Gone are the days where personal valour could alone save the day. The game is decided not by hand to hand combat but by satellite imagery and laser guided smart bombs. We cant dismiss them as weapons only America Fights with. These are technologies that are available off the self in international market. And for all those who might believe that they are not immediate must remember that the war against Russians was not won so much by personal valour of the Mujahedeens as musch for the Stinger Anti Chopper missiles available to Afganistan. Most of which are right now being traded at the frontier town of Jalalabad. Does our Army has such a scenario in mind? Unfortunately it does not. Because its high strung by budgetary cuts where its difficult even to import Howitzer Rounds. The army is still woefully short of basic items like snowmobiles, Rocket Launchers, Night Vision Equipments, Ground Radars..all of which cannot be built up in a day. When faced with even a rag tag army with a fracion of this technical prowess..our braves will die a valliant but futile death.

2. Shorter turn around times for repairs and refuelling has been a key factor in a sustained campaign. With aging MIGs and their fake Polish spares ..Our pilots ,considered one of the best in the world, die by dozens. Even after 50 years of WW-2 when mid air refuelling was invented, we still are gropin in air for a commensurate capability. Our tanks are 1972 Vintage , Spruced up with cosmetic changes to resemble 1992 models. Its a sad state of affairs because Armed Tank regiments are the key to the firepower of the army. Even the famed BOFORS are too few in number compared to big bro China. Mantainance and upkeep of critical War Equipmet have been on decline because of consistent Budget Cuts. Our Ships have progressively been losing their firepower with aging spares and defects . Defects that require longterm planning to mitigate .

3. A concentrated and well cordinated survillance and tracking facility is a must for any country to win a stragtegic victory . And while China is busy secretly putting its mechanism into gears...we simply do not have the funds to put an infrastructure into place. Such an archietecture is not built in a day and requires a steady funding to build and mantain. We have yet to progut outress from the present to future.

Apart from these very well documented facts , we have been very slow to realise one factor that makes a soldier. Morale.
The earnings and living conditions of Our jawans and sailors cannot even be envisaged by the common man on street. With raising living standards and stagnating pay and perks..the morale of our men in uniform is seeing a gradual decrease. This year thers is a shortage of 560 officers in 1100 strong academy.Of course we can still fill up our posts by lowering selection criteria,but taking a less motivated man to fight for the country is actually not a very practical option. The only thing that can compensate for the hardships that is faced is through monetary perks. A man will fight and die only if he is assured that after him his family will not suffer. A killed millitant in Kashmir gets 1 crore from pakistan as death compensation. ..A jawan gets 2,500. How long will the country expect such men to die so cheaply.

Just as an Army(Navy or AirForce) is not built in a day, it will not collapse in a day. It will take years of ignorance and Financial Apathy to break it down. There will be honest and patriotic men who will still fight even if u deny them pay...But human nature wins above all of us. Such men will dwindle and fall ..gradually. With outdated equipments it will become suicidal to send men to fight...till ultimately some one will refuse to pick up a dagger and fight when he sees the enemy with a SubMachine gun standing on the other side of the fence.

The damage and slow neglect of the Forces is already in motion. A concerted effort at further budgetary cuts will undermine it to the point of no return. We may not see it happening but our neighbours are not so forgiving.

We paid the price for unpreparedness in 1965 when China took significant portions of Himachal Pradesh from India. The total apathy of Political bosses had reduced the army to a condition where jawans died on border because there was no bullet available .While Indians still used the rack and lever .303, the chinese were firing from automatic Heavy machine guns. Since we had not invested in any longterm plans there was no highgrade aluminium to build aeroplane spares. We went from pillar to post asking the world to help us...Alas ..we dont learn.

We won wars with pakistan , despite pakistan deploying Patton Tanks imported from America. That we won is a tale of personal bravery of few immortal men like Major Chandpuri(Border film is based on him) destroyoing a 3000 strong heavy Tank regiment with 120 infantry Soldiers.

We can plan and supplement our forces now ..We still have time.

After all although four major religions sprung from this land ..we can scarcely hope for another miracle to save ourselves from being run over by the Big Brothers. To quote a small village guy who rose up to be the Supreme Commander of our forces, "The world respects only Might"....and investing in it may be a small price to pay to see our children free, After all u will not expect a guard with a lathi to protect a bank. BTW that quote was from Prez Abdul Kalam(yeah he is stil the prez to me)