'Herzlich Wilkommen!'

'Memorie Dolcie' is all about my cherished memories. It also contains reviews of movies I really liked and articles on various scenarios. Writing, for me, has been an important aspect of my life, so me without a blog, is like a fish out of water. So, this is what I give you. At times, my articles are extremely naive, but then, it's just me. A warm thank you is extended to Ms. Arundhati Chatterjee, my second cousin (yes, my Niece, brightsparks!) and help when it comes to reviewing my articles. Hope you like my blog. Any queries can be directly addressed to me at rrivubanerjee@yahoo.in Auf Weidersehen!
Thank you,
Rrivu Banerjee

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Strange Land, Stranger People

Truly, when one thinks of India, does one really think of Incredible India? I'd rather say they think of a few basics:
1. The 'Common-wealth games'
2. Food and Money
3. Naxalites

The Commonwealth or Common-wealth Games 2010
CWG 2006, Melbourne: A dainty Aishwarya Rai performs an eleven minute dance sequence as she welcomes the world to witness the Commonwealth Games 2010 to be held in India's national capital, New Delhi. 4 years since, and let's have a look at the exquisite condition the stadia are in with just 31 days to go before India rolls out the red carpet for her guests for the Commonwealth Games 2010. Well, let's just hope so.
Indira Gandhi Stadium and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium: Do these places even look like stadia that are due to host a series of international events in just about 30 days? I'd rather say, and I'm very sure many would agree, that they look pretty much like Canning House and Dalhousie House and other such warehouses flanking the Strand Road in Calcutta.
Commonwealth Games truly seem to have turned into a Game to loot the Common's Wealth. All hail Suresh Kalmadi, officially, indeed; and unofficially, the many top bureaucrats, who, along with Mr. Kalmadi, sometime or other, have been part of this wonderful act we term as 'under-the-table conversation.'
Some Rupees 40,000.00 spent on hiring toilet paper and umbrellas? Honestly, I had never even heard of 're-usable' toilet paper until our honourable Government decided to invest 5 grands per roll renting it. Well, let's just hope 'Atithi Devo Bhawa' lives up to serving it's guests from the Commonwealth of Nations and other countries and is not corrupt too.

Food and Money
Madame Tussuad should have considered opening up a museum here in India too, considering the fact that we have prestigious jewels whom we can immortalize for ever, and one of them is our food and agriculture Minister, Mr. Sharad Pawar
What have not heard about this marvel? First, his link ups with the IPL scam, and now this - the height of 'responsibility' on his front when it comes to the people of India. He is a Cabinet Minister, holding a key portfolio that precedes every portfolio, as man cannot munch on currency notes.
Tonnes of food grain have been wasted over the past decade, and an approximate value of Rupees 50 crore is spent every year in order to protect these food crops from damage.
According to the guidelines laid down by the Government of India, every Indian family below the poverty line is liable for 450 kgs of ration a year. I doubt whether they even receive 4.5 kgs of it in a year. Most people are dying of hunger, and the food which is produced for them is damaged and destroyed thanks to the poor preservation methods. Where exactly is the money going then? Are we really dumb enough to believe that we spend so much over food protection only so that all of it goes down the drain? I think not.
Where is it all going then? Well, it's all draining, but into pockets - pockets of the rich and 'honest' citizens of India who aspire to lead us 'unto light from darkness,' while Mr. Sharad Pawar gleefully states that he has to 'look into the Supreme Court order to check whether he is allowed to distribute the damaged food crops at times of drought like these.'
And then, we talk of price inflation. Not of daily articles, however, but our Members of Parliament. Areas of Bengal are drought stricken. The 3rd farmer suicide took place in two weeks on Tuesday, 31st August, 2010. How are we( the MPs) bothered? All we need is our money and whether we come to Parliament or not, whether we 'serve' the nation and her people or not, is absolutely optional; and often voted against. So much for 'Satyamev Jayate.'
When people across the country are dying due to lack of finances and lack of food, our MPs storm the Parliament and cause its adjournment numerous times a day, all in thought of the 'servants' of the country - our politicians. As if a 300% pay hike was not enough, they need 200% more, excluding all allowances. Agreed that our MPs still receive a lot less as compared to international standards, but aren't they wise and sensible enough to realise that at a time like this, when one's own brothers are killing themselves, one should atleast be considerate enough to be termed human? Well, I don't think such sensibility will ever dawn upon our 'men who lead from the front.'

Naxal Problems
The Media talks of and to the Maoists. We see footage of them on our television sets and pictures in the newspapers. Despite that, our Government cannot track them.
The Home Minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram tries his best to arrange for a conference with the Chief Ministers of all the states undergoing Operation Green Hunt, but some of them just don't seem to turn up.
The Minister of Railways, who is touted to be the next Chief Minister, puts forward her ideas, "There are no Maoists in India."
So basically, the problem lies in  the fact that as usual, we are divided in opinion, and that is quite natural.
The Chief Minister of Bihar has always sided with the Maoists and as a result, 2/3rd of Bihar is under Maoist control. The Chief Minister of Jharkhand never bothers to turn up for meetings with the Minister of Home. His reasons are valid enough, he himself is touted to be one of the Maoists.
The people want the Army in, the politicians don't. Why would they? After all, switching on the local news channel would give them unending entertainment.
The Maoists have open jan-adalats in the forests. A prominent news channel even telecast a live session of a jan-adalat on their prime time, and still our politicians are fighting over their very existence.
What more do they need? Thousands of police massacred in the long run, trying to regain democratic control over the Maoist areas; four police men nabbed from Bihar this morning, and they are still waiting for more. The only thing that they can do is pose with their picture-perfect faces with the cliché statement: "The situation is under control." Obviously, it is under control - the security forces are under control.
"Money, Money, Money, It's a rich man's world!"

-Rrivu Banerjee

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A PASCHionate month indeed!

Often we come across the phrase 'Once in a lifetime.' What does this actually mean? Does it mean any opportunity that comes across our way? No, it doesn't. It's an opportunity that comes your way only once, and never knocks at your door again if you reject it it. That is exactly what being PASCHionate is all about. One month of extensive German class, wonderful teachers, great new 'friends', the Fussball, Domino's, Azad Hind, 'Langsam' - all of this made up Berlin Klassenzimmer for me. Today, as I entered Berlin for the last time, I was choc-a-bloc with memories of the wonderful time I had spent here. Here's an ode to the people who made me, Me during the past one month. As I think of 20th June, and then 10th July, I really wonder what I'll do without you. We'll probably meet once in a while, but the closeness we shared will be lost, unfortunately. Thank You guys, once again!

 Bidisha Dasgupta

The princess of sarcasm. Quite a witty personae, I must say. Bidisha, the girl who doesn't talk much, is someone who will make life miserable for you if you rub shoulders with her the wrong way. She is the girl who doesn't give a damn about how she speaks to someone as long as she believes in herself. The girl, who'll hold her cell phone in the weirdest manner and say, "Shyamal da, apni ki eshe gechen?" is the girl who rarely smiles, and when she does, it's worth an applause!

Srija Ghosh

The sweet, gentle girl, who is pretty good with her vocab too. One of the two women you can approach if you're in need of consoling is Srija. The lady I've christened as Wolverine (credit: her 6-inch nails) is also someone who's cold blooded (courtesy: her ice cold hands). A girl who believes that a smile and gentle words can fix all, she sent chills down the spine of one of our friends (we all know who!!) Thanks Wolverine for being one of my closest friends at PASCH 2010.
Devyani Sarda

By far, my best friend (second to Sneha, though!), Devyani is a person who is all set to dive into anything. The other woman who is very good at helping people out, MA'AM is a great tennis player. Her maturity is spell-binding, and is someone who almost set a record for NEVER EATING during the PAUSE, but she didn't make it. She ate today (7 June). Well, you're still one of my best friends, so please remain like that ever more. Thanks Devyani!
Nivedita Todi

The first word that crosses your mind when you see her is 'LANGSAM!' Nivedita is a person who brings the class to life, and quite literally, leaves it breathless too. The girl who can at times get on your nerves with her constant questions is an entertainment factor at PASCH, or as she puts it 'entertainment QUOTIENT.' The only girl who gets into a game of ball as full spirited as the rest of the guys, excluding Kevin, is Nivedita. So, Todi....go girl, even though we've told you at all times that you're a pathetic singer, you're not, and I mean it.
Sanyam Dugar

"Rrivu, hum pass hoga na?"-this is one question he NEVER gets tired of, and frankly, neither do I. One of the very few guys who's modesty knows no bounds. The guy who literally taught me how to catch (yes, I was PATHETIC at it), a day without Sanyam in class 'IST SEHR LANGWEILIG" The 'KLEIN HUND" of our group, he is anything but a 'hund.' His endless 'gyan' on everything he knows and doesn't know of is worth a thousand memories. Finally, his choice of the 'Best Song of 2010' that spans over EVERY SONG he listens to, whether it's the R.D. Burman classic 'Mehbooba', A.R. Rahman's 'Behne De' or K'naan's 'Wavin' Flag'. Dude, never change!
Abhishek Mohta

Having mentioned the KLEIN HUND, how can you miss the GROSS HUND. The gentle giant of PASCH, crack all the jokes you want, and he won't mind. The guy who is friends with EVERYONE, is a true gem. Actions speak louder than words, dude, so will keep it till here, without speaking much.
Umang Mavani

The silent assassin of the group, I've never come to face the fact as to how a guy can speak on the phone for 45 minutes at length. And I thought I was the talkative one!!! The brainy kid of the group, Umang is great at FUSSBALL and brilliant with his academics too. I guess someone (Todi) should learn that shouting out rubbish at times is not the solution!!
Rohit Ladrasia

Well, can't tell much about him apart from the fact that he's great with Deutsch too, and is a great teacher. He gives Devyani and Srija a run for their money. The guy who loves wearing badges on his uniform, is a quiet guy who beats all at whatever he lays his hands on.
Gaurav Jain

The guy with the ENORMOUS epiglottis, Gaurav's jinxes with Kevin lead us into splits! The guy who is 16 and has a driving license, Gaurav loves the corner bench, chatting and driving. The guy who looks a little snobbish initially, isn't that bad afterall.
Trishala Kanakia

Well, I call her Trish. The girl who appeared to be extremely snobbish and arrogant(Ya, I know, "look who's talking!") isn't that bad after all. Agreed, that she wasn't interested in the course earlier, but she's got the hang of it now, and we're sure she'll manage. We're all just praying Kevin chooses not to boast his German skills and cause her to fail.
Rachit, Manav and Kevin

Nothing to say about these guys. have known them all my life. So, just wanna say thank you for the wonderful experience.
Rudraya Gupta

This is a special mention. Rudraya is one of my closest friends from PASCH. Though he had to leave three weeks into the course, he was a guy who etched memories into all our lives for eons to come and pass by. Have missed you throughout, and will miss you forever. Thanks for being my friend.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you once again. Thank You for making this a wonderful experience. Thank You,
Anita Ma'am, Stefan Sir, Amrit Ma'am, Amrita Ma'am and everyone else for your utmost support even when we literally brought Berlin down.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dalit's Daughter or Daulat's Daughter?

A certain leader of the largest state of India, Uttar Pradesh, the Dalit's daughter! Well, she doesn't seem to be the Dalit's daughter anymore. She seems to be the Daulat's daughter.
A symbolic leader, as people say, of the oppressed and backward classes, and what does she do? First, she puts up statues of herself across the city of Lucknow; and now, she wears garlands made of currency notes, that amount to a whopping Rs. 18 lakhs. If this is the backward daughter, who exactly is the fortunate one, may I ask?
In a nation, where millions go without food and water day in and day out. Where people struggle to meet their basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter, we have a leader, who has always been in the forefront of the media frenzy for being the Dalit's fortunate child, who happily waves at the crowd as she has her men garlanding her with currency notes-those very same currency notes that have the picture of the Mahatma, a world leader, the Father of the Nation, who always led a judicious life, asking his people to do the same. So much for ideals and virtues.
'HER PEOPLE' have said that this garland symbolizes the love the people of the state have for the leader. Well, in that case, why can't she show some love, refuse the garland, and ask them to donate all the money to a charity that works for the welfare of the people. Well, why would she?
All of this goes into the leader's 'SHAHI KHAZANA'. Why would she even bother about the people's welfare? The leader is busy building up a city that ensembles one of the Mughal cities, I guess.
Well, people's leader, do all of us a favour, and grow a brain. It'll help, in the long run, not only for you, but for the people of Uttar Pradesh in the microcosm, and the people of India at the macro cosmic level.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Parliamentary Procedures....

I've always wanted to rail against the perilous condition of our Honourable Parliament and its procedures.
Firstly, switch on the Lok Sabha TV or the Rajya Sabha TV in the morning, you don't see a group of people gathered together to discuss issues that affect the common man. The view is more of a collection of fickle-minded people who have no clue why they are even there, apart from getting their monthly salary of Rs. 16000, plus other charges.
542 members scream their lungs out together, while the poor Speaker or Vice President tries to maintain decorum; and when she/he is unable to, the Marshals are called in to control the atmosphere to which again, our ministers protest, in the most ridiculous manner possible.
Agreed, that a democracy requires able opposition, but opposing under no circumstances means screaming your voice out while someone else places his/her view on the subject, and behave in the most uncivilized and uncouth manner possible.
I have nothing against our members of Parliament. It is we who elect them, so we are technically at fault if we are unable to make the right decision, but keeping that in mind, do we really have a better choice?
All I have to say, and I stand by it, is that we have lost around 72 hours, probably even more, of precious Parliamentary time. We are a nation that needs to grow fast, and with a steady base. No nation has ever become successful by having a parliament that looks a lot more like a fish market and less like a Parliament. We need to make sure that our members at the least, try to behave in a civilized manner, if not turn into civilized human beings. Until then, we can all just hope, that a day will come when this common man will be benefited and his life will not dissolve into the inferno of uncouth politics.