Wednesday, April 26, 2006

IT Bubble bursts: A Day in an IT Professional’s life

Get up early morning
To you cell phone alarm ringing
Laze around for sometime and
Wish that there was no office, no job at hand…..

Get ready and have some food
For breakfast which aint no good
Miss your mother waking u up everyday
Miss your mother holding the plate with breakfast and wanting you to stay….

Till you finish the entire plate
Till she is satisfied that you are sate
Think this everyday and grumble
The days now don’t unfold, they just tumble….

Come to office to your same seat
Looking at the forwards remains the only treat
Then you sit, code, attend telecons and sessions
Do the work as told which finally brings out nothing but frustrations

You have no motivation, you have no liking
There is nothing in your job that is striking
You are in a team which is a bunch of fools
All they care about is CCMI 5 and some related tools…..

People say you have a choice to make
You can quit your job, there would be nothing at stake
You are bright and you will get one soon
But trust me that all IT jobs in India finally lead to doom…..

You should go abroad and then you will see
You will feel motivated, you will feel free
You talk to your Onsite Coordinators and they are troubled
They say after coming here it has burst their bubble….

So what to do and what shud you say
To make you want to open your eyes each day
You often wonder if its just you or is everyone going through the same
If they are then their patience levels are insane…..

Since they are not cribbing like you do
Nor are they getting frustrated like you do
Is this affecting your work you often wonder
But atleast till now realise you have made no blunder…..

Then you go home everyday after your 8.8 hours
Go home and watch TV and watch the stars
Eat the self cooked food and then goto sleep
Hoping that the next will not be mundane and will have some meaning deep…………

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What's in a name!!!

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet."
-- Shakespeare....

When I hear this I often wonder if Shakespeare actually knew what he was talking about…. If you are wondering what am I exactly ranting about then you have to know this story…. Now when I was born, being the first child of the house, my aunt (father’s sister) is supposed to christen me…. Now instead of my father’s sister christening me, I had her daughter (my cus) do the honors…. Using numerology, astrology and all possible inaccurate sciences it was decided that my name should start with the letter ‘S’…. not that I had a say in all this anyway but till this point in time I am ok with everything…. So she could name me, Seeta, Suzy, Shalu, Shanta, Shruti…. If she insisted to have an ‘ili’ in the end of my name then it could be Shalmili, Shamili,Shalini…. But NO!! The only name that struck a cord with my cus was SHARMILI!!!!

Now I wonder why exactly she gave this name to me…. I mean did I do something when I was in the cradle prompting her to give me this name???? Did it occur to her what her repercussions are…. But before that my first question goes to parents all over…. How do they decide on the name of their child??? I mean if the child smiled in the cradle, they will name him Hasmukh…. Or if the child was born in the morning then he is Suraj…. I am perplexed…. Gods name are given to children…. But what is the intention?? Is it that the names will help the child turn as virtuous as Gods???? But who am I to question laws of society and nature…. So coming back to my name…. as I said before…. I am not cribbing about this…. I was the only SHARMILI in my school, college and my workplace…. Having a unique name has its perks in the world where there are hajar Priyas, Shraddhas, Sudhas…. I mean if you find say a book with Sharmili written on it, u would know immediately it is mine…. There won’t be a need to research and know which SHARMILI this book belongs to, coz it only me in the game…. But this unique name (I refrain from calling it unusual) also had a flip side as well….

Now whenever I go and introduce myself, the people are amused…. This is evident by the broad smile on their face when they hear my name…. some even go to the extent of saying “oh, toh tum sharmati ho kya????”…. now I am stumped…. How am I supposed to react to this…. “haan bhai, mein sharmati hoon…” or just give that silly grin and let him/her decide…. Or say “of course not… sharmati toh ghar mein rehati, aapse milne idhar nahi aati…” I must say, I can’t use the third option pretty often…. Reason being people who have asked me such a weird question have always been in the senior age group…. So second option is the only way out…. Going to college was particularly dreadful for me coz I always thought I would be ragged courtesy my ‘UNIQUE’ name…. How many seniors would get a chance like this…. I mean my name actually gives them ragging material on the platter…. some of the ways I imagined were people singing “oh meri, oh meri Sharmili” all around with me at the centre of the jhoond…. or a particular guy from the class would be ragged by asking to come up to me and sing that song for me…. There would ve been a solace if people hadn’t seen that movie…. But to my luck this movie is seen by many or at least heard of by many…. I really don't know how successful this movie was but most of the people around me seemed to have seen it and trust me that’s a lot…. But luckily in Ruparel and VJTI; I dint experience all this and man am I glad!!!!

But that’s not all…. I went to Barista the other day…. Now at this coffee joint I have to order, then tell my name, pay of course and finally wait for my turn till the guy calls off my name from the list…. So I go to the guy and say ill have a choco frappe and a grilled sandwich…. So he takes the order and asks my name…. I say, “Sharmili…” he says, “excuse me madam…. Could u repeat that…. I heard Sharmili….” I said, “yes, that’s correct… that’s my name….” you should ve seen the grin on his face when I confirmed my name…. worse comes next…. When my order was done he goes, “Sharmiliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii”…. Now I would like to believe that was because he had to get through to me despite the din around…. There are many such instances…. All through these years I have seen people grin, smile, laugh when I tell my name…. the positive way of looking at it is that I have made people laugh and then I get content with it…. if you meet me and u would come to know that the Sharmili aspect of my character is limited only to my name :)…. Of course this prompts for nicknames like 'besharmili....'

People often ask me, if you don’t like your name why u don’t change it…. But then comes my immediate reply, "What's in a name? That which we call Sharmili by any other word would mean the same sweet person" wont it????

Football Shootball Hai Rabba

In this journey called life there are many memories…. But in some by lanes of our memory, in spite of the time gap between the occurrence and the point when you think about the memory; you can paint a picture so clear as if it occurred yesterday….

One such memory I have is my second football match…. Now one may wonder how a second match is more memorable than the first match played but there is a perfectly logical reason behind this (and mind you.. its not the result of the match)…. In my school days, football was considered to be a guys’ game, though tacitly….. So in spite of having the infra for it, we dint have the means for it…. so after a huge campaign in favor of girls’ football, we finally got a team of 13…. I hope that people realize this was with 2 extras…. We got trained before school hours for about a month or so everyday…. With girls being as tough as they could.... Finally we put up a team for the Interschool Under-16 Girls Championship…. Our first match… against the last year winners….. To say I was nervous would be an understatement…. It made me think of us like one of those weak teams in the English films formed out of geeks or dark horses…. I mean they win in the end but they get wonderfully screwed in their first match….. Now this aint a happy feeling just before your first match, is it? Coupled with this was the fact that our guys’ football team was present to cheer for us….. It was very sweet of them but little that they know that their sheer presence pressurized us beyond all means….. But then we played and the only thing I remember of that match was that despite a drawn match we were so happy as if we had won it….. But the happiness was short lived…..

The next day in school, every member of the guys’ team made impressions of the girls playing…. They made fun of the fact that we drew the match when there were ‘Ample Opportunities’…. The principal wasn’t as proud and we felt we were losing face….. Then our second match was announced…. Was at Azad Maidan…. Now for all the non-Mumbaikars…. This ground is BIG…. In every sense of the term…. And for a small team like ours it felt gigantic….. And to add to this the guys placed bets in front of us… 1:5 if we lose and 1:1 if we draw….. We said these bets were weird…. You should get more if we draw and not if we lose….. They said they had to place realistic bets….. So with abysmally low confidence (and this was me and not the team…. Hopefully….) we entered the ground…. I don’t remember the name of the school but they were in yellow jerseys…. That’s the deal with girls…. We use aesthetic senses to identify things….. So it’s a purple book (and not the name…) or it’s a grey car (not the make or the number…) Enough of this digression though…. The first half started…. My team captain won the toss…. Ok …. That’s a good start….. Then we selected the non-sunny part of the ground…. It was all calculated…. If the first half we play on the side we selected then when we have to change the sides, the sun would changed positions and we would still get no dhoop….. I like to believe that we also strategize like our BIG teams would…. Almost about 10 min since the game started, our Star player fouled and they got a free kick….. I was like, “shit!!!! We r goin to lose…. No, no…. our goalie is awesome… she will save….” And much to my disappointment Yasmine couldn't….. We were shattered…. Time-Out!!!! our coach gave us some more gyaan….. Some tough words which would prevent us from making mistakes… poor Yasmine…. She was almost to tears…. It amazes me how girls can cry for everything….. In any case, we re-started the game and yes!!! One yellow jersey touched the ball with her hand….. YE…. We get a free kick…. Lorraine was going to take the kick…. A small trivia about Lorraine…. In our school ground, the only peson who could bend the ball like Beckham was Lorraine….. she would kick and the ball would go flying in the air and with a force that its destination would only be the goal post… nething coming in between would get crushed….. We pitied their goalie…. Coz it was her turn to cry…. Lorraine takes a run-up…. Comes to the ball and KICK….. But to our disappointment….. her ball dint bend nor did it leave the ground…. It went as slowly as it could and landed rite in front of their goalie…. I was like, “shit!!!! We r goin to lose….” Now it was Lorraine’s turn to be tearful…. 2 down from my team….. that’s on the face of it though…. Coz I was pretty sure at that particular moment all of us were down…… the game continued…. And the ref whistled…. HALF TIME!!!!!

We were scared to even face our coach…. Our coach tried to be calm, give strategies…. But Yasmine and Lorraine had already started crying….. So the Forwards were given some offensive gyaan…. Me and Poonam (the main defenders) were given defensive gyaan…. And then he said something that served as a faint glimmer of hope….. He said, “I have seen many matches turn in the second half and with the team I have I am sure this one will turn too….” With a firm resolute that we can’t let our coach, our principal and our school down we came onto the field….. The game started….. The defense was Rock-Solid (and this is not only because I was in the defender…) they made 3 offensive attacks and all combated head on….. Our turn to get offensive…. Manju our Centre Forward (or half as we called her) dribbled the ball till the half line, kicked it to Flavia….. Flavia then dribbled the ball till the ‘D’ and was about to pass to someone in the ‘D’ (after seeing Lorraine’s performance we dint trust ourselves with goos kicks)… She then realized that she was free (unmarked that is since we played man to man) and their goalie could not reach in time to block her kick, she took a chance…. She kicked…. And GOAL!!!! We had our first goal….. There were tears of joy in our eyes (now these are very different tears…) I know we dint win as yet but the knowledge that we couldn't lose was sufficient to trigger this action…. The game started again…. their goalie kicked the ball, intercepted by one of my team players and a passed to Manju…. Something happened and Kartiki fell on top of their goalie (and that was NOT intentional)….. Manju saw her chance and GOAL!!! This was like a dream come true…. We r winning….. We were about to cheer when we heard the ref whistle…. FOUL…. WHAT…. The goal not counted…. Why god y??? Last 10 min more and we were on the offence all the time…. but couldn't convert the chances we got…. The final whistle…. Score 1 – 1… a tie again…. we will get screwed again tomorrow in school we thought….. But it doesn’t matter I said….. The point is we DINT LET THEM WIN :) we took the match from their clutches and almost got into our clutches…. And that was a happy thought….. All that mattered then…..

As for the series, we won the next match and finally the tournament but I don’t know why this match made an everlasting impact on me….. Our principal then proudly announced….. “The first time my girls put up a team and they became the champions in mumbai….” We felt his pride when he announced this.... And much to the boys team chagrin, he added, “and my boys took two years to get this trophy here….”

Football is still played in my school and the same tournament has one entry from my school.... If I were there the next year, I would ve heard someone say, " Shit man!!! we are playing last years champs...." This thought itself makes me smile now....

Monday, April 17, 2006

Curiosity doesnt kill the CAT it builds character!

Precautionary note: Any reference in the following article to any place or person living or dead is intentional. The reader is hereby asked not to judge the writer under any circumstances :) Kids these stunts are performed by professionals and you are advised not to perform them w/o adult supervision…..

Children these days are very inquisitive… they have many questions…. I, as a child, was very inquisitive too….. But the things these kids are inquisitive about are, “mamma how is a TV remote is different from an AC remote (of course that is if they can know the diff)… or how does a mobile function? These days I see parents making their kids laugh with different ring tones on a mobile…. I mean how tech-savvy can we get….

Makes me think of the older and simpler times….. When I was a kid…… YES…. I was inquisitive but in a very very different way….. I mean how many kids would look at the metal frame of the building gate and feel Man!!!! Can I get my head into it???? Oh!!! Don’t JUDGE me….. In my defense I was just 3 years old….. So the deal is, I go to my cus’s place and their gate is damn beautiful (I am thinking that now, since I was so attracted to it…) So then I get all probing and I try to see if I can bend the metal bars and get my head into it….. it turns out…. I could (of course I doubt it if the metal bars bent)….. But then I was faced with a slight problem….. Incidentally the act of putting the head in the gate was a one way street…. I couldn't get my head out….. Now there were many ways; but without hurting me and getting me out; there were none….. Then came my mom to my rescue…. This woman has given me life and also pulled (in the true sense of the word) me out of these difficult situations….. I owe her not one but many!!!

I was about 4 years old when I found a pack of Agarbattis…. What would a normal kid do when they take the incense sticks in their hands…. Of course they will smell it… how couldn't they…. That’s the most obvious part of agabattis, aint it…. but dealing with the obvious was not something that my character was made of…. So I take these sticks (around 30 cm long) and I see how much of it can go into my nose….. I put the sticks so far in that only about the last 10 cm or so was left…. Now did u guys know that things up to 20 cm can go up our nose without any damage???? Of course I can’t see any signs of physical damage when I say this ;)

I am still wondering how my parents haven’t disowned me yet….

We had come from a tiring trip from Mahableshwar so my folks were sleeping peacefully having their afty nap….. My dad’s after shave was placed within my reach…. Now my mother was very careful with such things knowing how inquisitive I am…. She would never keep anything that can flow, burn or cut within my reach… but then she must be very tired coz she did leave the Old Spice can (completely new btw) down…. Now what would one think when they see this?? And by one I mean a CHILD…. I agree I was 5 but I was still an adorable and cuddly child….. So when I see this bottle curiosity gets better of me and I ask myself…. What will happen if I put this on my hair…. And as an exemplary elder sis I also asked my sis to join in… so I very carefully placed the after shave on my hair and hers….. aren’t u ppl glad I did it… coz only then I discovered that nothing happens if u put after shave on ur hair…. It just smells nice…. Of course the only bad thing that can happen would be that the stringent smell wakes your parents and you get thrashing for wasting after shave and setting a bad example….

I was around 11 when I was learning to ride a bicycle…. Now balance was something I was good at… but I always pushed myself…. So what I do is, I try and see how I can balance my cycle on one wheel…. It turns out, it isn’t that difficult…. The only issue is make sure when you do this that there is no bus coming at you from one side and a drain on the other….. coz what mite happen is that u get scared by the sheer size of the bus ( you are still learning)….. Have a wobbly back wheel and with front wheel in the air there aint too much support…. And CRAAAASH!!!! You land urself in the drain…. Experience does make a person wise…. :)

Times went by and I accrued learnings from many such experiences…. Of course I have my inquisitiveness mainly responsible for the kind of person I am or I would grow up to be.... In many such ventures I have incorporated my sisters too…. So they have to thank me for the character I built in them…..

But then I now wonder…. Y don’t I see kids today so inquisitive…. Makes me worry about the younger generation…..

I mean how can being inquisitive about a remote even parallel being inquisitive if ur head goes through the gate :)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Rescue....

A normal day at work and we come to our small abode... thake-hare…. Freshened up and cooked food…. We have become great experimenters with food…. Have made everything ranging from normal daal-roti to Italian pasta…. We have also discovered new dishes en route cooking these mundane/exotic foods by doing patch ups to make the so called delicacy edible and presentable…. I mean however delicious Dal fry you have but it has an unpleasant or unnatural color, you wouldn't wanna taste it…. So after a decent meal (which is a big things when you stay alone…) we stayed up to watch some regular F.R.I.E.N.D.S series or switch between Kahani Ghar ghar ki and jassi jaisi koi nahi…. About 1:30 in the nite, both of us (me and my roomie that is…. ) depressed that we had a lousy day and too sleepy to do anything else were going to call it a day….. we decide to get the mattresses down and surrender ourselves to the world of dreams where atleast something exciting would happen….. but then shruti shrieks…. A loud enough shriek to get a person soundly sleeping all startled…. And the effect it had on me.... After all I was just about to sleep, wasnt I?…. Neway a normal girley reaction to this…. i get scared... start wondering whats happening... i see shruti sprinting (its a rare site) to the kitchen…. i run behind her still wonderin whats the matter... well she goes something like aeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…. Now I am not saying I am fluent at many languages but this was really something I couldn't possibly understand…. Shruti, with her hands all over the place…. eyes popping out….. breathless due to the earlier shrieking business says…. “there is a lizard on the bed... drive it out na... u have to do it shamu (that’s how she calls me….) for my sake... for the love u have for me…..”

God I really love this girl and she really means a lot to me…. But how can she expect me to prove this by driving out a lizard…. But I had to do something…. Something to rescue my damsel in distress, me the knight in the shining armor…. Oops… wait a sec…. with lizard on one side and a terribly frightened Shruti on the other; I still knew I was wrong.... I tried my best to get the Feminine of Knight…. And at that god forsaken hour I could only come up with dame in shining armor.... So I crouched behind the chipkali…. Slowly enough; not to give her/him (I couldn't research on the sex then na…. Also dint have the means for it even if i had wanted to...) any hints of the things going on in my mind…. Trying to drive it out….

And then I get a revelation... chipakalis r confused creatures.... i kept driving it towards the door or the window and it kept goin everywhere but there…. In the interiors of the house…. But not once in the direction I wanted it to go…. So at around 2:00 am we had a chipkali going places and me obviously running behind it and shruti obviously too scared, so sitting on the bed changing positions to be as far as possible from the chipkali…. In this confusion sweater falls on it... I am like YES.. its trapped.. so let the sweater be... itll suffocate... and itll die.. and shruti is like….. ewwwwwwwwwwww if that lizard dies in my sweater u have to buy me a new one…. Women I tell u… even in these times of stress they r fussy about their clothes…. i said just wash it and wear na.... but no... she refused…. so then i drag the sweater (with the chipkali in it) towards the door and throw the sweater out and shut the door... i assumed now the chips (I like this word… and by then I kinda grown fond of the lizard… so thought will call it by a nick name…) will go out of the sweater and life wud be peaceful again… of course made fun of shruti saying how can she be so scared... With the knowledge that there mite be no more chipkali menace she treid to put on a bravura.... she said "of course i am not scared... ill go and get my sweater myself.. " and guess what... another shriek.... our very own chips was still there….

I then just concluded chipkalis r very dumb creatures and our chips was one of he most dumbest... well needless to say shruti ran a mile away from the door and it again came up to me to make the world chipkali free…. so BOLD that i am i go and do somethin and the chips is gone forever.... we procure the sweater and put it for washing...

After so many months I really hope our chips grew and made a fine thing one day… After all, all the trauma of that nite had to make a positive impact on its character....

Food for Thought

I have heard a saying that big things often start from small, insignificant things. I experienced something like this a few days ago. A harmless lunch to a south Indian place in Pune and that’s when this debate started. Well a south Indian friend of mine and yours truly were having lunch and a small statement made by yours truly resulted in a long thought process being initiated for me atleast. We argued about how South Indians have contributed to Indian culture more than what Maharashtrians have. Assal Marathi me, couldn't take this statement and then started a debate. Now how would you say one state contributed more and the other less. The only means we could come about it was how a firang would react to things we said like music, dance et all.

Now with this definition her points did make sense. Any firang would know about Bharatnatyam and not about Lavani. Any firang would know about Karnatic Music and not Dhol, tutari etc. so I really thought oh my god. My state has not really contributed. I got restless. And my next instinct was to mail all my Marathi friends who would help me in this dilemma. So here are some interesting accounts that I got. Here goes the list of all the contributions Maharashtra done towards indian culture…

For each of these fields, u can find one name thats maharashtrian and at the very top of the field:
music: lata mangeshkar, pandit bhimsen joshi
industry: kirloskar
sports: cricket : sachin tendulkar
history: Chhatrapati Shivaji
cities: Mumbai - (the only truly cosmopolitan city in india according to me)
Dances: Lavani and Koli Dances… If you vist any cultural festival.. agreed hajar ppl would be doing Bharatnatyam et all… but a cultural festival would be incomplete if these dances aren’t incorporated…I actually made a face when I said no one in their right senses would get trained or teach lavani… It has been treated as a non-serious, folk dance which had been used for a long time to appease the Peshwas... But this doesnt mean that lavani is easier than bharatnatyam...Just have a look at all the folk performances happened through the years… without lavani all are as incomplete as say bharatnatyam would be without the first archana to shiva…In fact Lavani has been given the same status in Indian folk and culture as bharatnatyam is…..
Saints: I doubt if South Indians have produced any of the saints that Maharatshtra has…. Dyaneshwar, tukaram, Eknath maharaj et all….
Music (addition): because of the Peshwa culture we have dhols, tutari, lezim et all instruments being used in abundance… rhythm is required and dhol wasn’t used is an impossibility…. Kirtans, Abhangs: there is no equivalent of these in South India and this has come mainly due to the predominance of saints in our history…
Scriptures: Dyaneshwari… a critical discourse on bhagavath Gita by Sant Dyaneshwar made it possible for hajar ppl to know these teachings w/o knowing Sanskrit… The Bible was originally in the Latin Language and John Wiklif rendered its English translation which is in use today and this was about 75 years after Dyaneshwari was composed and the place from where this idea stemmed from….
Of course adding to this list is the cosmopolitan attitude… the tolerance to have hajar states se ppl comin over and yet befriend them…..
And BOLLYWOOD of course….. without this our page 3 would be empty so would our teatime chats.....
In addition to this the south has also had a different history than ours. We have fought long wars first with the Aryans, Afghans, Mughals, then with the British. The only real time the south was under dominance was when the British ruled. Several years of war force people to get influenced by the culture of their rulers. There has been a period of time when our culture stagnated in terms of development if not stopped completely. Even now you see the English dominance more in Bombay than any other city down south. The south was able to nurture and develop its culture.

Now why would the south Indian keep quiet when I gave so many points. So here is her account in the clash of Titans:
music-AR rahman-the only guy who made any kind of impact on the international music scene.. ms subalakshmi.. no matter wht u say.. she is the goddess of indian music...pandit ravi shankar.. and his daugthers anushka and norah jones (see we go international even there)
industry- Your employers.... They being Infosys Technologies Ltd.... Any IT company for that matter- the chairman of ISRO is a southie.. Kalam.. our Pres is a south Indian.. P chidabaram the man who championed Indian reforms.. is from tamil nadu.. not to mention nobel laureaute CV Raman...
sports.. let me introduce u to Vishwanathan anand.. grand master if u may.. Sania Mirza the tennis sensation is from Hyderabad- and mahesh bhupati.. For cricket.. obviously... Rahul dravid,kumble,vishwanath.. dhanraj pillai(hockey)
history-tipu sultan(from mysore)
cities- as for India's IT hub-thts still bangalore...and the only other cities in the running are Chennai and hyderabad....
Saints- Sankracharya.. and im not talkin abt the last one .. he is the 101st saint i believe..
swami vivekanand's Mutt is in Kanyakumari....
music addition- the veena, tanpura, violin
Bollywood happens to be in Mumbai.. there are enuf south indians in the industry-aishwarya rai, shilpa shetty,sridevi and loads more.. and most of them wud give their right eye to work with mani ratnam.. no points for guessing where he hails from....

This of course called for a fresh round of Marathi contributed more points.... But I noticed that unknowingly when I said South Indian; I (or we tend to) clubbed together Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. But when I said Maharashtra I didn’t count any other states.... not even Goa. The comparison didn’t have a basis in that sense....

But then it came to me like a bolt of lightening....

Why would a Firang’s understanding of India determine how good an Indian state is in terms of contributing to the culture? Are we just asking them to evaluate their culture since they can do so objectively? But can you quantify something as culture? Can you separate this ONE Indian culture? Is Lavani really a lowly form of dancing and Bharatnatyam is not? For the first time I saw we outsourcing something abroad. We outsourced the process of appraising our culture to them. Aint that unfair?
My country is rich in culture and I am the one to judge this. And NOT anyone else.... My friend Aniket said when I asked his help to tell me how marathi ppl have contributed more to Indian culture than south Indians. And his reply was, why distinguish marathi culture? We in maharashtra have Indian culture. Of course in the heat of the moment I ignored his statement but now I realize how true it is.....
Kehate hai na, “Der aaye Durust aaye”

When in Swades SRK said that we have culture but we are still underdeveloped I agreed to the statement wholeheartedly.... But at this point I don’t know how many who agreed to the above statement are actually aware of this culture? The fact that I couldn't get sizeable number of points for my matrubhoomi was and still is an unsettling thought.

Here we are; infatuated to getting modernized but during that process I have forgotten myself. I can read English fluently. Know a dozen of ostentatious words and am comfortable with any dialect. But I don’t know how fluently I can read Marathi now. I don't know many simple words in Marathi. Something as commonplace as language is an important part of culture, isnt it? I proudly write my Mother tongue as Marathi but really speaking I don't know if I have spoken one small paragraph of 3 lines in only marathi since I left my school....

So for this I am glad I had this debate coz it made me think. It made me realize that I need to make a conscious effort to know myself, my roots and my language. And I am glad that I involved these many people in this debate coz I am sure somewhere I made them think... I made them realize how proud they should be to be Marathi....

After all how will they realize how proud they should be to be INDIANS if they do not feel the pride of being a Maharashtrian....
Isn't the latter a subset of being an Indian??