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Archive for May, 2012

The night was yet to come to an end

It was the hour before even the Gods awake.

 

As people of myriad races across the world

Obeyed the unforeseeing instant’s urge,

Ma also gradually awoke among these tribes

To lift up the burden of her fate.

 

Her spirit opened to the spirit in all

Her nature felt all Nature as its own,

A solitary mind, a world-wide heart

The lone Divine’s unshared work she rose.

 

At first life grieved not in her burdened breast

Inert, released into forgetfulness,

Prone it reposed, unconscious on mind’s verge

She lay remote from grief, unsawn by care.

 

Then a slow faint remembrance shadow like moved

The Power that kindles mind was still withdrawn;

Sullen, the torch of sense refused to burn

The unassisted brain found not its past.

 

But now she stirred, her life shared the cosmic load,

Her strong spirit traveled back;

Back to the yoke of ignorance and fate

Back to the labour and stress of mortal days.

 

Her house of Nature felt an unseen sway,

Illumined swiftly were life’s darkened rooms;

Memory’s casements opened on the hours

And the tired feet of thought approached her doors.

 

She finally awoke to struggle and the pang divine

Saw the soft sunbeams playing on leaves swaying gently in the wind,

Heard the chirping of the birds outside her window

Mixed with the harsh clang of utensils vying for her attention.

 

Her senses quivered at the faint aroma of fresh tea wafting in

Her soul prodded her out of her slumber,

She arose confronting Time and Fate,

Immobile in herself, she gathered force.

 

This was the day when the new kitchen amma was supposed to report to work!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To all those hapless salaried persons who have crossed the age of 50 and are biting their nails trying to figure out how to manage their finances post-retirement, I would say – quit your job now!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that you are not a billionaire with tons of the green stuff lying in some Swiss bank account; nor were you born with a silver spoon in your mouth. You have come up the hard way in your life, based on merit and networking. After discharging your obligations towards parents and children, you have somehow managed to create a modest corpus. Inflation and cost of living has eroded your economic self-confidence. You are obviously concerned as to how to maintain a decent standard of living once you are given the heave-ho at your retirement age.

Well, not to worry. Given the virtual a-la-carte of numerous schemes the government has on offer, all you need to do is to relax and look forward to a peaceful retirement which would be well provided for.

Let us look at the food scenario. Thanks to the generosity of the government as well as that of political parties who play a round-robin every five years, sitting at home, you can get substantial quantity of rice and sugar to enable your wife to continue honing her culinary skills for all times to come. To top all this, our benevolent government is already working on The Right to Food Bill. Once implemented, the onus of worrying about your next meal will be on the government, not on you. In due course, as political parties come to power by rotation, the definition of food itself may get expanded to include your favorite chocolates and free coupons for a black forest pastry at the nearby fast food joint.

You also need some cash to spare for your clothing and other requirements. Here is the solution. If you enroll yourself as a worker under the MGNREGA, at the end of each day, you will bring home a tax-free amount of Rs. 155. So, by working for the guaranteed 100 days in a year, you will rake in at least Rs. 15,500, tax-free. Since the Planning Commission has already decided that you can eke out a living for as little as Rs. 32 per day, you would be free to spend your annual savings of Rs. 3,820 the way you like.

Moreover, as time passes by, the MGNREGA wages will continue to get revised upwards. Unlike your corporate working days when you had to either crack impossible targets or beg a slimy boss for getting a miserly annual increment, the government’s flagship scheme will make an annual increment happen automatically!

How about entertainment and other needs? To enable you to easily forget the hardships of queuing up at any public facility, the government has already provided you with a color TV set. Also, who spends on bicycles, saris, grinders, fans, washing machines, laptops and tablets these days? You just wait for the next elections, vote for the party which is offering a gizmo you do not own, and your patience would be well rewarded.

To run the gadgets you get, where is the power, you ask. First of all, get this right – the lesser these gadgets are put to work, the longer they would last. Also, absence of power is a blessing indeed. Follow the old age dictum – early to bed, early to rise, and be healthy, wealthy and wise. The government expects you to remain physically fit; hence, frequent power cuts. In the absence of power, you watch less TV and therefore communicate better with other family members. Then there is the added perk of having candle light dinners with your loved ones!

If you are worried about your health, help is round the corner. There are government dispensaries and hospitals where you can find state of the art equipment, eagerly waiting to diagnose whatever disease you suspect you suffer from. Fine, there is a risk that the doctors or the staff may be on a strike, but surely you can go the next day, now that you no longer report to a boss who is fed up of your excuses of reaching the office late. Sure enough, by the time you have survived the serpentine queues at all counters, you would be fit enough to fight a war!

Education is on your mind? Well, the RTE Act is there to help you. Also, to encourage enrolment, you have a noon meal scheme. Students also get footwear, stationery and school bags! To compensate for the woefully inadequate public transport system, they also get bicycles!! Given the dismal scenario in road development projects, some political mandarins could soon be initiating schemes offering Nano cars at highly subsidized rates to all students who wish to pursue higher studies.

With so much on offer from the government, why do you have to undergo the trauma of making and attending inane power point presentations? Where is the need to sit through utterly boring and endless meetings backed by a steady inflow of caffeine into the system? Or, facing the annual corporate ritual called appraisal and undergoing the trauma of wondering if you are getting the next promotion?

Chuck the drudgery of corporate life, I say. Be done with those deadlines, KRAs and ulcers which are the perks of a manager’s life. Look forward to enjoying your post-retirement days. Rather than cursing politicians of all hues, appreciate the highly benevolent scenario created in India by now. There is really no need for you to work any longer!

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