Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Man who moved a Mountain.....Literally!!!

No! It’s not an idiom for someone who toiled through the day and slogged in the night to achieve success. But about a man who actually moved a mountain!!!!!!

Outlook covers the story of Dasrath Manjhi, who single handedly cut a road through the huge mass of rock - massive 360 feet long, 25 feet high and 30 feet wide rock.

Every morning, for 22 long years, a frail, diminutive man, barefoot and clad in a loin cloth, would trudge two kilometres to a hillock of solid rock and chip away at it with a hammer and chisel.

Of course, the first question to hit our minds is why does he have to do that?

Dasrath eked out a living as a farm hand, toiling in the fields of local landlords on bare subsistence wages. One day, in the early '60s, his wife Phaguni fell ill and Dasrath set off with her to the nearest hospital. She died on the way. If only there was no hill blocking the road to the town, Dasrath would have made it to the hospital in time, and perhaps his wife's life would have been saved.

The villagers of Gelau, where Dasrath lived, had to take a circuitous route and travel 19 km to Wazirganj, the nearest district town with a hospital.

Dasarth - challenged by Nature and given his humble background – could have resigned to his fate. But the irony fate is; Dasrath decided to create history by changing the geography of his land. Armed with a mere chisel and hammer, Dasarth decided to cut a road through the huge mass of rock.

After 22 years - from 1962 to 1984 - of toil, Dasrath paved the way. The once long route of 19 KMs was now reduced to bare minimum of 6 Kms. The road stands as a memorial for her wife and an example of grit, determination and a will to make the world a bit better.

Dasrath Manjhi was building a memorial to his wife Phaguni Devi—one that won't ever find a place in hallowed global must-visit lists, but can well be passed down from this generation to the next as a monument of love. A poor man's Taj, literally. Not for its aesthetics, but for the way it symbolises the human spirit's capacity to endure, its indomitability.

So true, that these stories, probably will, never find a place in history. This post is a tribute to the man - Dasrath Manjhi (1934-2007) – who stood against all odds rocks.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

India: Young @ 60

A time has come to celebrate our Independence. But unlike every other 15th of August, this marks a milestone. It’s a date when India turns 60. 60 years of remarkable journey, to say the least. After all, how do you describe a journey from a country being called as a land of snake charmers to a nation which houses the world's largest democracy.

The general debate might hang on the point that our nation is now a sixty year old grumpy uncle and its time to sum up the life lived. But I beg to differ. While most of us are tagged as Senior Citizens at 60, it doesn’t even remotely apply to countries. Just the thought that my dad is older than the country he leaves in; intrigues as well as amuses me to no extent. I think the age of a country is best measured in decades or better in centuries. In those terms, a 6 decades old country is a child who has learned to express himself in a chaotic world, which has had enough of baby steps and is now ready to take giant strides. India is a young and "a raring to go" nation like never before in its ancient history.

Success has different interpretations, and my friends will agree. The fact is undisputed that India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Also, no one can deny that the potential remains far from being realized.

But for today let us bask in the glory of our great Nation that we admire and adore immeasurably.

It’s been 60 years of life and freedom since we redeemed our pledge. And now we stand on a place in time where we are poised, all over again, for a tryst with destiny.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

101 Not Out !!!!!!!!!

After beating around the nineties for quite some time, I finally raise my keyboard with a sense of pride. I know it has been a slow and unsteady century but only if I could control my thoughts.

It has been a long journey. A journey which started out of fascination and exploration - has now acquired a purpose. And while I was alone to start out, people have gathered to have a look at my trail.

Today, while I celebrate, I also mourn for the 999 or more so thoughts which didn’t see the light of the day. Probably they didn’t voice themselves or I turned a deaf ear. But this milestone demands that I give them their space. So while am enjoying the thoughts which are obscure, dark and deep; I have decided to go miles before I sleep.

The celebrations which started few posts back end tomorrow.

And ya you must have guessed by now - I have an enchantment with odd numbers.