Festivities Sans Materialism is the Need of the Hour

Disclaimer: This post in not to mock any religion or anyone’s faith, I am just expressing my opinions. Based on my experiences and what life has shown me so far, I don’t feel inclined to believe in religion or God. Though I don’t have anything against people who do have faith; live and let live is my philosophy. But some rituals (actually superstitions) are irrelevant today and there are a few things God wouldn’t have preached, like superiority over another religion or hatred towards people of different races or faiths. And I do have a problem with those particular rituals or ideologies.

The festive season is here. Navratri and Dusshera just went by. Diwali is around the corner and the preparations are in full swing. People are cooking up some delectable delicacies,  buying new clothes, electronics, new jewellery, firecrackers and so much more. This is a joyous period of time, bringing together families and friends.

Normally I don’t have a problem with any of it, but I always wonder when did materialism get associated with religion and that in turn got associated with our festivals? I understand buying electronics or even jewellery as this is the time for heavy discounts. But I don’t understand the taboo associated to it if a person does not buy these things. It’s not ok to judge people based on their buying habits.

Festivals are a time to cut through the differences and coming together and leaving them aside. This is the time to give, rather than show-off and indulge in pretense. How many people actually donate food and money to the needy? People make 1000 kg sweets to enter some kind of record books, but never actually give that food away to those who really need it. Or they waste milk by pouring it on stone idols. (scientifically speaking, the stone absorbs the liquid, so that makes it look like the idol is drinking it… Duhhh!!) How do we become so selfish and stupid to think fun can be had only when we think about ourselves?

I love Diwali, not because of any religious belief, but because it is the festival of lights. Lights symbolize hope, love and joy. That’s what this festival should be about. Not about how much gold people buy or how much they spend on firecrackers. Firecrackers are bad, for health, for our planet, for the animals who are scared to death because of the loud bombs. The poor things have nowhere to go and hide from all the noise. And the terminally ill, the heart patients and old people, they all have so many problems during Diwali. My brother when he was down with kidney failure, he used to have palpitations and breatjing problems because of all the fireworks. Nor is it about how many little light-bulb strings you light up; which is nothing but wastage of precious electricity. Its like whoever spends the most on firecrackers is the most religious person. Is it a race where you have to come first? In that case how do religion or God fit into the equation? Did God ask us to be so competitive with each other?

According to our traditions, Diwali was celebrated because Rama returned home after defeating Ravana. In those days, the firecrackers and light bulbs had not been invented. Did they not enjoy? I bet they enjoyed much more than any of us. They had nothing but love to share. And there was no materialism that ate away the true essence of the festivities. Why do we make so many mouth watering snacks and sweets? So that we could share all the amazing food with our loved ones and spend quality time with them.

My favorite part of Diwali is, making beautiful Rangoli right at the entrance of the house, to light up the beautiful earthen diyas, to put fresh flowers everywhere and to eat and share the goodies that my mom makes.We light up the Tiffany Lamps made by my parents (only for a few hours) and light up diyas all over the house. The simple earthen lamp lights and the decorations bring out that joyousness in me. Spending time with family and friends, eating all those delicious snacks and sweets, that’s what matters to me.

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Chakli and Chiwda, typical Diwali savory delicacies
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Diwali 2015: The entrance of my house; Rangoli and Diya decoration done by me.
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Our Tiffany Corner

They say that Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth enters all our homes, to bless us with wealth and prosperity. I have no problems with that idea. But can we really believe that spreading pollution and scaring all the animals and birds to death is going to please her? No it will not please her. What will please her is if she sees us doing something meaningful, like helping out the needy instead of wasting our money on harmful stuff. 

Most people haven’t read their scriptures carefully, all the scriptures of every religion have the same basic tenets. To live a clean and uncomplicated life and to love and respect others. I simply don’t believe that if God existed, he/she could teach hatred and intolerance. Or even having fun on others’ expense. On one hand, people preach God and religion, but on the other, they harbor poisonous thoughts and they spew venom on people they deem as inferior to them. Most of the times, the most religious people are also the most poisonous.

I was born on Diwali, that’s why my name is Sampada; it means prosperity and it is also one of the 1000 names given to Goddess Lakshmi. I was born right on what we call as Muhurat (The time when stars align and we can perform the Puja). Even though I don’t believe in God, I still join in all the rituals to keep my family happy. Their happiness matters more than my own beliefs. So for a few days, I put aside my beliefs and do everything I can to make them feel all festive. Though thankfully, my family does not believe in elaborate and irrelevant rituals. Our puja is simple and short.

Of course, I never ever burst crackers; primarily because I don’t want to contribute to the air and the noise pollution and child labor, and also because I miss my brother too much and I don’t feel like bursting crackers without him.

I just hope that people enjoy the festivities without harming the environment and doing something fruitful rather than believe in silly superstitions. Materialism should have no place, it is not something that enriches our lives. Those little moments with family and friends, that content feeling you get when you help someone less fortunate collectively brings out the joyousness; it will bring more peace within us.

May this Diwali enlighten the people with wisdom and bring contentment, prosperity and happiness in their lives.

 

Deepest Salute and Gratitude for the true Indian Heroes!

While time has been escaping my clutches since some time, all thanks to my incredibly hectic schedules; I am sitting here wondering what to write next. That’s when the news channels are on and I see the picture of the 24 year old soldier who got martyred today in a cross-border skirmish. It makes me think about how grateful I am to these brave hearts for being there in combat zone and giving up their lives so that we the civilians can sleep peacefully at night.

I belong to the Army family. Currently, the third generation is proudly serving my country. Many of my summer vacations were spent in some Army cantonment or the other. I have seen how incredibly hard they train. And their level of love for this country is way beyond our imagination.

There was once this Major I had met, he is my uncle’s close friend. He is the epitome of a dedicated soldier; the one who does not think twice when it comes to serving for the country. I hadn’t heard about him in a long time, but one day, we heard this incredible story about his brave actions at the front and I was completely in awe. The story goes that during a cross-border firing, this grenade was flung to our side, which he picked up even before it landed and threw it back to the other side. He lost three fingers of his right hand and could not operate the gun anymore. But that did not deter him. After his recovery, he learned how to fire the gun using his left hand, practiced for hours and hours; and once he had mastered it, he begged the headquarters to send him back to the border. He refused promotions because of his intense passion.

This kind of a story is far too common in the defense circles; these men and women are incomparable. They get into the forces to serve the nation; they leave their families behind, they leave the comforts of their homes behind and live in incredibly difficult terrains and battle harsh weather conditions to make us feel safe.

The Siachen Glacier is one of the worst places in the world.  It falls from an altitude of 5,753 m (18,875 ft) above sea level at its head, down to 3,620 m (11,875 ft) at its terminus. The soldiers have to face extremely harsh weather conditions; they can stay there only for 3 months at a stretch. They have to melt the ice in a helmet to have hot water or tea, that too freezes soon. There is hardly any vegetation. Staying alert and guarding our borders in such severe cold is a herculean task. And they do all of this without any complaints.

My Uncle had received the Vir Chakra, a gallantry award, in the 1971 war. He had sustained such high injuries in his thighs because of shell casings, he had to have 17 surgeries; 2 of them with the anesthesia and the rest 15 without it, with a bullet kept between his teeth. He retired as a Brigadier and he lives in the same city as me. I am in awe of him. Having 15 surgeries with just a bullet to bite to withstand that pain, is beyond comprehension.

The recent Uri attack was horrific, so many soldiers lost their lives and so many families lost their sons, husbands and fathers. The terrorists had fired on the soldiers in their sleep. My heart went out to them.

They sacrifice their comforts, their family time and above all, their lives. A huge respect goes to every one of them; None of us civilians can do what they do. I cannot think about anything else to write about. It saddens me to see so many of our heroes giving up their lives for us and some people going on national television insulting our soldiers. We need to respect them. They are amazing and their job is the hardest in the world. Every time there is a crisis, they step forward, every time we need them, they appear and help us, just like the superheroes we love. They do not complain, they always consider it as their duty towards the Nation and the people.

My salute, respect and utmost gratitude goes out to each and every soldier who is out there, away from his family, living in atrocious conditions and danger lurking around the corner; I can sit and write this article because they are there. Thank you for doing what you do!

“I will come back either after hoisting the flag or being wrapped in the flag”  – Captain Vikram Batra.

“I regret I have but one life to give for my country.” – Prem Ramchandani

 

Of Kaveri River, Blue Gold Wars and Divisive Politics

The past two weeks have been crazy. A city gone haywire because of an old unresolved conflict; It was something I never imagined would happen here, it has happened before but I personally have never seen anything like it.

There has been a long-standing conflict over Kaveri River, which passes through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Both the states have been fighting over it, each claiming their rights over it. This was has been going on since the past 100 years. There have been many incidences of violence in all these years.

Last week, the Supreme Court had directed Karnataka government to release some water to Tamil Nadu. This caused a huge amount of tension in the city. We had a full day strike and all the schools, colleges, offices and all commercial establishments had to be shut down. We ended up having an unscheduled holiday. There were dangers of mob violence, I had heard many people went to workplaces and shops and forced them to close up. Though thankfully nothing happened and it turned out to be a well rested long weekend for everyone.

On Monday, I was sitting in my new office, trying to analyze and translate a particularly difficult document, when I got a text from a friend that suddenly something had flared up in a few areas and the police had begun imposing Section 144, which means unlawful assembly was banned. I didn’t know why this happened. So I googled and found that there was a change in the amount of water to be released but it still was not in favor of Karnataka.

That is when hooliganism took over the city like wildfire. There was a lot of stone pelting, vehicle burning and rioting going on. Some of my colleagues were very worried about reaching home as their only mode of transport was bus and the buses were being stopped mid-way and people were being asked to get out. Some buses weren’t even running. I have been driving to work ever since I joined, so I had my car, but these people lived far away from where I lived, so I couldn’t even drop them. So they packed up and left early and somehow they reached home hours later. I left at the usual time as I knew there would be a huge traffic jam because of everyone trying to leave early. And it was a good decision as I was able to reach home in 30 minutes because of lack of traffic. But it was scary too, as the street lights were mostly off, there was no one around and the shops were closed.

The entire day I had been receiving updates from my local friends and I had been relaying this information to everyone. There had been many incidences of people burning the Tamil Nadu registered vehicles and buses coming from there. It was scary and horrible to see the city going haywire. When I reached home, I saw the news and found out that around 55 buses had been burnt and one person had died as a result of police firing and curfew had been imposed on most parts of the city. I could not believe this, I had never seen something like this!

I was in touch with my manager who was on vacation and my entire team was giving her the updates. She in turn had to get in touch with the higher management and it was decided that the next day, we would stay back at home rather than putting our lives in danger by stepping out. I was aghast; rioting and curfew being imposed! The situation reminded me that Jammu and Kashmir faces this situation everyday. It was scary how a normally peaceful city could turn into a potential warzone in a matter of two days. But thankfully, nothing much happened and gradually normalcy returned by evening. There were a few sporadic instances of minor stone pelting but the police forces had taken care of them. Over 300 people had been arrested.

I am neither pro-karnataka nor pro-Tamil Nadu with regards to this water sharing issue; that’s why I haven’t laid out any facts or figures about it here. But I do feel appalled that we couldn’t reach an agreement over an already depleting natural resource. Agreed we might not have enough to share but reaching some kind of a compromise wasn’t out of reach. And we aren’t even two different countries, we are two states in a single country. Yet I saw people expressing extreme hatred towards each other on social media. On one hand we call ourselves patriotic and paint our faces with the Indian flag, and on the other, we voice our hatred to each other. Hypocrisy is an understatement. I have been accused of being unpatriotic just because I refused to paint my face, but isn’t this more of an unpatriotic attitude? Where we stay united for the sake of it but let an issue rattle us and divide us! How is that patriotism? I just don’t understand how people justify all of this!

There have been many theories positing that someday in the future, wars would be fought over water; water is often called as the “Blue Gold”, another dying resource provoking wars. As if we didn’t have enough of those, this would add fuel to the already stoked fire. And these past few days have led me to think that there might just be some truth to this theory.

Last weekend, my 11 year old student was struggling to make sentences in French. So he made a sentence which translated to, “Spain has beautiful Spanish dolphins.” When I said that he would have to come up with a better sentence than that as his school teacher would want it, he asked why animals don’t  have nationalities and humans do. I was intrigued by his question and I think his logic was sound. So I told him that humans are crazy, there is no explanation as to why this is so. But then animals are better than us, they wouldn’t let such concepts divide them. We humans do. We are so divided by so many factors. Why can’t we be like these animals?

We are up in arms for anything and everything, it is sad to see that people don’t understand that if we could just live and let live, we could co-exist peacefully.

But then how would the politicians survive? I guess the root cause of all the problems in this world is politics, that is what fans the flames and spreads the fire further; politics is what exacerbates most controllable situations. And the already frustrated commoners get frustrated even more and wind up getting influenced by these politicians to exactly do what the politicians want them to do; creating more chaos. With due respect to all the natural disasters, it is the politicians who will annihilate the mankind. Mother nature is but a mute spectator to the self-destruct mode the humans have been designed with. Though the trouble is, it is the commoners who will suffer the most, while the politicians will be busy soaking in the sadistic pleasure they would derive from witnessing the commoners getting decimated.

Is this a pessimistic piece of writing? Or is it mostly pessimistic with a sprinkling of optimism? I would reckon it is the latter as I have mentioned that thing called hope again. But as much as I daydream that things resolve and this is a mere hiccup, practicality leads me to think that the depleting resources versus the ever-increasing population will indeed lead to our worst nightmares. But being a commoner, all I can do is hope that our future generations don’t suffer as much we fear. And that we could work at resolving at least some issues on our own too, all the while showing the politicians that we are capable of making some difference despite all their efforts to stop us from doing so.

The 2016 Curse; the Winds of Uncertainty and How to Tide Over Them

2016 has been bad. 2016 needs to be fired and replaced by 2017. I hereby fire 2016 with immediate effect, kindly leave and never come back. And I welcome 2017 with open arms and wish that things change for the better.

If only it were that easy!

That’s how the circle of life works; Good times and bad times keep rolling in constant alternation. Sometimes this becomes overwhelmingly difficult to deal with. This year has been like that. Many of my friends have confided in me that 2016 has been one of the worst years for them.

It hasn’t been the worst for me, but it has posed some serious challenges and it has thrown quite a lot of curve balls at me. Somehow I have been scraping through, ray of sunshine beginning to shine through only recently. It’s still challenging but small resolutions have presented themselves to ease it out just a bit.

The violence and terrorism has increased this year, causing havoc all over the world. There have been close to 30 major terror attacks all around the world, including the Middle East; and only half a year has gone past. Just as I am writing this there was an explosion in Germany. This is just ridiculous! Contrary to the older terror groups, ISIS seems to be targeting smaller targets, to create intense fear and spreading terror all over the world.

The humans all over the world were downright inhuman towards the animals, killing puppies, killing a baby dolphin for a selfie, throwing a dog off a roof, burning stray dogs alive, the list goes on. I cannot even describe what I felt reading these horror stories!

Roger Federer has been suffering from a spate of injuries, which began a day after the Australian Open and he hasn’t caught a break till now. A knee injury and the subsequent surgery, 2 bouts of flus, back issues and then back to the knee injury. He played intermittently with ease but ended up faltering at crucial points. And now he has announced that he would not play for the remainder of the season, which came as an utter shock! We had expected him to take part in his potentially last Olympics. But that won’t happen. What’s more, when he rejoins the tour in 2017, he will be out of top 10 after more than a decade, and that is a thought that is unfathomable. This is when you realize the magnitude of this Man’s achievements, No one can imagine him being out of top 10. He did not win a single title this year, another unfathomable consequence of an injury laden year. He will not make an appearance in the World Tour Finals at the end of the year after 12 consecutive appearances. The consistency with which he has played all these years, this seems like a horror movie.

He has of course exuded a very optimistic attitude in his Facebook post, saying that he is only calling it this season as his Doctor has advised him an extensive rehabilitation and he plans to come back stronger and play attacking tennis in the 2017 season. And it is a smart move on his part. But we fans are just too used to see him play so much that these 5 months without him on tour will seem like a vacuum to us. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to watch tennis, as of now it doesn’t seem to be a possibility. Only now as I am writing this, I feel a sense of positivism that he will surely be back. He is the only one who makes me so emotionally invested in him. That’s his fault though, nobody asked him to be so inspiring and admirable.

Tennis in general has suffered a lot in 2016, with the match fixing scandal and Maria Sharapova doping scandal; it has been tough on tennis this year.

Even the Rio Olympics have been riddled with numerous  problems; the most bizarre things that happened there recently was the kidnapping of a New Zealand athelete and the F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law. I seriously have no clue what to make of this. Not to mention so many athletes withdrawing either because of injuries or of the fear of the Zika virus as well as almost the entire Russian contingent being banned because of doping.

This year many celebrities lost their lives, some of them absolute legends who left a huge void; David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Glenn Frey, Harper Lee, Doris Roberts, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yelchin, to name a few. All of the above, inspired me so much! It was really heart-breaking to know that we had lost such gems. Perhaps Anton Yelchin’s death can be factually associated with the 2016 curse as his death was a freak accident, just like how it was in the Final Destination movies. His own car rolled down and pinned him because of a software glitch resulting in the fatality. Its really weird how such a brilliant young actor lost his life.

2016 will also be really cursed if Trump gets elected. What a scary thought! Though if this happens, we’re heading for not just one year being cursed, but 4 years being cursed.

And there’s still 5 months left for the year to end; but the winds of uncertainty have been blowing off my wits. Things have begun to fall in place for me; but who knows what’s in store for me? Sometimes I feel the more I celebrate a good thing, the more things go wrong for me. So when I got a new job, I felt like it could just go away. It’s only now that since about a fortnight remains for me to start working at the new place, I have begun feeling positive. I was so self-conscious that I only told a handful people of the new job offer. But now I have begun telling everyone that I have taken my career in a proper direction. And I had to really work hard to get this offer; which makes me think I crossed a major hurdle.

I don’t believe in astrology at all, but it looks like 2016 might be cursed after all. Whether or not I really believe in curses, I do feel that this year needs to end fast, so that we can start afresh. It’s like, waiting for the sun to rise, after a long and cold winter night. But till then, how do we deal with the uncertainty? I’ve been told that patience is the key! Somehow we will need to be patient. If the universe is throwing multiple curve balls, then we need to find a way to dodge them. Or if we get hit by them, then just keep getting up. Roger once said that, “I don’t quit mid-match, you gotta drill me one in the eye, then maybe, but otherwise I don’t quit”. That’s what I need to do, what we all need to do.

Enjoying the little, trivial everyday joys, or finding a creative outlet to vent all the anxiety; ought to do the trick. Like a few days back, I went on full geek mode, constantly tweeted and shared the San Diego Comic Con videos and news, watched Star Trek Beyond and totally enjoyed it. I ate all the food I craved to eat, and I even slept for two hours, three days in a row in the office dorms. I am not supposed to do that, but since I am on my notice period and I have no work, I figured what the heck, why not? Patience and Enjoyment; we can make it a mantra or even a rap,

“P & E, are the key, to spend 2016 with glee…”

So this goes out to the victims of the 2016 Curse, we need to find the strength within ourselves and be patient and find happiness in the little everyday things. We need to show these terrorists that no matter what they do, they can never drown our spirits. I wish that all the people who died in these senseless attacks are up there in Heaven and enjoying a better time than here on Earth. I wish the laws against such horrible animal cruelty become really stringent. And I wish Roger gets better soon and comes back on tour with a bang in 2017.

And I hope 2017 proves to be a better company and it doesn’t get influenced in any way by 2016.

Udta Punjab: The Grim Reality of Drug Menace and Mass Ignorance

When I think of Punjab, the agricultural state of India, the first image that conjures up in my head is one of the lush farms. It is the land of 5 rivers flowing through the expansive plains. The food, the music, the people, everything that I saw there, showed me how Punjab has a very rich cultural heritage attached to it. The festivals there are attached to the agricultural aspect. Like Baisakhi is celebrated to welcome the harvest season. They are intensely proud of being Indians, almost every family sends at least one child into the Indian Army; the percentage of Punjabis in the Army is highest I would reckon. They were very instrumental in the Indian freedom struggle eons back.

Three years ago, I had traveled to Patiala, a city in Punjab, for a wedding. We had traveled by road from Delhi to Patiala in cabs. The sights were really beautiful. On the way, we had stopped over at a famous restaurant which is located right at the Punjab-Haryana border. There I remember having the most amazing Lassi (A drink made of churned curd with either sugar or salt) of my life! It was so thick in consistency and so delicious! And it was served in a Kulhad (a terracotta cup), which enhanced the taste even more. The people there were so lively and it was just a beautiful place to be in!

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Lassi I had in Patiala

But I was so ignorant, I had not known of this horrid reality of Punjab. Udta Punjab was such an eye opener for me, I am so glad this movie was made. It made a huge impact on me. I am absolutely sure that most Indians do not know about the drug menace in Punjab, or at least if they have heard of it, they don’t know just how deep it runs. There are a few places in India I know are hot spots for drugs, but Punjab is much, much worse.

Udta Punjab has its flaws, some quite big, but it also carries this anti-drugs message very effectively and loudly. And more than that, it makes you aware how bad the drugs menace is and how deep its tentacles have spread. Diljit Dosanjh as Sartaj, Alia Bhatt as Mary Jane, Kareena Kapoor Khan as Dr. Preet and Shahid Kapoor as Tommy Singh, all did their jobs with aplomb, especially Alia. She was absolutely brilliant as the ‘never-give-up-keep-fighting’ hockey player who is sucked into this hell and how she fights back every time. The cuss words laden colloquial dialogues were hilarious; that’s how people there talk normally, so it was all funny.

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The nexus runs so deep, the entire system is corrupted. From the politicians to the police to the peddlers, it trickles down uncontrollably. After googling about it, I found so many shocking facts; it’s absolutely appalling. How did I manage to remain so ignorant about it? I am clueless! This is not something new, it has been going on since a very long time.

The movie compared Punjab to Mexico; a comparison I find now as being absolutely justified. Our borders are no doubt porous; it is very easy to slip in a lot of drugs from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Not only heroin is smuggled in, but they are also creating chemical or synthetic drugs without a fear of the system. It is an utter failure of the system that has accelerated this issue and grown so exponentially.

Apparently about 90% of the heroin is consumed in Punjab itself. There is hardly any clean blood left there now. The Army is not able to recruit as many as they used to from there because of this. And if really the blood is not clean, then I wonder what people who need blood transfusions or organ transplant surgeries must be facing. The politicians are buying their votes by distributing these drugs for free. More than 70% of convicts in the jails there are drug addicts. And the drugs are supplied in the jails as well. According to an article I read, more than 75% youth in Punjab is hooked to dangerous drugs like heroin, smack, cocaine and many synthetic drugs. Out of these 75% addicts, about 30% are HIV-positive people. 7 out of 10 college students have tried a drug at least once. And the age range for all the addicts is 15-35. While there is also this statistic that very young children are fed with drugs unknowingly, they become addicts at an age much younger than anyone can even imagine, which means an entire generation is being decimated because of the rampant addiction.

Many rehab centers have sprung up there, Government as well as private ones, but they all have a serious lack of staff as well as lack of proper infrastructure. They have no way of coping with the sheer numbers. Plus there have been many instances of these drugs being sold openly right in front of these facilities and various hospitals. According to the quartet of Indian comedy, All India Bakchod in one of their AIB on Air episodes, in 2014, of all the drug related crimes in India, almost 31 per cent came from Punjab alone. In 2009, according to a government study, there was at least one drug addict in every family of Punjab. There are so many villages who are losing so many people because of this menace. While Amritsar is the worst affected urban district, Taran Taran is the worst affected rural district.

The latest trend of Punjabi rap and pop songs with lyrics that promote drugs usage, and these musicians consuming these drugs themselves are proving detrimental to the resolution of this crisis. It has now become a vicious circle.

This movie was in a huge controversy because of its theme and the Censor Board had suggested some 89 cuts apparently. But the makers of this movie approached the court and were given the verdict of releasing the film with only one single cut. This move to cut major portions or ban the movie were definitely politically motivated. But I am thankful that the court did not ban it.

All these statistics really blew my mind! It is really horrifying to see the actual picture. I am really thankful to Anurag Kashyap for making this movie. Whether anyone likes it or not is purely subjective, but what it does excel in, is spreading awareness all over the country that Punjab isn’t all song and dance, it is facing its most disturbing health crisis ever and it has gone past its alarming level. I am one of the people who knew nothing about this and I have met many people who are clueless as well. In fact it is a mass ignorance as much I can see it. My Punjabi friends mentioned to me that they came across a lot of people too who knew nothing about it.

 I hope the people wake up and do something about it. First thing that strikes me is that addiction is a disease and needs to be treated as such, the stigma attached to it needs to go. And I hope we make the politicians do something about it, rather than letting them be complicit and show off a face of denial to the public. More and more rehab centers need to open up, more funds need to be allocated to fighting this crisis, the politicians and the police involved in the drug trade need to be exposed and arrested, a huge drastic change needs to be brought about to resolve it. Where there is a will, there will always be a way.

A special mention goes to the incredibly beautiful end credits song, “Hass Nach Le” which is an appeal to drug addicts to stop using them and enjoy life in sobriety.

And also to the amazing song “Da Da Dasse” which means fear is killing.

 

References:

http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2015/11/punjab-narcoterrorism/

AIB On Air

Udta Punjab, the movie

Google, basically!