यादें बात करती हैं

बातों-बातों में उस रात ये बात निकली,
यारों की बारात में यादों की बारात निकली।
वो बोला,”गुस्ताखी खास करती हैं।
फिर दिल-ए-फरियाद करती हैं।
यादों से पूछो यादें क्यों बात करती हैं?”

यादें शरमाई, बातों – बातों में​ यादों का पैगाम आया।
शाम-ए-शराब थी वो,
फिर भी बीच में हुस्न-ए-शबाब आया। ।
यादों का वो पैगाम था,
जसबातों का बवंडर उसका दूसरा नाम था।

पैगाम दिल तक पहुंचा​ तो पहले दिल थोड़ा शरमाया,
फिर दिल बहुत घबराया,
पर प्यार का वो मारा,
चिट्ठी खोले बिना रह नहीं पाया।

यादों ने लिखा था,”याद कर वो कुछ दिन,
हाथ तूने उसके प्यार का थामा था ।
साथ रहने का वादा करा था,
सात जनमों तक निभाना था।
उस प्यार से मुंह मोड़, सारे रिशते पीछे छोड़,
क्यों चला आया परदेस उसका दिल तोड़? ”

यादें फिर बोली,”जिन रिश्तों को पीछे छोड़ आया है,
उन्हें मुझ में बुनने का आज तुझे हक नहीं।
दिल में तू उसके आज भी है,
बस ज़बान पर तेरा अक्स नहीं।
उसके आज के आयने में हर सवाल का जवाब तू था,
पर आज उसके हर जवाब पर सवाल तू है।”

“कल उससे मुंह मोड़ आया था,
आज मुझसे मुंह मोड़ ले।
कल उसका हाथ छोड़ आया था,
आज मुझसे भी तू नाता तोड़ ले।
जा अब जीले, परदेस में नई यादों से दिल तू जोड़ ले।”

-Paranjaya Mehra


Lost and found

I remember I could feel my short breath and some chattering outside the room. I was admitted in ICU.  I felt like I was dying and apparently that is what I wanted. I knew my parents were in pain, but I not able to let go the feeling that  u I was a living corpse. Eventually I decided to shut my body off to overcome the possibility of worse scenarios. ‘Improvement’ wasn’t a word in my dictionary back then.

One relief I had before attempting to kill myself was that i was sure my parents will never get to know about it. They won’t know I was in depression. They won’t know I took Desipramine in excess. The idea of ending a life is directly proportional to the loneliness one might suffer in the times of extreme despair. Nobody could figure out what was wrong. Neither could I. There were times when I started crying for absolutely no reason. My self confidence lay shattered like glass. My self esteem and motivation were lost. I knew my mind can do better, but the state of it compelled me to to create a web of never ending problems and sorrow.

The moment I let the syringe inside my vein, I knew that little pain. I would wond if I could survive the emotional agony changed to a wound with the same degree of pain in my body. Although, I would always prefer the latter. My craving for some positivity in life had ended just like that. The idea of “It’s just a phase” never seemed true because phases did change, but my depression wouldn’t go. I would not really call it depression as I had not identified it till then. I was not able to decipher what was the complication with my brain. My mind had the power to alter my reactions and make me shift from one emotional zone to the other within seconds.

The bed was clumsy yet comfortable. The only thing I was not satisfied about was my own existence in the hospital. I couldn’t just go. The doctors their had saved me. The moment I opened my eyes I could see everything returning. I could see my failure and the never ending sadness coming to my life again. I realised my effort to kill myself went in vain. I couldn’t even cry. Tears wouldn’t roll down my eyes.

My ears could apprehend the grief in my parents’ voices outside the room. My elder brother didn’t say much. Although I could see he was devastated to see me in such a state.

I returned home with my happy parents(happy that I was alive). Only I knew what I was feeling like – a living corpse. I realised what they would have faced had I not been alive. My parents were already shattered by the fact that I was admitted to ICU for an unknown reason. They couldn’t figure out what had happened to me. Doctors recommended some tests but nothing was came out. I don’t think machines till date can track human emotions. Can they?  I could see some rush and stress in my parents’ eyes. They wanted to find out the reason.

This incident smashed my heart into pieces. I could feel their suffering. I never wanted to hurt. My misery was not just mine to keep. I should have known that. They did not deserve to suffer.

Killing yourself is NOT the easy way out to end a misery. We are unaware of the fact that it doesn’t get over. It just gets transferred – from us to our family.

That day I had a dream. In it my mother asked , “What if one day you wake up and I don’t?” I was traumatized just by the thought of it. I could never imagine that happening and can now ascertain how fortunate I was to come out alive that hospital.

The next day was a usual one except the fact that I came to realise that losing me meant a lifetime of suffering for my family. If not for myself, I decided to live for them and their smiles.

The above incident is a real story. It is a long journey when most people don’t even recognize that suffering from depression isn’t just a “state of mind”. 70% people find it inappropriate to talk to their doctors about them feeling depressed. 42% people decide to not discuss their depression with friends or family members. These statistics are disappointing in a place where depression and anxiety are making people silently succumb to depression and not come out. One in every 20 people in India suffer from depression (according a recent survey conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences in 12 states.) Depression is higher among women in the 40 to 49 age group and among those residing in metros. Evidently, depression is more common in women than men.

Dr. Harry Barry, a General practitioner (GP) says,”Mental health difficulties can be very distressing, not just for the person experiencing it, but for their loved ones too. Approaching a healthcare professional for assistance is one of the most important steps a person can make in taking responsibility for their mental health.” 

Mental health matters. People matter. YOU MATTER. None of us have to face our battle alone! Reach out. It matters.

– By Nikita Katwalia ( Journalism and Mass Communication student, IP University)

Feminism V/s Pseudo Feminism

I ask you, Is Feminism blindly accepting whatever a woman says as the sole truth without applying any logic or judgement?

I am an honest citizen of this nation . I always hold the utmost regard for all women , anyone who happens to know me bears a testimony to this fact . However I am deeply hurt and confounded by a kind of a “pseudo feminsim ” which certain media is propagating , where whatever a woman says is believed to be the 11th commandment without even considering all the possible facts and applying reason .

Such a psuedo feminism interferes with the actual feminism project , which strives to bring a better tomorrow not only for women but also for the men affected by patriarchy .
I myself am a feminist . But I refuse to fall in this trap of blindly believing whatever a woman says as the truth without any application of logic .

I ask you , what about men accused in false rape cases , the man not only loses his familial support or job but is rendered ineffective by the very society we live , and on the top of it all , the man was innocent . This is how this virus of “pseudo feminism “destroys the entire actual feminism ideal .

I was recently faced by a situation where a woman started shouting and hurling insults without any purpose . Thus despite me being a man of peace and my initial efforts of peace being spat upon , I was thus forced to shout back , for one I was true , my conscience was clear and second that silence is wrongly judged as being guilty .
Perhaps life is a lion fight indeed where it is important to roar and stand for yourself . As Abraham Lincoln says “Be not afraid to scoff at cynics” for cynics are dementers of self harmony .

I do not promote fighting but the truth of life I realised today is that there is no wrong in standing and fighting when you know your cause is for the truth . My fight is against this pseudo feminsim that is engulfing the ideal of feminism .

While pseudo feminism argues for male hate without any actual reasons and breeds such stereotypes of doubt in the minds of all the uninitiated , feminism is what actually brings a better tomorrow, the one based on equality .
Stand tall for feminism and be not afraid to scoff at cynics and impostors who destroy our inner peace , confidence and who defeat the larger ideology they claim they stand for .

I am not against women , it is infact women who understood readily my cause and helped me in the fight , Women I believe are the most powerful for they are capable of bringing life but the feminine identity isnt just limited to the fact that she can give birth . There is much more to it than just that . My fight is against cynics who bring their personal irrational prejudices into play .

Peace , sportsmanship and friendship I believe and practice too , are the ideals of celestial felicity . Love is an essential ingredient too , but it is very important to fight , for peace does not teach submissiveness , it teaches to fight for one’s right when one is wronged .

As put in an ancient African fable , the lion must always remember to roar for it keeps the wolves at bay , the wolves who feed upon us and our inner selves . Life is but a lion fight . Walk proud , lick your wounds , celebrate yourself and the good in others around you . there is nothing greater than peace and friendship but never hesitate to fight for your rights . Stand for yourself , see the wolves running away and feel the happiness .

I still argue that I stand for the real feminism for it is one of those rare things that have actually changed the world for the better , and women are the almighty’s greatest creation but yes people have to understand that for every ‘indivisual’ what goes around comes around , instead of petty politics celebrate the good in others and show respect and they will love you back in a thousand ways . This is the only way to make this world a happier place . Peace . Period 🙂

Article and photograph by Arijit Roy (English Hons student, DU)

The cries of the education sector

“Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbour was. “Light! Give me light!” was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.”
 – Helen Keller

Nothing describes education and its need better than the above quote. Without education, you don’t know how near or far away your destination/your goal is. You are just moving without a compass waiting for light to shine upon you so that you are able to see where your life’s harbor is. Education is that bright white light. Education is the compass.

The policy effect  

Countries around the globe have laid emphasis on the need and importance of education through various ways. Completing secondary school is required by law in some countries like Portugal, Germany etc. In our country dropping out of high school is perfectly legal. Yes, this fact can’t be denied that we face different conditions than the citizens of the above mentioned countries and thus for majority of rural India education takes a backseat because of lack of money, resources , social thought processes etc. Although we have to agree to this also that a country’s choices about education policies shape their children’s future. In India we do have a law about the same but there is a big question mark on it’s implementation and the ground reality. Ground work needs to be done before the paper work and only then will the paper work reap better benefits. I strongly support the point that we need to make dropping out illegal but for this to work, we as a country need to deal first with other issues like poverty, child labour, population, teacher-student ratio etc. When talking about India’s take on education, you cannot keep RTE aside.

Right to Education Act

The Right to Education Act was enacted on 4th August 2009. We became one among the 135 countries to make education every child’s fundamental right when the act came into force on 1st April 2010. ‘Free Education’ in the act means that no child, other than a child who has been admitted by his or her parents to a school which is not supported by the appropriate Government, shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education. ‘Compulsory education’ casts an obligation on the appropriate Government and local authorities to provide and ensure admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by all children in the 6-14 age group. The RTE Act is the first legislation in the world that puts the responsibility of ensuring enrolment, attendance and completion on the Government. It is the parents’ responsibility to send the children to schools in the US and other countries. According to me, in India you cannot put it on the parents to send their children to school until and unless the problems being faced by the parents are solved be it that of poverty, family size, social stigma etc. Once this is sorted out, only then in a country like ours can strict laws be made. Presently, we do have provisions like mid day meal, scholarships for girls etc but just these schemes cannot pull a majority towards education. If they are living in a society that still supports early marriage for girls, scholarships will not help pull those girls to school. The thinking needs to be tackled first. Mid day meal is not enough of an incentive to pull children towards schools if they belong to families which give birth to more and more children so that more the hands, more the money they earn to make the ends meet. Also, is our education sector  as white as milk?

The education sector – white as milk?

RTE mandated all private unaided schools to reserve a minimum of 25% of their seats at entry level classes for children belonging to economically weaker section (EWS). Recently cases were reported where it was seen that some highly reputed private schools like Bal Bharti School, Pitampura were selling the EWS seats. It shows that this provision of allocating EWS seats in private schools has failed mainly because there is no regular check on it and thus some private schools have turned it into a way of earning more money. Regarding the selling of nursery seats in private schools, a statement came from Delhi’s Education Minister Mr. Manish Sisodia saying “Don’t sell nursery seats. Sell jalebis instead.” The system for applying for applying for nursery seat under EWS category is not foolproof. Talking about mid day meal schemes, over the years there have been reports of lizards, rats, worms etc in the meals and of children suffering food poisoning.

I am sure you have not forgotten the 150 crore teacher recruitment scam unearthed back in 2013. Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay Chautala were sentenced to 10 years in jail for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior basic teachers. Officer in charge of teacher recruitment was transferred. Original list of teachers selected in 1999 was scrapped.  New list was published in 2000 with names of those who paid upto 4 lakhs for selection.

A reality check

According to a report released by UNESCO named “Education for People and Planet” India is expected to achieve universal primary education in 2050. India is 50 years late in achieving its global education commitments. If we as a nation want fundamental changes in the education system, we need to meet the 2030 sustainable development goals.

A report published in Times Of India on 9th August 2016 stated that a solitary teacher is running the show in as many as 1,05,630 government elementary and secondary schools in the country with MP emerging as the worst state 17,874 institutions have just one teacher each. Delhi has 13 such schools. No state can boast of having no single teacher schools. Interestingly, according to RTE guidelines there has to be one teacher for every 30 to 35 students in government and private schools.

Can you hear the sector constituting the most noble profession crying for help? This sector is thought to be one of the major factors behind the rise of any country. Yet, can you see that this very sector is turning out to be a black spot on our country’s name? Millions of children with a beating heart are waiting for something to happen. They want to know where there harbour is. They are searching for the compass. They are searching for light. They are searching for education.

“Light, give us light.” Can you hear the cry? I can.

– By Paranjaya Mehra