I, INTERNET CRUSADER

If you are wondering about the title of the post, well let me explain. We all love online shopping, unmatched variety, lower prices than the market and the best part delivered right to your doorstep. Well I am a big fan of it too, but my past few experiences haven’t gone all that well. The products delivered were faulty in some or the other way and hence, a normal person would return them and take the refund, but no no sir not me. I decided to use the same internet against them and well somehow had my way. Well, internet here means facebook but you know what I am talking about…

So, first was this website, well I don’t know if I am allowed to name the websites or not, but it basically calls itself the coolest T-shirt brand of India and I finally found the size of this hoodie that I desperately wanted, it says “I AM SHERLOCKED’. Sherlock fans understand what this small little sentence means and then there was a sale on it as well, you just could not imagine my excitement level when I saw all of this. I immediately placed my order and now this is where the problem started. There were two addresses required not that it does not happen, one is the delivery and the other is shipping but here no such demarcation was made out. So I gave one as my college address and the other as my home address, both in a different pin code zone. Now I placed the order on Saturday and then I started checking on Monday at the delivery reception at our college. And please that is a reasonable time to check, unlike the way my roommate thinks. But I did not receive the package for about a week and my delivery package according to their policy would receive delivery in 5 days. I tried calling them, they have an answering machine, imagine, and I left 10 messages telling them about my problem but no one replied and then I sent mails and yet no reply. This so set me off, I opened my laptop and logged on to facebook, went to their web page and wrote my entire story of woe, and I wouldn’t say that it was a very sweet message which finally made them see the problem and they replied on facebook itself and that is how I managed to get them to resend the hoodie to me. But then it did not come again and I played the same card and they told me to finally send in the new address but when they shipped it the second time they promised me that my money would be refunded if it did not come by the following saturday, which it did not and guess what I got my money back and two hoodies But what about the one that they shipped the third time, even that one came an hence I ended up owning three ‘I AM SHERLOCKED’ hoodies without spending a single buck. HAHAHA

Second brush was with what I like to call the amazon of India, flipkart.com. Now from here I ordered a wallet. This wallet was black and yellow, the entire body being black and a small patch was yellow where the name of the brand was embossed. Now this wallet arrived and there was no embossing and I realised that the product was a fake, I was already spinning out of control by the time I reached my room, with rage. I did the same thing again and guess what, another free gift in two weeks and they even promised to take action against the seller.

The third one was not exactly my order, it was ordered by a relative of mine about 5 months ago, It was a water purifier which was on sale and with some offer or something, I am a little fuzzy on the details. Long story short, when he returned the purifier and asked for the refund, some communication barrier ensured that the money does not get to him. After he heard of my little adventures with the online stores, he asked me to take up his case and I managed to not only get him his refund but even a compensation of almost 1/3 of the actual amount. I felt so proud of myself.

But the best thing I learnt out of this whole experience is that technology has helped us so wonderfully. Rather than me rattling the sabers of law I just had to go to their facebook page and post a comment on each of their photo or post to make them realise that I have a huge problem here and you better solve it or I will spam your webpage with the most unwanted comments.

Here, my little secret to free goodies from online website, you just need t hope that they make some mistake at their end. Happy Shopping

THE IDENTITY CRISIS OF PAKISTAN

The idea of this post came along when I saw the show Dastaan. Judge me all you want but the hero is Fawad Khan. Rather what I found more interesting is the fact that now that the Pakistani shows are being broadcasted in India, they change the names of some shows, these usually have names in languages that are not that known in India. But the name Dastaan is not very difficult, it means story rather a tale, yet it has been named ‘Lakeerain’ which means lines for its Indian broadcast. It is then that I realised that when this show must have been made in Pakistan, for them it would be the story of formation of their nation whereas for us Indians it is always about taking away a part of land from our country and drawing lines to forge their nation.

Then I started thinking about what this reflects on the idea of Pakistan. Because when you see the show you realise that the idea that the common Muslims had of forging a new nation was a land where they would grow at their own terms and develop under their own laws and not under the thumb of the majority religion. This is something that reflects even in the name of the country ‘Pakistan’ or the land of the pious and the pure. They thought that the nation would be the idealistic place for a Muslim to live in and the place would be the perfect cradle for the growth of a Muslim civilization.

But Pakistan was always seen in comparison with India. They brought it upon themselves now, they wanted to prove that they would be able to create a nation that would compete with India and maybe even be better than it because it has uniform religious tenets all over the nation. Interestingly, after about a year of independence, the Archeological Survey of Pakistan brought about a book called 5000 years of Pakistan, which is quite illogical because Pakistan was just a year old. Rather the intention behind it would have been reiterating the identity of this new landmass that now forms Pakistan.

Even when negotiations for independence were on, Jinnah wanted to the Muslim League to be the sole representative of Muslims as he felt that Congress would not give them their due as they did in the 1937 elections where, after promising a coalition government in at least UP, irrespective of the verdict, the verdict was highly in favour of the Congress and they refused to share the government and said that the ML was not an important enough party to share government with the Indian National Congress.  This is what was converted into the idea of Pakistan as the place that would be safe haven for Muslims. Hence, Kashmir is an important part of completing this cracked identity of their. It is a Muslim dominated area and they think that the Muslims there would have solidarity towards those of Pakistan and thus should become a part of Pakistan. For them the will of a Hindu King has been imposed on a Muslim dominated state, something that they have been striving to protect.

I also think that an important part of the idea of Pakistan is being better than India (Duh!!) But the country never managed to have a stable enough government to ensure that the policies remain the same and so economy could grow or any development could occur. And when they managed to have an elected govt, whatever it means there, it has been plagued by terrorism. Also, one of the reasons, that Pakistan could be harbouring terrorists is because they never managed beating us and so they thought “If we can’t beat them then lets beat them” as in if we can’t get better than them lets destroy them internally for which they needed a terrorist force. And also you would always notice that when they win against us in a sports competition, they go crazy as in super crazy as to show that they are better.

But then the terrorists could not be told to exist for the reason of destroying India, so they had to be given a totally valid reason which is preserving the religion of Islam whose actual idea is what these terrorists think it to be and not what the Pakistanis are trying to interpret it as. For this purpose, the film that I feel is most relevant is Khuda Kay Liye. It just portrays exactly the life of a Muslim in both Pakistan and in foreign countries. Because for a normal Pakistani, music is what is for everyone but because the terrorists think that according to Islam, Music is haram or a bad thing to do, Pakistani musicians are at constant peril.

Well this was just a thought :)

DEAR AUNTIES OF THE METRO TRAINS……………………………..

To,
Dear Aunties,
Metro Trains,
Delhi Metro,

If you don’t feel offended by me calling you aunty then we can focus on a few issues that I have come across in the metro trains, to my discomfort and possibly to your chagrin. The issues that I would like to highlight have been deeply and keenly observed by me over a considerable period of time and I can assure you that these are not at all unfounded. First, if you know you have to travel in the metro, I never get the point of wearing heavy sarees in the metro, I seriously don’t. It is excusable when one has to go to a wedding or a function but wearing clothes that are bound to slow you down in the metro is just pointless. Next, STAY BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE!!! They make that line to protect you not themselves. Please learn to stay behind it because if you fall over, well lets just leave it there. They even make announcements for that too and I am sure people who run something as efficient as the metro are not crazy. Thirdly, STAY BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE EVEN IF THE TRAIN IS ABOUT TO STOP!!! I never understand why do you have this instinct of moving that half an inch forward as if that half inch will get you inside the train first. In the previous point you could fall over but here you your face could just stick to the metro. Fourthly, if you don’t get a seat, the world will not come to an end. Everytime, the ladies push you as if, if they get a seat inside the metro they will have conquered the world. A batchmate of mine who is from Bangalore hadn’t travelled in the metro so we decided to take him for a ride and he the poor mannered child ill-versed in the ways and means of the metro was standing at the door when it opened and an auntie started to inch ahead of him so he let her go forward first but he did not know that he had opened the floodgates because we had to forcefully pull him in over the sea of people he had unwittingly let go before him. Please there are older ladies than you who are standing in the metro and you rather prefer to talk to them about how pathetic and shameless the younger generation is because not even one is ready to vacate their seats. Or you know the urge to get to a seat can be better described as the way women stand outside stores that have declared a sale and the doors to infinite bliss of shopping are just about to open. Fifthly, probably this is what irritates me the most. The longer seats in the trains have 6 seats but because they are joined together women thing, they could just ask other women to just scooch over. That for me is particularly uncivilised. How can you ask someone to move to create some space so that you can squeeze in your ass. The funnier part is that the women could be almost falling off but NO, they cannot relinquish their seats as if it is against some religious tenets. Oh and the loud talking on the phone. Why do you have to tell what you have cooked at your home to everyone in the metro, please only tell it to the person you are talking to. I always lose my concentration while reading something. Reading is a slightly intellectually stimulating and hence requires a bit of focus you see. And it is a joy ride when a long lost friend or a relative has called or you want to dictate how to cook something. My worst nightmares aren’t as bad as that and I have had my full of those.

I have after a careful thought tendered this letter to your consideration. I hope you will take some action.

Sincerely,
A discomforted Metro Traveller

PERKS OF INTERNING: COURT VISITS

Well now that I have become 1/10th of a lawyer, I thought why not give, what these people call courts, a visit. But first things first, my results came about a few days ago and guess what I passed, even that sucky subject called History of Legal and Constitutional Development. Even though I got the highest grade in all others and the lowest in HLCD but whatever I passed. But before our college broke for winter break of one and a half month, after exams, I started applying to NGOs to intern there and got in one of the fancier places called HRLN, Human Resources Law Network. This place, as the name suggests, is a place for fighting against any injustices done to those who cannot defend themselves in a legal suit. Now this place has a selection process and that is what makes it fancy, we have to fill forms and send write ups and all the other shizz. Now, I got in, that is not the part that matters but the fact that during my internship, I got to go to court, both, the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court of India!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For two really important cases, believe me. Wait; first let me tell you the hierarchy. If you have a criminal suit or for that matter civil matters, you first file in a court that will be at the district level, then appeal to the court at the state level called the High Court and then from there after obtaining a certificate for appeal you appeal to the Supreme Court. But if fundamental rights are violated, one can appeal directly to the High Court or the Supreme Court invoking what is called writ jurisdiction of these courts.

 

I first went to the High Court, in a matter regarding pricing of medicines and an order that was given by a national level body dealing with pricing of drugs and medicines. This was a sudden decision, I wasn’t even dressed to go to the court, interns and lawyers are supposed to wear black and white formals and I was dressed in a hoodie and jeans, imagine! But I actually went because I thought that now that I had done some research one the case, I’ll actually understand what was going on. So I went with my supervisor to the Delhi High Court. I first had to stand in this 1 km long Ladies’ Line for getting my interns entry pass made. For that you have to have a slip from your supervisor and college ID. When my turn finally came, the women gasped, seriously, “What have you given me??” and I was like, “This is what they gave me, I don’t know” and she sent me off to this important looking lady asking me show the slip to her but then I thought what could be the problem, turns out I had attached a receipt from previous day for ‘A donation of ₹1000’, I quickly ran back with the correct slip and got my pass made. In my defence the receipt and the slip were of the same size.

 

Then I entered this huge complex called Building A and as I entered I saw this swarm of lawyers wearing the black cloaks that one has to wear while arguing in court and I practically was flustered.  I had to go to court room 7 which took me like a million years to find. We were item 16 and as I entered, item 10 was going on. And that is when all my notions of the court, that one forms by watching movies and TV shows were neatly beaten to bits. Item 10 took 20mins, Item 11 took merely 3, Item 12 took 5, Item 13 took 6, Item 14 took 19 and Item 15 took 16mins. In most cases they just made a motion for adjournment, hence the short timings. Item 13 had this guy with that short Shah Rukh Khan pony and he stood with his juniors who for some reason looked exactly similar to me. All of them were hunching because, well the judge did speak as if speaking to himself In Item 15, there was a bald lawyer who kept laughing at what the judge was saying. Then Came our turn, I moved towards the front chairs and the other side came, it was as if the entire room was standing on both sides, the room felt charged and one could feel that the case was going to be awesome. The opposing lawyer spoke “Your Excellency………………………………………………..Please grant us an adjournment”. What the heck! I just got out of the room and started a tour of the court as if I was on a school trip to a museum. I also did one silly thing; I went to an ATM and got a mini statement because it said Branch: Delhi High Court.

 

Talking about the Supreme Court, frankly it took me some time to get over the fact that I was standing in the premises of the highest judicial authority in the country. There we just kept going here and there because our matter was at 4 in the evening at we came at 10 in the morning. We saw quite a few great and known lawyers like Prashant Bhushan, P. Chidambaram, Salman Khurshid, Pinky Anand and others and attended cases ranging from Article 66-A of the Information Technology Act to killing of a Civil Servant in Manipur. And frankly when our matter actually came, we were so tired that we slept through it. You see the Supreme Court is a huge ass complex, so you have to walk a lot to go from one court room to another and this time we were even dressed properly so you know, I couldn’t help dozing off. OK OK Sorry! It was fun because well I had never been to these places and the cases were to some extent interesting.

 

LOVE AT SECOND SIGHT: CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 3

Seven Years Ago

Imperial Law College, one of the most coveted law colleges in the country. Every law student wanting to make a comfortable living wanting to get here. People could kill for a seat here. When the results came out, Janaki declared “I will not give the IIT JEE exam”. She couldn’t anyway. She hadn’t taken her admit card. She had a feeling that she would get a seat here and thus she never bothered with the damned engineering exam. The first merit list came out and she saw her name bold and clear, Janaki Desai and she even decided to drop her Delhi University seats. She was so ready to take the college on that she just started looking up the Constitution of India on the internet. The next thing was to make it her Facebook status. It was going to be a piece of cake and five years later she will be working in Amarchand Mangaldas making a killing in a year.

On the first day of college, the things the college threw at her, she was doubting her piece of cake theory. 5 project reports, one in each subject, citation systems for the projects and that is separate from the normal studies. The normal studies was also filled with readings that for some reason were always prescribed from outside the book. They always thought, why do they even give us this book, when they don’t teach from it. But these weren’t the biggest problems of her life. The most difficult thing in college was the library. They had access only to two floors and those two were so difficult to handle, the thought of having to deal with three more floors later was well dreadful.

There were almost 80 new people to meet and she had two roommates, Andrea and Nimrit. They were wonderful people, all three of them were seen together always and that is always. Another of the people she was friends with was Kaviraj Krishnamoorthy or better known as KK and as it turned out he and Nimrit had been schoolmates and she had introduced him to her. He was a sweet guy but a hard nut to break. The three of them went to the library and as they had gotten their project topics, the three of them wen to work on them. The three of them sat in one corner working quietly, when he came up to KK, “Hello kids, first years, I presume”. Nimrit and Janaki did not respond and KK replied “Yes, my name is Kaviraj Krishnamoorthy, which is long for KK”. “Great, I am Raghunath Diwan, 5th year. So how you guys finding the first year”. “Ah its new, challenging and interesting”. Janaki thought “which is short for difficult” . “And how are the teachers?, Neelam Lalwani still takes Legal Methods?”. “Actually she does, Political Science is Kashif Hussain, History is Arunima Chaudhary, Torts is Sushila and there is another guy Prem Chand and English is Deepanshu”. “You don’t have to be worried about Sushila, Kashif will give you marks in project, he actually sleeps through the presentations, Neelam is slightly strict in giving marks, in both projects and the paper. I don’t know about Arunima, she never taught us, she’s probably new and how do you like Deepanshu’s class?”. KK replied immediately, “Ahhh..It is kinda hard to concentrate in his class, you see”. Janaki again thought to herself,”There should be something to concentrate on in his class”, and then she realised that she had said it out loud, when Raghunath was looking at her. “Oh! Hi, I am Janaki Desai, first year, but I suppose you kinda guessed that”. Nimrit also thought this was the time to join in “Hi I am Nimrit Kumari”. Raghunath was polite enough to ask them about their experiences as well. He also advised them to read a few books, when the girls showed interest, he offered “If you want I have ‘Rule of Law’, if you want, I will lend it to you and you can read it and then return it to me”. Nimrit jumped in and called dibs, she never actually read it but still.

“Is is necessary to moot?”, Janaki asked an innocent question. “I’d rather say, have one moot participation, one sports participation and say something like theater, dance or music. Have you heard of Riot?”, their expressions clearly explained that they hadn’t. “We do a play every year by adapting a famous author’s book, this year we chose Riot, it is a book by Shashi Tharoor and the best part is, we call the person to watch the play”. The trio exchanged glances and then Janaki voiced the one thought in their minds “Shashi Tharoor will come to our college”. Raghunath just nodded and the girls looked each other with an expression of disbelief. The sexiest politician would come to their college. Ah didn’t they just love this place.  “Yeah sure we’ll come for that”, said Janaki and she turned to finally look at this 5th year. He was tall, handsome face, not one of those crazy body building types but not fat either. He had this smile on his face that touched his eyes, that for a moment sparkled, or so Janaki thought, when she looked into them. He talked so politely to them, even though he was like years senior to them. When they were leaving the library, they bumped into him again and he held the door for her. She turned and thanked him for that.

That night in her room, she kept thinking about this senior she met in the library. She had this big smile on her face which surprised her roommates as she rarely laughed on their jokes, they just thanked god for the improvement. But when they pushed them to tell her the reason, she just said, “I think I might have a crush on someone”.

LOVE AT SECOND SIGHT: CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 2

The newlyweds sat on the table flanked by the bridesmaids and groomsmen on their sides. Janaki sat right next to Andrea. She was smiling at the camera and people. She stared speaking through her teeth. “What is wrong with you?” Janaki asked Andrea, “How could you do this to me?”. “What have I done?” Andy asked innocently. “Oh, you don’t know what I have done”, she said almost shouting at her. “No”, Andy said rather irritated. “How could you invite him, HIM?”, trying to keep it low this time. “If you ask me one more question I swear to god, I will cry.” Janaki gave her the stare and looked her in the eye and said, “You invited Raghunath Diwan, how could you, like, how? And then not even give me a heads up on it.” The discussion was getting slightly heated and William decided to intervene, “Is everything alright?” Both Janaki and Andrea turned towards him and said a firm “No” and turned to their conversation immediately. “Oh, Raghunath Diwan. But what is the problem with him; he is a friend and a nice guy’. “Friend!? When the heck did you guys become friends and still you have not invited everyone from our batch and you invite him”. “He was my mentor in college, if you remember and I did not think he’d turn up anyway”. “But he did”! Suddenly they realised that quite a few heads had turned. They both smiled at the guests and Janaki started to speak through her teeth again, “This is not the end of it”.

Luckily, the best man called attention with the best man’s speech. Then the new couple danced and then the floor was opened to everyone. This made Janaki see that she was the only one sitting on the table. Andrea saw this and went to her “Hey, I am sorry, I should have told you. I am so very sorry, but I did not realise that it would bother you”, “It is ok Andy, I just did not except to see him here and seeing him suddenly just threw me off and I became angry, I shouldn’t have shouted at you, that too today, it was very rude of me and it is your wedding, how am I bothered with whom you invite, I am sorry”. “OK stop right there”, Andrea glowered, but then she said “I always thought you were over him, I mean, you said that remember”. “Yes, I am over him, but I just did not expect to see him there, I told you that already, I don’t I am just crazy”. William came there, looked at Janaki and asked “Could I take my wife for a moment ma’am, my friends want to meet my wife”, Janaki smiled and responded with a nod.

 

After quite a few songs had been played and Janaki had seen quite a few dances to those tunes, her face had started looking slightly blank. Andrea tried asking her to come to the stage but she declined. Everyone was dancing in couples and she did not want to receive the sad glances of the people, pitying her singularity. She did not care about the singularity part, not about what the people thought about her but today she did not feel it fitting to dance alone or perhaps she was waiting for a magic to happen today and make her a wish that she had harboured for a long time, she had completely forgotten about it had she not seen him today and she shifted her gaze to Raghunath’s table. She noticed every move he made. Every move of the hand, every line on his face when he talked, when he smiled and she sighed and then reminded herself “You are over him, for crying out loud, you were never with him to be so crazy ok stop, see how everyone is enjoying, dancing, having fun, are you crazy or what?” While she kept looking, he turned, their eyes met, she tried to hold his gaze “If you are over him, you can do this”¸ but she couldn’t and she turned. “The heck”, she muttered under her breath “Great now I will not be able to enjoy anything today, Andrea I hate you”.

 

She tried willing her mind to focus on the dancing, failing quite miserably at it. Her eye caught a movement and she saw, Raghunath coming towards her, she started to quickly look between him and the floor, again him, floor, him, floor and making sure that he was in fact coming towards her, she started to breath fast. “GET REAL” , her brain shouted just in time. He was standing right next to her and said “Hi! I don’t know if you remember me or not, I was in your college, Raghu…”,  “Raghunath Diwan”, she said with a smile, “I have a good memory”, thinking that saying that will help her seem indifferent. “I see you have been sitting here for quite some time now and I thought that” , she cut him and said “And you thought that it will be fun to be mean and remind me of that” and gave a very mean smile. “Ah, no I thought that I’ll ask you to dance”. Her hear skipped a beat. Did Raghunath Diwan just ask her to a dance? “So you are asking this out of pity?”, she asked with an undercurrent of disdain.  “Ah, NO, maybe I just asked you because you are looking so beautiful and I had been meaning to ask you but only did it now”.  Her brain did a split second somersault and she said “Sure” and regretted that she said it too fast but then she thought why did it not happen that night