Rough roads, beautiful memories

img_20161026_235546Off late the surgical strikes of Indian Army has been making news and after Saheed Hanumant Thappa Indian Army has gone viral in social media. In some places as the social media shows, BJP made posters on election campaign, Mr Kejriwal asked the PM to provide proofs of the attack and Congress released cross LOC attacks in public. The Uri attack and our return fire made lot of us little patriotic and what’s app also flooded with a candle wala DP and many forwarded messages.

Being a silent watcher of those activities I visited Srinagar, Leh, Nubra, Turtuk and Pangong where every single day and every single hour I saw a numbers of Indian Army personnel, their camps, their trucks, rocket launcherss and many things which I want to share it here.

img_20161004_155301445-copyFirst of all, above all bullets and kinds of guns, there lies a lot of artists. All army camps I went across during my visit are colorful. Beautifully decorated, well maintained and clean. I was amazed to see their cretivity and trust on my words, the arial view of any army camp of these places I mentioned will give a natural smile in your eyes.

There creativity is not only limited to colors but also in terms of words. All the camps are beautifully named and some mountains are creatively carved with those names along with the tricolor. There comes  BRO; a Familiar name you will see in every hundred meter with signage and boards. Its not the gen X term ‘Yes Bro’ kind of stuff rather an organisation originated from Indian Army. Officially known as Border Roads Organization (BRO) has been mainting and developing roads across borders in India. The people are so creative, every hundred metre you will see some funny, witty, informative and useful messages on road safety and cleanliness. And let me tell you, you can’t avoid reading them even if you are at a speed of 80km or more. They will hold ur nerves and put pressure on your right hand to lessen the accelerator.

Some messages are like

“Don’t be a Gama, in the land of Lama”

“Drinking whisky, driving risky”

“Do not gossip, let him drive”

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Above all, I have never seen any armed force or security agency so much hospitable. While crossing the hilly difficult terrains, amidst all tension and adventure what makes you smile is, you salute any army truck or jeepsy or any officer on he way, they will revert back with saluting you back and with a million dollar smile. They will give you ways to pass the roads safely. When there is jamming, first they will make your ways clear and then they will move. Remember the tracks might carry cooked food, water or fuel for the jawans at the base or at different check posts. They make sure, you travel safe.
They are more hospitable than any service industry. Can you see the softer hearts behind the tough soldiers??? I did every time during the trip.

img_20161004_145408171-copyNow let me come to the point what I have been waiting to spell out loud. I was crossing a check post and got time to interact few army personnel. It was on my way to the northern most village of India, Turtuk which was once a part of India. The check post was in the valley where, on the west, there was Pakistan just a mountain away and on the east, there was China again a mountain away. It was near the Siachen glaciers and the Hanumant Thappa point was not very far from the check post. They narrated till 1971 that post was under Pakistan and we won that during 1971 war. The valley was freaking beautiful and I was amazed to know, they remain their round the year no matter how cold it is. This is the condition of all such check posts and all such base camps. And in winter the temperature go beyond zero degree and they experience that for the sake of serving the country.

I wanted to hug few of them and let them know how proud I am feeling. But it was lunch time and they said to meet them while coming back. I crossed the check post and visited the last Indian Village Turtuk. It was worth achieving. The village is one of the beautiful experience I had during my trip. The children are most beautiful in India as many previous visitors say. These Balti tribe children are with blue eyes and blond hairs. The army has set up schools there till class 12th and you can see some children going to such schools in army trucks in fact. They will wave their hands to the visitors and with a cute smile and that will give you goosebumps.

While coming back, I crossed the same check post and I saw new army personnel and I asked for the familiar name I had met few hours before while crossing the post. The tall dark smiling face came from the down the bridge with a camouflage T-shirt and was looking fresh after his lunch. I shaken hands, we talked again. I asked his well-being. He reverted with the same. But why he is so important and why I am mentioning about him is something that will make you little emotional.

He was nonother than, an Odia bhai from a southern odisha city. Thousands miles away, when I was fascinated about Indian Army, I met this man with an Insass and when he saw my passport started talking to me in Odia. What could be more proud moment for me !!!

edited_img_20161006_145528974It felt, each member of Indian Army is someone from my family, my city, my state. They are just like us. They never bothered about what we post social media. Not bothered about what political parties claim on their victory and efforts. They don’t bother about how much salary our corporate employees get and how much they deserve. They stay with limited connectivity, limited food, limited resources, limited options. But they don’t complain. They do not show their outrage in Facebook or through open letters. They just stand there, putting their life in stake, keeping the family away, entertaining oneself with nature and with memories.img_20161005_113300123-copy

I have taken a lot of pictures and selfies during the trip but this is my personal favorite. A selfie with the man himself, can’t mention his name. I hugged him and said we all are proud of them. I hugged his friends as well.

I crossed the check post and moved ahead waving a salute and getting few in return, saw a series of army trucks few meters later and I was murmuring the song in mind.

“Kandhe se milte hain kandhein, Kadmo se kada Milte hain,
Hum Chalte hain toh aise jab, Dil dushman ke hilte hain”




An Open letter to Times of India

Dear Times of India,

With due respect you for being the most reliable newspaper that a common man thinks of in India, i would like to write this open letter to you on a very personal note. Hope you won’t mind; because this is also my POINT OF VIEW 😀 .

I will start from my school and college days when I was a huge fan of Times of India. But not for the obvious reason as i was an Odia Medium school student and had no relation with a English News paper like Times of India whose cross words were also like mountain for me. But in my school, among all lower middle class students, the one who used to have a glossy and colourful paper back cover in the text books and note copies was the most respected one and obviously the center of attraction.


An Image of Times Life

The glossy piece of paper was of Times Life and we had the most fascination to go through it. Reason was quite obvious and when now we mostly hate Mondays those were the days when we used to wait for Monday’s. All our anxieties were to see what had come in Times Life. The Photos (Mouth Watering for us then), the conversations, the stories (sexist) were simply fun for us even if we hardly understand any of the sentences.

I remember i had known about WIFE SWAPPING from TOI only when i had joined college and had thought that it must be very interesting. We used to cut some photos and keep those inside our books to be our favourite pass time. This may not have relevance to the discussion, but i just wanted to share this fact, you too have fan and admirer for all your stories and photographer no matter they understand it or not.

So i guess your twitter was for those section of readers, unfortunately i have overcome that and now can read and write basic English and luckily have worked in a English daily as well.

A recent story and photo in Times Life.

A recent story and photo in Times Life.

Please do not judge me from the above paragraph as i am a good boy now and i do not see all those, however i have saved your twitted post. I don’t feel regret sharing it here. There is nothing called good or bad and never in India if you see; as we are all a real bunch of hippocrates. Again at least not in this present time where every other Indian citizen is logical and can prove things the way i am doing now. 😛.

It was TOI that many says; who first used this term NIRBHAYA and this went viral. With all due respect for TOI for its stand during NIRBHAYA incident, i am asking you R not You the biggest hippocrate by publishing the new story “Dear Deepika, our point of view…” Just think logically, is not it something sheer example of arrogance and being immature and illogical. What you want to prove by saying…

“Yes, the headline could have been better. But the world of online is very different from that of newspapers. It is chaotic and cluttered — and sensational headlines are far from uncommon.

If you admit that, rather playing blame game and stone pelting with Deepika and the rest of India who has out raged against you you can sort the things out very logically.

You also know that tweet was a mistake and you won’t lose your business or credibility if you accept that and stop the discussion then and there. Let me tell you, though i was not a regular reader of times of India, before i joined Media education, but had seen many of my batch-mates, for whom it was TOI, the real meaning of journalism and many are also working with you and yes, your own employees are making fun of yours. Now tell you loose or won a big battle by publishing a reply to Deepika. Also by Taking it as a lead story in Bombay times by posting all such photos of Deepika which seems an attempt to assassin her image and character.

Analysis of a survey on newspaper reading habits among the Media Students of one of the leading J-School in India.

Analysis of a survey on newspaper reading habits among the Media Students of one of the leading J-School. 

Just see the above analysis of a Leading J-School where students prefer reading TOI than anything else. At least have mercy and do not misguide them. They are the future of Indian media. Againg Just to prove yourself right and Deepika wrong, R not you loosing your credibility. When it comes to moral policing, how will you justify this paragraph…

“Deepika, just for the record, we do not zoom into a woman’s vagina or show her nipples. As a newspaper, we take every care to ensure that we pixelate them if they show up in a picture, but your cleavage is as sexy as Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘8-pack’ abs. Given the nature of the online media worldwide, there could well have been a story headlined, “OMG…Shah Rukh’s 8-pack sexy abs!!!”

The sheer arrogance has made a mockery of TOI before the whole nation. Now i would like to request you to have some conscience and be sensible. You can appoint creative champs to handle your twitter, and there are many unemployed or under employed.

I can give you the example of this recent tweet about the Chinese Presidents charming wife which could have been much much and much better, than the portrayal of “Beijing’s secret weapon” as she is a National Guest and deserves respect from all fellow citizen.

The recent Tweet by TOI on Chinese President's Wife.

The recent Tweet by TOI on Chinese President’s Wife.

I am not sure if TOI authorities can able to read this or not. But yes, i hope some day TOI will understand, posting it in Twitter though was not a big crime, but the way of handling it afterwards was definitely a mistake.

NB: Please ignore all grammatical error, i am still poor in English 😦

Yours faithfully
Ananta Prasad,
The then 10th Class Student and an all time admirer of TOI