Tuesday, July 28, 2015

खिडक्या आणि दरवाजे!

खिडक्या आणि दरवाजे!
पूर्वीच्या काळी मोठी घर किंवा वाडे असायचे.या घरांमध्ये मोठ्या खिडक्या असायच्या आणि त्यांना एक महत्व असायचे. त्या इतक्या मोठ्या असत की त्यात दोन लोक सहज बसत असत! त्यमुळे त्यांचा स्वतःचा एक इतिहास निर्माण होत असे!
आमच्या सातार्‍याच्या घरात अशा काही खिडक्या होत्या. त्या कोणी बसायचे यावरून कधी कधी चक्क भांडणे ही होत. स्वयंपाकघरातील खिडकी ही साहजिकच बायकांची मक्तेदारी असे, मधल्यामाडीतील खिडकी सर्वांनाच हवी हवीशी इथे सर्वात जास्त भांडणे झाली असावीत, जेवणाच्या जागेतील खिडकी, आणि मग नंतर माजघरातील खिडकी. आमच्या कुटुंबातील सर्वांचा या खिडक्यांशी अतिशय जिव्हाळा. ओटीवर ही खूप खिडक्या होत्या पण त्या बसण्याजोग्या नव्हत्या. तिथे बसायची जागा म्हणजे लांबच लांब पाहिर्‍या! ओटीवरच्या खिडकीत गजाला धरून लहान मुलांना उभे राहण्याची मात्र सोय मात्र छान होती. पोर रस्त्या वरील मजा बघत उभी राहत त्यामुळे आयंच बर चायालायच काही वेळ!
मधल्या माडीतील खिडकीतून बाग दिसायची, शेजारचा गोठा दिसायचा, त्या घरात सतत भांडण होत आणि मंडळी एकमेकांना अर्वाच्य शिव्या देत. शिव्यांची ओळख त्यामुळे लहानपणीच व्हयायची आणि नव नवीन शिव्या ही आपसूक शिकायची सोय होती. या खिडकीत बसून पाय पसरून वाचणे हा अभूतपुर्व आनंद होता! या खिडकीतून उन्हाळी दुपारी थोडा वारा येई त्यामुळे त्या खिडकी जवळ झोपण्यासाठी तुंबळ लढाई करावी लागे! त्यामुळेच ही खिडकी आमच्या घरातील मानाची खिडकी होती.
स्वयंपाक घरातील व जेवणाच्या जागेतील खिडकी घरी येणार्‍या महिलांची बसायची जाग होती. काकू वर्तक यांची तर ती मोनापोली होती. माईसाहेब बखलेना पण ती जागा आवडायची. स्वयंपाक घरच्या खिडकीवर एक पाय ठेऊन स्वयंपाक करणार्‍या आई बरोबर सुट्टीत घरी आल्यावर गप्पा मारणे हे मी बरेच वर्ष केले. हे करताना मी थोडा फार स्वयंपाक ही शिकलो याचा मला नंतर बर्‍याच वर्षांनी साक्षात्कार ही झाला!
माजघरातील खिडकी नंतर झाली पण ती ही बसण्या योग्य होतीच. तिथून ही बागेचा काही भाग दिसायचा.
ओटीवरच्या दरवाजाच्या उंबर्‍यावर बसायला मिळणे हा मानाचा भाग होता. तिथे जागा फक्त दोघां पुरती होती आणि बरेचदा ती जागा जेष्ठांना द्यावी लागे. उरलेल्यानी दोन पाहिर्‍यावर बसणे भाग होते. पण या पाहिर्‍या ही आम्हाला अत्यंत प्रिय. कुटुंबातील काही व्यक्तिच फक्त दिवाणखान्यात शोभतात असे त्यांनाच वाटायचे! आम्हाला आमची पायरी नीट माहीत असल्याने आम्हाला दिवाणखान्या पेक्षा पाहीरीचे महत्व आणि श्रेष्ठता मान्य होती आणि आम्ही ती घर असे पर्यन्त अबाधित राखली!
दूसरा अत्यंत आवडीच्या दरवाजा म्हणजे देवघरातून बागेत जाणारा. इथे ही तीन पाहिर्‍या असल्याने बसायची चांगली सोय होती.
घरातील माणसांशी जसे घनिष्ठ संबध असतात आणि त्यात ही काहींशी जास्त जवळीक असते त्या प्रमाणे आमचे सगळ्यांचेच आमच्या घरातील दारे आणि खिडक्यांशी घनिष्ट संबध होते!
आता माझ्या घरात अशी एक ही खिडकी नाही, पण घरातून बागेत जायचे दार आणि पाहिर्‍या मात्र आहेत. पण आता तिथे बसले जात नाही हे ही खरे!

२९.७.२०१५

Monday, July 27, 2015

All Tax benefits are for the well to do!

All Tax benefits are for the well to do!
The basic exemption limit for Income tax is at Rs. 2.5 lakhs. With deductions under 80 C of Rs.1.5 and health insurance premium of Rs.20  plus interest on housing loan of Rs. 2 lakhs will add up to Rs. 3.7 lakhs.
I believe the basic limit should be increased by at least Rs. 1 lakh. For all others who have to pay tax it can be raised to Rs. 3 lakhs and he pays tax above that.
If a common man has to get full benefit of 80C he will need to at least earn Rs.6 lakhs to be in a position to invest full Rs. 1.5 lakhs. If he does that he has to manage his expenses in remaining Rs.4.5 lakhs with almost nil or very little chance of investing to create wealth. If he has housing loan then things will be more difficult for him.
So my view is the real benefit of all tax exemptions are really for people who make Rs. 10 lakhs and above. To get full benefit of Rs.2 lakhs the loan amount has to be at least Rs.20 lakhs!  The EMI for such a loan would be Rs. 24k at least. So any one earning Rs. 6-7 lakhs will struggle to get this much laon itself.
Over and above this the rich can invest in Tax free Bonds up to Rs 10 lakhs in a financial year. Common man thus cannot take benefit of this as well.
It would be better that all exemptions should be available only for people earning up to Rs.10 lakhs per annum. For people earning more than that no exemptions should be available but their peak rate should be reduced to 25%.
Secondly the housing loan benefits should be available only once in life time. This will surely help bring down RE rates to some extent.
I am no expert in tax matters or any other matter really. This are my observations.

28.7.2015

India desperately needs a moral Guru!

India desperately needs a moral Guru!
The continued logjam in parliament is a waste for the country. BJP did it last time now Congress seems to do it as tit for tat. This is another defeat of Gandhiji’s Congress. Gandhi would never approve of tit for tat. Sadly today’s Congressmen only remember Gandhi on 2nd October or 30th January and that too only if reminded! To expect today’s Congressmen to have read and understood Gandhi and that they have the courage to follow him would be impossible. Even in BJP leaders line Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Atal Bihar Vajpai would not have ever approved disruption of parliament.
Since the death of Gandhi India has not had any person who has had any moral authority over the majority of the countrymen. In the 70s JP occupied this position for some people for some time.  During the same period Vinoba Bhave acquired the dubious distinction of being called National Saint! His support to emergency severely dented his remaining reputation. Since then there has been a huge void. The so called Civil Society has no real influence over the politicians.
We have nobody amongst us whose moral authority would be gladly accepted by the majority of the people and who will force the politicians to mend their ways. Anna Hazare during the Lokpal movement seemed to have filed this space. But Anna is a confused though well meaning man.
I cannot think of any person who can exercise moral authority on our society. Some people would like to look at someone like Dr. Kalam who is admired and respected by many. But can he impose his moral authority on our juvenile politicians and more importantly whether if he would wish to get into all this is not known.
I have believed for a long time now that India has exhausted her quota of great leaders. We produced many stalwarts during the freedom struggle. Now we only remember those stalwarts once in a while and pay homage and ask youngster to take inspiration from their work. The idiots who are telling this to the youth are the same idiots who completely dishonour them by not following in their footsteps.
Today we are divided badly. If one group of people admires someone there is another group which is waiting to tear the personality and his supporters apart. The issues are getting neglected and personalities are being routinely vilified.
A civilisation as old as ours that prided itself in its moral and ethical past is today completely adrift. We have no respect for law and have no problem trampling the law at every opportunity and feel proud about our deeds.
We desperately need a leader who can re-awaken morality in our society and in our politicians to bring them to senses!
“Ashadhi Ekadashi” is an auspicious day I suppose to wish for this!
27.7.2015



Sunday, July 26, 2015

कोण कोणाचे काय लागते?

कोण कोणाचे काय लागते?
कधी काळी म्हणे तिने
त्याच्या वर प्रेम केले होते,
पण त्यांनी तर तिच्यावर
प्रेम कधी केले नव्हते,
तिच्या मनी अजून आस
त्याची आणि तो
तर तिचे अस्तित्व ही
विसरलेला कधीचा
तरी तिने जेव्हा त्याला
बघितले फोटोत एका
कोणा एका स्त्री सवे
तिचा मत्सर असा का
उफाळून आला?
जे नव्हते आपले
न होणार कधी नव्हते.
पण जे होणार होते
आणि झाले होते
त्याचा हा मत्सर कसला?
हा राग का तिचा स्वतः
वरती होता
का त्याच्या त्या तिच्यावर
प्रेम न करण्याचा होता?
का राग हा तिच्या तिलाच
वाटणार्‍या आगतिकतेचा होता?
का तो तिच्या अजून ही
दुखर्‍या इगोच्या ओल्या
जखमेचा होता?
२६.७.२०१५



Friday, July 24, 2015

भारद्वाज!

भारद्वाज!
आज आळसलेल्या पावसाळी
दुपारी अचानक एक भारद्वाज
दिसला माझ्याच बागेत.
खुशीत बागडत होता
म्हणाल चला आता
काही तरी चांगलं होणार
असच काहीसं ऐकलं होत
लहानपणा पासून!
याच खुशीत मग मस्त
ताणून दिली मी,
मग स्वप्नात मला
अनेक भारद्वाज दिसले
असेच कधी काळी पाहिलेले
पण ते पाहिल्यावर काय
चांगले का वाईट झाले
ते तेव्हा ही आठवले नाही
आणि आता जागेपणी  
पण आठवत नाही!
पण दर वेळी पहिला
भारद्वाज,
की मनात येत मात्र
आज काही तरी नक्की
चांगलं होणार
मग एक मित्र म्हणतो
अरे येडया
भरद्वाज पहिला मिळण
हेच तर ते चांगलं होण
का काय ते असत!
२४.७.२०१५


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Britain did both good and bad for India.

Britain did both good and bad for India.
Shashi Tharoor’s speech at Oxford is much in news and many in India are applauding it. A few years back Manmohan Singh at Cambridge university thanked the British for some good things they brought to India during their long rule. To me both are correct.
The fact is that if the Britishers could rule India for 150 years with just a handful of them lording over crores of India the major fault lies with us. We let them rule us because we never were united. Some amongst us helped them to rule this way. It was the same situation during the Moghal period. Apart from Rana Pratap many other Rajputs gave their daughters to Mughal kings and nobles and served the Badshahs with pride. Same was the situation in the other parts of India where local satraps willingly submitted to the ruling dispensation. This is real tragedy of India for long.
Expecting British to apologise for their rule is not going to change this history. Since time immemorial in human history wars were fought and the winners looted, killed and raped the vanquished. It was even an accepted behaviour of the victorious! This is how Alexander and Napoleon became “Great Kings” in history. We still admire them and teach the same to our children! The only real great King must have been Ashoka who after victories in wars was moved so much by its aftermath that he became a true follower of Budhha and forsake everything for peace and harmony!
The problem with many Indians today is that they seem to blame their ancestors for not having been adventurists enough and conquered the world by waging wars! So compared to other nations who built empires we have nothing to boast of! This regret manifests itself in hatred for Muslims because they ruled over us and also spread their religion aggressively; the end result of which is Pakistan on one hand and the alleged Muslim appeasement by Gandhi, Nehru and others so hate them as well!
That the powers of ancient India neither made an effort to conquer the world nor did they aggressively promote Hinduism and converted people to Hinduism. This may have been because unlike other religions we did not have one God or an institution like Church to spread the religion. This debate in today’s world is therefore useless.
Today we need to think how we can become powerful on international arena. The only way to do this is to become an economic super power that will force the world to respect us. With less than 2% share in world trade, with a terrible education system, lack of innovation which leads to no major break troughs in technology or product development we are far, far from achieving this.
Even today we are divided. We are doing nothing to become a homogeneous society. We are doing everything to remain fragmented and continue to hate each other on the basis of religion, region, cast, sub-caste, political beliefs etc. The list is really unending!
Just goes to show that we have not learnt anything from our history or the world history, because we are poor writers and students of history. We wish history to be what we want it to be. We write history not with hard facts but based on raw emotions and sentimentalities. We hardly teach our students true history of both India and the World at large.
So even if England were to apologise nothing is going to change. If we acknowledge what good British did for India definitely to further their own interests nothing is going to change!
Let’s face the reality of our history and try and create a great future for us!
Dr. Tharoor and Dr Manmohan Singh both are correct in their perspectives. They both spoke the truth.

23.7.2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

जय जय विठ्ठल,जय हरी विठ्ठल!

जय जय विठ्ठल,जय हरी विठ्ठल!
एकच विठ्ठल, एकच रखूमाई
एकच तुकोबा, एकच ज्ञानदेव
पालख्या मात्र निराळ्या
वारकर्‍यांची गोत्रे असंख्य
काही तुकायचे, काही माऊलीचे
कोणी नाम्याचे, कोणी कुणाचे
अजब हे सगळे न्यारे
एकच वीठुच्या दर्शनास
सगळे तहानलेले
पण वाटा वेगळ्या
झेंडे वेगळे, अभंग वेगळे!
एकाच त्या वीठुचे
असे हे असंख्य तुकडे!
तुका मोठा की ज्ञानोबा,
नामा की जनी मोठी
ह्याची चर्चा सदा वादळी
विठ्ठल रखमाई गाली हसती
म्हणती सगळे वेडे पीर
झाल्या वार्‍या अनंत
पण साक्षात्कारास वंचित
जय जय विठ्ठल
जय हरी विठ्ठल!
२०.७.२०१५