Babble Without a Pause

April 29, 2016

A love letter

Filed under: Love and Happiness,Random musings,Uncategorized — rajivmathew @ 4:50 am
Tags: , , ,
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

 

A little under 2 years ago,  here I sat, hunched over my laptop the night before your first day in Business School, trying to put words to paper. That day, back in May 2014, you were at a crossroad, and you were about to embark on a journey you had seen and touched in your dreams, but never experienced. As I sat in the living room and heard you sound asleep, many thoughts crossed my mind. Worry, elation, stress. But the overriding emotion that night was pride.

2 years on, and that feeling hasn’t changed. You will graduate today. It is a dream I feel I have dreamed almost as often as you have. And I am proud to have been taken along for the ride. As I sat back these 2 years, the silent observer in the corner witnessing you take on everything the world could throw at you, that feeling of pride has only grown, and grown, and grown. Today, its almost the end of April 2016. Pride in you continues to override all else.

What you have done my dear, I have seen no one else do. And that isn’t just husband-speak for “Congrats”. It is my sincerest yet failed attempt at capturing the enormity of what I have witnessed you do. Full-time job 40 hours/week. Bi-weekly flights cross-country and back. Late nights scrambling to complete assignments. Leaving the relative stability of an amazing job, risking it boldly to go searching for your big break. Through it all, your pursuit of perfection never ceased to amaze.

Lately, (and by lately I mean for the past 2 years) I tell my colleagues and our friends every chance I get: “I have no clue how she does it”. And they agree.

Years, decades from now, we’ll both be sitting down to tell our children the importance of chasing their dreams. I’ll point to them, then to that degree certificate you’ll be receiving today, sitting up on the wall all those years down the line, and say “Your ma knows”.

For a guy who  is pretty seldom found short of words, today you’ve done just that to me. I love you. I am immensely proud of you, more than I can explain right now. And because something deep inside tells me this is the start of something amazing for you, I want to tell you babe, that I can’t wait for the rest of this ride.

❤ ❤

 

May 7, 2014

To you

Filed under: Uncategorized — rajivmathew @ 12:31 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

For waiting, and waiting, perhaps too patiently.

For biding your time.

For being so ambitious, it still takes my breath away.

For believing in the power of one.

For still sometimes lacking that conviction in yourself.

For wanting this all along.

For yet having had to wait so long.

For having the courage to walk away from everything you had built.

For finally, truly, seeing you were worth more.

For starting afresh.

For giving it your sleep, blood, sweat and tears. And then some.

For hearing a string of rejections.

For numbing yourself to the pain.

For all the times you spoke of aching for one chance.

For almost giving up, then not.

For waiting 30 years to see this day.

For all the times life knocked you down. Over and over.

For still standing up for one more round.

For having had to overcome far more in this life than I hope to ever have to.

For having made it through all that, for this.

 

YOU are my inspiration.

YOU. You are the reason I live, I love, I breathe.

I’ve longed to see this day for so long now.

To see you soar the way you once convinced me I could.

To you, today, I wish you everything.

Take all your prayers, make them mine.

Take everything you wanted to do, and set out to do it, one at a time.

That one solitary acceptance has come.

That one chance has arrived.

That one life-altering moment is here.

And it’s yours.

September 21, 2012

Meanwhile, at Apple HQ

__________________________________________________
From: Kwon Oh-hyun [mailto:ceomail@samsung.com] 
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 1:21 AM
To: Tim Cook
Cc: Samsung, HTC, Motorola
Subject: RE: Hahahahaaaaaaa …..

Timmy,

You were saying …..?

__________________________________________________

From: Tim Cook [mailto:stevewasbetter@apple.com] 
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:12 PM
To: Steve Jobs
Cc: Samsung, HTC, Motorola
Subject: RE: Hahahahaaaaaaa …..

 
Over his dead bo….. Oh.
Sent from my Blackberry
__________________________________________________

From: Kwon Oh-hyun [mailto:ceomail@samsung.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2012 11:45 AM
To: Steve Jobs
Cc: Samsung, HTC, Motorola
Subject: RE: Hahahahaaaaaaa …..

 
Hey Steve,
What’s up, my man. No longer at Apple, I see. They kick you out again?
PS – When are you coming on board with us. You know we always have a job for you, here at Samsung.

 
Regards,
Choi

 


__________________________________________________

From: Steve Jobs [mailto:noreply@apple.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2012 8:20 AM
To: Steve Jobs, Tim Cook
Cc: Samsung-Worldwide
Subject: [Out of Office] RE: Hahahahaaaaaaa …..
I am out of office with restricted access to email, dependent on the 3G connectivity at the place where I must, like all others, go.

 
__________________________________________________

From: Kwon Oh-hyun [mailto:ceomail@samsung.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2012 8:15 AM
To: Steve Jobs, Tim Cook
Cc: Samsung-Worldwide
Subject: RE: Hahahahaaaaaaa …..

 
Dear Apple,

 

Hows about you use some of that $1 billion we loaned you, to make your maps not suck. And while you’re at it, perhaps you could use leftover funds toward hiring an actual adult artist to make your 3D maps not look like something a 4-year old drew while high on ingested crayons and inhaled glue.

 
Best,
Samsung

 

__________________________________________________
From: Larry Page [mailto:callmelarry@google.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 9:00 PM
To: Sergei
Cc: Samsung, HTC, Motorola
Subject: Hahahahaaaaaaa …..
Hey fellas,

 
Look what I just found. Some Friday lulz for everyone. Tee hee hee.
http://theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com

 
TGIF!
Larry

 

 

April 27, 2012

Rapists aren’t Vampires

I know. Weird title. But allow me to explain: A prominent Indian news channel reported the other day “The Gurgaon administration on Wednesday has washed its hands clean off the twin rape cases in the city, telling women instead to stay at home and not work beyond 8 pm in commercial establishments. The administration has reportedly directed all malls and commercial establishments to take permission from the Labour Department to have their women employees working beyond 8 pm. A second rape was reported from Gurgaon on Tuesday night, which came within 48 hours of the gangrape of a 24-year-old, who was dragged out from her car near the Sahara Mall, taken to a flat and sexually assaulted by 7 men.” Wow Gurgaon government. You’ve really outdone yourselves this time. I won’t EVEN begin to contest your premise that women are being raped in your city because they’re staying out too late. A two-year old can spot more holes in that argument than in a block of swiss cheese. No. I’ll spend my remaining keystrokes trying to confirm to myself that I did indeed read that right.

A woman. Gets dragged from her car. And gets raped. By 7 men, no less.

And the one thing you find issue with. IS TIMING.

I see what happened. You got confused there. You thought we were talking about vampires. They both suck. They’re both slimy despicable life forms that have lived through wars, genocide, nuclear holocaust (quite like cockroaches, actually) for generations, and possibly will, for generations to come. I can see how anyone could make that mistake. But even so, what did you MENSA rejects think those men were doing all that day. Sitting around in their dungeon, looking up weather.com to establish the exact time of sunset so they could go outside? You must have them confused with the metrosexual vampire or the steroid-laced werewolf from that Twilight series. What did you think, they were afraid to come out because the sunlight would instantly vaporize them? Do you really think a typical conversation between rapists goes like this:

RAPIST #1 – Dude, it’s that time of the day.

RAPIST #2 – Naa dude, not yet. It’s only 7:00 PM. It was Daylight Saving day yesterday, remember?  Let’s watch some MTV.

RAPIST #1 – Screw you, I’m calling #3, #4 and #5.  You sit around lazing in that sofa all day. I hate you.

RAPIST #3 – Yea, screw you, MAN. It’s like I don’t even know you anymore.

RAPIST #4 & #5 – *Nodding in agreement*

Speaking of solutions: How about a legislation requiring you incompetent buffoons ministers to NEVER step outside your home after 8 AM. Because  once the lynch mob (waiting as we speak, outside your 10 feet high compound wall, to smack the silly out of your brains) is done with you and your intelligence-challenged lot, you all will be left wishing that it was those rapists coming after you instead.

While we’re at it, perhaps it’s time for the Health Ministry officials, Gurgaon ministers and other politicos of the state and across the country to consider passing legislation allowing women to have their LIC policy terms updated, to include coverage for an annual refill on one clove of garlic, a rosary, a vial of holy water, and a pocket-size crucifix. That, plus a monthly cable subscription that covers ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ reruns, showing women of all ages the proper technique to drive a stake through an assailant’s chest. If that doesn’t teach those vampires rapists to stay the hell away, nothing will. Then, we as a country can go back to watching Biggggest Boss or IPL5 with a clear conscience, knowing we’ve done our part to make women safe in this country. Of course — teaching men, young and old to respect women, or increasing police cover and improving law enforcement patrol vehicles in the seedy underbelly of the country, or passing stricter anti-rape legislation, or even, God forbid,  our evolution as society beyond the rape-happens-meh-live-with-it mentality — basically any approach other than covering our women from head to foot and ordering them to stay locked indoors after dark, would be foolish now, wouldn’t it?

[image courtesy]

January 2, 2012

A Rock n’ Roll kinda New Year

Filed under: Random musings,Uncategorized — rajivmathew @ 3:38 am
Tags: , , , ,

Its been a crazy year, with everything thats come and gone. Standing on the threshold of a new year, here’s some famous words to live by.

Take it Easy in the New Year. Live Life in The Fast Lane, remembering always, that All you need is Love. Know that The Show Must Go On, and it will With or Without You, so don’t take yourself too seriously. I wish you Peace in the Funky New Year. About the year thats gone, Get Over It. If you ever end up a Victim Of Love, its gonna be hard, but Try and Love Again. Although, try not to be a Desperado.

If you’re still in the education phase of your life, I don’t need to tell you this, but you’re gonna be up All Night Long most days.  One of these Nights thoughit’ll all be over, the hard struggles of school/college. Your Stairway to Heaven may not be immediately visible to you, but Wait. Sleep each night with a Peaceful Easy Feeling, knowing full well that Your Time is gonna Come.To those of you who are working: If you like what you do, it’s time to Spread Your Wings and fly away, to soar and reach new heights this year. If you don’t, or find yourself screaming in your sleep that you Can’t Get No Satisfaction, or that you Want to Break Free, perhaps it’s time to Break on Through (To the other side), to something bigger and better.

Above all, try and walk  the Walk of Life on your own terms, One Day At A Time, with a smile on your face, and tell yourself when you’re down that you can get back up With a little help from my friends and Walk On cause tomorrow will always be a Beautiful Day.

As for 2012 and the Mayan doomsday prophecy: Well, those halfwits definitely got it wrong. So Carpe Diem Baby! Bring on the next apocalypse.

October 30, 2011

Trash Metal and the Indian Grand Pricks

Delhi. That land of political scams, that Indian-Italian lady, and anti-corruption protestors with varied names like Ramesh, James, Iqbal, Mona, Donna, Shoewalla, Rocketwalla and Jain, wearing placards and all holding banners saying “I am Anna”.  Identity crisis? Me thinks so. Their parents would be so sad. Yes, the same Delhi that last year played a clueless, ill-prepared host to the world’s athletes (and some local stray canine friends) at the Commonwealth Games, and came out with its head held high, by some stroke of blind luck.  Yes, that very Delhi was in the news for all the wrong reasons (shocker!) yesterday.

First, certain hardcore music fans took the term ‘Trash Metal’ a trifle too seriously. Word on the street is that some half-wit Delhi loons, upon hearing that Metallica and co. had expressed reservations about the security arrangements, took it upon themselves to express umbrage the way only Delhi waaley know how. By storming the stage for a theatrical re-enactment of St. Anger, followed by the customary mother/daughter/sister slogans, and general destruction. Metallica, you only have yourself to blame. The people of Delhi when asked, chanted in unison that you are hereby Unforgiven. To them it’s all about the music, and Nothing Else Matters.

The violence on Friday was a perfect advertisement for the Formula One race coming up on Sunday, where a dog almost ran onto the track during practice on Friday, almost causing an accident that would’ve added to the list of unfortunate casualties in auto racing in the past week around the world.

Speaking of unfortunate accidents, Lady Gaga is scheduled to perform at an exclusive after-party at some yuppie upscale watering hole in some ramshackle downscale suburb of Old Delhi. An after-party hosted by Arjun Rampal, a man I thought was possessed of some semblance of dignity and common sense. That is, until, when asked about the ₹40,000 price tag for a seat at the concert,  he opened his mouth to say : “One has to understand that the costs are very high. Maybe if we had a bigger venue with capacity for more people, we could have gone easy on the price. But with less people, it becomes difficult to lower the price. After all it’s business, and we have to break even.” Indeed, break even he has to, for he is a struggling businessman with no other source of income but to fleece India’s teenage monsters. The local media have been going gaga (I’m sorry, it really was too easy, I can’t believe I held that one in so long) with reports of the exclusive after-party and Rampal’s scarcely contained glee, as he giggled and blushed like a little 10-year-old girl waiting with bated breath for Miss Gaga to perform at his exclusive event.

Out on the streets, Delhi’s sex workers were heard expressing anguish and outrage that Miss Gaga was able to rake in upwards of ₹40,000 for crooning lyrics as profound and soulful as:

Let’s have some fun, this beat is sick
I wanna take a ride on your disco stick
Don’t think too much, just bust that kick
I wanna take a ride on your disco stick

while they are barely able to command ₹500 for offering the same (in roughly similar sounding words) to commuters and passers-by at red light areas.

Back to the Formula One race itself. A long-cherished dream of every Indian. Almost as cherished a dream as becoming an engineer, once upon a time. Cue an incessant stream of Facebook news feed updates with posts titled anything from “I’m so proud of India”, to “Vande Mataram”, to “Vijay Mallya for president”. Call me silly, but I’m willing to wager a not-too-small sum of money, that AR Rahman been booked well in advance, to be up on the starting line singing the National Anthem prior to, after and during the race. Why you ask? Because it is a matter of national pride, to host a global event of such delusions of grandeur and prestige. Remind me again, why Indians are not up in arms against this race, like we all were when the La Tomatina festival reared its rotten head in Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad and other cities around the country a month ago. Back then the outrage was borne out of depriving farmers of their hard-earned living, paying them a pittance, and we all were suitably outraged, venting on MyFace, YourSpace, Tumblr, Grumblr and a million other social networks out there.

To be clear, I’m not against the sport itself. But let’s try and get this straight shall we, it’s JUST a race. And like any other race, it is a sporting spectacle, run as always, by politicians who got their cut of the government money that went into financing this exercise in phallus size comparison. It is no reflection of the power of a country, it is no statement of prowess or ambition. All the pundits will tell you it is GOLD to host an international event. It brings in tourism, it boosts revenues, and gives our economy a massive erection. But maybe we can put off the jhanda waving and the tricolour hats until we don’t have as many underage children getting sold as sex slaves in the capital. Until our bhai log in the capital can keep themselves civilized at public events, instead of  going apeshit crazy at the drop of a hat. Until, perhaps, the leader of our country grows a pair, and does something significant towards bringing to justice a hardened remorseless terrorist after 3 years of dawdling. Scratch that last one, it ain’t gonna happen.

Till then, perhaps we can put hosting global events on the back burner, focus on things that need focus, and go back to paying ₹1000 to watch Shahrukh Khan whoring himself out on any number of commercial ventures *cough* movies, and give our film fraternity a well-earned pat on the back for their achievements in the field of scarcely-credible-cinema-making.

November 16, 2009

A simpler time

  • Stuffing pocketfuls of “Gundumani” at the start of Fall, when the school basketball court was littered with these incredible red beads.
  • Playing cricket with hard rolled-up paper balls, and makeshift bats (Golden Bells, sometimes even a hard-bound Good News Bible)
  • Getting introduced to the cane. Thank you,  Benny & Late Mr. MT Thomas. I never seemed to learn my lesson, whatever it was.
  • SUPW classes (I recall ACTUALLY telling the teacher, quite innocently of course, that it stood for “Some Useful Period Wasted”)
  • Speaking of sports teachers, howzabout Peter Daniels (aka PD aka Nose-picker-extraordinaire)
  • Watching in awe, as the old dilapidated canteen building made way, and the William Carey block took form.
  • Having a crow fly by during lunch break, and relieve itself into the contents of my lunch box.
  • Dressing up as a Tube of Colgate toothpaste for a fancy dress competition in Pre-school.
  • Spitballs from Lawrence (aka Spitfest, spitball, Lorry). I’m still trying to scrub away the memories.
  • Collecting ladybirds in Cheetah Fight matchboxes.
  • Mr. Samson, and PT class.
  • Indianredseeds
  • The late Mr. Francis Joseph, and (God bless his soul) pants worn above the chest.
  • Boys v. Girls, in Kannada class. (Mrs. Aaron)
  • THAT yellow cane. Preparatory class. Miss Dawson.
  • Morning assemblies.
  • Class picnics. Mysore, 1994 … Mrs. Daisy Rani
  • Varghese (aka Vargoose) and Physical Education classes.
  • Mastering Organic Chemistry (Or not) in ISC. That still gives me nightmares.
  • ISC Volleyball.
  • Class couples. No names will be named here 🙂
  • Miss Priya George. Prettiest Bio teacher. EVER.
  • Paulraj, his wife (aunty, to us) and their beloved canteen. Fryums, Anyone ?
  • The incredible story of the “classroom-invading-lunch-eating-monkey”. Std. 4.
  • Easho Jacob “special” assemblies. 1 week. EACH year. Jeez !
  • MINUS marks (Homework/Conduct/Material). HAHAHAAAAAA 🙂
  • Farewell parties, in Std. 10 and 12.
  • Last minute feverish polishing of “black” school shoes by rubbing them against the back of your already dirty khakhi pants.
  • Mr. Pakinathan and his “Rock-music-is-Satanic !!!” scripture classes.
  • Mr. Joseph David, and projectile pieces of chalk thrown your way, in case you were stuck in some awesome daydream.
  • Reaching school late some days, and being forced to stand outside, in the basketball court. (Joke’s on them, they thought standing OUTSIDE was punishment).
  • Clarence inter-school basketball tournament. Every year. Backing our team to chants of  “Jinkalaka, Jinkalaka  …. Ooh Aah, Ooh, Aah”
  • That reminds me ….. ANYONE remember Aslam ?  (Close to 6’6″ . Jordanesque. LEGEND.)
  • Learning to appreciate, perchance, mock Shakespeare. Courtesy Tara Ravindra (aka Tara)
  • Watching Hamlet, in the school auditorium, including certain explicit scenes which she probably didn’t expect to be in there, and giggling away, despite being in, what, 11th Std ?
  • Laporte (aka Clarence’s 1st openly (lets say flamboyant) teacher) and his effeminate charms. (Having a hard time writing this with a straight face) 😀
  • Studying the Dickens epic, “Tale of Two Cities” in 7th standard. (Mrs. Alexander)
  • Insane ISC Mathematics, with Ms. Sunita Jacob (aka SJ). Colossal textbooks, you might recall. I think that class made me what I am.
  • Annual Sports Day. Assaye field. Walk past ? March past ? Did NOT matter. The taunts ringing out from behind those grilled windows of Aloysius College never ceased to amuse. 😉
  • Speech Day & Prize Distribution Day. Man, i could count on being there regardless of how bad I had screwed up my grades, or the record no. of conduct marks. Yes, i could assure my seat there every year, purely on the basis of ….
  • Flack Memorial Scripture Memory Contest. 😀  My calling card.
  • Graduation day. Getting all choked up hearing “Au Lang Syne” at the biggest day in our collective lives.
  • Class clowns. Class toppers. Class backbenchers. Class bunkers. Class acts. Teachers’ pets. There was one of every kind.

Golden memories all. Some things NEVER change.

Clarence (1988-2001)

April 20, 2009

Do gays REALLY need rights ?

Filed under: Uncategorized — rajivmathew @ 10:09 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Probably not. Cause after all, they’re sick people, with a sordid way of life. Not like repressed Catholic priests who sodomize or rape and sexually abuse children for decades and hide behind the veil of religion and morality, using dirty money of the Vatican church to pay off billion dollar lawsuits. They’re definitely worse than the politicians who scam you senseless, abuse power to feed their greed and misuse public support to achieve their twisted, hidden agendas. Yup, they’re more sinful than the despicable tele-evangelist on your GodTV, using the name of God in vain, asking you to donate your hard earned money so he can wear some more bling on his fingers, wrist and God knows where else, all in the name of religion. That same evangelist who preaches that gays are an abomination in the sight of God, and gets caught the next day, in a gay bar hiring male prostitutes.

Yes, in the fabled never-ending fight between good and evil, gay people are decidedly the worst people in the world, and straight people are the ones going straight up(pardon the pun) to the pearly gates of Heaven, to ride along with St. Peter in a golden chariot for all eternity.

April 2, 2009

4 years and still NUTS about you …. :)

Filed under: Uncategorized — rajivmathew @ 4:28 am

Alright. so here it goes …. 🙂 HAPPY 4th ANNIVERSARY to my favouritest girl in the whole world 🙂 YOU know who you are 🙂

I don’t know how I managed to put up with you for so long, and I bet you’re asking the same thing to yourself. But i guess YOU deserve some sort of Nobel peace prize or lifetime achievement award for handling the PJs, the wisecracks, the nutty remarks, the annoying habits of mine for so long 🙂 What can i tell you about you that I havent said to you before ? Its been 4 years since it all began. 1461 days. A long time. Its felt longer for this past year and a half, being halfway across the world from you. A lot of people told me long distance relationships don’t work. WE proved them wrong huh ? 🙂 IYou’ve been strong when I’m strong enough, and stronger when I’ve felt down and weak. You and I have been through a lot babe, and yet 4 years later we’re still the same crazy, nutty kids we were when we began. I can be me around you, cause you’re probably the ONLY one who hasn’t told me at some point “Raj …. grow up da”. I’ve heard that one from all sorts of people : family, friends, foes, strangers even …. but you’ve never told me that. Thank YOU for that 🙂 You’ve changed a lot since we started this journey, but you’ve also stayed EXACTLY the same. A quiet girl with BIG dreams …. a tremendously talented achiever. And I love you for what you are now, what you used to be, and what you will be someday.

I wouldn’t go back and change anything or make our journey and our introduction to each other picture perfect. I’d leave it the way we began, cause the frustrated, failed, miserable journey I experienced till then helped me realize your worth when you came along. 4 years seem so long, but they’re a small instant compared to the lifetime thats lying ahead of us. We are definitely in for a rocky journey to get to the happy place in our lives, and people sure aren’t gonna make it any easier for us. But you should know, I’ll be holding your hand through every step of that pothole-ridden, bumpy road till we get on the smooth, easy highway.  I probably would be too old to blog then, so let me tell you know what I know i will say 50 years from now : I LOVE YOU.  I’m NUTS about you. And after all is said and done, YOU’RE STILL THE ONE. You’ll ALWAYS be. 🙂

November 8, 2008

And from out of the ashes ……

4TH NOVEMBER . 2008 . 11:30 PM – A day that will long be remembered as the day the black man finally pushed down the walls that had been enforced on him through centuries of oppression, slavery, apartheid, and being denied the right to vote. And it happened in a manner so emphatic that even Senator McCain, him of the sleaze, underhand politics, and the name calling, couldn’t help but graciously accept his defeat at the hands of a man, who is without doubt, one of the most educated and knowledgeable candidates to ever stake claim to the office of president. It is hard to recall any such event of the past 50 years that has had such a pronounced effect worldwide, a consensus among people and premiers the world over, from Iran to Afghanistan, from Iraq to India and Kenya and Australia. The announcement that Barack Obama was the new president elect was greeted with widespread cheer on a scale unprecedented, and probably one which would never again be witnessed. For the lucky thousands that gathered at Grant park, I can only imagine the emotions that washed over the crowd that night. People were seen dancing in the crowd, some shedding tears of joy, others soaking in the momentous occasion. Never in history has a black man been cheered on by this large a following, and for good measure too.

In total contrast with the ups and downs of the most heated and hotly debated US presidential election in history, on Election day, there was a certain air of inevitability about the nationwide Presidential elections . For John McCain, it was about preparing his concession speech as millions of people nationwide waited long hours in serpentine queues to cast their vote. For Barack Obama though, the day was about preparing his victory speech at the Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, the city that had witnessed the birth of the future leader of the country almost 21 months ago. It is impossible to conceive of the pressure that sat on his shoulders. The first African-american man to reach the top of the political ladder in over 200 years of existence. The youngest ever president, and yet one filled with so much hope and vision for change. No single man in history has mobilized a movement so all-encompassing, so powerful and so basic in its message: Don’t wait for change, BE the change. And so it was, that at close to 11:30 PM on a historic night, the wall of segregation, of racial discrimination, that monstrous edifice symbolic of a dark period in American history, was finally brought down in one emphatic fell swoop.

For the past 2 years almost, the Presidential campaign has held the collective breath of the American populace like none before, and probably like no future election will. Suddenly, it was cool to vote, it was fashionable to talk politics. Around the water cooler in offices, and at the family dinner table all across the nation, one singular topic held sway over a nation’s collective mind. Credit should be given here to both candidates in the race, for bringing such passion to the presidential race. Credit, although begrudgingly must also be given to George Bush, that wrecker-in-chief, for had it not been for his clueless, arrogant and inept handling of the country, these 2 men would not have had such a broad political platform from which to speak of their vision for change. Yet, both men chose contrasting paths to stake their claim to the coutry’s highest office. One spoke of the need for change, to walk away from the debris and the urgency of the need to begin reconstructing an America from the ashes. The other kept hitting away at the first, in the mistaken belief that this election was an audition for American Idol, and that repeated barbs over his opponent’s personal life over the 21 month period would win him the contest. As the weeks outgrew the days, and the months passed, a slow, almost invisible reconstruction began to take place in the grassroots of America as Obama and his campaign began spreading the word, knocking on doors, passing the promise on by word of mouth. As this movement gained momentum, it was evident we were on to something special here. Here was a junior senator from Illinois, barely 2 years young in the Senate, displaying the maturity expected of a leader, while in total contrast, Senator Maverick McCain, him of the 26+ years experience in the Senate, showed a childish ineptitude in coming to terms with the growing popularity of a man he had hardly heard of before.

All said and done, the following (in order) are the ones we need to thank:

  • George (W) Bush
  • Dick Cheney
  • Katie Couric
  • Colin Powell
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Keith Olbermann
  • Jon Stewart
  • Steven Colbert

Without the foolish and inept handling of the country by the 1st two names, and the vocal and at times surprisingly partisan journalism the subsequent list of reporters demonstrated, it would’ve been largely impossible to defeat McCain’s campaign of hate, fear mongering and polarization. Although they weren’t as unbiased as we might like our news channels to be, one thing can be agreed upon: that they played an enormous role in ensuring that a relatively unknown senator from Illinois was able to surge his way up the party order, and garner a crowd of disgruntled citizens to move in the direction of progress and change. The work he did to mobilize this support at a grassroots level is worthy of appreciation. Everytime Obama was pushed on the backfoot by allegations of him “being a Muslim” (Yes apparently being a Muslim is now a crime in this country), his associations with Bill ayers or Jeremiah Wright, Obama responded in a manner befitting a man of his stature. Rather than be drawn into mud slinging matches, he stayed focussed on the job at hand, resurrecting the economy, providing an effective healthcare plan for the country, and focussing on reform.

More than anything else, in my mind, the Presidential Election of 2008 showed a yawning rift within the country, brought to the fore a nation divided by race and religion, and the elements trying to polarize the country. Now that the country FINALLY has an African-American president, I have one nagging question in the back of my head to ask of this country, of the countless journalists that report the events, of the citizens of the nation:  Can we stop classifying this country as blacks, asians, indians, pakistanis, americans, redskins, whites and others. When you refer to an African American, from now on, avoid saying African American. We know from decades and centuries of struggles by the blacks, that it is derogatory to refer to a person on the basis of color, irrespective of whether the reference is a complimentary or a derogatory one.There is no need to even mention the race of a person, for in acknowledging race or religion, we agree subconciously that it still somehow matters and give it an prominence it does not merit. While it is worth noting that President Barack Obama is a black, and the first man of color to reach the White House, lets take a vow here and now; to cease this reference to Obama,  (or the many other people of color that would ascend the highest government offices today, tomorrow or in the decades and centuries ahead) by their color or race. Joe the Plumber, Tito the Builder, Cathy the florist, and other such name-profession associations are almost on the same level of base, insulting comments as is racism. Barack Obama is an American first and foremost. He has succeeded in the first part of his career: in getting elected. Now as we look to the next 4 years, whether you’re republican, democrat or independent, whether you’re Indian, African, Asian, lets support the man we elected, and ensure that the nation doesnt go down the same path we did 8 summers ago. The time is here, and CHANGE HAS COME TO AMERICA. Let get to work to ensure this change is the one we’ve been waiting for.

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