Friday, October 29, 2010

मृत्यु का तांडव

मृत्यु का तांडव तो चारो ओर हो रहा है
फिर मेरा ही दिल क्यों रोता है?
जब कभी अकबार के पन्नो पर 
किसान की आत्महत्या की खबर छपती है
क्यों ये भावुक दिल अह्सहाय महसूस करता है?
नींद आँखों से दूर हो जाती है क्यों?
भूख लुप्त हो जाता है, न जाने कहाँ?
असमंजस ये दिल बस अश्रु बहाए जाते हैं...
एक शून्य सा छा जाता है मेरी ही दुनिया में...क्यों?

दुनिया मगर बेखबर चलती रहती है
मशगुल लोग भाव विभोर हो कर 
लुफ्त लेते हैं ज़िन्दगी का
जायका खुशबू भरे पकवानों का
 भाता है हर किसी को 
हर दाना मगर किसानो के खून से बस कराह के रह जाती है
बेखबर दुनिया को मगर फुर्सत ही कहाँ
इन् कराह की आवाज़ को वे सुने
उन्हें तो बस चिंता है कि
शुक्रवार को कौन सा नया फिल्म लगनेवाला है
दया आती है दुनिया को देख कर मुझे 
एक मुस्कान असमंजस ही होटों पर छलक आती है 
क्या करूँ कोई बताएगा मुझे?

१२ अक्टूबर २०१० 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010



The smiles that you see on my face is not mine,
for I have forgotten how to smile any more.
These are the smiles of the orphaned children,
who look at me with bewilderment
as if I am an alien, who has landed in their villages.

In amazement these children don’t even remember
how their fathers’ faces looked like once!!!
Now that it lie hanging atop walls in framed glasses,
with dried garlands hanging around the pictures
and a long streak of red tilak on their foreheads.

The smiles that you see on my face is not mine,
for I have forgotten what joy of life is all about!!!
These are the smiles of the widows,
who have lost their husbands to suicides
while listening to my broken Marathi to understand what I say to them.

Every single day they are fighting a war
to bring up their fatherless children with gusto.
Sometimes feeding them two meals-a-day
and at times just one to somehow survive,
to still thank the almighty for keeping them alive.

Johnny D
17th October 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


In my last post I mentioned about two French students, who arrived in Wardha on 17th October from France to explore problems of Vidarbha farmers. I wish to introduce Miss Perrine Deschellette, a student of Business Management in Edhec Business School Lille, France and Miss Mathilde Spini, a student of Ancient Languages (Dead Languages) in University d’Aix En Provence, France. They are in India for a six month exploration tour to understand the cultural aspects and problems of the Indian sub-continent in the grass-root levels. Vidarbha was high on their priority list as French farmers are also facing similar problems with GM Crops and organic farming.

These two were introduced to me through Mitesh Thakkar, Mumbai. They arrived late in the evening and we had a lengthy discussion about various issues connected with farmers in both the countries. While I have been reading a lot about farmers from all around the world, who are facing similar problems, they stated that even in France, the situation is no different. People are more conscious to prefer organic produce (for healthy living) in their everyday lives in France and don’t hesitate to pay more for organic vegetable or fruits... however, the organic movement is yet to catch up in a big way there. Cost of production, high labour wages, high seeds’ rates, costly poisonous chemical fertilizers & pesticides, the middle men and traders’ lobby are similar in both the countries with the only difference that the French farmers don’t commit suicide unlike farmers in Vidarbha.

They had arrived from Ahmedabad after exploring half of Gujarat and Mumbai. Both the young girls are a very good student of Hindi and in their one month stay had picked up very well the basic sentences to interact with shopkeepers and strangers on the street. Their efforts and wonderful pronunciation of Hindi surely amazed me to a great deal and I was very impressed with their zeal to learn more about nation’s amazing culture and language. The next day, I took them to Gitai  Mandir in Wardha on a short walk in the evening. We surely became the centre of attraction wherever we went in Wardha.

Perrine reveals, “This is one of the first times in India where we saw people praying together, which was really a nice experience. The manner was different as compared to other Buddhist’s followers but it was nice to see the gathering in the temple.” When I told them Wardha is a small town, they were surprised. They were amazed to hear the facts and state the following about the small town, “Wardha is amazing in many aspects and for us it is a big city but you people call it a small town. It’s very strange because with so much population and area Wardha is still a small town of India, where as in France with so much population it would be called a big city. Wardha is a classical city in many ways, couldn’t see big-big government office buildings unlike other Indian cities. It has interesting daily experiences with various occupations like visiting market every day to buy vegetables or snacks etc etc... People are very nice and helpful in the markets and, shopkeepers were very helpful to guide us... to buy at the right price, something we have not witnessed so far in Bombay or Gujarat.”

 Perrine & Mathilde interacting with villagers in Naigaon (Gugus)

At home, they were enjoying Indian cuisine and loved the chillies pickle that I make. Honestly, I was very surprised to see them enjoying spicy Indian food and chillies pickle because French cannot just live without their cheeses and here were two beautiful girls enjoying spicy vegetables curry made in mustard oil. What I liked about Perrine and Mathilde is their approach to learn more about the grass-root problems and how we live in extreme conditions with no hangs up of a tourist. One thing I must say, while I cooked Indian cuisine for them, they in turn cooked some interesting French cuisine for me.

The next day, we planned to visit the two villages – Salod and Khurjadi (Fort) to interact with the farmers’ widows and their children.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I know you all must be wondering as to what happened to me since the past two weeks... there is a complete silence on my part. I am extremely sorry for keeping such a long silence ever since I started this movement.

Even before Navratri celebration started, first my net connection went kaput and since then it has been so slow that I am not even able to open any website... I am posting this post from a cyber cafe. During Navratri, there was a continuous spate of farmers’ suicide in the region almost every single day and each time I read about them in paper, I wondered! For reasons unknown I felt very helpless for not able to save the precious lives of all those farmers who succumbed to suicide. This helplessness drove me to a depression as I became very-very emotional... on top of that two French students from France arrived on the day of Dushera to study problems of Vidarbha farmers.

The fact that I had to be strong and lead the French students to show around villages and interact with villagers, took one long week. There were personal problems also that I had to sort out and things were just going out of hands. I kept asking Sai Baba... WHY? When will You stop taking lives of the farmers? On one hand, I was taking the French students in various villages and on the other hand, I was depressed and felt so much of helplessness for not able to do anything to save all those farmers’ lives. Since the past seven months, I have never felt in such a way... I presume my emotional human side couldn’t hold the courage to see what was happening in various villages of various districts. Crops have failed due to excessive rains in some regions of Vidarbha and farmers are clueless as why even God is against them.

These past two weeks went on so long for me that it seemed like an endless journey. While I smiled at kids in the villages, the smile was surely not mine... it was more a robotic smile that was so-so emotionless... I felt sorry for self for not able to do anything at all. I know I cannot save farmers from succumbing to suicide and how I wish I was able to do something... The helplessness surely was driving me crazy and making me depressed. The only good thing that happened in the past two weeks was that the first beneficiary of the movement Miss Sheetal Ramji Barde of Salod village was given the bank account form so we could open a fixed deposit for her higher education and hopefully this week all the formalities will be completed. Yes, this
was the only thing that made me felt good that we are able to take the first step towards a better future for Vidarbha suicide farmers’ families.

Journey of the French students in various villages will follow in my next posts...

Monday, October 11, 2010


While Indians all over are busy celebrating Navratri in colourful attire and fanfare, farmers in Vidarbha are succumbing to suicide. How ironical life can be... on one side you see front pages of dailies showcasing young colourful girls dancing dandiya full of joy and happiness, a very small column space covers two more farmers’ suicide due to debt and crop failure due to excessive rains this year. Even Gods and Goddesses, who are worshipped so much in the land of the Indian sub-continent with so much devotion, have left the farmers of the nation to die with no hope in sight.... while in the last few years, farmers committed suicide because of drought in the region, this year’s excessive rains in many parts of Vidarbha are seeing the same phenomenon being repeated.

What happens after a farmer has committed suicide? A dead body is sent for post mortem by the Police and the offence is registered under Section 174 of Criminal Penal Code. Isn’t this the cruel joke being played on the dead person... who will prosecute the already dead farmer? Why there are no government bodies, which can help these farmers, who have no other options left but to end their lives. These farmers, who work so hard in hot sun and high temperatures and heavy rains to feed the nation and make the already rich more rich not only leave their families to struggle in life but also force them to live their lives forever in miseries. What kind of justice is this God? Why the government have closed their eyes like God to force the farmers towards death?

When a rich industrialist declares himself ‘bankrupt’ the law of the land don’t even force him to repay his debt and there is no power in the earth to demand for their money given on loan to the industrialist... but when a poor farmer is not able to pay his debt because of crop failure or natural calamities... there is no respite for him as bank officials demand for their loan money forcing him to the extreme to end his life... there is no law in our nation to protect the farmers, who give away their life to feed the nation life long... there are laws to protect tigers, animal slaughtering and what not... but there is no law that has been made to protect a farmer’s life...

Priceless! Exactly! That is what a farmer’s life should be according to the law of the nation! After all, unlike any other working class except the army soldiers, the farmers don’t even get any pension for their devoted service towards the nation. On ground realities, if we look, farmers are the most neglected community that is being exploited by everyone to fill in their coffers. Imagine if there are no farmers in the nation, from where will all the food grains come or else the cotton, the soyabean, the sugarcane, the pulses, the vegetables etc etc... so the government has to change its priority to protect the farmers’ community for a healthy national progress in all sphere of life. However, the reality is just the opposite... instead of providing farmers water for irrigation so they can continue farming all year long, the water is diverted for industrial growth and make the farmers bhagwan barose... if it rains, it is good and if it doesn’t rain then God save the farmers.

Two more farmers in Wardha district committed suicide in the last 48 hours due to debt and crop failure due to excessive rains in the region. When will the government take adequate and stern steps to stop suicide of farmers in the nation... when will the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh wake up from his sleep to save the farmers of the nation??? WHEN? WHEN? WHEN? I feel so-so helpless whenever I read of another farmer’s suicide... WHEN will the nation wake up to support the farmers? WHEN will we all realize it is the farmers who are feeding us life long by keeping their own families in miseries and hunger... WAKE UP! PLEASE WAKE UP is my sincere request to one and all before it is too late!!! 

Friday, October 8, 2010

THE SWEET LOVING ANGEL (8th October 2010, 2340 Hrs)

Shachi Bhanushali and I have been friends since a very long time in Hyderabad. I still remember the class of interiors when she came to my desk and appreciated what I was drawing... and her infectious smile... well, that is how our friendship started. We both were doing our Diploma in Interiors in Hyderabad.

Over the years, we have shared a lot and our bonding has strengthened into a solid concrete block by now... So when I started the movement, she was surprised and wondered how the....  well, nevertheless, she lend her strong support as she always does in whatever I do. So when I had to raise funds for my monthly survival, I just picked up my phone and said – ‘Shachi you have to support me as there is no choice for you at least!’ She smiled and became one of the Ten Beautiful Angels, who are taking care of me with their undying kind support.

Shachi Bhanushali

We have been in regular touch over phone and on 29th September I got her call and Shachi said, “I have sent you something and here take this number and collect the things...” Well, I didn’t realized that I would get three huge packets of old magazines that she had collected so zealously since her interiors days... 150 kilos of old magazine is a lot by any means sent by one single individual for our small unit of paper envelopes making... when I called to thank this loving angel, she said it was really difficult to let go all those precious interiors magazines... but then she thought this was the least she could do to be part of the movement from her side.

Well, all that I have written about this beautiful soul is very less if you really know her in person. I am blessed for having such loving friends, who have come forward to not only support me but also shown their commitment when it comes to heal the world in their own individual capacity. Truly grateful is all I can say to Shachi for being always there in my life!

INVISIBLE ANGEL: A very beautiful thing happened on the same very day when I received a small packet in courier. There was no name of the senders, so I presume it is an invisible angel, who made a beautiful effort to send us near about 10 magazines. Since I don’t know the name, I wish to thank the invisible angel for sending us the old magazines. We are truly grateful to you and if you are reading this post, we just want to let you that we appreciate for your kind gesture from the bottom of our hearts.

FINALLY THE GOOD NEWS: One good news to one and all, the first ever unit of the movement will finally kick off from tomorrow and the day after tomorrow respectively in both the villages (Salod & Khurjadi – Fort)... I have no words to say how I have waited for the long monsoon to get over and see all the four widows working to start the EARN-2-SAVE-ENVIRONMENT PROJECT by farmers’ widows of Vidarbha... the samples of envelopes have been well appreciated by one and all so far... We really wish to thank one and all, who have come forward to support the movement because without you all, we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we have set out for... Thank you, thank you so very much!!!