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Pragati Ratti
Tuesday , October 14, 2014

On Haryana election campaign trail: Drama, sound, wave, storm, action


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Living in NCR, travelling to Delhi and working in NCR, I had the chance to witness several rallies during the Lok Sabha elections 2014. When time came for travelling to the interiors of Haryana for the Assembly elections, I thought the experience would be similar. But I was completely wrong. Haryana Assembly elections are not about humungous rallies or huge hoardings, or even for that matter, star faces. These elections are more about local jan sabhas, door to door campaigns, people's loyalties and that personal touch. Yes, that personal touch. While I travelled to Karnal, Ambala and Rewari and attended some sabhas in my hometown of Faridabad, I noticed that while the Lok Sabha elections were more about Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, this time, the game is in the hands of leaders who are little known in other parts of the country, but are stars for....


Tuesday , October 29, 2013

Dear would-be-PMs, tell me why I should vote for you, not why I shouldn't for your rivals


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It's been a month of rallies, speeches, words, potshots - all but value - from our leaders, our would-be-Prime Ministers. Sitting in the newsroom and listening to each one of these speeches, somewhere it has become very easy to predict what a particular leader would say when he addresses the aam aadmi. And to an aam aadmi's utter disappointment, these speeches are all about crude personal attacks and 'go against the opposition'. Be it Rahul Gandhi's 'my grandma, my father' speech, Narendra Modi's 'Shehzade' potshots or now Nitish Kumar's all out attack on 'Hunkaar', it's amazing how none of these 'leaders' as we call them, have spoken of what India needs, what India 2014 will look like, what they have in store for India. These are the leaders who the country is looking to choose for the top job, in less than a year from now. Just think....


Sunday , October 06, 2013

I'm not watching Rahul Dravid's last match from the stands, am I not a true fan?


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Rahul Dravid is playing his last match today. At the Ferozeshah Kotla Grounds. In Delhi. I stay in NCR and I'm not going for the match that's in my city. Am I not a true Rahul Dravid fan? Life's been busy. A nine-hour job where I only write political stories, elections coming up, election dates being announced, I didn't keep a check on the venues of the CLT20 matches. When the semi-final came, it was between Rahul Dravid's Rajasthan Royals and MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings. Not at all underestimating RR, but somehow CSK had always made it to the finals. So that uncertainty kept me waiting. And second, I'll confess that till the eleventh hour, I didn't know that the final was being played in Delhi. Pretty clear, I have no tickets for the match today. I did make efforts yesterday, but no luck. It was....


Tuesday , December 18, 2012

Shouldn't that rapist live in fear? Why me?


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And it happened again. The news of the Delhi gangrape was all over and it was disturbing. The victim is now battling for her life in the hospital. And while all this happens, there is once again a round of advice that I hear for myself. While we read this news of the girl gangraped in a moving bus and then thrown out along with her male friend, a colleague asked why there was a need to take public transport at night. Well, I'm not as rich yet to afford myself a drive and hence the public transport. Then comes another question as to why I need to be out beyond say 9 pm. This question irritates and frustrates me. I get free from work in the evening, I have friends who work till 7 pm and even beyond. When do you expect me to meet them. And....


Friday , March 09, 2012

Rahul Dravid: From falling in love to respecting the man's game of cricket


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I was in my early teens when I got hooked to cricket. My father has been a cricket freak all his life and I somehow never liked him watching cricket all the time. But a gentleman got me fall in love with the game, respect the game, enjoy the game, so much so that today, I watch all formats of the game of cricket like just another cricket frenzy Indian. That gentleman was none other than Rahul Dravid. In my teens, I don't know if it was his game that grabbed my attention, or was it the gentleman that he was. Well, with a player as classic as Dravid, the list of things that grabbed one's attention may just be too long. I started watching cricket regularly. Not just that, I remember having three scrap books, all dedicated to 'The Wall', 'Jammy' and 'Mr Dependable' and the....


Saturday , October 29, 2011

No Bryan Adams, no Metallica! Facing the music


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I am a disappointed music lover, rather a disappointed Delhiite. Yes, that's what I am. It was in the beginning of this year, when I had made full efforts to reach out and get myself a ticket to the Bryan Adams concert that was supposed to happen in the 'national capital' as we call it. The excitement level was at its peak. I was on 'Cloud number 9' and I was all dreamy about how really will it be to watch the legend Bryan Adams live in concert. My friends in Mumbai, who went for the concert there added to my excitement when they told me about how big a success the show was in the city. My summer of 2011 will be the one I'll always remember is what I thought. But all excitement, all expectation, all dreams, all the music became silent as the concert....


Monday , October 10, 2011

Jagjit Singh, the voice that soothes me


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At peace I feel, when I listen to the melody, 'Tere baare mein jab socha nahi tha' and so many such timeless pieces by ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh that always sooth me down. Such is the bliss in the voice of Jagjit Singh, the singer who made ghazals a favorite among all of us. Even when I was a child, Jagjit Singh's ghazal's were an easy flowing symphony that had no bounds. Today, at the news of his death, the first song that I could think of was 'Chitthi na koi sandesh, jaane vo kaun sa desh, jahaan tum chale gaye.' The song says the ghazal maestro has left us, but his songs still remain a must on my playlist. The calm and serene voice of Jagjit Singh will continue to be heard with the eternal melodies 'Wo kaagaz ki kashti', 'Tum itna jo muskura rahe....


Sunday , August 07, 2011

Friendship Day: 10 categories of friends I have


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I have now experienced life for more than twenty years and in all these years, I have come across many people, who became friends, but, all of different kinds. I have travelled, shifted home, changed schools, passed college, changed work places, and so, there are a variety of friends that I made at every turn. On Friendship Day, I categorise the kind of people I have met in my friend list categories. Childhood Friends At an age, when innocence dominated my mannerisms, I made friends, when I did not even know the meaning of the word. I just knew that these were people I can play with, I can fight with, I can eat with and I can tell their names to people who kept asking me, "Do you have friends in school baby?" Today, many of those friends are nowhere in the picture, but then,....


Tuesday , June 21, 2011

DJ for a day: My playlist on World Music Day


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Being musical is always something one can handle with no stress, and it needs no care as music, however it is, whatever it is, it makes a melody and fills the silence. Celebrating, World Music Day - June 21, I bring you my playlist from morning to the night, from home to the car, to the party venue. Early morning, when I start from home to get to work, my playlist is soft, with nice, peaceful and easy flowing numbers. So, while I'm on my way to office, here are some songs that I press the play button on: - Annie's Song (You fill up my senses) by John Denver: John Denver's classic voice and the guitar being the only instrument I hear in the song, makes it a nice easy journey on the road.

-....


Thursday , June 16, 2011

Lunar eclipse: a night of chants


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I have always been keen to be at a holy place at the time of special occasions like the full moon or the eclipse. Watching huge crowds gather at such places on these occasions and being surrounded by superstitions regarding an eclipse, I wanted to be among those chanting prayers while an eclipse is on. This time, on the lunar eclipse night, June 15, I decided to go at one such place - the Govardhan Dham parikrama, near Vrindavan. It is a 21 km parikrama where you walk chanting 'Radhe Radhe' around the Govardhan parvat, barefeet. June 15, 2011, was different at this place. The place that is crowded at a full moon night, witnessed more huge crowds, as people thronged Govardhan in hundreds and thousands, because this full moon night was the night of a lunar eclipse too. We planned to start our parikrama around 9:30....


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