Author is not an alien

Author is not an alien
I write because we had deleted enough

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Without even saying a goodbye

You left

Without even saying a good bye

A palace of words on the clouds

A wall of silence that blew it around

I thought I was strong

To carry it with a veil of smile

And wear my summer floral when winter came knocking by

But what to do with the memories

That  sit on the driving seat

And steer me away to a nauseous downward spin

But in reality you stole

My moments of goodbye

The inhibition to express

And gave me back

An unfathomed desperation

A last thought –  To who am I blabbering

I know I will never stop

To look for a goodbye

Just because

You left

Without even saying a goodbye....................Sehar

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


What if life snatches your loved ones especially when you need them the most? What if you know that you are the deserving one but you don’t get what you dreamt just because you had no money? What if life hits you harder than you can even tolerate?

There are only two solutions to the above adversities, I repeat only two . One succumb and surrender to the thing called destiny and another turn into Anand Kumar.

So in this second edition of “SAKSHAT” ,read this Super inspiring story of a Super Man in flesh and blood , a Super Santa for the poor kids who gives wings to their dreams of getting into the most prestigious institution of India, the Super Amazing founder of Super 30 – ANAND KUMAR.

It’s May heat and we are trying to find Super 30 among the dusty lanes of Patna, Bihar. After a little struggle we finally reach a narrow lane and there is Anand Kumar, smiling and greeting us. He takes us to his classroom where a few kids are sitting on benches solving questions. The classroom is creaking, it’s terrible heat and comfort is nowhere in sight, I pull up a chair and talk to them.

Kundan from Bihar whose father is a shopkeeper is brimming with confidence, I ask him what after IIT and he says he wants to win a Nobel prize for India. Anuj whose father works as a helper in a shop wants to pursue research in Physical sciences. Rajeev,Rohit  , Neeraj , Kundan ,Anuj – everyone’s story is the same ,coming from a background that limits their dreams they all want to fly in higher skies and they know that they will, they have their “Anand Sir” and Super 30.
I ask Anand Kumar his journey so far and he comes out with is Super Motivating story.

Disclaimer : People with a “Oh! Why it happens with me” attitude must read it (that includes me too btw)

“ Anand’s father worked at postal department , a lower rung employee he was but a very supportive father. He used to buy old books from the footpath about great personalities for Anand. It had a very positive impact on Anand’s life. The young Anand wanted to be like Ramanujam , Aryabhatt or Thomas Edison. Science became his interest and yes his addiction too. One day Anand ,who was just a schoolboy got hold of a science magazine called “ Vigyan Pragati” , it had a regular column called “हम  सुझायें ,आप बनाएं “(We suggest, You create). Anand was hooked to this idea of making scientific models. He craved for more of this activity, so he started visiting repair houses , work shops and learnt how to repair transistor, radio etc. His love to create models badly affected his studies and he barely managed to pass his class 8th exams. That day the mechanic on whose shop he used to spend the whole day said to him “Your craziness will lead you to end up being a mechanic only”.

From that day onwards Anand started paying more attention to his studies, his mathematics teacher in Class 9th   Mr. Ranendra Kumar Sinha developed in him a love for mathematics, which later in life would define Anand’s future. He took up Mathematics honors study and while he was in his second year, one of his mathematical theories got published in “Mathematical Hazard” journal. In his undergraduate days his 4-5 papers were already published in international journals. Seeing his extraordinary talent ,his guru D.P. Verma , HOD, Mathematics Division, Patna University asked him to apply for Cambridge for his post graduation. Needless to say Anand was selected to Cambridge for his masters. At this point of time,fate took an ugly turn.

Anand’s masters at Cambridge was about to start on 1st October 1994. Coming from an extremely poor background and having secured a partial scholarship for Cambridge, Anand knocked every door possible for help. He met many politicians, even the leading dailies like Hindustaan and Times of India carried out long articles on him asking for support but all in vain. With few months left to join, his Cambridge dream seemed drifting away.

On the fateful night of 23rd August 1994, it was pouring heavily, the slum area that he lived in was waterlogged. He and his father were sitting and discussing about how to arrange money for his overseas travel and suddenly Anand’s father got a heart arrest and he passed away sitting in front of him. Unable to sense that his father has actually passed away, he ran towards the home of a compounder and brought him home. The compounder on examining pulse knew that his father has gone was unable to tell the same to Anand. He suggested him to be taken to PMCH( Patna Medical College and Hospital ). With no vehicle there , a fruit vendor gave him his hand cart and on a hand cart amid a heavy downpour Anand took his father’s body to PMCH along with around 200 people of the slum. On reaching PMCH ,the doctors confirmed that his father had died hours back.

The world came shattering down for Anand. But he had to pick up the broken pieces. The first thing that came up before him was a compensatory job at his father’s place because of his untimely demise. Anand didn't want to for which he got support from his brave mother who asked his sons to continue their studies. His mother used to prepare “Papad” (a salty snack ) and then both the brothers in evening went in the city to sell those.

From Cambridge dreams to selling Papad, but Anand did not give up. His brother suggested him to take up tuitions and he started teaching mathematics to two kids, gradually the number went up to 36. Not very particular about the fees that his students were giving Anand enjoyed teaching. One fine day a boy called Abhishek came to him and requested for coaching, unable to pay the meager fees too, he promised to pay him back whenever his farmer father would dig out potatoes. Amazed at his zeal Anand went after him to look for how was he managing to stay in Patna, to which he saw that Abhishek was living in a crumpled place below stairs of an advocate’s home of which he was a guard.
There was born the idea of Super 30 ,selecting 30 of the most deserving and poor students who were denied opportunities and training them for IIT entrance. Anand generated finances by his other tuitions and his mother Jayanti Devi cooked food for the 30 students.Anand took care of everything for these students ,tutored them, fed them, took care and made them to work hard. From 13 out of 30 students making to the IIT in 2003 the super 30 gave an astounding performance of 30 out of 30 in 2008,it still continues year after year………………and the rest is history.

That was Anand’s Journey in his own words and my curious mind asked him more questions and here the interview continues……..

ME – What is Education for you?

ANAND – Education has different meanings for different people. For a poor person it may mean employment , for a man with values ,it may mean sanskaar and for a communist it may mean a right.
For me , Education is a weapon that arms you to fight with any discrimination 
,weakness or adversities. It’s a strongest medium to fight , fight back problems, to fight back struggles and to fight back any obstacle that life throws your way.

In 2005, one of my student’s father was murdered at high court premises,the boy called Shyam ratan took up a pistol to take revenge from the murderer. I told to him that the biggest revenge that you can take is to study properly and create that roof for his family that the murderer has taken away. He is doing well now and I believe he took his revenge through education.

ME – What do you think about the educational system of India? Any complaints?

ANAND – Oh! Many complaints. The imbalance between the costly private schools and the government schools with scant resources should end. This huge gap should end,education is for all and it should be made for all – Equal and nothing less than that.

ME – Any time in life do you sit back and think that you could have done better, published many papers, may be an Abel prize one day, more money? Any regrets on giving back to society when the society had failed you in your times of need?

ANAND- Absolutely not!! When 200 -300 people came with me to PMCH just to support me during my father’s death , I realized that a poor may not have money but he does helps. And I am very contempt with my life.  I have the greatest treasure one can get – it’s the respect ,respect of my students, respect of society, respect of people like you who come to write a blog on me. 

Money is not everything na , infact money is nothing.

ME- I have read that you don’t accept any kind of donations for Super 30? How do you manage then?

ANAND- I divert whatever I earn from my other tuitions for Super 30.We have started an online class for 1 rs a class ,a book is being written on me to be published by Random house and penguin ,I am planning to use the royalty from it again for Super 30.
The Chief Minister of Bihar Mr. Nitish Kumar has asked me endless number of times” Do you need any money anand?” I smile and I refuse, he is a great man and he wants to help me but I am quite sure that we won’t ever take any donation from anyone for Super 30.

ME – What else you love ……of course less than Mathematics?

ANAND- Music ,I once wanted to learn music but now retired to be a good listener, I enjoy table and violin and make it a point to keep me distressed through music
And yes ,I am a foodie ,I love eating :-) 

ME – I am sure my readers and your admirers would like to know about Mrs. Anand Kumar? Was it a love or an arranged marriage?

ANAND ( With a shy smile and totally avoiding using the word love marriage……..that was the cutest expression on his face ) My wife Ritu Rashmi, it was not an arranged marriage. We liked each other and decided to marry ( SEE, I told you he said Liked :-) )

The families were dead against it as it was an inter caste marriage but with the help of Abhyanand ( A police officer earlier associated with Super 30 ) ,they agreed and we got married.

She is an IITian, an avid reader and manages everything related to Super 30. I am not mincing words when I say that I could not have imagined for a better wife. She is a pillar of support in my life, she manages everything for me and even cooks’ food for the Super 30 students if helper is not around. She could have a great career in any country of her choice but she chose to be with me, in Bihar supporting me in my work and believing in my vision.

The world may be proud of me but I am proud of my wife.

ME- What lies ahead? How do you see the future?

ANAND- I am planning to make this bigger so that no child is denied opportunity just because of lack of resources. I have just started online classes and in future , I want to open up a model school in every district where students are just students , not poor or rich.

ME – If a movie is made on your life ,who would you want to be playing Anand Kumar?
Thank You Rahul for helping me in reaching Anand Kumar

ANAND – Anurag Basu is planning a movie on me , he has come over a few times and has casted Ranbir Kapoor in it. So I think it is already in loop
( we would love to see this amazing story to be turned into a film!!!!!)

 ME – Last question….If your father had been around today ,would he have been happy with your decision to start Super 30 and not pursuing your higher studies at Cambridge?

ANAND – (A visibly sentimental Anand, it was hard for him to speak) This question was never asked to me. My father was god to me, people remember god in their ups and downs,I remember my father. He was always ready to help anyone in his time for need not for name, not for credit but just because he was a good human being. My oldest memories of him go back to the time when I was a kid and we both used to wake up at 6 in the morning. He made two cups of tea and over tea we discussed, discussed everything from politics to society and after that he used to say me “Pranaam ( a kind of greeting someone out of respect )  , a pranaam because I was so well read and had views on everything and he adored that.

In those years the department that my father worked in distributed a suit’s clothing and a torch among his employees every two years. In 1994 when I got admission into Cambridge, he went to tailor and got a suit stitched for me enthusiastically. That same year he left us. 

I have never ever got a suit stitched for me till day even if I can afford now.

I miss him every day and I know that he is looking upon us and is proud of Super 30.

ME – Thank You so much Anand for sharing the story of being Super 30’s Anand Kumar for us, the story that I would always carry in my heart. Any words for the “Sakshat” column on  blog bringing out positive stories from all across the world.

ANAND-  I am very happy about this initiative, This is each one of us responsibility to spread positive news, stories of motivation , stories of people who are setting an example in society and stories of “be the change”. I hope this brings out a much needed positive change in society.

We leave from a small home in a dusty lane, a home internationally acclaimed as Super 30 and the only thought I am left with is:

Nothing will change if you change nothing

Thank you Anand Kumar for giving back to the same society that failed you once , Thank You Anand Kumar for shaping the future of children who would have been lost in the run of livelihood and would have never entered IIts even if they were capable enough.


Thursday, May 7, 2015


                              SAKSHAAT (साक्षात)

Sakshat has been my brain child and what better than to start it with a woman who is a rockstar, who has brought that attitude to a wheel chair, a woman I adore,admire and love. In a long talk that took two hours I got my dose of motivation.

Meet Deepa Malik- An athlete, Arjuna Award winner, Biker, motivational speaker. Deepa is on a Mission- Ability Beyond Disability for past 14 years. She is an international sports person and medalist. The first woman paraplegic biker and car rallyist. She is the first to represent the country at international level in her category of disability. With 13 International medals she and a world ranking she does not needs an introduction.

Deepa also holds 4 Limca Records(Adventure) for being the only paraplegic women in the world to have driven the nine high altitude passes in nine days on the highest road of the world; The Leh Laddakh highway. She swam across the river Yamuna against the current at Allahabad.

And though that does not make much of a difference to her kickass attitude ,she is a PARAPLEGIC..

ME: First of all mam, thanks a ton for being the first guest of my blog column called “Sakshhat”

DEEPA: Thank you so much Pooja for honoring me and it feels wonderful when you realize that I have touched your heart and I am capable of being written about just by being what I am.

ME : How do you define yourself as a woman ,as a mother or as a winner who conquered odds?

DEEPA  : I define myself as a mother the most ,being a mother to two of the most wonderful daughters gives me strength to be what I am. I could not even think about complaining, grinning or feeling low because more than the fear of a long battle that lay ahead, I was always thinking about bringing up my two little children.
Definitely it’s all because of my upbringing, the positive environment I grew up in, the unconditional support and love of husband while he was fighting a war on borders that were my pillars of strength during my post surgery phase. My family never sat back and made me feel that something wrong has happened. From the day one we were only looking for solutions,that way the melodrama was avoided and positivity crept in.

ME: You are an example of the woman who rocks on wheels ,but tell us about the Deepa before the wheels ,the one who was a kid ,An Army brat and a dreamy eyed girl?

DEEPA : There are no two Deepas. The best thing about my life was I managed to be what I was earlier post my surgery too and I think that is what makes me stand apart. I never gave up on anything or took some easier paths just because I faced a challenge
There was a happy Deepa before wheels and now there is a happier deepa on wheels. Deepa loved fashion being a girl and man I love it this day too .She used to love driving as a brat and yes it still has not stopped. Deepa as far as I remember loved adventure sports ,was a sports person , was crazy about outdoor holidays and not even a bit of that has changed ,I am the happiest person on bike ,I am always on toes for any holiday ,I never get tired of travelling and yes I take my sports seriously ,very seriously.

Looking towards a larger picture while I was coming to terms with me being on a wheelchair, I thought the attitude of a fun person on wheelchair was missing in our country and the fun person in me filled up that void. Yes I proudly say that a wheelchair has channelized my efforts towards disabled, towards parasports ,towards my country. Being an achiever on wheelchair has helped me to contribute to many, many people like me, be a voice for the disabled, participate in policy making by Planning Commission. I broke stereotypes, I took up the fields which were a no no to even women, forget the disabled. The best part of this journey was I broke many barriers just by being what I always was – a Rockstar.

Me: I am sure my readers would love to hear the romantic tale of  the journey of being Mrs Malik.

DEEPA (With a laugh, a blushing laugh that had a flavour of romance) : OH! It was a crazy love story. We met on roads. I was training for the basketball and cricket team of Rajasthan and had a habit of going on jogging early morning. There I saw a very athletic man running for his cross country. And then I could spot him on roads with his bike, we eventually started going on bike rides. One day I asked him for driving his bike as my father didn’t allow me to ride bike, he replied “ I will give you my bike only if you agree to marry me”

“So it was the love for bikes which arranged this marriage”

The best part of being married to my man was we allowed each other to pursue our hobbies, passion and develop our passions too. Like he loves fishing and I find it bore but I go on fishing with him for the love of his company and on the other hand he hates parties but happily accompanies me to my events and social gatherings. This is what keeps the fire of romance burning even after 25 years of marriage.
I am amazed when modern day women from urban background approach me and ask “You travel so much, often you are away from home for records, bike rallies, drives with mostly men. Are you allowed to do that”. I am amazed because in my marital life we were never ever down to allowing something. If he is not there and away because of his work, he has that faith in me that she can handle come what may.
His one liners always makes me up and smiling, whenever I talk of retirement, he says “The best is yet to come.” When I was operated for the tumor at RR Hospital of Indian Army, my soldier was out there in Kargil fighting the Indo- Pak War. I just managed to talk to him before surgery on a satellite phone for a few minutes, I said to him “ I won’t be able to walk again.”

He replied “I will carry you on my arms all my life

This one line gave me strength, strength to fight the battle of survival at a hospital which was full of war casualties. The best thing about Bikram was he never ,never ever made me feel ugly with this body and this is what I truly called a pure form of romance because during disability one doesn’t accept his/her body that make you emotionally depressed. Bikram always made me feel beautiful, he still does.

ME: You are a role model for many small town girls, who was yours while growing up?

DEEPA : I am not mincing words as ideally I never had any role model while growing up. I was never a copycat; I always wanted to be me. My journey has always been to imbibe the best that I see around, for instance the Aaya, the woman who used to clean my bed when was in hospital was my role model because she cleaned everyone’s crap. My parents always said “सर पर बर्फ और मुँह में चीनी” which is keep your cool and be polite and I have always followed this mantra .It works wonders for me .In fact any quote, poem , greeting card, story that has something to teach acts as a role model for me.

I have always idolized my parents; I owe a lot to them. I would not have been a Deepa I am if he was not my dad and she was not my mom. My mom has not won any medal but she does her work with perfection. So anyone who works honestly and to the best of his/her capabilities, they can be my role model.

ME : How did you cope up with the news of being a paraplegic for life when your life has just started taking shape?

DEEPA : The question was: Is there an option? With my husband there at Kargil where death and destruction was dancing around, the first thought was being there and being alive, rehabilitation was not even a thought then.

But when it came to accepting the fact that I won’t be able to walk again I realized that in India we have a system where everybody knows the extent of damage except the patient. But the doctor that treated me said “Sab theek ho jayega is a wrong term Deepa, you have to have a plan.”

I was there at RR hospital where there were war heroes. I thought to myself that I just have a tumor and right there at the borders young boys of 19,21 and 25 years old are attaining martyrdom. I could not be emotionally devastated in an environment that was so inspiring as an Indian.

Me : Coming from a state that is notorious for the deteriorating sex ratio ,how was your achievement taken up?

DEEPA : It’s true that a Haryana, my state has the worst sex ratio but on the other hand Haryana has the best sports policy in country. The love for sports in that state is so encouraging. I got a hero’s welcome when I returned back with a medal, my wheelchair was kept on an open jeep and almost everyone from my village-men , women and children were out on the streets.

Yes I had my share of experiences where I felt the obvious favoritism for a male child, for instance when a woman asked me “  “bachhe kitne hain”.

Apart from these one or two incidents, I never felt any bias. Haryana is particularly supportive of para sports. The administration, the government everyone is so supportive.

Such is the extent of support from Haryana that if I take a rebirth as a sportsperson I want to be from Haryana only.

ME- Of the numerous accolades achieved, which one is the closest to your heart?

DEEPA : The closest one to my heart is definitely the Gada or the mace given to me by Khap Panchayat ,the same Khap that is notorious for being patriarchal. And Gada truly symbolizes my journey from Ability to disability and then to Infinite ability. This is a journey of acceptance, a journey of breaking stereotypes, a n sum up what Deepa is “ Gada for displaying ultimate power in the ring of life.”

I come from a family of soldiers, while receiving the Arjuna Award at Rashtrapati  Bhawan, all the four men in my life – My Father , My father in law, My Brother & My Husband: all were there in audience not because of their uniforms but to support me . These men in my home are safeguarding National Flag and I have made the National Flag go up 13 times in my life. I am working shoulder to shoulder with them and believe me the feeling is amazing.

ME – Recently one of my juniors posted a status of an event where he and his wife posed with Mary kom  writing” Mary kom was lucky enough to pose with me and wife ,Aaila Lucky hai saali”. Furious over the update ,I wanted to ask you Is being a sportswoman in India different from a sportsman?

DEEPA : First of all I want to say that this is a very cheap thing to say, that too coming from an educated person.
We come from a country where sports are not a lifestyle. I firmly believe that sporting culture does not come from a huge population but a floating population of the country. We have to “Say yes to Sports.”

The CSR in our country largely deals with building toilets or some infrastructure here and there, the financing is only to the big league games and rarely to individuals.

But I will be honest that a sportsperson is a sportsperson,not a man or woman. After all the hurdles, family support helps us overcome the lack of organizational support but if we work with the full commitment and are successful ,collateral and automatic recognition comes in. There it is where Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom are loved & respected by every Indian as he/she loves their cricket team.

ME: And what about Para sports? How do you wish to see it in coming decades?

DEEPA : The condition of Para Sports in country is pathetic. As I speak to you our federation has been derecognized from International Paralympic Committee which is worrying athletes as Indian open Para games are round the corner.

How do I wish to see Para sports? Certainly, not  as a charity. We do not have financing, we do not have infrastructure , no training modules . The most important change that I want to see is Para sports being treated as a mainstream sport, we all are working as hard as any other support and we deserve to be treated as same.

ME : With your daughter stepping into your shoes ,how does it feel?

DEEPA: OH ! It’s an amazing feeling. She made me believe that the motivational talks i give, the attitude that I talk about if someone believes in them and imbibes those they will write their own success stories.

Devika is the practical of Deepa’s theories

For a mother who was told by the whole world “How will you bring up your daughters with this condition”, I feel i have done a great job. With her choice to start “Wheeling Happiness” ,she has made me a proud mother.

ME : Last but certainly the important? What is your idea of being a woman? How do you wish your society to be for HERoes?

DEEPA : My idea of being a woman is a person who maintains a balance between work, family and passion, play all her roles with full efficiency and not compete with men but rather collaborate with men.

And talking about “HERoes” ,we should not categorize an individual as men and women. It’s high time we stop overdoing with feminism and work hand in hand to be a good human being and to make our country proud.

Being a woman is special because we give birth to a life, carries the generation forward, binds two families together and is the first teacher to her child. You better be a good teacher.

ME: Thank you so much mam,I am not only obliged and honored but the fan girl inside me (Your one big admirer) is jumping with joy. Any  word for the blog?

DEEPA: When we stop learning ,we stop growing. When we read something we should read it with an open, blank mind. A cup of coffee that is already full will spill over if we add more coffee to it,  reading should be just like that. I have never stopped learning .i learnt to live with this body, I learnt swimming at the age of 36, I learnt policy making when I was an advisor to the Planning commission & I am 40 and I still learn.

With so much negativity around, we need some positive stories, stories of motivation that all the best for the new initiative in your blog that brings such stories before world.Love  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


I have been working on my Sakshaat column since last three-four days but found something really interesting to share today in Bihar so this short and a quick post.

Today when i took a rickshaw to office i found it cooler than other days, a happy me peeped outside but a burning heat welcomed me. I looked at the rickshaw that i was sitting in  and yo ..........found a desi innovation .This rickshaw wallah had put up a bamboo superstructure from the rear end of rickshaw going upwards over his head and ending in the front handle. To this bamboo structure was tied a cotton bed sheet like a tent, before i sat in this man sprinkled a water on bamboo structure and yes by capillary action the cotton sheet absorbed it and gave a cooling effect. That is not all ,he even has a polythene sheet rolled up in corners which can open up and stretched if it rains .

Now this is what i call a real JUGAAD. Who said innovations occur only in labs.

Here is the pic of Jitendra Yadav , 34 ,Patna ,Bihar
P.S- He was too shy to pose and one reason for this unclear pic is it was horribly hot outside when i stepped down from Jitendra's AC compartment.


Saturday, May 2, 2015


When the ground shakes , cracks and crumbles
Life and hope tumbles down
The echo of help come from a distance
And under the rumble the shrieks drown
The tremors tremble the humanity
The dance of destruction resembles insanity
Death and devastation everywhere but hope rests upon a tongue
I fought ,I will fight is the song that somewhere a human sung.
When the rage stops and hope rains in

We will rebuild from the scratch and a new dawn will set in.

P.S.- Nepal needs us ,donate generously to Prime Minister National Relief fund at because facing a disaster is difficult but the recovery is way more painful.

 Pashmina Ghaley, 10, left, and her friend Ramina Bhujel, 10, stand together in the destroyed village of Balua. The village is near the epicenter of Saturday's massive earthquake, in the Gorkha District of Nepal,Courtesy-Huffington post

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.