Thursday, August 30, 2012

And they call it Freedom

The Indian constitution has listed seven rights, one of which is right to freedom. Although I am against the idea of democracy altogether, but for the time being I will not talk about it. I will just like to write about the Right to Freedom which is a fundermental right of citizens of India.

By definition:
Right to freedom includes freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association or union or cooperatives, movement, residence, and right to practice any profession or occupation (some of these rights are subject to security of the State, friendly relations with foreign countries, public order, decency or morality), right to life and liberty, right to education, protection in respect to conviction in offences and protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.

First of all, I find the definition flawed in itself. I don't think anyone has the authority to grant freedom to someone else. Now, even if you grant a right to freedom, there can be no exception to it. Freedom doesnot come with any chains or chuches. It is absolute. Freedom is the independence to do anything one wishes, whatever be the consequences. Obviously, absolute freedom can be disastrous because world is full of psychopaths and anti-social elements. But this doesnot changes the definition of freedom. If you grant freedom to someone, you can't put conditions on it. Freedom, if not absolute, cannot be called freedom. It can be anything but it.

So now, even if you can't grant unquestioning freedom, atleast fulfill what you claim to grant. You say one has freedom of speech provided it doesnot infringe the National security. But then you ban individuals from Social Media sites like Twitter and Facebook for instance. You ban people from protesting peacefully. Again, not that I care too much about the protests as they almost all go in
vain and are fruitless means of fulfilling ones demands. But even then, if one wishes to protest and feels that by protesting and rallying like this, he will get what he wants, then why block him. Why is he locked behind the bars for a peaceful procession. Aren't they trespassing the rights they have granted themselves?

Right to freedom cannot be granted by anyone. No one has the authority to grant this particular right to anyone else. Be it the government or parents. One is born with it and if it is compromised in any sense then one must fight till he dies for it. Because if you are not free, then life is worthless.

My inspiration for writing this article is the song 'Aazaadiyaan' from the movie Udaan.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

10 places you should visit if you are in Mumbai

Top-10 Hotspots of Mumbai you must visit if you are here:

1. Marine Drive - Nariman Point
Location: 10minutes walk from Churchgate Station.
This is by far the best spot of Mumbai. The three km long strech of road is like "jannat" on earth. Its expensively clean and tidy (which is quite unexpected by Mumbai standards). You'll find people from all age groups here. Couples spending some solitary time, old people chattering, college students enjoying a bunked-day, an mid-aged lady jogging, an old man walking his dog are the types quite frequently visible. So as you walk enjoying the skyscrapers on one side and sea on another, you reach Nariman Point, the end of the road . You can spend an evening full of solitude, watching the stillness of the sea and get lost in some random thoughts. Sometimes I wish I could go there everyday.

2. Gateway of India - Hotel Taj Palace
Location: 10minutes ride from CST station.
The place has great historical significance for India. There are two historically important monuments in the area: The Gateway of India and The Hotel Taj, built by Jamshedji Tata. The place is usually crowded by tourists from all over the world. You can stand there all day, just looking at the blend of ethinical diversity. The horse-carts (or Vicoria as it is called here) is a popular ride here for the famalies. However you may not see it the next time you visit this place because of the protests against its use by activists. So while you are busy looking at people and clicking a few snaps, your attention will be caught by a convoy of BMWs and RolceRoyce passing through. The convoy will stop near at The Taj and you'll learn to ignore it the next time. The place is not as clean as Marine Drive but its undoubtedly the most popular tourist spot in Mumbai.

3. Colaba Causeway
Location: 10minutes ride from CST station
The ultimate shopping destination for college students and foreing tourists. Long strech of street shops placed on pavements outside the branded stores make a wonderful shopping spot for everyone. Right behind the Taj hotel the area is the costliest and the liveliest place in the most lively city of India. If you are in Mumbai, you can't go without visiting this place. Here you'll find some famous bars like Cafe Mondegar and Leopold Cafe and amazing street food restaurant like Bademiya and one of the oldest theater in Mumbai- Metro. You can come here with anyone and spend a good evening shopping and have awesome street food.

4. Siddhivinayak TempleLocation: 15mins walk from Dadar Railway Station. Dadar(West)
Although I am not a religious fellow myself but I couldn't resist giong to the most important temple in Mumbai. The temple is devoted to hindu god Ganesh and Mumbai has lots of devotees of him. So whenever you come here, you'll find long queues of devotees waiting for a glimpse of the idol of Ganesha for a few seconds. The place is usually crowded and has tight security provisions just like any other tourist spot here. The temple is large and the ambience is pleasent. The structure is made up of marble and overall the place gives a soothing feeling. Do visit it if you are even a bit religous. Also if you are not.

5. Haji Ali Dargah and Mahalakshmi Temple
Location: 10 mins cab from Mahalakshmi Station
The Dargah is located on a small island and is accessible through a narrow walking lane. The lane will be full of dreadfull looking beggers (who might be earnings by the hundreds everyday). As you reach the dargah you'll get to listen Sufi Music and quawallis. The place is a popular tourist spot among the Muslims. The place is heavly crowded most of the times. But if you are in Mumbai and want to acquint with every aspect of this city, then this place can not be missed out.
About 10mins walk away is the famous Mahalakshmi Temple of Mumbai. Its the second most popular temple here. However I didn't feel so as it was not very large and flambouyant as other rich Indian Temples. The temple has a feeling of serenity and peace which is quite unusual in Mumbai.

6. Essel World - Water Kingdom
Location: 30mins ferry from Gorai Beach or 30mins BEST bus from Bhayender Station
I don't think this place needs and description. We have grown up hearing to the famous Essel World anthem. Its and amazing amusement park streched over more then 50 acres. There are numerous rides for people of every age and I bet no one can get enough of it. You'll spend the whole day arguing over which ride to miss out as you can't enjoy all of it in a single day. You'll have to keep some of it for later visits.
Similarly exiting is the slides of Water-Kingdom. Large pools of water and numerous slides for everyone makes it the best water park of the country. But visiting both the places on a single day may not be a good idea as you won't be able to enjoy either.

7. High Street Pheonix Mall
Location: 10mins walk from Lower Parel Station. I could not resist myself from including a Mall in a list of 10 places worth visiting in Mumbai. Its the best mall of Mumbai in terms of the Architecture, Brands available and Crowd. Located in the heart of the city, its a great place to shop, provided you have a heavy pocket. Actually High Street Pheonix Mall is not a mall in itself but a collection of 2-3 malls and compounds which makes it a perfect destination for shopping and dining. The place is not completely developed yet, but you won't even realize that.

8. Girgaum Chopatty
Location: 10mins cab from CST.
Its more commonly called as chaupatty by people here. Chaupatty is the most popular picnic spot for the famalies in South Mumbai. You'll see lots of famalies and college students enjoying themselves at the beach. You'll get enough space here to run all day long and play. After you are done with roaming about the beach and start feeling tired, you can rent in a 'chatai' floor mat for rs10 and have awesome chaupatti food like pav-bhaji, bhel-puri, chaat and fruit juice sold by the numerous vendors here. Alternately you can also bring in you home made food and spend an awesome day out with your family and friends.

9. Band Stand
Location: 15mins cab drive from Bandra railway Station
Band-Stand is more of a lover's point of Mumbai. You'll find plentiful couples sitting here during evening, spending a pleasurable time together. The sea-shore is primarily rocky here so you can't enjoy the sea at large. But you can always have a nice time with your special ones, with cool sea breeze making the evening all the more pleasent. Not just that, the Band-stand is also home to many bollywood super-stars. SRK and Arbaaz Khan are just the two of many. So you might also get lucky some day to have a small chat with them. Further, another positive factor about band stand is that its not occupied by irritating street vendors and is quite clean. 

10. Bandra-Worli Sea Link
Location: Between Bandra-Worli through the Sea. I couldn't resist myself including this marvel in the list of 10 Places worth visiting in Mumbai. The 7KM long 4lane road is a spectacular man-made structure.As you pass thruogh the road for the first time, you'll get a chance to see Mumbai from a completely different angle. You'll see a beautiful image of Mumbai's skyline in the night. It will look more of a scenery than reality. During rains it looks all the more marvellous. Do take a ride here whenever you get a chance to. Please drive safely.