Will Write For Coffee

and food and vacations, too.

Month: August 2015 (page 1 of 2)


Dear Government of Gujarat,

Thank you for forcing internet rehab on the entire 6.5 crore Gujaratis. Haven’t checked the census data to see if the figure has changed. Mostly because I feel handicapped if I find something outrage worthy in the census data and I could not let my ‘voice of dissent’ out in the restricted internet access forced upon us.

I know, I know it was probably one of the most effective ways to curb the rumourmongering. But now, please, let us have our sanity back.

You have no idea how left out we feel when we cannot join rest of the world in outraging over issues that don’t really matter to us from the comfort of our homes.

My heart knows how I have spent last few days with limited internet access.

Even if I am in desperate need of internet rehab and probably go out and see how green the trees are or how blue the sky is, I’d rather do it willingly than being forced into it. I actually had to interact with human beings over last few days. Could you believe that?

Anyway, since I was bored, and because of limited internet access, I made a video. Here I am talking about things that don’t really matter in the bigger scheme of things.

But you should still see it.

Or maybe not.

This Post Is Not Politically Motivated


It was after thirteen long, peaceful years that violence came knocking down at our doorsteps last night. Patidar community, which has been economically and socially privileged, wants to be recognised as OBC (other backward caste) for reservations in education and government jobs.

Their argument is not everyone who is a Patel (common surname of the community) drives an Audi or BMW or is in US. Or why should the kids in that community not get admission at 90 percent when someone belonging to say SC/ST/OBC could get at 45 percent.

Last time caste reservation based violence took place in 1990 during Mandal Commission when new castes were added to the list. People died protesting *against* the caste based reservation. It has taken 25 years for the youth of India to take to violence in their hands protesting *for* caste based reservation. Somewhere where a generation changed, the perception of privilege changed.

Yesterday lakhs of people from all over the state gathered at a ground where one 22 year old Hardik Patel went all guns on the state and central government.

He praised Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, best known for sitting on dharna against his own government when he was the Chief Minister, and said Nitish Kumar, Bihar Chief Minister is also a Patidar. Nitish Kumar is best known for joining hands with Lalu Prasad Yadav for the upcoming elections in Bihar. And a saga could be written on Lalu Yadav’s alleged scams.

So this raises a few questions in my mind.

  1. Who funded yesterday’s rally?
  2. Food packages, water bottles were stocked up so that the agitators are not hungry or thirsty. Who funded that? (a source (yeah, I still have them) says the besan for the khaman served were sponsored by the owner of the popular besan brand, owned by someone who belongs to the community. Other person belonging to the community and owns businesses of milk and dairy products, sponsored milk and ghee that would have been needed for preparing food/snacks. How are they backward?)
  3. A lot of cabinet ministers including the chief minister belongs to this community. Each community will have people who support various political parties. So, if the agitators were opposing the BJP (party in power in state and centre), who were they supported by? Aam Aadmi Party is not even the opposition (thank god for small mercies), Congress is. However, Hardik Patel has been a vocal supporter of Aam Aadmi Party and Kejriwal. Was this a Kejriwal Model taking on the ‘Gujarat Model’?
  4. He wanted to submit memorandum to the collector, after taking out a rally. Before the rally, when he was still addressing the gathering, collector offered he will come to the venue to collect the memorandum. Hardik refused. Not taking out the rally would have reduced the chaos and disturbance caused in the city. Was causing the chaos the reason behind the rally?
  5. After submitting the memorandum to collector, why did he escalate the issue and decided to go on hunger strike till the time the Chief Minister herself comes to collect the memorandum? He had repeatedly said in his speech that if the demands are not met, he wont be responsible for what happens in the state. Was it a veiled threat of chaos and violence? Was it preplanned?
  6. The permission to use the ground was not taken for hunger strike. When the police/administration asked the protestors to leave the venue when they had overstayed the permitted time for the agitation, they didn’t go, after which police used the force. In retaliation, statewide violence erupted. Was the hunger strike and overstaying the permitted limit part of a plan?
  7. Is there a wider underlying political conspiracy we are not aware of?
  8. Why are Congress leaders quiet on this? Rahul Gandhi never leaves any opportunity to say target Narendra Modi and tell him he has failed. When widespread violence erupted in Prime Minister’s home state, why is there such an eerie silence?

Hardik says the agitation was not politically motivated. If so, why did he bring politicians in his speech? How come Nitish Kumar, within hours of being mentioned as a Patidar, offer his support to Hardik? Nitish Kumar recently joined Lalu Yadav for upcoming Bihar elections. Kejriwal has extended his support to the Nitish-Lalu alliance. Isn’t Kejriwal the messiah of modern India who was going to drag us out of corruption? Is his support to Nitish-Lalu alliance his support to corruption? Where does Congress fit into this?

Does anyone have an answer to any of these?

Internet, my first love

I have made it abundantly clear my love for internet. Lack of internet connection makes me feel like I have lost a limb. I’d go to the extent to say that internet is no longer a luxury, but a utility. (and hence I advocate net neutrality.)

Having said that, the speed of internet most of the times is so sad that it makes me suicidal and a serial killer enthusiast alternately. As it is rightly said, only thing worse than no internet is slow internet.

However, I have experienced the joys of 4G. While attending the Vibrant Gujarat summit earlier this year, I was extremely glad for the 4G WiFi that was made available to us – because of which I was able to live tweet the event, which was the high point of my two year stint.

Now that 4G networks are being rolled out by Airtel, I wonder if it will actually be that fast?

My prior experiences with mobile networks has not been that great when it came to data. However, I am hoping things will be better with Airtel.

But what will I do with a faster network?

Maybe get my naani on a FaceTime call with her sisters in US.  She is one person who does not use any sort of mobile phone. So she always finds our smart phones fascinating. She would ask us questions about it and most of the times we could not show her much because the network coverage at her place is very poor. Most of the times, it is out of coverage.

So maybe a FaceTime with her sister would be a good idea.

Oh, and the fact that my grandfather made a film in the 70s, a Gujarati film, which is available on YouTube in its entirety, maybe make her watch it as well. We are not in possession of any of the copies of the film and that would make her happy.

And then I’m assuming it would be a family gathering and we will be clicking tons of pictures, and they could immediately be uploaded on various social network platforms to be shared with friends and family who could not be part of the gathering.

Or I could just ignore the rest of the family, that does not bring me much joy anyway, and spend my time on Twitter or seeing cat and dog pictures because there can never be too many cat pictures.

Internet, thank you for brining the world together as well as making sure we isolate ourselves from the rest of the world by making rest of the world accessible on our fingertips.

With Airtel 4G, I hope to be rescued from all unnecessary politeness expected at family gatherings.

Bijli Aayi?

This Gujarat Model (*points to self*) has always taken pride of not remembering the last time she has faced a long power cut. Today morning, however, I woke up to see the ceiling fan slowly come to a halt.

“Power cut?” I asked getting out of the room, groggily. You see, I had slept at around 2ish, and was woken up unceremoniously by the fan getting switched off.

“Yes, Torrent Power people have come for some repair work,” said Pappa. “It should be back up in about 3 to 4 hours.” he said.

Hmm. Around 12. That shouldn’t be a problem. I could survive. I looked at my phone. Battery was 30%. Hmm. I am not sure if the phone will survive till then.

Till 1 I had read almost half of Avirook Sen’s Aarushi and cried a little while reading so. I was furious. I think the CBI investigating officer Kaul is very, very creepy and I don’t like him at all. (I am half way, I am not sure if he turns out to be a good guy towards the end.)

The power had still not been restored. It will be restored by 4, they said.

Around that time, my phone decided to die on me.

I had decided I was done with reading Aarushi for today. I will have to read tomorrow because there is only this much I could read something so disturbing and keep my sanity intact.

Now, there is no TV, no internet and no phone.

That very moment I thanked my stars that I was not born in pre-electricity days. I mentally kissed Thomas Edison as well.

I was going to cook dinner tonight, so for next 2 hours, I did that instead of wallowing in electricity-less induced self pity.

At around 5ish, the power was finally restored. I immediately took picture of the Methi Malai Makai that I had cooked and Instagrammed it. Because otherwise how will the rest of the world know I made something as delicious as what I had made.

Methi malai makai. :D #dinner

A photo posted by Nirwa Mehta (@nirwamehta) on

Anyway, as soon as the power was restored, I did what Lalu Prasad Yadav does in this little video to mimic Narendra Modi and laughed at my own little joke because no one else found it funny.

Basically, the whole point of this post is be thankful to electricity – that allows you to connect to internet.



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