I saw him; just a glance was enough to get hold of my attention. There were many faces some were known and to some, I guess I have never paid enough attention. I even saw my friend waving at me, but I just didn’t want to lose him from my sight. The feeling was so new to me. I couldn’t take my eyes from him. I was talking to my friend but constantly trying to see him through the corner of my eyes. But I couldn’t find him. I felt hysteric, I just wanted to see that face again.

I saw him again; this time I noticed what was so attractive about him, his smile. So pure it was, so innocent it appeared on its face. The sun rays fell on his face and cheeks became red. He kept on looking back and so did I. I wanted to ask his name. I wanted to talk to him and know more about him. But something stopped me. I still do not know what exactly made me think I should I have a conversation with him. And most importantly what made me stop.

Was it fear of the unknown or the fear of stumbling up with my words? I am still searching for the answer as I walk back. The feeling keeps lingering in my mind. I can still picture him. Now when I recall the entire episode in my mind I get a clear picture. The actual reason as to why I couldn’t take my eyes from him. The reasons were his hands. The hands that pulled the trolley loaded with heaps of sacks. The hands, that pulled it all the way. The sun rays burned his bare hands… which made his face glow only to make it look like on burning fire. Eyes as black as coal; and hands as strong as iron.

I didn’t pity him or his condition. Instead, I pitied all those who walked by him, all of us who carried our own stacks of books. The hands that pulled the trolley didn’t complain about. His eyes pierced into our conscience. His smile mocked us. He mocked the society who was so ignorant about the reality. It mocked all of us, who dragged their feet and complained about the hardships we have in our lives. It was a mockery on the burdens we claim to carry on our shoulders from the time the sun rises and carry it till it goes into hiding. His hands pulled away from the burdens of society without questioning it.



Is reservation the way out?

Like, should be treated alike and unlike differently! This is the very basic reasoning behind the reservation system in India. It is also based on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution which speaks about ‘Equal protection of Law’.

It dates back to 1933 when, the Prime Minister of Britain, Ramsay Macdonald, introduced the Communal Award, according to which separate representation was to be provided for the Muslims, Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians, Europeans and Dalits. The depressed classes were assigned a number of seats to be filled by election from special constituencies in which voters belonging to the depressed classes could only vote.

The Award was extremely contentious and was opposed by Mahatma Gandhi, who fasted in protest against it. Though it was supported by many among the minority communities, the most notable amongst them was revolutionary Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. After extensive negotiations, Gandhi reached an agreement with Dr. Ambedkar to have a single Hindu electorate, with Dalits having seats reserved within it and this agreement was known as the Poona Pact.

This splendidly shows that our present reservation system has a long history though it changed its form with time, or rather with every political regime. For instance, The Mandal Commission in India was established in 1979 by the Janata Party government under Prime Minister Morarji Desai with a mandate to “identify the socially or educationally backward.” It was headed by Indian parliamentarian Bindheshwari Prasad Mandal to consider the question of seat reservations and quotas for people to redress caste discrimination, and used eleven social, economic, and educational indicators to determine “backwardness.” A decade after the commission gave its report, V.P. Singh, the Prime Minister at the time, tried to implement its recommendations in 1989. The criticism was sharp and people across the country held massive protests against it. No political party has ever taken a stance against reservation.  Generally, they support it but mostly choose to remain silent to bank their political interest. Many times, they bring along with them new proposals, reserving some or the other caste or community. People are divided on the basis of castes for political advantages.

The opponents of the issue argue that allocating quotas on the basis of caste is a form of racial discrimination, and contrary to the right to equality.While the supporters underline the idea that everyone is born equal but, in unequal circumstances. And when the circumstances have been a result of a social system then the system either needs to be abandoned or reformed. Opponents claim that reservation for Christians, Muslims and other religious minorities in any institution is contrary to the idea of secularism. Supporters say that in a perfectly functioning society, the institutions and also various other walks of life must represent the many sections roughly in proportion to their share in the population. In India, it is clearly not the case and hence the need for reservations.

But if we notice there is also a competition for the reserved seats amongst the members of the “backward class”. Most often, only economically sound people from the lower castes make use of such seats. So the people who essentially need it the most do not get the opportunity because of this competition. And this counteracts the very spirit of reservations.

A large influential section of the voting population sees reservation as a benefit for them thus no government is willing to take the risk of changing this policy.

There are no efforts made to give proper primary education to truly deprived classes so there is no need to reserve seats for higher studies.


The talks had been going on forever; they were saying he would leave but they had said so many times before and he always ended up staying. This time though, the departure became official from speculative. He left to go from where he came; where at age 16 he thundered the ball into the net against the “invincible” Arsenal. The commentator said back then “Remember the name!” A decade and a half later, it is a household name all across the world.
The last few seasons have been somewhat painful for Manchester United. The “Class of 92” is gone, the boss Sir Alex retired, the trophies dried up and frustration became the routine from being the exception. However, there was always one link that served as a reminder to the glory days – the days when the Champions League was won in Moscow, the days when back to back league titles were the norm and the days when the league cup would just be won for fun. The link to that glorious past was the man who grew with the club almost as soon as he joined it.
He was a gifted talent who formed a great partnership with another teen sensation from Portugal. Together the prodigy from Lisbon and the child genius from Everton were a delight to watch becoming the nightmare duo of all clubs in England; Ronaldo soon left and that made Rooney even more level headed and mature. From being a short tempered young boy, he transformed into a level headed leader of men seeing through the club’s transition as the legends were departing.
In recent years, as past players and trophies were saying good-bye to United, form was bidding farewell to Rooney. The stamina was going down with age, the goals were drying up and the spot in the team was soon lost to new found talents. It was a pain to watch for any United fan. The superhero no longer seemed supreme. However, is it the end that counts or is it more of the journey that matters!
As the leading goal scorer in the club’s prestigious history and a winner of five league titles, a Champions League, a club World Cup and a Europa League; Rooney will go down in history as one of the all time great footballers and one of Manchester United’s most loyal servants.
For any United fan, Rooney was the symbol of glory and trophies, he was a reminder of the grit and determination of the club. His missile-like blast against Newcastle all those years ago, his goal from the half line against West Ham, his free-kick against Stoke to become United’s leading goal scorer and above all his bicycle kick against Manchester City on that afternoon at Old Trafford will be a part of Manchester folklore for generations.
What Martin Tyler said as a commentator when Rooney scored that once in a lifetime bicycle kick can actually now be said about his entire career at Manchester United – “Rooneeeeeeyyy! It defies description! How about ‘sensational’? How about ‘superb’?”
Thank you for the memories.