Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Beware! Dreams can be recorded now!

What if dreams could be recorded on a video...!
By: Rajbir Deswal
Once dreams were recorded, we could even have a modern-day Sigmund Freud set to work on them
How nice it would be if we could record a dream on video!
A patent for a dream recorder, please
I read somewhere, and now I forget where, that ideas are invited to go into a science fiction bank. Here is my idea. I’d like to patent it.

Imagine what it might be, if dreams could be recorded! How revealing it might be, to be able to see the murderer plotting his crime in his head, even as he sleeps.

I could have seen the man plot the murder of my client-yes, I work as a lawyer-and perhaps the dream could also be used as evidence of sorts in court?

A dream recorder might serve as evidence of intention, as the murderer had been plotting away his path to riches.

How nice it would be if we could record a dream on video! So what if the dreams were dreamt by a jaundiced eye, and were recorded in a device not usually used for such a purpose. These could be used as arguments against using dreams in the courtroom.

The science fiction idea could be grabbed by people in research and development in a technology firm, and who knows? It might well someday become a reality.

Was not the cellphone or the TV an idea before the reality? And who, living a few centuries ago, might have imagined them possible? Dream interpreters would lose their jobs, if my idea became reality.

Some people might go hiding, putting the videos in ‘safe custody’ so that others would not have access to them-for obvious reasons, you see!

Some dreamers would sleep under showers, to not let a single wet dream make it into the recorder? Still others who stumble on hidden treasures might seek police protection for all their wealth.

The Dream Recorder would come with user-friendly devices. Like auto-start of equipment at specific points in the dream, auto-off where the dreamer treads slippery territory.

Conferencing while recording dreams, so people could interact while at it, could also be considered. If the dream is an enjoyable one for the viewer (and I mean not the dreamer but his audience), its time could be extended.

If the dream is particularly unpleasant or erotic, the device could insert a warning: ‘unfit for toddlers’.

Once dreams were recorded, we could even have a modern-day Sigmund Freud set to work on them: what depths of psychological insight could be gleaned, from recurring images in dreams!

The role of snakes and spiders, of fire and water could be ascertained, if they reveal patterns.

Why are some people always late? And why do some people dream of examinations? What does it mean, when you dream that you are left alone in a jungle?

Why are you running in a dream? And why do you suddenly realise that you’re barefoot? Where did the clothes go? Why are you suddenly all in the raw?

ll these and more could be revealed, statistically and with scientific precision.

Dreams are not to be dismissed. Holy scriptures are replete with instances when dreams have foretold what was still to be.

Did not Caesar disregard the warning about the ides of March? “He is a dreamer. Let us leave him. Pass,” he had said, without letting the warning mean anything at all.

So here you are now, at the end of my dream! The dream of Rajbir Deswal.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Reforms in police administration have rarely focussed on the much-harassed policemen at the grassroots. As they play an important role at the cutting edge, they need to be trained and equipped well to meet the challenges
Reforms must begin at the grassroots
Rajbir Deswal (THE TRIBUNE)

THE policemen at the grassroots do not get the attention they deserve. When a crisis erupts suddenly at the cutting edge level, they find it difficult to handle it in the absence of adequate training. Their intelligence system often fails and things go out of control, making it difficult for even their seniors to salvage the damage done. No doubt, the hard-pressed subordinates have a plethora of jobs at hand. And each task cries for attention.

There are certain areas where the police action is characterised by highhandedness and violation of the avowed principles of police administration till the final run-up to a satisfactory and fruitful delivery of services expected by society at large. Free registration of crime is still a far cry. Complainants do not get feedback on their petitions, recoveries are fake. And witnesses are non-committal and planted.

Police continue to use third-degree methods to get quick results. Forensic science tools are not fully employed. Intelligence gathering is poor. Most arrests are unwarranted; these are made only to extract money in many cases. Poor infrastructure and resources and outdated communication equipment leave the police far behind the criminals.

Mr K. Koshy, former Director-General, Bureau of Police Research & Development, suggests various reforms in the Indian context to stem the rot. According to him, “open the reporting in police stations to the public. The sentry should concentrate on the prisoner and the malkhana, not to stand there just to intimidate the public. The reporting room should be made a pleasant place with modern bank-like atmosphere. In the UK, the reporting officers are more often than not civilians, specially trained to handle the public. Call Centre type of training should be given to those who attend the telephones. A PRO, as in the US, should be made available for giving out the latest position of cases, complaints, verifications, and other outcomes.” What we lack in Indian police is their non-appreciation of the concept of “participative policing by the people” as in Singapore; social policing as in Sweden; and community-oriented policing as in the UK, Hong Kong, Canada and the US.

Of course, some states like Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have taken a lead in this regard by enacting laws and building bridges with the community by setting up police-public committees. Ground work, delivery, action and results will flow naturally if the police adapt itself for purposes of investigation to free registration, faithful recording of a complaint (FIR), recording direct evidence corroborated by scientific and forensic attributes, not using third-degree methods, joining genuine witnesses and not from the stock, not making arrests where they are unwarranted and, above all, winning the trust and confidence of the people.

There is a need to tone up the police administration on modern lines. The police can win the hearts of the people by speedy redressal of their grievances; by making themselves available in times of crises; by being courteous; by empathising with them and, above all, by pursuing a thoroughly honest approach to every task they undertake.

The International Association of the Chiefs of Police has debated the issue of ‘Citizens Review’ which envisages “public concerns about racial profiling, excessive use of force, deliberate violations of sanctioned evidence handling procedures, and corruption creating mistrust.” The apparent failure to contain these issues causes public policymakers to consider alternatives. As these issues bear focus on the ground zero, every effort should be made to implement them. All action begins with the first-responder not only in a crisis situation but in peace time too.

The police reforms should begin with the clearly mandated assignment of tasks, fixing responsibility in case of any failure, ensuring proper and fair recruitment and putting through need-based training, regulating day-to-day policing keeping the community interests and expectations in mind, ensuring a speedy and transparent delivery of service to the stakeholders.

Police reforms at the grassroots need to correct the wrongs the functionaries indulge in, in the absence of effective supervision and no accountability fixed on them. Stringent punishment should be given to those found on the wrong side of the law. Action should be initiated against cops for their acts of collusion, highhandedness, corruption and so on. In the US, if a police officer is accused of withholding the truth, or is lying during a trial, in all cases that he stands as the official witness, his testimony is taken with a pinch of salt and is discarded as an interested witness.

There is need for separate police wings in a police station to cover four major areas: investigation and detection; law and order; regulatory duties like traffic, service of summons and warrants etc; and special cells to cater to cyber crime, economic offence, juveniles and trauma victims. It is only the tactical squad which should handle riot and arson cases where crowd control is to be exercised.

Plethora of duties

An average policeman in the country is overburdened with too many duties everyday, besides attending to calls and complaints of various kinds from the people.

Since the ground zero of all activity is the police station, action revolves around prevention, detection and investigation of crime; maintenance of public order; traffic regulation; prosecution and court duties; escorting and production of convicts and undertrials; executing summons and warrants; patrolling the areas and borders; carrying out raids; rushing to accident spots; carrying out various character verifications; VIP security; tracking gangs; and monitoring mafias on radar.

He/she is duty-bound to join parades and drills, acquire knowledge on firearms and ballistics, forensic science, cyber crime, white and blue collar crimes and on gathering intelligence.

Nowadays, the policeman is also involved in tackling crimes bearing on national and internal security, caste and regional conflicts, communications and wireless, video conferencing and crowd control.

There are certain areas where the police action is characterised by highhandedness and violation of the avowed principles of police administration till the final run-up to a satisfactory and fruitful delivery of services expected by society at large.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gals n Dudes!

Chants n chimes,
Wants n climes,
Monin and moods.
Reasons n rhymes,
Dollars n dimes,
Tempers, attitudes.
Happiness n times,
Bruises n shines,
Horns n hoods.
Natty n grimes,
Naivety n crimes,
Cool n slimes,
Liqour n limes,
Gals n dudes.

Rajbir Deswal Feb 16 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Panipat Flyover Has Much Under It!!! Look Down. The Memory lane!

The legend of Panipat
Rajbir Deswal
PANIPAT comes with a tag not only of history, but mythology, culture, industry, Sufism, poetry, Hindu-Muslim amity, Partition-tales and a vast account of exponential indulgences of Islamic scholars.
Panipat was one of the five villages sought by the Pandavas from the Kauravas, besides Sonepat, Tilpat, Baghpat and Indrapat. ‘Pat’ got corrupted from Sanskrit word prastha.
Legendary Sufi Saint Bu Ali Shah Qalandar, who lived in Panipat, was adored equally by the Hindus and the Muslims, and that contributed a great deal to the amity between the people of two religions
Famous poet Maulana Hali was born in Panipat, who contributed immensely to Persian and Urdu literatures; besides noted writer K. A. Abbas and yesteryear actor Jeevan.
‘Panipati’ is an acceptable accent of recitation of Holy Quran called Misri Lehza. Panipat Gharana is established in exponential vocal classical music. Many a poet and rich persons used to pride themselves with the title ‘Panipati’.
Qadi Thanaullah Panipati and Nazim Panipati were the proud products of the historical town. Nazim Panipati wrote Lata Mangeshkar’s first song "Dil mera toda, mujhe kahin ka na chhoda, tere pyar ne."
Called the ‘Manchester of the East,’ Panipat did not have many industries until the World War II, when some blanket manufacturing units were set up here for Army supplies.
The three decisive battles fought here, in many ways changed the future map of India. En route to Delhi, Panipat was a natural halt, West of Yamuna, for centuries, for the invaders from the North. The culture, in and around Panipat, could not remain unaffected due to these invasions and battles.
Folk tales and folklore of this particular pocket still have impressions (read scars) of the barbarism let loose by the invaders and the chivalric fight put up by the locals, who eternally remained the victims of plundering and marauding.
Under the command of Sadashivrao Bhau, the Marathas fought valiantly but Bhau was feared to the extent that even mothers put their infants to sleep, whispering in their ears hau — someone dreaded.
Kala Amb (black mango) earned its name because of the dried-up blood that made the entire area black, during the Third Battle of Panipat. Panipat still boasts of typical Muslim architectural designs in the havelis and mansions of many rich people.
No Hindu-Muslim riots took place here, ever. In fact, legendary Sufi Saint Bu Ali Shah Qalandar, who lived here and performed many miracles, was adored by Hindus and Muslims, equally. Out of his 19 spiritual masters, 11 were Muslims and eight were Hindus a fact that contributed great deal to Hindu-Muslim amity
Some structures around Panipat, the Mamu-Bhanja Sarai in Gharaunda, the Khawaza Khizar tomb near Gannaur (Sonepat) and many KOS Minars that dot the GT Road, are historical testimony to Panipat being a central place for a civilised Hindu-Muslim pocket.
Close to Panipat lived Sufi Saint Meeran Sahib (at Karnal), who, with the help of his disciples, rescued two Hindu girls, abducted by men from Aurangzeb’s army and lost his life in the process. Another pilgrimage Mughal Pul, now called Pucca Pul, has thousands of Hindus paying their obeisance at the peer’s mazar even today.
Once, Panipat was also famous for its rich Nawabs. I can recall a scene from Pakeezah when a costly carpet was gifted to one of the nauotch-girls as having been sent by Nawab Panipati although no vices like prostitution ever flourished here.
Most appropriate way to round off a peek into Panipat’s past would be appropriate with a couplet by Hali:
"Khudee ko kar buland itna, ke har taqdeer se pehle/ Khuda bande se khud puchhe, bata teri raza kya hai"
(Your sublime spiritual heights of self-actualisation may compel even Almighty seeking it from you what destiny you choose for yourself)
Whoever said battles should have grounds, but grind too.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Who knows!

All that appears
Barren, stark and desolate
May have
An austere and bare
Need based lush
Who knows
All that is
Perceived as such
May be
As productive.
Maybe more.
For it has
Ground enough!

Rajbir Deswal Jan 30

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I couldn't reply to her question!

I reviewed Indrani Gylstian's novel "Daughters of the East" for The Tribune. Her 'last' one "Crane's Mouring" was revieved by Khushwant Singh. I had some connection with her through KS only and sent him the review. He passed it on to her in Chaibasa (Assam) and confirmed it to me. But she asked me in a letter if I liked the IPS!
I could not send her my reply since by then she had ended her life.
I rememebr Khushwant Singh lamenting the loss as one would at ones own! Be in peace Indirani whereever you are. And yes, I like the IPS!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Symbols only!

Symbols have
a symbolism only
of only that is
Apologies for the two
Just a symbolism.
No, not of apology.
But only.
I say
what I see only!

Rajbir Deswal Jan 9 2011


Flame I like
For its foggy glow.
Firey feelings,
Light n flow.
Ever upward
Slow n slow!

Rajbir Deswal Jan 8 2011

पल पल पल पल हर पल पल !!!

पल ठहर जाते हैं
पल फिसल जाते हैं
पल निकल जाते हैं
पल संभल जाते हैं
पल सहेजे जाते हैं
पल संवारे जाते हैं
पल निखारे जाते हैं
पल निहारे जाते हैं
पल बिताए जाते हैं
पल सजाये जाते हैं
पल बहाये जाते हैं
पल पाले जाते हैं
पल खाली भी जाते हैं
पल पल पल पल
हर पल हर पल

राजबीर देसवाल जनवरी ८ 20111

Friday, January 7, 2011


Lament is a moment,
laid back,
or laid down,
or laid gone,
for the ones,
who missed the bus,
but regret missing it.
to be paid,
on payment,
not made!
Rajbir Deswal Jan 7 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

जमी कुछ बात? Hyperbole-To!

Hyperbole are used to enhance effect and exaggerate. Like the Grandpa telling us चींटी चढ़ी पहाड़ पे लेकर नौ मन तेल एक हाथ में हाथी- घोड़े एक हाथ में रेल . On this yet another chilly day I can believe the oldman telling us that “Once upon a time the winters were extreme to near freezing temperament that you had to heat up the frozen, spoken words after heating them on a grill. जमी कुछ बात? क्यूं पूछते हैं लोग ये. इतनी सर्दी में तो हर बात जम जायेगी. ये भी! कह के देखिये! अगर मुंह खोलने कि हिम्मत है तो! देखा क्या से क्या निकल जाता है, मतलब . कड़ाके कि ठण्ड में. अब जमी बात!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


In wintery fog
pale and outlived yellow leaves
on tree tops
seem to brighten up the
dusty, dusky and misty
as red rhododendron flowers
spread a firey treat
to eyes
in summers!
Seasons’ in-things.
Not out-dated.
But accommodated.
And updated!

Rajbir Deswal Jan 5 2011

My 2 Finds at the Solar Eclipse at Kurukshetra!

Met Saurabh Chowdhury my FB friend with reference to The Pioneer and had good intellectuall stuff to discuss with him although it was a short fling during the Solar Eclipse at Kurkshetra.
The eclipsed Sun in the pic is throug my camera.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

When Vishvamitra wanted 'promotion':Hoor Meneka Stung Him!
The Tribune Review of Hoor Menaka:The Seductress
Of folk theatre, tribes and communal politics
Reviewed by Randeep Wadehra

Hoor Menaka: The Seductress
by Rajbir Deswal
Pages: 48. Rs. 50
Since ancient times, there have been mutually enriching exchanges between folklore and Sanskrit texts. This is evident from the stories appearing in the various Puranas having similarities with those having plebian roots like oral literature. Haryana’s swang is a fine example of this process which involved a creative mix of history, mythology and fantasy. The story of Menaka and Vishvamitra appears, with certain variations, in different texts ranging from the Mahabharata to Kalidasa’s works. Some experts see in these stories evidence of ethnicity and caste-based rivalries. People from different castes used to become ascetics, called rishis. While Brahmins had the sole right to become devrishis (divine ascetics, the highest status an ascetic could reach), Kshatriyas could aspire to become rajrishis (royal ascetics, second-rung status). Rajrishi Vishvamitra was performing severe austerities in order to achieve his life’s ambition of becoming devrishi; but his enemies, who knew how insecure Indra always felt about his throne, decided to thwart Vishvamitra. They knew Indra would lend his ear to anyone who posed as his well-wisher and forewarned him of an impending threat. And, Indra was not above using his court’s females to seduce and destroy his potential rivals. Menaka, the celestial nymph, was the most desirable of females in Indra’s realm known as Indralok.

Thus, Indra sends Menaka to interrupt Vishvamitra’s penance and cause his fall. This slim volume explores the mindscapes of the two major characters – Menaka and Vishvamitra – when she descends from the heavens to seduce him. This work, originally in the form of Haryanvi folk theatre swang authored by Pt Lakhmi Chand, goes beyond Menaka’s success in her mission. It uses Shakuntala’s birth and subsequent abandoning by her parents as vehicle for message against female foeticide. That such efforts were on in rural Haryana even before the movement to protect the girl-child became fashionable would not have become known had Rajbir Deswal not published its English version. Kudos to him.