Thursday, April 23, 2009

Things(supposed to be ten) That Make Me Emotional

This is a tag, by IHM. I was supposed to write about 10 things, in brief, I guess, that make me emotional. But I went berserk and wrote about everything that makes emotional, sentimental, angry and mental. These are the things that make me cry, and make me gnash my teeth.

1. There are 1.15 Billion people in India. That is one huge number. That is one fifth of humanity. If those 1.15 were to even shout in unison, once, it would deafen everyone, maybe trigger quakes. It would not just be a force to reckon with, it would be The Force, with or without nuclear weapons. We are yet to see that day. Prime reason to be emotional.

2. Bharat Mata makes me emotional. A mother who has children, so eager and willing to desecrate her. A mother who is not even considered as their mother by quite a few. A mother who was hacked into pieces once, and if things don't change, will get hacked into a few more.

3. The Political Leaders - Especially when the elections are around. Once in every 5 years you get to see what a wonderful and vibrating democracy you are a part of. The Political Circus cum World War, all gunning for Power. Forgetting the real issues, and making up fake ones. About PM's to be from a list of people, who are too old, too foreign, too meek or too corrupt and uncouth to do justice to it. And the latest addition to this beautiful and bright bunch of desh-ka-netaa’s is our very Gandhigiri-walla Munnabhai, who has lost it, completely. The wife. The Political Party. The Public Speeches. What next? I hope the Late Sunil Dutt jee's soul is at peace.

4. Mahapurush Bhagat Singh and the Other Lost Heroes of India. Chanakya. Swami Vivekananda. Netaji Bose. Aurobindo Ghosh. When we not busy singing and dancing over Gandhijee, who it seems, was the only great person to have been born on this land, we can also try and study these heroes as well, who might have been less in stature but were no less great.

5. Riots - It is not a war, it has no rules, there is no Geneva Convention, and it is just a clash between two groups, no holds barred and barbaric. And it brings shame, infamy, unrest to the country, and power to the corrupt.

6. Secularism, the way it is practiced in India, makes me emotional. The twisted, contorted, I-will-use-it-as-it-suits-me form of it. The Madani and Pragya Singh kind. The Karunanidhi,Vaiko,Raj Thackeray and Varun Gandhi kind . If one deserves the NSA, then so do the others, or at least something similar. No political party is secular. If you ask for votes on the basis of religion, caste or language, or race (Aryan-Dravidian bull shit), how can you claim to be secular? What gets my goat is that some get away with this hypocrisy. This bandying with “secular” and “communal” is funny at times.

7. Aryan-Dravidian, North-South, Illad & Ghati & Bhaiiya and Chinki make me emotional. That people think that North Indians are descendants of Aryans and South Indians are Dravidians . Do I fucking look like an Aryan descendant to any one ? I am 5 feet 8 inches tall. I have black hair and brown eyes. And if I had not been afraid of getting a tan, I would have gone out in the sun more, and been darker. The concept of a race, once again, Western, that has been imposed on the Indian mind. How will we have one race, and by race I mean a group of people with common features. India is so diverse from its tip to toe, and people change accordingly. The Kashmiris will be fairer, and the Keralites will be darker on an average. When the body is subjected to more heat, it shrinks in size, and that could be the reason why the people from Haryana or Punjab are taller. We do not have been one religion, race, or language to be one nation, but one in spirit.

“Race does not make an Indian, religion does not make me an Indian, but history does, and in the long run, it is History which counts” – Ruskin Bond

8. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, 26/11 and the entire episode. There was this banner with the images of the brave men who died, and Major Sandeep was one of them. And every time, I looked at it while walking to work, it made me cry. It was hard controlling my tears in public, I used to hide behind my handkerchief and bite my tongue. Every time, without fail. I don't know why, but it seems as if I lost someone who was close to me. Someone I had never heard of, had never seen before, but still was like a brother. That makes me very emotional and sentimental. It makes me cry and wince that He was martyred and his father had to face that AcchuthNandan. The fact that almost 5 months have gone by and yet nothing concrete has taken place. The fact that on 26th November 2010 , a bunch of fools led by Ms. Sar-kha, literally, eat-my-head(I dare not use her actual name, lest I am sued as well) would light multicoloured scented candles for those who died , sing patriotic songs , air this on the 24/7 Crap Spewing News Channels, and then carry on with their lives . And I would wring my hands, curse in the choicest expletives and write another post.

9. Rape, the Indian sex ratio and the plight of Women
Why do men rape? Why do they eve tease? Why do they molest? Why do they resort to acid attacks? Why do they burn their woman for dowry? Why do they want sons alone? Who will those sons marry (if those poor guys become gay out of frustration, may be they will be lynched or ostracized for being so)? Why do they beat their wives? Why do they kill their daughters? What honour does it bring to a man when he takes the life of a woman who is her own flesh and blood? What dishonour does a woman bring to her family when she is the victim of some twisted bastard's uncontrollable lust?

I wonder whether being a father of daughters would be good idea at all. I would rather be childless than raise a daughter in this hell hole of a world .Where at every step, and every moment, you have to be on guard. WTF do we do about it? This world cannot exist without women. The Indian sex ratio suggests that woman kind is a like fast depleting natural resource, and I say resource, because that is the way most of the existing ones are treated like. The subject of family honour, the object of sexual desire and so on and so forth.

I remember reading about the rape of that Girl in Delhi by a gang of 10 or so scum bags, and how incensed and agitated was I. And now you have this TISS episode. I have often asked this question, and never found a real answer. I have often tried to analyse the psyche of a rapist, and never could arrive at a concrete conclusion. And I still cannot fathom, why? Why do men rape? What is it that manifests itself into an inspiration to rape? And if the reason is pent up sexual energy or sexual frustration, then why not go to a prostitute, which inspire of being illegal, is in every nook and corner of the country. And about prostitution, the leaders have all the time to be secular and communal, and preserve culture and language, but they have no time for these women. Even theirs is a lost cause, like the Kashmiri Pundits.

The things I would like to do, personally, to a rapist would definitely get me certified as a psycho. So I won't mention it.

This episode of South Park,Eat,Pray,Queef , sends a very subtle message. It is very disgusting and will gross most of you out, but the underlying message is about the discrimination between men and women. That is the brilliance of South Park. It shocks, and awes. Read the plot, if you can’t bear to watch the entire episode.

10. The plethora of brain dead and stupid TV shows, the 24/7 news channel, advertisements and movies, reality TV - The incredibly stupid advertisements brimming with corniness, the mass of brain-cell-killing movies that is thrown at us in the name of entertainment. Are we brain dead? Do they want us to be brain dead?

The apple of MTV’s eyes – Roadies and Splits Villa! It never ceases to amaze me, as to how dumb can people get. What makes me sad that it is so immensely popular. The kind of young people that participate in it make me even sadder. They are the youth of this country , my peers , my generation . Is the brain a vestigial organ for them, for this Pepsi sponsored Youngistaan ? And I have never come across a stupider coined term . Youngistaan? What the hell is that ! And it seems that the more you abuse and cuss in these shows, the more they get to bleep it and the cool quotient increases tremendously. It all becomes so "real", doesn't it? What the BLEEP!

And the news channels, with their pretentious holier-than-thou anchors. What the hell do they think of themselves? They so clearly are sided with political parties. It seems as if they are running a propaganda campaign of their own. Remember what Karunandhi said about Ram, “Who is this guy? Which engineering college did he go to?” Now let us substitute Karunandhi with Modi and the religious character with Jesus or the Prophet? What do you think will happen? Sarkha, Turdesai and Sadi-garika would go medieval on Modi, or any leader who dares say that. There will be a huge hullaballoo about how intolerant and the communal is the party in question. May be, one of these brilliant anchors might take a telephonic interview of Sarkozy, who will air his views on religious intolerance in India.

Every time I switch on my TV, I find it very hard not to fling a brick at it. The truly idiot box makes me intensely emotional.

p.s. How do I know so much about the dumb shows aired on MTV? Thanks to my flatmates, Anshuman and Ankit (names changed), are stuck to the TV set like moths to a flame, when those shows are on. One of them ogles at the women, while the other cries when their favourite fool is about to get the boot. They metamorphosize into a dumber and shallower versions of themselves!

11. Ramayana and Mahabharata – I have done some research over it, and I think it is a part of our History, and not mythology. It is a very personal belief, and I do not expect everyone to endorse my views. And my research on it is far from over. Even if you don’t consider it as History, it is a part of our heritage and culture. There are so many valuable lessons to be learned from it.

A parallel, I think that would make some sense. Imagine that India, through some stroke of luck, gets a truly great leader, who is popular across the length and the breadth, a leader of the masses, and one who is a good human being as well. Now, the family of this Great Indian Leader is taken hostage by a group of terrorists (who do not belong to any religion). And unless their demands are met, you know what happens. So, what do you think should our GIL do? Should he sacrifice his family for the Nation, or should he take the risk of fulfilling the terrorist's demands, and hope for the best? What would you do? Would you be a great leader or a good husband ?

I think this is the kind of choice Shree Ram had to face, when he had to banish Sita Mata at the behest of a two bit washer-man. But then, that is what Ram Rajya signifies, I guess. The King throws away his own wife, whose purity is unquestionable, to appease one of his "praja”, a mere washer-man. Personally, I would say this to the washer-man, "GFY”. But that does not mean the Ramayana has nothing to teach us. And the same goes for Mahabharata. The injustices Karna and Sita had to face do not imply that all is bad. No, all is well that ends well, and it is not a perfect world. Dismissing these two as mere mythology is not fair. It is quite possible, that Krishna and Ram were not avatars of Vishnu, but just two very great men who walked this Earth. Quite possibly, a few of the accounts could be exaggerated. I think it is history, even if blown out of proportion. I think it is quite possible they had technology; for even Robert Oppenheimer believed so (I had to quote a Westerner's name to make it more credible). Knowledge is cyclic, and not linear. And most importantly, I would rather put a question mark than dismiss it as BS.

12. The Rise of China. It is the single largest threat to India. And we are busy pretending to be secular, gyrating with our ever vibrating democracy, while those Red Devils are heading towards Global Supremacy. We are not even strong enough to be an Asian Power, and yet, every now and then, some educated ostentatious fool would come up with an article propounding how we have become a power or soon will be. What a load of crap. We will never be a power with Naxalite in our yard. We will never be a power with riots and terrorist attacks. And, the worst of all, China might do a 62 again, and we won’t even know what hit us.

13. Regional Parties - There are so bloody many of them. The more they are lesser the chances of a stable government. Each with their own ideology cut-out, their pretence to be secular or communal, their quest for the rights of “their” people. You may think otherwise, but I think it reflects that we are becoming an even more divided society. If only we could have a bi or a tri party system.

14. Saviours /Critics of Hindu Dharma – People who misunderstand and misinterpret Hindu culture, Hindu Religion , Hindu Philosophy and Hindutva(the elements of being a Hindu) , and use it to their advantage to win some votes or popularity , by either pretending to be the protectors or by criticizing it incessantly . I despise both the kind.

15. Religious Intolerance – I am not a kaffir. I am not a heathen. Neither is my religion the best, nor is yours. I won’t convert. I won’t let you proselytize. And never will I ask you to convert to mine. If you believe in God, then I am his child as you are. Even if you don’t, I am still a human, as you are.

16. Humanity. Yes. We, People, the homosapiens, this species make me emotional and angry. "Oooo, we are humans, we cook our food, and sleep on beds, live in houses, use technology at the drop of a hat and speak intelligible languages. We have a societal structure and we are smart. And that makes us better than the rest of species. We are so precious. " . And yet we kill, we murder, we never run out of reasons to fight over, are raping this planet every instance of our existence. Yes, we are intelligent, but what the fuck is that good for? Is our evolution and development in sync with our natural environment? How much of our technology is green? Our pretence of being better than the so called lesser species is farcical, and we should not be allowed to compare the lesser of our own species to animals. You know, phrases like "worse than an animal" or "animal like behaviour”. Animals are way better than us. I guess it is the curse of having a much more evolved brain. It should come with a statutory warning "The actions undertaken by the individual under the influence of this organ may be injurious to the planet”.

17. Casteism - How dumb do you have to be, to engage in a battle over caste? The differences of race and religion are visible, but what about those of caste? You can say that certain castes are forward and certain backward, because of their financial standing, but even that is not the case always. Poverty strikes all. And yet, we vote, we fight, we marry and we socialize on the basis of caste. May be urban India does not do it that much, but this DOES go on in rural India, and not just in the BIMARU states, but throughought the nation.

As IHM said, there are quite a few things which make me angry. And instead of 10, I got 17, so far. :) They make my blood boil and BP soar so much, that at times I think, living in the world as a regular person would make me lose it someday. I should move to the Himalayas, and start my "vanprastha" and take a stab at "moksha". ;) Okay, even if I don't do that, it would still keep me cooler and saner. I guess I have said it all, or rather most of it. So if I die in a terrorist attack or a riot, I would have the satisfaction that I ranted most of it out.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Footballer and The Physicist

A Physicist explaining football to his son

"It is a very interesting game son . Specially from the point of classical mechanics . 22 Human bodies and 1 spherical object, in a system , not to mention , the supposedly neutral entities called the referees . So many different variables . The speed of the wind, the moisture content, the sound energy disseminated by the cheering fans, what an incredibly dynamic and chaotic system. And amidst all this, the genius of football , the men chasing down a ball , which , to be at the precise moment, has to be in a trajectory towards the goal, such that the paths of the two bodies involved in 3 dimensional motion , namely the goalie and the ball, do not intersect each other, and the goal gets home. It is such marvelous sight, the ball entering the goal in an environment having so many different, dynamic and some times totally independent variables.If you look at it mathematically, the probability that a goal occurs, when you take into account the number of different mutually inclusive and exclusive events, is astounding . That is why my son, Football kicks ass . Everything fits together with such precision . It is an absolute delight for the senses of an individual with a logical and analytical brain , and a keen observation . It is a drug for the brain , the way it makes my brain throb with joy , my child ."

A footballer explaining football to his son

"It is magic my boy . The feel of wind in your face . The roar of the fans . The smell of sweat and dust . The touch of leather against your skin . The clashing bodies . The adrenaline rush . The blood, the crash and the thump . The high of a goal . And the low of a miss . It is almost pulsating with its own life . And at the end of the day, as you strut around the arena like a modern day gladiator , with your opponents bowing, and your fans and team-mates howling with joy, almost orgasmic , it is one of the most wonderful experiences . Every important win and loss, is a triumph of your spirit over life or losing a bit of yourself . It is heavenly, and extremely intoxicating. The best high you can ever get . It is so pure,pristine and beautiful . It is a drug for the heart, the way it makes it soar with joy , son ."

This is how I perceive two people, a footballer and a physicist might explain the game of football to their :
- son
- daughter
- randomStrangerWhoMightExpressInterestInFootball

Two very different perspectives .

And now replace physicists and footballers with Theists/Atheists/Priests/Rabbis/Scientists/Preachers of Different Faiths. And football would be God,the omnipresent,omniscient,omnipotent, entity, the parody of which is the flying_spaghetti_monster , the white bearded gentleman with a big booming voice wearing white robes and a staff of Gold, Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty, the Universal Spirit , the Guy some think is not there , the Guy some think is there but not listening , the Guy whom you guys think wants you to fight over whose way of dialing the Guys number is the best , the Guy who could actually be a Gal OR the Guy who is neither a Guy or a Gal but beyond the triviality of names,images,forms and sex, and yet you still make a big deal of it .

How crazy does it really sound ?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Empty Spaces

Empty houses
Empty schools
Empty parks
Empty temples
Empty graveyards
Empty roads
Empty streets
I see the world empty.
Is it really empty
Or am I deluded.
Even if I am,
But what about our hearts?
I feel a void there created by us
When we lied and didn't repent,
When we stole and didn't repent,
When we raped and didn't repent,
When we killed and didn't repent,
When we turned our motherland into abattoirs,
For all the" good reasons"
Of course we didn't repent then
After all it was done for a "good reason"
Place a mirror.
Which one is the object ?
Which one is the reflection?
What is reality ?
What is illusion?
Empty world or empty heart?
Is emptiness engulfing us
or are we engulfing the emptiness?
I feel empty
I feel full,
Empty of goodness
Full of evil.

p.s I did NOT write this poem . She did . And I am proud of her . :)