Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Delusional expressions

In an interview during the last TN state assembly election, Cho Ramasamy was asked what would be his advice to Jayalalitha. He was quick to reply, “I will say what I want to say to her, in person. I don’t need to tell it to you or the public.” Harsh it maybe for the viewers, but that is the appropriate way to address the situation. Why should he publicize the suggestions he put forth to someone? It isn’t after all a diplomatic conversation between the head of states, the gist of which should be updated to their fellow citizens (assuming they are interested in the welfare of their nation). Those kinds of press releases are only done by politicians and sundry, to hog the limelight or for other ulterior motives.

But, in today’s networking world, when everyone is fast becoming a limelight moth, it isn’t surprising that people are fast becoming calculative termites, like their politico-businessmen counterparts, measuring every syllable they publish in the glamorous world. To thrive in the fiercely competitive space, they know they have to be up to date & witty in their spinoffs of the latest happenings of the world. Trolls, spams, viral, whichever term you give them, all they care for is to imprint their unique style in the trending topics. Is it to satiate their self-pride or is it to show off that they have – ‘been there; done that’? Maybe. Is it to grab the attention of the opposite sex in their social circle? Could be. During my father’s college days, the smartest gang of his class would be friends only with people who read ‘Ponniyin Selvan’. Is there a similar peer pressure now, if not the same? Might be.

If these possible explanations, all of which speaks about the societal awareness of the fellow citizens, are untrue, why do people wish happy birthday to their friends in facebook who they know/meet in person? Is it some social experiment on how many friends will wish the birthday kid, so that he/she can show the middle finger to the next popular figure in the vicinity? To be honest, it is fair on the part of people who might not be able to get in touch with that person, but why do people post happy birthday to their father or some relative in these social networking sites? Do their fathers measure love by how much their sons publicize it to the world? Or for that matter are they actually in these sites to see the status message?

But, social networking sites being the place where ones’ creativity is tested, those explanations are ought to be true. So when it is Rajini’s birthday, people crank their right brain to come up with something unique which will generate a lot of likes, shares and hopefully a lot of RTs. One tweets - ‘today is world style day’, while another posts - ‘today should be declared a national holiday’. But someone else tops them all by posting - ‘dear birthday, happy Rajini to you’. Who wouldn’t post such messages if it is going to give them a lot of followers later. My question to these idiocentric people who wear the mask of fans spamming the media & internet: will you risk climbing a 40 feet cut-out of the superstar to do palabhisekam if you are that crazy about him? Or at least spend a dime to send roses to his place? I am not against fanaticism or superstar for that matter; but it is disheartening to see people capitalizing on someone else’s reach for their own benefits. They are the same people who, sitting in comfort of their homes, scream against the government asking to support Anna Hazare.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The sorting hat

Often in the corporate & real world you will have to put the sorting hat on people & events to categories & classify them - is it right or wrong? 

In an era marred by different shades of black and white it would sound rhetoric if I were to say we are still typecasting everything into some prejudiced realm. Yet, from branding a man who is against following the dogmas of his religion as an atheist, to branding someone as a spendthrift because he went on an expensive vacation, till tagging someone as a supporter of one political party because he opposed the proposal of another party, we indeed are sorting everything into either this or that.

There is an innate tendency in us humans to categorize things as we observe. We keep on assessing everything, as information after information start trickling into the system, trying to figure out where to place them. We only want to assimilate the most important of information – a gist of the whole, in order to approach the data holistically. Yes, we have the inborn talent to tide things up (don’t ask how our rooms end up untidy then). But this very act to be organized leads to a lot of filtering, which eventually destroys, or in our case, forgo some valid information that sounded stupid back then. Consequentially, we come to a premature conclusion. That is why a person who follows an actor’s products diligently get called as his fan; and after branding him with that image, it becomes blasphemous when he says he didn’t like one of the actor’s film.  On the flipside, a person gets branded as ‘XYZ actor hater’ when he doesn’t like his performance in one of his movies. If someone had time to ask further, he might have said he loved his performance in some other film of his.

The reason behind these premature classifications is that, the mind gets conditioned to accept such categories as a yardstick for judging and assessing information because of the huge pool of examples supporting it. As a consequence, a man criticizing women is referred as chauvinist (& not even as male-chauvinist) and to some extent as misogynic. Such conditioned minds eventually imbibe a convoluted understanding of the events and begin to examine them through their bifurcated lens. What they see through the lens is that a pain killer is actually a pain curer because one doesn’t feel pain after having it.

As we open up to a new era, where everything from tv ads to carrier choices becomes subjective, it is important to treat every person and every event differently and uniquely and not based on past events. Because when we base our judgments on past events and principles we tend to limit ourselves to past result. After all, it is better to be an open minded person than a broad minded person.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Reading the introduction that Rajeev Nanda (the author) gives to his new book ‘Conversations’, one would get the feeling that it is going to be a highly complicated philosophical rant, especially because he pays tribute to the likes of Ayan Rand, Aristotle, Victor, etc. Although it is not heavy on your brain, ‘Conversations’ does turn out to be a preachy collage of various controversies that the bourgeois faces in this generation.

Primarily ‘Conversations’ is a collection of poems and novellas of the author, each varied in plot, yet linked by the idea to invoke rationalism & individualism within oneself. This it does by plunging deeper into the inner self questioning some of the conventional & controversial things that the Indian community today faces in its personal life: be it in motherland or abroad and tries to answer some of them while predominantly succeeds in making the reader think in a different perspective. But the problem starts when the reader feels a déjà vu, in these sermons. Adding to that, the style of writing which though isn’t complex to be fair, is quite bland and uninspiring.

In most of the novellas that features in this book, the story or rather the concept is commendable, yet, the approach to convey that lacks the extra punch that would push the reader to turn to the next page. If not for the job to review this book, I wouldn’t have cared to finish this book, which neither brings a smile to my face nor captivates my imagination and by that my brain. Agreed there were instances where the novellas did ooze of great ideas, but it never got backed by the requisite skills to prune it in an appealing manner. As a result, all the concepts and ideas are served to us stark naked. Were it been a book on theories and case studies on those theories, this blunt approach could have work, but for a medium which requires huge amount of freshness and novelty the book craves for want of creativity in expressing those noble ideas.

Disappointments apart, the book boosts of some wonderful poems. Though the poem lacks in the same department as did the novellas, the inherent advantage of a poem to be serene without divulging much, augers well here. On the contrary, Rajeev forgets to employ the same art in the novellas. For example, in the short story – ‘Intersection’ a highly character driven novella, the contrasting characters instead of conveying their contrast through events, resort to verbal descriptions. As a result the pain that the lead characters endure doesn’t reach the readers; in short the emotional connect that is needed for such philosophical tales is missing. I wonder if Rajeev had Paulo Coelho as his inspiration this could have avoided, for both take simple events and try to weave a philosophical tale out of it. The problem can also be due to the fact that each story has simplistic endings – far away from reality that doesn’t justify the complex scenario that was built up in the story earlier – example – soldier.

To sum up, ‘Conversations’ is recommended for readers who are novices to philosophical books.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Curt & conceited - bloggers of the day

There is a fierce battle raging within the internet community off late: a battle for prestige. Prestige here doesn’t mean standing up for a cause or for what one believes in. Prestige here is being the first person to blog on a trending topic – essentially to capitalize on the first player advantage; to have an opinion on every other topic and thrusting it on others; to flaunt the pompous façade of their false intellectuality; to growl about the perils of triviality and snarl at people who don’t deem them important; to boost ones narcissism by participating in a frivolous event for the sole purpose of drawing attention to self by blogging about it.

As a blogger I do like to get million comments and gazillion hits for the blog I publish, but not for a blog on sleeplessness or for publishing b-grade puppy novellas that make Durjoy Datta or for that matter Sumrit Shahi’s works classic. But having come to terms with the adage that – ‘it is what that one does, that defines him’, am at wits end in not able to think beyond ‘stupidity’ to classify them, what with only their lackluster work available as yardstick.

In a world where pace defines the adeptness of a person, my qualms will only fall on deaf ears, while these conceited people keep on begging/seducing their social circle to elevate them to prophetic status by devaluing their minds.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Revolution 2020

Chetan Bhagat, the superstar of Indian ‘time-pass book’ writing, has always been severely accused for the lack of concern for the language he employs in his book. It is not the language alone; for a long time he has been criticized for stripping the art out of the writing and marketing the content with sex and toilet jokes. Yet, like any superstar, how much ever critics trash him, he sells!

The only possible question that ensues is – ‘how?’ 
Does it really matter – ‘how’? It may matter for people who have tried to emulate him: some successful, some not. But why should we bother about the intricate details of his success story? Yet we do – don’t we? In a society damned by inequalities, if one were to analyze the type of readers/ audience for any art-form here, it would come to the purview that there are two kinds of people out there: one who is enthralled by what is being said – the fresher & other by how it has been said – that’s us. That is why we bother about the intricate details of his success story – with all his clichés how did he click?

To answer that, Chetan depends on the familiarity of the tale – the very tale that had been pushed down the drain as cliché – to spread his opinions/views. One might call him the local author who decrypts the foreign authors for the bereaved bourgeois who never bothered about the basics. But he doesn’t preach philosophy either. Instead, he successfully entwines some common sense and a bit of philosophy/psychology to the readers through his characters that start out as losers.

However, for someone who wants to bring about a revolution within his target audience & India on the whole through the likes of Raghav’s pink coloured newspaper, his forte still lies in romance. The way he chiseled the character of Gopal – who comes off as someone who could write a book on how a girl would react, yet clueless as to how to convince them – is a touch of a master. There are glitches towards the end, as the book unfolds itself to melodrama by the drama king Gopal; not to forget the narcissism that is increasingly eminent in Chetan’s book, with every important character treating him as God and he in return teaching them Gita like Krishna. Yet, for portraying a romance that transcends the boundary of faith & infidelity, it really is a revolution for the target audience.

A part of this article appeared in THE HINDU - NXG

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rocking Star: A R Rahman

For someone who is known to break all clichés, an A R Rahman album interminably confronts three stages of clichés.

It all starts with the first reaction – ‘I don’t like these songs – they are bland – Rahman sir has lost the Midas touch – I wish Rahman sir gets back to his roots – blah blah blah’, while ‘true’ fans with a pinch of narcissistic euphemism says ‘Rahman sir’s music are like slow poison – they grow on you – wait for it’. But, once the initial euphoria is spent, comes remarks like – ‘I like 3/6 songs – am starting to like some of the songs – one particular interlude is awesome’. Inevitably, the final phase is filled with joyous remarks like – ‘the songs are out of the world – best album of the year – Rahman is God – Rahman has pushed the barriers once again’.
While this being the case of frenzied listeners, the cautious ‘critics’ crack their brains to decrypt the songs for us to understand them. But, eventually they too end up being redundant in saying ‘the use of XYZ raga in this manner is noteworthy – the improvisation of PQRS thaalam is brilliance at the best – the fusion of western and Carnatic music is honey to ears – the subtle variation in the notes & the pleasant staccato that convolute it are the highlight of the song’. Ultimately everyone ends up using superlative terms to describe what they undergo as they listen to an A R Rahman album (including yours truly). Though this showcases the lack of creativity that people have to express their views, taking their side, I feel when you are in a trance it is highly difficult to express that state through words, as rightfully said in the lines – ‘joh bhi mein kehna chahun, barbhad karein alfaz mere’.

Yet, skeptics disagree and add that it is possible to quantify those pure emotions rather than be mesmerized dumbfound. But, when a song like ‘hawa hawa’ sweeps you of your feet with its ever varying note, it is ineluctable to fly in the musical air. Besides, it isn’t really a shame to lose oneself to music of someone who can make the best of tunes, better; like how ‘seheir mein’ beautifully rendered by Karthick, gets even better under the crooning of Mohit Chauhan. Because, what we experience is something akin to going back to school as a clean slate, yet with all those fresh thoughts waiting to burst out, like the mood of ‘phir se ud chala’. Yes, there is bound to be a struggling phase in naming those thoughts which were then creeping on the back of the mind, now taking center stage making us think – ‘iss lamhe ka kya kar jahun?’ But it doesn’t leave us in limbo; it asks us to question what we know, question what we want to know, to make us understand us/our desires better and to keep them with us, what is rightfully us (sadda haq – aithe raq).

In this defining journey that one undergoes all night spinning to the tune of music & thoughts within, the euphoria that fills the heart on attaining the profound state & this saturated being can only shell out superlative words.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Subversion of the mind

The day I was born, I was kept in a conditioned room because that was the standing instruction. As I grew up I was sent to a place where my mind was force-channeled to a prescribed path set by some unknown person who was being called the Author. I personally don’t know Mr. Author, but he would be my saviour throughout. He saved me from flunking in exams, from getting scolding from teachers, from embarrassments in front of fellow mates and pretty girls in my class, from facing the wrath of my parents, etc. But it was always temporal; I still felt fear creeping behind me, engulfing me in darkness. Yet a sound kept pronouncing to follow the Author religiously if I wish to see daylight. And so it continued; I abided by every rule deemed important by the Author, for he said that was the path to eternal sunshine. The day did come when my path blazed in silvery bright. The Author came in a unicorn and took me to another place along the same path. They tested me on various occasions: 8 to be precise, but I had the ever trusted Author by my side. This stretch was fairly simple. The drills were the same; the instructions from the Author - the same; fears none. The Author has imparted enough confidence in me to face the bright light for eternity. All I had to do was to follow the set rules – everything will eventually fall in place.  

Everything did eventually fall in place. Upon hearing the voice of my confidence, eternal sunshine sent for me. It was my time: time to reap the benefit of years of diligent work under the Author. But as I turned back to look for him, he vanished in the rays by then. Copping the loss, I braced myself. As the sunshine dictated terms to follow I started searching for rules to follow; there were none. It said that I hold the power to make or break a rule; that I should bend its rays to draw power. I didn’t learn to bend a ray, then comes using it to draw power. I asked for a manual, but I was given a goal list. When I asked how, it asked me to look inside to get the answer outside of the box. I searched outside and questioned inside; I searched for the Author and wandered inside. Shattered and battered I realized I was taken for a ride by the Author. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

A girl with a mind - part 1

Traditionally a balloon is used as an amusement object. Twist them; squeeze them; play with them; hell, pop them. Do what you want, for at the end they are tied down for your service. Women too belonged to that lot.

Centuries of being a dignified princess or a glorified goddess or a hardworking homemaker had certainly made women an oppressed group; but for how long? Like a balloon which takes in air as it expands, women too had been taking them all in. However, there is a threshold limit to everything; the balloon should burst at some point of time and so should the woman: eventually they did. Result is the modern day arrogant, self-centered, high minded women. But are they what they are because of their suppressed past?

Suppression is basically energy; how one nurtures it is the key for one’s growth. Some firm their base, some aim for the skies straightaway, but only some reach the sky. The ones with the strong roots are essentially the girls who have a firm understanding of the basics. While they may seem to be of ‘I don’t care who you are’ kind: highly unpredictable & hypocritical, they are simultaneously mature enough to understand the world. As a consequence, they are unaffected by the misgivings of the society. But they could develop a natural disinclination towards others, especially men who doubt their abilities and more importantly their character. After all it is but natural for a guy to doubt women as he is not cut out to be mature you see: how can he tolerate the outgrowth of a person who was below him just a decade back? Nevertheless, the girls who rise above him are the ones who are clear as to what they want in their life. If those guys have any sense at all, they won’t treat this as a race between the two sexes.

While the above lot stand up and face the world, some girls jump headlong into the ‘being independent’ bandwagon. Aiming for the sky straightaway like a ‘climber’ they eventually fall, only to blindly follow what most successful girls do. Inadvertently, they become the most vulnerable in the sect, easily susceptible to dangers from every part of the society – sexual favours being predominant. With just skin deep knowledge on this issue, the society then criticises that in hindsight it’s better for girls to stay at home draped all over. For god sake, if you are going to continue saying, ‘she was like a breath of fresh air’, let her come out for fresh air.

A world of flora is not complete without a queen: the one that eventually reaches the sky. They are the section which is neither vagabond nor high minded. Like the queen of flowers – rose, which is the symbol of love - well-guarded beneath, they may come off as juvenile at times, but when it comes to protecting their well-defined dreams, they turn into a tigress.  It doesn't mean they don't alter their path for the external world. They do, provided the cause and people they do it for, appeal them.

At times when you blow a balloon hard, it might slip away from your hand, free to wanders around. Are women of this generation hard to catch up with? To be continued …

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Indian dream - in 2D

As I reached an age where I got exposed to some well written articles, I started coming across the term ‘the Indian dream’. It was intriguing, because I never really thought it was possible for a billion people to have the same dream. But we once had: a dream to be a free country; or so they told us to believe. 64 years hence, do we still have a common dream? Is there a common thread that binds every one of us into one entity – Indian?
When I sat for my job interview, I was asked a simple question: ‘what are your short term and long term goals?’ In short they wanted to know what my dream is. The only dream I get often is where I save a damsel in distress. Another dream that teases me to reach the Meta state is when I stop a running train with just my index finger. Yes I dream of being a superhero a lot of times. We all want to be a superhero and what he stands for. We think ourselves as the purest part of the society surrounded by hooligans, questioning & comforting ourselves that we don’t deserve this situation. This dream, this vision is what we see in our movies as well: good fighting to win over the evil. Even when we make a movie about goondas & rowdies we try to justify their act of hooliganism, so that there is a good vs. evil fight at the end. We attach a purpose, a motive that makes a person right; no matter how bad an act he does, so that we can see us in him. When he eventually conquers his nemesis it’s our victory: a victory that we perceive will make everything right. On the contrary, when a movie doesn’t give a clear demarcation, it is termed as ‘loosely written’, ‘everything is left hanging’. This ability to see everything as B&W is the Indian dream I think: to plot everything in the 2D plane like the ‘good, bad’, ‘right wrong’ ‘for, against’, etc.

Take any issue of national importance; it has always been dealt with by the people in a ‘either this or that’ manner. You can either support someone or be against him. You can’t say something outside of the answer choices. I would call this impatience and a lack of perseverance. It took us 12 years of primary education to easily study a UG programme. Would we have been able to do it as a kid? When we all know there needs to be a lot of foundation & ground work required, why are we adamant in demanding results immediately? Some justify this impatience to the lack of development even after 64yrs of foundation. My question is; did we actually make a proper foundation? One government comes to make a scheme; the next government scraps it and makes a new one, which eventually gets scraped. Do we really have a defined path set for the future of our country? Instead of asking for a Shankar films like massive makeover in a matter of minutes, has anyone stopped and thought about a longer/permanent solution that will be able to adapt to the scenario of tomorrow? No, we are busy classifying the world as black and ourselves as white. But are we? A so called ‘farmer’ hates paying tax & so does everyone involved in the agricultural industry. They don’t even pay electricity bill. They say we are doing a service; why should we give our money to the government. If that is true, then why should the government relieve them of all their loans when there is drought? Go down south, to the interiors of Tamil nadu; Deer hunting is still practiced by the people there. Come to the cities; the working class goes all out to cut short a long procedure in any system. Even for rules related to safety issues, people pay bribe to avoid case being filed. From using helmets to emission control norms we don’t obey any rules. Little are we conscientious that a punishment is to make someone follow a rule. If, we don’t fear a punishment ourselves, how will a new legislation against corruption be enough to stop the corrupt? But we don’t care. We have made a great rule so we will remain complacent that everything will be fine here on. The great Indian dream fills our mind again. What does it take to make us push the envelope? What does it take to make us search for better avenues to curb such incidents? Didn’t we learn that prevention is better than cure? If we feel we are better educated than all the nethas put together, why are we following the same path as them to control injustice? Does a mother kill a child when it makes a mistake? By arresting someone for being corrupt is going to give you all the money that was swindled? Do you think 1.7 lakh crore money will come back to the government? Again we are making a precedent that we are interested in getting rid of the bad from our sight and nothing more than that.

I am not saying Lokpal is a bad law; I am not qualified enough to judge it. But my common sense tells me it is only going to satisfy the hunter in us – the Indian dream to win over the evil. We all know what happened to Sita after Rama killed Ravana. Lokpal may as well be the switch that cuts off the power to the corrupt; but little do we realise that the wire connecting the switch for empowering the citizen is obsolete. I want the wires to be laid first and then work on the switches, but the team Anna and the majority of people in metros want to take the opposite path. Either way, let there be light!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

As you tweet shall we drum

In the age of social networking, Media houses have turned to Twitter and other such sites to fill their channel for breaking news slot.

‘I am not signing the famous star’s new movie – tweets a famous actress’, says one article; another headline screams that ‘an actress is pregnant – actor friend wishes her through twitter’; meanwhile an actress’ statement about taking to yoga in her twitter page  becomes hot news for discussion in the media.

Not always can media quote these stars for their daily digest & not always are the tweets self-explanatory. When little information can be milked from a particular tweet the writers puts on his creative cap, only to use sentences from the actor’s previous tweets to frame a plausible article. If the tweet-lad didn’t provide substantial backup for the information, the media turns the plate by publishing an article like ‘twitter is buzzing with news about an actress’ secretive marriage – is it mere speculation?’ Instances like these more or less sums up to the media being publicists for these actors – unpaid. Is this what we meant when we wished for unpaid news? More than being free publicity campaign the articles has come down to the level of being nothing more than a round up of famous tweets.

Agreed gossips & interesting information capture the imagination of the audience, drawing their attention, which an editorial seldom does. We do understand that media need to be in the business to provide good news & this kind of news gives them a lot of TRP. But in an attempt to reach out to a larger audience, they have made us realize that finding/ making news is child’s play. Follow the tweeter profile of the right people in any industry and you will be the first to know even before the media breaks the news. These acts of laziness to produce an original article, wipes out the charm that a news corporation is affiliated with. Not only that, they invariable project an image that they don’t have any ownership or responsibility towards what they publish. If the tweet-lad had made a mistake in his tweet he would eventually tweet about it, which becomes a news in itself. Inadvertently, speculation has become the news article of today moving away from its analytical aspect. How many times has any media house in a neutral mind-set tried to educate its viewers when the people have been misled?

Today, News Corporation of India is marred by greater & deeper issues apart from tweet mania. In this time of crisis, the fourth corner stone of this democracy needs more than a breather to save itself. But for now it can do better without drumming to the tunes of twitter.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Samacheer Kalvi - Samachaara Kalvi

From the day we are born our growth has always been measured by how much we question our surrounding. True education happens as we acquire knowledge through reasoning. It is this principle that our ancestors had tried to impart as education – the power to reason or should we call it nirvana? In twenty first century as we are nearing the dream year 2020, education still remains a hindrance for knowledge. Yes, eighteen years of education has given me nothing more than what I have learnt about this world in the past two years as an engineer. Every professional I see, is now where he is only because of his understanding of this world. It is that driving force that had led him to acquire required knowledge. The irony being that, his sense of understanding has nothing to do with the education provided. Clearly one can see the real state of primary & secondary education in this country where people who really seek knowledge has no guidance. The whole system, from poor teachers to senile books fails to awaken the thinking power of the country’s posterity. If I feel I have got some amount of reasoning I would attribute it to my milieu. But are all blessed like the few of us? Can everyone afford to search for answers outside of the B&W words that lay in front of them?

Adding to this crisis are the numerous curriculum provided for different set of people. Indirectly it means people who are blessed with brighter parents are eligible to get the best out of the system while the self-made children remain underprivileged. It brings out a sense of demarcation amongst the younger generation even before they are ready to face the real world. What we really need is a drastic uplift for the below par curriculum. But, what rather comes out as requirement is a common system which sacrifices the higher points to accommodate the lower bracket.

Samacheer Kalvi the latest attempt to equalize the biased society in the near future seems to be nothing more than a powerful tool to degrade the society by eradicating the flowers even before their buds are formed. When, I a student of 90s, felt we were outdated in what we received in the name of education, what is the use of flushing out quality load for the present kids in the name of equality. It is synonymous to pushing the society back by a decade where we were still professing our hatred for hindi. Personally hindi hasn’t helped me in gaining knowledge, but every time I go out of this state it is that language that makes my journey smooth in the align land. In this sense, language and education should be treated as one and the same; a path for opening the mind for understanding what is available and what is to be made available. Like my current company’s slogan  – ‘it sets you thinking’, education must act as a fuel to the natural spark every human being has inside him. Not stopping there, it should also teach him how to preserve and transform the spark into forms which he would like to envisage in the future.

Coming back to Samacheer Kalvi, let us accept that the syllabus is on par with the matric standard if not higher. Even if that is true, will it be enough? Isn’t education all about tuning the mind, and not just mugging information? A boy playing a team sport will learn a lot more about society than he will learn about it in his book. A successful team captain will know more ways to make a person be his efficient self than a HR person. I am not saying books are obsolete for the current trend, all I am saying is, the way we see books is completely wrong. The change has to happen with the way teachers teach us and not just the books. Instead of spending crores and cores of people’s money on making copies of different syllabus to satiate each government’s ego, why not spend them on improving the quality of teaching? Will a piece of paper with some great words change the future of those kids? The need of the hour is a qualified interpreter between them and the books, till they can take care of themselves.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What they are? Women they are

Take any guy, be a lover boy or a nerd or even an idealistic person, when he speaks to a beautiful girl, it would come across his mind to consort her, at least for a fleeting second; and in that moment to impress her he gives himself to her. A girl probably does have such thoughts when she chances upon meeting her dream guy. But we seldom see girls stoop to the point sacrificing their self-respect to win over him.
There is an air of confidence that surrounds the women of today; a sense of superiority, if I were to be harsh. However, rationally speaking, their sense of individualism is overwhelming. But how did they achieve it? We had the same schooling; same set of friends; read the same books; had the same teachers; grew up in the same social milieu, yet they seem to be ahead of the majority. There should be some explainable phenomenon that had made them what they are. I could probably write it off, blaming it all on the poor sex ratio that prevails in this nation. But I am sure that is not the ‘be it all’ & ‘by it all’. Granted, they do have the most powerful weapon ever conceived to kill a guy – their physical self, but we are taking about self-righteousness here.   There is probably an ulterior trait which hasn’t struck the peering eyes of the author. It is appalling that I couldn’t trace it to the generic gene lineage theory for obvious reasons as well. As I ponder over a plausible answer, a member from the female fraternity, showing pity, gave me an explanation, which I feel fits the question to a certain extent.

“A girl, as she grows up is educated of the ills of the society: how they treat a woman, what becomes of her if she doesn't go by the common presumptions; the dos & don’t to avoid sacrilege; sacrifices that she has to do as a part of her marriage; in short she is groomed to be scared to death about where she stands in the world. The only solution the she finds is in being fiercely individualistic & independent. By doing that, mostly out of fear, she displays that as insolence.”

If that truly is the state of our women, which I wish to be not true, is a worrying state. What the society does is that, it makes the women go against it; and in that revolt, they may have crossed a line where they are misusing their liberty. But who am I to question their act; moreover who am I to know where the boundary is drawn. They may as well be ahead of the curve. If so, isn’t it their duty to take us with them? Why should they be esoteric?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Land of corruption

It has been a staggering month already, with multitudinous events, sprawling the vast geography of our country. Down south, the people have went down searching only to reach the top, not just the top of the headlines, but the top of the world’s riches list by digging the God’s own land; literally & figuratively. By people, I mean the elite few who will be benefited of this exercise, which includes everyone except the common man. But then, I hear the unearthing is going to be videotaped & the items excavated will be kept in museum, unlike expected of our elite few to export it in a raw deal; am I being pungent here? I believe, if that is eventually executed with honesty, it would be the best way to deal with the treasure. It heartens to hear people say, ‘let’s share the money’, ‘let us use it for the nation’, let’s sell it’. Firstly, it is not our money, it was basically the then kingdom's fund donated/buried in the temple, rightfully belonging to the bearer. The least we can ask for is to pay the required tax for acquiring wealth through gifts. Coming to the point that the money should be used for the public (provided the owner, in this case the trust, accepts to it), I seriously hope we Indians get a crash course on wealth at the earliest. These are not liquid funds lying in the coffers. Yes, idle money is of no use but as an artifact. Yet, can’t you think of any other option? What about loan on asset? Why can’t you take loan on a portion of the asset to cultivate a profitable business whose return can be used to pay for the loan? If that still sounds risky, proven the poor business track record of our government, why not let RBI have it in exchange for cash. At least it will lie within India. Remember these assets don’t just have monetary value; they speak a lot about our still unknown history; isn’t that our duty to protect our wealth rather than splurging it.  Hope the most literate state doesn’t become educated fools.

Going a little above, to a state which is known for spicing up everything from food to films, the land scams that had shaken the political throne have been shown the door for the war of ownership of land. Telengana sure is boiling because of underdevelopment. But what has the 100 MLAs done for that, apart from burning the state now and then, coupled with few fast unto death threats. Stripping off all the complexities, the issue is mainly about poor state of affairs in some parts of AP. Let’s say we give power to the people who are asking for a separate state; the power to rule AP, wont that shut their mouth? If that power wouldn’t pave way for a better development in those regions, they are not fit to rule a state even though it will be a minuscule one.

While the state of affairs & that of a state in itself is hanging, a lone figure, draped in white to invite violence, is prowling the muddy soil brazing the heat wave, thanks to the lemonades & three course meals offered by poor farmers who are fighting for their next meal. Rahul Gandhi might think he has proven his caliber as a politician by showing that he too can play the game. But what has he gained other than the name ‘politician’? Does it solve the real problem? A state which wants to industrialize had made some hasty decision, agreed. But by standing up for the farmers & nothing else, the future PM has been propagating that industrial revolution is not called for. Why not follow our northern neighbours’ policy by compensating as well as relocating people to a developed environment. By doing so, we can have planned villages which would eventually grow into planned cities. 

When all these issues would be done to death for the week, the coming week will start off swell thanks to the coal scam. This is what we call in tamil as ‘mughathila kariya posarathu’ (which will lose its meaning if I translate it).  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sucker the boss (bastion of servile serpents)

Chapter I
Hell sounds real

Everyone in this world would have had to report to someone at some point of time. Doesn’t that mean everyone was bossed at least once? Who are these bosses  anyway? What is their ulterior motive apart from taking us for a ride?

If we were to classify all the bosses in the world, they would all fit into two categories – one who knows everything & one who knows nothing. The irony is, the one who knows it all acts naïve (to catch you off guard), while the latter acts like a know it all (to silence you). Yet, what’s common between these two is that, ultimately they will prove us wrong – ‘you don’t know anything’. There is an old saying that, people who have the last word is considered won. Guess that’s why they don’t let us have our say. But wait, that’s so old like them! People who have the last laugh are the winners now; & laugh we do! Remember the last time you couldn’t contain your giggle which inadvertently came out while your boss with his constipated serious look was trying to explain a funny theory of his? Work life sure does throw up such gems in compensation for the solitary confinement.

During these kind of serious one to one conversations, which eventually becomes a speech by the boss, a lot of phrases thrown all-over snarls at you; all with the same remark – ‘to say this you are not needed at all’. How much ever frustrating that might be, I channel my thoughts to think about what they really need. After much deliberation, I realized what they were expecting from us all along. If you could brush through your memory, you could hear some wonderful piece of advises from your boss –
‘you shouldn’t mind burning the night oil!’,
‘why are you so impulsive? Plan everything clearly’,
‘you are all spineless – be bold will ya!’

‘Burning the night oil’, ‘be impulsive’, ‘spineless’ - Cockroach! Yes Cockroach! They want us to be cockroaches. After all, they survived the big meteorite which extinguished dinosaurs from the face of the earth. With such repertoire to their credit, they certainly  fit the bill of heeding to paradoxical statements like, ‘why didn't you just follow my instructions? Use your head!’ – Dear boss, we did use our head; that’s why. The funny fact though is that cockroaches can stay alive for many a days without their head. The next time you see a cockroach in your unclean toilet of your unclean bachelors’ apartment; tell them – ‘caught in the wrong job? Meet my boss’. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Striking land

Baba Ramdev being felicitated with a Saropa Sword by Sikh leaders during his hunger strike against corruption at Ramlila Grounds, in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

After Anna Hazare stormed the country with his fast unto death its now turn for Ramdev to hog the limelight. Like his peer he too started his rant/fight against black money & corruption at the closing ceremony of an important event (the world cup then, now the ipl) and set the date of commencement after the series ended. But there was the West Indies tour that was considered a potential threat. But thanks to Dhoni & his men the series isn't getting much coverage; a blessing in disguise for Ramdev. Overwhelmed by the response that he is receiving, Baba Ramdev has decided to push forward his agenda by roping in three hot selling stars to his campaign again corruption. Yes, it’s Salman Khan, Shilpha Shetty & Dayanidhi Maran. As always, Baba Ramdev has raised a lot of eyebrows by calling them up. Unfazed, Ramdev defends his decision. He further elaborated the press about the flow of events that he has planned with them.

Salman khan will kick start the day  by screening his ‘Ready’ early morning, sponsored by LG. On why ‘Ready’, Baba opines that ‘dinka chika’ will replace the ‘shanthi mantra’ with which he used to start his yoga practice. While the latter brings peace to your inner self former readies you for the day, apart from curing gastroenteritis. After the screening, Salman Khan will come live through 3D effect of LG tv and render a pumping speech on ‘the buck stops here’. Utilising the stage, Ramdev also plans to prove how yoga can ‘CURE’ homosexuality. Shilpha Shetty who was royally screwed (figuratively & literally) in the latest edition of IPL will do the honours.  

Following the yoga session, Ramdev will be on the hotline for an hour to receive complaints from fellow citizens. He thanked Dayanidhi Maran for being kind enough to share one of the 323 hotline numbers that he had taken out of the one connection which bsnl gave him. Maran who was present in the press briefing through web, remarked that he totally supports Ramdev and I quote, “corruption & black money is highly unacceptable of me. During my regime as telecom minister I made sure of that, by extracting all the unaccounted funds that lay in the hands of private firms.” Maran was all tears that his efforts to tap the black money went futile as Raja & kanimozhi stole it from him. Taking cue from the sudden breakdown of his guest, Ramdev quickly added that, Maran need not worry about the money as the lovebirds has entrusted a part of the fund with him. Ailing from a family party which detest the name Ram (while marrying a girl from N.Ram family) Ramdev was asked how he got acquainted with him. “It was during my annual visit to Karunanidhiji’s place that I got introduced to Maran. Karuna was very much impressed with my astrological knowledge, I guess” said Ramdev candidly. On asking about the whereabouts of his partner-in-crime, Anna Hazare, Ramdev was apologetic that, Anna was busy making Gujarat liquor free by drinking it all up. 

As a fitting finale, Ramdev slowly removed the saropa sword that was presented to him earlier & raising it, he screamed ‘for peace’ and bid adeau in his imported SUV. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Royal Kiss of New Imperialism

The Queen of England started it, if history books are accurate. Barging into any state/country/province (what ever you call it back then) she took control of the land & I bet Charles Darwin would have never in his wildest dream thought his one statement could stand good for the power she exerted.

New Imperialism sure has impacted India in many ways than we might believe. We have a leader in this state, who in his exile, went to a temple town to eventually rule the roasters. The power he exhibited during his son’s marriage can be drawn parallel to the royal wedding if I exclude all the white collar hooliganism. While the former uses money that was eaten from the pockets of citizens allover the world, the latter has just a state to itself. The Darwin theory spreads its presence here too. No wonder the royal kiss or the big fat wedding creates more hoopla than a CM went missing.  

When we thought the Queen has called it a day, raises another leader, who feels ‘US is All of the world’. If he can enter a terrorist nation and call for ‘line of fire’ just near their military academy to capture a notorious terrorist, who was funded by his predecessors, he sure brings new meaning to imperialism. Amidst this massacre in the name of religion & democracy, another democrat stands smiling at one billion people while his ministers laugh all the way to banks. If Manmohan singh thinks he is being altruistic, sorry sir - with great respect for your talent & disregard for your leadership.

Government apart there are organizations that wants to exhibit its stamp of authority. Democracy doesn’t means someone can cease the functioning of an entire transport system or for that matter threaten the government to pass a bill. Hope we as citizen develop maturity in how we handle our crisis. At this stage we, the nation & the whole world needs policies that will include the near future into its scheme of things, rather than appeasing the immediate present for material or power gains. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Better than the worst - whom do i vote?

DMK’s campaign:-

Candidate: please vote for us.
Common man: why?
Candidate: we have done a lot of good deeds. Kalaignar’s rule is the golden period for tn.
Common man: oh really? Can you elucidate?
Candidate: We built the new secretariat.
Common man: what am I going to do there?
Candidate: we have made rice price rs.1
Common man: it’s above rs.40 in normal shops.
Candidate: we gave rs.2000 per family as flood relief fund.
Common man: when we went to collect, they said we have already received it. The same happened for every family in this area.
Candidate: We have developed a lot of fly-overs in this city.
Common man: what happened to west-mambalam fly-over? Expect aiding your cm to come safely to kalaignar tv office does the new kodambakkam fly-over serve any other purpose?
Candidate: we have kept our promise of giving free tv.
Common man: this whole area didn’t get it.
Candidate: please vote for us.
Common man: why?
Candidate: if you don’t, we will vote for you!

AIADMK’s campaign

Candidate: please vote for us.
Common man: why?
Candidate: because the ruling party is corrupt.
Common man: yah. But why should I vote for you?
Candidate: So that when we come to power we will arrest them.
Common man: anything else?
Candidate: we will give free laptops and all electronic equipments for your family.
Common man: the ruling party said they will give that too.
Candidate: please vote for us.
Common man: why?
Candidate: please vote for us. Thank you.

This is how the election campaign ended few hours back in tamil nadu. The most rampant political system in India has finally found its ahimsa weapon. Violence or emotional blackmail/manipulation are done away with and the new weapon is freebees. The ruling party started with a song lauding about the home people are going to get after Karunanidhi becomes CM. Not stopping there, they targeted the educated illiterates with a whole lot of electronic gadgets. Whilst the ruling party gave a power punch in the first round the opposition did a poor PR job in their retaliation. Everyone in this state knows 2G scam >>>>>>>>>>~~~>>>> TANSI case and yet the opposition lacked the smartness to capitalize on it. In the next round though the opposition did a good thing by roping in Vijayakanth. Theoretically that’s a great move alright. But the ruling party brought in Vadivelu & he reached out to the target audience like no other leader did. He became the ambassador for the party whilst Vijayakanth gave his famous movie kicks to his followers. Round two went in favour of the ruling party again. The opposition then brought in Vijay. But he was nowhere to be seen in the crucial stage. The ruling party swiftly brought Chiranjeevi to attract the telugu speaking population (2nd most spoken language in this state – excluding english off course). They even brought in Rahul Gandhi – the openly accepting Karunanidhi hater. The true politician he is he spoke 'at 87 Karunanidhi is the fittest'. Ironically when he campaigned in Kerala his agenda was to drive away the older generation! Round three, four, five all went the ruling party way. Amidst all this heat the opposition party leader sat inside an AC booth to canvass, while the thalapathy of the ruling party armed with 'munnal munnal vada song in A.R.Rahman's voice' mingled with the people. That was the final punch for you!

As a common man whom do I vote to tolerate? A well organized crime organization whose business & administrative methods is in a league of their own or a short-tempered & at times good intended leader whose party is in the verge of breaking up?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Promises to keep

This was published in Nxg-The Hindu

Date: 8 Nov 2008
Freedom is a dignified way of telling “you have promises to keep”. What sounds like liberty, freedom is actually a self-imposed confinement from the “unacceptable”. What used to be a way to give you responsibility has become an extraordinary tool used by the survivor to trash the defeated, in a society which has pushed ethics to the back seat, proving that survival of the fittest is here to stay.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...