Monday, October 7, 2013

You Are An Idiot Page #2

After reading and watching people's homes being invaded, emails scooped, telephone conversations listened to, everything considered personal in an acclaimed "personal space" become personal no more and after watching every movement being watched over through cctvs in undisclosed corridors and at times even behind closed doors and dressing room walls(?!) and after realizing that the intruders claim what they do to be legal in pursuit of security issues that seems to be looming larger than considering to establish this basic right that seems rather too easy to be trampled upon and foregone... 

Fyi Article 12 of UN Declaration of Human Rights states, "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his/her privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks." 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

You Are An Idiot Page #1

After watching an elderly man, a senior citizen yesterday, walk out of a Church and walk straight into a shop in Bangalore that sells (thiruttu a.k.a pirated) movies and ask for "special" movies and when the guy in the counter did not understand, goes on to say, "Triple X (XXX) movies"... Who are we sitting with in those benches in those Holy places?! Hope that old man had a restful weekend... 

October 8th, 2013,

The "You Are An Idiot" Series Begins

Watching the world pass by and a few idiots swing with it gently (as they fool and get fooled,) as patiently as I could over time, I realized that it is best to expose a few issues hovering around bothering me and those wishing that I be an IDIOT to believe it to be true. Things were not so good to be true anyways...

I had 3 things in hand that were rotting to start with that I wanted to put to some decent use: 
1. there was this weird looking note-book that my sister and brother-in-law had gifted me (which was surprizing for the venomous hatred my sister has for me which I assumed must have spread to its mate as well... however,) 
2. a set of weird black pencils (seriously!) made of black wood, with a black erazer and ofcourse black lead that has been hardly used and 
3. a video camera with an optional still camera that I gifted my wonderful wife who feels that the stupid camera in her mobile phone is more convenient and functional than this video camera that has received nothing more than an occasional charge to keep it alive (just like her cooking...) lying wasted 

Starting today, October 08th, 2013, in a ruthless pursuit to waste no more time trying to adjust, accept or admire these crazy despots, I thought, well, it might be a good idea to limit words and begin putting the note and pencil to some good use, scribbling what some people think everyone else to be-a total and complete IDIOT if (only) they believed what they did to be true... and yeah, the camera, from the dark closet, will bring to light these scribblings for those who follow (though I wonder why...) this blog everyday (?!) (excuse me if it turns out to be "only occasional" (For I neither come across IDIOTS nor occasions to make me one everyday...) so, as and when the "YOU ARE AN IDIOT" button glows spotting something silly happening around in my workshop make sure you tune in as well and visit this space. And ofcourse, you are welcome to share your reactions and response in the comments as well (actually, you are more than welcome..) 

So rolling by the saying, "You can fool everyone sometime and someone everytime, you are an IDIOT if you think you can fool everyone everytime", let the games begin...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Not For The Religious Kind

Was wondering why people become absolutely "religious" (only/mostly) when there is some sort of perceived trouble in their lives that makes them anxious and consequently makes them perform all those rituals that are monotonous and are plain abnormal repetitions (like ringing the bell "x" number of times or dangling an incense stick in a particular direction around a few particular creatively created objects of mankind at the rate of "y" number of rotations per second or giving "z" amount of tithe to the nearby institution as commanded(by who?!)) that one feels compelled, obligated and impulsive to perform dutifully; hm... could religious ceremonies and rituals-the brainchild of those who created religion-then be a symptom of an anxiety disorder capitalized due to a rising fear that the scientific warlords of psychiatry and scientific temper dare not refer to, name it and slot into their diagnostic catalogues as a certain treatable disorder for reasons quite obvious to the rest of the thinking minds?! 

Most religious people I see are carefully designed, impeccably created, wonderful crackpots-who reveal more of a broken image through their eccentric, idiosyncratic, absolutely mental and finely distinguishable (in the most derogatory way imaginable) acts that they interestingly perform for the rest of the finer world (though small) that still exists and boldly walks up and about and around to see. This small minority of carefree souls sans any religious obligation or ritualistic obsession, strolling on a spiritual journey on Earth-the minority in this aspect-are so much enviably free-that perhaps is the possible bunch that God wanted and created in his own image.

I think these religious, self-acclaimed-sacrosanct-religious creatures (some of them and their strange behaviour that I got a chance to watch up close in an organization I was caught up as a slave recently) believe in papers more than the divine; they are some of the many who believe in papers and bonds to convince themselves that marriages are sealed that way and silently head towards a divorce and would absolutely pretend to be surprized when that happens (thanks to their acting skills born out of their hypocrisy); they are like many who believe in religion than spirituality; these are who are generously referred to as the flocks that need a shepherd all the time to shoo them around and would possibly without the shepherd around be weak, blind and confused all the time; they look around the ground and miss looking towards the sky; these are who often convince me that humans can indeed survive without the grey matter along with the appendix as well; these are the parasites that the other religious parasites suck on for mutual survival; these are the ones who probably would never understand one bit of what I have tried to communicate here and would be disturbed for a while after reading this (truth always disturbs them as you may see); these are the ones that truly amaze me just like those flying insects that are a nuisance when they buzz around your ear that you manage to tolerate when you can't swat; these are the sacrosanct, moral, mad, self-advertising religious mongrels and mongers who would preach love and display hatred; the ones who talk of peace and are walking barrels of poisonous violence; they are disturbed and feel indebted to disturb others... yet, the minority few (the rest of the saner minds living in the free world) may as God would want, not mention any of these and treat them well with kindness (no matter how irritating and trying they can be and may get) as the good One above might call to do. Though unique, strange, absolutely retarded, under-developed and imbalanced they might be, they too are part of His creation possibly left behind to strengthen rationales, liberals and free souls in their reasoning and/or/otherwise walk around avoiding them like a piece of stinky crap that need not be stepped onto if and when noticed lying around... hence, smile, when they pass by or lie around when you walk by; for they are one amongst the several strange creations of God that we dare not name nor define scientifically for diplomacy's sake (Diplomacy as they say is to say "Good dog! Good dog! to the dogs till you can reach for the stones.) 

Well then, "Good dog! Good dog! each and every single one, it is nice to watch you sit, lie, bark and roll over on command to those tunes... go on and carry on-as I search for and reach for the stones (where the #u$! are the stones?!)" 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A World Without Religion(s)

"Can you imagine a world without religion?!" was the question I woke up to one morning... 

What a crazy question?! Then there would be no more crusades, no more witch hunt, no more human, animal and bird sacrifice, no massacre, no vandalism, no more destruction of works of art, no more superstition, no more tax-free accumulation of wealth in trusts, Churches, Temples and Mosques (and the Pastor'shouse), Theologians would have to shut down their school, the students from there would have to find more sensible and reasonable jobs, books of scientific temper based on progress will sell more than books of fantasy, progressive thoughts will increase and regressive thoughts will decrease, there won't be any more caste and compatibility of marriages will be based on love, there will be lesser debates on "whose imaginary friend is greater" in schools, institutions and streets, admission to mental asylums will decrease, no more wars, no more internal violence, more peaceful communities, lesser pollution (air, water and noise especially), lesser hate speeches, lesser beheadings, stoning and people walking around with that "Holier than thou art (sacrosanct) attitude, lesser politics, lesser sick politicians, there won't be priests to take us for a ride and godmen to take every woman for a bride, people will have more money to save and more to spend, instead of waiting for an external power to save them from their misery, people will be wise enough to wake up from their laziness and work their way out of their issues, time will be saved, the Earth will still spin, the sun will still rise and set, the moon will gleam through the clouds and poetry will still be enjoyed and prose will take a readable tone, art will flourish and we will all be sane and act normal... 

Yet then, why would we want all these?! How could we live without all the chaos, catastrophe and confusion we have now in this world?! How complacent we live in this "perfect" world otherwise?! How could we now imagine living in a better world?!...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dinner With God

This is a story I found really beautiful that I wanted to share with everyone for long. The protagonist of this story is the person who connects three religions-Christianity, Judaism and Islam. This is a record of an event in the life of Abraham a.k.a Abram a.k.a Avram a.k.a Ibrahim and also fondly referred to as Father Abraham-a man of God.

Father Abraham was a wonderful man who loved God and obeyed him unconditionally and he had one serious and interesting compulsion... Every time he had to have his meal, he could not have it unless he shared it with others. If he had guests, he would share and if he did not, he would find someone, bring them home and sit them at his table and share his meal. This was his practise. One day, Abraham was really hungry and there was neither any guest nor could he find anyone around. He sat at the table and felt very uncomfortable to even start with the food served for him. He got up and left in search of some stranger or perhaps a traveller to bring him to his table as soon as possible to share the food with him. 

After a while, Father Abraham realized that everyone was busy and none would come home with him to share the food. He felt sad and prayed to God to show him someone who he could bring home to share the food he had that was already served. Suddenly, he spotted an old vagabond at a distance, a complete stranger, a traveller-and he rushed towards him. After stopping him and explaining everything, he welcomed him home for a meal. The man agreed. 

As they sat at the table set before them, the man hurriedly took a piece of food from his plate and was about to have it. Father Abraham stopped him and asked the man to 'say grace' (pray or thank God for the food) before he ate. The man dropped the food back on the plate and said, "I do not believe in God and I do not pray." Father Abraham was stunned and tried to encourage him and said, "How can you not believe in God?! Isn't He the one who gives you food and keeps you alive?! Isn't He the one who gives you all you have and everything else?! How can you not thank Him for what he has done, is doing and will do for you?!" The old stranger calm as ever replied, "I do not believe in God." Father Abraham nudged him one more time and said, "Dear man, what do you lose if you pray?! Just once for my sake say grace before you touch your food." The old vagabond affirmed strongly, "It is my principle that I do not believe in God and this is the thought and the idea I have been living with all my life and I cannot compromise nor change it for a meal. I am sorry." Father Abraham grew furious at this stubborn old man by now and shouted, "WELL THEN, SO BE IT. YOU DON'T DESERVE IT. YOU CANNOT EAT AT MY TABLE." 

The poor old man humbly smiled, got up and left to continue with his journey. Meanwhile, Father Abraham brooded over what just happened and could not eat. His heart, mind and soul were troubled and he sank. He prayed and asked God what is wrong with that man he had just met. God replied.

God spoke to Abraham: "Abraham... WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? That man you brought home is 70 years old and not for a single day has he believed in Me. There is not a single meal nor an instance in his life for which he has thanked me. Yet, for all these 70 years, there is not a single day nor a single time that I have not provided for him or left him hungry. All these 70 years I have protected him and taken care of him like a child. All these 70 years, every single time. And, just for once, this day, I trusted him with you, and what have you done...?" Asking this, God disappeared.

Father Abraham was shocked at what God just spoke to him and was ashamed of what he had done. He ran in the path the man had left and soon found him and stopped him. He explained all that had happened after the man had left and pleaded the man to come home with him and join him for the meal and have the meal the way he wanted. The old man's eye filled with tears and for the first time in his life, after all these years, he looked up and thanked God. Father Abraham and the old vagabond that day had the meal thanking God for how wonderful, loving and caring He is no matter how different we are..." 

To God be all glory...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Got Milk?!

Milk that my parents and grandparents used was supplied like this:

(Anyone buying the milk will carefully monitor the thickness of the milk when poured and a stern warning can be heard immediately if the milk is thin (incase diluted) and if the action repeats, a change of the supplier would soon be under way. Immediate justice without any delay for want of a court to intervene was cool those days.)

Milk also looked like this:

(Cow's milk will be cream'ish and buffalo's will be white they used to say... perhaps they did not give a thought about what chemically made milk will look like then.)

Then the old and the young would make diverse use of this simple and humble product in households. Like...
  • The Milk as itself
  • Milk to mix with your Kapi and Chai
  • If they forgot to preserve the milk, they won't worry, they can always make Curd
  • Churn the curd and separate the butter and you get Butter as well as Butter Milk
  • Use the lard that floats on top of the milk after it boils, save it and process it and one day you get Ghee
  • Beat the curd with sugar and ice and you get Lassi
  • Various milk-based sweets and deserts like the 'Paal'koa', 'Payasam' and any sweet dish made for any occassion or celebration in India had to have milk as its base
  • Paneer or the Indian cottage cheese was also a part of many North Indian dishes and milk-based too
  • Flavour the milk (with badam, chocolate, strawberry... ) you got Flavoured Milk
  • Grind a fruit (Banana, mango, papaya...) along with milk and you get a Smoothie
  • Milk chocolate and Ice Cream and Kulfi were made by daring and darling mothers in some homes too

Those were the days when we were sure that the milk in the bottle came from this:

Well those were the good'ol days when a simple bottle of milk was good enough to make diversified and a variety of sub-products that could bring a surprizing delight to anyone. Everyone from my grandparents to their friends and family and neighbours seemed to enjoy and lived a happy (really) long life and rest in peace. Well, and then came the great revolution or so they say...

When life was to be made easy and health was to be made dearer. 'They care for us' they said. Flourishing variety-they promised. Revolution was beckoning us at our doors and we opened. 
The result:

Everything processed, packed and delivered. From milk powder to skimmed milk to condensed milk to cheese slices to curd to yogurt to cream to that probiotic milk drink to what not?! Anything I buy these days seems to have a life everlasting too and promises a life-eternal in return as well. Well, the truth is, sometimes I don't even know what I buy or what not to. At times, I am not even sure of what I buy or if it is milk at all that I buy. I need to buy an extra cream to add to the milk that comes with a label that says it has been 'processed' and 'pasteurized' just because I like to have my "coffee" these days with some froth and cream on top; and well then I add a little bit of that extra "cow's" milk powder to my liquid white concoction that I froth because I like to see a cream-tint to the milk which otherwise seems to be as white as paint. "Mega-saver" packs of all these extras now bought separately (shelling out unnecessary bits and bulks from my pocket) are available too if you decide to consume more. Though I get fond memories once in a while of the good'ol days when life was simpler and everything came in just a bottle and was at reach for all, this poor milk man I try to find these days, seems to be hidden behind the huge billboards that advertise the milk products and the corporates that run the business these days. Man succumbs to his greed-seems to be the moral of the story (as always) to this story as well-the story of the Milk. 

Our needs are decided by someone else,
Our dreams are made for someone else.
With promises of change and development floated around like this great "white" revolution,
We succumb to nonsense and give up the sustainability that was already a part of our tradition.
Stupidity comes in packs and packets 
And count yourself and me in it as we queue the stalls and markets
Milk, silk and what not?!
This trick seems to work for a lot... 
Well Dr. Kurien, may your soul rest in peace;
Seems like your life was shorter than the milk products in stores that I can reach.
Well, having said that, let me have a glass of milch...

Bottomline: In pursuit of finding real milk, show me what you think is milk and I shall show you a scoundrel...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Golden Opportunity

This is Gold:

So is this:

And this:

Did you not notice the delight, the sheer bliss and the accomplishment in their faces?!
Have you ever wondered why as 'Indians' we never aspire for these? Perhaps because we don't have to... Don't we have other ways of bringing home the gold?! Now watch this:

And this:

And this:

When the rest of the world competes, wins and earns its gold, some of us in India, walk around with trophies from our father-in-law's house... Maybe that is why we neither compete nor win... hahaha...

Food for thought or should I say 'Golden words': Pay for what is yours only then you will know what truly is yours...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Spiritual Communist

'What is the point in believing in God?' 'How can one claim to be rationale and yet believe in the most absurd abstract ever created?' 'Why waste time on God when it may be better used to create your own destiny?' People ask...

Well, as for me, without God and faith-my own, personal sans exhibition-it would be too hard for me to forgive people who have been unjust, erred and have saddened me deep-at times so deep that normally, without that God who taught me to forgive, who helps me to forget and pray for the goodness, well being and blessings of wonders and wonderful life for them who saddened me, I would have ended up miserable and bitter, swearing, cursing and violently abusing the people and the world around me most of the time. 

Today instead, though ridiculously irrational, absurd and abstract, the time invested in the goodness of God in absolute faith, has created a destiny for me to live alongside others who I cease to hate nor destroy yet never cease to love unconditionally like my God ever would... eventually its a choice between a natural hater or a nurtured lover, a choice between evil and good and an ultimate choice between violence and peace. Though I cross and fall off the line of goodness in this dreadful path of life and people I tread, (ever so many times), it is this God that puts me back in track and helps me continue with courage and peace, nudging me to take the higher road (unsurprized to see many walking besides) and rest in a destiny chosen for me... "Why then should I not be a wandering vagabond treading towards this destiny?!" "Afterall, if Communism is about sharing, equality, justice and to ensure a peaceful coexistence bearing one another, what else is God then?!" I ask... hahaha... Lifes Good... and better still with an unconditional God rising above a conditional ideology... 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wake Up And Smell The Coffee

These days I hear some people say with a glee that they want to bring up their children the American way. When I ask them what this "American" way is?! it seems they feel that logical upbringing based on well founded, profound and established psychological theories and "expert" advice picked from parenting magazines is what they claim to be American. The great American dream I thought... perhaps to be honest, even I have had my share of pull towards this lure to attempt to try and control others by forcing them into the box in which I would like to see them contained so that everything becomes easier for me (unbothered about what harm I do to others)... the American way.
Then when you face reality and decide to brave it, the humble Indian ideology of giving up control and understanding the beauty of nothingness seems much more comforting, easier and worthy of pursuing.

Today, I see nations getting a taste of their own medicine otherwise prepared for others. Wars planned out to explode in other countries, break out within their own boundaries; nuclear war heads and power stations and armouries stored to the brim and even overflowing with weapons of mass destruction which were supposedly meant to protect a country and indicate development, has become the weakest spot which needs to be protected and has strained our concentration and has diverted our attention away from things more humanely worthy of pursuing like education, health, employment and sustainability so much so that we have hardly moved anywhere and in the charts of development, "stagnation" seems to be a pretty spot at which we sit. Countries have chosen to build industries on farm lands and raise their begging bowls for food to neighbouring states; States on the other hand, chose to build dams to keep water for themselves and end up flooding their land instead. Oh! what a community of idiots we live in, a community rich with idiot admirers and a community of idiots we have become... hahaha... 
We have chosen to exchange life for death and freedom for security. We have failed to understand the meaning of life in our attempts to conquer death. We have brilliantly mutilated genes, produced bio-engineered vegetables and have exemplified our scientific advancement in bio-medical, bio-tech and bio-xyz and have made our land worthless and as barren as a frigid woman and we dare to call her with shameless pride "our motherland" after abusing her with so much of experimenting right in her womb. If our people show any sign of dissent or grief or growth, we label them as "grave internal threats" without wasting time to look into what they are crying about and take them up into the stakes to be burnt; and the rest of us, with folded hands watch in silence fit for the dead; instead, we might as well stand and applaud-might be the same thing. We have shown the world, especially the white world, that the brown people are the next best replacement for rats, rabbits and monkeys which the whiteman and woman seem to really care about and feel are too delicate to experiment on; here, we, who pledge that "all Indians are our brothers and sisters" at every patriotic gathering and assembly, have gladly given up our men, women, children and aged-mostly ignorant, commonly innocent and always poor as testing grounds and as human samples for experimenting their new found drugs on as medical trials; and our coastal lines have become the dumping ground for nuclear waste, scrapped ships, outdated technologies and desolate garbage of other countries. 

Traitors and betrayers are never born outside the borders, they are always, as history shows us, within; thriving like maggots inside our borders, within our states, within our communities, within our families and within our homes-those that we seldom succeed to recognize even if exposed right in front of our very eyes. Its the so called "our people" who cut those traps for our miserable (down) fall all along the way. These days, I abhor this category of ridiculous, filthy species puddled in their filthy hypocrisy, prejudice and bigotry... Isn't it wonderful to watch-the complacency in which the children rest watching the filth that cover the "mother"land?!  

"So what?!" some of my friends have asked and still do. "Afterall, if it brings in the moolah (a.k.a money) why bother?!" Well, I think its time we begin to see the trade-off. We have started trading our brains, backs and body for this well chosen money as we claim. We are elsewhere and chose to work for someone else or we are here yet work for someone else; we have made ourselves a plastic world that thrives on plastic cash to acquire plastic things... remarkable. We have learnt to spend money that we don't own and slave to pay off the acquired debt with money that we haven't earned yet... all for what?! Material that we don't even need. We have exchanged sense for greed and we think accumulating enough to call it a day is somewhere right there round the corner; yet, no matter how many twists and turns, the unwinding road keeps on drifting. 
This world likes packages; gifts, commodities, machines, salaries, men, women, children, body parts, womb-name it and you have it sold in the nearest market...  packed, tagged and sealed ready for consumption-some sold local while some go global. In the 'global market'-(as we lovingly call it,)-everyone is up for sale-some to the highest bidder and some to the longest keeper; it is here that morale and values get traded for cash; it is in here that the shapeable-flexible-twistable mind and pre-shaped body conforming to social preconception of beauty, fit snugly into its prefixed contours-that the buyers seeks gladly to pick; the remaining leftovers-considered unfit-the free minds and the complacent bodies, are shelved till they begin to crawl to survive and their back is bent; its (only) then, that they get picked and sent to be indented, smashed, thrashed and polished till they shine like the keeper wants them to. Objects of desire we have become, as we deserve to be, for letting others decide who we ought to be. It is in this belly of the market that people sell themselves everyday, to survive, some sell their bodies, some their minds and everyone their soul. This market perhaps is synonymous to a place we find shameful to mention or find hard to be associated with... "So what's wrong afterall its for moolah?!" I ask them. 

To be rationale and not ridiculous, lets agree... this great force-fed "American dream" that we try to grab like arse-scratching apes, is not even worthy of pursuing to begin with. Well, how well have those American kids brought up the "American way" turned out to be at the end of the day?!... there are still more muggers, still more murderers, still more psychopathic children, sociopathic teenagers and almost every other adult is fear-ridden, fear-driven and fear-controlled, ever more need for old-age homes, orphanage, shelter-homes and jails, more and more desolate and broken families with run-away parents as well as run-away children-who don't want to take care of their own; there is still no dearth for rapists and racists, divorce and separations, teenage-pregnancies, homelessness, drug, alcohol and other substance abusers; social fragmentation, defabrication, stratification, pain, pathetic chaos and panic that is still nakedly visible and rampant in the great and mighty, almighty U.S of A that tries its best to hide behind the Emperor's new robe and waiting for that moment for a child to say, "But, he has nothing at all!" 
Chewing paan and spitting witnessed in other places is considered disgusting by them; yet, chewing someone's head walking into their own homes and spitting blood, is glorified in the name of war and security as the world watches on(?!)-How civilized is that?! 
Attempts to Americanize the whole world goes by not just seeding their products, genetic modifications, drugs, pesticides and people yet also by installing weapons, aid and military which goes to prove the terrible and horrible insecurity of a minority that is solely dependent on others for its survival and bothered about its survival alone; this is not just boring, it is unsustainable and simply not possible with a better world lying outside and often within our own territories that is seldom realized yet hard to let go.

Yet, muted, mutilated, humiliated and lost, we stand at crossroads; stuck, stranded and stagnant-this my friends, is the reality India wakes up to in the stroke of the midnight hour when the rest of the world sleeps, on our close-to-7-decades of unclaimed independence left to rot. It is in seeking goodness that I wish that as a nation what we require is perhaps a "Time-out" like American parents do, the glorified American way, sit and think in a corner and reflect on what we have done and what we can do to undo the damages done. Once undone and done with it, let us awake, arise and stop not till our goal is reached (as we can't reap harvest by ploughing and rolling the field in our thoughts alone) to bring forth a better India, a India that moves, a India that is sustainable, that is grounded and above all, a India that manages to find the courage to stand in its own feet. 
Till that day comes, sleep on India, sleep on... after all thy mother's lap treasures thee, as she sings a lullaby with tears swelling up her eyes as she waits for her children to wake up from their pretended slumber...  

p.c: National geographic

Monday, August 12, 2013

It Is Black

It is black. If one does not draw his identity, he would be forced to move into and take up an identity the world cynically yet cleverly and clearly draws for him. It is great to live in an illusion that we are all equal, created equal, born equal et al; as we endlessly justify its claim and claim for it; yet, the truth is that we are not equal, no one is; we are just similar and that's it. These lines we draw to define ourself appears dark in light. And darkness is real and into darkness we move to know what is true. 

“Light is shallow; darkness is infinitely deep. Light is always bounded, it has boundaries. Darkness has no boundaries, it is unbounded. Light comes and goes; darkness always is. When there is light you cannot see it. When light is not there you can see it. But it is always there; you cannot cause it. Light has a cause. You burn the fire, you put on wood. When the wood is finished the light will be gone. It is caused, hence it is an effect. But darkness is not caused by anything, it is not an effect. It is uncaused eternity.” said Osho.

The closer we get to reality, the darker it gets. In darkness, you are alone, closer to you, closest to you alone. In darkness one loses himself; and lost, finds himself. Darkness brings warmth like the dark looming clouds before a rain. The other mystical element-water, at its depths-the abyss, is just as dark as well. Identifying ones own darkness helps him to move away from the fake light in which he sees himself and others and the spot from which he sees others or allows them to see him. 

Immediate movement into darkness brings forth fear and shudders, the natural. Identity intends to break our comfort zone and that of others that they hold of us. It is in darkness that we usually see beyond the conditioned notions with which the world sees us... those lines of disparity, the points of discrimination and all the unnatural lines drawn to distinguish us and thus differentiate us. It is in darkness that one comes from and into the same one moves' yet, isn't it strange that man fears darkness when in light and alone?! 

In a way, it is in darkness that man is really tested face to face with no restraint-bold, raw, rustic, strong, dark and black-and he begins to see himself clear. Cleared off from all those defining lines the world had drawn for him-to contain him, to manipulate him and to convince him of his limits. In a way, it is in this darkness, the pitch black bottom, that those dark lines separating us to see us apart gets reconnected and we see people beyond differences-that otherwise we have to beg for and plead in light. True knowledge is dark,far away from the comfort of the light we are generally exposed to; that is perhaps why they insist on unlearning as more important than the learning. Light divides, darkness unites. Let the fool and the coward step out and let the others move on; into darkness let us be lost and find ourselves and others ... Let us leap into the boundless comfort of darkness. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tolerating The Liar

Poverty can do some marvellous tricks especially if it comes barging like a mugger in the night-unexpected and unwelcome. Often we speak of some of those values that we will not let go no matter what, those that we have treasured and managed to keep close and dear to our heart; well, let poverty come in and you will not even realize through which back door all those learnt values, adapted principles and those collected goodness flew. The usual indicator of poverty that often one tries to keep submerged and under wraps nevertheless the ruthless world knows and optimizes on the hinges at which it hangs, is when one begins to lie. These lies are not in denial of what something is or is it in absolute conclusion of how things ought to be; yet, these minted, tinted and painted lies are delivered in an  attempt to hold on to the pride that one sees slipping away and is helpless and unable to bear or hold. This, my friend, is a desperate beginning of a struggle to keep one’s image intact unlike the life that just slipped away.

Lies are like flies in the marketplace-they are there all around, irritating and menacing and any fool can see; yet, all chose to ignore and hope that it will not bother them and they won't be there in this market for long; yet, time can be relative here too. Liars are like sword-fighters; their survival depends on not just how they uses their tale-blades that cut sharp yet also see through and survive the mutuality of its extension from other fighters swaying their blades too. In these grounds, for those who fight to live, nothing is fair and nothing is unfair. 

This is all in the game in a world that is ruthlessly keyed to survive. When a man or a woman begin to lie, they feel that they are in better control over life, to keep at least the imagery of what otherwise it has unjustifiably taken away from them. Add one more life that depends on you... and just as one bears humiliation, belittling and wounds inflicted by others, at times, many times, lies work in favour of saving one's honour. Add a few more lives that depend on you, truth shrinks and lies multiply... the lies we have to say where we work to survive the brutality rises parallel to the lies we have to maintain at home to save us from embarrassment of knowing how one gets treated at work. 

Life sure is crueller than lies-and who dare says it is not except another liar?! The God sleeps and the devil awakes every time there is a lie afloat. The God is in the distant heavens and the devil in the closer hell; poverty at times is not monetary alone and the poor on Earth, reach out to the nearest every time life extends an unfair hand.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Marionette-A Poetry Recital

Once upon a time, i wrote a poem that did seem to go well with people. 'The Marionette' as i had titled it, also got some acknowledgement in the poetry circle. Today, i tried to record it and tried adding some audio-visual elements to it and here it is for you to see and hear...

The Marionette

A drop of tear like dew drop did fall,
with pain in the heart like a sinking star.
Like eyeless moths on the dark horizon,
the looming image of sorrow drifts.

The bridges move as I in stillness stand;
time flies by and so doth the distance.
Scramming like a ruthless vagabond,
bonds of restraint seem to have no bounds.

The world rests well and so must I
knowing that tides roll past as destiny moves by.

Birth, life or death, we are just puppets on loose strings;
held by a power above.
Till fate moves on, let us dance our dance,
like the last standing dew drops on the blade of grass.
by AFD

Thank you...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

And The Woman She Is

Translation of the song "Aurat Ne Janam Diya Mardon Ko", from the movie Sadhna (1958):
"Woman gave birth to man.
And he gave her the flesh-trade
Whenever they felt like it
They trampled on her or discarded her
Woman gave birth to man
She is weighed in dinars
Or sold in open markets
She’s stripped in the court of lustful men
She’s that ill-reputed thing
Which settles among the reputed
Woman gave birth to man
Man can commit every crime
But a woman can’t even weep
Man sleeps on a million soft beds
The woman gets the funeral pyre
Man has a right to every luxury
For a woman life itself is a punishment
And it was a woman who gave birth to man
The lips which declared love
Were traded for money
The womb [from] which they were born
Was used as a business
The very body they blossomed from
[Was] abused by them
Woman gave birth to man
Men made customs which were regarded as their rights
But a woman being burnt alive was looked upon as sacrifice
Even the food given to her was considered an obligation
And to think it was a woman who gave birth to man
Every act of shamelessness is rooted in poverty
What is passion in men is a sin to woman
Woman gave birth to man
A woman is destiny of the world
But she doesn’t have it herself
She bears prophets and lord incarnates
Even then she’s considered a devil’s child
This is that unfortunate mom
Who sleeps with her own sons
For woman is the mother of man
But they gave her the marketplace
Whenever they felt like it they accepted or discarded her
And it was a woman who gave birth to man"

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Note On Social Conflict

There has always been a Social Conflict existing in the society whether we like it or not and whether we accept it or not. The theme of such conflicts has changed ranging from ethnicity to racism to casteism to inter-casteism, and so on and so forth; yet the concept remains relevant in any given point of time taken for reference even sans par contra. The idea of citizen participation, is not a novel idea emerging out of fine technocratic efforts, though if claimed so, is only an indication of having reinvented a wheel, and can only  be rendered as necessity to complement the evolving political structure that is prevalent in the contemporary scenario.

The need to understand such complexities is necessary to prepare contingency plans when conflicts arise and to understand the dynamics of basic human behaviour, also already explained through various Social Sciences. To find relevance of such theories and philosophies to the socio-cultural and traditional context, any “meritorious technocrat” would need to break the mystery with proper understanding of the ingredient that adds a local flavour to the emerging issue in hand.

However, we are raising the concept of “citizen participation” standing in a developing country internally struggling to keep the states together, in a country where despite attempts made to show our need to contemplate strength required to advance by bringing forth the concept of ‘unity in diversity’, ‘diversity’ is more predominant than the expected unity in terms of the stratification witnessed in every step taken, even in an enlightening process of education where the need to fill the religion and caste is still mandatory despite disapproving the same in text book covers and incorporated into lessons; this pseudo advancement is only a complement to the lop-sided comparatively rapid advancement in science and technology seen along side rural development; villages still need electrification after over 6 decades of independence, our Prime Minister sinks while mentioning losing thousands of children every single day due to malnutrition as a national shame. Worse stories can be heard about the health sector, thanks to poor sanitation, water and hygiene and unreached health programs; inaccessible areas can still dream of doctors and health services reaching them with our doctor-population ratio misting away at 1:4000 and that too with most of the doctor cluster beaming with the pride of meritocracy taking their first flight out adding to our brain drain or settle in concentrated-cushioned urban carpets when 70% of India still lives in villages.

The programs we have to eradicate poverty and promote better standard of living et all, just like our IPC and constitution, are one of the best in the world yet only on paper. If only we had implemented them! We have done nothing about it. Apathy! We live in a world of marked differences; a huge wall separating the few rich and plenty poor; we live to prove the 80:20 theory, which says that 80% of the wealth rests with 20% of the people and vice versa. Unequal distribution of wealth and justice has always been an issue brushed underneath the carpet as we shine the floor for highlighting our land as one with a progressive prospect.

The concept of e-governance is attempted with just 4% of internet users in the country, with a population exceeding 1.19 billion and a growth rate of 1.5%, our BPL index hitting a 22% and illiteracy level at 39%. What needs to be our priority?! Do we see all this before speaking the technocratic language or is it an accumulation of Ignorance with Apathy?

multi-disciplinary interventions juggling Politics, Sociology, Philosophy, Psychology and Economics, need to be deliberated to widen the horizon of limitless solutions; beginning with the understanding of issues. Each branch deals with the issue within its certain boundaries and an attempt needs to be made to converge these in case a vision incorporating all needs to be envisaged.

The ‘body’ as a metaphor used in earlier philosophies to explain stratification needs to be looked into with a new perspective and may be attempted to be seen as a wholesome unit while contemplating utopian ideals such as Citizen Participation. This is only a representation of our movement from a barbaric world into a more civilized world; sans enduring will only negate endeavours especially with more need-based missions that need to be initiated and socio-political-economic barriers that stagnate the growth process that need to be crossed in the development process by inculcating values along with (un)commonsense to realize sustainable development. Priorities need to change, apathy and ignorance curbed, further redtapism nullified and dreams hastened into action. Till then, “Citizen Participation” will be forged in pain; as pain is the only commodity available sans disparity. At the moment, we are at the crossroads.  

Painting by M.F Hussain

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Indian In Imagination

If I were to draw blindfolded an image of an Indian from what I hear from what people have heard or seen about India and its people from outside its borders, perhaps I would be drawing a dark, skinny and dusty person with a grim face and a turban wrapped several times around the head, amidst dark, gloomy clouds of lust and violence, corruption and scams, pollution and population hovering in the backdrop. Much of this imaginary imagery has been seeded long before and has been systematically imprinted in the minds; and we, from within the borders, have relentlessly watered and nurtured this image to keep it intact. Yet, it is only an illusion and the deeds and characteristics of a minority present (as in any other country) and presented cannot be generalized and held true and applicable to the majority.

A few decades back, this is how we too played a part in painting the whole of Africa as a country with sick, poor, bony, dusty, dark children; that we expect every child of Africa to fit into the very same picture of our imagination. To a certain extent we have achieved in seeding this thought into our minds that so stubbornly refuses to go; so much so that we cannot stop seeing Africa and its citizens without sympathy; even if they don't ask for it.  

How is this image drawn so conveniently? 
Who frames these images? 
What benefit is derived by giving and taking up such an identity?

There are perhaps reasons for allowing this unclean and skewed image to be maintained to arrive at a win-win situation for both the perceiver and the perceived in many ways.

India has always been seen as a field full of harvest. As we try to think that gone are those days, when they reached our shores to mine us off our riches and sell it in their coasts, it is equally pertinent to watch carefully that today those we believed to be gone, are back in our shores and this time, to mine us off our poverty and sell it in their coasts. Their first stop often as they reach our land is to reach slums, pavements and areas of underdevelopment, poverty and hunger-their choicest destinations (often with good connectivity through air), where they pull out their point and shoot cameras, to do exactly what it is meant to do-point and shoot megapixel after megapixel of great whites amidst the poor, vulnerable and unprotected lot in an impoverished nation that will soon get uploaded, downloaded and hoisted in racks and presented in slides during fund raising campaigns amongst mesmerized audiences who can’t stop but give in to their compassionate side on seeing the marginalized blown up to unimaginable proportions to fit into their own imagination of a community of victims, they provide with deep-seated hope that this situation might change and render themselves as agents of such a change. Thus emerges a breeding ground for forced-need-based communities and strategic-greed-based organizations and the marriage of these two groups have become complementary for each others survival.

Over six decades of freedom later and after millions of dollars raised outside our borders in promised lands by compassionate people and those living off that money raised in the name of the poor, with a stage set for provider-receiver drama to happen with lakhs of organizations to act as actors, traitors and betrayers (from within and out) breeding with their eyes on the share of the morsel than anything else-with many who come by day and fly by night, nothing much has changed; we are still burdened. The only thing gained is that we have been able to maintain this image of an always poor and needy still “developing” nation... and with this attitude of ours to supply to the demand of other nations with our poverty, we will always be this way and will remain and be kept this way for a very long long time to come and our image too, just like that of Africa, will be a story of never ending poverty and sorry endings and we shall soon be dressed in rags in the imagination of the world. Keep contributing. Jai Hind!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Question On Indian Identity

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way,
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit,
where the mind is led forward by thee into
ever widening thought and action,
into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake”
From Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore

If I were to draw blindfolded an image of an Indian from what I hear from what people have heard or seen about India and its people from outside its borders, perhaps I would be drawing a dark, skinny and dusty person with a grim face and a turban wrapped several times around the head, amidst dark, gloomy clouds of lust and violence, corruption and scams, pollution and population hovering in the backdrop. Much of this imaginary imagery has been seeded long before and has been systematically imprinted in the minds; and we, from within the borders, have relentlessly watered and nurtured this image to keep it intact. Yet, it is only an illusion and the deeds and characteristics of a minority present (as in any other country) and presented cannot be generalized and held true and applicable to the majority.

Amidst that white-faced, faith-based pseudo-justice born out of intentions conceived through the marriage of hypocrisy and greed, it would be as revealing as a naked butt on a freezy, cold day if the following questions are pondered over: How is this image drawn so conveniently? Who frames these images? What benefit is derived by giving and taking up such an identity? 

There is perhaps a reason for allowing this unclean and skewed image to be maintained to arrive at a win-win situation to both the perceiver and the perceived in many ways as we ponder over the issue of identity and the concept of being identified. Much of the damage, if any, has been partly due to an identity thrust upon us and much more attributed to us for accepting the identity thrust without defending our own. 

Could it be blamed on ignorance? or perhaps apathy? Or maybe because many of us were busy with other things in life to survive and to be less bothered about these things. What if a few of us are really bothered and would like to defend? and what if some dare to uncover the masks of those who paint us black or rather brown?! Would the tables turn then?  

In the pic: is the painting of M.F. Hussain, titled 'the rape of mother India, which portrays the image of a woman caught in a struggle to escape from the strangling force of two wild bulls. This painting was heavily criticized for the imagery as well as the titling. Revisit the painting and see the relevance it has today, when you see the Indian identity suffer a similar accord torn apart by the betrayer from outside and the traitor from within... 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Isolation Chamber

The history behind this actuating, rusting, rotten metal sheath is that this is through which you would have been fed just enough to keep you alive if you were a brown Man caught fighting for freedom. It was hard not to feel the pain while there thinking that when thrown into one such cell, the movement of this solid iron piece was the only thing one could see or hear besides one's very own movement (if any) as the rest of the people roamed outside, shamelessly unmindful of their slave-like condition, living a life as ever-obedient slaves to their masters and traitors to their very own. 

Looking from where I stand today, I realize that this dreamy freedom that some of our so called "brown dogs" got us in exchange for their lives they gave up with a smile when the last tight noose smeared with shrapnel tightened around their hearts, they perhaps hoped that we and the generations to follow, might be able to experience the joy of such a freedom they could only dream of then.

If we peruse on those lines, that dream of theirs was better than the reality today. The aliens who were here to mine our wealth in the name of a company, are back and this time, from several quarters and cleverly disguised, to mine our poverty in the name of corporate, multinational companies and other foreign and international organizations and institutions to capitalize and optimize on our vulnerability-the basis on which MoUs and contracts are signed. These are neo-capitalists, who see us nothing more than a Return on Investment (RoI) and our lives, our communities and the problems we deal with as their Unique Selling Point (USP) to reap, pack and sell outside our borders to nurture profits and dividends back in their homes out of which a portion found fitting for us to keep us alive is thrown at us for which we are busy fighting among ourselves to take a grab of the morsel. Oh! didn't they know well and perhaps too well that when divided, they rule?!...

We are being silently and systematically plundered, ruined and tagged and we are carrying these imprints yet it is not such a rarity that these isolation chambers are what many walk into these days willfully and voluntarily giving up pride, respect and dignity which some of our earlier brown dogs refused to exchange for the rationed morsels of life thrown at them. Slaves, traitors and betrayers still live on and long amongst us. Yet it moves...