Monday, June 27, 2016

A Rose By Any Other Name

These days, somehow, the idea of classification, stratification, categorization, reservation-no matter what you prefer calling it, at the end of it, the idea of discrimination-surrounds me.

Aparna recently was on a visit to Korea to present a paper in an(other) "international" conference. Upon her return when I asked whether the idea of living in another country fascinated her, she said that she would like to visit not settle. She felt that the hospitality of people lasts for not too long and lasts up until the natives begin to feel that there is 'some other person' in their territory-talk about guests and meat stinking after three days! What interested me was not about the natives yet about a young western girl (performing the duties of a secretary) who had been assigned to take care of the logistics during the conference. The white girl ensured that the fifth floor, from where the view was the best, was carefully allotted to the whites (only whites), keeping the next floor for the Asians (the browns) and the lower floor for the Africans (the blacks). Except the whites, the rest were restlessly uncomfortable with this logic of separation and everyone's discomfort was choice-fully ignored; and you know why. God! I thought... it must have looked like stripes on the United Colors of Benetton though I didn't think out loud and chose to reserve my comments.

Personally, recently I had a humbling experience learning that the word 'discrimination' is quite offensive and too difficult a 'word' for people to digest if one uses it to communicate a more offensive, difficult and deliberate 'action' of the 'other.' I was soon to realize that, you would be advised-with utmost sincerity by the 'other'-to use more 'diplomatic' words to portray the violence without offending the violent. This diplomatic use of words assures that perpetrators of violence and injustice, remain unoffended and unaffected and receive the required sanction to carry on with what they do sans hurting their ego, conscience and sentiments; meanwhile abolishing everyone who would take a chance with words and offend them or perhaps prompt their conscience and attempt to stop them from doing what they otherwise do with comfort. Safe and sound in their serene shangrila of immorality, assured uncouthed impunity by thrusting the idea of diplomacy on others. While claiming to live in a civilized world, the cowardly few, carry on with their most uncivilized actions with no one to offend, question or stop their cowardly action with nevertheless-words-or perhaps the lack of it. It seems that the want to live in a "civilized" world (whatever that means) applies to only them and no one else...

Just imagine a situation where you are driving on a dark, curvy road at night and you just forgot to dim the car's headlight for an approaching vehicle. Do you think the guy who is driving towards you is going to take it easy, digest your mistake and cheer the idea of being diplomatic and polite?! Of course not! Before the vehicle zips by, your entire family's history, geography, dignity and honor would have completely collapsed with the choicest use of well rehearsed words, leaving you with time for a thoughtful reflection for a while within the comforts of your car and the audience of the ones travelling with you. What emerges out of this (so called) 'filthy, vulgar, impolite and undiplomatic' use of words is that the next guy who will be driving past you, is assured a dimming of headlight as a response sans a reminder or a need for request. An automatic and classical conditioning to respond to a stimulus. Thanks to the unreasonable, undiplomatic and indecent bugger(!) my action becomes more reasonable, diplomatic and decent... isn't it?

Diplomatic communication, I think is a trick on us. While we try to scramble, juggle and trampoline our brain into choosing a 'better' word, like we do in a game of scrabble, those smart cookies who hide their sins under the blanket of diplomacy, play the game with no one to stop them and escape in the cover of diplomacy and claim for civilization. What else will one call that racist, discriminating, secretary from the west-reliving in a prehistoric world with a retarded, apartheid-mindset-who threw people on different floors based upon their colour-anything but... 

'A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a
base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited,
hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a
lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson,
glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue;
one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a
bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but
the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar,
and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I
will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest
the least syllable of thy addition.'?!* 

Note: ...if anyone has a problem with the use of words, kindly take it to Sir William Shakespeare. *lines extracted from King Lear by William Shakespeare for my lack of 'diplomatic' words to refer to the otherwise wonderful Secretary.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Verse Libre From A Prison

Every time one runs...
runs from something,
towards something else,
leaves behind what once he called 'home'.

A home, at times, a prison for many.
To escape, to run.

Far away into the distance,
to turn over a new leaf, to start a story afresh.
Stories stitched into a tapestry-
gathering tatters some from here and some from there;
stories that shackles hold and forbidden told
held together with stitches running bold.
Man runs; a man made to run.

An abode for a while, a menage perhaps (?!)
or a space for a bit to relax.
The farther he runs, the more the pain
with shackles that restrain.
Yet, man runs.

Alas! he runs into a sanctuary green
serene and sound it only seems.
A prison in its own making far away from home,
a glorious grain of a story retold,
thoughts of another prison just enfolds.
Man runs.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Very often, as often as we often do, we take a few lines (out of context) and we dare to commit the blunder of maligning the very nature of the person who spoke by highlighting the parts sans understanding the whole.

Friedrick Nietzsche, said to be a devil, an anti-Christ, a wicked man who was supposed to have said, "God is dead" actually did not say (just) that; yet if people had (only) read the whole, would have perhaps understood that he said just the opposite of what we remember him for. Here are the infamous lines that made him famous...

Said Friedrick Nietzsche, “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?” 

which is not the same as "God is dead." or is it?!

One more misunderstood person manipulated in History by a maligned lot.