Friday, November 25, 2011

A Slap's Tale

Hardly has a slap ever caused such a furore. We've had shoes thrown, which I think should be worse than a slap, but we didn't fuss over that. We had people dragged along (one ex-freedom fighter who was protesting in favour of Anna Hazare) but that didn't turn any heads. We've had incidents that are far worse than a slap that come by ever so often, and for some reason we are making much hue and cry about this particular slap.

Ok, granted that this was a Union Minister but why the fuss only when he is slapped? And at least, he was slapped for a reason - he defends that prices be deregulated. He hasn't commented yet though on what he pays for his food, or whether it comes almost paid for by the government from taxpayers' (the slapper in this case) money. There are people who are slapped, beaten and killed sometimes for no reason at all and we make a fuss about this?

The response to this is to condemn it and condemn violence. What about the violence inflicted on the taxpayer by suppressing his resources and making life depressingly difficult? Let's leave out the other citizens of India who didn't slap Sharad Pawar. Or wait. Is this a moral issue of non-violence? If it is, the double standards are out in the open. The same ones with which parliamentarians, sorry politicians, strut being in Parliament and enjoying the perks that come along, while they run personal empires that are conflicts of interest as a fundamental right. But if this is an issue of efficient governance that get slappy for an actual proper reason, then the governance has failed.

Let's face the fact. We all are like Harvinder Singh. The only difference is that we have a different set of people that we would like to slap. That our situations haven't reached such extents of desperation is just a matter of time. When that day comes, my list of people to slap will include everyone involved in allowing the price of petrol to rise while they still maintain subsidies, arresting and releasing Irom Sharmila whenever they please for 11 years now just so that the issue won't blow up to their shame and allowing a system which gives wrongdoers fair trial which only corrects the situation technically and keeps the crime as rampant and of course deregulating prices.

So, I support his action of slapping Sharad Pawar. I don't ideologically support the action as a symbol of protest, though. I think we need to look at the issue of what made Harvinder Singh do it more closely, why nobody else did it before him and why other people aren't doing it anyway. And, seriously, also tell people like Sharad Pawar that their ignorance of the people has reached its heights and that they should stop strutting around like running the country is another fundamental right.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

All for a namesake

What inspires this post is a fight for homelands. All the way from Israel-Palestine to Telangana. One will note that the one thing is common, as the title of the post indicates. However legitimate the demand may be apart, it is a case of a namesake. It's more a case of we-want-that-name-back, than it is give-us-what-is- rightfully-ours-which-was-snatched-away.

Now really, we must understand a few things. One, a name or recognition does not change anything. It just revives an identity, and, with much respect to sympathisers of original identity, no one chooses their original identity. People need to understand what an identity is. It is transcendent of location among other things and translates into everyday, almost every moment practices. What it translates into is what sustains it, and that's what it essentially is. It doesn't need a homeland back to exist.

Secondly,about the identity issue, we forget that it is not possible to live without an identity; we either have a strong one or a messed up one. And since those many years ago, when ours was apparently uprooted, we got ourselves a new one which was fine before somebody bought our minds to think we suddenly turned a cheated lot. People are only held back from embracing their present identity, which again is a matter of a namesake.

It's an emotional thing, and contrary to what pro-Telangana supporters claim, governments have to choose (reasoned) better governance over “keeping their promises”. Perhaps it's the government's fault when they made random comments about the issue.

Thirdly, time, life and change are all directly proportional to each other. When a homeland is taken away, life continues. It must. The world cannot just stop. And when that happens, and you want to get your homeland back, you must realise that you will be uprooting people who built at least one generation of lives there. The hope is that when you break their lives by asking them to make new lives forcefully, you realise that you did the exact same thing when you were asked to move. And when you do that, the hope is that you understand that you have an absolutely alright life, with identity that's just about right, and all you wanted was only a namesake. So not worth the fuss.

Namesake or not, you have everything else including the community, family, tradition and all the rest. It would amount to quite some selfishness to simply ask for it despite the damage it will do to everyone else but you, yes, when for you it's just the cherry on the cake. In a modern age, it's justice and equal governance that need to take precedence. That does not make cultures(and identity) redundant, of course. They will always be. They can never die unless we choose to discard them ourselves. There are ofcourse times the old ones adapt and new ones form. That process is completely self-driven. More important than the words and symbols that they represent, normal life will always matter.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

For all Bangaloreans excited about the La Tomatino Festival

Just imagine you were born in a third world country
That is if you know what third world even means
Think about what you would do if you were starting sick
And you had no food to send through
No, not even a tomato
A sweet red juicy tomato to just sink your teeth in and get the relief of a dose of lycopene

But in a country nearby
Where millions die from starvation alone
Folks who don't have an imagination at all want to have some fun
Playing with tomatoes is the sun
Smashing all that precious lycopene
When it's a thrill but really mean
For all those kids who don't even have a scene with lycopene

Have you ever seen your ribs stick out, and stand out like you've over-exercised your chest
Because your legs just seem so thin
And you wonder how you can even stand on your own two feet

Have you ever sat around, huddling, sharing a piece of bread, or maybe a tomato
Because your stomach's rumbling and it won't stop
But that'll only happen if some food from heaven drops down
And you're thankful it did so you dig in to whatever you got
And share it with whoever else's stomach is as well
But if you've had it upto your nose
Every single thing in overdose
You probably never know what it means
To be nutrition deficient-forget about not having lycopene
And you'd probably agree that there's nothing wrong when

In a country nearby
Where millions die from starvation alone
Folks who don't have an imagination at all want to have some fun
Playing with tomatoes is the sun
Smashing all that precious lycopene
When it's a thrill but really mean
For all those kids who don't even have a scene with lycopene

So here I cry, not "Save the trees"
But have you gone so, so cold
You don't let them hog the lycopene you want to waste
Throwing it all around the place instead
Messing up each other's faces
How can you be so heartless, ruthless and mean?
To smash tomatoes in each other's faces when they don't even have a decent scene with lycopene

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Jokpal Tapes

UPA: "Anna, don't blackmail us by fasting."
Anna: "Arrey, I'm not trying to blackmail you. I'm just protesting."
UPA: "No, it's blackmail. You can't have everything your way."
Anna: "I'm not asking for anything my way. I just want corruption out."
UPA: "But that is what we said we will do, no? The Bill has already gone into process. It will be released in the monsoon session."
Anna: "How do you expect such a rubbish bill to be introduced when it is protecting government servants from exposure?"
UPA: "Dear Anna, please don't make this about your opinion or say about the matter. It's not you. It's an entire nation the bill is designed for. Please don't be selfish. Moreover, making laws is a prerogative of Parliament. Don't mess with the system. Simply why?"
Anna: "Selfish? If you want to take all opinions into consideration, put even ours. Let both be looked into in Parliament. Why the self privilege? Why are you protecting your people? What do you have to hide? If it's your prerogative, it's also your responsibility to do so for the benefit of the entire nation - not just your ilk. How many more scams do you want end up being smug over?"
UPA: "Annaji, this is too much. We will not allow civil people to make laws. What are parliamentarians there for?"
Anna: "If you don't agree to re-looking, I will fast. You are NOT greater than the nation."
UPA: "Arrey. Ok fine. Let's at least talk about some terms and conditions. How long do you want to carry on this fasting nonsense?"
Anna: "No. I will fast till you make the bill non-nonsensical. What do you have to protect anyhow?"
UPA: "Then we will have to take action against you."
Anna: "Go ahead. I know what I have to do, and I refuse your "terms"."

(UPA Huddle)

UPA: "Yeh Delhi DS ko bulao aur dekhlenge ki kis section invoke kar sakenge hum."
DS: "Saab, CRPC ka Section 107 hain. Uske andhar Hum Sec 151 kar sakthe."
UPA: "Hmmm. Ek aur section hain na? Section 144 kuch?"
DS: "Haan Haan. Wo bhi. Kisko jail main dalna hain abhi?"
UPA: "Arrey, yeh Anna Hazare aur unka log."
DS: "Teek hai. Aap jab bolaga."
UPA: "Haan Haan."

The police arrest him

DS: "Anna Hazare, we are arresting you under section 107/151."
Anna: " Chale."
DS (perplexed, thinks to himself): "Yeh kaise aadmi hain yaar?"

DS reports to UPA

DS: "Saab, hum arrest kar chuke."
UPA: "Kin kin logon ko arrest kar diye thum?"
DS reads out the list of people
UPA: "Acchi baat bhai. Good job. Good job."

In UPA Cabinet meeting after the ruckus

Manmohan: "Bahut thaklif kiya yeh Anna Hazare. Unho ne samjha ki Bill unka hai ki, ya pura desh ka?"
Sonia: "Aapne teek kaha, Manmohan. Kuch ko tho karna hai unko."
Manmohan: "Abhi tho jail main shanti se upvaas kar rahe hai. Jab thanda hai, thanda rehne do."
Manish: "Par PM ji, ithna gadbad karne ke bad... log kya bolenge."
Manmohan: "Manish mere bhai, chod do yeh baat. Yeh kahani kaise likke ja rahe hain, hum on-the-way kuch na kuch strategy banana padega."
Manish: "Haan PM ji, magar main tho spokesperson hoon. Mujhe tho atleast ek accha utthar dena padega na?"
Manmohan: "Main hoon na. Main sambalega."

Manish hides the expression on his face. As they walk out of the meeting, he pulls the Prime Minister to the side.

Manish: "PM ji. Suniye tho. Yeh aisa vaisa maar peetna ke liye karan dena bahut mushkil hai. Main kya bolu media logon ko?"
Manmohan (puts hands round his shoulders): "Dekh. Yeh sab chote mote cheez ke bare main math gabraey. Yeh sab coalition politics ka lena-dena hain."
Manish is dismayed, but holds his own.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Freedom and the Fundamental Right to be Heard

There was an interesting thought that came to mind at work recently. We had to come up with ideas for posters to give to clients every month. And for August, we decided to give one on the occasion of Independence Day. All the advertising thoughts that came to mind boiled down to one thing. Freedom is something that we can never lose. It's something we can only abuse. It's not dependent on what we get. It's what we are indeed. Anything we feel we must protest for is something, that even if we get, will bind us within it. And every time we demand a certain freedom as a right to exercise, we also snatch a little of the same right from somebody else's.

It's a bit like that law about energy in Physics. The total amount of freedom in India always remains the same. If I'm free to stretch my elbows, they are bound to be in someone else's face in a matter of seconds. But then it's my right. I can't help it if it naturally deprives somebody else of theirs, right? Or not?

Yesterday, Aug 15th, was one of those days when everyone got poetic and patriotic. It amuses me, the passion with which we celebrate Independence Day. Independence from what, I say. If it was Independence from the British, we went from the frying pan into the fire. Wasting time on the details is useless. The bribe-takers-and-givers and the politicians have been sounded out to enough. If they aren't shameless yet, we should be loosing hope already. Let me talk about the most interesting of aspects about our freedom that made news this time around.

I have been amused by the policy of having to get permission to protest. Not just when Anna Hazare was refused permission to protest yesterday. But since time immemorial. In Bangalore, there's a park called Freedom Park, which is specifically meant for protests and such. It's like the government telling you that you can have your say, but only when, where and how we would like it. It is also saying, now that you have your say and have exercised your fundamental right to do so, be happy. What about the fundamental right to be heard? Or was there one at all, ever?

It was very funny that the Delhi Police restricted Anna Hazare's latest fast (I've lost count now of which one this is) to three days and five thousand people only. What kind of tokenism does the Government think any worthwhile protest should be? Just right, so that the shoe fits perfectly? Doesn't that make them fascists when their control of the situation is beyond excuse?

I think we need to stop talking about Anna Hazare and start talking about Irom Sharmila. The joke in this case is that she been "arrested" for suicide because she has decided to fast indefinitely for the ASPCA Act to be revoked in Manipur. She gets arrested every time she's in danger of dying and gets released when the government thinks that she will be OK for a while. The cycle repeats over and over again. And unlike Anna Hazare who fasts and breaks-fast at will, she has been force fed for the past close-to-eleven years now.

As for people who actually have bills to pay and such, we just seek to get to work on time and stay alive.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scream 5

Scream, if it makes you feel better
Scream, it takes the load off your shoulders
Scream
Scream, and shatter someone else's world
Scream, even if they only fit in obscure
Just scream

Scream, because answers will then come running
Scream, because the Universe is not yet listening
Scream
Scream, the world owes you
Scream, it may just pay up if you scream yourself hoarse

Scream, your concern's not top of agenda
Scream, it works better than any propoganda
Scream
Scream, it's the best way to make your point
That you're not happy and it's not only you it haunts
Just scream

Scream, cause reason's no logic
Scream, because your plight's way too tragic
Scream
Scream, they're all blind to your spotlight
Scream, they'll atleast see that you've got the hotlight
Just scream

Scream, because nobody else gives a damn
Scream, because their fear will make them scram
When you scream
Scream, you haven't got what you deserve yet
Scream, you haven't lived up to your purpose to serve yet
Just scream

Monday, June 13, 2011

The excuse of needs

Needs. They are unavoidable, especially the ones I am talking about in this blogpost. We all have 'em, and can't live without them. A lot of them we don't understand, despite the fact that each of them give us a lot of pleasure. By this statement, I refer to all needs ranging from lip smacking food to our emotional/erotic/hormonal ones. My POV is we should not be victims of our needs, despite the pleasure they give us. This is simply because it shortens the span of the life you will lead. I explain with reasons below:

1) It's a circular trap you get caught in, outside of which there is lots of freedom you don't explore.
2) You end up going into maintenance mode, for most of the time you're alive.
3) You make everything everyone does for you, including the ones you love the most, gratificatory (I may have just concocted that one).
4) The ones who provide your needs become commodities, just like when you provide someone else's. To do this is just plain absurd. Gotta to have some value, yeah? And not the kind based on which the price of what you buy in the general store is fixed.

Now, I tackle the extreme case scenario - emotional/erotic/hormonal needs. We all need to be loved, yes, I perfectly agree. But does "we all" include the one who satisfies our such needs as well? Is the need to be loved a daily dose or is it a ever present one? Would you like to be the one whose loving you and serving your exact needs and, I dare say, wanting to have his/hers served as well? Can we throw his/her need for needs being satisfied out of the window? I wouldn't want to be that guy. I'm sure any girl wouldn't want to be in that position either.

Here's the thing. When needs become gratificatory, they become pills. You have to take them daily. Rather, you have to be given them daily. Between the two, I pity the ones who is being demanded of. No, wait. I pity the one who demands. When things fall through, the latter will be in a worse off situation that the former. The latter will be the one to lament about the former. We know it tends to be masculine-tended.

A need that's gratified over and over is a dead gift. It pleasures us and then we need another dose (repeat x the rest of our lives). Then your lover is your need gratifier. Every else you may say about him/her in this case is bullshit. You can flush it down the commode. So much for romance and all that comes with it. You're, then, lying through your nose when you say and do all of that. Or, did I just mix that with another need? Maybe this is where the whole thing of it's not working out-we need to break up-soon enough onto next boyfriend-or back together again-I can't live without you comes into perfect picture.

Perhaps we should separate the two. Needs are needs and love is love. Needs, I can gratify. I choose if I want to commodify myself as much and live in to maintenance mode. And while I do that, I also role play on how the other end of the relationship gives me the opportunity. Whether I am guilt-stricken or so selfish that I can't see beyond my own needs and how I squeeze dry the other end of the relationship who also has them, I decide for myself. Of course, the other end of the relationship can also walk out and I can lament to no end till I get into another relationship. So on and so forth, over and over again.

Love(and whatever it is), we can wait on it till it delivers that magical something (that's if we still have some hope in it). When love(whatever that is) becomes more than just a need, it takes shape in the fabric of our everyday. It ceases to be a pill or a dose of anything. It's no more an expectation of something that we will get. In one sense, it may be a hope of something we'd like to find. The perfect thing in reality, finally. It is a two-way thing regardless of kickbacks. Unfortunately, the only way it survives is if both sides keep the pact to ensure it stays two-way, with both sides constantly exploring through their own efforts. Neither are perfect and are probably worse off, more usually the side between the two that doesn't lament to no end about the other's incapacity to satisfy their needs but waits for their own time under the sun exploring it further each moment.

Up to then, my needs will remain needs anyhow. I can choose to be victimised by them, of course at someone else's cost (and pray he/she stays). Your gamble :)

On a side note, are your needs just an excuse for your ego and selfcenteredness?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Character or Punctuation? o.O

Character or Punctuation. That's the real dilemma. Facing situations everyday where I need to make sure that I keep both in balance so that I am not gramatically wrong and don't write flat language, it still remains a dilemma. There are rules though that I know I must stick to always.

1) PUNCTUATIONS HAVE PURPOSES

Any writing always has something to say and that must be its function - to be informative, primarily. It has a purpose to serve. Any editing that may happen, has to happen keeping that purpose intact. The first rule is that PUNCTUATIONS HAVE PURPOSES. We don't use them as fancy elements. Of course, in language there are well defined purposes and morphed purposes for each punctuation, but purposes none the less. If the punctuation has no function, it shouldn't be there. It should make clear what would otherwise be ambigious.

2) SCHOOL GRAMMAR DOESN'T ALWAYS WORK

Reiterating the first point, to serve its purpose, it can serve it in morphed or derived ways as well. We make rules so that they actually make the writing unambigious and stick with them accordingly, per client, or per purpose of writing. This, or we justify each punctuation with reason making decisions on the spot. Then you get to deal with people who stick to school grammar rules and they turn all your character-filled punctuation logic into a mess o.O (Rule here: Smileys replace full stops when at the end of a sentence. You can't have both.)

3) CHARACTER COMES FROM ANYWHERE, BUT THE RULES

When you write, you know what you've written is not perfect enough, by any standards, until it matches the picture in your head that you want to express. Punctuations are not the first thing on your mind; they come in later. They just get written and the writing finds the character it was looking for, so much in perfect balance. Like magic. But then, not really. Frankly speaking, only magicians can create something out of nothing. All writers are not magicians, and writing is NOT magic. You do find the few, when you find them; how and why must remain a mystery if you want their work to be appreciated as much (by yourself as well).

On the other hand, writing is also a technique and stereotyping it doesn't do any good, especially by the guys who are not paid to do it. There is a process and it must be followed to get that perfect balance. If the process isn't respected, we get boxed sets of rules regarding the usage of punctuations.

The sucky part is when you have to, then, box it into a set of rules, school English style. And especially when the stuff has no character, intrinsically, it is really difficult to insert any into it even with the finest of these rules.

We can stick to keeping headlines, which are full sentences, without full stops based on on-the-spot decisions, or always use a full stop for full sentences, headline or not, PERIOD (get the pun :)).

*SIGH*

Sunday, February 27, 2011

When dreams became entertainment

Dreams were always revered and dreamers were the few. Dreams had a certain elevated value. They came with a certain price. You'd see a man who desperately scrambled a few, a few that only seemed worth his worth, and then become the start of a great dream that realised. That, in a generation when dreams weren't taught and to dream was not really in. When you either were up there or way down here and there were no tools to deal with it, except that you could try and make it and you would either make it, not make it, reach, at best, somewhere in between, or fall far behind.

Well, welcome to new generation. Here we teach our young 'uns to dream. If they don't have a dream, we give them one that is better, cooler, crazier and bigger than the last one. If we can't afford any of those, we just give them one that ends up paying the bills.

Here is the catch. Right from school, lofty ideas of things to be and people to be like are driven in to the head. To reach for only the stars and higher. Perhaps, when we say that, we leave them in a state of limbo. We can never really reach for the stars and we will die trying to do that. It is not exactly the case, if you look at the repercussions in Gen X, that they have understood it to be AT BEST a idiom. Whatever they understand it as a metaphor to be, whether it means outdo the guy next to you or your best is never enough, there is now a problem.

The problem is this. We have been putting stuff in their heads before they could even think. So, beyond a point when stuff is not their heads, it is a state of confusion. And if whatever was there goes, there has to be a replacement. And that replacement has to come fast because then there will be a state of greater confusion because that replacement is not coming fast enough.

Might I suggest that we'd rather not plant stuff in their heads, especially when they have not decided what they are actually made up of? Or are we to decide what they are made up of? Perhaps school shouldn't be called school. I think we take the name way too seriously and end up exactly schooling them. What if we let them figure themselves out, whether they are worth the dream or not? Whether they are indeed worth the plant that we'd like to plan inside them? After all, they will be the ones who will follow through.

Better, let us let them choose what they want to plant in their heads. Let them desire, whether it will the stars they aim for, or if the glory of that particular challenge is or is not really up their alley. Do we let them discover their alleys enough for them to figure out what they are made up of in the first place? Given the trend, the corporate world that awaits them laps them up with excitement, one that is reciprocated almost immediately. They are happy that we start manufacturing their brood well in advance.

What, now, is the big deal about a big dream? What are dreams worth? Is the dream only worth the dream being realised? Or is the dream worth the dreamer? Are we to die for the dream? Or is the dream a result of being such a dreamer? Without the dreamer, there would be no dream. With no dream, we all would just die so we just have to have one. And we can't settle for anything less than the best, even if it's a long way off. Just for the sake of it. It serves the entertainment of the mentality that we have been taught that we shouldn't be goalless, directionless and such. Oh no! That shouldn't ever happen.

And who's to say what a dream is and what is not? Maybe if Shakespeare wrote a play on it and it would have become a line which encourages this very aberration subjectively and puts it aside letting the Great Games of Dreaming go on.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The "BE the change" myth

Getting straight to the point - BE the change. A very often used phrase, one that is supposed to be of the tone that makes your point worthwhile. Let me make two small points about it about why it really shouldn't even be a phrase used as seriously.

1) The actual line is WALK THE TALK. The essential difference between the two is that when you walk the talk are simply are living up to your words, something you should be doing anyway. When you say BE THE CHANGE, you are acting in a self righteous mode and trying to push down a point of view down someone's throat insidiously. The problem is the attitude that BE THE CHANGE comes from when it should simply be WALK THE TALK. The idea should be to simply BE.

Biblically, we are not asked to be the change or the difference for the sake of it. We are to simply BE people whose actions match their words in every respect. If and when people dig it, when it is worth them, they will see it. It is not a foreign thing to everybody else for it not to be noticed. It is a universal truth to everyone.

2) The golden rule: You don't BE THE CHANGE to try and change someone aligned to the same polarity. It will only work with someone aligned to another polarity. When you have people who follow the same verses, draw the same inferences and then do extremely opposite things, there is no change you can be to even affect any change. If you be the change, they will predict the exact change that you will be and the exercise will be to no avail. It wasn't really supposed to be of any avail at all. If you were solely trying to be the silent change, you will are underestimating your fellow believers of the same polarity to be idiots, which is not the case. What they profess is alright. It's just their actions that don't match. They are just not using their heads.

A man going on a cross country cycling tour for poverty alleviation doesn't simply ride around the country smiling at people. He probably has messages all over his cycle, newspapers writing about him and talked to people about his cause whenever he stopped for a break. He did very much talk about it.

Mother Teresa, when she saw poverty and did all that she did, did not do it for others to be the change she was being. She did it simply because it was worth her calling and profession. Yes, she did not go out on the town and talk about her actions but her actions were seen. Neither did she ask that alternate Missionaries of Charity-like organisations be founded like she did hers.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The politics of preservation/Oh! The sweet taste of freedom


In light of the recent assertion of opinion worldwide, there is a string of commonality that can be seen. In both the opposition to opinion and the assertion of it, we see that either/all parties trying very hard to protect something. You have the pro-present ruler parties fighting for the present ruler as their protector, even giving their lives for him/it. You have the pro-change parties who are willing to give their lives for change – change that they want to be a part of.

You had pro-Mubarak supporters shed the blood of anti-Mubarak supporters literally on sword and horse. So, Hosni Mubarak is the man and killing all people anti-Mubarak must die? If he was indeed the man, he wouldn’t have to run away from power, being forced out of power. You have Muammer Gaddafi saying that if he chooses to, he will rain terror on the nation and people will die. His supporters are going house to house to “kill his supporters”. Who is the scarier lot, would one say? The 10,000 odd supporters or the many more Libyan citizens who really want to get out of the daily hang noose that Libya is now. It seems that in the end it will be a numbers game. The best numbers will win, whenever victory is achieved.

The pro-side seems to attempt the preservation of what they think will sustain them. That’s on the assumption that Gaddafi will be their great sustainer. Whether a great track record or a fear they’d rather not consider, is it not them who would sustain him in the end? The anti-side wants to preserve freedom and democracy among other things. A far better thing to preserve. At least, they are taking interest in preserving their own fate. This substitutes a bloody revolution, like this, for an any-old-day election, that’s not rigged hopefully.

What good is giving your life when you could be dead when it actually happens? It is you believing in it so much that you jump in with your everything and then die that makes you a martyr. It is not a proclamation that you will do it that makes you one. When one makes such a proclamation it is usually when he has the comfort of doing so, like in literal cases of Muammer Gaddafi when he said he will die one. Other leaders under pressure aren’t as outright but seem to show a turgid exuberation that amounts the same tone.

True martyrs don’t have the option, either because it kills them to not stand for what they believe in the opposition of whatever or because they are made martyrs by the people, in the face of whom their martyrdom ends up being rubbed in – if one is wise enough to take note. Moreover, martyrdom, which takes care of itself, is hardly the issue unless you really want to be one and you are willing to do anything for it. Yes, absolutely bluntly, becoming a martyr for the sake of becoming a martyr. If one was indeed worth the glorification, they’d make better use of it while they were privileged to be alive. If the glory attained would, then, still be an issue, they should be a benevolent to the people who will actually give them that glory. It all adds up to same thing in the end. Further, it is inexplicable what good that will do for them once they are dead and gone. It’s all a very fuzzy concept indeed.

If it’s change and non-oppression that is being asked for, then martyrdom may just be a by-product/consequence. It cannot be the end goal and must have its place towards the furtherance of times towards better times.

So, the bravado really doesn’t achieve much, and the true heartfelt bravery comes from people who are really looking for that change. But not all these people really want change, it seems. In some cases, they just seem to want a wisp of the sweet air of freedom. It’s not that in all cases there was true non-governance and tyranny. In some cases, life went on and politics was just played on high grounds where three (or four) square meals a day, just enough water and roof over the head was not as important as power and ego in its absolute extreme context. If it is all just for the wisp of freedom, the bloodshed is surely not worth it.
The true heartfelt bravery does not come out indeed because these people need their time to make ends meet first. When it does, then (ending up) giving your life is almost inevitable because a man can only take so much before giving in to the psychosis of the desperation for better times. You can’t blame a man for that. You can only blame the man who puts him under those conditions, especially if it is the consequence of idealistic well meant policy that went bad or that would have never worked. From an article I read recently talking about the rule in North Korea, it’s not about achievement of equal result but the availability of equal opportunity that makes the prefect crossroads that don’t get nations into a series of revolts, one after the other.

As long as we know what we are asking for in a better government, and not just asking for a better government. As long as we know what we are asking for in change, but not just asking for change. As long as it’s not that wisp of freedom that will be refreshing but that real on-the-ground freedom that will not drive you into a psychosis of desperation that will spiral into a series of events as the world has witnessed in the past some months.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

@AllTheGuys: Ridiculous Female Chauvinism in the name of Breast Cancer

All the guys out there,

I come fresh from a new discussion concerning a new trend of Facebook statuses that ladies have been catching on, the latest being a series of drinks. Apparently, it is a means to confuse the men as to what they mean. It is passed around among the ladies with specific instruction to only let the confusion grow by not telling the men and having them break their heads over it, not having to figure it out it in the end. The drinks trend is as below:

Tequila: I'm a single woman
Rum: I'm a touch and go woman
Champagne: I'm an engaged woman
Redbull: I'm a woman in a relationship
Beer: I'm a married woman
Vodka: I'm the "other one"
Sprite: I'm a woman that can't find the right man
Whiskey: I'm a single woman but with friends that won't stop partying
Liquor: I'm a woman that wishes she was single.
Gin: I'm a woman that wants to get married

So, if you are on Facebook, you should find some of the women on your friends list use these statuses and having a ball after they confuse the men over their meaning. Thus, I have cracked the code for you. Being a sufferer of the nonsense, and after realising it is not even worth the effort to scratching your head over it, I am compelled to get this out to as many men as I can. You women and men who side with them on the issue, I apologise for any disloyalty of any kind to your race or my own race. I am personally not in favour of the female chauvinism it causes. If by any means, this blogpost spoils your party - I apologise as well - with much glee :D

Interestingly, the trend was really not the case. The trend of mysterious statuses was started in honour of the Breast Cancer month which is October. It was intended to raise awareness for the cause, one of the more famous ones being the "I like it on the" followed by things like couch, chair, bed, table etc. This refers to where the woman likes her bag being kept. Things like shoe sizes and such have also been used in the past.

I appreciate the cause, but I wonder what the heck what it has become now got to do with Breast Cancer. I am still figuring out where the mystery actually causes Breast Cancer Awareness. It's become some really weird excuse to confuse and stake a claim to a very confusing legitimate female chauvinism of some sort . I appreciate the whole phenomenon and it's humour as long as it does not go to the head. Unfortunately, it seems to have gone to head and us clueless men scratch our heads while they laugh away at our plight.

The worst bit, which inspires this blog post, is that even if you find out what it means the "joke" is supposed to have turned right back at you only better - only God knows why. Maybe time will indeed tell, as they say. Post this blogpost, if you do come across any such new trends, it just may be an upgraded version of this trend - whatever it actually achieves in the end regardless.

Now, I hate to be a bummer but I expect them to say that I fell right in to their trap, which I very well expect but I am glad this out and that it's on my blog for people to see.

P.S.:- This post contains no intention of malice, hatred, dislike or such like intentions. It is intended to be informative and humourous at the same time. It comes from no personal dislike of anyone from me, its writer. If one is to feel any negative emotion as a result, you are welcome to comment on it or email me. I am always a man of reason. If I have won you at your game (that's if you're playing it), you may admit that I have or you may say that it's turned right back on me. As always, reason and logic rule , as much does common sense. That does not mean the emotional kind are not as welcome to get back to me on this :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Politics of Humility

To have a man say he wants not for himself and believe him is a hard thing nowadays. It is normal for a man to help only after he gets what his is, or what he needs first. It is even more normal for a man to do something for you and only do it unless he gets something out of his effort – even if it costs him nothing. Why it should I have no clue, but it does. Even if the time he invests would be wasted anyway, it still needs to have a payback. It has become some sort of a sub-conscious psychological rule in our heads to ask what we have to gain from it and make that the criteria for anything that we do that we don’t really need to do or gain from.

So much so, when someone indeed makes an indeed considerate offer, we tend to question what seems to be his motive. I don’t doubt that that might indeed be the case that he/she has a selfish motive. But it just may also be so that he doesn’t. It is in all probability true that he has no clue why he is asking what something to gain from the whole exercise.

In that case, you shouldn’t trust anyone for your life – except of course those whom you know to love you regardless. Thank God for family J Down the line when we are on our own feet even that doesn’t hold good. We get our own concerns to keep regardless, once life and responsibility get a hold of you.

Yes, there are people who sincerely practice the politics of humility and it is difficult to judge whether they are indeed in it for something to get or whether they really want to be of what help they may. We can choose to not risk it and go along with our own means – a reliable man (or woman) is usually made up of his own. But it is only a reliable man or woman who is made up of his own who can afford to start to have the politics of humility, to offer, to have something to offer in the first place. We all need our kicks and, of course. And sometimes, we really don’t have a choice but to hope. We can either hope or give in to the cruelty of the predicament. You may be a fool to hope but if you give in, you get out with nothing either way. You may as well get out and with something or at least hope to, while you hope to at least last till the end and after.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

OF RELATIONSHIPS AND BOXES...

Life is about people, and loads of people. You can also make it about a person, that's only yourself, with everyone else supposedly purposed to befit you. Or you can make it about everybody collectively including yourself. Nonetheless, it about either of these people and the relationships thereof.

The tendency of GenPresent is to box these relationships, in boxes that are widely apart. Some boxes tend to mix around with others, depending on the people/person in them. Now there is a problem here. Quite a big problem. From the boxes that could be, including boyfriend, best friend, friend, acquaintance, colleague, family and such, we tend to restrict the people in these boxes. By doing this, we do not explore a relationship to the extent that there lies a connect. We actually restrict a connect, resulting in much frustration that is often only one way and unseen by the other and sometimes (when it's better) seen both ways. This being the case, it is not healthy. It does not allow either party in a relationship to fully construct and enjoy the connect that lies between them – which, unless either party doesn't feel the inclination and the desire to do so, will lead to the enjoyment thereof.

Now the problem is one of a tag. For reasons that can be blamed on the present progressive culture, we tend to tag people and then box them as opposed to letting the connect be discovered and basking in it. It becomes a sort of a I've-found-my-security-in-someone-else-and-I'm-holding-on-for-life thing. The world is not so cruel that we have to be so desperate to be loved. Love is a two way thing. It works for us and also it benefits the one we get it from. The ones we seem to cling onto to avoid that supposed cruelty also suffer from the same fear.

A case in point. Take a couple, a boyfriend and his girlfriend, or vice versa. Name them A & B, in whichever order you like. However it is that they got to know each other, now they have a tag of officially being a couple. The question is of the consequentiality of the tag. What does the tag do to what the two had between them before they tagged themselves so? Does the tag, now, restrict that freedom that initially allowed themselves to explore the connect? It sometimes turns out to be an obligation, that is actually, something that they would do anyway if the tag was not there. It may as well be real and come out anyway, than for it to be obliged. The tag may also be but a mere extension of the exploration of the connect. But then, the (pre) tag becomes ball and chain in nature. The closest to a tag that does justice to exploring the connect is to say that one and the other simply are tight. It may well be so that the connect may not last for that long but yet the tag persists. So is supposed to be the connect and hence the relationship.

It's not important as to how in the conventional sense of the word they are tight. Whether they are boyfriend-girlfriend, just friends or any other relationship convention that there may be, let the relationship(s) be defined the two people without which it would not exist – fittings apart.

It's a more fun, healthy and adventurous way to go about this. Let yourself be surprised by the kind of people you like on various levels. It lets you know a lot more about yourself and about what lies in the people in the world and in the world around you. Allow the connect to build itself on you both. Don't restrict it with a tag. Let the tag define itself, if it must. Otherwise, it is unimportant.

A line from a song by the The Band goes, "My love wants to have her fortune read and I know that she's in a hurry. If we go along the straight and narrow, you don't even have to worry. " Indeed, we can't read our fortunes but we can choose to choose the security of the future of the love that surrounds is, if we so wish. But Love has to work two ways. Deprivity never really can make the world go round, even by those who defeat the notion. If you walk the straight and narrow, you will either build your connect with much awesomeness and respect, or you will realise that it's not your connect to have as a result of a lot of building of self-identity and lots more respect. A seemingly very loving relationship of any sort between two people based on ensuring no insecurity is one based more on fear and non-realisation of self value that you would bring to any relationship for that matter.