Friday, August 14, 2015

On this 15 August

There is no reason to believe that the herd that could live under Turks for thousand years could not have lived under Brits for next thousand years. How is paying teen-goona-lagaan any worse than paying jizya? How is being ghulaam worse than being dhimmi? How could the masses of India fight for something they had no idea about? Majority of us still have no idea what freedom is.

But India did get its independence. What explains this mystery is something called geopolitics people are ostrich about, perhaps willfully.

No matter what the chamchas on commission have scribbled for us to rote, India owes her independence primarily to Nazi Hitler; and commie Stalin could be blamed for her division. These bad-ass accidental-angels made Brits bleed and made keeping colonies unaffordable for them. Besides there was not much juice left here to suck on anyway.

Or may be I am wrong. May be Gandhi won freedom for Burma and Sri Lanka too. And for all of Africa (by 1960s).

Right or wrong, I believe people of both side of Radcliffe line worship false gods, and/or for false reasons. I am sorry, I find Kavi Pradeep's "De Dee Hamein Azaadi Bina Khadg Bina Dhaal" offensive to the likes of Bhagat Singh and Subhash Bose and thousands nameless others. But let me not digress. The point that I want to make is different - our freedom fighters were great but they had little chance against the might of B&W Raj since those few were vastly overwhelmed by cows, cockroaches and cocksuckers.

Speaking of cockroaches and cocksuckers, they didn't vanish after 1947. They wore first Gandhian hats and then Nehruvian hats and carried on with their business. Remember - whenever an occupying power leaves, it installs its own puppets. That goes without saying.

Though the cows have hardly done enough to deserve their independence, and they are far from being even partially decolonized, they do have an opportunity. And hope. Let's celebrate that today.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Ideas whose time is up

Religion: We know now that earth is not flat and the sun doesn’t revolve around the earth and stuff like that. And more, like evolution and natural selection, which explains things like kindness in us. We still have unknowns and we still have unanswered questions, but those questions are more educated. Since our ignorance is not the same anymore, or our idiocy, our Gods and his prophets have to grow up to stay relevant. The morality preached by holy scriptures is grotesque, if not immoral and violent, and the revealed truth is anything but the source of truth. Classic Religion as we know is way too stupid for this era of Internet and cloning. And way too costly in terms of human life!

Organized Religion: Religion is bad enough as it is, but when it’s organized it turns into totalitarian regime, looking quite similar to Communism, Nazism etc. It eats religion hollow leaving no trace of meditation and spirituality, and makes it exact opposite to what it is supposed to be. But that’s not why it must go. Why it must go is the rise of nation-state, and the modern realities of passport, visa etc. Religion as an organizing institution has become obsolete. We are not tribal groups anymore; we are nation states now. Sometimes loyalty to religion creates confusion and conflict. Some of you might leave your country to wage jihad for ISIS. But we would like to keep crackpots out of this discussion. Nuts like you deserve a Caliphate.

Nation-State: Businessmen close down factories in their homeland and outsource jobs to foreign people to make more profit.  Employees seek opportunities in foreign firms at foreign locations and they compete against firms of their own countries. Nobody knows, let alone cares for, his neighbor and whatever happens to him. Love for your culture is out of fashion and considered retrogressive. What do you stand for, if not your cultural identity? State? That who leaves you when you are hungry and sick?  And turns back on you when you have wealth? What do you need state for – to pay tax and to fight against imaginary enemies? Patriotism is stupid, if not hypocritical, in this age of globalization. 

Marriage: Do we need love and companionship? Yes. Do we need approval from phone-and-internet relatives? No! Not in the world shaped by migration in which we live among shadows and noise. Who cares who and how many you are living with? When you don’t give a fuck to society, what do you need their approval for? Sounds bohemian? Well divorce used to sound outlandish few years back. Today it doesn’t even raise eyebrows. Because couples are breaking up all the time! The old system is falling all over the place. It’s not working! The contract between man and woman and their families must be re-written with due respect to woman’s power and other changes that are staring at us. The need for children cannot bail out this creaky system for long.

Family: Who needs family? The characters of Ayn Rand don't. Independent individuals with creative and futuristic minds can live without nonsense perpetuated in the name of tradition that's part and parcel of community life. However, men and women, especially kids, old, weak and sick people, do need family. But with modern fetish like career, success etc. occupying the focal point in our collective consciousness, people are investing less and less in their parents and children in terms of time. With increasing mobility and migration, not to mention inflated cost of living, and myriad temptations lifestyle magazines offer, raising kids is not the most exciting thing for young couples. Besides, modern women don't like their cribbing in-laws hanging around. In case oldies make themselves useful by helping with diapers, a symbiotic relation can be happily thought about. Otherwise, the changes in our attitude have shaken the very foundation of this institution. The joint family system has already collapsed. What is left now needs blood and oxygen.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

On Porn Ban

Your choice is your prerogative. It's your business and yours alone.

But do understand - if you contribute to the demand, you DO support the supply. That's how the game is played. It's called economics. You cannot jerk that off.

So here it is - if you like to see that type of stuff, you DO support that type of exploitation. In fact, coming to think of it, what you do is more than mere supporting. You sponsor that.

Of course you are free to decide for yourself. Rather you are obliged to. Nobody knows enough to decide for others. At least I don't. I want to make a limited point.

Porn != loveMaking; Porn != careerOption; Porn == trafficking & violence. This is deductive, and is not a function of ignorance, denial or forgetting.

And there is a dying art of seduction.

#YourChoice.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Order! Order! Order!

Let's get this straight - courts resolve disputes and they maintain law & order; they don't give justice.

And what's justice anyway? What does it mean? With passing age, I am getting less and less certain about more and more. But I feel with reasonable confidence that Justice is arrant nonsense of a concept. It's just another human invention that has no meaning whatsoever. Just like God, it's doesn't exist!

No court has ever restored a loss of a victim. Because no court can. Once a loss is made, it's made forever. You cannot undo that. You can pronounce judgements, even minimize losses, but you cannot dispense justice. Even in the best case, how can you make up for the lost time, and for the pain that one goes through while justice takes its course?

What you do with a murderer or a rapist might save his potential victims, but that has no bearing on his victim. Understand this - delayed or not, justice is always denied. When a man-eater is killed, only those who have not been eaten feel safe. That too is important - people must feel safe, for themselves and for their loved ones. It's lonely world out there - nobody should be allowed to deprive anybody of whatever little comfort or support one has. Though Justice is an esoteric concept, everyone including a child can sense injustice. And nobody accepts it. Nobody should.

Today, a terrorist will hang. Perhaps it's necessary. Yes it's necessary. Violence must be discouraged and fought against. Though Capital Punishment is cruel and medieval, I am ambivalent about its abolition simply because I don't think anybody has any right to forgive an offense made against others. It's easy to tolerate others' pain, isn't? We the People dying in 3rd world can live with only so much 1st world liabilities.

Anyway, let's leave larger issues like judicial reforms for some other day. Right now I cannot help feeling a little sad about the whole blast episode. I wish this mad cycle of violence stops and no life is ever brought to an end like this. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park



and




These pics were taken on 27 June this year. My wife had planned a trip to Yosemite National Park to celebrate my birthday. Perhaps because I sprayed sunscreen into my eyes, or because of God know what, I was unable to keep my eyes open. Plus the afternoon sun was shining blindingly. Nothing was going my way. When we pulled over near Tunnel View I took out my camera merely to perform a ritual. I had no hope; I was already planning for my next trip to Yosemite.

So when I look at these pics, I wonder who took them. And how!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Minority

Minority doesn’t mean Muslims, though the words have become synonymous by mis-usage.

Here are few facts - Muslims are the 2nd largest population in world and the fastest growing by a wide margin. In the Indian subcontinent, Muslims are almost as many as Hindus and at least ten times bigger than any other religion (Christianity for instance). And in India, they are not only the 2nd largest but also more than all other minorities combined.

Hardly a species facing extinction! Then why Muslims are called minority?

Your guess is as good as mine. On my part, I daresay that they are the only majority in India. Let me explain.

In the context of electoral politics, politicians look to tap votes. No other group of people can influence the result of an election as Muslims. Monolithic or otherwise, they are veritable bank of votes! On the contrary, Hindus don’t see themselves as Hindus. They are loyal to their little caste affiliations. Some of them think for themselves. They too vote in blocks, but if and when they do, they vote in caste blocks. None of these caste blocks can come close to Muslims numerically. Muslims remain the largest vote bank. And that’s precisely why all political parties court them at the expense of so-called majority.

No matter what, no political party in democracy can stay in business without the blessings of majority. That's the scared law of electoral politics. In India what misleads is nomenclature - a majority is a majority even if you call it by any other name. It's fun and effective if you call it by its antonym. 

Let me not go pedantic on the technical definition of the word minority. But one would imagine that minorities are generally the people on the periphery. They are relegated outside the system and its discourse. They are not significant let alone powerful. In short, these people don’t count an awful much.

In India, people of North-East are real minorities. Leave skull-cap type identity politics, they have real integration issues in their own capital. It's hardly surprising that our politicians don’t talk too long about them. Politicians don't see enough return on investment. Their situation is pole-opposite to that of Muslims who hog the whole minority space alone, leaving nothing for real minority groups like homosexuals and transgenders and tribals etc.

Coming to think of it, the politics of India has been hijacked by two groups – Muslims and Corporates. The former has number-power and the latter has money-power. Everything else has become minority. 

Sum(Truth) = Lie

What was yesterday was true yesterday. That’s not true today anymore. What is today is true today. It won’t be true tomorrow. We live everyday life with everyday truths. These truths don’t last, nor do we. In long run, we won’t be merely dead; we'll be as if we have never been. We come into being from non-being and return into the same. Non-being or the one big being. Perhaps that’s the only truth. When this truth strikes, all other truths turn into a lie.

Life is a zero sum game, more or less – sum total of many little truths turns out to be one little lie.  

I see the open secret that’s for all to see. The puppet has come to know that the script is playing itself out. He has come to know that he is a puppet. He has come to know that what’s being played out is a script. It is not what it looked like. It is not real.

You preened yourself in dark brown mirrors. You admired yourself in others’ eyes. You found yourself in them.

But they who were there are not here anymore. They have been withdrawn in the background. They don’t matter to you today. And those who were never in sight have appeared on the stage. They will disappear tomorrow. They will be withdrawn. By now you see the pattern. But they matter to you today. Keep playing; the play is going on.   

You didn’t know her. But she was somewhere. She came by. She kissed you and smiled. She put her head on your shoulder, and squeezed your hand while saying something warm in your ear. She melted and became one with you. Forever. Came tomorrow and she changed. And she said that you’ve changed. Doesn’t matter if you did or you didn’t. Change catches you for sure. Things fall apart in ten directions and you find out that you are eight hands short. She will turn to other side. She will walk out of love. She will have tears in her eyes. Before long, she won’t be there. You won’t know her again. Forever.

I find myself in local train. People are around me. They were not around me half an hour back. They won’t be around me in a short while. I don’t look into their eyes. I don’t smile and say hello. I don't care. In a while the train will pull over and I will step down. That’s how it is.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

iBania

I understand practical choices. 

I understand why the best of Indians line up in scorching Chennai heat and fawn over consulate clerks for Visa stamping. I understand why we Indians make hundreds of rounds of "Visa Balaji" in Hyderabad. It's tad bit too much to expect a software slave to prey "Where the head is held high" to his defeated God. That's understandable.

What is not understandable is why we are so awfully proud of these choices. I stay in Bay Area these days and I might want to stay here longer and this place being a great place notwithstanding, I never for a moment felt proud about it. I don't see my moving here as me going places. Migrating is not "going places". There is no pride in Indians fleeing India. If anything, it's an admission of collective failure. It proves a colonial point that we Indians are incapable of building a system that we want to live in. And that's not at all flattering. The better ones among us should feel humiliated, not at personal level of course, but collectively.

But we loudly publish "moved to San Francisco" on Facebook. We are proud of what we should be ashamed of. We have a strange and skewed sense of pride and shame. And superficial sense of belongingness and collective. That's why our whole is much less that the sum of our parts. And that pretty much explains why we are the way we are.