Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Keep Walking

"When you are going through hell, keep going." - Winston Churchill

Im just gonna close my mind and keep walking.

Churchill won the Second World War for Britain. I will win mine someday against this system.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dream On!

I want to :

1. Watch Milan play LIVE in a Champions League match and win.

2. Watch a LIVE game between Real and Barca at the Santiago Bernebeu

3. See the Olympics LIVE in Beijing.

4. Travel to Rajasthan, Leh, Vaishnodevi in the next few months.

5. Visit Europe, Italy specially and travel the routes my Dad took.

6. Learn to play the Guitar well in the coming year.

7. Watch India vs Australia LIVE in Sydney.

Bas itna sa khwab hai!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Baap Ka Raj Hai Kya?

This is not acceptable.

No way is the MNS representative of Maharashtrians, let alone Maharashtra. No way is Maharashtra the sole asset of Maharashtrians. The Constitution of India grants each citizen freedom to travel across the length and breadth of the nation and engage in any occupation which is not detrimental to society or immoral. Apart from Article 370 of the Constitution which restricts the ownership of Property in Jammu and Kashmir, there is no law restricting ownership of property in any other part of the nation.

So, each time Bal Thackeray or Raj Thackeray or any other 2-bit goon says: "Mumbai is for the Marathi Manoos", ask them to go and revise the Constitution before speaking. Their attempts to hijack the fundamental rights of citizens of Maharashtra, be their origins from North India, South India or anywhere else, is just that: an attempt to hijack the fundamental rights of the citizens of Democratic, Secular, Sovereign India.

Their stand has no legal standing and their strong-arm tactics are tantamount to suppression of democracy and a contempt of citizen's rights. While I am a believer in non-violence, I think its high time the government, both Centre and State, answers the goondaism of these so called party-leaders with an appropriate response. It is the common citizen who suffers because Raj Thackeray wants to make his useless presence in politics felt. It is a regular Mumbaikar (and not only Maharashtrians) who face problems daily, when these fools decide to throw tantrums.

Burning buses in Dadar, stoning hospitals in Thane, burning homes in Kankavli. How does this benefit the society?

There are millions of people living in poverty in Dharavi and the many chawls that are spread around Mumbai, while these "representatives" live in government provided bungalows, highrises in posh areas and own large lands in prime spots. The ordinary family puts their children in government schools since they cannot afford the high fees and donations of private schools, but these "representatives" send their kids to the top schools charging fees that would run a village for a month. When they say they "understand the common man", "are fighting for the common man", I say NO, they are only serving themselves and making a fool of the uneducated masses or bigoted masses who will follow their rhetoric for want of a better goal.

I fail to understand how they are blaming the North Indians solely for the problems in Mumbai. How does a fruit-seller or a pani-puriwallah or a taxi driver contribute negatively? Don't we all enjoy eating a fruit chat outside college or a pani puri at Juhu beach or bless the cabbie who gets us to our exam center in time for the paper? I say these people infact help Mumbai work better and help the pace of life keep up.

While the argument that slums and chawls are populated by such people might be thrown at them, I say, it is the politicians who are to blame for the poor living conditions and the tax on the city's resources. They themselves cultivate the slum-dwellers as vote-banks and refuse to either improve their lives or work with the Municipal corporation to stabilize the real-estate and living conditions including water, electricity. Prime example coming to mind is G.R.Khairnar who was doing what the law stipulated and got suspended for doing his job.

The Shiv Sena has always had a history of violence to achieve its objectives or push through its point. The MNS under Raj Thackeray is following in the footsteps of the Sena. It's almost as if Raj Thackeray has to keep up with the Joneses (or the other Thackerays in this case) to prove himself. And ultimately, it is the common man who is being penalized for the mindset of these bigots.

While the majority may harp on reliance on legal measures, it is not sufficient to curb such narrow-minded bullies. It is not easy nor possible for the common man to group together and indulge in violence to combat these people. Besides, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

The thing is, we might not beat them, but let's not bow down to them either. Mee moden, pann vaaknaar nahi! It's what they taught me in school, Raj Thackeray. How ironical, no?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

War and Peace - Part I

I decided I would write this article about a month back, when I read this news report on BBC.

"War is something absurd, useless, that nothing can justify. Nothing." Louis de Cazenave said so and this article can stop right here and the point would have been made.

But Im still gonna write ahead anyways. Maybe just to vent out my feelings on war. It's been building up for a long time now. Since, I want to say so much, I am going to make this a series. Starting with Part I then.

The first memory of me thinking about the futility of war and its consequences seem probably to start with the movie Lakshya. The character of Priety Zinta is sitting in a hospital canteen after having witnessed a soldier die and she talks of "Aman aur Shanti." And another soldier, who is a friend of the dead soldier flares up and ticks her off saying that the country cannot sell itself off and must defend oneself when some other country has made the first strike. Even soldiers do not want war, but they cannot sit back and watch as others attack ones country.

Even discounting the melodramatic lines of Priety Zinta's character, the sincerity of the words (mainly the soldiers) really touch you. I wonder what name I should give to this emotion? Helplessness? Desperation? Frustration?

Another poignant scene in the movie shows an officer who is wounded in battle, clutching his gun and a photo of his family and exhorting his men to go ahead and complete the mission. On their return, they find the office shot.

As a kid and even today, when I used to watch something scary, I used to tell myself to be calm by thinking that these incidents are only on film and so the actor will live, he wont be hurt in real life.

But I suppose these scenes are nowhere compared to the actual existences in real life.

More in Part II

Religion and Life

I came across this today and it angered me. Why? To know more, read on...

It angered me coz first of all, we are wasting our time with religion. "How?", you may ask. The first thing that hits me is statements like "Archbishop of the Southern Cone, which covers much of South America." I wonder what gives one man the right to power to lead so many people. Wherever they choose to go immaterial.

Religion, fucking religion. Over centuries, it has led to so much bloodshed, so much hatred, so many divisions. I really question religion, what it stands for, when it can't guarantee people 2 square meals a day or a roof over their heads in the rain. And these fuckers have the time to make statements over religion and waste their lives pursuing a path that no one knows, where it ends.

Tell me, why the hell are we so fucking sensitive over Ram, Jesus, Prophet Mohammad? Did they solve the worlds political crises? From where I stand, they are only adding to it. Did they guarantee a good quality of living to the people across nations? Hell, no.

Infact, even a mention of their names just leads to trouble. Think how idiotic it is for people in Pakistan to lose their lives in riots caused by some cartoons in a Danish paper. This is completely unacceptable. No way of life can be greater than the value of a life itself. I care a damn what anyone says. Including our very own "defenders of Ram" aka BJP, Shiv Sena and Co aka The Religious Bullies. Each time someone so much as sneezes the word Ram or Mahabharat, these people go into seizures and destroy public property (which is bought using the hard-earned money I pay as taxes) or indulge in mindless acts of violence against people who have nothing to do with any of this. If these fuckers are so capable and brave, I say, let them face off against our Army. Double or nothing. Winner takes all. They will return home with broken bones, torn clothes and a beating they will never forget their entire lives.

We talk of Islamic radical elements in countries like Pakistan, Iran et al. But what about the Christian radical elements? History has been witness to the innumerable acts of violence in the name of Jesus propagated by vested interests.

It is this thing that makes my blood boil. I am of the opinion that faith is good. You can believe in Allah, Ram, Jesus or Johhnie Walker. It's a good thing having faith. It provides stability in difficult moments. But as far as I have seen, the concept of religion is abused by a certain people to send the masses in the wrong direction seeking faith. And coercing the masses to commit acts unteneble to the faith.

And they even justify it saying it's in the best interests of society! WTF... The best interests of society is when the basic requirements of Food, Clothing and Shelter are absolutely guaranteed and each human being has the means to achieve their dreams and live a semblance of the life they have a right to.

Since religion is such a touchy topic, no one will even listen when I say, seek your own faith, seek your own bearings, fuck the hypocrites. Coz that's what ALL these organizations propagating faith are. Maybe I am wrong. Coz something inside tells me that there are wo/men who actually dedicate their life to the cause of society and humanity. Mother Teresa is one who comes to mind instantly, Adi Sankaracharyar (Periyavar) again. These people used religion as a platform to build humanity, help humanity and teach people to live good, decent lives. If someone tells me, religion and religious institutions are what these people stood for, I can accept that.

What I cannot accept is people spouting Sanskrit scriptures (which they don't understand) and hope for the world to be a better place (for themselves primarily.) What I cannot accept is people teaching the world the finer nuances of Hinduism and indulging in corruption. What I cannot absolutely accept is one person killing another in the name of religion.

A human or for that matter, any other life, to me is the most precious of God's creations and no person, ABSOLUTELY no one, has the right to take it away from another. For years, I have debated with myself about the death penalty and I tend towards life imprisonment, but not death. None of us can create life. So, what gives us the right to take it?

This includes the religious zealots who torch innocent people's homes, rape women in the name of a religious riot and loot shops and homes.

Does religion need such a defence? In this case, is it being defended or raped by the acts of such opportunists?

What I fail to understand is the mass of fools who follow the leaders of such movements. To me Hitler was not the problem. The problem is justifying why so many men followed his orders. Hitler against the mass of men who worked under him was a no-brainer. Hitler would have been killed. But what drove so many people to carry on his evil work? Similarly, what drives so many people to commit such crimes in the name of religion, at the behest of a certain leadership? Is it the promise of heaven? Someone should tell the fuckers that such people go to hell. Maybe we should just let them hang between heaven and hell and keep swinging. Payment for their inhumane sins.

To all who preach on the significance of the Vedas and Upanishads, I have news for you. Religion isn't about Ram defeating Ravana. Religion cannot be about someone who killed someone. We talk about Dharma overcoming Adharma. But how is creating an eclipse to help kill Arjuna kill Jayadhrata (Krishna in the Mahabharata) justified? Battle should be fair and to me what Krishna did is wrong. My mom says, to maintain Dharma such acts are required and since it is God who is doing this, it is correct. But I disagree. No matter who you are. There are only 2 things to an action. Right and Wrong. The trouble is: the right path usually means problems for you; the wrong path usually means ease for you.

Which brings me to the conclusion and that is to me, Religion in the way we live life. Take my funda or leave it. I don't care either ways. To me religion is about being able to be Dharmic in the sense you are doing right things. How do you define "right"? Well, most of us know that anyways, don't we? We just choose to look the other way, most times. To me, it isn't so much about spouting words from the past, as much as it is about treatment of the people around you, devotion to your work, relationships, commitments. To me, religion is about not breaking an unspoken commitment, even when you have the chance to; not robbing someone, even when you have the chance to; being fair to people; being humane.

It isn't about standing on the top step of Harvard, taking a gold medal, but instead using your modest education to work towards touching the lives of people whom you don't need to help.

A somewhat dim reminiscence of a quote comes to mind: "Character is about how you treat people who can do you no good." Similarly, religion to me is about how you live life, whether anyone chooses to look at you or not.

I hope that when I die, I can see a changed world. A world where we no longer hear of bombs or bullets; a world where people stay together, work together and ensure a good quality of living for everyone; a world where farmers don't have to commit suicide; a world where kids don't die of malnutrition.

I hope that we all can work towards creating that world.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I Had To Close Down Everything, I Had To Close My Mind...

Won't give up. Come what may. This is the path I'v chosen. It's my choice. It's who I choose to be. I won't give up.

Just need to put my head down and work real hard.

World, Hold On.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Whats Happening?

Im alternating between hope and despair, anger and calmness, revengefulness and a cold aloofness, being upbeat and being depressed for no reason.

I hate feeling weak. Even more than that, I hate sympathy. I just want to go away from it all. I never asked for any of this in the first place. I feel really badly trapped. Theres no enjoyment to anything.

One way or another, I'll make it out on my own. I'll figure it out. The pain has to have an ending in happiness.

I just need a break. Somehow.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Note To Self

Come what may, I will work hard. I will be honest, towards my work, towards life in general and all people I come in contact with, and I will be fair to all, no matter the circumstances.

I don't really know the big picture of my life nor who influences it. But I will surely do my best, follow my principles and just take what comes my way.

God, let me revisit this post each time I feel wronged or am close to going off the path chosen for me.

Dedicated to Archie and Me!

You'll Never Walk Alone (The Liverpool Football Club Theme)

When you walk through a storm,
Hold your head up high.

And don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm is a golden sky,
And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho' your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never, ever walk alone.

Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never, ever walk alone.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sunrise... Sunrise...

Poem inspired by Norah Jones' song "Sunrise, Sunrise"

Sunrise, Sunrise,
I see the morning in your eyes.

Each day begins when you light it up with your smile.
Each day ends much the same.

How the day goes, I don't know.
Much the same, I say.

I don't know how the tides changed such.
Maybe they haven't changed much as life's gone along.

Sunrise, Sunrise,
I see it in your laughter.

Giving the world strength,
Giving me reasons to laugh through the pain.

Sunrise, Sunrise, you complete me.
Without you, what's there to see and enjoy?

Without you, who am I?

Popat Ho Gaya


God, please let it happen! :)