They scored really well. But is this a sign of compatibility? I am not questioning this particular couple. Take any two people. Is knowledge about likes and dislikes evidence that you share a deep bond?
Isn’t being aware of these details a sign of good memory and good observation powers? Where does compatibility figure? What is compatibility?
Comfort: Just a feeling that the other person makes you feel like what you are and you do the same. Do not underestimate it; we all tend to smother and suffocate each other.
Clairvoyance: I am a firm believer in being able to read people’s minds, not in a judgemental way but in a manner where some things can be left unsaid.
Completeness: No loose ends. No feeling let down. No edginess.
Conviction: Yes, the belief that this is right.
Cessation: Surprised? Two people - lovers, friends, spouses - ought to know when the time is up, when things are not what they used to be. That to me is the highest form of understanding.
We rush to embrace what we like but don’t let go when that like does not have the same intensity or capacity to hold together.
I have often been told that I let things and people go away too easily. What am I expected to do? What are others expected to do? Life gives us opportunities, and we do enhance what we have. Yet, there are times when things must end, must be put to rest because it is about acceptance. You aren’t rejecting anything; you are accepting its end.
Endings, like beginnings, have their own beauty. Sunsets, nights, birds in flight at dusk, sleep, the last drop of water, the last speck of sand in an hourglass…watch them and you will know how much there is to relish.
Cherish it instead of having to mourn later:
"guzar gayaa hai koi lamhaa-e-sharar ki tarah
abhi to main use pehchaan bhi na payaa tha" (Jan Nisar Akhtar)
No moment has ever escaped me.
I saw her. The flag when she sat with her legs crossed was somewhere just below the knee. Has she insulted it? I suppose so. There was no reason to have this silly display at all – everyone knows that several countries are participating. She is not a cheer-leader, but an anchor, though I have no idea what the purpose of having her or any other woman with no knowledge of the game is all about.
The way corrupt and inefficient people get away with their crimes is an insult. Poverty, lack of health facilities, illiteracy are all an insult.
Earlier Sachin Tendulkar got into trouble for cutting a cake with the flag impression. What about all those pulaos that are made in the three colours on national occasions? What about the models who strut about in clinging tricolour minis?
PS: The national flag symbolises, according to Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who later became India's first Vice President, the following attributes: “Bhagwa or the saffron colour denotes renunciation or disinterestedness. Our leaders must be indifferent to material gains and dedicate themselves to their work. The white in the centre is light, the path of truth to guide our conduct. The green shows our relation to (the) soil, our relation to the plant life here, on which all other life depends. The Ashoka Chakra in the centre of the white is the wheel of the law of dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principle of those who work under this flag. Again, the wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change.”
“If someone dies in the next room you would not even know.”
“Would the dying person know?”
“If I don’t know, then who is more dead?”
“What if someone needs you?”
“To live or to die?”
“I cannot give life to anyone.”
“You could help the person survive.”
“Survival is a fact, life is an idea. I cannot deal with facts.”
“So, do you not survive?”
“Then how do you breathe?”
“The idea breathes.”
“An idea is an abstraction.”
“Life too is. If you imagine for a moment you are not alive then too you live, because the idea is so powerful. That is the reason people continue to live despite being brain-dead.”
“They are surviving.”
“No. Their brain is dead, so survival is dead.”
“What good is an idea if it is comatose?”
“It is outside the realm of that one brain, one individual…it is about living.”
“What is it?”
“It is an abstraction.”
“Can’t death be an idea?’
“If it is tied up with life, as in the living dead.”
“That is a metaphor.”
“A metaphor is an idea.”
“So why can’t death be an idea?”
“Because death is final.”
“What about rebirth?”
“That is about life. You can be reborn while alive.”
“This is bizarre?”
“My LSD moment without the LSD!”
“What is your LSD?”
“Life Surpasses Death.”
Lying on the bed I breathed hard adding to the poison in the air. There was no way to measure, though. Surprisingly, despite the heat and sultry weather in Mumbai, I wasn’t sweating.
There was the crow cawing outside; I imagined it becoming a vulture and pecking at my flesh. I wondered if the salt was just right… I poked my nail into my palm; there was sensation. I was alive.
Then I found the culprit. From the bottom of the door I could see some light. The curtain at the window moved slightly, which meant some air was coming in. Nothing closes completely, does it?
There were keyholes, vents. There was life.
The enlightenment and knowledge I would have acquired from this carbon dioxide versus oxygen one-upmanship was denied to me.
I don’t even know what poison looks like, feels like. I spray the one, a perfume with this name, from a bottle on my pulse points. The fragrance is so strong, it could kill.
I wash my wrists with antiseptic soap until I realise the deadly scent has reached my nostrils not my wrists. I pinch my nose tightly; the cheeks turn pink.
Is poison rosy?
Let speed course through the veins
Life jackets slaves to death
Oxygen masks for last breaths
The aisle of noiseless footprints
Make their way towards locked doors
I am told to identity myself
I ask, “Which self?”
Suddenness fascinates me...one moment it is there, the next it is gone. It saves me the effort of keeping anything for long. I walk through "the half-deserted streets" and revel in the "muttering retreats"...but "there will be time, there will be time..."
Will there be??
- - -
"Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam
Tum rahe na tum ham rahe na hum
Beqaraar dil is tarha mile
jis tarha kabhi hum juda na the
Tum bhi kho gaye, hum bhi kho gaye
Ek raah par chalke do qadam
Jaayenge kaha sujhta nahi
chal pade magar raasta nahi
Kya talaash hai kuchh pata nahi
Bun rahe hain dil khaab dam-ba-dam
Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam
Tum rahe na tum hum rahe na hum"
(from Kaaghaz ke Phool)
PS: Earlier quotes from Eliot.
The moment I read those words, I felt a jab of something unrecognisable.
I do not humiliate people. To me this is the worst form of abuse and I’d rather walk away than do so. It is true that what one writes can be read in several ways…it is also true that I do use life and events or they use me to collate my thoughts into some sort of expression. At least I do not use a third person as a catalyst.
This really bothers me. Am I supposed to get upset enough to respond? Then what is the value of such a response and what is the value of the stimulus if it seeks to reduce everything?
If silence bothers me, I am upfront about it and say, “You owe me a reply.” I do not think I would use anyone else as a ruse.
I should be the one feeling humiliated. But I won’t. I understand that reading people’s thoughts is a dicey business. I have never believed in stratifying things…I cannot build dams. I probably cannot even build bridges. Yet, I know that no one has ever drowned with me. I would not want that, too.
At the bottom of the ocean I am alone. It isn’t so bad having sea-weeds as anchors.
“Main samandar ki tarah khamosh baithoon muntazir
Tu chaley kohsaar se misl aab-joo mere liye”
"I am an eternal optimist. My biggest mistake is yet to be made."
PS: This 'sketch' (have probably used this before here) is evidence of mistakes, technical or otherwise, I make. Somebody's words give me hope, though...
"If you have the guts to keep making mistakes, your wisdom and intelligence leap forward with huge momentum." - Holly Near.
Published in October 2004; I wrote these at different times...I guess...
Grey lining, Silver Cloud
Could we seek perfection together?
Walking through the past
Licking each other’s sweat
Our thirst quenched
Another journey we commenced
And carried back a handful of sand
To tell us we had trailed someplace
Where we looked through a prism
And painted the sky with our eyes
How perfection lies!
One day we returned home
To find eggshells
We were destined to walk on.
It is so easy to break a home
A few bricks, a few stones
Memory’s cold skeletons
Withered roses in the trash-bin
Where did we collect them?
Did we build anything at all?
I felt your breeze
And whatever flew in its trail
I kept as mine
An invisible shrine
A caved-in roof is now
Found an anchor
In an urn
Ashes became my psalm
I crushed dead flowers in my palm
Would the warmth sprout new buds?
Pollen walked the distance
Honey became glue
And I thought I flew
Petal wings felt the sting
Trapped behind a thorn cage
The years missed
What might have been
It was a featherless flight
Against the sun
On the run
Always afraid of the light
Behind the mist I hide
My silver cloud heaves
Like a mother-to-be
Something will be born
I can feel the pain.
Three IPS officers arrested for fake encounter (from The Hindu)
Ahmedabad, April. 24 (PTI): Gujarat Police today arrested three IPS officials on a charge of murder for their alleged role in the death of a man in a fake encounter in 2005.
Those arrested are Inspector General (Border Range) D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandayan, a Superintendent of Police with the Intelligence Bureau, and an IPS officer from Rajasthan whose name was not released.
“I complained that I had no shoes until I met someone who had no feet.”
Then what? What happens after you meet someone who has no feet? Some of these quotes sound good, even grand, but besides that what purpose do they serve? Are they anywhere close to the real?
This is what I feel:
- If you have feet then you need shoes. The kind you need and want may be different and based on the money you have and are willing to spend, on your likes, on your kinks …
- Isn’t it more important to think about those who have feet but no shoes?
- How is a person who desires shoes responsible for the situation of the one without feet?
I think we must stop getting, and putting people, on this guilt trip. It sounds wonderful, but sympathy is a weapon we often use to make others feel inferior.
We continue to covet shoes, we look up new trends, we are acquisitive…so can we cut it out and use these aphorisms only for their metaphorical value?
Like, yes, I complained about not having a Porsche until I met someone with no sense of direction!
Last night my friend called from San Diego. We spoke for an hour...yes, the same one who said her son reminded her of me because he is not quite normal...we had wanted to do the woman trip...meet in NY, then go back to her place. I told her I was tired.
I haven't done a thing to feel tired.
Got a letter from a reader saying that I am the only one who has ever responded to his notes. And then he calls me arrogant...
Who is mad here? I guess I am.
An Iraqi in India
By Farzana Versey
Michael Fathallah is dead, but then there are so many dead Iraqis. So, why do I remember him? I am sorry this is not the right thing to say at such a wrong time, but I just cannot forgive him for having made me drink coffee that tasted like something out of a sewer.
He had gazed at me intently and stated, "You like it! It is our specialty." Since it was not a question, I was hoping no answer was required. I shook my head weakly as I fidgeted with the chipped cup that had no handle. To make matters worse, he brought out a whole bunch of bananas, saying, "Eat!" I assured him all this was not necessary. "Oh, we Iraqis like to pamper our guests." Like this?
I began to think about how I should do it. Ought I to just peel the fruit and start chomping on it, or must I do the ladylike thing and break off one-inch bits and pop them delicately in my mouth? My host was getting impatient. "Ok, ok, never mind, but these are good for your stomach."
Although I was born a Muslim, as an Indian my affiliation with the religion was far removed from the Arabian Nights adventure one was supposed to look forward to in the afterlife. As a matter of fact, the so-called Arab identity was completely alien.
The only Arabs one encountered were tourists who consolidated the stereotype with their white kaftan costumes and veils holding prayer beads in their hands even as they scoured the streets for knick-knacks. Soon, the shops started stocking up on colorful sequined scarves and trinkets that might appeal to their sensibilities. Despite the money, one noticed that they weren't quite treated with the same respect as even the Caucasian backpackers.
It was during one such story I was doing, about the influx of Arabs, that I got to see the amazing variety of people. Not all of them were sheikhs who arrogantly threw the windows in their rooms in five-star hotels wide open to let in the rain and then offered to pay for the soiled carpets. Many lived in small hotels in nondescript localities; they'd huddle together in corridors, mostly awaiting the fate of a sick relative they had admitted into a hospital. India was a cheap and good option for medical treatment.
A chance conversation had led me to discover the Arabs that had made their homes in Mumbai.
That is how I met Michael one afternoon at his apartment in a lane infested with shady characters -- pimps, prostitutes, drug peddlers. I was ushered into a large airy room that seemed to have no furniture. I sat on a low rickety stool and he made himself comfortable on what could have been a cot but was covered entirely with newspapers. He was dressed in pinstriped pajamas -- the kind prisoners wear, and a long shirt. He was completely unselfconscious and I soon found myself liking this encounter. Besides, I was getting rid of my pre-conceived notions about Arabs.
He was a practicing Roman Catholic and clarified: "All Arabs are not Muslim." But he supported Iraqi laws and found the interference of the West, even in matters of laws like execution, disgusting. "Who are they to decide?" he asked.
He had come to what was then called Bombay towards the end of 1917 with a shipload of books and had seen "history written and re-written". Since education in his country was not upto his father's standards, he got himself admitted to St. Mary's School, a respected missionary-run educational institution that even today is considered among the better schools. After his studies, he returned home to Basra and worked as a bank manager. But in 1942, he made the trip back to Bombay to help his brother-in-law with his business and stayed on until his death.
He would spend his time at the Arab School, which would transform into a club in the evenings, and he'd pore over the crumpled old newspapers from Iraq. The events were probably stale, but they kept him in touch with a part of his country. Culturally, did he still feel close to the Arabs? "Of course, I have lived amongst them -- a gallant, valiant, hospitable people."
It wrenched his heart to watch what happened before his eyes in his adopted home. Sleazy action being replayed night after night -- apartments that went under the guise of guest houses from where the Arab tourists trooped out in the early hours of the morning, even as they were fleeced of their money and belongings by hustlers.
Michael was extremely protective of the reputation of his people. So, what kept him in Bombay? "For those of us who don't have unlimited wealth, this is the best place. I can also walk around anywhere in my long night shirt." He picked up a banana and started eating it.
There were no curtains and a gentle breeze was blowing in from the open balcony. He beckoned me to join him outside. We watched the street below and the hotel across from where silly grins greeted us. He took the fruit peel and threw it on the pavement below. "Look, I have become one of you," he declared.
As he escorted me to the door, he said, "Come again, please. I can only offer you the best coffee in the world."
I found myself smiling. I don't know when the bitter taste on my tongue had disappeared.
Far removed from the geographical boundaries of his characters, I still felt a part of whatever happened. Shakespeare’s women were way too interesting, a bit maniacal too (oh, that’s the reason, eh?); his men had streaks of sensitivity running through their compelling manhood; the comic made even plebeian farce seem touched with a wit beyond the mere ‘brevity’ requirement. In fact, they were extended portions that took humour to touch the fringes of sadness.
As in all great art, his world was divided into Tragedy, Comedy, History…but none was confined to the genre…there was romance and dramatic moments. I did not take up English Literature because I wanted to be a writer but because I wanted to be a better reader. In one class they were asking what made us like Shakespeare; I recall saying, “It has everything. You don’t need to learn history, you don’t need to know society, you don’t need psychology. It is all here.”
My friend whispered, “Just say you don’t want to attend all the other lectures!”
It truly was more than that. At an office where you were supposed to register your name (a place where they knew me), I would write 'Cleopatra'. A few years ago a bunch of kids had come running towards me at the promenade in Fort Cochin, "Watt iss yor naim?" they asked in their sing-song kiddie voices with a heavy Malayalam accent.
"Kaleeyo..." they stuttered..."Patra," I completed. They giggled and went away singing, "Kaleeyopaatera".
I used to say, "Out, damn spot!" with great dramatic flourish as I cleaned up the blood stains...does my obsession with blood start here? I wanted to kill Ophelia. Hamlet was made for me.
Vishal Bharadwaj has done a tremendous adaptation of Macbeth with Maqbool; I will need to watch Omkara again to truly appreciate his take on Othello – I felt the indigenisation was a bit too rough at the edges. Will he do a good Hamlet?
I am not too sure. Somehow the thought of Hamlet being transported to a different milieu does not appeal to me. Yes, if Guru Dutt were alive, he would be the one to do it. With him playing Hamlet and Nutan as Ophelia. She is the actress I identify with most and it has to be someone like her…I am that possessive.
And the ghost has to be the character that defines and refines Hamlet. Balraj Sahni.
I should have been born in a different era. That’s what my Prof said too. “You even look Victorian,” she stated. Never mind. It sounds better than Elizabethan.
- - -
"But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun."
- - -
PS: William Shakespeare Bust, Bronze by Emile Guillemin
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.-- Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.
- - -
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppress'd brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;
And such an instrument I was to use.
Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,
Or else worth all the rest; I see thee still,
And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,
Which was not so before.
- - -
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
- - -
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
“I am curious to know what keeps you awake till late night?” somebody asked me. Since I could not answer the query, I got into this self-examination mode…
“Is it insomnia?”
“No. If that were so I wouldn’t fall asleep at all.”
“Then what is it?"
“Restlessness and calm.”
“Indeed. Restlessness calms me, just as water squirting on the face cools one.”
“What do you do?”
“You need to sleep for that.”
“Not to daydream.”
“But it is night.”
“You can simulate day.”
“But then it would not be night, so it defeats the purpose.”
“Maybe my day goes on long…”
“Isn’t there a technical thing called night?”
“As much as there is a technical thing called dream. Therefore, a daydream would not qualify. It would be a fantasy.”
“Is it not?”
“No. A fantasy is something we imagine. A daydream is what we recreate or seek to.”
“You mean to say a fantasy cannot be realised?”
“Why crave to fantasise if we wish to realise it? For me the value of a fantasy is in it being ephemeral, unattainable. If we make it real then all romance is lost.”
“So when you say your day is longer, isn’t the romance of night lost?”
“No. It is extending the parameters of Time. If I darken my windows in the day I am recreating night. After a while my body and mind may get attuned to it.”
“Then that happens to the night?”
“It waits for me.”
“That is being a tease.”
“Probably. I play mind games with the night. And the night responds. In the perfect silence I gather white clouds and rest my head on them.”
- - -
"Khamoshi ka samaan hai aur main hoon
dayaar-e-khuftagaan hai aur main hoon"
British Airways has chopped off a cameo played by Virgin Atlantic chairman Richard Branson in the latest James Bond film Casino Royale.
Who gets more mileage out of this? Branson, of course. What did BA think? That had the portion remained in the version they screen for in-flight viewing, people would have jumped off the aircraft to catch a Virgin flight instead? Or decided to switch loyalties?
Most people choose airplanes for the best routes, the best fares, and what they perceive is safety and hospitality record, though both these factors are iffy.
Branson can and does pay huge amounts for publicity, so it is a bit daft to think he would need a small part in a film to pose competition to BA.
Loyalty in the service industry is based on the factors I mentioned, and that too if you are a frequent flyer. I cannot imagine businessmen or high-flying executives bothering about who appears in a movie. Most of them don’t watch films. They play with their laptops, trying to look busy, or they put on the headphones and fall asleep. Or they get drunk.
BA has revealed supreme idiocy and insecurity. I hope Branson comes up with a fitting reply, perhaps a spoof. He’d make for a wonderfully cheesy martyr. His stock will go up even more...uh, the Virgin's got a rise...
Kaun Banega Crorepati has completed one season. I was critical of it in an earlier blog. Last night as I watched the finale, I realised that Shahrukh Khan had grown on me (not in his film performances yet!). So, here are a few lines I penned. God knows what it qualifies as, but heck I wrote it in five minutes. And don’t anyone accuse me of “aping the west”. The slang is deliberate…hmm, this rhymes too...
Freeze it, Shahrukh!
Oh, how I hate you
Yeah, hear it, hear it, dude
You shook a lot
You took a lot
You asked for hugs
And gave them magic rugs
To fly to lands unknown
Oh come on, stop that groan
I wanted to hit you
To butt-kick you
For that massage shit
And wake you up bit by bit
Your mongrel eyes melted
Hah, yeah they pelted
Me with stones
For keeping up the drone
You made it
You gave it
All you had
It wasn’t too bad
So I shall wait for the next season
Coz I have mah own reason
I have seen worse
That’s been mah curse
Yeah, yeah, you got the cue
I just need an occasion to hate you!
Where were these enthusiastic reporters when 700 hutments were demolished two days ago? I could not even find a report to post here. The only evidence I saw was a picture of the devastated site with a child carrying a fan from the debris. Unfortunately, I cannot locate that picture on the website; it was there in the print version.
Do you know that the CNN-IBN reporter will be considered a great heroine by the staff, by her peers, by all those salivating masses? She risked her life and limb, did she not?
Today’s national newspaper Times of India carried several stories and even a special report. I refuse to put up pictures of what they managed to ‘capture’, although this banner headline in sick pink with its wedding card-like design should give you an idea. I am not sure if there is a deal with Hello! magazine or a foreign channel for exclusive coverage. It is unfair to conjecture.
Whether it is so or not, the Indian media are behaving like beggars. Yes, beggars.
And even those who have shown some propriety are doing so for two reasons. One, they just don’t have the resources. Trust me, I know. Two, they want to pander to the family. Especially film journalists who have otherwise trampled on everyone’s toes to get a scoop have the audacity to talk about “leaving them alone”. This too is simple. They want to be the loyalists, the ones who kept their word. They shall be later rewarded.
I have said this in an earlier blog. This privacy thing is a smart strategy. Either way you win. What was Amar Singh doing on TV telling the world in an exclusive interview about how the valet and chef were given invitation cards because they “mattered”? Why is this information not private? Or is it to tell the world that the Bachchans are so attached to their staff? Bloody hell, the personal valet will be tying the shoe laces and keeping the clothes ready and cooks will be helping in the kitchen. So whether you invite them or not you need them. If all the guests were sent notes asking them not to speak, then who is giving out information about the songs that were sung, the clothes worn, the dances?
Here is one more thing that made my stomach turn. “An emotional Aishwarya Rai burst into tears at the sangeet ceremony on Wednesday evening at Prateeksha, Amitabh Bachchan’s Juhu bungalow. According to industry sources, Abhiash performed to every song played that evening, but Ash couldn’t contain her emotions after she touched Abhishek’s feet in one of the songs.”
If this is true, then it is beyond disgusting. It is a custom among Hindus to touch the feet of elders; perhaps in the old days women did bow before their husbands. But today? Bollywood films and TV serials continue to perpetuate this, but why should it be replicated in real life? And anyway Aishwariya is slightly older, so if anyone should be touching feet it ought to be Abhishek.
- - -
I have commented on the Indian media coverage of the Virginia Tech killngs. A question that struck me: would we have given it this much attention if two Indians had died had the university been in
It is indeed true what the comments below say about Indians aping the West. The more tie-ups we have with foreign channels and newspapers, the more slavish we will become. We have had good ‘women’s magazines’. Yet, people want regional versions of Elle and Cosmo; now Hello! has come in, when every newspaper carries a few pages of gossip, glitter and gas. (That is the way they treat most news as well.)
- - -
I started watching American Idol only to see what on earth this Sanjaya Malakar noise was all about. And you know what? If I had not read reams written about it or seen glimpses in the Indian media, I would have seen him and the show as a tepid display of complete lack of talent. Nobody is that great among the lot. I had read that Simon Cowell was hard to please. Uh-huh, he looked like he was trying so hard to have an opinion to begin with. Totally idiotic.
True, am not a fan of contemporary western music, except perhaps the blues and some neat rap (oh yeah, so what?!), but if you know a bit of music, then you can tell these guys are goners.
Why the hell do they scream so much? Are they just “blowin’ in the wind”?
- - -
Not all is lost. In the case of the ‘rash driving’ by Alistair Pereira in Mumbai I wrote about, who got away with a mere six-month sentence for killing seven people, there is some hope.
Here is a report from the TOI, “There can’t be a greater slur on the system. The way the prosecution dealt with the case was pathetic.’’ Bombay high court Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar’s observations on Thursday delivered the most telling blow yet to the Mumbai police for its “mishandling’’ of the Alistair Pareira hit-and-run case. Invoking a rarely used provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) that gives the high court extraordinary powers to examine the legality of proceedings in any subordinate court, a division bench comprising the Chief Justice and Justice S C Dharmadhikari called for records from ad hoc sessions judge A Mishra who had delivered the judgment acquitting Pareira of culpable homicide.
The judges indicated that they would look into four aspects of the trial— the legality of the judgment, whether there was miscarriage of justice, the conduct of the police and the prosecution and the compensation awarded to the victims and their survivors.
These surviving family members deserve justice.
Kirsten Dunst may be a Hollywood biggie, but this isn't even about a great cleavage. It looks like someone is taking off their night clothes after a rather boring night. Uncool.
The Virginia Tech shootout where 32 people were killed has thrown up various questions and most of you have read about them.
I have always been a bit surprised at the way in which the Indian media covers such events. In this case, because two Indians – a professor and one student – died there has naturally been much interest. However, there is absolutely no reason to Americanise our news. The same pop psychology, the same ‘breaking news’ stops, the same “we will be giving you details all day”. I am sorry for what has happened as everyone is. But do you have to interrupt our news for that? By flashing Minal Panchal’s pictures on screen how would anyone in
I am rather sick of the sound bytes too. One panel discussion decided to debate whether it was safe for Indian students to study in the
And those darned anchors sat there and listened to this crap. If someone wishes to go overseas and wants to study/work, it is their choice. Just don’t give us this barf about how your education is going to improve our situation. We have become so servile that the anchors even said, oh, this also happens in Uttar Pradesh and
When will our media learn to tell the difference and stop toeing the western line in everything?
People often ask me, “Don’t you get too involved with things?” Yes, I do. One example is the article below.
“What makes you do it?”
Belief. Helplessness. And my own conscience.
“Can’t you be dispassionate?”
No. I don’t see how being ‘objective’ can add quality. Besides, I do not shirk facts.
“What will it achieve?”
Perhaps, nothing. But at least someone will listen, think, feel…at least someone.
Just today I got an email from X, who I had introduced where I was in a position to do so. I did not know X at all and now I am not even active where X is. Yet, this is what I got: “Dear Farzana...today is a year… I am still getting inspired to write more. I wanted to thank you for your generosity of spirit and being a source of inspiration...”
You know what? I could not believe it. I replied that in a world of forgetfulness, it was touching that someone could acknowledge what I had only tapped to make a difference to the humdrum.
It feels good when people who should have just begun to ignore me because I am not visible anymore still keep me posted about their achievements, their new projects; with some I have been there during the process of their creation.
Can you imagine my delight when I got a crisp copy of a book with a most touching inscription, all without having to even ask?
I have just watched and been mostly a well-wisher, nothing more.
Regarding feedback, too, one tends to respond to negativity. When I think about it, there is so much positive around. It may appear like I do not notice, but that is what stays with me.
On my travels I met one reader who I had a not-too-long correspondence with. He was aware that I wasn’t too well those days. Do you know what gift he gave me? He brought a whole bag with milk, bananas, protein bars because, “You won’t even think of all this.” We may probably never meet again and we hardly ever write to each other.
I may not make a difference, but quite a few people do make a difference to me. The families of those mentioned in the article below are such examples. They have helped me grow; this story has remained the same, more or less, but new dimensions keep getting added.
One’s life is often limited. What we gain is by becoming a part of others. And always seeking...
“Jis tarah darya bujha sakta nahin sehra ki pyaas,
apne andar ek aisi tashnigi ban jaae.”
PS: In the interest of the issue, I would be happy if the article is forwarded as much as possible. Since this is not a plug for this blog, here is the link to the piece…