Caution : What you could come across in the process.

Insignificant references to my life, an abstract and distracted thought sequel, monotony, inconsistency, vague vague perception, whorish intellectualism, feminist bullshit, armchair activism, causes I try to relate to, sharp sarcasm, even sharper criticism, frivolous details.

Nonetheless Happy Reading.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

School for morality...

School for Morality.

First of all I would like to say that I love my school,every bit of it because quite frankly it made me what I am today and what I am is not a bad person although not tremendously accomplished. Also the coaching institutes are after all doing their job and delivering the best (or what they think is the best) to students and the results are there for everyone to see. Results are what matter in the end whether you like it or not, and most often its not about the things you like, its about the things that you are supposed to like.

Lately the one question that I've been asked endlessly is : Have you watched Three Idiots?
For some vague reason now I have taken up an antagonistic view towards mainstream Bollywood flicks. However after countless recommendations I finally watched the movie. Decent. But it kind of worried me. The first thing that came to my mind was rebellion without understanding a cause. It made me imagine hundreds of students chucking their textbooks at teachers and gathering on a stage after which they start dancing to the tunes of 'Aal izz Well.' Ridiculous? Wait there is more..I imagined the demand of quality education deteriorate to the demand of do away with the education system and the consequences seemed pretty much horrifying,Fortunately it struck me soon that most of us are a sensible lot. Most of us have dreams and aspirations that we wouldn't end up doing nothing about, and most of us also realize that there is more to life than a movie. So why don't we feel good about ourselves and capable enough before I move to somewhere else?

I was at a GD PI session at some XYZ MBA training institute. For those unfamiliar with GD PI let me elaborate : GD stands for group discussion and PI for personal interview – the final stage of the selection process before you get into a B school.
'You guys have decided to enter a rat race..' shrilled the voice of a man standing before me.
And I knew where this was going after that. I could sense the adrenalin levels of the classroom zoom up but mine were lower than expected. Enter the corporate world – a world of greed,insatiability and rats. Rats who keep scrapping their teeth against a purpose.
Objection was futile as he questioned the very purpose of my coming to the training institute. To get into a good B school? Voila.
I am not a dumbwit I know what to expect, I know that the corporate world is a ravenous place but the face of which has changed tremendously in the last few years – enter a world of catering to consumers at a wider level including those at the bottom of the pyramid,enter corporate social responsibility and enter sustainable development. This is the corporate world I thought I wanted to be a part of. The one that thinks different more than it thinks profit. Why then are we still being taught about rats?
Profit is the ultimate objective of any organization (barring a few non profit organizations) including spiritual ones like the Art Of Living foundation..Why then force it down the throat of a corporate civilization?
Lesson two started off with attention seizing tactics..scream,raise your voice,bang against a desk,cut short a girl stammering to get her point across and do anything and everything to prove that you are the leader.
Because supposedly the only thing that the B school guys look for is “Leadership skills.” Ha remarkable..I'd very much love to see an institution or organization that consisted of only leaders who have come to believe that their strengths comprise of aggressiveness, outrageous confidence and a megalomaniac mindset.
Whatever happened to the innovators,the problem solvers,the creative lot of them,the dark horses and the analysts?
Lesson three never happened for me. I sat reading Herta Muller at a park. Unproductive I believe but equally calming until I can think of something else.

School was long time ago, I can hardly believe that it has been more than six years and I still survive on the very memory of school. We had moral education classes first thing in the morning. We used them for completing assignments and homework and the teachers got some handy paperwork done during these thirty essential minutes. We had textbooks for the same. Textbooks that taught us honesty,selflessness and courage. Once in a blue moon we had to open these and then browse to Chapter 12, page 34 that read 'Kindness.'

Death of freedom of expression

Art was supposed to have no boundaries, it was to flourish and redefine all forms of dogma and belief. Only it wasn't to be.. not in this country at least. I was thoroughly convinced of it today when reports of the legendary M F Hussain (who currently is residing out of the country on account of a self imposed exile courtesy the shiv sainik's and bajrangdal activists) was conferred upon with an honorary citizenship by the Qatari royal family where he is currently residing. His critics might slam him for doing so but what was he to do when in actuality he was driven out of his own country? I am glad that the Indian government has been embarrassed left, right and centre. But what about those who created the problem in the first place? They haven't ended their baseless rampage against whosoever and whatsoever.
Hurting religious sentiments in the form of art is violently reprimanded; destruction of public and private property is however shamelessly authorized in the name of some banal protests.
The great Indian malaise when it comes to nudist portrayal of art and sexuality alike is appalling. What are we so repelled by anyway? Shouldn't corrupt thought process and bothersome narrow mindedness repel us a thousandfold more?
What are you beneath your clothes after all if not nude and why do you find it so terribly disturbing? And why is the sexuality debate still locked up behind closets and heavily bolted doors? Surely the second largest populated country cannot be a stranger to sex and the blessings to follow thereafter - why not start talking about it? Why is heartfelt conversation about anything buried six feet under?
It isn't just about art, even authors have been vandalized for putting forth supposedly disagreeable notions regarding 'sensitive issues.' And at the time of crises when they are being ambushed by certain caustic sections of the society they are promised everything apart from security and support - by a country that caters to a picture perfect constitution and prides itself with being secular and democratic and ahemm..FREE.
What is freedom ?  
And are we really free?
I think we should start asking ourselves.

 How exactly is the above derogatory? What do you have to say about the one below?
Freedom is a choice we make every minute of the day. Speak up before its too late. You are questionable to your country, the people around you and to humanity.


Friday, February 12, 2010

The book of the century..

 This book's been a saviour. Here are a few quotes from the book that keep the memory of it alive.

"Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be."  

"Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend." 

"When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings."  

"Operation Self-Esteem--Day Fucking One." 

"When you're lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you've just wandered off the path, that you'll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and its time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you dont even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.  

"The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving."

"In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted. Only artistic excellence is incorruptible. Pleasure cannot be bargained down. And sometimes the meal is the only currency that is real."  

...They flank me-Depression on my left, loneliness on my right. They don't need to show their badges. I know these guys very well.

...then they frisk me. They empty my pockets of any joy I had been carrying there. Depression even confiscates my identity;but he always does that. 

"He was powerful and I died of love in his shadow."  

"'Go back to bed', said the omniscient interior voice, because you don't need to know the final answer right now, at three o'clock in the morning on the Thursday in November. 'Go back to bed', because I love you. 'Go back to bed', because the only thing you need to do for now is get some rest and take good care of yourself until you do know the answer." 

 "La Dolce Vita"

Have a great day folks.
Keep reading.
Keep writing.



Group discussion sessions are fun, not that I am expecting any fancy calls from fancy B schools - I just go there to have fun. Something I haven't done in quite a while - place my point across a table and walk off very elegantly. Well it could be disappointing as well especially when nobody's buying my point. After one such disappointing session I decided to withdraw from the next one.
I always make it a point to put down whatever I have to includes quality adjectives - those that serve as the perfect accessories. I like it that way.
A 'tiger' was a person who dominates the group discussion - ie bites flesh off verbally. One such tiger sat down next to me. He glanced at my note pad and his face broke out into a nasty grin.
'Interesting...' he said teasingly 'but nobody ever listens to you, I mean I am being frank here -- your flamboyance and elegance or whatever you call it is pretty much unnoticed'

I grew queasy. I felt like I had been transported back to school - unnoticed and invisible all over again.
'You know I am right..' he whispered again.
I spent the next few minutes preaching about how frankness was not always appreciated in a civil society.
After which there was absolute silence.
'You scare me,' he mumbled.
'I what?'
'I could fight off any tiger who got under my skin, but you.... you I don't know, you scare me ..I don't think I would be able to fight you off'
I sat there still and momentarily stunned.
Our counsellor went on elucidating on the avoidable concept of spotting a tiger and dealing with one.
You can either be a tiger and bask in the privilege of being one..or you can't.
Not all of you are tigers.
All of you can't be tigers.
Out of the blue he looked my way.
'I wish you knew you were potentially capable of handling a tiger - you very much are. I'll tell you one thing - your a snake - you can tell a tiger to shut his trash and back off.'

Was I to be embarrassed? Or bask in the glory of being a snake? Or not give it a second thought?
I quite liked the title of snake though.
'See I told you..' he whispered. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Now (Lucinda Coxon)

I am wondering at what point it became acceptable for you to stand in this house on which I pay the mortgage, drinking the drink I bought out of the glasses I washed in front of the cake I baked and talk that fucking talk. All- and I think this is a lovely touch for which I must take full credit- while I'm wearing an apron.

Working towards a better tomorrow

'Beauty is only the first touch of terror we can still bear.'
 - Rilke

Sometimes we don't see it ourselves - the ripple beneath the surface of the smooth waters, the dirt beneath our shoes or the holes in our pockets. Behind the beauty stands the beast, he loves her and she loves him, that's how the story went and that's how the story goes.
Today we pride ourselves in being the fastest growing democracy - despite the whirlpool of chaos, distress, political fiascos and unnecessary (even harmful) jingosim. Rilke was probably talking about the bad underlying the good - he was probably talking about that which couldn't be seen or sensed. I would like to paint a different not so pretty picture for you though - We sense the bad, we see it and close the doors on it.
Bad need not be anything definitive - it could be red tapeism, it could be corruption, it could be the most unacceptable form of ignorance or it could be the fact that we choose to ogle at it without doing anything about it. It is only until recently that we have started to step out of these closed doors.
We celebrate Indianness and call ourselves culturally nourished, all the while in another part of the country the daughters of our soil continue to be harrassed, burnt, tortured, raped and broken.
The other day our respected Home Minister spoke of how even someone like Kasab was being tried fairly and justly for his crimes against the country emphasizing on the quality of civility this country has to offer. Why then is the justice system so fraught when it comes to the common man - one of our own?
You take to rebellion when Indians are subjected to racism in Australia but how exactly do you deal with it when it runs rampant in your own neighbourhood? Do you fight or even lift a finger to protest?
On the brighter side,
I applaud Corporate Social Responsibility, I applaud the inclusive growth agenda just when it looked like the government had grown immune to those who live a sub standard level of existence. After all what good is the green revolution when people in your country continue to starve to death? And what good is the technology boom when there are a vast number of villages devoid of a very basic amenity called electricity? And what good is the pharma boom when health care is the privilege of only a handful few?

Lets face it - we live on belief. Belief is like pneumonia - it is contangious and it spreads. Even though it lets you down it doesn't stop you from growing.
Remember morality comes from within and it doesn't exactly stop at that.