Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Anti Aamir to Anti Reservation- Multiplicity Of Youth Power

“Learning acquired in youth arrests the evil of old age; and if you understand that old age has wisdom for its food, you will so conduct yourself in youth that your old age will not lack for nourishment.”

Leonardo da Vinci

Youth was understood as being a time of carefree laughter, sunlit days and glitzy nights.When innocence had not yet lost its bloom and dreams slowly unfolding within graspable reach.

In todays scenario, its the time for agitations and agitatedness. Whether misinformed or misguided, the energy of the youth is there to spare. So those vile enough to recognise the strength of latent power, and indomitable will of the young, are using/misusing it for their hidden agendas.

Reservations per se and in the present connotation and denotation leave much to be desired. Basically the government is making the kids of today pay for the lapses of their lackadaisical attitude and policies. Dreams are being trampled upon, hopes demolished and students have been welcomed into the big bad world rather unceremoniously. Whoever said Life is fair!

And then there is the young of Gujarat who have been anaesthetised into believing that Aamir Khan is enemy No 1, who has to be penalised for daring to expostulate on the rights of the poor. They have been numbed into adhering to the dictates of fanatical politicos who rightly belong to era of Nazi Germany where the politics of hate help perpetuate and ensure longevity of power.

Jews are a plenty..if one is a Nazi.

The visual of students barely out of their teens, with gleeful revenge in their eyes, rebellion in their stance, and animosity in their speech , belligerently warning their ilk against endorsing Aamir, his films and his stand, angers you. Not just because it goes against all sense of righteousness and fairness that you believe you deserve being a native of free India, but also because you are forced to see the hand behind this agitation, despite strong attempts at anonymity.

To expect that a 17 year old will obtain the wherewithal to stage demonstrations of the kind in full public view without the support of the powerful, is stupid and naive. One can only pity the folly of the innocents to have allowed themselves to fall prey and been manipulated thus.

Aamir realises, one hopes, that the youth of Gujarat has seen RDB too!!..It is not enough to merely instigate youth, but to motivate it ethically. Energy when improperly channelised without affording ample guidance and education, leads to such monumental blunders.

To ask them if they really agree that a fellow student should be ostracised, threatened and boycotted, by the community for watching a film Fanaa in mumbai,since it had been banned in Gujarat, is not going to elicit an honest response. But when the furore has died down and the spotlight snatched away from them to the next band of the exploited, what will then restore the failed sensed of self esteem they have traded for this moment of paper glory?

Two sets of angry voices for totally opposing motivations. One more than deserved, the other painfully undeserved. Highlighting the emptiness of youthful exuberance. Misinformed and misled..into the wilderness of a crazy world.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Citizen Aamir Khan

(Psst.. The comments section is
turning into Fanaa comments

Democracy is under seige.Clearly.

Aamir Khan has raised his voice for a social cause. He is being targetted by the BJP for simply endorsing the order of the supreme court, simply reiterating the need to rehabilitate the villagers threatened to be displaced by the dam.

What is ludicrous is the blatant flouting of democratic principles by a party which is the leader of the opposition.

What is common between Fanaa, the film, Titan watches, Coke and Innova? Aamir khan. So the BJP reckons that all these ought to be banned in their stronghold Gujarat. Apparently this seems to be a power struggle by Modi and his loyalists in attempting to prove who is the bigger star, Narendra Modi the politician, or Aamir khan the star.

As of now, round one goes in favour of Narendra Modi. Fanaa was not allowed to be released and a bunch of BJP activists, sporadically have gone around smashing coke bottles, while reading out a prepared speech , with a hidden smirk , at the thrill of being on National T.V. That is what they diligently assured. Media was present for this staged demonstration. More fake than the ketchup masquerading as blood in Bollywood.

While the Film industry openly expressed support for Salman khan, when he was indicted for killing the buck, no such luck for Aamir. It is not surprising. He has been reclusive and private. In fact the continuous appearances on television channels in the past couple of days by Aamir would equal those he may have relented in his whole career of 20 years, A chink in the armour here Aamir. Green light a-blink now on chat mode eh?

No major harm done for the star though. He has the support of the masses on this one. The ludicrousness of the political party and its activism is glaringly under focus. In the long run, the film is gaining publicity, curiosity has tripled and sympathy vote goes for Aamir.The channels rake in the moolah, with TRPs having spiralled. So the bottom line .. all is well.

Where is Arundhati Roy, Medha patkar? Has the media intentionally sidelined them?


* Taran Adarsh's hugely popular and widely read website "IndiaFM" reports this news.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

And They Lived Happily N-ever After

Hardly the kind of post expected after a vacation.. I agree.

A chance meeting with a close friend,surviving the trauma of a broken relationship, triggered off this most disconcerting affirmation. If there is one sphere of modern life which has witnessed such huge fluctuations in intensity, it is relationships.

"He's changed..drastically"..she said."Hes not the person I married. I just dont feel the same way about him. The magic has gone out of the relationship." All I asked her was if she was the same woman he had married. She admitted that it was difficult for her to identify herself with her actions and words. She had lost herself somewhere, along the way.

The only constant is change, said our sages. This is one area that demands we rekindle the light of this wisdom. Relationships are in a constant state of flux. To expect stability is one thing but to link it with a plateau -ed emotional level, is blasphemy.

All said and done, a man and a woman were meant to be with, for each other. The need although unquestionable, is also a major factor for discontent. Why do we interpret 'dependence' as a cause for abject misery? Or for that matter an ensuing' state of denial', as to the versimilitude of the fact that it is two halves which make a whole.

So what is the furore in perceiving oneself as a 'half' in this context? It will certainly not connote a fractured existence, contrarily a doubled one.

All around me , I notice failed marriages, relationships, stressful lives wrought with frustrations of unhappiness stemming from the paucity of that single emotion LOVE which does indeed 'make the world go round'. Whether in a tail spin or whirl of delight is the contention.

Nothing can come close to the exhilaration of the first flush of romance, the budding of a thousand hopes and dreams, the whisper of a promised land of undying happiness. If there is anything more enchanting than the child of a smile, it is the smile of a woman who has tasted the nectar of love.

What is saddeningly true , however, is its transcience. While on the one hand it would be hopelessly naive to believe that it will constantly be a tale of romantic days and nights,on the other hand , for something so divine to dwindle down to hate, disgust and disillusionment, is tragic.

Why does this happen? And so often? More a rule than an exception today. Yes, 'today' moreso. Lets face it we are more analytical, incisive, questioning than our fathers and forefathers. While this may have proved so profitable in wordly matters, in inter-personal relationships it has proved to be a downer. If we are happy, we spend time analysing, dissecting 'why'..and if unhappy then naturally, the brooding is endless.If he loves you ..there is 'why' and fears , doubts 'what if he deserts me'. If he/she leaves then ofcourse again 'Why'?

Sometimes to accept without doubt, or simply without rhyme or reason, is not only less traumatic, but painless and uncomplicated as well. Just be.. in love. But wait..

This 'many splendoured thing', is it really as pleasurable, blissful, ethereal as touted by poets, writers, legends we have been fed on. If it is , why is it so ephemeral? So slippery, it nimbly slides through the fingertips as a butterflies wings. Or so we think.The truth being that we dont really give love a chance.

Without attempting to take on a biased stance, either for or against either gender, what is glaringly apparent is the fact that we as a race have forgotten how to perceive love. Apart from its physical aspect. Infact , what it has degenerated into is just that.. 'physical'. Since 'it' can never sustain a relationship, and since caring, respect and acceptance have not taken on an 'expression', soon the emptiness and hollowness of the once blossoming , wholesome vibration, surfaces.

Who is to blame? For one, the Mills and Boon, Barbara Cartland, When Harry met Sally, Pretty woman, type fairy tales of love. Our youthful days are fed on a diet of fun, frolic, jazzy, funky, cheesy, glitzy, rose tinted glasses prism of love. It may seem ever-so-perfect, but is like the 'chocolate house' in the fairy tale, where the old woman lured children only to cook them for her next meal. Without meaning to stultify the debate, the idea is to propound the theory of 'fairy tale romances' as a culprit.

We all love "love stories. The problem lies in our unswerving aim to replicate it in our lives. Bound to lead to disgruntlement, dissatisfaction, frustration and then a drifting apart.. in that order.

Love is a Verb. Relationships moreso. It requires, doing. More often than not, once the 'time to disco' begins to develop cracks, there is nothing to fall back on. Life without the tints, is harsh, stark and ruthless. But where is the orientation for honing coping skills? Movies.. end at marriage. Life, begins then.

Lets question our innermost subtle motives, honestly. We tend to love a person not for what he/she is, but for what they make us feel about ourselves. It is what we transform into while in their midst. So primarily, true love is within. Looking for it outside is erroneous.

Having experienced the emotion in all its glory, why does it fade away? We begin to see more of what is unacceptable, simultaneously ignoring what is acceptable. Familiarity breeds contempt.. If this be true can love, therefore which thrives on familiarity, intrinsically, survive in this scenario?

Yes. If we ponder long enough over this wise crack "“Love isn't finding a perfect person. It's seeing an imperfect person perfectly.”

Monday, May 15, 2006

Must Read

Hey Guys,

Miss you too.

Meanwhile, I suggest you go to this e-mag by Kavita Chhibber.

Not only is it a great read, but Kavita is one of the most loving, caring and warm human beings I have had the good fortune to encounter. That she is an erudite journalist is a given and only contributes to the success of her mag.

More Power to you Kavita..( it a mere coincidence that kavi/eetas are err..nice?)

So go on and visit the site.

Even on vacation I had a quick 'dekho'.. could not resist it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Note from Afar


Lazy, langurous, lush mornings

Cool, chirpy and calm.

afternoons lulling peacefully

in Natures warm embrace.

Candle-lit, aroma-ed, delectable evenings,

with memories of sun-kissed sand.

The search continues unabated


Long into the night.

Hey Guys.. you guessed right...Am on vacation

Will be back soon.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Challenging Love:Siblings

One has often wondered at the truism of the statement 'You are your relationships'. An all encompassing canvas here. Includes, marriage partners, partners at work, social acquaintances, friends and siblings.

The other wisecrack that has vindicated itself from ancient times right down to our present is "God gave us our relatives, thank God we can choose our friends". Cynically true.So the fact that we were born under a particular set of circumstances, with a designated family, extended family, locality, state, nation, is of greater significance than we care to imagine. We can better it (by choosing our friends{wicked smirk}) cannot reverse it.

We are meant to learn and discover ourselves through these realtionships which provide us with the opportunity to bring to the surface traits which we had no inkling existed in our mentality. Good or bad, again is part of destiny, I suppose.

There have been enough incidents in the news to ignore the phenomenon of one of the relationships, namely siblings. It seems in major trouble. Why is there such a paucity of genuine caring, love and concern between siblings today? It has degenerated to the extent of rivalry, not restricted to the purely psychological but manifesting itself through actual violence! Surprising and frightening.

It is easy to condemn but difficult to analyse the factors which contribute so keenly to the widespread almost ubiquitous display. In fact, love between siblings is an exceptional case, whilst rivalry the norm, that too accepted without any visible signs of amazement.

The foremost reason ,prima facie, points towards parents. Whilst it cannot be the sole, it is a major contributory. In my humble opinion, inadvertently, parents sow the seeds of dissension in childhood. How? Consider this:

1) Comparison as a tool for betterment. While the reason to do so may be innocent, the resultant effect is definitely grievous. The lesser one feels animosity and soon resentment has found a breeding ground.

2) Partiality.. for one reason or another. For example, normally parents tend to adore obvious displays of affection and verbal, physical manifestations of emotion. Some children who are quieter or reserved may feel their inability to express ,a deterrent which only gets worse with time as the parental love with the other gets stronger in contrast to his. Quite a catch 22.

3) Parents open keenness on material comforts and gains. It sends the wrong signals to kids that material posessions and advancement is legitimate..Parents approval is present, so long as gains accrue. This may or may not be the sole purose of the other childs existence or on his list of priorities and capabilities.

4)In this scenario, if parents then begin favouring the wealthier and consider him above reproach, by virtue of his success story, the damage is untold. Whether children openly declare or keep it under wraps, the need for parental approval and back patting is a necessary ingredient .When both success and collaterally parental encouragement is lacking, resentment is bound to be the fallout.

5) Parents relationship with their own siblings. Is it a story of sacrifice and tolerance, an exemplification of love beyond all other concerns, or a tale of endless complaints and resentments? Children are keen imitators and quick learners. Why would they wish to do any different?

6) The importance of a neat, clean, life in terms of ethics, morals, principles and outlook. Has this been sufficiently ingrained?

These are what comes to mind in a general context. Situations vary and there may be so many more which are specific to the particular circumstance.

Yesterday, on a visit to the newest addition of swanky restaurants of Khar(btw it is the centre of town these days..old order changeth)on the occasion of sonnys birthday, happened to bump into a class mate from college. She had married into a well known celebrity family in Mumbai, while in college itself, much in keeping with the traditional concept of womanhood, at the time.

My first reaction to myself on seeing her "Gosh, where has the glow disappeared??" Of course this had nothing to do with the fact that she was not in her teens now and all of that. It had more to do with the blank smile, vacant gaze and a certain melancholy which seemed apparent even in the first few minutes.

It had visibly upset me to see her this way. Perhaps sensing my concern and my hesitation to openly enquire , she took me aside and broke down. This is what she had to say. Her father-in-law was the brother of the celebrity of sorts, who had been handling his career. Being the elder he felt obliged to. Also being the lesser in worldly -wise business sense he relented to the younger and his good offices, taking care of financial investments which the two had made over the years, apart from their family business.

In a nut-shell, despite reminders by the elder to make clear-cut demarcations of property and allocation of funds, the younger delayed with sweetness personnified and averments of the kind"Do you think Brother, that I will ever dupe you?"

Her father-in-law recently expired. All hell broke loose when the sons and mother realised that they were literally at the mercy of the younger on for every morsel, so-to-speak. The sons were furious, understandably. They threatened legal action. The younger, probably in anticipation of this eventuality, showed his hand. He was the legal owner of their apartment, factories and plots. So go scream at the gulls now!!

Net result. My friend and her family find themselves fending off the bank, who has threatened to sue , since the instalments have been discontinued. Her husband has had to take up acting assignments to make a living. And she sells Insurance.. which as the tag says , is a matter of solicitation.

The fact that one is born from the same parents, does not make us brothers and sisters. It merely makes us SIBLINGS. To be a family, in the true spirit, requires a lifetime of sacrifices, tolerance, patience and a will to be worthy of being called so.

In the meanwhile, I find myself trying to unearth stories from our ancient texts to glorify sibling love to my kids, since the media and newspapers have made a Taliban of the situation. How does one explain to them that it is an unnatural sequence of event , NOT to care for your family. There is a purpose to having been born from the same mother.. If only to learn that life as teacher is not easy to contend with. You dont always get what you want or deserve.

However, what we take back from our sojourn here on the planet, in terms of memories, love and happiness should be richer in content than what had been dished out. Or it has been a total loss.

Update 3rd May06..
The trigger for this post has taken on a rather tragic turn

Have just received the news of the death of Mr.Promod Mahajan.Extremely sad and shocking.History will link the name of Mr. Mahajan with the name of his brother Pravin, to stand as testimonial forever of Sibling Rivalry in its most demonic and deplorable manifestation.

An elder brother who paid with his life for the jealousy and envy of a younger sibling, whom he had brought up as his own son. A younger brother who was blinded by his frustration at not being as celebrated as his older brother, succumbed to traits which are the bane of humanity.

This proves once and for all that merely being born of the same mother is no guarantee of being a brother in its most appropriate connotation... He was just a Sibling. One to who enmity was reason enough to shed that blood by which they were bound.

Shame.. A testimonial forever now of the degeneration of our morals. India once the land of the rishis and the maharishis, is today one of criminals and criminilisation of every aspect of social, political, personal life.

A truly sad day for India..To be such a spectacle in the eyes of the world..Am too overcome to think of further ramifications to this ghastly episode.