Friday, January 30, 2009

Lest We Forget Our Culture...

Is it election time already? Or are there designated days of the year when Indian culture needs to be saved? Since the last few days, Indian culture is on the news again. There are too many links over this issue, just putting up a few over here:

So what next; are we going to have conform to all the diktats issued by the saviors of Indian culture? When the Taliban came up with their perverse agenda, did they start in the same way? Impose restrictions on people all in the name of religion/culture; which made sense to a few people so they agreed and then slowly everything blew out of control. Ironical that these so called defenders of Indian culture are following the footsteps of the same people they like to hate so much!

The youth of India is getting corrupted! Am not saying that, it's what they are saying. We drink, we dress inappropriately, we dance provocatively, we behave indecently in public, we are materialistic, we have loose morals, and the list goes on and on. The funny thing is, even if we, the youth, like the so-called western concepts of freedom and enjoyment, it's not the be all and end all for us. We follow religious practices, at least whatever fits with our sensibilities. We worry about our jobs, studies, career more than we do about our culture. We leave the major decisions of our life to our parents like marriage; and even when we fall in love, we check the religion, caste, state of the person, so that it fits with our culture! Rest assured, O leaders and politicians, the culture that you so badly want to preserve is still in place; even though there is some stuff in there which should have been chucked out long ago. Ahhh, what more do we have to in the name of Indian culture?

Quick before I forget, let me jot down some points about Indian culture:
1) Drinking is not Indian culture.
2) Clubbing and Pubs/Malls are not part of Indian culture. And girls going to pubs is definitely not Indian culture!
3) Valentine's Day is not Indian culture.
4) Boys and girls hanging out together is not Indian culture.
5) Girls wearing western clothes is not Indian culture.
6) Mixing with people of other faith is not Indian culture. No prizes for guessing the other faith.

Oh no no no no, I forgot the rest of the stuff in the list. What to do, Indian culture is so vast and my memory is so poor that I can't remember everything!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

So Much To Do, And So Little Time...

"There, it's done at last!" thought Jai as he finished writing his resignation. He was feeling a little sad, a bit apprehensive and wondered whether he was doing the right thing. But then things had changed now. He wondered whether it was too late, whether he had enough time or not. But he was sure of one thing that whatever little time he had, he wanted to live life to the fullest. He didn't want to lie on his deathbed and have any regrets over all the things he wanted to do, but never did.

The next day Jai submitted his resignation. He gave a party to his colleagues/friends and told them that he would be going away for a while. He didn't want them to worry about him, so he didn't tell them the reason behind his decision. The very next day he took off...

Three months later:

Jai's friends are gathered in his apartment. His roommate had called them and showed them what he had found in Jai's cupboard. Everyone was shocked! They called Jai on the number he had given them.

"Jai, where are you? Are you Ok? We are so worried for you!"

"I am in Africa right now. Of course, I am Ok. I did tell you guys that I am taking a little trip and that I would be gone for some time."

"Yes, you did, but it's been six months now. And then we found your will and the list. It said: "100 things to do before I die" We are your friends Jai, why didn't you tell us? You need to be around friends and family at this time. Come back, Jai."

"Wait a sec, what are you guy's talking about? I am not about to die. I took off because I realized that I was being dragged into a routine, there were so many things that I always wanted to do, but never did for some reason or the other. And I didn't want to wait until I had just a few months to live, to start doing them."


"Thank God, it's not what we feared!" "I always thought he was a little crazy!" "Yeah, imagine quitting your job and wandering off to God knows where!" "I am so relieved to know that he is OK.". "Man, I can't believe I blew off my date for this!"

P.S You know what's one of the hardest things in writing a story? Deciding on the names of the characters! I am almost tempted to use XYZ, ABC.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Matter Of Choice

She had nothing to complain of; she had a husband who loved her, supporting and loving in-laws, a stable family life and a good job. Yet, she could not stop thinking about the life she could have had. The life she had planned for those three years; down to the colour of the walls of her dream-home and the name of her kids.

"He was a loser. You did the right thing!" that's what friends told her as she struggled to deal with the break-up. "You have to get married" said her family as they fixed her marriage. "You have to forget him now." said her friend on the day of her wedding. "You made a decision, so stick to it." said her reflection in the mirror.

She knew she was being foolish. And yet, she was not able to let go of the past. She couldn't talk about this problem with anyone.Maybe they would have understood, if her husband didn't love her or her in-laws ill-treated her. In that case, even she would have understood why she couldn't move on. But how could she explain it to people (or even to herself) why she chose to be miserable.

She had always been decisive. Had never really depended on anyone to make a decision for her. And yet, she couldn't make up her mind over this... Do I choose to end my marriage or my life?; she thought as she absentmindedly played with the coin in her hand. "Heads" she called out as she tossed the coin...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Truth Be Not Told.!?

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Benjamin Disraeli

If only the list were so small..What about: fabrication, bold-faced lie, lying by omission, lie-to-children, white lie, noble lie, emergency lie, perjury, bluffing, misleading, exaggeration , contextual lies, promotion lies...Whew, that's quite a list! And I have no qualms in admitting that I am guilty of resorting to each one of them at some point or the other.

The whole Satyam fiasco made me think about lying in general. I read somewhere that Ramalinga Raju had at least done the decent thing by telling the truth about his involvement. The report further said that there has been no precedence of anyone confessing of such a crime in India. Funny isn't it, how we have a tendency to be emotional even about the criminals in our country. Take the case of Salman Khan mowing down people on the street, or Sanjay Dutt and the TADA case, or Charles Sobhraj's love life!! In Raju's case, he must have sensed the noose tightening around his neck and come out with the confession.

Guilty conscience, anger, drunken haze, force; there are so many catalysts which drive a person to tell the truth. And once you tell the truth, it feels like a weight has been removed from your shoulders. Even the consequences that one has to face after telling the truth are washed away by feelings of resignation or relief. It's always others whose life gets affected by the truth they have been exposed to. It takes a great amount of emotional strength to live with it. I think I prefer telling the truth rather than facing it.

P.S. Have been meaning to blog more often, but somehow can't seem to find the time. And then I was waiting for inspiration to strike, some deep, meaningful and insightful idea for my first post of 2009. Then I thought, Awww forget it, lets leave philosophy for the wise. There are too many philosophers around anyways, the world doesn't need one more!!!

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