Thursday, August 25, 2005

ramblings of a sleepless mind

some crazy questions for which i am looking for the answers and hope that i may discover them myself some day:

1) Why didn't I study Physics as my major?

2) Why is an orgasm called 'seeing God'?

3) Will I be The One?

4) Will my ideas be ever accepted as radical and pioneering?

5) If Dream Theatre remakes like 'Funeral for a friend, love lies bleeding' and 'perfect Strangers' are so good, why weren't they the original composers?

6) Why, why is Kate Hudson so heartbreakingly beautiful?

7) Why is it that "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than the others"?

8) Why did Rommel have to die?

9) Why did the USA lose the innocence of the 1940's?

10) Why is code writing such an addiction in perfection?

11) When will I get back my Bangalore of the 1980s?

12) Will the world ever see a Saladin again?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

becoming a roman

2004: The state of DK

Incident 1: Bombay Central Railway Station

DK: Bhaisaab, zara yeh saaman utha na tha. kitna lagega?
Porter: saath (60) rupaiye
DK: Krupaya kam kijiye.
Porter: Nahi ji, isse kam to nahin
DK: Theek hai phir..chaliye...

Incident 2: On the Coimbatore-Kurla Express, somewhere near Kalyan

Chakka: Dena hero, nikla paise nikal
DK: Chalo chalo main nahin dene wala
Chakka: Deta hai ki khol ke dikhaon
DK: nahin, nahin, lelo (gives 1 rupee)
Chakka: BC/MC, ek rupaiy??? (does some dirty act which is not worthy of reproduction here and throws the coin back on DK, but DK ducks with the agility of a Roger Federer at the net and evades the 'tainted' coin')

Incident 3: Palika Bazaar

DK: bhaiyya, yeh t-shirt kitne ka?
Salesman: paanch sow
DK: thoda kam kijiye na...
Salesman: nahin bhaisaab...
DK: dekhiye, palika main to bargaining chalta hai
Salesman: maana ki bargaining chalta hai lekin is cheez pe nahin. yeh original piece hai aur hum kyon jyaada bolenge bhaiyya? hum sirf utna maangte hai jitna cost hai. usse upar to nahin maangenge..aakhir hum izzatwale hain
DK: dekhiye, main appka margins ka izzat karta hoon, usi samay jo main sahi samajhta hoon woh maangraha hoon. app ko dena hi padega...
Salesman: theek hia ji aap ke liye char sow rupaiye........
DK: (feeling elated on this bargain) lijiye (walks away with the shirt)

2005: The state of DK

Incident 1: Palika Bazaar

DK: bhaiyya, yeh t-shirt kitne ka?
Salesman: paanch sow
DK: na na...yeh thodi hai asli daam...chalo accha price batao
Salesman: yehi hai bhaisaab asli price..aur yeh original piece bhi hai
DK: kisko ullu banarahe hain aap? main original piece bhi dekha hoon, aur jo piece abhi haath main hai usko bhi dekha hoon...dono main zameen aasman ki farak hai....iska asli daam hai dhai sow
Salesman: nahin bhaiyya, aap ke liye sade teen sow pe aa sakta hoon. usse kam nahin
DK: theek hai to yeh shirt aap rakhlijiye..main chala
Salesman: yaar aise pet pe lath mat maro yaar. chalo kuch nahin bika aaj..dedo jo dena hai
DK: (angry with himself for not quoting a much reduced price) lijiye (walks away with the shirt)

Incident 2: juice shop, Munirka

After payment has been made for the juice
DK: bhaisaab, baki to do..
Juice Guy: kahan diya aap ne paisa?
DK: yeh kya bol rahe ho? abhi to aap ke haath main diya..
Juice Guy: aap ne to nahin diya.....mere paas nahin hai...
DK: yaar sow ka note diya that..aise na kaho...
Juice Guy: agar aap ne diya to mere paas hoga..mere paas nahin hai...aap dhoka de rahe ho
DK: theek hai phir, main idhar hi rukhta hoon...aap abhi isi waqt mere saamne ginti kijiye..agar kam pade to main aapko doonga
Juice Guy: (giving the balance) aayinda aisa kaam mat kijiye
DK: lo, kaun kisko bol raha hai..aapne abhi jo bola woh aapke jindagi main apnaayiye...

Incident 3: On the H Nizamuddin-Secuderabad AP Sampark Kranti Express
Chakka: Dena hero, dena
DK: chal nikal yahan se
Chakka: (mutters some curse) deta hai ki nahin
DK: nahin doonga bola na.....
Chakka: (after an intolerable wait in which every attempt to extract money goes waste) #@#@#@# (walks off)
This time there were no threats to disrobe. I would have been interesting to find out my reaction then...

Moral of the story: One year in Delhi (N India) will definitely toughen you. You will live according to the proverb "When in Rome do as the Romans do"

Monday, August 15, 2005

Capitalistic musings

sometimes i wonder "why is delhi the capital of our country? " according to me, a capital should have certain attributes which should reflect the nature of the country and it should also set standards in some other areas. if seen through this prism delhi satisfies on some counts and fails miserably on some others. i have come up with a list. lets see how i fare in my analysis:

1) Pluralism: we have had this concept drilled into our 'accept what is told by ur teachers as gospel' brain that india is a sovereign, secular, socialist democratic republic with some fundamental rights assured for a citizen and most important, its a country where unity in diversity flourishes and it has the name sub-continent blah blah blah. in this sense yes, delhi satisfies my definition. you will find many many people from many different parts of india. we have the tamils, telugus, malayalis, kannadigas, marathas, gujaratis, bengalis, NE Indians etc. people live together harmoniously without any animosity (apparently). but the usual back-bitching goes on. so, on two counts delhi satisfies the mirrors the pluralism that is india and has many different linguistic groups of people living in harmony.
2) Good roads: whatever you may say about delhi, you got to accept its excellent network of roads. it is termed bad by international standards..then if i am asked to comment on the state in other places...all i have to say is 'God save the other places!!' You have to see the roads which are broad, well marked with proper signs. the flyover network beats them all. well, in this sense it sets a standard for other places to follow.
3) Eateries: As far as food is concerned it mirrors the pluralism in food. you only have to go to dilli haat to get a first hand experience of this. but make sure you have enough cash with you.
4) Low cost markets: haven't seen such pocket friendly markets anywhere. heck, the items available here would even put the malls in gurgaon to shame.
5) an already established administrative mechanism consisting of buildings, administrative culture, established head quarters must surely tilt the balance in favour of delhi.
6) proximity to the major army units - Mhow, Beas, Bhopal,Amritsar, Ambala, Jodhpur..these are all major cantonments. quite useful in case of any rebellion in the capital. another advantage is that they can also be used a strike corps against our enemies (i will be a bloody 'sinner' if i mention their names in this era of bhaichara)..

seen from the above angles, delhi surely deserves to be the capital of the country. but there are other points which i would like to list and would like you, my dear reader to ponder over them..
1) should the capital also bear the title 'the rape capital'? check this link for some 'revealing' statistics
2) should a capital have the highest incidence of traffic violations, road rage etc?
3) in my estimate this is the rudest city in india. so...................(case in point: people fling across the balance cash in a shop for example, whereas down south it is given to your hand)
4) the most money minded city in india where people will do anything for money.

nothing more to say folks. i personally dont know if i have a right to make such comments because i have never belonged to a particular place so that i can imbibe the ethos of that place. bangalore does comes close on that count. i just dont have the feel for any place. i also dont get very passionate about any place. in this regard i would like to quote a dialogue from 'The Shawshank Redemption'.
"I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend."

i only hope somebody feels like this about me.
i am an everybody who is a nobody. guess thats what settlers are doomed to. a life without identity. maybe my kids will be the caged birds. thank god, its not me!!!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Manipur and Nagaland:a saga from the mahabharata to the present

If you have been following the news recently, you must have read about the economic blockade of manipur by the All Naga Students' Union of manipur. these 'students' (pun intended) have partly achieved what they wanted i.e cripple Manipur, but their other aim that of making the rest of India take notice of their claims has not clicked that well as they might have expected to. it will not, because when have non NE Indians bothered about what happens in the NE? we ourselves humiliate our NE countrymen/women by calling them 'chinkis' one of the most disgusting terms i have ever heard. our knowledge of the NE region is confined to Assam and Sikkim, albeit limited. the indifference can be guaged from the coverage given in the press to incidents like the blockade, the anti-Assam rifles protest, the manipur assembly burning. these hogged the headlines for a few days and later on completely disappeared. I know that this is true with all kinds of news, but if one were to use a half-life measure for longevity of news items, do you think stories connected to the NE will even have nuclei left to be counted?
In this respect, our ancient scriptures (specially the Mahabharata) (which organisations like the BJP/Shiv Sena/RSS and sometimes even the thieving/chameleonistic Congress exploit to the hilt to garner votes) have integrated the NE into the story. Lest we forget, Arjuna had wives in nagaland (Uloopi) and in manipur (Chitrangada). Infact he faces defeat and death in manipur at the hands of his son Babruvahana during the battle for Yudhisthira's Sacrificial horse. The lessons associated with the NE saga of Arjuna teach us about the existence of a matriarchial society in manipur (kerala is the only other place where such a system exists).
The solution to this problem is not simple. many have suggested a military action against the Naga students. Please people, just pause to think. These guys are fighting for a legitimate demand. Imagine, if maharashtra can have the bloody gall to ask for Belgaum just because there is a sizeable marathi speaking population there, whats wrong with the Nagas asking for a district like Senapati wherein the population is almost entirely naga?
At the same time, Manipur is precious to us too. The Manipuris too have attachment to their state. Who doesn't?
The only solution to this problem is in the rest of India earning the trust of both the Nagas and the Manipuris. The two parties should first develop the trust that people on the mainland have not isolated them and they are ready to help. we should also learn to respect them and not call them by derogatory terms. If we don't do such basic things, don't be surprised if the NE becomes part of China/Myanmar within the next 50 years.
As a conclusion I would like to say that the occupying allied forces won the trust, love and respect of the West germans when they flew in essentials at great risk to their own lives because of a Soviet economic blockade. At the same time they might have earned the love of the East germans too. Imagine if we put our lives on the line for the manipuris. Not only will we earn their trust, but at the same time the Nagas will realise that we appreciate their needs too but they will not twist our hands in such a way that we make another set of our countrymen suffer thus!!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

A Paradigm Shift

This blog can be considered as an epitaph for my days as a doormat or in more laymanistic terms, a guy with a lose-win mentality.
Being a doormat means that you drop everything that you do and plunge headlong to help others. It also applies to situations when i should have said 'No' but have said 'yes'.

I have come to realise in the adage
"laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone"
Horace,65 BC to 8 BC,Roman Philosopher

time i switched over to the win win mentality....Sean Covey, lead kindly light