Tuesday, September 30, 2014

3 Things About 'Ravan' You Were Always Confused About

Standard

There is a discussion on the role of Ravan and Duryodhana and their role in the giant epic of Ramayana and Mahabharata. I have also adopted the pen name as 'The Ravan' and naturally people assume I am part of the group that believes Ravan was wrongly defeated. A common argument on Ravan goes, 'Ravan was the best king of the region and Ram attacked him over his wife,' or another one, 'Duryodhana was denied what he deserved, he was tricked into defeat by Krishna'. If you are one of the people described thus, this is a post for you.

Well there is no nice way of saying this but, 'What have you been smoking?' while it is completely understandable for younger generation to question their roots, the best option to clear any doubts you have is to read. There are countless books written on this topic and only when you read a couple of them you come to the true meaning of the books. The thing about Hinduism is that it has got many layers and once you start peeling the layers, underneath you find an idea, a concept, a metaphysical ideology that blows your mind.

Lets start from one, lets talk about Ravan. The justification that Ravan was good and just king is that he protected the people of Lanka from many Persian invaders. That the Lanka he had was richest of the land and the subjects were content and happy. 
These all facts are true, Ravan was indeed a just and noble king. He also had the impeccable reputation of being the most feared king in south-east Asia. Lanka did prosper under Ravan's rule but that made him even more arrogant. His constant conquest made him arrogant of him being supreme. Lanka was rich in weatlh even before Ravan took it from Kubera, the God of wealth. But during Ravan's rule, corruption increased, misery and arrogance increased and so did egos. There was no law left in the land and hence him being just king and all, he was a good leader and a amazing warrior but he was a poor administrator.

Ram attacked him for kidnapping Sita.
If Ram had to attack Lanka to rescue Sita, he would have snuck into Lanka picked up his wife and leave the place. Don't forget without Hanuman, Ram and Lakshman were much powerful than Ravan himself. But Ram chose to act like a true king and by not sneaking into Lanka chose to attack the ideology of Ravan. The rest of Ramayana was just a battle of ideology. Ram being the prince of Ayodhya commanded an army from monkey kingdom Kishkindha Kāṇḍ against the mighty army of Lanka. This showed that Ram chose a political battle rather than personal one in this. This bit is not popular among the feminist, who talk about Sita and her troubles. But in that moment Ram automatically won the battle, not because he was God but because he was acting between the law (Dharma).

So Ravan was not justified in his action, neither was he defeated in trickery. He was a just king who led a kingdom to war for his personal conquest, which was again not justified. At the end of Ramayana, Ram asks Vibhishana to establish the law of people instead of law of nature (matsyanyaya) in the kingdom of Lanka. Thus during the course of Ramayana, Ram establishes law of people in two kingdoms.

Why do I choose the name 'The Ravan' as pen name for my articles?
Ravan with whatever his flaws was a remarkable person with a remarkable personality. He choose to follow his path irrespective of whether it was acceptable with society, people or even God. Ravan was called 'Maha Brahman' by Ram himself and he was the knowledgeable in the Vedas and scriptures. The name 'Ravan' means the one with the terrible roar, which I insist on having through this blog and my stories. And hence the pen name 'The Ravan'.




Monday, September 29, 2014

The End Is here!!!!

Standard

Cross posting from my other blog
Halleluah!!!!
Three years of writing effort, 80,000 words.

First edit, 79,000 words (Doesn't seem a lot but trust me it is)

Second edit, 67,000 words (Phew and getting rid of one of a nice piece which had dinosour in it. **Sulk**)

And finally typing the two words that would perhaps make sense of it all.

-- The End --

But then if only things were as simple in that crazy brain of mine, no they were not. So here is what I ended writing
THE WORLD WAS NORMAL OR AS NORMAL AS IT POSSIBLY COULD BE.THIS WOULD BE THE TIME TO QUOTE A ‘THE END’ ON A BOOK BUT THEN IS IT? FOR WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT DON’T WE? 
TIME, AS THEY SAY, IS A FUNNY THING. IT WANTS US TO BELIEVE IT MOVES FORWARD BUT SNEAKILY MOVES IN ALL DIRECTIONS. 
FINALLY, IT WAS NEVER ABOUT THE ENDING, IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT THE JOURNEY.

Is the end, perhaps not. But a three year effort is laudable. During these three years I..
  • Got married
  • Moved city twice
  • Went into a writers blocked twice
  • Deleted the entire book in frustration 4 times
  • Gave up finishing this story, one time, starting a new one only to jolt back by my wife, Deepika.
  • Missed deadlines 9 times (and counting)
  • Gave excuses to not publish the book 6 times
  • Erased 3 characters of existence (two because they bored me, one because I had to edit it out)


Finally, the book is an awesome journey through space and time. It has got dinosaours, robots, werewolves and people with IQ more than average human being. It does have a man with the blue box but that blue box is tiny.
After brief celebrations, Ill come up with more updates about the book soon.

The End. For now



Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mahabharata Personality Types

Standard
Did a Tweetathon on #MahabharatPersonalityTypes, these are people who live in todays world but act and behave like Mahabharata characters. What more personlity types do you want to see? Mention in comments below.



Friday, September 26, 2014

Chapter 16th: Capital Crime

Standard
This is the 16th part of a story written by Team Supernova. I hate people who walk into a movie hall during climax, this is not where this story begins. Go read the previous chapter here. If you have missed a lot, go back all the way to starting following the links on the blog.

Chapter 16th: Capital Crime

Tara had acted swiftly after she had subdued the guards. Both of them were tied safely with the curtain ropes in their bathroom. She had secured Roohi room and dismantles the guards gun. Why was Sarkar in Lonavala? She wondered, this safe house was her and her alone, but now Sarkar knew this place. It would not be very safe to stay here for a long time. She decided to pack and make a run for it. But if Shekhar escapes them he will make way to this safe house and walk into the trap as she did.

Time was of essense and she decided to leave Shekhar a coded message about her whereabouts and a little surprise for her captives when they return.

And indeed in few minutes she say Sarkar tracer had moved towards the guest house. He was returning, not this time, this time she was prepared. Wasn't she? This time she had a plan. But it was not Sarkar who walked in the house and the security system did not even beep once as Aryan Ahuja entered her house.

"Hello old neighbour," Aryan Ahuja spoke, "We need to talk. Funny thing about safe houses really, they give you a sense of security that you are safe. You are not. Do you have some more tea?"

"Do you know how much time does it take to kidnap someone in this country?" Aryan Ahuja asked Tara as her offered her tea, "Don't worry, I won't spill it on you like you did to those guards and this," he pulled out the tracker that she had placed on Sarkar from his pocket and placed next to the tea cup.

"Have some tea," Aryan Ahuja spoke, "This is one of the most rarest blend formed from a unique mixture of herbs made only in one farm near Darjeeling. I own that farm."
"As I was saying by the last known record it took seven minutes for few teenagers to kidnap a dozen of girls," Aryan Ahuja said, "But my record is much less than that."
"For dinner last night your husband ate at Karim's, splendid cook and amazing food, he then went on to get a box of sweets from Gupta sweet mart for you, very nice sweets, make sure you try their Kaju Katli. Today morning your husband was eating dosa at the local eatery near the Nizamuddin station," Aryan Ahuja said, "I own that restaurant.," he leaned over the table, "Point being, I could have kidnapped your husband from anywhere but I choose to set this up during his train journey. Do you know why?"

"Why?" Tara asked.
"To make a point," Aryan Ahuja said, "If I can hijack a Rajdhani train of this country just to scare one passenger, you can run anywhere or anyplace in the world, i'll always find you. Now to business."

He turned on the television, "The quality of news programming has dropped hasn't it nowadays?"
Tara nervously glanced at the television, the news reporter were going live from Kota station and different theories were floating around about train being hijacked or brakes being failed. There was another news story about a terror plot suspicion.

"Let me give you a lesson in journalism," he picked up his phone and dialed a number, "See journalism is hard working journalist collect stories to show them to the world, hand them over to an editor who corrects for political, diplomatic and for stupid mistakes," he spoke on the phone, "Run the story."

"And then there is me," he said calmly, "The news maker, I make news for them to air."

The news anchor on television suddenly paused and spoke, "We are going live with a breaking news. The rumors are true, Rajdhani express running from Delhi to Mumbai has been hijacked. Police have just released picture of the suspect from CCTV footage at the Delhi railway station."

Aryan simply flipped another channel and all the news channels were showing same picture over and over again.

"Like a bird trapped in a cage," Aryan said, "Beautiful. There are more than 2000 passengers on that train fearing their fate, fear in the biggest motivator, fear of unknown is greater than that. They all know your husbands name and are looking for him. In about ten minutes, there will be a high level meeting of National Security Advisor with the army generals and the president. They will decide on ways to capture or kill your husband. In the next fifteen minutes, your husband will be labeled enemy of the state," Aryan smiled, "I hijacked a train to make a point, you really think a wooden door is going to save your daughter from me?"

"From the bottom of my heart ill tell you Tara," Aryan said, "It really pains me to do this but you have something I need and only I can save your husband and daughter."

Tara entire world came crashing down as she saw Shekhar picture flash as the hijacker of Rajdhani express on national television.

To be continued head on to Chapter 17 Curiosity killed the cat
“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

Monday, September 15, 2014

Chapter 6: Air-lift

Standard
This won't make any sense until you go read the previous chapter here. It still won't make sense there, follow the link back to the first post by team Supernova and read it from there.


The most obvious question that was missing in this otherwise ridiculous day was asked by the most ignored person so far. Move over hijacking, move over helicopters, move over everything else but the most important question that remained hanging in the air was,

Should she finish her homework for tomorrow or should she watch doremon?
Roohi was trying to decide what would be suitable. Today couldn't get any funnier could it? First that uncle came to pick her up in school. She knew him didn't she? Yes she did, she had seen him before, Ravi Uncle had come to their house in Lonavala, didn't he? He even called her by name. Why did watchmen uncle had to stop that uncle, Roohi didn't understand at all. Ravi uncle was going to give her ice cream.
Helicopter ride was really fun, she was going to tell about it to the entire class tomorrow. She even wanted to shout 'Weee' while airborne but she could not, her mom was busy flying it. Where are we anyways? Roohi thought, her mom was busy on phone since they got back. What does Hijack mean? Roohi decided to ask her English teacher tomorrow in school, will she go to school tomorrow?
Roohi was hungry, she decided that she should look for some biscuits in the house. Strawberry cream or chocolate? Roohi though looking at two biscuit packets lying on the kitchen table. Whose house is this? The house had, "One, two, three... no four rooms," Roohi murmured to herself.
"Lets lift him up from the train, how could they all travel together," her mother was speaking loudly on the phone to someone, Roohi ignored that. Now she was looking for the television remote somewhere, "They must be really stupid to think they can hijack a train and we do nothing," her mom said. Roohi made a note to give her mom the swear jar, she said stupid, she should put a coin in swear jar, "We can airlift Shekhar and Cyrus out of the train and then simply blast it."
Ooh Dad is coming home, Roohi smiled, she is going to tell him about the helicopter ride today. "Shekhar knows nothing about it," her mom continued, "I knew they were coming after us. That's why I had the helicopter and save house ready. I was waiting for Shekhar to return, since they have intercepted him on the train, we have to make a tough call."
"Alert the home minister," she finally said, "I'll take care of the media front. Will make sure they are exposed. I am not going to let a small incident hamper my research for last decade."
Roohi finally found the remote lying under the sofa, she pulled it out and tuned in doremon. Things were going to get ridiculously crazy from now on. She didn't knew it now, for all she wanted to do was watch doremon.

Tara had brought her child to the safe house to keep her safe, little did she know that the safe word in safe house is not going to change their fate.

Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com.
#CelebrateBlogging with us. To continue the journey click here for next chapter

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

10 Insane Things about London That will confuse you

Standard
When I first stepped into London, I was a bit anxious. After being misinformed about almost everything about London and then Googling for ending hours here I was on in the heart of British Empire. Here are few things that are absurdly confusing (OK not absurd, maybe a cultural shock or maybe just absurd) in London.

1. They greet you with 'You Ok', 'Everything alright'.
The people in London don't greet you 'Hello' or 'Hi', they say, 'You ok', or 'Everything alright'. Now that is fine in normal London sense of way but the moment someone asks me that, I am like, 'Stop face reading.' 'No everything is not alright, starting with this form of greeting.'

2. Chips are Fries and Crisps are Chips
New Mucchad mascot for the blog.
No that's true, you ask for Chips and they give you fries. Even in Mc. Donald's were universal code (OK maybe not universal) for Burger is, 'You want to make it a meal with fries' but no in London they are chips. Want any chips?


3. The overtly attachment for fish and chips
Someone in the past invented fish and chips. The entire population liked it so much that they didn't bother inventing another seafood dish. Only seafood option available in most restaurants is fish and chips with an exception to fish pie which most of the bars seems to stock a lot.

4. Washing Machines in the kitchen
I still have to figure out the reason for strategic placement of washing machine next to my oven. A slight miss in the angle and I might end up washing my pie and burning my shirt.

5. Sandwich being the main item in a lunch menu
You tell me whatever you want, I will never understand how can a sandwich and a packet of chips (or crisps) be served at a lunch menu. Most of the time these sandwiches are not cooked, they are stuffed with cold meat, veggies and served in a nice packet. A geniune request to heat it up is respond with an even colder stare. That stare can only match with the weather in London.

6. Drinking hot tea to cool off on a hot summer day
That sentence is legit according to Londoners. What is the obsession with tea one can never understand until 5:00 when it seems the entire nation declares as the official high tea hour.

7. The too much politeness
The first time someone held a door open, I felt good. Thank you, I beamed. The second time, I wasn't thrilled but I still beamed. Repeat that forty times a day and you finally give up. Londoners are too polite. They even say 'Sorry' if you accidently bump into them. I believe if a robber decides to rob me he will come up and say, "Sorry chap, can you please give me all your money?" Talking about money they don't have anything above 20 pounds in print.
Solar charger that doesn't work as nicely as you expected.

8. The lack of Sun
Sometime in the past, the Londoners decided they didn't need the sun anymore and he obliged. The lack of Sun only mocks at you if you proudly bring a solar mobile charger with you on your journey. British summer season comprises of a week of nice hot sun followed by two weeks of spontaneous downpour.

9. Spontaneously standing in the queue for Banks, Supermarket, Parks and any random place that requires three or more person.
In India people fall in line when they are subjected to metal restrains, watched over by security guards who carry wood sticks and after a fight, confusion about the correct line. As a dedicated Indian who has come through this confusion I find it exceedingly appalling that in London, people spontaneously form lines at random places. Its like you are standing for a bus and wallah, people are standing behind you. You have that Kaalia - Amitabh Bacchan moment here.

10. License to watch television
The most interesting British citizen James Bond proudly boasts he has License to Kill. That is not some clever catch phrase, you need to have license for everything, including watching television. The house owner has given a television but you cannot watch it until you buy a license for it. "My name is Bond, James Bond and I have License to Kill," "Yeah Sorry mate, until you pay the license to watch television I am not going to allow you too."


Monday, August 18, 2014

Things no one should tell you when you are leaving the country but still they will

Standard
A while back I moved to London. The transition was smooth, I packed a box of seven clean underwears, a packet of bakarwadi (it's a pune thing), few clothes and was on my way to the land of Queen (real one).

It was a new experience altogether. First thing that stuck me was how many people had wrong advise about traveling to London from India. As goes the unspoken law of char log kya kahenge, my journey to London spread across the community of people I knew (and didn't know) and they had to meet me to talk to me. How do these people even communicate? Do they have some whatsapp group that we don't know about? Or do they like have weekly conference call to get status update from each other. "Oh my son just got a job with Xx salary, what about you, report." Anyways these people kept popping everywhere with advise in abundance.

"Oh be careful about immigration officers at Heathrow airport. They provoke you," said one wise fellow, "They have a right to detain anyone who creates ruckus and deport them from the country."
"Remember, " said another, "I have heard that British Airways is a bit of racist towards Indians. Be prepared to face that."
"But you have never left your house in forever, how do you know that?" I asked.
"I read," he said, "I have a news filter that tells me all countries that are racist towards us. I think they are jealous of our rich culture and the fact that our national anthem is chosen one of the best national anthem in the world."
That jibe about national anthem went for another fifteen minutes. Before he could start about his long lost anscestor, the Prince of Nigeria, I made an excuse of going for a TB test.

The number of people Indians know from London is alarming, "My closest friend lives in London. If you have any trouble, just pop over to him," he said.
"Thanks, I'll need them when I am actually house hunting. Can you give me their contact details so that I can call them when I reach in London?"
"Sure give me your email id," he continued, "I don't have their latest contact number but I have their yahoo email Id"
I'll tell you what, I am a email racist ok, you give me your yahoo email id and I will judge you. You give me your rediffmail email id and I will start looking for your tail.

While this one going on another set of people started popping up at different times. Now these set of people were not here to advise me on what I should do in London (thankfully) but rather what my personal choices are and how me moving to london is going to throught India back into stone age.

"Why you don't love India?" he asked.
"I do..." I shrugged.
"You don't get enough here or what? Leaving your country, you learn in this country and become corporate slave for them..." and the lecture went on. The problem with that was, during is swadeshi moment I was struggling hard to find a pause to gulp my coffee.

Two weeks later I am on a 9 hour day flight (I counted) chasing the hot sun, five pegs of whisky, two hours of sleep and watching two movies back to back later, I realised, I am in London. No there was no racism on the flight but i may have troubled one flight attendant talking about my allergy to certain vegetables while gobbling on vegetarian food. Poor fellow she kept checking on me from time to time.

No one provoked me at the Heathrow airport. The immigration officer in Mumbai had more questions for me but those were mostly because he could not believe anyone would want me in London (I get that a lot).

Stepping outside the Heathrow airport and breathing the British air for the first time, I realized... dammit I forgot to pack six pair of socks.

Have you had any such experience while planning a trip? Share them in comments below

Friday, August 15, 2014

Things India needs freedom from

Standard

Many years ago we made a tryst with destiny, we choose a nation for ourself. A nation ruled by people, for people and of the people. Yet somewhere down the line, we failed. We failed miserablely. Yes, India is a nation ruled by democracy, it is the biggest democracy in the world and yet, our democracy is broken. Did we really set our for this path, perhaps we did, perhaps it was a big mistake. Organizing a nation of 1.2 billion people is not a joke, big civilization couldn't do that. But what the government and administration should do or did is not the purpose of this blog. Lets look at the 10 things India needs feedom from.













Monday, August 11, 2014

Why Prince of Nigeria could never start a riot

Standard
DEAR SIR, I am Prince Some-Obviously-True-Name the elder son of the late King Why-Would-You-Care-II whose demise occur following a brief illness. Before the death of my father, King Why-Would-You-Care-II, I was authorised and officially known as the next successor and beneficiary of my father’s property according to Some-Country Traditional rite...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Facts about sex that will help you survive India

Standard



Is it ironic that the land who taught the world Kamasutra shy's away on mention of world 'Sex'? Is it ironic that the civilisation that portrayed woman as powerful, dominating and ruling over the men (Mahabharata, Shakuntala etc.) has modern woman fighting for the tag of 'item girls'? Isn't it ironic that the country that gave voting rights to woman on the day of its inception is filled with rape cases day in and out?

Irony is part of Indian culture. Hypocrisy and irony are the two pillars on which the foundation of modern India is laid. Let's take an instance for the case of 'Sex education' in India. Here is the deal, sexual frustration is rampant across the country, considering the number of Item songs gaining popularity nowadays. The root cause of this, maybe is our attitude towards things like individualistic freedom, repression towards sex and the skewed concept of 'Indian culture'.

So here are the list of things against Indian Culture,
1. Premarital sex
2. Sex education
3. The concept of marital rape
4. Watching Porn
5. Having sex without making a baby (Source: Kamasutra)

but then Indian culture is not that prudish, no it is not. There are few things that are aligned with Indian Culture. They are ok to go.

1. Rape
2. Item Songs with lyrics as 'Sheila ki Jawani', 'Munni Badnaam hui' in movies rated 'Safe' for children.
3. Martial rape
4. Consensual sex but rape case if not married.
5. Public shaming and threatening by the cops for woman who wish to raise a complaint against men.

In one of the crowdiest places on Earth, things like personal freedom, liberal values are not important. What is more important is 'Char log kya kahenge'. In this ridiculously confusing country, it is not important if you were raped or molested as long as you got married properly.  Every Indian parent is suffering from Anuptaphobia, which is a hi-fi word for fear of getting married. And every adult India spends his/her life 'saving' his/her virginity for the big night. No, seriously, in few communities virginity test is very common. Their quest for staying virgin can only be matched with their race for making 'male' babies.

Basically anything normal is abnormal in India and any weird thing you spot, try not to flinch. You see a two year old doing a 'thumka' for her amusement and the parents clapping on that is 'normal'. Putting pressure on the children to complete their parents dream which including-

1. Choosing the career parents ask them to.
2. Marrying the girl of families choice.
3. Making babies before the elders die

Is considered normal. Any form of physical attraction or relationship is unhealthy for the country. Yet, it is ok for people to oggle at girls, eve-tease and rape (after all boys will be boys- said by an esteemed minister). Is there a solution?
Yes, there is, if you listen to the people. This is the best solution you can ever get, stay within your limits. If you are a girl wear full body covering clothes, regularly pray to God and stay indoors. If you are a boy, ask your parents everything (including the loo timing). Sex/rape and all those things are ok, as long as there is marriage involved down the line. After all you are preserving the Indian culture which has considered getting married more sacred that human feelings, emotions and freedom.

So there you go, your guide about sex in India. You may be offended by this article, I understand, after all sarcasm is also against the Indian culture.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What No One Tells You About Hinduism

Standard
In recent years, the dialogue of Hindutva, Hinduism and Hindu in general has attained main-stream media. Be it Rahul Gandhi raising fears against Hindu Militants (like really!!!) or be it protest against arrest of Asaram Bapu or other God-men in recent times. Hindu as a religion has got more than its fair share of attention. Young adults are questioning their faith and the culture while there are allegation about all sorts of thing about hinduism in general.
Few weeks ago, in a heated argument about justification of Hinduism, a friend questioned the authenticity of hinduism. In this post I decided to put my views on Hinduism as explained to him.

1. The concept of polytheism
The very first thing to understand about Hinduism is that it is a polytheist religion. What that means is there is no key to reach heaven and you can create your own keys. 7 billion people can choose how they want to reach heaven and attain moksha or nirvana. There is no priest, there is no temple. In Mahabharata Krishna tells Arjuna that he can worship God in any form, any way and anywhere as long as the intent is honest.

2. Who owns Hinduism?
While many religions have a authority and a fix point of contact (so to speak), Hinduism has no such thing. You are still a hindu if you do not go to a temple for eons or that you do not believe in Shiva or Krishna or any mainstream deities. You can choose your own way of worship and your own deity and still be a hindu.

3. Why are there so many festivals?
Believe it or not, Hinduism is purely based on Mathematics of nature. Every festival denotes important climate change, which was celebrated in earlier days.

4. Will I go to hell if I don't follow the doctrine/ books about hinduism like Bhagwat Gita, Manu Smriti?
According to Bhagwat Gita, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. That is something we like to call the law of Karma. There is no concept of Hell in Hinduism, there is heaven, there is mount meru and there is nether-land but not hell. No one is punished anywhere else but earth according to Hinduism. This is done in form of re-birth (which you can choose to believe or not, no pressure). But there is no God/Dogma that says, obey me or I will throw you to hell. There is no pressure at all.

5. Most of the Gods in Hinduism are dead in the stories, how can a God die? Shouldn't he be omnipresent?
This is half fact, the complete fact is that while there are stories of God's death in Hinduism, there are also stories of demon's death. There is no God and no Demon, hinduism simply states that whenever there is a trouble, God will appear in different forms and rescue you from them. The pressure to help you solve problems is on God, what you suffer is your own Karma. A God cannot die but what dies is a point of view. An avatar is just a point of view of God. Ram is the point of view of a perfect man, Krishna is point of view of a cruel strategist, Narsimha is the point of view of a angry God. These all forms are different points of view of same God. There are 33 million points of view of the same idea, all are alive and all are dead.

6.  Hinduism has bad elements like the caste system and the sati system.
While I agree that many years ago there was a sati system that was abolished but it was not as widespread as people would like you to believe. Infact, in many caste there was no idea of Sati. But that isn't justification of the horrible concept. Yes, it was abolished and so was caste system. But then have you observed the modern caste system? A doctor prefers his child to be a doctor. They will use their connections to make him a doctor, similar with a lawyer and perhaps an IIM graduate. While these system were prevalent and horrible everyone has a choice to not choose them. The path is not easy, I agree, but not impossible.

7. Hinduism is oppressive towards woman/ LGBT
Hinduism is the only religion that mentions the contribution of woman in forming the society. Shiv Puran mentions Parvati as his Ardhangini, means the better half. The story of Ganga, Yamuna and Savitri depicts modern and dominant woman in charge of their life. Hinduism has a lot of different points of view and you can choose which one to follow. Vishnu is a mohini avatar was a transexual, Shikhandi was allowed on the battlefield because God Krishna announced that he was a man. Shikhandi was a transexual. Arjun was a crossdresser in exile and fell in love with a woman. There are a lot many stories that treat LGBT equally in par with male and female counterparts. If someone says otherwise, you can choose to ignore it.

8. There are so many political parties that are oppressive towards non Hindus and create ruckus once in a while.
I usually avoid talking politics on this blog but on this matter I'll say this. Refer back to point one about having a point of view. These parties have their own point of view and go on to defend that in their own crooked sense of way. You need not blame the religion for those views. Just as hinduism gives you right to choose any point of view of a God so does it also give right to deny any other point of view. 



Bottomline: here is what hinduism teaches you in his immense wisdom, unlimited dogma and never ending universe. You choose, worship, pray or not pray any God you like or don't like. You do whatever you do and however you do, you won't be judged but be prepared to reap the seeds you have sown and remember Karma is watching you all the time.

These are my views on Hinduism, what about yours?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maid in India

Standard
It was one of those weeks in my house when me and my partner were too lazed out to go grocery shopping. Every passing day the number of onion, tomatoes started depleting and we were slowly entering the dark era. Our maid gave a constant reminder of the upcoming apocolypse but since it was morning 7:30, a time before we normally wake up, all those warnings fell on deaf ears nay on sleepy deaf ears.

Finally, one fine day making a very inaudible noise she walked towards us and declared that the end of the world was here and she could not cook anything. At that precise moment, my mind went into a self-doubt mode on exactly who was the employee and who was the employeer. But this was not the first time my mind went into the overdrive of self doubt.

A few weeks back when my wife had gone to her native, our doorbell rang horribly for five to six times distrubing my sweet dreams of world domination. The people had almost started worshipping me in my dream when the doorbell kicked me out of the giant podium and I had to relunctantly open the door,
"Where were you?" asked the maid as she took charge of the house.
"I...ugh... sleeping," I said still yawning, I do not know if there any other possible response at 6:30 in the morning.
"So late in opening the door, were you out again last night?" she asked.
For a freaking moment, I thought I was still asleep and this was my wife enquiring about my whereabouts. I opened by eyes wide but no, it was the maid.
"Ugh... I..." in one freighting moment I had forgotten the entire voccabulary of Hindi.

The list does not end here, in my house the chain of command begins with my wife and in her absense, it is handed over to the maid. Aparently, as the husband I come at the very bottom of the chain of command pyramid in the house.

"Can you come a bit late from tomorrow?" my partner pleaded with the maid one fine morning. After ruining our sleep for seven consequitive days we came up with the solution.
"No can't do," the maid said, "I have only 7:30 slot free for your house. I have to work elsewhere and it is already booked."
"Can you switch us to another slot? Say after 10:30?"
"No," the maid replied firmly, "And I will take a holiday every Monday, weather you like it or no."
She announced firmly and went ahead to do her regular job. An hour later when I tried to show the same firmness to my boss, he repraminded me for coming late to office and insisted I come on time. So much for chain of command.

How we met our maid is also an interesting story in itself. It was 7 hours since we moved into our new house, 6 out of those seven were spend sleeping as we moved in late last night. Early morning 7:30 the doorbell rang and on the door was the maid. "I used to work in this house earlier, do you need a maid?" We needed one definately but had never decided on it. I think it was mostly the sleep depravation that we agreed on one.

Having a maid is as horrible as not having one. But the most horrible part of it is having one and she not coming on time. Never before have we waited for anyone more than the maid to arrive. Having a maid in India is as good as having a very uncomfortable raincoat in rain. While raincoat is a necessity, it is still uncomfortable having one.

What are your woes?




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Top ten reasons why you probably got married in India

Standard

All over the world, marriage is the holy union of two people who choose each other with mutual consent and decide to spend the entire life together. India, as with many other social norms, begs to differ in the definition. Tweet: Marriage is the horrible combination of Government, God and honeymoon packages. http://ctt.ec/_yeeR+

The following are the top ten reasons why people get married in India, and no love doesn't come in this list.

1. The 'marriageable' age is passing or has passed.
There is a wide range of what is supposed to be a marriageable age. It could vary from 18 to 30 depending on who you believe in.

2. The sons of Mr. XYZ has got married recently in lavish ceremony
Incidentally you were told the exact amount of insane money spend my the new daugther-in-law family to the last paise.

3. You are growing bald, fat or worst dark!!!
Yep, you are physically deforming into a monster, apparently.

4. You are leaving out of city, state or country
Basically anyplace where you will be out of sight from your parents and have a chance of 'slipping'

5. You are living alone out of your parents sight
Every parent believes that once the boy is out of sight he parties hard, gets drunk all night, has shady friends circle and the ultimate nightmare of every indian parent... a girlfriend outside the caste!!!!

6. You got a good job (which means earning more than 25k) and thus are now eligible for a lavish dowry
The rate of dowry varies depending on multiple criteria, have you checked out the dowrycalulator yet?

7. Your grandfathers dying wish is to see his grandson.
With great powers comes great responsibility and all that shit.

8. Relatives have started asking questions.
The nosy char log who have been ruining the life's of countless young adults from Kashmir to Kanyakumari strike again. They starting poking around the personal details of your life making you edge further towards marriage.

9. The Mahurat falls on a public holiday/ Sunday after a long time
Nothing beats like a marriage on a sunday specially if its a non-veg wedding.

10. You just happen to walk into a room full of strangers and a woman who was attempting to fake shy. You had no clue they were planning your marriage
This happens quite a lot, deal with it.

If you got married for one of the reasons above, I pity you. If not, congratulations you made a wise choice. Happy Wedding.

Just a light humor there, people get married for other reasons as well. I got one and surived two years today.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Top 10 possible reason Bangalore did not go out for Vote

Standard

According to certain media reports (do not know if these are paid or unpaid) only 56% of Bangaloreans voted yesterday. Using my super secret research team of ninjas, I set out the real reason why bangalore did not vote. My team of ninjas surveyed every part of bangalore in such a secrecy that no one came to know about it. Enlisting the top ten reasons why bangaloreans missed voting yesterday.

1. It was not a holiday in America.
2. They avoided traffic jam towards pooling booth.
3. Polling booth was far away from Infosys office
4. Polling booth was not inside forum mall.
5. There was no home delivery service.
6. The polling booth didn't have AC. Mall did.
7. Election timing clashed with gym appointment.
8. They had very urgent work in office. Manager promised pizza.
9. Last night's Biryani was too spicy.
10. Finally a four days long weekend, time to catch up on sleep that was missed.

There you go. If you live under the rock and have woken up just now, your chance to make a difference to this nation is gone. You won't get such a chance for another five years, lets pray that a good candidate has got maximum number of votes.

This list is a humorous parody and not to be taken seriously, no harm intended to any institute or named company above.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

That itch on your back that cannot be scratched

Standard


"Arvind Kejriwal..." he began the sentence. Since this election has come up many of my friends are bitten by this new fever. All of the sudden, without any warning, without any notice they will begin the sentence taking name of their favorite politician (earlier the words were reserved for Sachin Tendulkar and Sehwag)
"... Arvind Kejriwal was part of the system and has finally vowed to change it," my friend said proudly driving the unserviced vehicle on M.G. Road.
"When was the last time you did a P.U.C.," I asked matter of factly because we were painting the town black.

"I don't remember," he said, "My father must have done it before he gave me this car."
"As I remember your father gave you this car almost seven years ago when we were in college, right?" I asked.
"Yeah man," he said changing the topic, "But think what Arvind Kejriwal can do when we make him the Prime Minister of the country."
"I don't think he will be able to do anything unless you control the pollution emission of this vehicle," I replied, "I think once you choose him to do his duty, you should do yours."
"Oh man," he said, "You are such a wuss. We get these P.U.C. certificates for as cheap as 1000 bucks. Relax."
"You can afford those 1000 bucks buddy, humanity cannot," I replied getting down from the car and refusing to pollute the environment anymore.
Indians have this uncanny habit of hero worshipping. First it was freedom fighters, then it was crickets for a brief moment it was also Tushar Kapoor. Every few years Indians change their heroes and keep faith in their hero. "Why tendulkar, why," my friend used to scream as he sat on the sofa with his legs above the rest and head down below (this was his ritualistic position for tendulkar to score a century), "Why did you leave the offside open!!!!"
The day Sachin Tendulkar retired, my friend deannounced living. We were hoping he would go to some himalaya to medidate and never come back but the thing about hero worship is, no one wants to do anything. After cribbing for two days completely he had a new hero, Anna Hazare.
"Rahul Gandhi is not capable of handling this country," he said to no one in particular as he entered the room.

"Did you bring milk and eggs?" his wife asked dilligently.

"No," he said, "I forgot. You go down and bring."

"You are not capable of handling this house," she said, "Don't crib about Rahul Gandhi."
We are a nation of cribbers. For almost two weeks a member in our society was complaining about not enough diesel in generator. "The prize of diesel have increased so much," he used to begin, "It is such a pain, only Narendra Modi can reduce the prize of diesel."
"Did you call the maintainence guy who was going to fine tune our generator so it can consume less diesel," asked the chairman.

"No, I forgot to do that," he said shrugging.
Even the leaders are no different, all the so-called leaders of the country are busy cribbing about each other. Every one fights for the 'issues' in the country but no one talks about solutions for them. The Aam Aadmi Party is a newly formed political party in this country. If nothing else they have adopted one quality of the mango people of the country, and that is cribbing.

Said one commuter at the traffic signal, "Don't block my way."
"It is a red light," I informed him pointing to the red light at the traffic signal.
"There is no cop around," he said, "If you want to be a wuss be a wuss, let me go."
He sped past bearing the insignia of his favorite youth leader bearing the sign, 'I support him'.

How is he going to support his leader by breaking the traffic signal is beyond me. Everyone is waiting for their next leader to come with a magic wand and transform India but no one wants to pick up the wand themself.

The battle lines are drawn on who will become the next PM. Whoever wins the elections has a big task to rescue this country from the mess. While the next PM candidate is preparing his plan to improve the country, let us sit back and think what we can change to foster this development. Stop cribbing and start acting.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lets talk about Elephant in the room

Standard

Since the Election Commissioners Code of Conduct talking about the elephant in the room is a very painful activity, specially since Elephants are hidden from public view before the elections. But this post is not about a political party but is about the political will.

Or for that matter, the lack of it. Whenever a new political ideology grips the nation, a series of similar looking but going nowhere statements come into picture. We need to empower woman, we need to take care of the poor, the farmers are to be supported and the list goes on. Every political party goes on and on how they will 'listen' to a particular sector and help them. Here is the elephant in the room which we all conviniently ignore, corruption is not the only problem gripping this giant Union of India. Populism is.

One of the biggest rot to our system since independence is the concept of reservation. The idea of reservation started as a means to 'empower' the backward classes but turned into a means of reducing the quality of education and exploitation of the educaton system by a selected few. Populism is not a good idea for anyone.

Government is not a charity organization, you give a package to one sector, someone else has to pay for it. We all are paying prize for the reservation. Give a sect of people freebie and others will pay for it. Give free electricity to farmers and others will pay for it. Any government that offers freebie to one sect, be it caste, religion, profession or gender is not governing properly.

Election season is upon us and we are trying to realign the system of our country. We all can and should go out to vote for that one person who can make a difference. Any new government that is formed in this country is attempting to form in the most active era. Any new government that gives freebies to someone or the other will not be here to stay, they will be at the max allowed to rule only for 49 days. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Comedy Nights are not so comedy after all!!!

Standard

On a Sunday morning as I left the humble hug of my cosy 'rajai' (a cruel form of blanket that hypnotizes you to procrastinate) to engage in the oldest profession of humans, hunt for something to eat, every door along the way was tuned into some famous show.  By the time I reached my parking, I had listened to the complete title song in bits and pieces. To their credit, one house was watching Chota Bheem but thats not the topic of this post.
Over the period of time the condition of Indian Television has deteriorated much worse than the concept of auto meter on streets of Delhi.  I had this crazy idea a couple of months back that I am going to turn into a perfect Indian. I replaced my toothpaste with Vicco Vajradanti, got a Chandrika soap and even used Chik Shampoo. During this phase I decided to abandon American television on and switch to Indian tele-serials only. Yes, that means no... wait for it... Star world HD, no HBO (gasp) and definitely no Star Movies HD (Suicidal!!!)
A week later my D2H provider was glad that I spend a lot more money in subscribing to premium channels like Star World Premiere HD, HBO Hits and HBO Defined. It was needed or the other option was to get admitted in a mental asylum which was more costly (I checked).
Here is the thing I discovered, the entire legion of writers and creative heads come up with more and more creative ideas of how to connect any Godamm story in the world to some Saas Bahu show. Every story starts with something unique, something different. One serial started with doctors in the lead and while the set was of a substandard quality (the hospital looked like a waiting room for bus stop with beds), the story proceeded at the snails pace for a month and the lead got... wait for it... married.
Another show jumped timeline faster than the Government in Delhi could survive. In a month they jumped 7 years, in another four they jumped 20 years. Before we would figure out what happened when the small kid in the show got... wait for it... married. Here is the damm thing, every sort of the show has to have a SaaS and a Bahu. Along with them comes a third person who will drive a rift between the wife and a side actor for a husband. All stories sooner or later jump the ships to the same story line. Its as if, before dinner, every writer sits down to watch what his competing show is doing and pick up stuff and try to connect it to his show.
Such is the insignificance of these writers that nowadays networks and production houses do not even bother to hire them. They will throw in a bunch of out of work celebrities or gather people that can create controversies and write a show around it. The reality shows are draining out whatever brain is left from the indian audiences. Making crappy shows may not be a big deal, but the trend becomes disturbing when families sit together and watch a Holi Special or Diwali special episode of their favorite serial and forget the festival in their own house (Marketing plug: Wanna know how they make a reality show? Transcript of what we overheard at the Double Shots inn). Celebrities endorse flat screen televisions with some advance technologies that would put alien spaceships to shame. But I don't see the point is buying a very powerful television unless you are doing a research on the clarity and lividity of the tears rolling down the cheeks.

Because I don't dare to touch the concept of 24x7 news channels, I dare to make serious comments on comedy. Or I don't. But the term comedy is misused so ballantly on the television show that even it has lost its meaning. Any show that has comedy in its name has either a laughing guest who is paid to laugh or some cross dressing actors that will make some slapstick comments and physical comedy that is not helping anyone other that the guest (who is paid to laugh remember). This person can laugh even on those poor jokes that are forwarded on whatsapp that no one likes but are forwarded anyways.

Indian television boasted at some of the classic hits, how can anyone forget Nukkad, Yeh Jo Hai Jindagi, Chandrakanta, Shanti, Hum Panch and many more that entertained us for years. These shows had situations, had grandeur, they had entertainment quality and were not merely written in hurry for making quick bucks.

Indian television is dead, sadly the oldest family member in the biggest joint family potrayed on the daily soap is still alive after 200 episodes and a million years. Till she dies, foreign televisions shows it is.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Studying Humans

Standard
"Humans are the most curious creatures," said one alien investigator to another, "They carry super computers powerful enough to launch missile systems halfway across the globe and yet they choose to use them in forwarding funny jokes about other humans that sometimes makes no sense"
"Indeed, internet is one of the most sophisticated network grid of computers we have ever seen," said the other.
"And yet the power of 30 billion connected computers is used to find pictures of other naked humans and dreams of copulation"
"That's indeed curious, pray tell me then," said the commander, "What are the most important issues that humans are researching on?"
"There is a difference of opinion on almost all issues on Earth. Humans doubt everything that is said by other humans. They even doubt our existence, in our front."
"Thats even more funny, can we attack them?" asked the commander.
"We can but it will be a fruitless effort plus we risk introducing their internet and Facebook to our teens. Oh how our kids will grow up if they keep on Whatsapping and Instagramming instead of learning to fight."
"But if we do not attack them, they might attack us."
"Only if they are not distracted from their internet." said the second.
"We need not fear them now, do we?"
"Not until their Facebook shuts down. Till then we should relax" shrugged the first.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

[Play Review] Under the Chestnut Tree I sold you, you sold me

Standard


Set in the dystopian world where color is banned for artist, Debutant play Under the Chestnut Tree by Allmytea products, offers a very unique rebellion from normal trends. The play promises a very strong setting by putting in three powerful characters in a confined space. 
Sidoscope review**
Under the chestnut tree opens with a cracking radio informing the repressive state that punishes playwrights and artists for showing obscene content and tax evasion. It also talks of the sodomy law being tabled in the parliament setting up the context that this is perhaps a dystopian version of a democratic farce.

What really ticks in this play is not the idea of rebellian but stalwarts performances by the actors and powerful characters and dialogues by Akash Mohimen and Siddhart Kumar. The story unfolds very beautifully in showing the complexities of the characters life as well as their entanglement with their inner evils. The quirky at times but serious sibling rivalry between the lead Osman (Prashant Prakash) and Captain L (Siddharth Kumar), the power struggle between Captain L and Eve (Shweta Tripathi) and finally the fierce competition between Eve and Osman fueled by a powerful backstory offers the balancing climax.
The performances are equally balanced and the clever use of theatre space as well as smart direction makes this play a visual treat to watch. Finally, the ending is a bit predictable but it is really not the ending but the way the play unfolds is worth a watch.

Under the chestnut tree premiered at the Jagriti Theatre New Writing Festival in Whilefield, bangalore. Follow their facebook page for upcoming shows in your city.


**Sidoscope verdict is based on the following Sidoscore scale. All opinion is personal and honest.




Thursday, February 13, 2014

How banning books is pushing us back by a century

Standard
From time to time nowadays certain people choose to start a one sided debate against me over my views. I won't go to the length of calling these voices as an organized effort by a political outfit or a group like those high class ignorant journalist. No, these people are passionate and true believers about their political leader, spiritual leader or religious leader. I don't deny making a provoking statement so that one of these start a debate on Twitter, the intention is not malicious, mind you, because debate improves knowledge, progresses society.

Journalism was once a profession that welcomed debate, nowadays it is imposing views between commercial breaks. But bashing journalist is not the point of this post (I just do it for fun), the point of the blog is this people are afraid of change. People are afraid of things that change and will go to any length to prevent it from happening.

On the eve of Penguin rekindled the age old battle between creative liberties and milking those by selling the books by banning the book by Wendy Doniger, here are my two paisa. First, for those busy reading about the plastic surgery by Anuska Sharma and nothing else here is what happened-

Wendy Doniger has spend over 40 years researching, translating and commenting hindu scriptures and stories. She is a distinguished professor at the Divinity School in Chicago, with a PhD from Harvard and DPhil from Oxford. But all these academic and professional experience do not matter much today because, today, she is being targeted for being a Jewist American Scholar who wrote about Hinduism. The book in question has blasphemous ideas including the cover of the book which has naked woman forming a carriage of Krishna. The idea of the book starts with traditional male-bashing and Brahmin-bashing (a past time activity, I also indulge). Obviously, the true believers of Hinduism felt threatened and found their faith shaken. They protested and raised multiple court cases against the book. Penguin did what every publisher choses to do, take the easy road out. It promised to burn down the remaining copies of the book.

True Believers rejoice, for their faith is intact, there are no challengers. But should they? History has told us that only debate and intellectually challenges have helped us evolve further. You could pick up a book, read it, dismiss it and write a counterpart. Denying that the book exists and burning it down is not a healthy sign for a society to progress.

One fine day a friend of mine arrived at my doorsteps unannounced (that is rude and borderline invasive but he is my friend) "They are ruining our culture man."
"Who are?" I asked knowing the answer was going to ruin my Sunday.
"The americans man," he said simply, "Today they have proposed a anti-superstitious bill that challenges most of the ancient practices in Hindu temples man. I tell you they are going to invade us again."
"But I did not know anti-superstitious bill proposed banning of praying in Temples. I thought it had to do with Black Magic, human sacrifices and other magical remedies."
"Yes, yes but don't you see these are part of our tradition for more than 5000 years," he said highly agitated, "How can you stop our culture man? And they don't stop christian religious practices do they?"
"Actually not true, there are many black magic rituals including witch hunt and exorcism are stopped in western countries. But I don't see the relation here, this law is actually empowering the hindu religion by weeding out all the malpractices, I do not see how bad it is."
"You are influenced by those american witch doctors and their phony science. Ayurveda is a real branch of medicine and we have our own science of our own."
"Yes we do and prominent scientist like Aryabhatta, Aurobindo and many prominent scientist in India over ages are against superstitious practices."
"Who?" the final question put in a final nail in his ideology.

When external forces try to penetrate your exterior you panic and you revolt against them. People call it revolution but it is really not a revolution, it is a last desperate attempt to stay relevant. Here is the thing we all miss, change is constant, so is resistant to change. People have been resistant to change for a million years now, we hear about people revolting against Krishna when he asked them to worship Govardhan instead of Indra. People resisted when idealist proposed stopping the child marriage. Just like social media gave power to the revolutionaries, they also gave steroids for true believes. Hence the outrage that is seen globally.

"You should join us in protesting against the false jailing of our favorite Godman," he twitted to me the other day.
"Why would I do that?" I tweeted back.
"Because you are a hindu and you should support this encroachment against Hinduism." he protested back.
I shared him the link to my previous article about baba bashing.
After what was 10 sec, he replied, "oh I see you are anyways against Hinduism"
I politely send me the link to my book (which is 5 awesome Hindu stories handpicked and rewritten with a bonus story from thai Ramayana)
"I don't understand you. You are such a great follower of Hinduism why won't you support our agitation?"
Do you know why I won't support the agitation? It is the sane reason I support the book by Wendy Dongier about Hinduism although I oppose a lot of her views in the book.

The reason being: if you have to ask the reason, it's not worth it.

The times are changing, the world is changing. The weight of this change is to be borne by all or this civilization will not survive. Rome was not build in a day but it did bury under the debris of change in a day.

Debate is essential for the civilization to progress, debate is essential for country to grow. Banning of books, films or any thing that opposes the mainstream view is the favorite past time of the country. You can build bridges, you can build buildings and you can build smart cities but you will always be a developing country until you ban this notion of banning things.