Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Enemies in My Life

"Normal people don't have enemies," proclaimed my Wife as I sat down to my monthly revisit of the enemies list, "But then again," she concluded, "You are not normal, are you?" she went back to her daily routine of sleeping, one of the most normal things that I ignored.

As I sat there revisiting the list, I realized an important thing, the list comprised of people that could be classified into generic categories and groups. Every person has a set of enemies in their life, if you believe in daily soap, the lists starts from your relatives. However, I have some arch enemies that pop out from the corner where they hide and irritate me beyond imagination like those who poke me on Facebook every night, now there is no harm done in poking anyone but then it sends a mixed message or those who stop me in the middle of the road to tell about their babies, I mean, I get it, you made a live human being, awesome, clap, clap, clap but then do I have to know about his or her every first in chronological order?

People who tag you in post on facebook and then remove the topic when you meet them in person 
One of the biggest threat to your smartphone is Facebook app that buzzes to life in excitement even if there is slightest moment in the network. A friend got promoted in job, yay it buzzes in excitement, somebody made baby, yay it screams in excitement, somebody ate a chicken club sandwich for lunch (for which they very generously posted a Facebook post) it buzzes to life, so on and on. In this screaming match, if someone does tag you, you know about it. What should be my comment on a clever picture shared 6666666th time on my timeline? It was clever first time you know, not the 6666666th time and by tagging me to it, you are simply showing how slow you are in getting the update. No seriously, if there is one clever statement doing rounds on the internet, you are bound to come by it hundreds of time. This person will tag you to it and then next time you have a mandatory courtesy call, they will ask you, "Saw the picture I tagged you in?" "No I exclusively do not see pictures I am tagged in," should be my reply but I politely make an excuse of not seeing facebook.

People who put babies on the phone
"Say hello to uncle, babla," screams the mother from behind and the baby simply replies, "Gugugagaga" and then the mother comes back, "See, he has started speaking." What is the point of it, tell me? Me understanding the baby language is same as me understand the big love saga told by auto driver in Kannada, in both cases I have no clue what is on but only for courtesy I smile. Now if these babies grow old and turn into children the same thing is repeated, "Say hello to uncle, Babla," screams the mother from behind, this time tone is a bit stern. The child first is very silent, maybe confused on whether mom is going to scold him or her for this and then worried if the hello is said correctly. I know, saying hello is pressuring and after a while says, "H...hee..llo," now polite as you are, you reply back and then the mother screams again in background, "Ask uncle how is he." I mean c'mon I know you are there in the background with the teleprompter. Why put the child and me in such an awkward situation? Why can't you just let us live as we are?

People who reinforce their religious views while eating
I follow a religion that exclusively gives you bonus points in heaven for avoiding a stupid question, sadly I am last on its scoreboard. And that is mostly because people who share your table during lunch and make it their duty to remind you that there is some religious festival going on that prohibits you to eat non-veg. Or there-is-some-do-not-eat-onion festival going on that should prevent me from relishing a good lunch.

People who peep on your computer screen or your phone screen out of the blue
I had this friend of mine who used to walk towards me for coffee and then turn around put his hand on my shoulder, peep on the computer monitor for few seconds. He would not be done there but then he would comment on the things I was doing on the computer. It was not porn, obviously, but whatever I did, he had a comment on it. I was writing a code, there it was his comment, "You should try using this class, its very nice.", I was reading a newspaper, there it was his comment, "I prefer this newspaper, they have better stories," I was trying to buy underwear from an online shop and there it was, no lets not get there.
It does not end there, there are people who will look at your phone screen while you are typing, I mean why? Who does that?

People who start their conversation with an agenda
"You should vote for him," he started the conversation, "he has proven himself to be the best administrator in the country with the most amazing development model. I mean do you want this scion to win again?"
Now, to be very honest, influencing someone's vote is a crime in legal but then again, who wants to discuss politics or any other topic during evening tea? Evening tea is the peaceful time between a man and his thoughts. Then again, I am bad at arguing, so in such time I simply sip my tea. I don't know what more he said but it continued for another hour or so.

People who talk as if you know everything they know
"You know the other day I bumped into Pandya," he was speaking. Now considering the fact that the person taking about Pandya was the one I casually used to bump into on the way to college, three-four years ago, I had no clue what his name was. With this knowledge, it takes no more time to understand that I had no clue who Pandya was, "You know he has moved to Bangalore."
"Who has?" I asked.
"Pandya re," he replied.
"Remind me, who is Pandya?"
"Arey Pandya," he said, "Friend of Dhanya re."
Why, would people do that? Talking about someone should not be a sudoku puzzle you know, why can't you simply tell me the complete name instead of talking in cryptic terms?

There are others people who talk astrology while crossing the street, people who talk job during social events, people who try to force their morals on you and people who stare at your half pant (not legs mind you, half pant) as if it is the crime of the century you wore in public  among others but they are not in the majority.

The list requires revisiting once in a while as people pop in and sometimes earn good behaviour benefit and pop out of the list. These people are everywhere and somewhere the universe is giggling by making more and more of these people to shock you.

The only problem worth solving is getting out of their clutches using the perfect excuse, now there is a separate list for that too.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Shudh Desi Blog

Few things happened this friday, as I write this blog post the verdict on the horrific rape that happened in Delhi was out. Now, everyone who is anyone knows about the verdict, the names of the four rapist and the crime they committed, so I won't go into all that. I am no lawyer neither am I to judge any judges decisions. However, I did follow the news debate that went on after that. The debate was same old one and continued the blame game on what exactly caused the rape. I am not going into that debate either, a lot of things have been said about it already.
One comment however caught my attention, to make a point, the lawyer mentioned 'People who live in together' and in the same breath talked about 'Keeping the men and women separate, like it was done in olden days'.
To be very honest, he was not entirely wrong. He is simply followed the old school of thought that is being hammered into the brain of every Indian mind since childhood. Stay in your limits, don't venture out, bad things happened to those who fall out of line are all lessons passed on by the very intelligent elders which the lawyer was a mere latest recipient. He is not the only one, every third person who you bump into will agree with the lawyer. Every fourth person you bump will go on and say that those who venture out and get into trouble actually deserve it. Few will go on and actually give the person, punishment as the person 'deserves'.

My thought goes to the old case where a man who called himself 'Bond' molested a girl outside a bar and when got caught said, 'It was nothing, she was also drunk' he is from the category of the 'few' that is merely a corollary of the old school of thoughts.

Second thing that pops in the mind is the movie 'Shudh Desi Romance' that tries to change this old school of thoughts but does so in graceful manner. There are few spoilers after this point, so if you are planning to watch it (still!!!) do not read further.

Shudh Desi romance is a difference movie in itself, it breaks the traditional movie telling in India by not talking about a topic most indians clinch about but it does so by not over hyping or dramatizing it. So the boy and the girl do not wish to marry (I mean they have no intentions of marrying each other but they still do love) but this point is not shown with multiple camera moments on different characters. Talking about multiple camera moments, last I heard the daily soap had the expression from every character in the serial because someone took a spoon from the main heroine.

To be very honest, people have no problem about living or sleeping with anyone. The problem comes with the small three letter word that will make many of us cringe uncomfortably in the seat. The problem lies with 'Sex' and the question about who gets to have it and with whom. This same school of thought applies to rape, goes on to the comment by the lawyer, 'It is fine for woman to have premartial sex but rape is bad' he is part of the generation who have grown up fondling with the idea that Sex is something to be feeling ashamed of. So for those who agree with lawyer (frankly very few people do nowadays but they still do) rape is not about sex, its about invasion of privacy. Its about girl not agreeing to have sex and in the same breath, if your wife is not in the mood, having sex with her still amounts as rape, whatever God or Government may have agreed in your Marriage certificate.

Marriage does not give license to have sex with the person as many times as you want. It simply secures the future and makes sure that you are present after sex during the emotional times when the partner needs you. And its for mediclaim purposes. Consent still matters even if you are married or you are living with your partner. Having sex without consent is rape, irrespective of the gender, martial status or religion.

This is one more part where I like Shudh Desi Romance as a movie, it shows things as they are. While Gayatri(Parineeti Chopra) is an independent living girl who smokes, lives her own life and even has an abortion from a previous relationship, the character of Tara (Vaani Kapoor) is no different in living her own life and making her own choices. When the uncle with old school of thoughts mentioned above chooses to smoothen his own ego against the boy who left his long distance niece at the altar, Tara steps in between to remind him that he is not responsible for her life. She can deal with things herself and needs no man to 'take care' of her affairs. While Raghu (Sushant Singh) is another corollary of the old school of thoughts offers to marry both his love interest (in different times) and take up responsibility, even though he has commitment phobia.

Goes on to say in our society, marriage seems like the ultimate destination every Indian has since his diaper days. Everyone in India is married or wants to get married, things like compatibility, maturity or love do not really matter.

Coming back to the verdict of the case, it is good to see a fast track court giving out a good verdict but looking at the number of cases that pop up per day, how many of them can be practically taken up in fast track courts? Hang a few rapists and few more will learn, but fear alone won't solve our problems. Fear will introduce more problems in the future that we may not be capable of handling. We need to look at the root of the problem and the root of this problem is the small three letter word 'Sex'.

Although we live in the land of Kamasutra, we still need to educate the masses on the meaning of sex and the emotional things behind it. The physical aspects are taken care of by the porn films and internet, looking at the number of juvenile people committing these crimes, we need to hurry up in explaining the emotional aspects. Then again we do not need to do this in a dramatic ways or we do not need to make a big dramatic gesture about it.

Having sex is part of being an adult experience, it is not some big gesture. Imposing your sexuality on others is a crime and knowing the difference between the two is something that we lack. The small difference that is going to create more problems for us in the future, some of which we may not even be capable of handling when the time comes.

Image Courtesy: Google Images.

P.s. My partner has something to add on the topic, make sure you read her fews too.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

[Short Story] Return

He walked the old dusty road again after so many years. He remembered the place very well, so many memories etched into his mind.
The old forgotten dusty lane, which was never urbanized by any political agenda. The same old little house which stood the test of time for so many years. He remembered his last walk on this road. He was trying to prevent the flood flowing from his nose and running his sore bumps with his free hand.

He knew this return was uncalled for, unexpected but it was the one he had to make. He did not know how she would react, would she still be happy on seeing him or will she even recognize him? The crumbled paper clutched in his hand was his identity for so many years. It was a his ticket to existence, his own.

The bell was in his reach now, he was a few seconds away in uncovering the truth. If he wanted to turn back, this was the last threshold. Funny thing was, even after so many days, his hand shivered at this stage.

Would he face her? Face her like he dreamed about so many days? Would he stand up to her? Will she accept him back? Millions of thoughts flowed into his head, each more dangerous than another.

Finally... all was blank, his mind had made the resolve. There was no confusion, no doubt, all was crystal clear, this was it, he was going to do it. 

The bell rang. 

She opened the door and looked at him from her spectacles. She was bent with the burden of time, took sometime in recognizing him.

His fist folded into the tight clutch, the thing he was practicing for the last one year was here. This was it, now or never.

'Miss Mary,' he summoned all the strength he could and spoke the words, '27 years earlier you had given me an 'F' grade on my paper on geography for not mentioning Pluto as the planet, I was right, now give me that pass grade.'

P.s. Happy Teachers day

Have you read my book yet?

Have you read my book yet?
An epic adventure across space and time