Friday, May 31, 2013

getting used to things?

Getting used is a very undervalued characteristic of human beings.

We get used to good things fast and makes us complacent. We even get used to bad things and don't react anymore.

Its important to get used to something to be really good and natural in it. In activities like sports and other matters that requires ease and experience to advance, "getting used to" is a good thing. You feel frustrated until you get used to it, and can't wait to move to next stage.

On the other side, getting used to even good things can make us complacent and brittle to changes. Change is a big phenomenon which will inevitably happen. So when it happens, the ones who are stuck to their seats hard will be the ones who would be hurt most when they get torn off it. For example when your strict daily routine is broken by an event in life, you feel frustrated, confused and out of place and struggle until you settle in the new routine.

So getting used to things and getting unused to certain others is best imagined as a sine wave sort of phenomenon in an average person's life. A life with fluctuations is what gives it the pulse, else it would be blank as a calm ocean, good only for a short period.

Each time we are in the 'getting used to' phase, we feel short handed and powerless, and each time we perform activities to which we are 'used to', there is no separation and no more detachment from activity.

So get used to such ramblings :P adios!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

An untimely analysis of media involvement in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case

The Aarushi-Hemraj murder case.

This is easily one of the most notorious crimes in recent times. A family murdering their loving daughter for alleged relationship with the domestic help. And equally notorious for the legal mix ups, media judgements and heated debates. Its been 5 years, and nothing has been more clearer than that it stinks all over.

In a country where thousands get killed for honour, money and reasons only the perpetrators can justify, this case still holds an important position. While the loss of every single life is unfortunate, one has to view it in an objective manner w.r.t the legal system to perceive and judge the legal system that we live in. Compared to the cases of old people being killed by their domestic helps, Jessica Lal murder, many sexual harassment cases, honour killings in rural areas, political vendettas, business hits, mysterious police killings, largely noisy shootouts, chaotic communal riots, state crackdowns, and witch hunts( phew, the list keeps growing, to my alarm) - the Aarushi murder case is still a unique case.

Let me try to perceive the aspects of the case without going into the details of the crime, but rather the aftermath. I remember the days when the news was out. People were horrified by the ramifications and the daily scoop provided by various media networks. People followed the developments as it was a crime scene from some popular movie unfolding in public. Then there was the public outrage, candle walks, special reports, 'expert analysis' and very lengthy and details reports in almost all newspapers for months together.

It was a field day for media networks. I assume many a newbie news network made ad deals for billions during the coverage of this case. This was 2008 and I recall that not many private channels were on air as it is today. And those days, people perceived and respected news a bit more compared to today. It was the time when big, respectable news establishments were slowly being bulldozed by cash rich, entertainment and profit minded news networks. I recall that it was during this period of time that I heard of many new News channels.

The media did a full tight job of mopping up the crime scene, showing scene by scene footage of what exactly happened, later followed up with who the perpetrators were and some even went as far as correctly 'identifying ' the motive for the crime as well. They were even able to dig up supporting stories about the Talwar family's behaviour in the past that could explain their shady nature. All the news channels had special experts and analysts available round the clock, to discuss the same matter from various aspects. The legal aspect, the crime scene investigation, the moral perspective  and even the psychological aspect of it was dissected with clinical precision and brought before the wild eyed audience of a billion. There were even various articles and special analysis on the philosophical ramifications of such crimes on the social order of India. phew.. the media-men were surely up for a raise back then!

As for the public, the same public that is part of all the notorious news in the country, behaved as it usually does. People with special interests and expertise in the matter sought platforms to air their views and move their lives and careers forward. Those innocent sheep who depend on the TV got a lion's share of the hot news. They knew everything about the case even before the police did. The judgement was passed and all that was left was to see was that if the establishment was smart enough to apprehend the criminals in time and get them the deserved punishment without letting them escape from the clutches of law. Blah! This is the same story every time. Guided by media's involvement in twisting statements and stories a bit here and there to make it spicy, the public often reaches its own judgements. And after all this and at the end of years of long legal process, if the expected doesn't happen, then all hell breaks loose and the circus begins again. This time around, it would be targeted against the policemen and the people in the administration and legal system for letting out a 'known' criminal into the crowd. LOL. what a joke. The crowd is the biggest set of criminals out there. Judging and taking power into their own hands.

As it would usually happen, there were even some media houses and intellectuals of various walks who didn't take this gravy train. Opinions, blogs and some thoughtful inputs by such people in limited networks continued to be available , even when the mass media lost interest in the case for sometime while the legal process was in progress. Even in my student networks, a general interest and mostly concern was present. I am sure many a thinking guy/gal would have reached their own conclusions and kept it to themselves or a few people smartly.

What concerns me is that many vital evidences and much needed restraint from the public was lost in this case and the accused became the convicted in a matter of hours. This is not acceptable in a society committed to be led by the power of law. Its not the power of masses that should rule this society. But I am afraid, we are reaching a point where the society is slipping into a vortex. The power of masses is being misused in all corners where law can't cut its corner,and given the limitations and beautifully crafted loopholes in the system, the legal and constitutional system is challenged everyday. And I rarely see cases where the judiciary wins against mass appeal. It is a double edged sword, this power of masses. Arm the masses with pens and books, we have a mature population who can use the power vested in them. But arm them with poverty, hunger, unwanted hatred towards each other, suspicions and insecurity, and we have a very dangerous and explosive population who can't be trusted to wield the power responsibly.

So again, was democracy the right way for a country like India? I can only shake my head in regret.

Feel the earth

Walking outdoors for long distances on bare foot has always fascinated me. But I didn't think too much of it..until now. I see people not recognizing it as a talent, but madness and lowliness.

They don't realize the pleasure of feeling the ground with your feet. It too has nerves you see.
You can perceive the lay of the land, the temperature and the level of traction it provides by just standing still. You feel as a part of the Earth, and it becomes easy to mould Earth chakras :-) or do Earth bending :D

Walking bare foot is challenging. You have the heat on the tarmac, the cold of the water and the weather to handle. Also there is the uneven land, the pointy stones, rocks and random dirt. Just walking fast on the tarred road can bruise and tear the skin off the smooth soles.

You got to be more careful when you do more intense activities like running, jogging or overcoming obstacles in the path. The stress signature on your feet during these activities is different from that experienced when you wear shoes.

I have seen many an expert runner, hiker, biker or climber turn to bare footed versions to get maximum kick out of it.  The simple joy of bouncing on your bare feet, jumping off your bare toes or tipping and balancing on the bare heels is worth the pain.

So today, I just walked out of my home and decided to explore my area. The same area that I covered on foot and on cycle all throughout my childhood. Good that it was already dark as I had the coolness of the night to support my goal. I walked a good 5-6 kms through residential areas where people eyed me suspiciously for walking through the busy streets bare footed and in shorts and a dingy shirt, with even the hair in shabby condition. I ended up exploring the newly completed railway over-bridge to the KSRTC bus stand.  It was a good experience to again walk through the place I used to pass by frequently and almost always in those lonely journeys to and fro Mysore. Walking amongst the crowd in the bus stand was fun, checking out cordoned off areas and keeping a keen eye on the ground for hostile terrain.

All throughout this mad walkathon I was thinking about why people despise the simple and natural ways of life, and embrace the built up and artificial setups. People walk smartly in their good dresses, drive in their good cars and look down upon people who don't seem to have similar possessions. They assume and build a position of power and confidence for themselves through such acts. I feel pity for the souls whose sole satisfaction on being alive is derived from the confirmation that the presence of these possessions provides them with. tch tch

I ended up reaching home feeling good and it was anyway in between a scheduled power cut. So i rested well and ended the madness with a tumbler of hot and strong home-made tea and got refreshed after washing. The sole and the heels have some injuries, that shows I have a long way to go before I attemptthe mad stuff I imagined in my head. :-)

Hope to see more bare foot adventures in immediate future ..

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

the multitasking geniuses we are

been wondering how at one moment, u are engrossed in what seems to be the best movie in recent times, and the next moment u discuss crazy workout schedules with a friend, and then have a long talk about travel and tv shows... while having a discussion about exotic history books and travel plans to these places as well.. noting down stuff in mind..

and then come back to the movie as if nothing happened and continue with it :)

brain.. take a bow.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Your own Social Network Doll House :)

Imagine all the social network tools we indulge ourselves with in day-to-day life. We have built ourselves a nice doll house to live a virtual life in.

There are so many and very few people have actual use and purpose for all these tools. Others just follow blindly the crowd.


The following analogies came into my mind while chatting about Quora with my friend whom I call Birdiee Didi.

To me, my bedroom is Grooveshark,my mp3 collection, the equally illegal movie collection and the music videos downloaded from Youtube. They help me sleep,relax and enjoy life.

I wake up to read news from nowhere. So my drawing room is Quora, nowadays. Used to be Yahoo answers once upon a time. But Quora beats Yahoo Answers hands down. It has everything akin to a newspaper except real news. Its all analysis and curiosity satisfying answers to the most itching questions of mankind. Quora is my drawing room because I feel like I have invited friends and people I know and discuss all kinds of topics that is of common interest. We end up chatting for hours together without even noticing the time.

Stumbleupon and Goodreads are like my reading room. I use them to explore and find experimental stuff that are of interest to me. I seldom discuss about these matters, but surely put lots of research time. Each wonderful page I stumble upon gets saved and savoured for a long time. Goodreads provides me the platform to plan my next reading and acquisition cycles. It allows me to sit on my chair dreaming about places I can visit, people I can meet, things I can experience and I end up planning adventures. But they all remain in their places once I leave the reading room.

Twitter, to me is like peeping out of the window into the streets. You watch the people pass by, seeing only a glimpse of their real lives and make impressions about pretty much everything about them from it. I also sometimes shout out random stuff that I am doing in my house to the street. Someone might cock their head and grin their teeth, while most of em just pass by without minding. Thats twitter in all senses to you.

Now, the king of it all, facebook. Facebook was a bit difficult to decipher. But I now believe it is like going to the market. You set out to buy something, but end up buying that and more. And sometimes you never buy what you intended to, but quite happily return buying something else. It is like a mad crowd out there. The hawker with the most attractive wares gets all the customers, and the others soon have to close shop. The attractive ones continue making waves in spite of not bringing in quality items for sale. And with all this money and attraction comes the dirty side of it too. Criminals, hypocrites,show-offs,mafia and what not.

I believe that was a very accurate depiction of what the social networking doll house looks like, in which we are all lifeless dolls, taking the form of lively ones in some imaginary world of ours :)

adios amigos..

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A thousand splendid reflections of Motherhood

I finished reading a Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini a few minutes ago, and was just writing up its review and starting to dwell into its various unappreciated moments, when I saw many posts in facebook about mother's day. Spoiler alert, as I intend to dissect the story.

While I don't fancy choosing a day to appreciate what your mother does and has been to you. But in light of the events in the book, there is a deeper aspect of motherhood that is left unappreciated, largely owing to being in a very fortunate setting of not having to cling to your lives everyday.

The book speaks not just of the relationship between two oppressed women in war torn Afghanistan, but also spreads the fragrance of motherhood all throughout its pages. The image of a mother that the book draws is very strong. If you think along that line, we realize that every mother would play the same role given similar situations.

The more I think about it, the book is all about the enduring love and affection shared between two women who shared a mother-daughter relationship. Having faced severe rejection,guilt and subjected to repeated acts of hatred, Mariam was dead in her soul for years when Laila crash landed into her life. The memories of her mother, whom she felt she had betrayed bitterly, her father Jalil, the mullah and all that she had around her kolba, was all that was left. She lived a mute life bearing all the insults and anger subjected on her by the burly Rasheed. The matters of politics, war and rules didn't affect her bit, as she was already without any hope for anything.

Its in such a life that Laila literally crash landed into. Having her own intentions to keep her love with Tariq alive, she had to agree to the cruel purposes of Rasheed. That is the point where the selfish mother in her starts taking shape, transforming the bubbly girl into something more mature and deep. Atleast she managed to secure a safe birth for her daughter. But this pitches Mariam against her and intense fights ensue.

But as its goes, the cruelity of life with Rasheed starts showing off on her too and now the women join hands as Mariam, for the first time in her life has someone who stands up for her. It moves her a lot and she lets her stony emotions to melt. Soon, in their everyday struggle in bringing up Laila's daughter Aziza against Rasheed's simmering anger and torturous rules imposed by the Taliban, they become very close.

As the sorrows in their lives keep increasing with no signs of hope, they have only themselves to support each other, while taking pains to bring up the kids, now including Zamai, Rasheed's son. Laila had for once thought of killing it in the womb itself, but her motherly love didn't allow her to, in spite of the hatred she felt for Rasheed. Things soon get worse and they land up in big trouble and in one swift motion, Mariam changes their lives forever. Mariam, the harami girl who used to wait patiently for her father to turn up, the girl who was humiliated by him when she tried to visit his house, who faced the guilt of her mother's suicide, who resigned to the fact that moving in with a stranger to a far off land is her only course in life. The same girl who got used to the repeated abuse hurled at her by Rasheed, who patiently bore all the complaints and insults and lived on without breaking down. She transformed suddenly for the love of the girl she held close as her daughter and did the unthinkable.
The picture of the painful expression on Mariam, imagined.

Her sacrifice paved a way for Laila and the kids to start a new life and its this debt that Laila repaid when she returned to Kabul from her happy life in Pakistan to rebuild the country after the war was finally over. Her acts weren't those of sympathy, but a retribution and a contribution. In each new things she helped build, she saw the will of Mariam, the love of Mariam and often Mariam herself.

If you think about it, you will realize that you see your mother in everything that you have done  and gained in your life. Irrespective of the level of intimacy of your relationship with your mother, she is always around you and you are always in her thoughts. Such is the power of this single title that cannot be denied by any creature living on Earth.  Amen to that..

Friday, May 10, 2013

all hail the rains

that was the best rain in recent times.. with the strong winds whooshing and swirling the thick clouds, covering up the entire view from the 10th floor windows.

We ran up to the roof top cafeteria in time to experience a wonderful sight with the cold spray drenching everyone up, and the heavy hailstones landing on anything exposed.

Soon people were running for cover as the crazy winds drove in large chunks of ice almost everywhere at dangerous velocities. The swirling wind kept up a blanket of fog all around and held everyone at awe.

The experience of getting drenched in a rapidly flooding and leaking cafeteria, with each window and shutter trembling loudly, threatening to tear off from its hinges - wonderful. It lasted for almost a whole half hour.

Now, after it all died out, all that remains is a broken company board and a thickly jammed Outer Ring Road outside Manyata!(The unbroken thick line of vehicles can stil be seen after more than an hour of the incident)

Sunday, May 05, 2013

what I think and what I say

found this image while stumbling using stumbleupon, and hence thought this is the right time to write about this topic.

don't most of us really live our lives like this? I atleast feel, for the level of thinking I do, which is evident on my hair, I don't talk anything at all. Though some people take it as a social problem or inability to communicate or misunderstood as ego sometimes, the truth is exactly as shown in the image. Now, I don't downplay the problems above too, as they sometimes make us withdraw from talking about something we are very sure of.

But the point here is that our minds are like supercomputers having a hypersonic jet for service as well, travelling to any point in the universe as mapped in our minds in a fraction of a millsecond and get back and mix up stuff in ways never imaginable or coherently expressible in the society.

I have often, from my childhood wondered if its possible to tweak our brains to be able to record or communicate all this ground breaking thoughts in our heads to other individuals without being affected by awkward social customs, so that we can collaborate and create wonderfully new things. I still carry that doubt in my head. But with experience I have come to know of various people who either control their thoughts to what can be expressed. And there are some that try to expand their ability to communicate so that they can try to put a fraction of their mind out to the world.

I believe I belong to the latter category and have struggled a lot in bringing the information and things I  have discovered by myself to a state where I can talk about them with others. For this, I realized is that only a friend or friends who can understand the plasma state of stuff in your head can help you in converting and filtering them. I had one crazy one who is partially responsible for what I have become now.

We really need to find more people out there who can do this for us and start sharing our plasma state thoughts with them to create a lot of new and wonderful products. You never know what you end up producing. So get out there, talk to people about things that holds your attention, and makes you to do more than just think. You would surprised at the level of knowledge the person next to you might be withholding, just awaiting the right question from you. So lets meet and create a world of our own..

happy creating ..

Saturday, May 04, 2013

energy to transform your life

omg I have so much energy stored in me. this is exactly the same feeling I get after a workout.

I always wonder how the lazy me could be transformed into this high energy machine after a few key exercises. Also during my recent high endurance bike rides, I was finding out hidden pots of energy when I seem to be at the end of my energy. So now each endurance activity is not just a long drawn affair and hence can't even be judged ahead of time as well. It all depends on the level of dedication, concentration and the push you give at the critical point when one level gets dried up.

And now my point is not to talk about some superhuman strength of mine. I have enough bandwidth inside me and my friend circle to boast about that. But my point is that I just start wondering whether the other lazy people around me would feel the same way if only they dared or rather cared just enough to get it started. I had seen many people recently who might be sulking and sitting lazily for a large portion of their lives, but at some point turned to some sort of activity(gym,playing some sports, trek,cycling,swimming etc) and turn into bloody addicts. Also their overall energy in life seems to go to a very high peak. Then I start seeing the signs of what I spoke of in the first paragraph.

This makes me realize that most people around us have the starting trouble and inertia for workouts or any kind of physical activity. I am talking mostly of people I have contact with i.e people in the technology field, the young and middle aged ones. Also to note are people in family and people in neighbourhood. The biggest problem in that these people who have fallen into this pit, simply refuse to acknowledge the fact. Unless they start the first bit, no one is going to help  them out. Many people even worry that others would laugh at them if they go for workouts. But they just have to think a bit more about what would happen if they don't. Then it will be life laughing at them!
Responsibility and natural need to do some work in their day to day lives make most of our parents and old people in the family very active. I have always wondered at the energy with which my grandfather used to perform the daily rituals,walk any distance in a day how many ever time he felt like without grumbling even once, and doing insane acts of labour. And I am talking about the time when he was 70+. Even the womenfolk amaze me with the amount of energy they spend in the kitchen and to take care of hundreds of things in the household. Almost all 70+ women in my family fall into this category even now!

I see people driven by passion and interest in doing things, just doing it inspite of disabilities and health problems. And remember, I am not talking about forced actions, but purely voluntary. And they find time to pursue hobbies that require lots of energy in between tight schedules of life as well. I have always respected people with the energy and who are in control of it.

All this makes me only want to keep the energy levels up, not just for me , but for the people around me as well. Because I believe energy is what makes us alive. To think broadly, to understand, to sense, to talk, to walk, to see, to love and to live, you need energy, and whatever you get, don't waste it on negative things like anger,greed,jealousy, laziness etc.

I remember couple of slokas I learnt in school and can fully relate to them now. 

Nidra tandra bhayam krodha a’lasyam diirghasutrata;
Sadadosah puruseneha hantavya’h bhutimicchata’.

It means that men have 6 grave mistakes or Doshas that can ruin their entire life irrespective of anything. They are Slumber, Drowsiness, Fear, Anger, Laziness and Procrastination. Get rid of those to gain full prosperity.

[didn't get the slokas sloka searching ability is bad]

but the meaning was that if it wishes to, even an ant can cover thousands of miles, but if he doesn't wish to, even the very powerful Garuda can't move an inch. It sort of summarizes the significance of will power to makes things right for yourselves in your life.

adios amigos.. Live Life.. King Size.