FORGOTTEN HEROES

I BET 90% OF TODAY’S YOUTH HAVEN’T HEARD OF PETER, PAUL & MARY aka P, P&M. I CAN ALSO SAFELY BET THAT EVEN A FEWER % OF PEOPLE HAVE LISTENED TO ONE OF THEIR CLASSIC SONGS, PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON. WITH TODAY’S POPULAR MUSIC GENRES BEING METAL HEAD-BANGING AND HIP-HOP, THAT’S HARDLY A SURPRISE. BUT I, AS AN EXCEPTION, LISTEN TO ALL DIMENSIONS OF MUSIC. “MUSIC IS THE FOOD OF THE SOUL” AND I LIVE BY IT. FROM ARABIC, KOREAN, TELUGU, OPERA, ROCK, METAL… I SUPPOSE YOU’RE GETTING THE HINT!

 

ANYWAYS, PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON. IT WAS A FAMOUS SONG DURING THE HIPPIE ERA. ALTHOUGH SOME ADDICTS LIKE TO ASSOCIATE IT WITH BONG SMOKING, BUT THE TRUE MEANING OF THE LYRICS WILL CERTAINLY STRIKE A CHORD IN MOST OF US WHO HAD HAD A NORMAL CHILDHOOD. NO, IT HASN’T GOT ANY HEAD-BANGING, ANY FILTHY OR COARSE WORDS, NEITHER ANY REFERENCE TO THE DARK SIDE OF HUMANS. IT SPEAKS ABOUT CHILDHOOD AND THE WAY WE INTERPRET THINGS AND THE SUBSEQUENT LOSS OF THIS BEAUTIFUL PERIOD. WE ALL LOVE SUPERHEROES OR GLITZY CHARACTERS. SAME GOES WITH OUR CHILDHOOD TOO. WHAT G.I. JOE MEANT TO THE BOYS, BARBIE DOLLS MEANT TO THE GIRLS. ALTHOUGH I HAVE SEEN CASES OF VICE-VERSA TOO, THAT’S A DIFFERENT MATTER ALTOGETHER. 😉 DO YOU ALL REMEMBER HOW WE USED TO ADORE THEM? THEY OCCUPIED A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR SHELVES AND IN OUR HEARTS.  THEY WERE OUR HEROES/HEROINES THAT WE COULD PLAY WITH. MANY A QUARREL ENSUED AMONG US AS TO WHO IS THE MOST POWERFUL, WHO’S GOT THE BEST LOOKS AND STUFF LIKE THAT AND BELIEVE ME, THEY WERE QUITE SERIOUS ISSUES FOR AN 8-YEAR OLD. I FOR ONE HAD A HUGE COLLECTION OF G.I. JOE FIGURINES. TANKS, MISSILES, GUNS, SHIPS… I HAD THEM ALL. MY PARENTS HAD MADE A DEAL WITH ME, MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL TO BOTH OF US. I SCORE THIS NUMBER OF MARKS IN THE TEST; I GET THE LATEST G.I. JOE. OTHERWISE FORGET IT! MAN, THOSE WERE THE DAYS OF REALLY PASSIONATE STUDYING. WITH G.I. JOE IN MIND, NO ONE COULD STOP ME! THE ‘HERO’ IN THE SONG IS A DRAGON NAMED PUFF, ALBEIT NOT MADE OF PLASTIC BUT A LIVING ONE. AND THE BOY’S NAME IS JACKY PAPER. THE FIRST STANZA DESCRIBES THEIR ADVENTURES IN THEIR OWN FANTASY WORLD: HOW THEY USED TO ROAM ABOUT THE SEAS, GAINING RESPECT FROM KINGS AND PIRATES ALIKE. I ALWAYS FALL IN A SEMI-TRANCE STATE ON HEARING THOSE LINES FOR THEY CO-RELATE EXACTLY WITH MY CHILDHOOD FANTASIES. THE COUNTLESS BATTLES WHICH I WON WITH MY G.I. JOE’S IN THE BATTLEFIELD, MAKING ALL SORTS OF SOUNDS WITH MY MOUTH TO SIMULATE A MISSILE OR A GRENADE FLOAT IN FRONT OF MY EYES. MY PARENTS ARE LIVING WITNESSES OF THESE INNUMERABLE ‘WARS’. THE EXACTNESS OF MY STORIES WITH THE LYRICS WAS A STARTLING REVELATION FOR ME.

 

DO YOU ALL REMEMBER WHEN WAS THE TIME OR DAY WHEN YOU GOT BORED OF YOUR HEROES? I DON’T RECOLLECT THE TIME, BUT IT CERTAINLY HAPPENED IN A NOT-SO-LONG-AGO PAST. THE SUBTLE TRANSITION FROM BOYHOOD TO TEENAGE HAPPENED AND WE STARTED NEGLECTING OUR CHILDHOOD ROLE MODELS. IT WOULD SOUND STUPID TO EVEN THINK ABOUT THE ‘FEELINGS’ OF THOSE CHILDHOOD FRIENDS.WE LEARNT IN SCIENCE A LONG TIME AGO THE DEFINITION OF LIVING AND NON-LIVING. AND SPECIALLY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM, ALL FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING US ‘RATIONAL’ HUMAN BEINGS OF THE FUTURE. G.I. JOE IS MADE OF PLASTIC, SO IS UNQUESTIONABLY A NON-LIVING ‘OBJECT’ ACCORDING TO SCIENTIFIC THEORY. THAT’S WHERE THE SONG TAKES A TURN, AND THAT’S WHY I LOVE POETRY. JUST FOR A MOMENT, FORGET ABOIUT WHAT YOU LEARNT IN SCIENCE AND THINK ABOUT THOSE EX-HEROES AS REAL PERSONS. HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF SOMEONE SUDDENLY DESERTS YOU ALL OF A SUDDEN? THE VERY SAME PERSON WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO BE YOUR LIFE-LONG FRIEND AND COMPANION DESERTS YOU NOT BECAUSE YOU COMMITTED A MISTAKE, BUT BECAUSE HE/SHE GOT BORED OF YOU. NOW THINK ABOUT THOSE G.I. JOE’S AND BARBIE DOLLS; THEY MUST HAVE SHED TEARS AT YOUR SUDDEN DESERTATION. “Painted wings and sealing wax make way for other toys”… JACKY USED TO PAINT HIS DRAGON TO KEEP HIM BRIGHT AND SHINY. WITH JACKY MOVING AWAY TO ‘OTHER TOYS’ PUFF HUMBLY ACCEPTS HIS FATE AND MOVES TOWARDS A NEGLECTED PORTION OF THE ROOM, WHERE HE SPENDS HIS DAYS WAITING TO BE THROWN WITH THE TRASH. HIS BRIGHT GREEN COLOR HAS FADED TO PALE GREY, AND HE NO LONGER FIGHTS COURAGEOUS BATTLES OUT IN THE HIGH SEAS. THE FATE OF MOST OF OUR TOYS WAS ALSO THE SAME. I USED TO POLISH MY G.I. JOE’S EVERYDAY IN ORDER TO PREPARE HIM FOR THE NEXT ‘BATTLE’ AND EVEN USED TO NURSE HIS WOUNDS WHEN HE WAS INJURED. WHEN I HEARD THOSE LINES FOR THE FIRST TIME I FELT AS IF SOME DISTANT BUT FAMILIAR VOICE WAS CALLING ME. I RUSHED TO SEARCH FOR MY PAST. I ASKED MY MOM,”WHERE ARE MY G.I. JOE MODELS?” AT FIRST SHE JUST STARED AT ME FOR SOME TIME, PROBABLY WONDERING WHY HER GROWNUP SON SUDDENLY NEEDED THESE THINGS. “SON, ARE YOU OKAY?” I COULD PICK UP THE TENSION IN HER VOICE. SHE MUST HAVE THOUGHT THAT I WAS GOING MENTAL. “NOT FOR PLAYING MOM! I NEED THEM FOR SOME OTHER REASON”. “OH I THOUGHT…NEVER MIND. WHY, DON’T YOU REMEMBER? YOU YOURSELF HAD STUFFED THEM IN YOUR ROOM’S UPPER CLOSET TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE NEW DESKTOP IN YOUR TABLE.”

I CERTAINLY THOUGHT AT THAT MOMENT THAT P, P&M WERE PSYCHICS OR THEY PRACTISED VOODOO. OR ELSE HOW WERE THEY ABLE TO SAY THROUGH THAT SONG WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED TO ME? AFTER RUMMAGING THROUGH THE THINGS IN THE CLOSET I FINALLY SPOTTED HIM. AND THE SONG VIVIDLY DESCRIBED HIS CONDITION TOO. THE G.I JOE WHOM I USED TO POLISH EVERYDAY NOW LAY AMONG THE COB WEBS, DUSTY AND NEGLECTED. HIS GREEN UNIFORM HAD INDEED FADED TO PALENESS, JUST AS THE SONG DESCRIBED. I’M NOT SURE IF MY IMAGINATION WAS PLAYING TRICKS, FOR IN THE DUSTY DARKNESS I SAW HIS FACE BRIGHTEN UP AND SMILE AT ME. THE RE-UNION OF TWO OLD FRIENDS, I’M SURE HE WAS OVERJOYED. AND SO WAS I. HIS ONE ARM HAD BECOME LOOSE AFTERALL; HE WAS A WAR VETERAN, AIN’T IT! I AT ONCE SET ABOUT NURSING MY OLD FRIEND, JUST LIKE THE OLD TIMES. AND I PROMISED TO HIM NEVER TO ABANDON HIM AGAIN, NO MATTER HOW OLD I BECOME OR HOW MANY MORE “FANCY TOYS” COME. THIS HAPPENED AROUND A YEAR AGO. AND IN SPITE OF MY EVER CHANGING LIFE, I HAVE KEPT HIM BESIDE MY TABLE EVER SINCE. MY OLD G.I. JOE MIGHT NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH THIS NEW WORLD AND ALL THE NEW FANCY TOYS AROUND HIM. ALL THAT MATTERS TO HIM IS MY LIFE-LONG FRIENDSHIP AND HIS DETERMINATION TO PROTECT THE WORLD FROM THE UNJUST.

 

THE SONG HAD TAUGHT ME A LESSON. BUT ITS IMPLICATIONS RAN DEEP. PERHAPS THAT’S WHAT P, P&M WANTED FROM THEIR LISTENERS; A MOMENT OF SOUL-SEARCHING. PEOPLE ALWAYS PREACH NOT TO HANKER AFTER MATERIALISTIC WEALTH. WHILE THAT IS TRUE TO SOME EXTENT, BUT DOES MATERIALISM ALWAYS MEAN ASSOCIATION WITH “NON-LIVING” THINGS? I WON’T AGREE TO THAT, esp. AFTER THAT DAY’S REALIZATION. IN MY OPINION, WHETHER A MATERIAL IS LIVING OR NON-LIVING SIMPLY DEPENDS UPON THE AMOUNT OF ‘EMOTIONAL QUOTIENT’ ATTACHED TO IT. SO, A PIECE OF PLASTIC CAN HAVE A GREATER SIGNIFICANCE IN OUR LIVES THAN A PERSON OF FLESH AND BLOOD. IT IS SCIENCE WHICH GAVE US ‘LIVING’ AND ‘NON-LIVING’ THINGS BUT IT IS POETRY WHICH SHOWED US THEIR DIFFERENCE. IT’S A MYSTERIOUS WORLD AFTER ALL.SOME PEOPLE MIGHT OPINE THAT THE SONG WAS COMPOSED DURING 1955-60’s, A PERIOD DURING WHICH MOST PEOPLE WERE MOVING TOWARDS PACIFISM, HAVING BEING SCARRED BY THE RECENT WARS, SO IT BELONGED TO AN ERA LONG GONE BY.  WHILE THAT MIGHT HAVE CONTRIBUTED A BIT TO ITS OVERALL ESSENCE, A CLASSIC LIKE THIS ONE PERVADES ALL SENSE OF TIME. IN FACT, THIS SONG IS ALL THE MORE RELEVANT IN TODAY’S TURBULENT TIMES. AND IF SOMEONE LISTENS TO IT, HE/SHE WILL BE FILLED WITH THE SAME NOSTALGIA WHICH I HAD EXPERIENCED. “A dragon is forever but not so little boys…” G.I. JOE AND BARBIE DOLLS WILL OUTLIVE US IN THE COURSE OF TIME. THEY WILL BE AROUND HERE LONG AFTER WE HAVE GROWN OLD AND LEFT THIS WORLD. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO RE-LIVE OUR CHILDHOOD, BUT IT’S POSSIBLE TO LOOK BACK UPON OUR CHILDHOOD AND TAKE CARE OF THOSE THINGS WHICH WE OFTEN USED TO NEGLECT. TRY TO IMPLEMENT SOME OF THE INNOCENT QUALITIES OF THAT BEAUTIFUL PERIOD IN OUR PRESENT LIFE, FOR I’M HUGELY OPTIMISTIC THAT IF ALL OF US GIVE IT A TRY, IT WILL SURELY MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE IN 🙂

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FAITH WITHOUT FEAR

I RECENTLY GOT THE OPPORTUNITY TO WATCH A DOCUMENTARY TITLED “AMERICA AT CROSSROADS—FAITH WITHOUT FEAR”. IT TALKED ABOUT THE GROWING UNREST IN THE MUSLIM WORLD AND ITS FALLOUT IN THE WEST. I DO NOT BELONG TO THE COMMUNITY, BUT THEIR CULTURE AND HISTORY DO INTEREST ME. YOU CAN CALL ME A KEEN OBSERVER OF THE HAPPENINGS IN THEIR WORLD. THIS DOCEMUNTARY, BASED ON A BURNING ISSUE OF THE 21st CENTURY GAVE THE VIEWS OF IRSHAD MANJI, A MUSLIM REFORMIST WRITER AND CRITIC. THE ENTIRE 57 MINUTES DOCUMENTARY WAS BASED ON HER VOICE AND “HER” VERSION OF ISLAM THAT SHE WANTS. CALL ME A CONSERVATIVE OR SOME FUNDAMENTALIST; I CAN HONESTLY SAY I WASN’T IMPRESSED BY HER STANCE.

NOT THAT I DIDN’T KNEW WHAT WOULD SHE BE TALKING ABOUT IN THE FILM. A SEARCH THROUGH GOOGLE FOR “IRSHAD MANJI” GAVE ME ENOUGH FEEDS AS TO WHAT TO EXPECT FROM HER. BUT STILL HER VIEWS IN THE FILM SURPRISED ME TO SOME EXTENT. AGREED, SOME OF HER CONCERNS REGARDING ISLAM SEEMED GENUINE, BUT THERE WERE ENOUGH INSTANCES WHEN ONE FEELS THAT SHE IS MERELY SAYING WHAT THE WESTERN WORLD WANTS TO HEAR. WITHOUT GOING INTO MINUTE-BY-MINUTE DELIBERATIONS: TAKE FOR INSTANCE THE 36th MINUTE OF THE DOCUMENTARY. IT SHOWS HER AND HER MOM GOING IN A CAR AND HAVING A DEBATE OVER THE 5-TIMES-A-DAY-PRAYERS RITUAL. HER MOM WANTS HER TO BE A GOOD MUSLIM AND PRAY 5 TIMES A DAY TO THE ALLAH, FACING THE MECCA. SHE RETORTS BY SAYING THAT SHE DOES INDEED PRAY, BUT NOT IN THAT PRESCRIBED FORMAT. THEN ENSUES A DISCUSSION BETWEEN THEM THAT EVOKES KEEN INTEREST. TO QUOTE HER MOTHER,”LOOK AT THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS. WE ALL WANT THEM TO BE GREEN FOR US SO THAT WE CAN DRIVE OUR OWN WAY. BUT IT IS NOT TO BE. EVERY SYSTEM HAS ITS OWN RULES AND REGULATIONS AND IT IS FOR THE COMMON GOOD OF ALL, NOT FOR SOMEONE’S PERSONAL GAINS” A VERY APT EXAMPLE. PRAYING 5 TIMES A DAY FOR THE MUSLIMS IS AKIN TO THE SUNDAY MASS FOR THE CHRISTIANS. THERE IS NO GOOD OR BAD TO THAT. IT’S JUST A RULE TO BE FOLLOWED BY THE BELIEVERS. AND IF ONE DOESN’T FOLLOW IT, ITS HIS OR HER OWN PERSONAL CHOICE. BUT IN THE SAME BREATH, ONE SHOULDN’T GO ABOUT PREACHING THEIR PERSONAL CHOICES IN THE COMMUNITY. REGRETTABLY, IRSHAD MANJI TRIES TO DO JUST THAT IN THE DOCUMENTARY, WHICH TAKES AWAY THE SPIRIT OF MAKING A NON-ALIGNED FILM.

CONSIDER ANOTHER SCENARIO:: 39.10th MINUTE: HERE SHE’S QUESTIONING THE VERY ESSENCE OF THE QURAN! SHE BELIEVES THAT THE HOLY BOOK IS FLAWED AND SO SHOULD BE MODIFIED TO MEET THE CURRENT SCENARIO! IS THIS SOME ACADEMIC BOOK WHICH NEEDS YEARLY EDITIONS? CERTAINLY NOT. THIS BOOK IS BEING FOLLOWED BY BILLIONS OF PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE CENTURIES. THE MUSLIM AUDIENCE IN THE CONFERENCE TO WHICH SHE WAS ADDRESSING WAS LEFT BAFFLED, AND SO WAS ME. HERE SHE WAS, CHALLENGING THE BASIC TENETS OF A RELIGION, AND EXPECTING PEOPLE TO REMAIN CALM? AND ON TOP OF THAT SHE WAS CLAIMING TO BE A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ISLAMIC FAITH! I’M NOT A MUSLIM, BUT HER VIEWS DISTURBED ME TOO.NOW I CAN PARTLY UNDERSTAND THE ANGER OF THE MUSLIM WORLD AGAINST HER.

I RELATED HER “PROGRESSIVE” VIEWS IN MY CONTEXT. BEING A HINDU BRAHMIN, I’M EXPECTED TO CHANT THE GAYATRI MANTRA AND PERFORM SURYA NAMASKAR EVERY DAY. I DO NEITHER. ITS NOT THAT I HATE THESE RULES OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. ITS MY PERSONAL CHOICE, WHICH MIGHT CHANGE IN THE YEARS TO COME. BUT THERE IS A WHOLE LOT OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PERSONAL DECISION AND A BELIEF. PERSONALLY, I WILL STICK TO MY DECISION, BUT THAT DOESN’T EMPOWER ME TO LAMPOON THE AGE-OLD BELIEFS. SAME GOES WITH THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. I PERSONALLY FIND SOME OF THE RULES IRRELEVANT AND EVEN MILDLY REVOLTING IN SOME CASES. THE SCHOLARS TELL ME THAT THEY MIGHT SEEM SO, BUT THEIR UNDERLYING ESSENCE IS ETERNAL IN ITSELF. I KNOW THAT I KNOW VERY LITTLE ABOUT THEIR CONTENTS, BUT I RESPECT THEM, AND THEY ARE A SYMBOL OF MY RELIGION. I WILL NEVER GO ABOUT PREACHING MY SET OF ‘BELIEFS’ ON MY COMMUNITY. SADLY, IRSHAD MANJI BLURS THE LINE BETWEEN THESE TWO POLES.

IRSHAD MANJI ALSO SPEAKS AT LENGTH ABOUT THE BANE THAT IS THE BURQA. HOW SHE RESENTS IT AND CALLS UPON ALL MUSLIM WOMEN TO FREE THEMSELVES FROM ITS SHACKLES. YEAH, I TOO PERSONALLY FEEL THE OUTFIT TO BE TOO CONFINING AND AWKWARD. BUT THAT’S MY PERSONAL OPINION. NEVERTHELESS, THE BURQA IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE MUSLIM SOCIETY. LET US RELATE IT IN TERMS OF THE INDIAN SOCIETY. TIME AND AGAIN THERE HAVE CALLS BY THE RIGHT-WING ORGANISATIONS TO ADHERE TO ‘DRESS-CODE’ FOR THE WOMEN FOLK; WHICH ESSENTIALLY MEANS ABSTAINING FROM WESTERN OUTFITS AND WEARING ONLY SAREE/ SALWAR KAMEEZ. WHILE IT IS WRONG FOR ANY ORGANISATION TO DICTATE DRESSING TERMS FOR THE POPULATION, THERE IS ANOTHER SIDE TO IT. IF EVERYONE STARTS FORGETTING ABOUT THEIR OWN CULTURE, THEIR OWN AGE-OLD BELIEFS, WILL IT NOT BE JUST BLINDLY APING THE WESTERN WORLD? THERE SHOULD BE A LINE DRAWN. BUT HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? THAT IS A DILLEMMA THAT THE MIDDLE-EAST AND THE EASTERN CIVILIZATIONS HAVE BEEN FACING FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW. THERE IS MORE TO THE BURQA STORY THAN JUST THE OPPRESSSION OF WOMEN…

ALL IN ALL, THE DOCUMENTARY WAS A LET DOWN. INSTEAD OF SHOWCASING THINGS FROM A NEUTRAL PERSPECTIVE, IN MANY CASES IRSHAD MANJI SEEMED, TALKED AND LOOKED LIKE A WESTERN MOUTHPIECE.MOST PEOPLE MAY NOT AGREE TO THIS, MAINLY BECAUSE THE WESTERN WAY HAS BECOME “THE WAY” IN TODAY’S WORLD.

I WOULD APPRECIATE CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACKS FROM THE READERS. AND IF POSSIBLE DO WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY AND LET ME KNOW YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT THE SAME!

 

LOVE…ANOTHER 4 LETTER WORD?

I GUESS THE MOST OFT- REPEATED QUESTION(s) ASKED TO ME DURING THE LAST 5 YEARS OR SO IS , “ARE YOU IN A RELATIONSHIP?”, “WHY NOT?”, “DUDE, YOU HAVEN’T FOUND A GIRL IN ALL THESE YEARS! C’MON!”…. AND THE INTERROGATION IS NEVER-ENDING.

YOU KNOW WHAT? SOMETIMES EVEN I ASK MYSELF , “WHY HAVEN’T I FOUND THE GIRL I LOVE?” THEN AGAIN , WHAT IS LOVE? I PRETTY WELL KNOW WHAT A CRUSH IS. I HAVE LOST COUNT OF MY CRUSHES, AND WITH MY PRESENT ABODE IN MANIPAL, THE EYE CANDIES NEVER SEEM TO RUN OUT! BUT I ALSO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LOVE AND ‘JUST A CRUSH’. YET WHEN I LOOK AROUND ME, AT ALL THIS SEA OF HUMANITY; LEAVE ALONE THE SEA! I LOOK AT THE PEOPLE WHO ASK ME THESE QUESTIONS. ARE THEIR LIVES ANY DIFFERENT FROM MINE?

I MAY NOT KNOW EXACTLY WHAT’S ITS LIKE TO BE IN LOVE, BUT I SURE KNOW THE SPECIAL ‘POWER’ OF BEING SINGLE. NAY, I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT BEING “INDEPENDENT, ENJOYING YOUR LIFE, NO RESPONSIBILITIES” AND STUFF LIKE THAT.
I ACTUALLY FIND THESE THEORIES OF SINGLEHOOD LAUGHABLE AND THEY CAN BEST BE ATTRIBUTED TO A HIPPIE-TRAMP KIND OF CULTURE. WHAT I’M SAYING IS THAT BEING SINGLE, YOU CAN ACTUALLY MAKE OUT WHICH COUPLES ARE REALLY LOVEBIRDS AND WHICH COUPLES ARE MERE STAGE PERFORMERS.

 

HUMBLY SPEAKING, I HAVE QUITE A NETWORK OF FRIENDS AROUND INDIA. PEOPLE IN DIFFERENT PLACES, AND EACH HAVING A DIFFERENT STORY TO TELL. YET EVERYONE’S LOVE STORY HAS A COMMON STRAIN WITH EVERYONE’S ELSE’S LOVE STORIES! SENIOR SCHOOL WAS THE TIME WHEN RELATIONSHIPS REALLY BLOSSOMED. ALMOST EVERY OTHER DAY I USED TO HEAR ABOUT A NEW ONE OR SAW THE RELATIONSHIP STATUS IN FACEBOOK CHANGING FROM SINGLE TO YOU-KNOW-WHAT!

I STILL LOOK BACK AND SMILE AT THOSE MEMORIES.. THEY ARE STILL THE BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE, AND MAYBE ALWAYS WILL BE.

 

PEOPLE CAN BE JUDGEMENTAL, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO RELATIONSHIPS. THESE NEWS SPREAD LIKE WILD FIRE, AND EVERYONE WILL HAVE SOMETHING OR THE OTHER TO SAY ABOUT THE NEW COUPLE, EVEN SOME OF THE TEACHERS! TALK ABOUT BEING IN THE LIMELIGHT! I FOR ONE ALWAYS ADMIRED THEM. THE WAY THEY SPENT THEIR TIME TOGETHER, CARING FOR EACH OTHER MADE ME HAPPY IN A SUBTLE KIND OF WAY. IT WAS THE PHASE WHEN I BELIEVED THAT LOVE WAS REALLY SWEET AND STORY-BOOK-TYPE. A BOY MET A GIRL THEY FELL IN LOVE AND LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER. THEY WERE LIKE MY ROLE MODELS! SEEING THEM REINFORCED THE BELIEF IN ME THAT SOMEWHERE OUT THERE, SOME ONE’S DEFINITELY THERE FOR ME  ❤

 

PINK FLOYD SAYS “WE DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION…” WELL I’M NOT SURE ABOUT THAT BUT STUDIES PRETTY SURE PLAYED THE ROLE OF AN ANTAGONIST IN ALL THESE LOVE STOIRES. AT LEAST ITS THE WAY I SEE IT. YES EXAM TIME! AND THE MAD RUSH AFTER THAT. I SURE DIDN’T HAVE ANY RSS FEEDS KIND OF THING ON WHAT WAS HAPPENING BETWEEN THEM BUT THE SITUATION WAS SELF-EXPLANATORY. AS PEOPLE PACKED THEIR BAGS TO SEARCH FOR GREENER PASTURES, THEY ‘LEFT’ THEIR RELATIONSHIPS BEHIND THEM. AS IF IT WAS A POLYTHENE BAG, JUST USE IT AND THROW IT WHEN YOU’RE DONE. AND NOT JUST ONE! EVER HEARD ABOUT THE DOMINO THEORY? WELL GOOGLE IT THEN  😛  LIKE PIECES OF DOMINOES ONE AFTER THE OTHER LOVEBIRDS SEPARATED. THE REASONS WERE PLENTY, BUT THE MOST COMMON WAS “DISTANCE ISSUES” . WTF? EVEN GLADIATORS PROMISED TO THEIR SWEETHEARTS THAT THEY WOULD RETURN HOME FROM THE BATTLEFIELD. BUT WE ALL ARE JUST MERE RATS CAUGHT UP IN A RAT RACE! AND WE CAN’T EVEN LIVE UP TO OUR OWN COMMITMENTS?

 

IF NOT ANYTHING ELSE, THESE HAPPENINGS SURE SHOOK MY BELIEFS AND MY PERCEPTION OF LOVE. MY ROLE MODELS. AND HARDLY ONE OR TWO LIVED UP TO THAT. WITH A NEW PLACE, ALMOST GOT INTO A NEW RELATIONSHIP. ALL MODERN DAY CHAMELEONS CHANGING THEIR SKINS WITH THE NEW PLACE. I NEVER BELIEVED DISTANCE CAN BE AN ISSUE IN LOVE. BUT THESE PEOPLE HAD PROVED THAT LOVE IS LIKE A TIME AND SPACE DEPENDENT VARIABLE, RATHER THAN A UNIVERSAL CONSTANT. I ASKED SOME OF THEM, WHAT NEXT ? “WELL, LETS SEE..LET THIS COLLEGE LIFE FINISH..” I WAS APPALLED! ANOTHER POLYTHENE BAG KIND OF AFFAIR?

 

I AM DISORIENTED NOW. YEAH I STILL BELIEVE THAT LOVE IS BASED ON MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING AND NOT THE NUMBER OF MILES YOU’RE AWAY FROM YOUR LOVE. BUT MY FRIENDS ARE BENT ON PROVING ME WRONG. IS LOVE SO UNSTABLE? LIKE POPCORN OR A CAN OF SODA, YOU HEAT OR SHAKE IT AND IT JUST COMES OUT? I NEVER BELIEVED THAT WAY. LIFE GOES ON. MOST OF THE PEOPLE ARE NOW CARRYING NEW POLYHTENE BAGS. WHILE THE DISCARDED ONE’S ARE SLOSHED SOMEWHERE DRINKING, SMOKING AND INFLICTING OTHER KINDS OF SELF-HARM. WELL AT LEAST THE BAR OWNERS ARE HAPPY.

 

I RECKON I WILL WITNESS ANOTHER DOMINO THEORY IN EFFECT AT THE END OF COLLEGE LIFE. AND THE SAME OLD REASON. ECONOMISTS SAY THAT THE WORLD IS BECOMING SMALLER AND SMALLER. I BET THEY HAVEN’T SEEN THESE PEOPLE. AS FOR ME, I’M STILL THE WANDERER. HELPING OUT PEOPLE IN WHATEVER WAY I CAN, LISTENING TO THEIR EULOGIES, TRYING TO CARRY A DRUNK FRIEND TO HIS ROOM, OR JUST SIMPLY WONDERING…LIKE H.G. WELLS DID– “OH WORLD WHAT HAVE YOU BECOME?”


AND IF SOMEONE ASKS ME TODAY THE OFT REPEATED QUESTION, I JUST SMILE AND SAY..”MAYBE YES, MAYBE NO..LET THE TIME COME” ..BUT I KNOW FOR SURE THAT I WILL NEVER CARRY A POLYTHENE BAG WITH ME JUST TO THROW IT AWAY. BECAUSE LOVE FOR ME, LIKE DIAMONDS, WILL BE FOREVER. AMEN  🙂

 

A BIT TOO FAR DON’T YOU THINK MR. HAZARE?

15th august. The date will be remembered for several reasons in history. The independence of India, the partition, creation of Pakistan and East Pakistan, and also my mom’s birthday!! But 15th august 2011 will be best remembered for just one thing–Corruption and ANNA HAZARE. Corruption-scams-black money; the names are interchangeable in India. From the stock market to animal fodder to court papers there is a scam for everything in this country. From the 4th grade blue collar employees to the ministers and foreign diplomats, & even judges! Almost everyone (I’d say almost) has some way or the other contributed to one or more of the scams. With the swiss bank accounts fiasco and the multi-million dollar 2G,3G scams, things were just culminating to a saturation level. The aam aadmi was getting increasingly impatient.

 

And then came the SAVIOUR! Like Jesus came thousands of years back to show THE LIGHT, out of this disarray emerged ANNA HAZARE. Wikipedia lists his real name Kisan Baburao Hazare but every super hero should have a NAME and so he became Anna Hazare. He had done a lot for the society but fame came to him with the advent of 2011. The kind of sensation he created for the eradication of corruption and the subsequent events caught not only national but international limelight as well. Rediff and Yahoo ranked him as the top searched name in their websites for months on end. The Gandhian style of non-cooperation and Hunger strike shook the government. After a long time there was A NAME whom the government feared; the Opposition was virtually defunct till then. Like a Messiah people worshiped him , followed him and thought (and still thinks as I write) that this was the ultimate solution to all the malpractices in the country. In a long dark corridor he was the lighthouse, and Opposition, rights groups, NGO’s, lawyers, the aam aadmi (including me of course!) and even those NAXALS followed and idolized him. The herd mentality you know, as I always say.

Jesus had his fair share of controversies but alas no one remains alive from His time to tell us the real facts. Thankfully with Anna Hazare it is not the case. Things went on pretty smoothly during the first round of the fast. The event saw phenomenal show of patriotism throughout the country. I too, along with others, cursed the government, the bureaucracy, the system.. and anything that held authority. Though partly true, I for one never saw the dual motive behind this whole drama. I still remember, how we all celebrated when government agreed for talks and 15th august was set as deadline for implementation of the bill. There were joyous celebrations, waving flags, shouting slogans, processions and what not. I remember sending mass text messages to all my friends saying that we had won the battle against the government and a new freedom is near. We never saw it coming that the whole foundation of our movement stood on wobbly legs.

 

The truth dawned upon me when the talks started. The arrogance of the civil committee just didn’t seem proper to me. I did some research about the proposed Jan-Lokpal Bill and came up with rather startling revelations. The Jan-Lokpal bill provides for the inclusion of the PM under the purview of the Lokpal committee, inclusion of the judiciary under its ambit, ¼ of government revenues for the committee, life sentence for corruption among others. In layman’s words it is like Rajnikanth of India’s political machinery! But this is real life not reel life. And one needs to be realistic about certain things. It has been already stated clearly by the NCRWC commission that “the nation cannot afford to have a PM under a cloud.. The PM should not be subjected to this bill as this would severely impair his independence and freedom of judgment, which contradicts directly with the constitution.” Indeed the Lokpal shouldn’t destabilize the country. If the PM is engrossed in answering questions about his credibility during his tenure, how can one expect him to take important decisions of national importance? Again, inclusion of judiciary under Lokpal is really laughable. It has been laid down that the Lokpal must lodge its cases with the Supreme Court. If the SC itself comes under Lokpal, how can one expect it to function independently and impartially? Moreover it has been a constitutional necessity to separate the executive from the judiciary so that both can work independently in their own domains. This bill seems to be directly challenging the constitutional provisions. Demanding a huge budget of ¼ revenue of the government and life term for corrupt convicts are also unacceptable. The National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) condemned Hazare’s deadline for passing the bill as undermining democracy, which operates by “holding wide-ranging consultations and discussions, allowing for dissent and evolving a consensus. …He [Hazare] has the right to protest and dissent. But nobody can claim it as an absolute right and deny the right of dissent to others.”Moreover, we tend to overlook the fact that this is a self-appointed committee without any democratic processes. Civil society should only suggest amendments to the government, not enforce them. Hardly anyone has taken the time to think that what happens if the Lokpal itself becomes corrupt? With it playing the Role of Rajnikanth, who will be there to check it?

 

In addition to the Jan-Lokpal bill being flawed, there are serious credibility issues with the committee members itself. The justice Sawant commission report lays bare the malpractices of Anna Hazare and proves that he’s not a God as people have been worshiping him. The Commission submitted its report on February 22, 2005 in which it criticized the NGO for spending Rs 2.20 lakhs of its funds on the birthday celebrations of Hazare. What’s more, according to Sawant report “A portion of land measuring 11 Acres was admittedly alienated by way of gift in favour of the Zila Parishad without the permission of the Charity commission.” It also didn’t report on the acquisition of land measuring about 89 acres. The commission also asked him why the NGO has failed to submit its audits for as many as 20 years. Justice Sawant himself has found Anna Hazare guilty of misappropriating funds and so that makes him “an individual liable to be charged under the IPC”.

 

Mr. Hazare, or let me call him Anna Hazare, for better recognition, and his Anti-corruption squad has an NGO named India Against Corruption or something similar. A message was spread to send a missed call to a particular number to show your solidarity in this fight against corruption. Like thousands of my fellow countrymen, I too followed suit and promptly gave a missed call to that number. Little did I know at that time that the very number would be used to propagate hate messages against the government! At the first indication that the talks were heading towards a stalemate and Anna declared that he would resume fast from august 16, the number sent me a message to “show the government the people’s power and support Anna ji in mass numbers”. When the talks finally reached a deadlock all hell broke lose. I was being pestered with constant messages from that number asking all to boycott classes, come out on the streets and expose the ‘corrupt’ government. I even tried sending a reply asking them not to send any more such messages but to no avail. Now on hindsight this whole sms thing looks like pre-planned and well-motivated. Anna keeps on saying that he’s not against the government but only against corruption. But these messages tell a different story. If they are really against corruption they could have sent us anti-corruption messages. Instead they chose to go on with their government bickerings and instigating the people.

 

The Jan-Lokpal is no silver bullet against corruption. Team Anna believes that corruption is due to the lack of an independent and powerful body like the Lokpal. Actually corruption is largely because of poor monitoring and supervision of PDS, wrong policies in the past and a slow justice system. Although steps need to be taken to remove these ills, forming an all-powerful committee to check these anomalies is totally unjustified in a democratic form of government. Anna Hazare is challenging the fundamental provisions of the constitution itself, which is unacceptable. Moreover, people are being led to believe that this bill will be the end game for all practices of corruption in the country. When POTA, TADA and Anti-terrorism bill are not being able to stop the recurrence of terrorism, can one bill save the country from corruption? Again there are reports that this whole movement is an ulterior motive by the BJP, RSS and the like to push forward their agenda. Whether this is true or not, that remains to be seen. But the allegation itself should raise serious doubts about the effectiveness of this bill.

 

 

This new independent year of India is going through a rough and uncomfortable phase. The government, riddled in multiple corruption cases, is weighing the consequences before taking any firm steps. A democratic and majority formed UPA government is being projected as draconian and ruthless by vested circles. On the other hand, Team Anna, though with supposedly good intentions, should revise their home-work again. Blackmailing, creating civil strife and arrogance certainly do not come under a democratic set-up, neither are some of the absurd provisions of the Jan-Lokpal bill. Where the stress should have been on the De-centralization of power, here we have another bill which strives for an even bigger and more powerful centralized power-spot in the democratic machinery. All’s well that ends well. So lets hope that something positive come out of this riddle, and whether it be beneficial to the government or Team Anna, lets hope that in the end corruption recedes in India. Even if not by “65%” as claimed by Anna, but at least to some extent. And hope that democratic principles, constitutional provisions and the authority aren’t compromised for the sake of a new law.

 

 

NB– The facts given above are true to the best of my knowledge and have been verified with reliable sources. Still if someone would like to contradict these or have a different viewpoint regarding any of the above points, feel free to express them. I always look forward to and appreciate different viewpoints. But please no abuses here; for we all know that a man who doesn’t know both sides of the story will always talk filth. Thanks!

TENTH BLOCK HOSTELS–LIFE IN HELL

FATE HAD BROUGHT ME TO THE 10TH BLOCK OF OUR MIT HOSTELS. THE VERY FIRST MENTION OF THE WORD “COMMON BATH” DID NOT GO DOWN WELL WITH ME. OF COURSE SOME OF YOU MIGHT SAY WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL IN HAVING A COMMON DORMITORY. BUT HAVING LIVED MOST YEARS OF MY LIFE IN THE COMFORT OF MY HOME AND SPENDING THE FIRST YEAR OF MY ENGINEERING LIFE IN A WELL-FURNISHED ATTACHED-BATHROOM HOSTEL, IT DIDN’T SEEM TO ME A HONEYMOON STAY FROM ANY ASPECT.
TO MY BAD LUCK IT TURNED OUT TO BE EXACTLY WHAT I HAD FEARED; THE SINGLE ROOM WAS MORE LIKE A PRISON CELL WITH A CONCRETE SLAB REPLACING A BED, RUSTED ALMIRA, AND AGAIN, CONCRETE SLABS AS BOOK-SHELVES. GUESS THE COST OF CONCRETE WAS QUITE LESS AT THE TIME OF BUILDING THIS BLOCK 😉
THE ‘BED’ IS A LITTLE BIGGER IN SIZE THAN A BUNK BED IN A TRAIN COMPARTMENT. I’M NOT A TALL GUY BUT STILL I HAD DIFFICULTY IN SLEEPING ON IT. I WONDER HOW THE TALL GUYS USED TO MANAGE IN HERE.
THE WINDOWS ARE JAMMED SHUT. THAT’S RIGHT YOU HEARD IT CORRECTLY. TOTALLY JAMMED WINDOWS, WITH A THICK NET WRAPPING ALL OVER IT. THIS VIRTUALLY RULES OUT PENETRATION OF ANY WHIFF OF FRESH AIR INTO THE ROOM. MAYBE THE NETS ARE THERE TO WARD OFF THE INSECTS; NEVERTHELESS THERE’S NOT A SINGLE VENTILATION SHAFT IN THE ROOM. THE RESULT IS THAT WHEN IT GETS WARMER, THE ROOM TURNS INTO A HEATER AND WHEN IT RAINS IT TURNS INTO A DAMP DUNGEON. STAYING HERE DURING THE RAINY SEASON, I GOT WELL ACQUAINTED WITH WHAT LIFE IN A DUNGEON MIGHT FEEL LIKE. YOU CAN ACTUALLY FEEL THE DAMPNESS AS YOU WALK IN THE ROOM. THE CLOTHES WILL ALWAYS REMAIN WET, EVEN IF THEY WEREN’T AT FIRST, AND WALKING ON THE FLOOR WILL ACTUALLY LEAVE FOOTPRINTS BECAUSE OF THE DAMPNESS!
THERE’S AN OLD WOODEN CHAIR IN THE ROOM. ALTHOUGH IT WAS VARNISHED AT SOME TIME, ON MY FIRST INSPECTION I SAW LAYERS OF DUST DEPOSITED OVER IT. I THOUGHT OF CLEANING IT WITH SOME SCRAP PAPER; BUT WHEN I RUBBED THE PAPER OVER THE WOOD, GREEN MOLD CAME OUT WITH IT. MORE GREEN MOLD WITH EACH SUCCESSIVE RUBBING. THE DAMPNESS EFFECT YOU SEE! SEEING THAT IT WAS FUTILE, I DECIDED TO STUDY ON MY BED. AT LEAST I HAD MY CLEAN BED-SHEET OVER IT.
PERHAPS THE MOST HILARIOUS AND OUTRAGEOUS ASPECT OF THE ROOM IS THAT IT HAS ONLY 1 PLUG POINT! YES, JUST ONE. SO I’M SUPPOSED TO CHARGE MY LAPTOP, MY CELL PHONE, MY TABLE LAMP ALL IN ONE DAMN PORT. WONDER HOW WILL I MANAGE IF I NEED TO USE THEM ALL AT THE SAME TIME!
THEN COMES THE DORMITORY!THERE’S NO WASH BASIN THERE. JUST ROWS OF TAPS AND A DRAIN BELOW TO TAKE AWAY THE WATER. WORSE, THE TAPS AREN’T EVEN AT THE SHOULDER LEVEL. SO YOU HAVE TO BEND REAL LOW TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH, WASH YOUR FACE AND STUFF. I WOULD NOT COMMENT MUCH ON THE TOILETS. THERE WERE JUST ABOUT SUFFICIENT FOR A QUICK VISIT IN THE MORNING AND THAT’S THAT. NO MORE LOOKING AT IT FOR THE REST OF THE DAY.
I WONDER IF THE BLOCK MADE THEM LIKE THIS OR ITS JUST A CO-INCIDENCE, BUT EVEN THE OTHER INMATES ARE LIKE THE HOSTEL ITSELF– TASTELESS AND RUSTIC.I MEAN, YOU CAN’T GENERALIZE ALL, BUT MOST OF THEM WERE. AT NIGHT THEY SING OLD CRAPPY SONGS, SONGS WHICH WE WOULD USUALLY HEAR IN SOME LOW-END MARKET AREA. SMOKING WAS AS COMMON AS DRINKING WATER FROM THE FAUCET. THIS WAS A RUDE SHOCKER TO ME, CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT IN MY EARLIER BLOCK PEOPLE USED TO BE SUSPENDED WHEN CAUGHT SMOKING.
YOU CANNOT SLEEP AT NIGHT. FIRSTLY BECAUSE THE INTENSITY OF HOWLING BY THESE HOOLIGANS IS INDIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL TO THE TIME OF THE NIGHT.
AND SECONDLY, THE BLOOD-SUCKING MOSQUITOES. IN SPITE OF ALL THE NETS FOR STOPPING THE INSECTS THUS VIRTUALLY BLOCKING OUT THE VENTILATION, THESE PESTS STILL MANAGE TO INFILTRATE AND LAY SEIZE IN MY ROOM. ONE NIGHT I HAD TO GET UP THREE TIMES DURING MY SLEEP TO TURN ON THE LIGHT AND HUNT DOWN THESE CREATURES. QUITE EXPECTEDLY, THE ACTUAL ACT OF SLEEPING TAKES A BACKSEAT DURING ALL THESE COUNTER-INSURGENCY OPERATIONS! FOR THE PAST FEW DAYS IT HAS BECOME USUAL FOR ME TO SEE RED RASHES ON MY LEG CAUSED BY THE MOSQUITO BITES.

BUT NO MORE!! THERE IS A LIMIT TO ALL SUFFERINGS AND OPPRESSIONS INFLICTED UPON HUMANITY, AND I’M ALSO NOT AN EXCEPTION. TODAY I WENT AND MET THE CHIEF WARDEN, CLEARED THE DUES AND NOW I’M READY TO SHIFT INTO THE MORE HOMELY AND CIVILIZED HOSTEL BLOCK 17. TOMORROW AFTER LUNCH I’M PACKING UP MY BELONGINGS AND LEAVING THIS PLACE FOR GOOD. GOD BLESS THE PERSON WHO WILL TAKE UP THIS SHIT-HOLE, AND I PRAY THAT HE DOESN’T HAVE TO SUFFER THE WAY I DID. OR MAYBE HE WILL QUITE LIKE IT IN HERE, IF HE BELONGS TO THE ABOVE-MENTIONED CATEGORY OF HUMAN BEINGS 😉

EQUALITY IN DEATH ?

THE PHILOSOPHERS SAY THAT IN DEATH ALL ARE EQUAL. “WE ARE BORN FROM THE DUST AND MIX WITH THE DUST AFTER DEATH”. QUITE ABSTRACT DON’T YOU THINK SO?
I MEAN, LIFE & DEATH ITSELF CAN BE CONSIDERED AS A BIG MOVING MASS, A SYSTEM OF DIVERSE CHARACTERISTICS. CAN WE SIMPLY EQUAL IT TO SOME ABSTRACT PHILOSOPHIES? WELL, I DON’T THINK SO.
THE VERY ‘AXIOM’ THAT ALL ARE EQUAL IN DEATH IS A BIG MISNOMER. UNFORTUNATELY, THIS LIVING MASS CALLED LIFE OF WHICH WE PEOPLE CAN BE REGARDED AS THE CONSTITUENTS HAVE THE INFAMOUS “HERD MENTALITY”. JUST BECAUSE SOME BIG SHOT PHILO GUY HAS PROPHESIED, PEOPLE TAKE IT TO BE THE ETERNAL TRUTH!
TAKE A LOOK AROUND YOU. EVERY DAY, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE DIE. SOMETIMES SOMEONE WE KNEW, VERY DEAR TO US; SOMETIMES JUST A NEWSPAPER CLIP OF SOME UNKNOWN PERSON. DEATH IS SOMETHING WHICH , NO MATTER HOW MUCH SOME PEOPLE TRY TO ACT COOL ABOUT IT, ALWAYS BOTHERS US. THERE IS A LINGERING DREAD INSIDE US THAT SOMEDAY WE’LL DEFINITELY DIE, BUT VERY FEW OF US KNOW WHEN AND HOW.
THE FIRST REACTION TO MOST OBITUARIES WILL BE GRIEF AND SORROW. NOW I’M NOT TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION MEN LIKE OSAMA AND ET AL.. BUT NO MATTER HOW LOOSELY ARE WE CONNECTED TO THAT PERSON, WE’LL SHARE A THOUGHT OR TWO FOR THE DEPARTED SOUL.
I THINK PAULO HAD SAID THAT ACTUALLY WE DERIVE AN INNATE SENSE OF RELIEF FROM THE NEWS THAT WE ARE NOT THE ONE AT THE RECEIVING END OF DEATH! MAYBE THAT’S SELFISHNESS AT ITS MOST SUBLIME FORM 😉
COMING BACK, HAVE YOU ALL NOTICED ONE COMMON STRAIN IN ALL OBITUARIES? “A VERY GOOD PERSON”, “KIND HEARTED” ,”SOCIABLE”, “AN IDEAL FOR ALL” AND WHAT NOT!
WELL I’M NOT SAYING THAT ALL PEOPLE ARE BAD. BUT WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHOM WE KNOW? ARE THEY ALL “GOOD AND NOBLE”.
I HAD A FRIEND WHOSE FATHER CAME DRUNK EVERY NIGHT AND USED TO BEAT HER UP. WE ALL SAW HER BURN WOUNDS AND BELT WHIPS. THEN ONE NIGHT HE DIED IN A CAR ACCIDENT, APPARENTLY IN AN INEBRIATED STATE. FOLLOWING THE HERD MENTALITY, WE ALL GRIEVED AT HIS DEMISE. A LONG AND SOULFUL OBITUARY WAS ALSO WRITTEN, EXTOLLING HIM AS YOU-KNOW-WHAT. ALTHOUGH AT THAT TIME IT DIDN’T OCCUR TO ME, ON HINDSIGHT WASN’T THIS HYPOCRISY TOTALLY UNJUSTIFIED?

WHY DO PEOPLE ASSOCIATE GRIEF WITH DEATH? CAN GRIEF ALSO BE ASSOCIATED WITH PERSONS SUCH AS THE ABOVE MENTIONED? OKAY, SOME PEOPLE MAY SAY THAT IN DEATH ALL BECOME EQUAL. BUT TAKING THAT VIEWPOINT, WE CAN CONCLUDE THAT NO MATTER HOW WE LIVE OUR LIVES,IT DOESN’T REALLY MATTER! SO WE CAN WANTONLY KILL PEOPLE, BE CORRUPT, ABUSE OUR FAMILY! AFTER ALL, WE WILL BECOME “EQUAL” IN DEATH EH? TIME FOR SOME INTROSPECTION ON THE PART OF THE SOCIETY I SUPPOSE.