Tag Archives: Society

The Enthusiasts and the Fanatics

A couple of years ago – Japan started dividing the world into Enthusiasts and Fanatics.

They introduced the world to Su-Doku.

In the beginning people were happy just attempting to solve it – we were all “Attempters”. They started awaiting the morning paper – ppl would argue with family members just to resolve who would solve the “Su Doku” that day and yes the fight would intensify if God Forbid the person didn’t manage to finish the “Su-Doku” but messed the paper up enough to ensure no one else could solve it.

Then these attempters actually started finishing “Su Doku” on a regular basis and became the “finishers”. It was no longer a big deal to finish Su Doku – what mattered was how much time. Newspapers milked this enthusiasm with crazy folks finishing Su Doku in 1:03:22 Secs (How the hell!!!) The nation went into a frenzy with ppl trying to beat these high standards.

The finishers refined and became the Enthusiasts. They were divided into 2 Sectors –

There were those who loved the fact that they were good at it and solved it at lightening fast time – u guessed it the “Impressers”,

Then there were those who competed it with each other and fought over which one had won by a milli-second – “the fighters” . (I hav heard that these cases were at times settled by the High Court and when the High Court refused to pass a judgement – the Supreme Court was beckoned)

Of course amongest all this there were a section of the society who refused to get drawn in and blamed the lack of time, mathematical inabilities and always screwed up their nose with a “pls – How nerdish”. but then again our story isn;t abt these much of loosers.

Of the Enthusiasts – the impressors – naah there isn;t much to say about them – they were Boring. Just came in Solved the Su-Doku and walked away leaving the world impressed. But the Fighters they Got dangerous. And Competition always divides.

Today we have ppl who upon loosing Su-Doku and being taunted rush to buy Su-Doku Books, get “presented” with the Su-Doku Game and will do anything to ensure that they are never beaten again. They will spend close to an hour arranging the game which shud ideally be solved in two mins –

So ladies and Gentlement here comes ” the Fanatics”….and we all know what fanatism breeds.Yes – they are dangerous – So fighters who aints fanatics, impressors who aint fighters. BEWARE COZ here comes the fanatics.

Dont take them lightly coz they are a result of Japan’s mind game with the rest of the world

So are u an attemptor, a snob, an impresser, an enthusiast or a fanatic?

i had written this in 2007 when my everyone in my office was heavily into Sudoku Mania

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Memories of terror…

This was chosen as Blog Adda’s Spicy Satuday pick

Dear Politicians,

Your head honchos appealed for peace but my blood is boiling.

We are a nation on tenterhooks, choosing our words carefully. However, your flunkies like Uma Bharati and Ravi Shankar Prasad are shooting their mouth. A Barkha Dutt is attempting to silence you. Haven’t u done enough for the nation.

Dont u feel guilty of the blood you have shed in the name of God? Do u believe God wants a “house” to be made from blood stained mud. Dont u feel bad that the seeds of distrust u have sown in 1992, flamed further in 2003 continues to cause fear in our hearts 18 years later.

This city i live in – continues to be haunted. Yes the ghosts aren’t moving around in broad daylight. But dig deep and you will see it. I wasn’t here in Mumbai in 1992 – but i have heard stories from my friends. South Mumbai friends who had never witnessed anything like this before – Hindus and Muslims alike. They saw flames from their upmarket homes. They tell of people pulled out of their flats in areas like Cuffe Parade and murdered.

A close friend of mine – who dad’s is a muslim and mom’s a hindu once told me his experience. He is a privileged boy who lives in Peddar Road -yes his mom’s family had disowned her when she married a muslim. He the only son. A close-knit family – just the three of them. Then came the riots. Apparently his house was marked for “taking care of” coz his was the only flat in the name of a muslim.

They knew the hindu mob was coming. His dad asked his mom and him to go and hide with the neighbours. The neighbours were ok with taking in the kid and mom but not a pure muslim. His mom refused to go. The three of them decided to face the mob together.

Can u imagine the tension they went thru? The fear a 10-year-old felt – he could hear the mobs.. His father blaming himself for his religion, his mom praying for her husband and her son. Yes the mob was shooed away by the police. But the 10-year-old boy was scarred. No he didn’t become a terrorist…

But yes he is convinced that the he will marry only a hindu (and his dad insists too) – so that at least his kid will be 75% Hindu and hence safer. His dad didn’t want him to apply to IIM – Ahmedabad – any guesses why?? He talks endlessly of his dad and he are ganeshji devotees and never talks of the eid i know he celebrates.Every time friends taunted him of supporting Pakistan in a cricket match – it hurt…he had to be extremely vociferous about his support to India in a match…lest someone point a finger! He feels bitter…

In one of my “love your country” lectures…he actually asked me WHY SHOULD I? I know i can tell him about the other things that India has given him…but can i ever convince him enough to wipe out the memories of the fear he felt in 1992?

His memories may not ever be wiped out…but please help us not create any further non-erasable memories for our children.
Help us to continue to believe that God does exist!
And Help us believe that humans (you) have a conscience!

Regards
Just Another Nut

Disclaimer –
While i did mention only 2 leaders from the “Hindu party” there are muslim leaders making equally callous sentences. So in no way am i supporting either side. Please bury the pathars (stones) u want to throw at me -if i remember my science well- it will help prevent soil erosion.

On my bookshelf

For me books are sacred. I barely ever venture to give a person a review of the book if i have enjoyed it. Mainly because i don’t think i will do the book justice. I don’t think telling a person the story or words can capture the essence, spirit or romance of the book.

But i have ventured on a review – mainly because i think it is *ahem* my duty to let people know of these two books. I think that they are not as well-known as they deserve to be.

Both Books – Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk and Chowringee By Shankar – capture the essence of society at a point of time.Coincidentally both are translated into English. The translation is smooth and at no point do you feel that the language is not doing justice to the book which is often the case with a lot of translations.

Chowringee takes u to Calcutta probably sometime after independence…where u can explore Calcutta at a time where foreign liquor was not so easily available, where even “modern” indian still women wore sarees even though they have moved to chiffon, where foreign dancers were a rarity.

A young not so affluent boy takes up a job in one of the best hotels in Calcutta where he observes society – the rich who come to stay or dine at the hotel, the people who work in the hotel – their lives and relationships are depicted. The characters in the movie- Sata Bose, Marco polo, and Karabi Guha remain with u much after you put down the book. I read somewhere that the book mirrors to some extent the life of some of the socialites of that time.

While the book may not have an obvious story line, it very beautifully weaves the thought process of this young boy, his sensitivities towards people and relationships against the backdrop of a newly independent india.

Museum of Innocence is set in Turkey in the 70’s and 80’s and tells the story about a young man from a rich family in Turkey, who falls in love with a distant relative from the impoverished part of society. While the story is about how he pines for this girls – i love the tit bits on the turkish society which is the background of this story. Like the bits on the civil wars in Turkey, the curfew, the affluent turkish woman’s thought process on losing their virginity. It beautifully weaves in Turkey’s passage into modernity and the thought process of youth battling between modern thoughts from the west and their traditional learnings.

In MOI, the narrator and hence the *hero* of the story who is engaged to a suitable girl from the society falls in love with a not so suitable shop girl. He continues to remain engaged while he collects mementoes of his love with the shop girl. He loses both of them and continues to work at getting back the shop girl for eight years – visiting her family, attempting to fulfill her dreams hoping she relents while continuing to pick up little mementoes of their love.

What happens next would give away the whole story…but to all around, his life would seem that of a loser, a person who pines and lost both the suitable girl and the other one – an unfulfilled love and life…but on his death-bed, he says – Tell all that i lived a happy life.

The book is beautiful – the language depicts thoughts which u might have had, it simply portrays the turkish society and you can see it all in your mind’s eye. Like Chowringee, the characters remain with u for a long time after u put it down.

Disclaimer – these are my interpretations of the books and i might not be accurate…but accurate or not these are fantastic books…to own and re-read.

p.s. please clap for me i have learnt to upload images into a post

What do you do

When you know something unpleasant is happening which u have no control about?

Do u crib, rant and bring it up at all forums? Have long debates on the root cause of all problems? Decide who to blame for the same?

or do u act like the issue doesn’t exist?

I do the latter …particularly with the CWG….a bridge collapses, accommodation is filthy, it’s two weeks away…countries are likely to pull out of CWG…India is going to be disgraced…People’s view of India as a growing super power will now be that of a corrupt state…the way we view Pakistan.

Our hopes of this being the reason sports – other than cricket becoming popular in Indian dashed.
The few Indian sports people we have disappointed at the lack of interest and irresponsibility the government has shown

There is only one hope….PRAY HARD

Oh millions of Gods we have…please help us not look too bad 😦

Staying Alive

Prices of dals are soaring, fruits and vegetables follow suit, property is unaffordable – the value of everything seems to be heading north! Yet, there is one thing which i feel is loosing value – Life! And i am not talking about finer things like spirituality, living comfortably or work life balance – i am just talking about “Staying Alive”.

A couple of months ago, an acquaintance R was driving on the Munirka flyover in Delhi. A car behind him wanted to go ahead and R being a fairly aggressive driver himself (i am guessing) didn’t let the car overtake him. Post the flyover, when he did – the occupants of the other car got out of the car, stopped R and beat him up with an iron rod! Thankfully someone saw him and took him to a nearby hospital. The doctor pretty much said that if they had arrived later, he would have died or at least lost use of his leg. The poor man is now recovering from multiple surgeries and pretty much learning to walk again.

And for what?..Just coz a jackass thought his time was as precious as a person’s ability to walk or live!

Look at nooriya haveliwala and more recently Sushil Kotari. No – they didn’t intend to kill…but they did choose to be irresponsible. I do feel bad for them cause a lapse of judgement has caused them many years of dealing with the judicial system and a lifetime of guilt for snuffing out the life of a person. I dont even want to start thinking of the family they have cheated a loved one of. The pain and the “Why us” …

Most of us view the drinking and driving campaign as how to escape being caught. It’s thursday – they only check on weekends,they dont check on this road and promptly a person maybe “just a couple of pegs” gets behind the wheel. I hope the couple of pegs are worth the lifetime of guilt you might have to live with.

This careless attitude towards life scares me. There are times when i am driving and a two wheeler is acting all “Oh look at me” on and generally being a nuisance on the road and i think – he deserves to be knocked down…Does he now really?? Just for being an idiot should he be paralysed for life or worse?

I wonder if video games and all these X boxes games which are constantly about knocking things down or killing things are responsible for road rage and this urge to knock people down.

You hear of people being killed for some jewellery, inter-caste marriages or some other equally inane reason…Dont we get it …the person will die …his family will never see him again. And if u are someone who can’t think beyond your own nose…Think of yourself – there is a probability of being caught…and if u aren’t the fear of being caught will remain with u and if nothing else there will be some nights when u can’t sleep cause you have killed a human…a person for whom there is someone somewhere else who is unable to sleep coz they miss them.

A leopard never changes his spots!

The front page of today’s mumbai mirror talks about Dimpy Ganguly walking out of their house after a “night of domestic violence”…It’s sad that poor girl looks a shadow of her childlike self as seen in the show.

I am sure Rahul Mahajan’s PR is working overtime right now to prove that Dimpy did this for publicity and never really wanted to marry Rahul…Now while the couple along with the newspapers and columnists debate who is right and who is wrong, we will all be subject to another Shoeb, Ayesha, Sania scenario. Yikess!!!

But to get back to the point on domestic violence – as per a NHFS india report 33% of the women in India in the age group of 15-49 have faced some form of domestic violence. Another survey done in the US suggests that 42.8% of the women surveyed have faced some form of abuse or the other.

What’s scary is there is very high probability that at least one of the women around you is a victim of domestic violence. She is probably walking around with a smile on her face -but in her heart, she lives her life walking on egg shells, never knowing what is going to “inspire” the next slap.

Now i am no expert on domestic violence, i have seen it at close quarters but that doesn’t mean i understand what a victim goes thru…these are just my thoughts on the same.

There are some women for whom the decision seems seemingly tough – the ones who are economically dependent, have no parental support and are uneducated.

But one wonders why a women who is educated, self-sufficient and confident stays on…it seems easy enough to open the door and walk out …doesn’t it?

Until it happens to u…

None of us can claim to understand it…

She sometimes stays because of obvious reasons – social stigma, your children, parental pressure. It seems so unfair that these factors weigh more than her self-confidence, her dignity and more importantly her safety.

But at times, I think that at the core of it is the abuser. Once the anger has lived its life, the a** is likely to promise profusely, showering gifts (for additional impact might shed tears )that they dont know what came over them, this wont happen again and that they are trying real hard. TRYING??? How difficult is it to keep ur hand down u moron…tie up your hands with a rope to help u remember.

This is likely to make a lot of victims believe it’s not all bad, they look at the positive aspects in the guy and decide a drastic step is not required and they stay on…until the next time when the cycle of violence is repeated.

And that’s why it’s heartening when a 22 year old Dimpy walks out on an abusive marriage in 4 months and decides enough is enough. in the report do see she mentions that he is a nice guy

A marriage which everyone and their aunt had predicted was just for publicity. A marriage ear-marked to fail, which probably gave her many worldly pleasures including a super luxurious honeymoon, a union which took her away from being a wannabe model and made her a social butterfly. Walking out is going to yield her a lot of “Told u so’s” and “She’s doing it for publicity” but at least she can walk without fear.

As Tagore said – where the mind is without fear and the head is held high…

Walk away girl,don’t look back…coz a leopard never changes his spots and yes one slap is all it takes!

So what do u think…why do educated, self-sufficient women stay on in abusive relationships?

p.s. yes i know the whole Tagore poem and know only these 2 lines hold true.

p.s. edited to add as per the latest report…dimpy has gone back to the idiot at the insistence of her father…sigh

Dear Me – that’s a lot of rants!

i apologize but i am cranky under the work pressure and all other pressure around me. i promise to try to be more cheerful after a restful weekend and many ZZZZZ’s

Dear MIL – Your son turned 32 – u feel that is too old to be childless. Is it now really? Does his wife’s age/ambition not matter?

Dear BIL – Yes, u conceived within 9 months of marriage, yes it worked out well for u, Some people might want to chart their own path and not copy yours!

Dear Grandmother in LAw- i would love for my kids to know the wonderful person u and my grandparents are – but is that the reason i should have a kid?

Dear Cheeni – So u are ready for kids – yes we have done things together in the past and i would love for our kids to be friends like us – is that all that matters for me to have kids (p.s. stop with the baby rearing topics already…phew…)

Dear neighbours and world in general – Yes yes 3 years of marriage and no offspring…you are so right i am not doing my womanly duties …so what goes of your father??

I am really feeling the pressure now…in fact to such an extent that i am getting pissed off.

My primary reason for not having a kid right away is my health. I have put on truckloads many kilos because of since marriage and i would like to knock off some of the kilos and get fitter before i have a kid. I want to be able to enjoy my pregnancy and not have to worry about my knees giving way or the baby getting less nutrition because my body is being greedy. yes plump ppl have had healthy kids…but i choose not to (at the moment at least) and that’s my decision.

I can understand people like my MIL and the Tall One’ grand mom not getting this logic..but my own best friend cheeni…I am so cheesed off with her. We were – Rather she was talking about having babies and she was persuading me – i am not joking- to have a kid. i told her very seriously about weight etc and she tried to convince me saying that “how can u be sure u will drop the weight”…”i know of XYZ to had kids despite being plump” and “Medically not good to have late kids”…

Excuse me lady – what do u mean are u sure u will loose weight?? Don’t i owe it to myself to at least try? U are my friend…isn’t my health important to anyone but my mom and husband? My mom is a doctor – u really think she would advice me to do something (loose weight before baby) which is inconsequential? If u want to have a baby babe…i will be thrilled for u…it might spur me into action – yes we are best friends but u can’t persuade/advice me on this one…I have a husband who has a say and i have a doctor who is my mother who will be advice me medically – i dont need a banker to be giving me google information!

My other reason is my work – i am reaching a level where in sometime (dont ask how many months…i cant measure) even if i take the 6 mths maternity break or longer – i wont loose too much seniority…Dont i owe it to my education and myself to be comfortably placed at my work place before i have a baby?

I know i am approaching the big 3O (in like 2 years) and that’s like “THE END” of the DINK business..Yes i am aware…i will most probably adhere to the set timeline…but shouldn;t my baby making decision be basis what the tall one and i want physically and mentally?

Dear Tall One – Thank u for being the bestest on this one (at least!) Muaahhh what would i do without u!