Saturday, November 29, 2008

India - shaken, AND stirred

I'd made up my mind- I will NOT write about this incident. I will not write or say anything about what I feel about it to anyone, on any blog, site, or community thread. And I lived up to it. Till just this morning. When, once again, the Times of India was covered with bold headlines and that heart wrenching information. I still don't want to write because I dont know why I should. There's so much being written about this that as it is, people have an overload. And not that I dont want to write! I definitely do! But it's just that I dont think people will want to read my blog and what I have to say, because Im a nobody. Face it. Im not a star or a politician that people will come listen to what Im saying. And its not like Im an expert at this stuff so they should all pay attention to what Im going to have to say, BUT, I get the satisfaction that maybe some day, someone will stumble upon this blog and go back feeling responsible. Im choosing my words very carefully at this point- NO im not scared of how I sound. Im scared that a word maybe less impactful than another one. I want to make a big impact here. That's the point. And with the hope that someday I will, Im going to write at least part of what I feel.
I dont remember the exact time when the first waves of the Mumbai terror attack struck. I dont know where they first happened. What i DO know is, Ive taken whatever happened, very personally. And give me ONE reason why I shouldn't! It's my country! Whether it is my hometown that blew apart or not, it IS my native people who were ripped. And ANY country facing something like this, should make it a point to take the strongest and hardest measures.
When someone I know tells me his house vibrated because some jackass blasted a bomb near by, I wake up, put on the TV, and what I see, shocks me. There are no tears. No blood is coming out of me. But Im just as exasperated as some other citizen of my country would be. Im not the one who's been shot, Im not the one who's lost a close person (phew!!), Im not the one with the bullet proof vest and a gun storming into a building to take on the cause of this chaos. A sense of respect, frustration, anger, MASSIVE anger, sorrow, and then disrespect fills me, in that order.
One thing I'm glad about is, that finally, India accepted that no matter how many attempts you make to reconcile with someone, things dont work out, if the other party is only pretending, but not taking some action. Unfortunately, Pakistan really IS playing a part in this. And no, im not advocating a war of words or something. But what's so awfully VISIBLE, cannot and should not be denied. And NO im not anti-Muslim. I have wonderful friends who are Muslims, and tomorrow if anyone accuses them of being terrorists, I'll murder that person. And then I will be the terrorist. I cannot have people just randomly accusing my friends only because they're of a particular religion. And honestly, you think that among the people who died in the WAR on Mumbai and India in the last 3 days, no one was a Muslim? So please, stop being racist or whatever the word is, just bloody open your eyes. It's high time that someone takes a step and boldly addresses problems we HAVE. India's Muslims are VERY much our own!! Pakistan however, is nothing close!
We really don't need people creating more problems right now than there already are! I mean our Politicians. I think, you know, Politician should be declared a different religion. Because somehow, they're the blind asses that DON'T see what's happening to OUR country. When Narendra Modi hops into the scene of drastic security, and announces a "compensation" of 1 crore to xyz, it's kinda distracting! I told you, Politician. The people with NO hearts, little sense, and hardly any common sense! What's happening there, and what's he saying, no idea! It's a freaking terror attack. get OUT of there and stop harping about how sad and hurt you are. let the defences do their job and keep SHUT! but no! He think money would sooth the victims' families. Because obviously, they died coz they wanted to see their folks drowning in currency notes na? Jeeez, i mean come ON! What kind of jerk sits and starts a politics game right in a middle of this!?
And that word they keep using -"resilience". WHAT?? You EXPECT Mumbai and India to be resilient about terrorist attacks and not say anything and "bounce back" like they "always have"?? Get the point mate- we've always ignored and moved on, but how much more?! How much more do you want this country to endure? Its being blasted from North to South and West to East along its extent! And you WANT resilience?? Are you BLIND? Or downright crazy??
You should be saying, "This time on, no resilience, dont just take it in and move on, STAND up to it and FIGHT!". Dude, this is a WAR! That those
cowardly bastards have started against us. You want to look like a wimp and sit and bounce back, sure, go ahead. We're not with ya mate. We're going to see this END and we're going to fight it off. No blind moron is ever going to enter this country with intentions of cracking it. It's not a cardboard box. Its a COUNTRY with people in it! And those people that are not politicians, have hearts!
Foreigners are dying, our people are dying, security folk are dying, and you're standing and offering money!!??!! Will it take losing a loved one in this sort of thing for you to give up on madness and join the sense brigade? How much more!? How many more deaths? This isn't a natural calamity. It's a planned destruction! A planned murder! Of our country and that spirit! Which , im sorry, will NOT be resilient any more! So you can go back to your A/c office and NOT do anything about it, as usual, while you see your people die on TV on your flat screen plasmas, and we will take up charge. By the time you get up for lunch, or lunch is brought to you, your cook will have been shot. But that's ok, you;ll hire another one right? Can't you people just SEE the AMOUNT of damage this has done to us for so many years and now this!
The flaws in the Government are gaping holes. And no amount of concrete coverage will cover them. They're a cavity. And no matter how many times you fill it in, it's going to erode again. Because your covering material is wrong. Your attitude is wrong. YOU are wrong!
In complete self awareness, I would like to state, that I did register to be able to vote, but you know what, here's my decision, Im going to vote for - NOBODY. Till the time this country gets someone sensible, till the time I can trust someone here, I WILL NOT VOTE. Because, I dont want to feel guilty that I elected someone who failed my country again! And comments on what people feel about me not voting are downright unwelcome coz it's no one else's business.
You have NO idea about how to deal with your people, you think money solves death for cryin out loud! So learn, and then earn (votes).
As for the rest of what I feel (oh yeah there's MUCH more), - that will not be coming up here as of now at least. Its too personal to go up for the world to read.
- The End - (or maybe just starting from scratch)

Monday, November 24, 2008

ReadyMade Knowledge

Someone just asked me something, and while answering, I happened to think over this weird aspect of human questions. This is entirely in connection to Indian wilderness and nothing else. So anyone reading this for a hope of something else, may discontinue reading or continue without expecting things.
Someone I know just asked me, "what do u find in _____ ?" (fill that blank with the name of any wildlife place u want). I started typing when I thought ," why?! why should I be telling him what he can find there?" I mean yes, fact that i do know means i can tell him. But why? Why go with a predefined idea of which animal can be found where? There are different takes on this. if you're going somewhere for a specific reason, like data collection or photography or filming, then yeah, you need to know what comes where. Lekin if you just want to go because you want a change and you want to go back to the wilds for some wildlife sightings, then you should be prepared to take in whatever the wilderness has to offer you. Whether it be a wasp or it be 12ft long Python! Why go with the ReadyMade Knowledge in the first place?
Dont u want the mystery to be alive when u go? The excitement? from personal experience, when I go someplace without expecting a particular species, every thing I see excites me. Even a caterpillar! Coz the fact is, it's there! Whether you see a Tiger or not, the moth is still there! Its still a wild creature. Except in size. So does size really matter? Truth is- yes it does. Why?! Because we care only about what our eyes perceive as "great". The mighty Tiger they say. Man I'd say a wasp that can kill ya, is worse off than that Tiger. So whether its a speck or a mammoth sized animal, point is, how you perceive it. And i use the word "perceive" purposely. Because we THINK that what we see is reality. However, the opening of eyes happens only once you've lived within the forest long enough to understand its functional details.
I use the term "ReadyMade Knowledge" because thats exactly how it is. People want readymade information on something. When they themselves can make an effort and answer their questions themselves, they still want to look dependent or worse, BE dependent. They wont once consider actually stepping out feeling vulnerable not knowing anything, and coming back with a sense of mini-triumph at having learned something on their own! Thats a terrific feeling. Gives you a certain high.
What is the point of going to Bandhavgarh knowing that Im going to see B2 and Chorbehra? What if i go and i DONT see them? Isnt that a let down? So then why "know"?? As it is, someone else has told you "what you will find there", so its easy to blame that soul if you dont find those animals, but its even easier to lose respect for a potentially LOADED place. Thats what happens to most people. They dont give their ambitions a chance! They dont give their choice a chance! They choose to go some place and when they find nothing, (firstly, they're not looking...they're expecting. thin line of difference), so when they find nothing, they came back disheartened and the next time they choose another place. Understandable if you really made a giant effort and then lost out. Even then, Indian wildlife doesnt come on a platter (unless you eat it!), So it pays to keep your mind, eyes, and ears open!
If I go to Tamhini and dont find that Bamboo Pit Viper, I wont be disappointed, because I'll know I tried. And even then, I know it's there! Somewhere. Unless the tragic road killed it.

Sometimes, giving youself that chance, to go explore, to go find out, to go experience the difference, realllllly helps! And sometimes still, making a choice also is a step forward. To being independent. Crediting your finds to yourself and not to someone else's handed down knowledge, is definitely worth a try!
Polish your wings, and fly for yourself. Dont ask for a nudge or a push. Confidence is the key!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Time to Change

I'd initially added a question mark at the end of the title of this article. But as I thought about it more, it came to me, that it's not a question at all that Im asking here. It's a statement Im making. Expressing my point of view. I feel it IS time to change. Time to change the way you think. Time to change the way you narrow your line of thought down to just one person' point of view. Time to change that now. Im not saying it's time to become a different person. It's just good to walk with the changing times and the new age thoughts.
There are some people who will just stay fixed to their opinions on some things. And it's very frustrating if, as the time passes, their scope of thought only gets narrower day by day. Because then no matter what you say, it becomes very tough to convince them that there does EXIST at least 4(random number) other points of view.
There is one such person I know of. Who is a lovely person on the whole. Just that when her thought process comes into the light, it kinda gets tricky. Coz if you're convincing a 47 yr old that what you're saying isnt just based on "self-righteousness" but instead, on facts and logical reasoning, it is going to be one complicated procedure! I mean, at such times, you come to sucha frustrated peak level where you forget the good points of this person in front of view who is turning a blind eye to a practically opaque and blindingly bright topic. At the end of an exchange of firey words and phrases, you finally decide its best to let such people live in their divinely knit world of wonders.
In a similar, but much more intense situation, Im finding myself wishing once again, that I wasnt living in a place where people just wait to strangle someone else's freedom. Whoever it may be. It can be the civic authorities not allowing you to exercise your esteemed right/s (just an example!!), it can be the educational institutions who take their pay cheques for even the crappiest of facilities and knowledge, but manage to fail to give anything back at all. It can be family, who inevitably tries to push and pull you into that horrifying circle of "social responsibility". I wish these folks could define social responsibility. I mean, not wanting to attend a certain person's marriage or not wanting to meet family members after ages suddenly becomes anti-social. Fine! I'm like that. How hard is it to understand that maybe, someone just does not like to mix with certain kind of people!? I dont like people who only gossip about how bad someone else is and laugh like inherent witches.
It feels extremely suffocated. When people are trying to pull you one way and another, just to get you to do what they want you to, not even thinking once, about what YOU want to do. And when it's people like me, who will still stand upto it and say "No!", then these self-proclaimed socially responsible people throw a bunch of insults, taunts, and looks at you, making you feel like moving to some place where people dont give shit about society. Unfortunately not a lot of such places exist! However, there is that eternal "escape" solution.
And yes, there apparently IS a silver lining to a dark cloud. Because, even though such tragedies exist(in terms of the way people think), you always have that eternal excuse to leave the city,country or even continent for "further education". (Disclaimer: In my case, it aint no excuse! it's an actual reason!I can think of better excuses.) Im just tired. Tired of people thinking that they have the right to exploit someone else's freedom, someone else's way of thinking and personality.
Im fed up of people handing out orders and expecting things to be done at the stroke of the new day. fed up of people thinking they can just stretch someone's patience and willingness to help to a limit beyond which it signals the END of even the smoothest relationships. It's time to change. From the eternal "do-gooder for others" to the selfish person who makes at least some time for herself before being piled with emotional, physical and mental problems - of other people!! I'm sorry, I hereby declare that I will not entertain anyone's bullshit henceforth. I got my own life. And anything that takes a toll on that, is highly unwelcome. You want help, get in line. Or at least, be deserving of the help. Dont just call up once in 3 years and say "Hey, could you please do this for me?" and using the environment as an excuse to get work done is cheap. Downright stinking cheap!
P.S. - the above vent of frustration does not apply to F.R.I.E.N.D.S. - it applies to everyone apart from them! Even to family. You guys think you can insult someone on their face for a decade and then expect a very nice person in return? oh go get real! Have the b***s to go and do things yourself.
~~ That's All Folks!! ~~

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Think before going to the Brink

Then there are those people who fail to use their main functional weapon of mass destruction : their brain. The people who just CANNOT understand things no matter how much u try and explain. You fight, over some shitty trivial "issue" and then one person decides to let ego come in between. Thats when it all goes kaboom. Even men dont have as much ego as this particular person! And until now, it was being used in the right ways. All of a sudden, things swerve around and your trying to figure out which part of anything of this was your fault!! Someone comes and blames you for something so highly stupid you dont even want to laugh, and then restricts the number of people and the time you can meet them at. For someone like me, thats craziest thing to do to me! And when things are said about my "dog" then, its beyond my patience level. I wouldnt fight otherwise, and very rarely do i take the first step towards a reconciliation, but when opposite parties do not wish to reconciliate after claiming to be your "best friends", its a highly sad situation. You can use words. But u cant make sure their brain processes them. Hard luck. For them. They're losing out on one of the most "i can do anything for my friends" types of people.

Someone who cant tell the difference between egoistical behaviour and possessiveness, and friendship and chocolate bars... certainly deserves to be sent to me for lessons! I refer to chocolate bars because u dont even need effort to break them apart. As opposed to that, consider Friendship. My most divine word. And that too today, the day of Dad, this whole nonsense erupts..and out the balcony goes my Organic Chemistry text book. (Not literally)..i was only wishing! Anyway.. Steve Irwin Day ending on not-so-good note. However, chances of other party coming to senses seeming a little teeeensy weensy bit up now. Without expecting much, this extremely annoyed and in awe lady signs off.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A little less..

This day has been really weird. Since Ive been up, stuff has gone pretty "right". Whiskey didnt awaken the neighbourhood with her barking, the weather was wonderful, the film I saw was very touching for certain reasons. But thats when it twisted. Its a terrifying feeling Im having right now. This horrible void. Which used to once be, the throne of the people I valued the most. Folks I called friends. We used to have a rapport that would most often than not, end up being the subject of everyone's envy. Something we were all proud of.
I still yearn for those days...those moments. When my friends were my own. When only I had a right, an authority over them. The days when the word "guarantee" had a genuine meaning. I could guarantee that no matter what happened, these people would never leave me and walk away. They were my pillars of everyday life, and thats a big thing to be to someone. Someone like me at that. Someone who rarely trusts, and when she does, she does so with immmmmense care. These guys have been such strengths for me at such terrible times. Looking back at those times now, they dont seem as terrifying as they did then, because now I have another way of thinking about them and their solutions. Back then, anything happened, and I'd just want to be with these guys..and then out the window went all problems.
I wonder why people forget the feelings they were once capable of having. Wonder why they fail to understand that friendship doesnt come with a "Best Before" date. Wonder why there are just these certain specific people who can be what they are. Why there is no one else that fill in for or replace those people. Why there isn't someone who just one day, walks by, ends up becoming your good friend as years pass, somehow makes a new position in ur life and heart for him/her self, but never occupies those empty positions. Guess I know why, coz those empty positions are actually lying in wait for their original occupants, that one day that jackass you used to cook for or who used to pick u up from the other end of the world will turn up for you, and make you feel like a Queen again. Someone who would never think twice before getting up and coming to get you. Or being your escape route if your life sucked big time, or who cared for you and loved you more than he would himself[ok least more than he would his girlfriends!! :-) ] Its a different deal to have these champs around. You'll never see them doing for anyone else, the ridiculous things they do for you!! You'd never see them even looking at you if some amazing chick was around.. then you'd be the salad. But if at that very moment, you slipped n fell, these would be the guys to be there and help you up and they'd be the ones gunning for you when the rest of the world is trying to make sure you lose your job! Dreamy thoughts. But well.. never mind! Im actually wishing I had these nuts around right now.. they have an uncanny knack of making u feel triumphant and amazing about yourself! :-)
The first time we met. The way we got along. The kind of things we would do to get to that phone and talk to each other. If anybody else called while we were asleep, we'd turn deaf but if it was either of us, we'd pick up and go, "Heyyyy!!!" , like nothing better could have ruined your sleep! Like there was no one else who was more qualified to claim most of your time than your best bud. The number of times Ive had to hear "You're one of the dont qualify as one of them" when you were ranting and raving about how horrible girls are! Do you have ANY idea how weirdly cosy that felt? The things you'd say, you never realized how much they meant! But to see me smile again, you turned from superman to clown to stupid blind fool to everything else! The number of times we've been kerchiefs for each other, or just massive support systems.. the number of virtual coffees we've sent each other, the late night conversations that went into the wee hours of the night, without us even noticing the time, the urge to speak to each other even when one of us was in some petrifyingly far away land and even then, discuss what we ate for lunch! These moments have been some of the best times Ive ever put down as memories in my mind. And thanks to each of you.. Life's been a ripper! ... Really wish you were all here..!
Maybe some people do have a "Best Before" tag in their minds when they make friends.. Perhaps.. you never know. Whatever be the case, right now though, Im just wishing my friends come back.. coz guys, right now, I really need you. Miss you three. I want my 'ol buddies back.. :-(
Without u guys, everything seems different. Incomplete. The light seems less bright. The rains are less wet, the winds dont seem to swirl around as usual. Those ambitions seem so much fader now.. the moments... our moments.. just fading away.. :-( Its like the time has stopped right now... to wait for you to come. Its like everything is right here. It's all there. But there's a little less of everything. They say distance makes you grow fonder.. I still dont know how true that one is. Wonder what this is all about. That madness, the things we'd do together. Things we'd talk about. That selflessness, that urge to always be there for one another. And the fact that we never needed to be told to do something for each other. It had all just fallen in place. But packing up and leaving wasnt such a great idea. Yes there are amazing friends I have today. But Im left wondering everytime I hear,see,feel, experience anything reminding me of you, that "why are you not here??" Chuk the hide n seek now fellas.
Today, when people dont even care about each other, there are these gems that still exist.. Somewhere.. and im hoping, Someday, I'll find them again. and We'll have our times back.
.. Pranav, Ram, Rishi and Manan..(in order of arrival..).. Miss you guys !!!