Tag Archives: Change

losing sight to blossom

In this moment, as I write my dissertation, I am attempting to speak about personal meandering spatial imaginations. But as I explore new spaces, I am losing sight of home.

But I want to tell home, that oh dear home
I am only going for a stroll,
would like to be away for a short while
to freshen up my mind and be with myself.
With my thoughts cluttered, I am unable to say this
all I have is an uncertain whisper.
when I am back, I would like to fly upwards
and blossom with home.
in any way at all
in any way it will be.

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Filed under Don't want to talk about it, La vie, Women

The best day that I have ever had in Delhi

was today.
A day full of insights. One of the most important insights from today was that I realized the purpose of my life.

1.The purpose of my life is to gather new experiences.

2.New experiences. An infant seeing people play Holi for the first time must totally be tripping adults looking ridiculous behaving absurd.

3. Played Holi in the morning in JNU. I love JNU for the place it is. Bhaang served in the hostel mess during breakfast, the entire campus tripping and it being absolutely acceptable to run around tearing one’s own shirt and throwing it up on a tree.

4. This has been my favourite best day in Delhi so far.

5. When a visually challenged student walks through Jhelum lawns while Holi is being celebrated in JNU, what does he/she perceive and sense? But Kazi says that colour also has frequencies and sounds. He hummed me a quick ‘aahhh’ which was supposed to be the sound for a green colour and indeed, his tone resonated of green. They can sense auras and waves of colour.

6. Holi is a great festival, especially to celebrate with one’s family and close friends. I like the Lall family where I was at all day today. They have a wonderful way of being on Holi, together, each inviting their own friends, and sharing their own friends with each other. accepting each other.

7. Simplicity.

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Filed under La vie, Poetry, Thoughts/ Ideas

My first long-distance relationship

There are a few things I remember about him. But with each passing year, my memories of him dwindle and I forget that they were ever there. My first long-distance-relationship. My father.
I am told that, as a little girl, I once proclaimed that I wanted to marry a person who would be just like him. A very special person, full of kindness, joy and warmth, he was always my hero when I was growing up.
He was a fairly strict, disciplined in many ways but totally lacked it in other ways. He would make uswake up early even during our summer holidays and go out for a jog or to the park. On most days he would accompany us. But he would come back from that exercise and take a long siesta in the afternoon, this made my mother very angry. She said that there was no point to his morning walk if he slept right after a heavy lunch!
My father made me learn the multiplication table upto 15 x 15, front to back, back to front, just when I was 6 years old. He was of the opinion that intelligent children ought to be strong in mathematics. He was a chartered accountant himself. Unfortunately he din’t do his own personal money maths too well, so he was in a lot of debt. This part about him being bad about his own money is my mother’s opinion. I think that he cared about us so much and loved us so much, that he wanted to leav no stone unturned in giving us a good education. Even if it was difficult for him to pay the school fee each month, or send us to hobby classes such as dancing and tennis, he made sure we never gave it up. He had a passion for life and his motto, of live and let live was something he followed to the T. He lived large and was always kind to everyone. His zest for life is evident in all the things that inspired him and tat he shared with me. In class six, he sent me letter on a yellow page. and attached the letter was the poem that still remains among my most cherished ones. It was called Don’t Quit.
When he came back home from work, I could hear the jingle of his keys one the second floor, even as he entered the building on the ground floor. To me it was the most joyous sound, of my father returning home. My favourite person in the world returning home to spend the rest of the evening with me!

It was quite a shock to me when I stopped hearing it. At that time I think I dealt with it pretty well. Looking back, I think I looked upon it almost as a fancy event. That my father had gone to another land to save us all from hunger and despair was a superhero fantasy. I believed we would go and join him again and be like the family we were, once again.

I just realized that I have even been writing of him in the past tense!

I am not sure when I realized that it was going to happen that way. Some time after my father left, it was my mother, my brother and I.
We learnt to make all decisions independently without having to consult my father, or even eachother sometimes. If my mother din’t feel like cooking, she would independently decide that we were eating out. It was just the 3 of us for so long and for the greater part of my memory. (It has almost entirely been just the 3 of us in my brother’s memory. I wonder how he feels about this all.) This is why a lot of things I know instinctively are for 3 people. I know the measurements of rice, dal, vegetables that need to be cooked for 3 people. I know the cost of living for 3 people. I know water quantities used and number of luggage bags and life lived by 3 people.

I have forgotten what it is like to have appa around, often forgetting him altogether. I think of him a bit later than one would think of their father, when I want to share a good or bad news. I have few things to say to him and now, as I have grown up, all the fights that come from generation gaps have manifested themselves. This has made communication even more strained and difficult, for two people who already spoke less. Two people who are so intensely bound together by blood and truth and love, but have forgotten to love.

But perhaps its only me who has forgotten to love. I wonder how he feels about this. I know that he thought about us all the time in the beginning. But I am wondering about now. I wonder if he is moved by love or if he thinks of us forlornly in an alien manner.

I suppose he wants only the best for us and wants us to be happy. as I do wish for him.

But this is only in the times that I think of him. I am sorry and I sad about this, but it its true that these times are few.

My father was my first long-distance relationship.
and it has taught me things about myself, it has determined how I interact with people, my desire for intense privacy, my desire to trust few, my desire to seek for people and then run away on finding a hand to clasp. Perhaps it will change one day, but for now, I know that it certainly has moulded how I feel about relationships, and deal with people who I am distanced from.
Out of sight, out of mind. Not necessarily “out of mind”, but certainly cast aside. With friends and relatives, I pick up from where we left off and am absolutely fine with it.
But perhaps there are relations that are not meant to be cast aside. This is where it begins to hurt and I fear to let another person close to me, believing he would leave to go far away.
Leave a gaping hole.
An empty seat in a table meant for four.

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Filed under Don't want to talk about it, Journeys and travels, La vie, Me, My favourite people

Lets not fart in 2014

The title has not much to do with this entry. Its just that I am writing this in a quiet library but am really holding my bum together since its hinting to me of a growing presence of its need to fart. So really, lets not fart in 2014. But thats among other things to be done and not done in the year.
Here it goes again. Another list of Resolutions is going to be made. I am going to call it Bucket list this time, for no particular reason but just because it sounds more of a thong that a movie would be made on.

So here it is.

BUCKET LIST FOR 2014

1. Leave Delhi once every month (I wonder if it can be adjusted to 12 times in the year. better if not, but we’ll see.)
2. Get a Car Driver’s License (International, yes bro thats how I roll)
3. Get my Diver’s license (As opposed to car diver, which would be not a good idea , at all.) in Open water diving from the Andamans.
4. Do something for someone else atleast one hour every week (This happened for a while last year until I abandoned as usual. 😐 )
Better be specific. I would like to read for visually challenged student/s in my University.
5. Give Deutsch A1 exam (and pass, I guess)
6. Be regular for Deutsch A2 kurs (if all the logistical factors of this remain as they are- this needs a separate blog entry yougaiz, I am so good at keeping secrets, partly because I don’t write here at all. )
7. Blog regularly. Lets be specific. Twice a week. 
8. Constantly Consistently work on the Mphil. Read everyday. Have a system.
9. Make a personal jour fixe for every week, balancing work, academics and fun. Stick.
10. Write letters and postcards to friends, family and lovers.Send two every week.
11. Be on top of finances. Invest wisely. Think before spending.
12. Skype with family every week. Call Thatha Pati,Pati and other parivaar every once in a while.
13. Every month, two non academic books.
14. Yoga. at Uni. Chaque jour. Pas weekends. 🙂 
15. Dance. as always. as forever.
16. Explore Madhya Pradesh thoroughly.
17. Flute? Flute. Hmmm. Lets keep it here.

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A question of atrocities

Ashis Nandy’s recent allegedly anti-Dalit remark during a session at the Jaipur Literature Festival, which led to legal procedures against him, has begun an array of exchanges in his support as well as against him, in the media, academic and political circles. It is this attention given to this social psychologist writer’s remark due to his ‘eminent’ position in certain spheres that has escalated this incident to a controversy. To understand the various commentaries and to be able to take a stance on the issue, it is necessary to understand the order of events and excavate the meaning of all that has been said.

It was on 26th January, during a panel discussion at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2013, titled ‘Republic of Ideas’ where five men from various fields were exchanging ideas about India, its present and future. The conversation soon turned towards the topic of corruption when Ashis Nandy pitched the idea of nepotism also being a form of corruption, but not being recognized as such. This allowed the powerful and rich to hide their corruption, while incriminating the poor who indulge in corruption. He also said that corruption made our society more humane. In response to this, Tarun Tejpal, the editor of Tehelka and one of the panellists, deemed corruption to be an equaliser since it is a means for the underprivileged to subvert the structure of society and improve their condition. At this point, with a prior warning that he was about to utter something “vulgar” and “undignified”, Ashis Nandy said, “It is a fact that most of the corrupt come from the OBCs and the scheduled castes and now increasingly scheduled tribes and as long as this is the case, Indian republic will survive”. Nandy followed up these words citing West Bengal as an example where nobody from the SC/ST or OBC community has reached any position of power in the last 100 years. At the same time, it is also one of the least corrupt states in the country. By this he implied that since they don’t indulge in monetary corruption, people from these backward communities have not arrived at powerful positions although nepotism among the privileged allowed them to continue holding zenithal statuses.

Ashis Nandy making a point

Despite his seemingly pro-Dalit example about West Bengal, Nandy’s previous and now oft-quoted words had already sparked the ire of his co-panellist Ashutosh Srivastava, Managing Editor of IBN7. He protested saying that this was the most bizarre statement he had heard and that this was the typical perception about Dalits held by the elite. Ashutosh’s objection was met by some supportive applause from the audience after which there was a question-answer round before the session ended and the audience dispersed. In a few hours, a group of people led by Rajpal Meena, Chairperson of the SC/ST Rajasthan Manch, began a protest outside the venue demanding Nandy’s arrest for slurring the Dalit community. Soon, TV channels were displaying a clip only of him making the particular statement that the protestors claimed was proof of his anti-Dalit attitude, in a loop and out of context. This escalated the issue and soon a police complaint under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities Act) Section 3 (x) was filed against Ashis Nandy. Although such a complaint demands immediate arrest, Nandy left the Jaipur Literature Festival premises from a back route and drove to Delhi. While no arrest was made despite four FIRs being filed against him in different parts of the country, the Supreme Court issued a stay order on the arrest of the accused writer on 1st February 2013.

In the meantime, Ashis Nandy produced a statement clarifying what he meant by his statement at the festival and that it was, infact, not anti-Dalit. This was reiterated by a still-growing number of his supporters from the media, academic and intellectual circles, via articles, petitions and even an Ashis Nandy solidarity blog. Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Karan Thapar and many others raised the argument of the freedom of speech and expression being a constitutional right for all Indians and that we have become an intolerant people to not respect this right and listen to someone’s opinion. Many others like Lawrence Liang and Ritu Bhatia felt that ‘Ashis da’ deserved better and that all his past writing is proof that his heart is in the right place and that he has infact always been a supporter of Dalit upliftment. Others like Ali Khan Mahmudabad attributed this anti-Nandy protest to be a result of manipulation by politicians who have twisted the meaning of his words for identity based vote-bank politics. Many also agreed that Ashis Nandy’s words and manner of phrasing his thoughts was too obtuse and thus, easily misunderstood his idea of associating corruption with caste in India, which haven’t been linked before. These are largely true and strong arguments brought up by his supporters, however, I find reason in the arguments put forward by those disapproving of his action. In an open letter to Ashis Nandy, Kancha Ilaiah, Director for the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, pointed out that labelling SC/ST/OBCs as corrupt to equalise them with the upper castes is not justified because the latter indulge in corruption as well as exploitation. Another argument pitched by S. Anand of Navayana Publications is that Nandy has dismissed the agency of Dalits by implying that even in corruption they are ‘emulating’ the Upper caste people. Urvashi Butalia, who was chairing the panel discussion where the controversial incident occurred, ends her article supporting Nandy, by posing a question. She asks if something derogatory against women is spoken by anyone in public, will anyone protest about it? She speaks too soon when she says there will only be a few feminists protesting, while still abstaining from judicial procedure. In my opinion, if there were adequate laws, the long-oppressed women would have raised their voices in protest and invoked the law.  Dr.K. Satyanarayana also pointed out that all this hype about the issue and the raising of the ‘freedom of speech’ argument is making the Dalits appear as if they are an intolerant community and foreclosing any discussion on their corruption levels by simply stating that they are the more corrupt.

There is indeed no empirical data about the levels of corruption related to castes and communities. In a space like a popular literature festival, Ashis Nandy ought to have weighed his language and articulated his idea in a responsible manner. Throughout this controversy, one can recognize the problem of using words and interpreting their meanings. Ever since Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption movement, the vehement abhorrence for this vice has increased and by accusing a people of being corrupt, Ashis Nandy has stepped on fragile nerves. One also needs to examine the Prevention of Atrocities Act that has been filed against him. The word ‘Atrocity’ is quite a harsh word and one needs to question if by saying something that can be potentially misunderstood and can hurt a Dalit, infront of a large public gathering, he has committed an atrocity. It is apparent in the context of the conversation that the sociologist was not making an anti-Dalit statement, and needn’t hurt or offend anyone, except those on whom he is blowing the whistle. However, I believe that in terms of the law, and in the light of the way that single sentence was used, Ashis Nandy has committed what could be an atrocity towards their life in this country. Someone, who doesn’t understand his meaning and buys into the sentiment that that statement proliferates, could be biased against Dalits which could possibly cost a member of this community job opportunities, food and a humane life. I think the court trial ought to go ahead and the fact that his was not a casteist statement can be proved and established via the judiciary and constitution, thereby maintaining the faith of the people in an Act and a law that has been a tool for their redemption.

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Filed under Issues, People, Thoughts/ Ideas, Why?

I am 22 booyeahh!

Gah! So here I am once again , posting after a really long break and shaking my head at how incorrigible I am. A lot has happened since I last posted because my life is so-oh happening, yessir!! Its almost 2am here and I decided that for the love of this blog and all the people that I imagine read it, I must post today!

so most importantly, I turned 22! yea yea I had an awesome birthday party that started at 10pm the night before my birthday and went on till 7 am the next morning. Needless to say, there were enough substances of all kinds flowing and flying to keep everyone going for so long and then made them crash for the next many hours. But I decided that Imma be a stud on mah b’day yo and attended all my classes and felt like a used condom by the end of my day. But it was really fun nevertheless and everyone had a great time too.:)

I received some really nice gifts, like two yummy chocolate cakes, a letter from my brother, a bunch of novels and books. But the most worldbest gift I received was from someone I shall call Gilgamesh here at thestoryofparo(tsop). He wrote me a novella. He wrote me an entire fucking sci-fi novella where I am the protagonist and have level 5 electromancer powers. Its full of videogame references, space travel, funny incidents of the past, references to things I have said and done and also features many of my friends. 😀

He bound it in a plain little black book and gave it to me like it was nothing. Its the most thought-about and worked-upon gift I have ever received and I feel super overwhelmed by all the niceness.

That was about a week back.

Also met KB after many years. He decided to come to Delhi to meet me and we walked around his old school and house and walked around Delhi lakes before watching The Dark Knight Rises. (again! oh fate!)

Coming up in the next post is some very deep insight on life guys. You mist not miss it because I am now 22 and very wise.

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Filed under La vie, My favourite people, Stuff I like

If a body catch a body in the rye…

If you’ve read the ‘I believe’ column on the left-side bar of my blog page, you would know that I love the Beatles. I am even listening to them right now because this post is remotely about them. If you don’t like the Beatles, I suggest you still stick around and read this post or another one like this or this one on Walter Kitty’s diary.

Ha! Now that I am done with the day’s bit of good deed and self-promotion, I shall get to the point.

So over the last two days I read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. You might say that I am reading it too late but I admit that I was a lousy English literature student.  For those of you who haven’t read it, here is a short synopsis.  The book is about Holden Caulfield, a 16 year old boy who is deeply disturbed by the phoniness he perceives in people around him. He is wary of almost everyone and is afraid to accept change.  The book is Holden’s own narrative in the form of a cynical chatter coupled with wry humour, that reminded me much of Woody Allen’s films. Perhaps it had something to do with the 1950’s New York slang, but the nervous tone and tangential streams that Holden’s mind goes in, are reminiscent of Woody Allen’s character in Annie Hall.  Holden talks about the time when he gets kicked out of his third Prep school and the ensuing weekend in New York. This is a bildungsroman novel (a “coming-of-age” novel), and the reader engages with this adolescent boy’s  personality and emotions through his thoughts and actions.

the catcher in the rye – JD Salinger

With the themes and motifs in The Catcher in the Rye, one understands that Holden perceives adulthood to be a world full of phonies and admires the innocence in his little sister Phoebe. He says that the best job for him to protect children from falling off the cliff while they are running around and playing in a rye field. He would be the catcher in the rye. The fall over the cliff is, for Holden, the plunge into adulthood, that he himself is unable to grapple with. He can’t fathom emotional and physical relationships, despises all kinds of pretense (though readers and even Holden realize that he himself is phony in some ways), is quite fickle-minded, unable to find a path and doesn’t even see any point in “finding a path” for the sake of a phony moronic herd of sheep called society. (Phony was among the top used words in the book. Don’t blame me bro.)

I suppose that for the inner-conflict that Salinger explores, a lot of readers might be able to relate to Holden’s character in The Catcher in the Rye. Written in 1951, this character is often called the original ‘angry young man’ and resonates a tension that bumps off into the reader too.  The compulsion to categorize people’s personalities as either black or white , does not allow Holden to perceive people as just being different hues of grey.

However, for me, this very attribute of perceiving everything as a shade of grey, disallows me from having any definite unshakable belief in anything. My mind is my own devil’s advocate. My facebook political view says that I have a ‘socialist heart with a capitalist brain’. Do you see? It’s not as if I am sitter-on-the-fence all the time, but I do believe that everything must be analyzed on a case to case basis.

So if a guy like Holden who is a black-and-white sorta guy, can’t hold it together and neither can a grey-vision girl like me, then what the hell is going to work?! Oh darn, this book must have gotten me really depressed. Depressed, that was another favourite word in the book.

Hey but I was telling about the Beatles and this book , right? Thing is, Old John Lennon, was assassinated by one Mark David Chapman in 1980. Lennon was shot dead outside the building he was staying at. After shooting him, Chapman hung around waiting for the police to arrive. While waiting, he read a book. He had signed it from Holden Caulfield and wrote ‘This is my statement’. He carried this book to his court trials and also quoted from this for testimony. The book was The Catcher in the Rye.  Chapman repeatedly said that this book triggered and inspired him to kill John Lennon. One explanation (also the most likely)is that Chapman thought that if Lennon talked about love and peace, then how could he have millions. He thought Lennon to be a big time phony guy and decided that he had to die. In a later interview,  Chapman said that he killed Lennon “to acquire his fame”.  Lennon was a grey man, and Chapman couldn’t take that.  So another music died.

the day another music died.

The Catcher in the Rye has often been called a hate manifesto because of a few other assassins also fancying the book along with having a flair to kill famous people. But meh, I don’t think it was that at all. The ambiguous ending in the book allows the disenchanted whites, blacks and greys of the world to just suck it up and go ahead any way.  I liked some of the images he Salinger shines into our mind. It just made me glad that the book hasn’t been made into a movie yet. You know, sometimes you don’t want your imagination of something to be spoilt with a movie image.

Lastly, but NOT the least, I also learnt from the book about what fishes and ducks do when the lakes and ponds freeze during winter. Holden is always pondering over this in the book. The book doesn’t give the answer. But I ‘googled’ it. oh yea!

 

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Filed under Literature, novel, Stuff I like, Why?