Friday, June 30, 2006

Chitto jetha bhayshunyo (where the mind is without fear)

So, I am reading the Jingo Cheetah. Something about Mumbai being rude. Also something about the writing prowess of Rahul Bose. Someone called Freedom Fighter left a comment as to how Muslims should unite to form the Islamic Republic of Deccan (or something like that). Initially I got offended that someone could suggest something like this. I left a comment as to why he needn’t start his own country and there are Islamic republics on either side of the union of India. It was insensitive, I apologize. But, it started a maelstrom in a tea cup on the comments page. FF got back to why freedom is the birthright of every man and how the Indian (read Hindu) Union had systematically oppressed the Muslims of the Deccan. How Gujarat was an institutional example of Hindu intentions. So on and So forth. Read it here .

Also, there’s an essay competition going on about how Indians are not too comfortable with people unlike them and the ways to solve this problem. There’s a cool 50K for the first prize.

Somehow it all feels connected.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action--
Lord Father, strike Bharat without mercy,
so that it may awaken into such a heaven.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in ourselves...

Since Sunday, I have been trying to write an essay for an Indian Express competition about why Indians are the way they are, when they have to deal with someone who is not like them. No matter how much I think about writing something, I am unable to do so.

Maybe it's writers block.

Maybe it's the part of my mind which calls it hypocritical, that I would write an essay berating someone else, when chances are I too have some of my own misconceptions about other people.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

There are somethings every man should know

Play this when you have the time. I got 5 on 6. The one I missed was a trick question.

India badal raha hai

This morning on the way to the bus stop, I looked two complete strangers in the eye. I smiled by reflex. 5 years in the US does that to you. They actually smiled back!!

And one of them was a traffic policeman!!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose - Part Deux

June 30, 1986 – 2 am. (IST)
Argentina – West Germany

We sat up to watch the game. Two 7-year olds watching a game of football held halfway across the world between two teams that we couldn’t even spell. Players we didn’t quite know, and a game that we didn’t quite follow. I had school to go to in the morning. But I sat up till half time. Argentina 1-0. I couldn’t take it any longer. Had to sleep. After all, I was in the 3rd standard. A big boy. And big boys don’t miss school to watch football, do they? I heard all about it the next day (and ever since). Nikhil was on vacation. He didn’t have to worry about Ms. Braganza the next day. Argentina won 3-2. And we've been World Cup fans ever since. Played faux finals in the verandah. Made flags for competing teams. Sat up nights watching the best tournament in the world.

June 30, 2006 – 8 pm. (IST)
Argentina – Germany.

20 years later, life comes full circle. This time I won’t be sleeping. How I wish Niks can make it for this one!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

Average looking Maharashtrian actress. Limited acting skills (I may be accused of over-exaggeration actually). Gains notoriety for her (lack of) clothes. Defends her honour in front of the media for some insane incident that doesn’t even deserve an inch of media space. Rakhi Sawant or Mamta Kulkarni?

World Cup Football. England stutter through the first round. A major star breaks his leg (or metatarsal) few weeks before the finals. Comes back miraculously in time for the games. David Beckham or Wayne Rooney?

Talented music director has a few hit albums all with fast dhinchak beats, though his slower songs are way better. Suddenly discovers one hit song in his own voice. Irritating as it is, he falls in love with his own voice and promotes just the songs sung by him. Loves wearing weird headgear to avoid his bald spot. Himesh Reshammiya or Anu Malik?

There's a furore over reservations, the Indian cricket team cannot win abroad, Yashraj Films makes crappy movies

The more things change, the more they remain the same.