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Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Cambodian Cuisine Controversy

In Cambodia local people eat every animal including endangered species in a belief that all the powers of the animals they eat with be theirs -how ridiculous is that ?”

A friend on facebook posted this on this wall. A short but interesting discussion followed. Obviously the facebook wall ain't a proper setting for debates with similar tones with broader scope. But it did get me to write something.

Now most people do agree with the above statement. I would like to say I almost agree too. But actually I like to empathize with them. The Cambodians. The discussion had many interesting points which could be addressed in separate threads. But let me see if I can make a point.

I believe there are many cultures in History that have had similar beliefs. I remember reading about kings cutting out the heart of his enemies to get their power. People eat different animals and its parts for various reasons including reasons that even border on vanity. But the problem here is the animals here in question are endangered.

In Malayalam there is a old proverb which roughly translates to – the sin of killing is gone if u eat what you killed. Not a very palatable thought for the mass murders and war heroes. But I see the logic in the proverb. Humans beings, either evolved from primordial ooze or created by the creator, are naturally meat eaters, with our teeth and digestive systems. Nature has equipped us for eating meat. Now what we eat is our choice. And this choice all the vegetarians out there a very formidable reason to gloat about not killing innocent animals for food. The juicy steak simmering, all the spices and sauces teasing our self control was actually a piece of a living creature which was killed and stripped slice by slice to feed the human taste buds. But the fact is universal. Every living thing is food for another. The mighty blue whale too maybe food for much smaller scavenging little swimmers. A decaying human body is a feast for the maggots and as time passes, the body makes a fine fertilizer for life, plant and animal. The dead rotten bodies molecules and atoms are so daringly recycled, that a rather accountable part of it is in those crunchy chips you just gobbled up. The finality of justice delivered to the cruel act of your great grand father killing a snake might be in the mangoes you just plucked from your tree. Death isn't a constant in life, there is a life after death you just don't accept it since we consider that “us” is in the center of everything. How many times have you crushed a cockroach, just for the reason it was on your table, How many of you turns on mosquito killers just before you go to sleep. Isn't that killing too. The only reason being we humans decided to carve out a home in a place god meant to be shared and wouldn't want any other creature sharing your crib. If anyone who considers life has being equal, then all of us are mass murders. You dint even eat those mosquitoes. At least I killed that chicken to marinate it in tub of spices, roast it and then satisfy my natural hunger and my intriguingly pampered taste buds. And by the way did you know there are studies that suggest even plants feel pain and death?

Now the chicken I eat, gave me some fat, proteins, vitamins, sodium etc. Effectively I have taken the some part of the powers which kept it alive. Every human beings eat to absorb certain things to keep them alive, plant or animal, we metaphorically absorb some powers of the food we intake. Based on a set of scientific beliefs we understand this and have a mixed choice of items that we need to consume to keep us alive. Vision from carrots, chocolate aphrodisiacs, grapes for the heart, red meat for the muscles, banana for the brain etc based in facts and myths. Now if our beliefs were based on a religious grounds or cultural grounds, we would sacrifice goats for god, drink bhang in he name of Shiva, payasam( delicious south Indian sweet, yummmm yummmm) poured over Krishna' statue, or even consume wine and bread symbolically drinking the blood and eating the flesh of god, an example of divine cannibalism if god looked like human. human. But since its what most of what citizens in a modern society believe and consider is normal, we never label them as ridiculous. Maybe in an hypothetical alternate world, eating humans is a norm, Hannibal would be master chef and will have his own reality shows. I remember reading in a issue of “ The Walking Dead” a family choses cannibalism and they consider it normal under the circumstances. A certain place in Hyderabad has people swallow live fish to cure asthma, which have actually has a high success rates. So maybe in the Cambodian set of belief's, its possible to gain cool powers by eating certain creatures. When I tell my non Indian friends, even my superficially westernized Indian friends that it is a norm to use cow urine in Ayurvedic and other traditional medicines they laugh at how ridiculous and yucky the concept is. Rationally trying to convince them was a failure and all I was left with was new nick names which included the words cow and pee. Rationality and intelligence don't matter in a society where every one is conditioned. To break the barriers of belief is very hard especially if a major section of a society is standing in the way. Maybe the Cambodians will find it strange that majority of the world symbolically eats god's flesh and drinks his blood on a weekly basis. They might find it uneasy to understand how cannibalizing one's god is reserving a place by his side in heaven. Barbaric. They might be looking at this globally prevalent ritual, maybe with even more prejudice than a Hindu watching the rest of the world eat cows.

Finally the checkmate. Here is that poor endangered species has to take whatever the strange bipedal confused human beings do, to the grave. It's a very white man belief that human activity in earth is causing so much change and so we must ridicule and stop few sets of activities. Arrogance. Of course we are slaughtering the planet and leaving it in a toxic bloodbath. But to worry about a small group of animals which has run its course in evolution, while everything else we do is also stabbing the planet in its chest is a huge pile of hypocrisy. ( u thought I will say shit, right?). Air, water , soil. Every thing we have polluted. The air you would have breathe hundred years back is now extinct. The waters that Columbus traversed is extinct. But a new ocean still exist with tonnes and tonnes of human waste and toxicity. The textured scent of the soil, which your grandfather sniffed when it rained is replaced by black tar and Grey concrete. Anything and everything we do is causing extinctions every second. A whole family of mosquitoes went extinct last night when you turned on the mosquito repellent. The whole world is endangered. Remember the cockroach you squished under your heel, that little guy was supposed to survive a nuclear holocaust, you just squished all his life force. Instant facebook status message change and the last SMS you sent just probably gave few crows brain tumors. Did you know that the bee population in the world has drastically reduced, and one theory they say is that is is due to all the cell phone towers. Now would you stop using the mobile phone to save a species that might be soon extinct because humans forgot how to write letters or need to change what they say every five minutes, or we evolved into strange creatures the need for instant communication and social acceptance, with no sense of accountability.

Cambodians were probably eating these creatures long long ago. Only when the white man's grand entry did they get listed endangered. So now its the natives there, that has to be ridiculed and accounted for a set of beliefs they have had since ages. Life is precious even though its abundant on our little blue planet. But inst life equal too. We evolved from a single celled cell that emerged from a pool of liquid creation. With a small microscopic cell as our ancestor, can we still claim that we can't all life as equally important. Just because we can build huge shiny buildings and tweet doesn't mean we can decide what to kill and what to list as endangered. Our survival doesn't depend on polluting cars, glossy buildings or corporate hierarchy. We have survived in caves or mud houses with a small spear and nature's grace. But what we do beyond that has always effected our environment and endangered thousands of species. Cornering one particular sect of people for their novel beliefs about cuisine choices, in the name of preserving life is not fair fight. Of course victory will be yours. Dr Manhattan Vs Rorschach all over again.

If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat! - The Teacher, Pink Floyd -The Wall.

Monday, November 8, 2010



Lots of people asks what does it feel like to be stoned. How do we know that you are really stoned. Everyone has read the effects and don't really understand So I took it upon myself and combed the Internet to find out( of course, how else?). Here are few of the situations to decide you ares Stoned.

  1. It takes about fifteen minutes to open the candy wrapper.
  2. You finally decide to tear the wrapper with your mouth.
  3. You can hear your neighbor close his windows.
  4. You lost your lighter on the couch.
  5. You get annoyed by your buddy scratching his forehead.
  6. You can't figure out why you are laughing.
  7. Details in your story are spot on, but you forget what you were talking about.
  8. You talk to the batman poster and hear him talking back to you.
  9. You finally pop the candy into your mouth.
  10. You realize the song you are listening to, ended five minutes back.
  11. You feel like Frodo on an epic journey each time you take a trip to the kitchen.
  12. You forget what you were watching during the commercial break.
  13. You find your lost lighter in your pocket.
  14. You think everyone knows you are stoned.
  15. You check if your doors are locked for the hundredth time.
  16. You decide to take a walk soon after.
  17. You keep returning to your home to check for switched on lights or faucets.
  18. You again return to make sure you took the keys, wallet, mobile phone.
  19. You return back to keep some money back so you wont spent it all or get mugged.
  20. You lose your lighter again.
  21. You figure you are not alone in the universe by staring at the dots in the ceiling.
  22. You figure out who killed JFK.
  23. You decide to learn how to make clocks.
  24. You enjoy not being able to move.
  25. You get distracted by the hook in the ceiling.
  26. You light a cigarette in the wrong way.
  27. You realize that the titles of a movie are just awesome.
  28. You finally manage to see all the end credits of a movie.
  29. You always have some deep intelligent thing to say even if it is not relevant.
  30. You wonder why Pink Floyd has a 'Pink' in it.
  31. You light your lighter with a cigarette.
  32. You rediscover fire.
  33. You find your lighter.
  34. You realize mallu songs are actually awesome.
  35. You why all your fav pop songs from childhood actually suck.
  36. You only remember opening one candy wrapper but find yourself surrounded in lots of wrappers.
  37. You realize not all of them are empty.
  38. You wonder about life .
  39. You feel the earth revolving and moving through infinite space.
  40. You think about writing down your thoughts, but realize that each word you write has more deep and philosophical meaning behind it. You give up.

    I guess there is more and its going to be a long list. If you know of similar points please do tell, so I can append the list.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Socio-Shock Redemption.

The Shawshank Redemption, Prison Break and various other prison related stories have taught us how a prison functions. They have bells and time sheets and toughened evil guards with a greedy nose for more wealth and an uncanny taste for abusing power. In the confines of the now familiar prison, we have hierarchies of gangs which construct a certain order among the inmates. These movies have also taught us that laying low and minding your own business won't work either. You have to pledge alliance to one of these gangs, become one of them to survive this ordeal. When the bell rings, harsh and loud, you know what time it is. Its the time to get up, time for a shower, Food, Work, leisure etc. You could distract yourself from this consistency with a little hobby, or get a pet, like a crow or a rat for open hearted company. Now the problem arises if you don't want this consistency, the sweet cackle of a crow, or warm fur of a rat or the sweaty hugs of another inmate is not what you are looking for, then you are in trouble. A little imaginative and adventurous you maybe be, but be warned unless you possess a good high tolerance to pain or miraculous luck then you would be in deep shit. And since you are in prison and this is all about you, then you are definitely innocent, framed for a inhuman crime,you have been incarcerated and this is your life. You never belonged here. As always the weaker person would accept his faith., like old Morgan Freeman and almost enjoy your time here. And we all know from Freeman's very distinguishable voice-over-voice that we have become 'institutionalized'. But few of us are 'Andy Duframe'. We have our pet rock collection and a Rita Hayworth poster concealing our epic plan. Or do We?

From the time we are born, we have been conditioned to follow an invisible set of rules. Structured around a mythical set of hypothesis, we live our lives till its inevitable conclusion. As soon as we enter, and our minds are carefully diverted to fear and cower under the subliminal walls of a prison. The rules are set. The clock is wound and the guards of the prison knowingly or unknowingly controls our life. Society decrees us to start our education, and by education they mean we have to learn what they want to teach us.. From that instant onwards, we are molded into unknowing slaves. Then for almost another twenty years trained to follow orders,  then for the rest we follow them.,and slowly forget that we are in a prison. Slowly we forget that life exists beyond these metaphorical walls, and we enjoy our incarceration in this social prison. We are conditioned in a way we wont be able to survive outside the walls of this society. We get 'institutionalized'.

Tradition and mistakes has made us built a government, a government which everyone complains about, a government that everyone hates, a government we as a society decided we need. It has taken thousands of years to dilute our curiosity and channel our intelligence to a linear race. Our faith in mankind has been ripped away, now we do believe that we need a higher authority to feel safe from other humans. Without this all-governing body of similar humans, we believe that we could tear each other apart and consume the spoils. We now believe that without a governing authoritative body, we cannot survive. Society has shocked our intelligence into conforming with this.

Are we humans such vile and greedy creatures that even after years of education and social functioning are capable of destroying one another, if we didn't have a society. Are we saying that the wisdom passed on from ages, decades of education, emotional and moral legacies, the very things that make us feel superior than all the other creatures here are ineffective. Ethics and a personal moral code are just wisps in the wind held together tightly but the “society”.So everything that society has provided us, have been ineffective in evolving ourselves from the screaming, club hurling wild creature that once used to live in caves. Did society only effectively just evolve our environment and the tools we use? We are consciously the same savage creatures that has been locked up in a metaphorical prison, so instead of ravaging each other we get to ravage the environment and its resources, waiting for a chance to pound the next guy with club. My father says that when he was young, he never saw a starving person, at-least in his neighborhood. People would help each other out. There are a hundred stories of people traveling and getting help from strangers. That was behaving as a society I believe.What happen to those days? Where did that society go? Today I see a young couple, happy and cuddling, have a large scrumptious three course meal in a restaurant. They burp and on the way out, they stop to make change for the electronic weighing machine. They each take turns to see how much they weighed after the grand feast, calculating how many minutes they need to run on their treadmills. They even recheck their weights one more time. With the rest of the coins jingling in their pockets, they go out onto the streets almost kicking away an old lady,asking for some spare change.

Logically (like Spock would say) It means that our conscious has turned more barbaric than ever. If we need a leash to prevent ourselves from less human to each other then society has done nothing, but made us need that controlling leash more and more. The more tighter it because, they more less civilized we are. Of course, we have the all successful capitalistic lifestyle, where only 'more' means happiness, success. And the people with the 'more' now can make the rules and set the length of our leash. While everyone else is slowly conditioned to want 'more'. More inches on your TV screen, more shinier clothes that cant cover you, more flatter tummies and more colas, more cholesterol controlling breakfast choices and more juicy burgers and cheesier pizzas. Now it shouldn't end with us. We need to train the children too, we have to make them more taller, sharper and smarter. They have to be conditioned more faster than us, so they can join the prison and compete for the 'more' even more. With an avalanche of restrictions, conditions and ineffective education, we are socially shocked into submitting our freedom for these walls.

The pillars of society they say is education. But when I asked my teacher in kindergarten why cant B come after A, Whats the importance of the order?, no one answered me. Funny it was, the Indian languages and Arabic ( the other languages I was supposed to learn) had clubbed all similar sounding alphabets together, while English had it all jumbled. A simple doubt which anyone could have,was left unanswered. The foundation of the pillars of my society had huge holes in it ever since. I never got what I wanted to know, but instead for the next two decades I was drowned in a pool of similar holes. Most people just fill in t these holes and gaps with the lack of interest and ignorance. They hardly realize that these are the holes they can make bigger and slowly crawl out the prison. But thats your degree, your piece of paper that tells who you are.And as soon as education is over, its the race for climbing the career ladder. This is where you can almost smell the 'more', where you have to disregard every form of brotherhood and civility to climb ladder. The collateral damage being only your morality and adolescent ethics. Then its a family you need, where you can have your own little franchise of this society. Now you join forces, and register yourself as an inmate, and later breed and train another generation of free minds to join your prison, making the bars stronger and freedom much farther. Effectively shocking young imaginative thoughts and freedom into a submissive consistency.

I like to be like Andy Duframe. I don't have a rock hammer or a sensuous poster on my prison walls. But I know that I can survive outside these walls. I know that only without these metaphorical bars and rules I can truly do good and humans can live in harmony. This present generation has made the walls stronger and harder than ever. But every time I scratch at it, I can feel an nanometer closer to that freedom, redemption. A world exists beyond this prison, where doing good is not a matter of choice or compulsion or necessity, but is a product of true freedom, and comes natural to us.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The End.

The stench of civilization fills my tender nostrils. The dark filth sedimenting over a thousand sins cajole my dark tiny body, trying to putrefy its way into my soul. The sea had disowned this river ages ago, on the bubbling boiling froth that eroded through humanities' morality I lay awake and crying. I am born.

Tall vistas of arrogance and depravity burn my eyes, my feet shreds and burns as I run in this yonder of ignorance.. Drunk on the vestiges of other's blood and sweat, the political god men rule my lands. This is my childhood. I am not happy.

The bright burning lights, epitomizing their fraudulent magnanimity, singe away all traces of reality. The new egoistic gods churn a carnal bog of diseased hopes and stagnant logic to drink the nectar of corporeal divinity. My hand burns, the flames melt away any doubts of redemption. This is where I begin, where you end.

My fiery hands rips the stitches of these social constructs. I feel the pain of a million woes, intoxicate my veins. Euphoric spasms of destructive delight pushes me forward. The earth moans, the oceans weep and the blinding dark winds fuel my karma. This is where time ends. I am the end I am Kalki.

--A small Kalki intro, from a fan for all the hopefully cool "Kalki" comic/other projects out there.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Shiva,Meluha and the Indian Author

"The Immortals of Meluha" Review and related grumbling.
Awesome Cover!!!!

Look at the picture! It’s the cover of a book my brother got me, “The Immortals of Meluha” by Amish. That’s one of the coolest book covers I have seen. Then I read the description on its back. WOW! Shiva (Big time Hindu god) portrayed as a simple man, rising to god hood with his deeds with The Indus Valley civilization as the background. This I will read without another thought. I flip through the pages, checking the font and actual size of the book. Easy! I will finish it in one or two days. This was over two weeks back. I have reached half of the book and almost too lay to read. Just to know what happens. The flame had died, just as I sat through Transformers 2, just to know what happens in the end, in the hope that it’s going to be awesome any minute,I now wait to complete reading Immortals.
Now as a review for the book, I would say I have to complete it. Yet what I read was very promising in theme but bland in everything else. The pace is boring, the characters are thinner than a 7o'clock blade, and everyone praising each other in every other page, Shiva is no more an epic personality but rather the humble bollywood hero who will soon unleash his hidden fury and greatness. Melodrama that could be directed by Karan Johar with ample quantities of glycerine, every characters chest swells with pride and every one of them has wet eyes of happiness or pride. The real mood killer is the language. The author claims he used simple layman language to make it easy to read etc. Words like flummoxed, prevarication, supercilious etc are used here and there, which puts the authors claim in jeopardy. To put things in perspective would you or me ever say “the author's supercilious prevarication had my encephalon flummoxed!” I speculate that he was using the MS office thesaurus while writing the book. I just used it to find out another word for brain is encephalon. Anyway he uses lots of words irresponsibly, and it took the mood out of the book.Then there where lots of modern phrases Rubbish! Dammit! and executive officers, orientation etc. It distracts you from the authenticity of the culture and era. Like “marijuana”, it’s so modern, American. It didn’t suit the time period. He could have used 'ganja' or ‘ganjika’ for authenticity or even cannabis for scientific accuracy. With 'marijuana' I could imagine Shiva as a Rastafarian reggae star rather than a spiritual yogi warrior. The Indus valley back drop and its society sound too urban with its officers and staff etc. Very MBA-ish, maybe the author would tell that’s why the civilisation collapsed. The Ancient super society was planned by a modern MBA holder, and they had a recession. But I still love the theme, I loved the factual deconstruction of the myth and that’s why I will still read it. And hope the author will take this as honest criticism and make it awesome in the next of this trilogy has he claims. I will buy his books. And torturing my poor tattered wallet I buy the expensive original books rather than the roadside pirated ones for cheap. It’s my way of telling I will spend my humble salary on good books if it’s good and then half starve me.

I have been planning to be an Indian English author from quite some time. My epic novel(s) took nearly a decade to travel from a light bulb in my brain to the first chapter on paper. It might take another decade to finish. It’s because I am lazy, and of course life and its disadvantages stand in the way of living and writing. Then There e is another thing. I don’t want my book to be mediocre. Michael Crichton is a big inspiration and his books are my measure (not the recent ones but he older ones). I hope to achieve at least half of his brilliance in story telling and theme. But I believe myself to be an Indian Nationalist. So my book will be based in India. The main character may slightly resemble me. Since being normal, isn't my thing the book definitely will be fictional, maybe sci-fi maybe fantasy. Now I wait to get my research done and characters sketched. Plot paced and language stable. So I say all this as an alibi for not writing it and also to make sure I don’t fall into the normal clichés of the average Indian English novels. I read considerably more than any of my friends, my favourite kind are techno thrillers, fantasy, paranormal etc. The western authors have scored a hell lot more than Indian authors in these fields. I mean we have a billion Indians, but everyone forgot to Imagine. I read Indian authors from time to time. Arundathi Roy's ' The god of small things ' was something. It was boring in school now it’s pretty good, R.K Narayanan was great. Then I read a few whose names I don’t want to remember. Most of it was about how hard it’s to life being a particular class in India, or lots of adultery, Heavy doses of social and interpersonal philosophy, yellow mangoes staining saris and nostalgia. It’s really good sometimes. Most of it has a unique style and flavour that’s enjoyable and intelligent. But who am I fooling, I need thrillers! There is no room for imagination in most of modern Indian Novels.
I found two authors pretty good at that. One is Ashok K Banker. His Ramayana was amazing. A modernised super cool version, I read 4 books back to back then ran out of money to buy more books then. Another one was Samit Basu who wrote the Game World trilogy which is again awesome. These two are really good. It’s a lot better than Immortals, Even though I found Amish’s idea really epic in scope. Then another Indian Author I read more than one is of course, everyone’s favourite Chetan Bhagat. I hate him.
I read five point someone. It was good, funny but mediocre, enjoyable nothing great. Then I read ‘one night at a call centre’. When I read the Book summary I thought to myself what a cool Idea. This is going to be epic. Then read the book and decided I should start wiping my ass rather than washing so I could use that book. I really hated that book. A major let down. I mean there are books you find boring and don’t like. But this one I hate.
The funny thing about this is It’s a big hit in India, I find it so frustrating. I know a friend who hardly reads books but reads Chetan Bhagat, The great Indian Author. The guy never even read Enid Blyton when he was younger, but calls Chetan Bhagat books a class act its fine that they like him and reads, but why make it the best seller. I mean there are thousands odds really good Indian authors giving out really good stuff but maybe advertised less and not a replica of a bollywood film. Hmmm
Like always we bask in the bland glory of mediocrity. We suddenly lowered our critical standards. We enjoy the superficial shallowness and glycerine fuelled emotions and stagnant melodrama in our stories. The new, intelligent, imaginative works of art are lost in a metaphorical storm of commercialised mediocrity. Novels and literature is an important segment of society and progress. We are all educated. So why tone down our standards by dumbing down ourselves. Inspiration and imagination can stir a brain dead society. I will claim that it’s better to read about cloning dinosaurs and saving mystical princess rather than glamorised adultery and advertised lifestyles. We are not new to great imaginative epics, Ramayana, or Mahabharata for example. Let it be fact or fiction a religious fan literature. But someone wrote it, it was authored by some one. With all its intricacy and characters to set the standard for all aspiring and recent authors and audience of this unimaginative era, we still stick to the boring clichés of melodrama and shallow characters. Our authors have a melting pot of various myth and legends to get inspired from. I used to hear stories form my grandmother more interesting and creative than the mainstream 'trendy' authors of this time. But sadly even my grandmother sold her imagination to the soap operas storming everyday on TV. It’s just sad to be hear that crude novels about call centres are best sellers in our country, where stories and story telling where actual professions. With a pantheon of stories and characters to be inspired from, we disqualify ourselves as intelligent readers by promoting mediocre literature.

The Immortals of Meluha is a change from the usual standards of many trendy authors. After I finish this one, will eagerly wait for the rest of the trilogy. But I really hope that the author takes a turn form the regular and raise his bar of quality and remove the bollywood from it and bring in awesomeness. Till then I will continue cribbing about why India cannot have a decent big boy’s adventure book better than the ones from western writers.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Cambrian Legacy.

Five hundred and fifty million years ago, a time beyond the reach of human imagination, life decided to boom on our planet. It was warmer. The glaciers,that covered the earth had melted, 'Pannotia', the super continent was breaking up. The land masses were being flooded with warm shallow seas, there was a drastic change in diversity and in the composition of the earth's biosphere, life exploded!
The microbial mats from a previous era, that covered the oceans floors that time, was destroyed by burrowing life forms that emerged during this significant period in the history of life on earth. Yet  life was only found in the oceans, land was barren and resembling huge deserts that stretched from horizon to horizon. This was the Cambrian period.
The Lowly Sea Squirt.
In that breeding grounds, so many eons ago, from the same source all life forms where branched off we see a little creature emerge. It looks like a little tadpole. It swims around wiggling its tail and using a simple and primitive eye it scouts for a place, a home. It then cements itself to that place, and then transforms itself into its true adult form. It has been doing this from the Cambrian age to today. It’s the sea squirt. And despite its humble origins and appearance, this humble creature is a close relative to all vertebrates, including the humans.

Sea squirts are filed in the same Phylum (biological divisions) as humans. That means that humans are more similar to sea squirts than the coral. This little creature had a nervous system and in this neural system where certain cells, certain receptors. These receptors are like a molecular padlock, designed by the forces of evolution or god. The receptors awaited an unknown molecule, for it was created like lock, a molecular Lego block awaiting a specific key, a complementary molecular piece, a yin awaiting a yan, male awaiting a female,  chemical compounds which wouldn’t appear for another vast expanse of time. So the sea squirt and other similar creatures gifted and passed this legacy to generations to come. While evolution spliced and mixed and birthed new creatures, nothing faintly resembling the simple sea squirt, it left these receptors untouched. It was handed down generation to generation awaiting the molecular key. We call these receptor cannabinoid receptors now and it is spread in millions in our body today. It was a legacy from the Cambrian period to us.
Millions of years later, life was teeming everywhere, the earth was nothing like the Cambrian age, life was everywhere. Land was conquered by the plants .the earth would have seen is largest land animals, maybe not. The continents may have been as what we see today. We can't say for sure when this happened. We only know it happened for sure. There was this plant, just like a million other plants. It grew in the foothills of mountains, perfect and green. It wasn't bossy like other plants, it didn’t have any compelling needs to survive, it would grow and thrive among thousands of other plants,  a weed. Like every other plants it needed a defense mechanism, to protect itself, to survive, maybe from the harsh UV rays of the sun, maybe from some predator it hasn't met yet so it synthesized its own defense mechanism just like any other plant. From a long forgotten genetic legacy, of the Cambrian period, it remembered about the sea squirt, about the cannabinoid receptors. Maybe it was genetic memory, maybe evolutionary obligation or maybe the hand of god. Evolution's circle of life was complete. 
This humble plant in the path of evolution created  cannabinoid molecules like THC or CBD. It might have been for self defense, protecting itself from the sun, or making its leaves bitter for an animal. This plant would complete a five hundred million year old legacy of evolution. It did not stop there, it built itself fibrous stems, it synthesized four thousand odd chemical compounds which would be later useful and changes lives of a bipedal creature that would later inherit this planet and rule it as kings. It would provide it food, shelter, clothing, medicine, fiber, paper and pure euphoria. It was the cannabis plan.
The humble Cannabis.
And finally maybe in an episode of divine luck, the THC molecule would meet the cannabinoid receptor evolved eons ago. It would have been a moment for history to bask in the glory of creation, the first time a THC molecule bonding with cannabinoid receptor, unlocking mental functions that were never perceived before. When a cell in a network is activated by its chemical key, it responds by doing a variety of things: sending a chemical signal to other cells, switching a gene on or off, or becoming more or less active. Depending on the system involved, this process can trigger cognitive, behavioural or psychological changes. For the first time, the existence of a new network in the brain was realized. The human is hardwired for cannabinoids as an evolutionary trait,  that would not be replaced or evolve for millions of years, waiting for a lowly plant to create cannabinoids that would act as a chemical key to unlock this receptors' gate, to an array of functions that would lay otherwise lay dormant, where as most other dormant traits we got from our ancestors were removed or replaced.This was truly destiny.
As anyone who has ever been high knows, few of the main pleasures of human experience with this plant- hearing a song and enjoying the complexity and layers as if for the first time, appreciating textures and colours in all its richness, being empathetically and intimately aware of one's environment, taste food in all its glory, every bite and drop exploding flavor in your senses, experiencing cosmic love and suddenly find yourself in tune with the surroundings. Being one with Creation!
Such experiences might seem like a waste of time and immoral to those who rally against cannabis as the "Evil weed," but evolution found it valuable enough to create an entire neural network for us to enjoy, leaving it untouched for millions of years from the sea squirt to us the human beings.
Or do you still want to argue with GOD?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Scientific Fundamentalism

E = mc2

This equation, among few other reasons, caused my defection from contemporary science. Once I was a true scientist. Younger, nerdier and gullible I was then. School textbooks had this knack of presenting the most interesting things in the world in the most sleep inducing forms. I was smart enough to see beyond that. Science was my religion and experiments my rituals and then energy was god, it could be neither created nor destroyed. The text books told us this, the teachers explained why and the words where etched on stone. Then in the next class we learn what Einstein said. WTF. After just writing an exam about why energy can neither be created or destroyed, Einstein said energy is created from just mass with a exponential value. Wait it did not start here. The smallest particle in nature was the molecule,nothing smaller. Then next class came the atom, smallest and indivisible. Wait it doesn't stop there, there are protons, neutrons and electrons which can be divided in the next chapter. Now a days every other year scientists keep finding smaller particles. They just made the LHC to find even more smaller particles. They just built the biggest anything ever built just to prove stuff that I learned in every level of schooling is worth crap.

I find myself among consensus science. Suddenly science has become what most people around you says is fact. There are the experts and certified specialists who communicate with the very fabric of scientific reasoning and everyday engineer rituals to prove the scientific theories they hypothesize. What they say is the truth as long as they have the government or a corporate organization backing it. Anyone who questions this is a narrow minded orthodox lunatic. Their claims are discredited and filed under fringe and psuedo science.

Another strange thing I realized is that modern science always tells is that what ever they do its the first time in human history. Indigenous sciences have been thrown out as “pagan science” and the same think after a million dollar research are released as scientific journals, by the 'white man'. For example A U.S. patent on turmeric was awarded to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1995, specifically for the "use of turmeric in wound healing." As long as I can remember Vicco turmeric cream had that nostalgic ad were a kid falls down and his mother smeared turmeric cream on his wounds. Some Indian research center sued them and finally the patent was removed. There are similar cases with neem and basmathi. My point is till then no one bothered to ask why old grandmothers used turmeric on wounds.
But here have been instances where modern scientists have conceded with the idea that they are just rediscovering or reinventing old sciences which thier forefathers itself helped to erase of the planet while on a colonization mania.
Every one quotes J. Robert Oppenheimer( so called father of the Atom bomb) quoting the Bhagwat Gita when the first atom bomb was tested. But he also something else that maybe a bit strange for the orthodox modern thinker. When Oppenheimer was asked about detonating the first atom bomb on our planet, he corrected the interviewer by saying “The first in modern times.”
either he was a Ancient astronaut theory believer or he just knew that modern science wasn't that modern at all.

Lots new age is now being linked to ancient and old belief systems. For the last few hundred years we have been reinventing the wheel. Or its just a political scam to discredit old belief systems and rearrange credit. Just like religion. When every religion says the same thing, people still debate and discredit another religion, and promote their religion in every possible method. Modern science has been doing the same. They scorned at anything indigenous, mystical religious and traditional. Their intent was good, not to be influenced by anything in the pursuit of truth. But now a days they are shielding themselves with their own orthodox systems.

The funny thing is that modern science has been proved wrong every generation. Like Newton's gravity were replaced with Einstein's relativity, then suddenly Everything is replaced by quantum theory and chaos. Since everything worked, and socio-political authorities certified these theories then no one cares about the truth.

According to some ancient Sanskrit literature, creation started from nothing (shooniya) and then BANG! “Shabda Brahman”, exploding, inflating reality happened. It grows and expands till it one day collapses to that very infinitely small dot to shooniya. Ancient scriptures goes on telling that this Brahman is everything and continues with spirituality etc etc etc...It is creation..... Well to me and many other people this explanation of vedic creation myth sounds really similar to the Big Bang Theory. The nothingness and the bang and the growth.

Om, the symbol has been stigmatized as a religious symbol by every one. The Hindus respect it and adorn their houses, wedding rings and even exam answers with it for good luck.Others scorn it considers is a cool tattoo or use it as a musical addendum. Well It actually its not anything to do with luck or gods. It supposedly represents the universal vibration, centuries old Vedic texts claim that our universe Brahman is made up of many small vibrations that cannot be seen with human eyes. Vibration!.In very recent times, modern scientists have been sitting in their government and corporate funded labs, scratching equations everywhere, looking up at the universe maybe smoking a little pot and introduced a new theory. Remember the largest anything they built, The CERN large hadron collider, One of the main functions of this multi billion dollar project is to prove this radical theory. The theory is called The string theory and it tries to unify gravity relativity and quantum theory into a single theory claiming that everything in the universe is made up of little vibrations, they visualized these vibrations as little strings called super-strings and called it string theory. Sense any Deja vu?

Same output Different styles.
Now you go to a old dusty village in India, you most probably will find an equally old tree where a fragile old sadhu with dreadlocks snaking over his head and ash smeared over his body and sometimes he would also be filling his considerably large chillum with very good weed and take large hits out of it. After you convince him to give you a hit,you get to talk with him about creation and Om. After what seems to be few blissful hours you leave this crazy sadhu under the tree and go back to your life's finery and forget the whole brahman and the vibrating Om. Next day you find you turn on your new channel you see fashionably geeky scientists claiming to have theorized the string theory, explaining his multi billion dollar experiment to see dancing lights and the verification for his newly postulated amazing theory. You then go on appreciating and congratulating modern science and technology for this mind blowing discovery. You totally forget the free hit the guy under the tree gave you, you disregard the exact same explanation of creation and string theory you got for free. The result is the same. But one was biased because of its origins and other applauded.
Theoretical physicists do the same thing as ancient thinkers did sit in a place deduce the functioning of the universe. Stephen Hawking, never went into the milky way or travailed through a worm hole to write “A brief History of time”, “How come its widely accepted without concrete scientific validation. The only true validation his theories have are on paper with lots of equation created by him and his peers which no on else can truly understand. Its the exact same verification these indigenous scientists use. They have their theories and their methods to validate it.

I talk about traditional Indian sciences cause I am an Indian and I inclined to know more about Indian sciences. Indigenous sciences exist all over the world. The Mayans have awesomely accurate astronomical calenders long before our present space age systems. Cambodians built the Angor Wat without modern architectural principles or equipment.Malabari fishermen, Viking warriors and Arab traders traversed oceans and looking at stars and listen to the sea without modern satellite tracking or weather forecasts. They were better observes and scientists, they relied on what they observed and natural not on man made equations and machinery.I am sure every other country will have similar examples.

Modern or western science have turned into something they hated from the beginning. There is a fundamental set of beliefs. There are high priests and gods who made these beliefs. Experiments are rituals to instill their beliefs on others. They have a large number of followers, who with no understanding of what or how the specific are show undeniable faith to the scientific institute. Anyone opposing their beliefs need to be shepherded to their path, or they don't enter scientific heaven and need to be persecuted. Science has become a  Religion of fundamentalists.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Statistical Conundrum

Statistics is something I hate. I don't undervalue its importance but I hate the fact that everything around me can be statistically put in chart and bars and pies, From sales to fast food tastes, from TV channel ratings to divorce rates, from harry potter fans to poverty. Some how the corporate world has managed to filter everything in statistics. Its alright. Its a good way to put perspective on things. do things scientifically, we have equations and rules which will finally produce fruitful results. I believe not everything can be quantified, A romantic starry eyed girl would say love cant be quantified, I would also add emotions, likes dislikes, imagination , why I like Hardees better that Mcdonalds, Why a mallu who can survive with out his 4 o' clock chai but  will claim cappuccino as his favorite beverage. Wont this effect the factual value of beverage statistics.  I always think the experts conspire and give us superficial perspective of the pie chart. Anyway my disapproval doesn't bother anyone except me. So I thought I will apply their strategies to more interesting and controversial claims, so it will bother more people.

In the year 2006, 6000 students took their own life in India. They say that the numbers have increased in the following years and recently a bunch of experts are going to study this issue. The reason is exams, social pressure all relating to education and social pressure. I can empathize with these poor kids. The extreme competition and fierce expectations and most importantly the pointless cramming and unimaginative study material can make you want to kill yourself. Coming back to my point, the reason for these deaths are unquestionably our haphazard educational policy and of course the social stigma associated with anything below 80% on your report card. So statistically we have the cause and effect which none of the experts refute. Some where I read there are like 100 suicides per day. Serious rite.

(if you want proof or don't believe me,you can get the sources for my claims from these links
there is more... just Google)

Now lets get into another set of figures and graphed facts. Here goes 

In India 
Fatalities due to terrorist acts from 2000 to 2006 :899
Injuries due to terrorist acts from 2000 2006: 2,180

People who died instantly in Bhopal on 2-3 Dec 1984 from the Union Carbide gas leak: 1,700 . Even now we have enough scandals and sensational news coverage on this.

In the 2008 Mumbai attacks the deaths were 166 and injuries where 293. The most heinous attack and sige on the country by few brainwashed kids with no proper education took 166 lives.

H1n1 Moralities in India in 2009 is 1302. yes the global epidemic of 2009, who is lifting its head recently in India took 1302 lives in India. Everyone was fanatical, wearing masks, the tv reporters screaming government incompetence and people washing their hands every other minute, the sales records of dettol and lifebuoy was a all time high.

I tried to get stats and figures for cannabis related deaths. But couldn't find a one in India ,Apparently  the numbers provided for cannabis overdose in history was zero globally. 

The fatalities in the Sept 11 attacks count up to 2,976 fatalities excluding the 19 hijackers.

So the stats say that more kids killed themselves in one year than what some fanatical terrorists killed in six years. So statistically speaking isn't education more lethal than terrorism. Students die more from the strain of education than smoking cannabis in our country.(ahem!) More have killed themselves, because thay couldn't handle the strain of education and social pressure than the number of people killed because of the swine flu epidemic in India. The statistics show that. Ajmal Kasab is going to be hanged and the teachers and exams killing these students are safely sitting and hopefully reading this. I not justifying the actions of the terrorists neither I am telling anyone to smoke a joint instead of going to study. I am just pointing out statistics.

In an company most of the presentations and meeting start with the stats. Statistics come in every countries decision making routines. Statistics play a pivotal role in our civilization's development and progress. And yet I have managed to use the same statistics to criminalize our Education policy, put a inhuman terrorist in humane light comparatively, factually and by the numbers prove a criminalized narcotic herb safe, and turned a global epidemic into an innocent bystander compared to the suicide inducing history textbooks and lethal multiple choice entrance exams. The Americans waged a war on terror, destroyed Afghanistan, yeah they waged war on a country for half the number of student suicide victims in India in a single year. If George Bush was president of India would he have a “War on Education system” started.

 Well if we remove the figures and numbers out of this  train of logic then we get a totally different perspective. Recently the world and humanity have been living with statistics, from buying a mobile phone to getting a divorce. Everyone's practicality and ethics are ruled by figures, charts and the statistics of profit and gain. We forget to see some real facts and unquantifiable numbers.

There maybe ethical and logical defects in this example of reasoning, but if you can find any statistical loop holes do tell me, do tell me.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ocean's Five.

Heist movies. One of my favorite kinds. The suave,sophisticated conman/thief with all those small gadgets that get him the expensive diamond, while hanging through laser beams on a tiny pulley the size of a coin. Then there is the genius eccentric anti social who is an expert on everything from math to physics and sits back in his couch to dreams up the wildest way to steal a million bucks with a computer. Well I was a kid and very impressed. Even now,when education and maturity requires me to abhor thieves and con men I think they are really cool. Thanks to all those movies.
Being one of them was my long time ambitions. To get rich was an obvious motive and to be frank I wouldn't think about distributing it to the poor. Then maybe the actual purpose of this unique interest is just to stick up to the 'man'.
Well when I was younger all these intense self analysis never happened. And when the right( or wrong) friends got together. We planned a heist. It didn't take much of time to plan just convincing everyone was a little tedious. No one had any moral dilemmas. No one ever thought stealing is wrong. The problem was getting caught. Fear. I was with the guys who thought we could do it without getting caught. It took time to convince the gang and we were ready. Our target was a cassette. A tape. It was some Punjabi pop album. I wasn't much interested in the content. For me it was the idea that it can be done. And holy F**K !!! we are actually gonna do it. We were big revolutionists. Showing someone who is boss? 

There where issues. It was not going to be easy. The cassette was available only in one supermarket. Where the entrance was guarded by two security office. It was a crowded day. The plans included hiding the cassette in a cigarette packet. WE even got one and coughed a way through few when finally we realized that they might get us for the cigarettes underage smoking etc. Different versions of the cigarette packet idea went around which finally we canceled that direction of planning..After few curses and clever ideas, we came up with a brilliant confusing plan. Lets call him 'X'. X said that he will be th leading guy and the rest will cause enough distraction . 'Z 'and 'W “will get some soft drinks and we all will get out together while 'Y' pay for it. Z and W will also fight on whether to get some chocolate which Y will end by telling we don't have enough money. We will talk and laugh just loud enough and say silly jokes which everyone will like. X had to grab the cassette and push it in this crotch. I had to give him an 'all clear' signal for him to do this. For the plan every ones actions and timing had to be synchronized. We added some buffer time for unknown problems and glitches. Getting caught wasn't an option or part of the plan. We were ready. I would also like to point out that all this happened more than ten years ago. Long before Oceans eleven taught us how to run a large crew. We were pioneers then. Our plan Glorified our immoral intentions. We were the Oceans five. 

The mission started. We ran around walked around for sometime in the blazing sun. We had to look sweaty, tired and thirsty. Everything was in the looks. The uneducated smoking session really killed our throats and head. We were really thirsty and dried. With a casual air of carelessness we went in.We left our football with the security. With a moment spent in front of the magazine rack, talking about the pictures of cricketers we did a quick survey of the crowd. The music section was empty. X whistled an uninspiring tune and strolled towards it. Z and W went to the coolers. I slowly followed X. Y stayed abck at the magazine rack. My heart was uncomfortably fast. I played the theme for Mission impossible in the back of my head. Within a few minutes X spotted the cassette and gave me the signal, he was ready. I picked up another cassette and with the sway of a professional, scanned the surroundings. There was a lady standing in the opposite aisle. She couldn't see anything. A little improvisation would work. I walked towards her aisle angling myself in the clear zone,so that she could see me and X wont miss the signal. I gave another quick scan of the surroundings and “ WHOOPS!!!” I dropped the cassette I was holding. I emphasized the distraction with a louder “OH F**K!!” The lady looked at me. Any other bystander had his attention momentarily directed at me and in the corner of my eyes I saw X slip the cassette in the front of his pants. I noticed a grown and a frown on his face. His jeans where too tight. I think he must have damaged his equipment. Anyway I picked up the cassette looked at it for any damage and gave a sigh of relief and kept it back. X again whistled a carefree tine and walked towards the counter. Y, Z and W also played their parts well. The final statement declaring the shortage of money hinted at the success and nearing end of our operation.

We payed for the drinks but as soon X crossed to the counter towards the exit both the security guards tensed. Their relaxed eyebrows strained and curled. They looked at X, their gaze burnt a hole in him. If I wasn't dehydrated from the sun and the cigarettes I would have peed in my pants. Y fumbled with his wallet. I could see tears form in the corner of Z. W's legs were shaking. We are doomed. My life flashed in front of me. Now I saw the immoral side of the whole affair. The wrong I was going. Guilt. I could see the cops, my parents disappointed and disowning me,My teachers warning the other students not to be like me. I realized it was a good thing that I didn't have any female friends. Otherwise this would be the reason I would die a virgin. My life was over. I could say that my other accomplices felt the same.

One of the security guards stopped X and he pointed towards a corner. Oh no! They going to search him. Strip search!! We were right behind him. The money was paid the bill was printed. Now no chance of going back. I saw X walk cautiously towards the corner. The doomed corner, where my dignity and future would be taken away.X walked towards the corner and before the guards could say anything her tried to bend down. Something was wrong Why is he bending now.Are they going to search there too.What is this the airport? They didn't even ask. Was it common protocol, Do we have to bend down in a supermarket body search. The horror!!!!
X couldn't bent down. Something was stopping him.  Instead he did a small hop and passed our football lying in the corner towards W and said “Pick it up, I don't want to dirty my hands!”

I watched as the ball rolled towards W's hands, as the automatic door slowly revealed to us our freedom. I watch as X walked out in style and watched his sweaty fingers pull out a cigarette and light it. I watch as the rest of the gang pull out a cigarette each . I watched as my hands pull out a cigarette,felt my dry mouth trying suck enough smoke to blow it out as any cool thief would do. I realized we were free. I realized we were successful.Jackpot!

Pepsi was our champagne that day , we drank enough of it and sprayed the rest out in style. Z revealed that he couldn't bend down with the cassette in his balls. He was worried for a moment he will be caught while trying to get the ball. But his presence of mind saved the day etc. But let me tell you it was my brilliant plan. If that asshole didn't wear tight jeans, it would have been the smoother that a warm knife though butter.

I never listened to that cassette anyway. But it was a day. The day that we lived like true thieves. The risk fear and the guilt later on hindered any future plans. The guilt had seeped in during the small security guard confusion, but most of it reappeared and stayed when we thought of our actions. It was a bold day something no one we knew would do. It was a dangerous stunt. We actually stole something. We were dirty. Innocent and foolish but still dirty. We would have been slapped around by the guards, ashamed embarrassed in front of family and teachers. The pain. I was a criminal. Our culture, our education and even Gandhi would never let us do it again. But there was elation too. A sense of freedom, accomplishment. Something. I just cant put it in words. It was awesome. The elation of acquiring a whole music album for free. The joy of success , youth and freedom. I miss that day, however bad or immoral that was. Half a day spent memorably, stealing eight songs that I never listened to. It was awesome.

As all stories of good men and heroes go, the guilt and remorse over the act of stealing, committing a crime and declaring oneself a criminal made us better people. We decided we will be a good citizen. Our crew disbanded. The Oceans's Five was no more. Young minds changed, now recognizing good from bad.. The god given goodness in our hearts triumphed over the bitter temptations advertised by the devil. It was going to be a perfect world as in every story of good men and heroes go.

Reality Check! This is no perfect world this is not a story about goodness and heroes. This is a story about the real world. The Ocean's five laid low for few years. Then they started again,stole thousands of songs, movies, books, comics and of course porn. Welcome to the real world. Welcome to a society where petty crimes are socially acceptable. Welcome to the internet. Half a day's work, filled with excitement, tension and fear now replaced by a few minutes and a few clicks. There is no guilt, no remorse. The gigabytes of downloads replaced the uncomfortable plastic corners of the cassette poking in your genitals. The shame and taboo related with thieves now replaced with the a casual coolness of clicks and keyboards taps. This very second millions of thieves are downloading without a second thought. Congrats! We have morally legalized Petty crime!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Heroes Wanted

Heroes Required (Permanent Position)

We are looking for Heroes for our Country. This is a diverse field and we are interested in speaking to all interested candidates.
Job Duties: Be a Hero Save the Country, Usher in a new Revolution.
Requirements:Be an Indian and have Heart,Courage and good will.
Salary: None
Bonus : Pictures on stamps and future generations will read about you in text books and Wikipedia.
Relocation: India
Required Spoken Language(s):Choice of 25 Languages including English
Start Date:Immediately
Bonus points if you are a good citizen between the ages 20 to 50.
Politicians need not apply.

If this sounds like the OOAL (opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to gain glory and respect. And most importantly do GOOD) then we look forward to hearing from you! Please dont apply on-line. Just come over to India and start your work.

Hihihi.... Sometimes I am so funny.

Lets start with a question.

Give me the name for a present day hero?

I don't know what you will answer. Well I guess most Indians might give lots of celebrity names. Well I wasnt talking about movie stars or crickets who saved the match. I am talking about real life heroes that actually did something good, brave etc for a group of people a society or the country.

Maybe another question.

Do you have a personal hero?

Again I guess I will be given names of celebrities.

A young child has heroes... Batman!!!! He protects the poor and fights the villians, and he has a cool car.

A normal guy....Shahrukh Khan.!!!! He struggled from nothingness and is a big movie star rich and famous.. He dances with pretty ladies too.

My grandfathers hero is Gandhi. He is a true Gandhian too. A young child tries to be batman dressing up as batman, calling his brother robin,tying a long towel over his neck for a cape. My grandfather tries to be Gandhi. He wears khadi clothes, buys Indian goods only, Ahimsa is a big principle with him. And he was very active in community service, till old age really tied him down.
Now the average dude. He too tried to be his hero, dresses up like what the fashion gurus claim, get his hair cut in a similar fashion,buys celebrity endorsed products and tried really hard to live the lifestyle.

Did we go wrong somewhere? Don't we have any more real heroes. Are fairness cream selling heroes going to replace the pictures of Gandhi, Subash Chandra Bose or Bhagat Singh on our walls and text books. Or are they just part of the problem.

We open the news paper or the Tv, all we hear is about all the wrong things thats happening. We hear about people involved in corruption, politics and the villains. The villains. Our country has enough villians to start an 'All India Association for the Welfare of Villains and Villainy'. The deeds of these people can challenge even the most cruel comic book super villains. Our villains may not have super powers, but the certainly do mass murder, run big crime rackets , large scale extortion, huge financial frauds etc. They are super villians. So where are the super heroes. Forget super. Where are the heroes. Why isnt anyone crashing thought the dark night and kicking villain ass. Isnt there any super rich millionaire who can Protect the innocent. Uphold justice. Or are they all poor and sit home watch reruns of Shankar movies, where the hero does some good, when he gets time of from dancing with semi naked heroines. Or daydream. But dreamers sometime have the urge to do something. It would be so persistent, that he might force leave the comfort of his cricket matches and live his imagination. So lets dream without imagination. And lets stick on idealistic movie heroes. Forget the villains. Who cares if they do evil, it doesn't hurt me. Lets me buy that fairness cream so I will look fair, so the guy who doesn't have a house to live in and I don't look the same.

I think no one really cares. We live in no society now. We claim to be social beings. We dont care what happens to another person or what ever wrong is done to him unless it affects us. Do we? When was the last time you(yeah! You the reader) went out and stood against some form of oppression or injustice. Isn't that what defines a society.

Yeah WE all stopped our work and did a strike when WE didn't get our salaries on time, when OUR house owner forget to fill the water tanks WE fought with him,abused him. When OUR roads where full of garbage I signed a petition to the collector, But WE couldn't band together and clean it our selves. I made fun of the guy who suggested it, I told , I had a head ache. I just killed a hero in his 'origins' itself. When there was statewide Strike for some injustice OUR fellow countrymen was facing,I went to work in my company buses because I couldn't lose MY one day salary and MY foreigner corporate bosses might get upset and have to eat a pill more to keep their cool. I just sold out MY fellow countrymen so I could please and profit another country. I laughed and scorned at the progress hindering revolutions too.

Like I said its always I or ME not Us not the society not the country. Somewhere along the way the definition for society or civilization has been redefined as - people like me,who can bring me some gain. This is maybe why we don't have any heroes. There might be few heroes who we never hear about in the TV or the newspapers, who did something worthwhile with his life because the age of information doesn't believe in sharing news about greatness., about good or happiness.

We live in a time where the fortunate define their lives with what they can have which the unfortunate doesn't. A hero could change all that. We dont need one. We need more villains, who can manage and maintain the gap and boundary between the fortunate and the unfortunate. The villains can only make the fortunate feel good. They hide our crimes, they show misfortune and dirt from far away so we can feel happy and lucky. We need the villains to fuel our self worth and bank balances. A hero could empower the weak and the poor. He could usher in a revolution that could make every one truly equal and joyous. He could stand as a symbol, an idea, a standard with we can measure ourselves. But what will we do if everyone is as happy and fortunate like us. Wont a hero make us look bad. Wont a hero remind us that living is more than taking pictures and posting it on facebook and tweeting about the great time at the cinema. No we dont want a hero.

Will we ever have heroes again. Will I ever see one in my lifetime. Or will I just write a blog and have patriotic pride-gasms to satisfy my nationalist daydreams. I been talking so much, rubbing it in everyone's' faces,maybe I should be one. Why can't I be a hero? Can I?


At least I must be glad that there were heroes long back. I can tell to my grandchildren that my grandfather was a Gandhian, tell them that he lived in the age of heroes. And now heroes are extinct because of global warming and hunting.
Or maybe not.  

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


She didn't like anyone anymore. He opened her window wide. She stretched her hands and yawned. It was less of a yawn and more of a wail of frustration. She felt her muscles stretch, a cold prickly wave of relief took over her spine. She twisted her body and cracked her knuckles. Her friends wouldn't approve of this, it wasn't very feminine. It was anti-vogue. That's exactly why she did it. She removed her hair band and let the wind play with her hair. He looked down the 15 floors , and saw her friends, all dressed up and noisy filling up a car. It was a changing world around her. Her friends changed, the winds changed, thoughts changed, but she never changed. She understood it was all a war, a race to become someone else. She wasn't racing. But she was fighting to remain her self, to see the wind make love to her hair and not worry about the two hours or straightening , coloring and blowing her hair had to under go to mimic that actresses hair. She watched how the wind tugged at her curls, lifting it then dropping it, how it's invisible fingers brushed her hair and then like a little boy tangled it and finally blew it over her face.

Her phone beeped, she didn't look at it. It was her friends telling they are having a good time and maybe they could have hooked her up with someone handsome. She didn't want a hook up. She didn't understand what a hook up meant. Why would she? Like everyone else, she also dreamed of finding that person. Her real soul mate. But, unlike everyone else, she didn't stop looking and have a “hook up”. She didn't want to define her relationships by practicality or sensibility. She was a romantic and she will remain one. That is exactly why she stood here, gazing out of the window at the dusty smoke slithering through the streets. Dreaming. She had built her tree house here. The window looking down at this magical waterfall. Mist spraying over her lips, she would lick the sweet dew. The gushing blue waters drummed up a rhythm for the birds to sing. She could even hear little crickets chirping over the thunderous drums roll of the waterfall. The river would snake through the thick and alive jungle till it meets in the ocean. This was the river. This was her river, the river in which her soul mate would come. He would row his little boat of aspirations and adventure and steer it right into her magical cascades. She wouldn't settle for anyone else. She wouldn't any lover or part time romance to dilute this fantasy. She would make sure she deserved to live her fantasy. Her phone beeped again.

She checked her messages, it was her friend telling how much the other guy liked her gold eye liner. Fuck the eyeliner. Whats wrong with everyone she thought. She had to help her friend put her gold eyeliner for about one hour. Did Cleopatra use gold eyeliner. Yeah! Cleopatra also slept with thousand men. She remember something. The gold eyeliner was in her bag. She ruffled through her bag and found it. Golden eyes don't sound really good. The sun was golden, it makes the mountain tops golden. Even these gray concrete buildings which spread in her horizon would turn golden when the sun kissed its forehead. The stars were golden. Golden stars. She looked up in the inky sky. Not even one was seen. She looked down at the people walking not one person looked up. No one wanted to see the stars nowadays. Even if they did they wouldn't see any. The stars and heavenly bodies didn't matter anymore. The stars are the ones we see on TV and heavenly bodies are what stars have. But today some one is going to see some stars . She searched through her stationary and found a large piece of paper. Today she would be god. A goddess. She browsed through her drawers till she found a bottle of black paint. She was a goddess and now she will infuse this white and dull sky with the mystery and enigma of darkness. She poured the entire bottle of black paint over it. And with her hands spread the paint evenly covering the her canvas, her night sky. The might goddess conjuring the night with her dancing hand. With a hearty smile of self realization she started tearing the black paper into little pieces. She wondered why people changed so much? She wouldn't change. She was a rock, it would take years of weathering and erosion to change her. Years. Even thought things didn't work out for her. She was proud that she never let go of her ethics, and personality. She fantasized now what she fantasized ages ago. She was a queen then and she is a queen now. She had her palace built on a water fall with little blue fairies flying around now she waited in that same palace, as a goddess. She wouldn't settle for a puny mortal who likes gold eyeliners to share her little paradise with. She would only share it with a god. A god who has the power to let everyone else disappear, a god who could conjure up dreams,even in this dry deserts of imagination. She looked at the little pieces of paper she was tearing. A god who can catch these stars. She leaned and looked down at the streets, at the stream of unemotional superficial souls flowing over the tar and concrete, lifeless, ugly and lost.

She finished tearing up the black paper. Her sky. Now she will make her stars. She took out the eye liner and with the same intense smile, she started painting little stars. One each bit of paper. She left one side blank. For imagination. She sat there on the window's ledge painting. Each star she gave a name. “This is 'Jasmine eye'........ you are 'blue son' you want to be ' snake berry'....” a thousand names for a thousand stars. At some names she laughed at herself . Some were sweet, some a little naughty. But she kept painting those stars and giving them names. In the back of her occupied mind,s he could see herself sitting on the edge of the window and painting the stars. Pathetic. Is she saw someone doing the same she would be concerned. Was she out of her mind. She wanted to be. This was her rebellion. Her anger, her unheard mutiny with her life. Her silent escape. Her insanity.

She finished creating her stars. She watched all the people walking below her. She was still in her tree house. But the stars made it more divine, more spectacular more divine. She grabbed all of her stars. She imagined herself in those streets as hundreds of stars rain down her. For a moment she was there. When the stars hit the street. She hoped someone might appreciate it. Someone like her, who never forgot about how magical life was. She wanted to tell something, now. Maybe a poem, maybe some iconic verses, gods always said something. She couldn't thing of anything. Without further thought she hurled , her paper stars out into the streets. She closed her eyes, felt a little breathless. A certain helplessness, like everything else in her life, she lost control of her stars too. She imagined the stars spreading and glittering falling over the streets like an unexpected drizzle in the summer. She imagined how faces would suddenly lit up, when they see stars fall. No most of them wouldn't even notice it, and complain how people litter the streets. She opened her eyes , to face the truth. She didn't see the stars spread out, she didn't see it magically glittering. The bits of paper had got caught in draft of air, her luck. The little air devil lifted her stars and floated it away, If she squinted her eyes hard enough she noticed a glimmering ball caught in the wind. All her stars stuck swirling ball. The smile in her face was stiff, her hopes hadn't faded yet. She watched as the wind rolled up her paper stars and swung it around. It would hit the ground any moment now. Suddenly a wisp of smoke joined the swirling dance of her stars. Then she noticed someone. He was sitting on a bench and staring at her stars, Her smile relaxed, sparkled her eye. She saw her stars hover over him, gliding slowly, smothering him in sparkles. Life was magical for him. She saw him. She could feel his euphoria, feeding her ecstasy. She saw him raise his hand through the stars. She saw him feeling the stars fall over him, she saw him catching one star, immersed in this miracle, gazing into her creation. She knew it was ' beach dew', the first star she created.