Category Archives: Just Rambling

Good Bye

I thought about this very hard.
I think this is the right decision.

I have become increasing annoyed with this pile of bullshit which I make you read every fortnight. I cannot do it any more. I want this blog extinct, or at least dormant. Henceforth, I am not going to waste my time on this blog. It is a painful farewell to all my readers. Sorry guys! And thanks for being an awesome bunch of readers.

There are many things which prompted me to do this. First of all, I have better things to do now. Secondly, I think my writing quality has been deteriorating of late. Thirdly, I have what I’ll call a writer’s topic block. Whenever I think of writing, I can think of no other topic but some of my old memories or whatever bland things are going on in my life. It has become so monotonous even for me.

Maybe I will regret this and come back some day. But today I am feeling no regret on shelving my blog. What I will really miss will be you readers. But who knows what is in store for us? I may be back a year later for all that matter.

So this is it guys. No turning back from now.
I take the Blue Pill.
So long…Farewell…Auf Wiedersehen…Good Bye

Chuck it out, India!

Disclaimer:
1. I am not trying to be patriotic here.
2. I am not trying to preach here.
3. All I’m trying to do here is to be honest.

I saw “Chak De India” yesterday. Too late to write about a movie which was released almost a month ago, you may say. But who said I’m going to write only about the movie? This post is about some of my musings after watching the movie.

The movie kept intruding into my thoughts for quite some time after I finished watching it, not allowing me to think clearly about anything else. This has happened so many times before, whenever I watched a movie which was educating or expressing. Entertaining movies, even when its storyline remains in memory, won’t haunt me like the other two. Haunt…it is literally the word which best expresses my feeling after watching the movie.

“Chak de” is the typical sports movie which is completely predictable, has several moments of adrelanin rush and where underdogs come out big. But more than that, it mentions (sometimes highlighting, sometimes as passing comments) several shortcomings of the wonder that is India, starting from the suppression of women, to the tepid acceptance of the people from peninsular India and the North East, to the media playing the devil and ruining one man’s life.

Two initial scenes struck a chord for me:
1. The scene where the North-Eastern girls, Mary and Molly ask “Does it ever feel good to live as guests in one’s own country?”
2. The scene where the guy comments that Tamil and Telugu are the same.

(RNI) RESIDENT NON-INDIANS
Now, feeling alienated in a place where you have spent your entire life, is not new to me. I am an Iyer, a person of Tamil ethnicity, but nevertheless a Keralite.
We are a small community of Tamil-speaking people who have been in Kerala for generations. (Like… from my great-great-great-great-great grandfather.)
We have been in Kerala our entire life, we have learnt Malayalam, we follow the culture of Kerala. We are in most rights Malayalees, with some added culture and customs of Tamil.
Yet we are neither accepted as Keralites in Kerala, nor as Tamilians in Tamil Nadu.
My Malayalee “friend” (or is he, really?) calls us “Paandi” (A not-so-nice term for a Tamilian), and say we don’t belong there. I can speak and write better Malayalam than him. I’ve often found it amusing when a shopkeeper tries to communicate with us in half-Tamil, even if we talk to him in fluent Malayalam, as if we didn’t know that language well.
Tamilians often make fun of the corrupted Tamil which we speak at home.
Some dudes/dudettes from our community call themselves KBCT (“Kerala Born Confused Tamilian” after “American Born Confused Desi”) just to show off that they are cool. (Or is it “kewl”?)

LIKE PEAS AND CARROTS
About the ignorance of North Indians about anything south, I guess the ignorance is mutual. We too don’t know much about North, except perhaps from the history books. But knowledge is not the factor here. You can get the knowledge any time. Many North Indians look at us with a kind of fascination as if we are some exotic people. I think this mostly is a resultant of the difficulty of South Indians to talk Hindi properly, which prevents a Northie and a Southie from mingling as much as two Northies do.

The casual questions that my colleagues ask me mostly pertain to:
1. How Kerala has a lot of Christian population
2. How come I don’t eat meat. They thought all Keralites were non-vegetarians.
3. A fascinated musing on the high literacy rate of Kerala.
4. Making fun of the heavily accented English of most Mallus.
5. Whether I know how to climb coconut trees (Duh!)

I myself have asked questions to Northies which might have sounded really stupid to them. I’m not blaming anyone here. I’m just wondering, and marveling at the sheer complexity of the Indian society. Like peas and carrots, as Forrest Gump says. They really go together well, but not quite.

I learned the what and why of “Unity in diversity” in India in my history lessons. But I still don’t know the answer to the How! That’s why India is a miracle to me. All Indians are bonded in the eyes of an outsider, albeit being a very loose one, but inside, it’s just a mob.

PATRIOTIC PEOPLE
Few comments I heard from some friends and the media about the movie, almost made me laugh. The media and the vast majority of youngsters are just as predictable as the movie. For some, it was a movie that every patriotic Indian should watch. But for others, it was a movie made with the exact ingredients of a money-making movie. There was little or no third opinion.
These are the same people who have debates about India over a cup of coffee.
They can be broadly classified into two. One group, where people feel immensely proud to be an Indian, and show that only by sending SMS/Forwards which ask you to forward this to 10 people if you are a “true” Indian, blogging and proclaiming that you should watch this movie if you are a “true” Indian. I was one among them, posting once about a youtube video right here in this blog. I have moved on realizing that knowing your India is not enough, you should move your India forward.

The other group, think that India is going to the gutters, and there is no way they can stop it. So they should also live their life in the little time India has left to stay out of the gutters. Who the hell cares about India? They care only about themselves. I don’t even want to talk about this group. The reason is not their selfishness, but rather their pessimism about India.

Still, I wonder whether a patriot is someone who watches/reads about and relishes some patriotic deed done by characters in a movie.
I read a review which said that Chak de is a must watch for every patriotic Indian. What the hell does that exactly mean? How does a binary deed, that either you watched a movie or didn’t, dictate your Indianness?
While I completely agree that Chak de, or Rang De Basanti for that matter, will invigorate the love for your country in you, be honest in telling me how long does that vigor stand? One month? Or maybe two… Then after a hiatus, someone else again makes another movie, and again another round of discussions, blogs etc. go on babbling about how proud they are to be Indian.
I’m not blaming their pride. I’m blaming the ephemeral nature of their pride, which stays only in their words, and not their deeds.

People will now counter saying that this is as patriotic as a civilian can get. We can never be as good a fighter as those great people who took beatings and those who died for our country. But I’m not talking about fighting against corruption, black money and blah blah here. Those are strenuous territories to tackle. Rather, do something at the grassroots. There are much easier things that you…me…we can do, and be patriotic. A patriot (and this is not a wordweb definition) is someone who does something good for the country, or his society. And sending SMS/Forwards is not doing any good.

We can keep our surroundings, if not our city, clean. Even if it is not clean, don’t mess it up further, uttering that old engineer guy’s seemingly bright phrase, “infinity plus one is still infinity”. You can be the lone good guy in traffic without breaking traffic rules, even if it means you are taking more time to travel. A single person army cannot improve things by following rules. But do you know what it does? It will give you a sense of satisfaction that even if you’re not doing something great, you’re not worsening the situation. Does it do any good? Yes it does. Humans have this amazing nature of imitating others. After all, we were evolved from monkeys. What you do, your friends (whatever meager fraction it is) may start doing tomorrow, their friends on the day after that.

People who do these and more, are the everyday patriots. We have a fire inside us. We just have to sustain it with splinters. I can also say that you will get occasional fuel from movies.
All I wanted to convey here is that remember, talk your talk, and work your work in your India every day, instead of remembering only when “patriotic” films are released.
Now for the title. Apart from being a pun, I meant that we should chuck out our bullshitting, our bland talks and do something worthwhile, for our country. However minuscule it is, doesn’t matter. And if you got it inside you, go for better deeds.

JUST DO IT, INDIA

PS: Oh, and the movie… It’s good. Go watch it.

Wake up, Babble, Good Night

Whenever I start posting nowadays, I’m reminded of my friend K who was a king of sleeping in class.
There was one incident in college that is so mirthful that even today my ribs will be on the verge of cracking due to uncontrollable laughter, when I think of it.

In a particular lecture, K, being one who loved feigning attentiveness, was in the front row, center. I was somewhere in the second row in a corner. (because I didn’t get a seat in the prestigious LLB; (League of Last Benchers) I was too late) Midway through the class, I noticed that K was sleeping with his mouth open. (That too in the front row). It was amusing the way his head was bobbing, his hooked nose drawing doodles in thin air. After a few moments, gravity got the better of his subconscious head, and his head meandered too far to the front. He woke up, startled by the sudden jerk of his head. Then, to hide his embarrassment, he started making some fake calculations in air using his index finger. This was followed by an expression of comprehension of some higher realms of the concept being explained on the blackboard.
But before I could blink my eye, he was back into his slumber; his index finger had stopped in mid-calculation and was up in the air, pointing towards the blackboard. His head was bobbing back and forth once again. An uncontrollable fit of laughter erupted inside me. I tried to curb it, but hey, it was uncontrollable, wasn’t it? It resulted in a weird noise, which was more like an elephant’s trumpeting.
“Yes? You have any questions?”, asked the lecturer.
“No sir. It’s just my..er…cold.”

You might be asking what this has to do with my blog. My blog is quite like K, don’t you think? I go into hibernation, then suddenly a babble comes out as a post, then I again go into hibernation.

Friends Forever?

I had never seen the last season of “Friends” completely, albeit being a big fan of the series. The stupid jokes of Chandler, the I-want-a-girl-on-a-bread ideal of Joey, mental-case Monica, kinky Phoebe, confused Ross and “daddy’s girl” Rachel. All were so unique and so together.

I saw the entire last season on DVD last weekend. And now I wish I hadn’t seen that. Not because it didn’t make me laugh, but because it made me cry. It turned out to be a “sitcry” for me rather than a sitcom.
I just couldn’t bear the six energetic friends separating, because they were running after their own lives. I couldn’t bear to see the helplessness of Joey towards the few last episodes. Reminded me of the scene in “Dil Chahta Hai” where Saif Ali Khan looks helpless when his friends part their ways.
I broke down into tears. (And I’m not embarrassed to say that!)

There are some things in this world which are very important. Friendship, bravery, courage to face any obstacles in life. Family and friends are very important for me. Perhaps, that’s why I cried.

I’ve had lots of “friends” (My mom reckons its a truckload), ‘had’ with emphasis, because I’m not in touch with several of them.
Why did this happen?
Was something wrong with me?
I contemplated. I asked my own mind.
Was there a problem with me?
I didn’t think so. There wasn’t. The problem was with everybody.

I would do most things for my friends. “Anything” would a hyperbole. I am yet to find a human being who is 0% self-centered.
That was the problem!
The answer was already known. There are no unassuming people in this world. At least, none that I’ve met. (Of course you have to exclude your immediate family; they may be unassuming towards you, but not to an outsider.) People (including me) consider their own benefits before even thinking about anything else.

I am not trying to preach here; but I keep on thinking about these things every now and then. Maybe a tad of selfishness is necessary in today’s world. I’m not here to debate that. But I think we are missing something in the rat race for a better career and caring about self.

Can I live without friends? Answer is an absolute NO.

Republic Day

Well! This change in topic is partly because I want to break the monotony in the previous few posts. Better put, Republic day was the perfect alibi for me to change topic.


I started loving the Republic day right from my childhood, not mainly because of patriotism (Not that I’m not patriotic).
One reason was that it was a holiday.
Second and the main reason was that there was this republic day parade telecast live on TV. It was indeed a treat to see the soldiers marching to the tunes of the bands and tanks, missiles, helicopters and fighter planes zooming past.

The entire parade takes place in the main vista of the India Gate in New Delhi. India Gate was constructed to commemorate the Indian Soldiers who died in 1st World War and the Afghan Wars. The names of the soldiers who died in these wars are inscribed on the walls.

I always feel a surge of energy going through my nerves when I see this. I wanted to be a soldier. I had this desire in one corner of my mind, but never got the determination to be one.
First thing, I am not that healthy and muscular. They would chuck me out of the NDA the moment I enter.
Secondly, of course, my mother was absolutely against the concept of me being a soldier. “You are a brahmin”, she’d say, “You don’t have enough nerves to be a kshatriya (warrior)”.

Pondering on that, I doubt whether it were those vehicles of destruction which enthralled me. No. It was a different feeling. A feeling of pride on being born in my motherland. This Republic day was just a splinter which would rekindle the fire back to its grandeur.

Reminds me of the sanskrit adage

Janani Janmabhumischa Swargatapi Gariyasi

which means “Mother and Motherland are greater than heaven”

Love you mom…
Love you India….

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I know it’s 11 hours past the New year eve now. Nevertheless I would like to wish all my fellow readers a very fantabulous 2006. May this year be the best in life for you.

At 0000 hrs on 1st Jan 2006, I was driving through MG Road after seeing my brother off at the train station. And I was awed by the crowd that had gathered there. The entire Brigade Road was closed for traffic to accomodate the crowd gathered to celebrate there. Pity… I missed that party.