Monday, 26 November 2007

Cast(e)ing a bad spell

Seriously, I thought I lived in modern India. At least in pockets where I could relate to. My kind of India definitely consists of urban, semi-urban, salaried, upwardly mobile, gym going, mall and multiplex visiting, thirty or forty somethings.

But what I recently heard was disturbing. No, no it was not the recent rioting over Taslima or the blasts in UP or some such important life-threatening, politico-economic scenario, but a rot, which has always been around and never been stemmed. It is something beyond our day to day concerns, but present in our chromosomes.


Here is this wife of a top bureaucrat who frequents a well-known gym in the city and demands that her place, towels etc be kept separate because she belongs to the upper caste! (hamara to bahut chhoot par vishwas hai----'I believe in untouchability'!)

She makes no secret of her caste (loudness is her second nature) and expects special treatment including being allowed to nap on her massage bed for an extra 15 minutes just because she belongs to the upper caste and is the wife of a senior bureaucrat in the city. Never mind if this eats into appointment time of any other gym client. She is definitely bad news for the poor gym attendants!

I have even heard she was stopped by the city traffic police because she had compelled her driver to speed through the no entry sign and go in the opposite direction of the traffic! The traffic constable had to warn the poor chauffeur and ask him to take some other route.

Somebody needs to tell her about diversity and the Indian Constitution. Maybe I shall take it upon myself and do it one day. Before that, I want to know if she is breaking the law by talking about untouchability in a public place. Won't it be gleeful seeing her with other convicts, pleading for a special cell!?

It is people like this take the country back several centuries. Time to change the Indian Genetic Code!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

God and mortals

I recently had the good fortune to meet Mr Kassim Ebrahim of Noor Culture Centre in Toronto. I was intrigued by the deftness with which he conducted inter-faith marriages. One eye-opener for me was the striking resemblance between Prophet Muhammad's prayer and the Lord's prayer.

Prophet Muhammad’s Prayer -- Arabic transliteration

Rabbu nal laa hooll lazee
Fiis samaa-ee
Takad dassus mukaa amrookaa
Fiis samaa-ee wal ardh
Kamaa rahma too kaa
Fiis samaa-ee faj al rahma taka fil ardh
Igh fee lana hoo bana
Wajaa taaya na anta rab-boot tayib-bina
Anzil rahmatan mir rahmateka

Prophet Muhammad’s Prayer -- English translation

Our Lord, thou are the one who is in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thine is the command in heaven and on the earth
Even as Thy mercy prevails in heaven
So, let Thy mercy prevail upon the earth
Forgive us our sins and failings
Thou art Lord of the righteous
Send down mercy from Thy mercy


The Lord's Prayer--

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. for ever and ever.
Amen


If anyone has more comparisons with prayers of other faiths, please contribute. We shall in our own small way, take the wind out of the sails of those who propagate religio-sectarian politics at the local, regional. national and international levels.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Return journey

As I had mentioned about my interest in previous births and re-incarnations, I had the opportunity to read a strange and intriguing book by Dr Brian L Weiss called 'Many Lives, Many Masters'.

Dr. Weiss is the author of several top selling books based on his experience as a psychiatrist and healer.In his first book, Many Lives, Many Masters, he vividly describes the insights of a young patient named Catherine. She came to important realizations about the circumstances of her life today and the intricate thread of previous beings within her experience.

The book goes into details about Catherine who after hypnosis could recall as many as 88 previous lives. Enthralling book, had never read anything of the sort before.

He has a new book now called 'Same soul, many bodies'. Must be readable too.

For more details please visit http://brianweiss.com/

Monday, 19 November 2007

The Middlemen

At my age, I know of enough men going through a mid-life crisis and enough wives of such men trying to put up with as much nonsense possible.

For such afflicted men and their tortured wives, I stumbled upon a website named www.midlife-men.com

I know of one wife who subcribed to the newsletter of this site in her hubby's email address. What needs to be known is whether he opens these emails and goes through them and whether he at all will admit he is going through such a crisis in the first place!

One has perhaps heard the proverb: 'You can take the horse (or the donkey??, I forget) to the water but you cannot make him drink'....Sigh!

Some clear favourites

When I am not trying to juggle my dreams, anger, frustration and aspirations all at the same time, here are somethings I like to spend time with:

1. Hit oldies (music and songs like Lara's Theme, Old Summer Wine, Where do you go to my lovely, Carpenters, Cliff Richards and others of the same genre)

2. Bollywood (SRK, SRK , SRK): In my eyes, he can do no wrong (God help me! but can any man ever be perfect??) I shall wait to be disillusioned about him. AND all his movie songs! Ah and of course the huge camaraderie between him, Farah Khan and Karan Johar. How wonderful to have friends and colleagues who contribute to each others' success and the perfect understanding they work with. To die for!

3. Contemporary South Asian authors in English: Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Jhumpa Lahiri, Arundhati Roy, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Monica Ali, Khalid Hosseini and others of the same ilk.

4. Business (State of the economy): Uselessness of x and y percent GDP growth if it is not linked to number of people lifted from below the poverty line. Information, of the sort would anyway be government-fudged--so no use trying to fight for it. An independent agency to measure this phenomenon would probably be the answer, but who shall pay for the truth to come out?

5. Lifestyle : Just to make living a bit easier.

6. Ralf Fiennes before his infamous aircraft loo trip.

7. Innovative marketing gimmicks.

8. Travelling across the world.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

West to East--We are like this only

For me, T N Ninan is the only editor who believes in calling a spade a spade, without rhetoric or sabre rattling. His crisp and simple story telling style only reflects his clarity of thinking and his ability to incisively comment on issues without pontificating. Stating mere facts without the drama. Cutting the crap, but getting the point across.....

His recent take on the Nandigram issue has been very deftly dealt with. Lets raise a toast to this vanishing tribe of editors with moral turpitude. For more funda on this, please read:

http://www.business-standard.com/common/storypage_c.php?leftnm=10&autono=304536

Globe or goldfish bowl?

I recently read a magazine which says that blogging is a form of narcissism. I wondered why?

Reading it cleared my doubts. You have a chance to be I, me, myself (what ecstasy!) to the whole world or whoever cares to read your views and perceptions, about this and that!

I have a slightly different take on it. I want to blog for entirely selfish reasons. When the double standards of the world get to be too much, andI want to get it out of my system, I want to blog. Vent my ire and anguish about what's wrong with the world and sometimes my joy at something really heartwarming that has come my way.

Something like the Indian queens of yore who used to use 'kope bhawans' (anger rooms) where they would vent their spleen about wrongs done to them. Lets says blogging for me is 'cope bhawan' when I try to cope with my stress or raise my voice against it.

But rabble rousing is just a part of my hobby. I gravitate towards psychics, future tellers, previous births, but I am God fearing, and understand the distinction between right and wrong. I shall begin my journey into the fourth decade of my life soon. (My Dad used to say I was born 40, so I guess my real age should be 80!). It s my ability to look through people and their hidden agendas that keeps me afloat and still illusioned (what's that?) with life.

I hope all who choose to read this sometimes eccentric sometimes ascerbic, mostly tongue in cheek, stoic posts keep returning to see what's new in my world.