Why Write?!

writing

Why not?!

I: ‘I love black.’

They: ‘Blue is better.’

I: ‘I feel she is capable.’

They: ‘Not necessarily.’

I: ‘The movie was more or less dictatorial.’

They: ‘It’s acceptable.’

You might by now understand the gist of the whole play at hand. At a time, where there’s more noise as opposed to substance; where, hashtags dictate and define what popular notion is; and, where one follows suit and tends to accept what is being thrown at. The whole idea of putting down her/his thoughts down on pen and paper is perhaps the only best alternative towards breaking a stereotype of this stature.

In times present, where listening stands as the underrated sibling to shout outs; where, irrationality trumps rationality, it’s not everyday that you get to finish with what you started stating. When you write, you open up. You tend to contemplate; introspect and, retrospect. When you finish, you realize that you’ve moulded your thoughts. And, when you finally publish it, you realize you’ve made yourself heard. The idea of writing should not be curtailed by the 140 character limit as dictated by Twitter, for, one needs to breathe in words by the bulk and volume for expression and for bringing out its soul in its purest sense. It should also not be directed by the likes of craving for acceptance on Facebook, but rather, it should be said and left then and there without the presumption of gaining mileage.

The motive for written text is purely that of self expression. It lets your train of thoughts reach the finish line. Nobody dictates to you as to where to pause and punctuate and, where to place your periods.

And, nobody ever should.

It’s Acceptance! Not Equality!

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Yes, indeed! But, in ways that differ.

This week, women and men the world over took up the cause for gender equality  up, close and in certain cases, very personal. Women’s Day had arrived yet again! Hallelujah! But was it here to stay? The bitter truth is most obvious. An optimistic ‘Yes‘ and a doubtful ‘No‘ would be the most apparent answer in the present tense. In view of the United Nations effort to bring about a change and, to champion the cause for gender equality, it had launched its campaign for ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality‘ under the watchful eyes of the UN Women; the organization’s entity that looks into the cases for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Prior to a recent panel discussion that I was fortunate to have participated in, which, revolved around the theme as highlighted above, I had a round of insightful dialogues with my fellow colleagues,  teammates and, those within my peer groups. These primarily included the self driven, self nurtured employed women who belonged to categories such as the ‘married’, the ‘to be married’ and, to the ‘I have no clue what’s going on here‘ kinds. The question that I had put forward to them mostly revolved around as to what stopped them from moving further and to run head to head with their male counterparts. And, in the majority of cases, what I’ve noticed was a far out cry, not for the cause of equality, but rather for a state of acceptance of the individual that they represent; for respect; for kindness; for politeness. I have felt that this is also the true underlying principle that gets overshadowed in the very act of feministic views which, in recent times under the advent of extensive role that social media has to play, has been taken in for a ride.

Equality by itself, by definition, is a dangerous term to be put forward, especially in cases involving the sexes. Under the present context we see the two sexes being portrayed as two powerful opposing forces. I for one, is of the strong notion that the cause for equality without the traits of consideration and acceptance is a recipe fit for disaster in the longer run. The reason I believe that gender equality has taken up centre stage in many a cases is because that it can win you elections. As plain as that. It can be termed as the icing on the cake, the cherry on top or the well fabricated halo that seals a book of propaganda, which ever way you wish me to say it. The bedrock of the issue is that, we as a society have invariably and saddeningly have forgotten the act of interaction; of conversing and of actually listening through all the noise that is being played about.

The equality of the sexes cannot be considered on the same tasks at hand. Yes, it does depend upon the individual in person, but things which men are good at cannot be in all cases be replaced by women and the same goes the other way round. I say this with utmost due diligence and respect for both parties at hand. For, a mother can never be replaced by his/her father and in the same way a mother cannot be the best replacement for her/his father. The keyword here is not equality, but acceptance. Feminism is a powerful force in itself but, it should not be channelled in ways by which roles have to be taken up in one’s individual capacity but should be channelled effectively in cases of injustice, mistreatment and, cases of abuse against women in it’s righteous form and principle. And, as an evolving society it is an absolute necessity to listen and not just be heard.

One sees what she/he looks for.

 

My Review: Animal Farm.

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

– Animal Farm.

First published by George Orwell on 17 August, 1945; I believe I made the greatest injustice of them all for having picked it up in the recent weeks past. This can perhaps be best termed as a satirical novel in certain terms; if such a genre exists at all. Without giving much into the overall gist of the book, George Orwell seems to exhibit his sheer brilliance as a writer for the simple and lucid manner in which he takes a dig at the Stalinist era that prevailed in Russia at the time and at the Russian Revolution of 1917 in general.

It’s one of those reads that keeps you completely pinned down to the book right from the very start with an air of promise all throughout. What bewilders the reader the most and that what continues to do so, is how the author resurrects faith in the whole idea of storytelling. If you’re the type who fancies the use of flamboyant vocabulary, then you might detest this; for, the grade of language used here is in a way, down to earth and with the real emphasis being laid on making the reader understand the message that the author tries to convey and open up his/her eyes to the light of truth which he sees rather than pay much heed to the rustling of leaves and the gentle lash of tides against the shores with a poignant air of melancholy to it. Well under 200 pages in all, it doesn’t take much, before you swift past the finish line. But, what that truly enthrals you in the end is how Orwell effortlessly manages to make you see through everything that is at play even before it eventually unfolds up in your mind.

In short, it’s all hands down in praise for George Orwell’s, Animal Farm. This is one aspect that finds a true reflection across all spectrums of society. Perhaps, the only lot that might not feel binding to be appreciative of this would be the former that I had made mention of earlier or the ones with a pro Stalinist outlook. Either way, it is certainly a must read for all ages, shapes and sizes, for, as the book rightly points out, man is but, nothing short of a beast in it’s rawest thoughts.

– Hee-Haw!

Shooting ‘Stars’!

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Your Honor, but!?

What exactly had been said:

For the last six to eight months, there has been a growing despondency, I would say. Kiran (wife Kiran Rao) and I have lived all our life in India. When I sit at home and talk to Kiran, for the first time she said, ‘Should we move out of India?’ Now that’s a very disastrous and a big comment to make to me.

What happened next was unprecedented. The actor, Aamir Khan, had become the most sought after discussion on social media news feeds and, yet another scapegoat for media houses nationwide. His statements had been in many a places misquoted, misinterpreted and served as a mouth watering appetizer for millions. What followed further were aggressive debates, discussions and so called ‘in depth’ analysis as to what the actor ‘might have’ intended. All of this in turn only strengthens, the actors remarks on the state of growing intolerance in the country that seems to be on the boil with each passing day. The statement that was made was only a concern that had been raised in public. He had never made a mention that he was indeed leaving the country nor does it point out to any anti national comments in any regards. But, the disastrous means by which reporters of various news channels had misconstrued his statements for rise in viewership is nothing but a new low as far as the ethics of journalism in this country is concerned. This indeed had been many a times highlighted; be it the case of the Nepal earthquakes earlier this year, or the disastrous turn out of poll predictions for the Bihar elections of 2015.

Earlier this week, in an interview that the Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani had given to Barkha Dutt; she was asked to layout her thoughts on these statements made by the actor, to which she had responded stating:

Aamir Khan is a brand ambassador for tourism in our country – Incredible India – and that what’s incredible…that he can be a brand ambassador for our government and he can be on a platform in front of the Information and Broadcasting minister (Arun Jaitley) and speak his mind shows that free speech thrives.

With all due respect madame Minister, but, the way in which the whole situation was allowed to spiral out to such extremes has in itself, a scent of intolerance in every step of the way. But, what is more ‘incredible’ is the fact that how an individual who had filed false documents pertaining to her educational qualification still continues to hold on to her portfolio as a cabinet Minister in New Delhi. And, more bizarre was how the reporter had never touched upon these topics for the chance she had for this said interview. This again, reiterates how journalism is more or less being streamlined alongside those issues that are currently in trend in the present tense.

Aamir Khan is perhaps, the latest in a series of celebrities from the film fraternity who had been targeted for speaking his mind out. But, if this is the plight of individuals who hold such esteemed positions in society, it is rather easy to value the voice of the ordinary citizenry. Times have turned around so much so that, the Prime Minister of this country is eligible to carry out his ‘Mann Ki Baat‘ on national radio, unquestioned; and the rest finds themselves in a position were they cannot. There is certainly no doubt that there is an air of intolerance prevailing in the country. But, the manner in which facts are distorted and how news feeds are tailored to suit the taste of the end user is bound to have disastrous implications in times to come.

– Breathe.

A Date with, Hypocrisy.

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We stand by you Paris. None the less.

A summary of what exactly had transpired on the 15th of November, 2015:

  • 21:20 CET: A series of well orchestrated and planned terrorist strikes rips apart the heart of Paris, France.
  • 21:21 CET: The whole world takes notice.
  • 21:22:00 CET: Mark Zuckerberg does his part by putting up a brand new photo filter. What else can the man do? He had to do something, right? Admit it. Facebook isn’t as cool as it once was. He had to do something! He had to cash in. And, he did.
  • 21:22:01 CET: My entire news-feed page gets soaked in blue, white and red. They had to follow suit. How can they not?!
  • 21:23 CET: Modi tweets! A million others re-tweet!

In the end, around 120 innocent lives were lost; leaving many others wounded.

My question here, is as to why only the rich kids, in the block always seem to garner all the attention? Earlier this year, when Paris was previously attacked by the same terror outfit; that had claimed many a lives, on account of the clashes in views with the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the media was on a rampant reporting spree. What went unnoticed however, was how, another faction of such extremists, the Boko Haram with ideologies that are in parallel with those of it’s Paris counterpart had carried out a massacre of almost 2000 people in Nigeria. The world went unnoticed. Nobody bothered to paint their faces with the Nigerian national flag or no media bothered to report the state of affairs in that country. The simple reason being that, Nigeria sadly wasn’t ‘sexy‘ enough for mainstream media or for it’s viewers as a whole.

The same can be sited for the state of turmoil that had gripped South East Asia, where, a number of Muslims living as minorities were beheaded and massacred in cold blood by radical Buddhist Monks in Burma. Such riots and genocides have been a ritual taking place in that country for as far back as 1997. No one bothered. None. Then, why this special status for Paris? My argument should not be misunderstood with the view that terrorist strikes or any activity for that matter, that violate basic Human Rights should not be condemned. But, opposed to this, I argue that all such, should be condemned and responded to, equally on a war footing, as in the likes of Paris, as it is happening now.

Examples, such as these are in abundance, if one simply turns his/her gaze on to the African continent where millions upon millions die and perish each year. Are these breaking news anywhere? No. Did Facebook come up with a filter? No. Is this the definition of Hypocrisy? Yes.

– Look around Paris. You’re not alone.

25

Oh Homer! That feel!

Oh Homer! That feel!

Dear Conscience,

How have you been? I should’ve returned your call sooner than later. I deeply apologize; I really do. This perhaps is the first time I’m returning you a reply despite your repeated knocks at my doorstep. I write this out to you as I stand here at the cusp of realization; as an adult whom I would say has lost his way traversing the well trodden path rather than cult one up for himself. One among-st the many. Yes, I agree; ironic indeed. I sit here, brooding over all that you had whispered to me over these years past. Of all those thoughts you’ve shared, of all those times when you’ve asked me to hold back and those times where you’ve asked me to fire away. But, in all those moments, I fear, I’ve failed you miserably. I should’ve not. Retrospection, rather than regret would be a more apt way of viewing my reconciliation towards you. I would like to let you know that I now hold you in the highest of my regards, just like those many voices like mine who’re gearing up to treat you the same as they turn 25 this year and in years to come.

The shout outs of a 25 year old is in every way, a very lone voice of descent. He shouts his lungs out but, none to lend him an ear. He stumbles, but none, to pull him back up. He becomes an idol of not worship, but rather of mockery and sarcasm. His every step, his every move, scrutinized for reasons most bizarre. The longing for a voice as surreal as yours to take up a form in person is immense. It’s not a question of a choice of good over evil but more of a question of right over wrong, for in most cases what is good needn’t always necessarily be what is right. The mind is troubled indeed. It lacks the sense of direction it once had.

I write this out to thee, to where ever is it that you may reside to lend me an ear, to pull me out, to idolize my very train of thoughts, to galvanize it from whatever it is that may turn it to rust.

Truly your’s.

On the Question of the Sexes.

Yes, she can.

Yes, she can.

A point in time where opinions and remarks can get easily twisted, and where social judgments can be made to sway in favor of viewer-ships for mainstream media houses; this, probably is one of the most touchy topics of the present age; second only to those on the grounds of theology, perhaps. The question that I would like to pose is not on who’s getting it right and who’s not; but, rather on the very question on the idea of the ‘equality of sexes‘, for, I find that it lacks a sense of conviction and a direction as far as gender equality is concerned. In most debates and discussions on the acts of sexist views and on the grounds of equality we find individuals fighting it out to make themselves heard and mixing up the discussions with their personal emotions of hurt or despair rather than highlighting as to what the course of action needs to be.

My question is rather very simple, and straight forward. Equality literally translates to ‘the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities’; this is what Google had to say and, I believe it has a point there. Ironically, I feel that this is not the case when it comes to gender perhaps. Why? I’ll quote a small instance for example, to validate my point. In every hostage crisis that takes place, what do you think is the first demand put forth by authorities to strike a common ground? Does this ring a bell? As always, the demand would be to first let go of the women and children who are held captive. But, why ‘women and children‘? Why not men and children for a change? I mean, Isn’t that the very essence of equality, as to what Google teaches us? Isn’t this pure broad day light discrimination on the grounds of the sex to which one belongs to? In literal terms, yes (mind you, I said literal). The argument that would be posed immediately by those opposed to this would be the fact that, men are physically and mentally more prepared to handle the trauma that would unfold in such crises than women are. The counter argument that I would like to pose in response to this would then be on the question of the demand for reservations for women in the armed services of this country where, the argument raised by the same individuals revolve around the lines that women are in no way subordinate to men in terms of carrying out tasks which is demanded of them. This can be in all terms treated as hypocrisy, none the less. Such double standards do not go hand in hand, if a consensus has to be attained.

The ad that you’ve seen above was part of Del Monte Ketchup’s 1953′s ad campaign. The gist of the campaign was to highlight the fact that their new bottle of ketchup’s were far easier to open up as in comparison to the conventional ones at the time. This had invoked a lot of hysteria at that time (as what sources from the internet points out) stating that theirs was a campaign of sexist vandalism. Agreed. But, not during the 50’s perhaps. I would agree to this notion if this ad had been released in the present times, where women are more well versed with opening a bottle of beer with their bear teeth than men are, which is a good sign (mind you, on the context of opening a bottle, not turning alcoholic ). The point I wish to make over here is that times are changing, and fast. But, so needs the quality of arguments. Acts such as undermining the achievements of Dr. Matt Taylor, the brainchild behind the Rosetta mission and the scornful media outrage and spats against him for wearing an offensive t-shirt are not worth appreciative. These can be bluntly stated as shout outs for garnering attention by isolated so called ‘feminists’ who portray themselves as advocates of female rights who wished to be heard and those who later joined the chorus and later on promoted by media houses owing to its ‘trending’ status.

Social injustice exists. I have never said no to that. I have not touched the topics of rape, molestation and other forms of injustice that is predominant against women, especially in India, and those that needs to be addressed in the strictest of means. The idea that I would like to garner here is to put an end to using equality of the sexes as a mere excuse and as a tool to gain mileage in arguments. Be it political or personal.

– Mind you.