Monday, November 23, 2009

Is Democracy The Best Policy?

[The below article is open to interpretations. You  may also find this article analogous to the Indian democracy. You may also want to read Jawahar Lal Nehru's speech: Tryst With Destiny]

Once upon a time a large group of children used to stay together in a house. Most of them were too young.  They were of such age when the parents decide what is good or bad for them – what they should eat, what they should read, what they should do.  One fine day, at the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, the children awoke and found that all their care-takers have left them alone. They decided to form a managing body to manage the activities and the house. Quite a few children wanted to manage the house. Who wouldn’t like to boss around the house? This created a kind of chaos and the children concluded on a convenient solution – to ‘elect’ the managing body. The idea was that whoever gets the maximum vote gets to be the Big Boss and he can choose his own team to manage the house. So far, so good.

Right from the dawn started the (almost) unending quest to win votes. Everyone tried to please the others.  Most of them got involved in other activities – like watching movies and playing cricket. They got tired of managing the house long before they actually started managing. Only a handful of them remained in the race to get votes.

Those in the race started trying all kinds of things to get votes.  Some promised personal television sets, while some promised increase in pocket money if/when they get to be the boss. Some offered aerated drinks to the others to ‘bribe’ them to vote for them.  Some tried partitioning the group depending on the hero they liked – so there was a pro-SRK group, there was a pro-Aamir group and there was a pro-UdayChopra group. The member s of these groups were great fans of their respective heroes to the extent that they worshiped them.  However, there was a group which was pro-allHeroes – the members of this group were free to worship any hero they wanted to.

The D-day came. The children went to vote.  Harry, being an SRK devotee, voted for proSRK group.  Ron, being an Aamir devotee, voted for proAamir group. Longbottom, who liked watching television a lot, voted for the person who promised TV. Draco by voting for the person who gave him aerated drinks paid it back. Hermoine, who was busy mugging ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars’, thought it’s waste of time to vote and didn’t vote at all.

If on one of these criteria a manager is selected, you can only imagine what the condition of the house would be. Even after periodic repeatation of this process – the house was in total chaos. Fuelled by the vote-seekers, the proSRK, the proAamir and the proUdayChopra groups kept fighting among each othet for no real reason whatsoever. No proper management was provided: perhaps because that was never part of the agenda - perhaps, because the ‘voters’ never really asked for it.

On the other hand, the same pre-condition prevailed in another house. The difference, however, was that most inmates of the house were educated adults. This house also followed the same process for management as the children’s house (described above). They brought to the table the issues that really concern them and their progress. The inmates of this house, after some time, had better quality of life, made good progress in their fields and were staying peacefully with each other. The same process, when applied to two different contexts gives completely different results.

The question remains - Is democracy the best policy?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

If I were a baby again

[Disclaimer – All characters in this article are fictitious and bear no resemblance to any person living or dead. Any similarity with anything living or dead is purely coincidental. The ‘I’ in the article DOESN'T  refer to me. It refers to a fictitious character]

Reaching my late 30s, I was going through what typically men in this age go through. I wondered why the college going girl in my neighboring flat address me as uncle. I wondered why the dark ‘clouds’ which once eclipsed my shiny moon-head are slowly uncovering the it – emitting moonlight (so bright that when I stand close to a wall my moonlight projected on the wall makes a kind of halo over my head) even on a new moon night.I wondered why I start breathing heavily when I climb up to my flat (2B as opposed to 13B where Madhavan lived) after screaming at the security guard for not getting the lift repaired.

But then, I was not a typical man.

I watched the King Khan endorsing Fair and Handsome. I knew that Santoor soap lets your skin understand your age out. I had heard of knothole potions. I had seen Rekha. I had seen Hrithik in Koi Mil Gaya. I saw hope. I didn’t want to suffer more. So, I searched the Internet to find if there is something available which can bring my old days back when I was not ‘old’. The 300th link pointed me to a research scientist who claimed to have a medicine to reduce age. His name was Bhagawan Khushi.

Bhagwan Khushi, was temporally 86 years old but biologically looked like a 20 year old person. I explained him my problem and asked him to give me a potion to reduce my age. I agreed to transfer to his name my 2BHK flat – the only property I had. However, I would still need to pay its EMI.
I wrote an email to my wife saying what I was planning to do. Then, I drank Bhagwan Khusi’s potion and, alas, I became four years old!

And what an experience I was going to have!

When I saw myself in the mirror I was pleasantly surprised seeing the black dense forest on my head. My college-going-neighbor Priyanka, while coming from college, dropped by to collect money for flood relief. She couldn’t recognize me. She lightly pinched my cheek and kissed me. I couldn’t believe it. The uncle-calling girl, actually, kissed me! While going, she delicately ran her fingers through my hair and bid me ‘tata’.

Wow! It was fun being a baby again.

I played that whole evening - ran around the house. Took a used syringe and filled water in it. In the bathroom, I scared the lizards off by aiming a jet of water from the syringe at them. I made the bathroom completely wet and jumped on the accumulated water. In the dinner, I made boat out of vertically cut ‘patal/parwal’ and let it float in a pond of daal enclosed by a wall of rice.

The next day, my wife took me to a children’s carnival. And for the first time I enjoyed myself without alcohol! I mingled with other kids of different communities, religions and castes. I played with them without conspiring against any other kids. I didn’t worry if the children of Uncle Sam were happy with me. I treated them as equals. I was fearless. I didn’t care if there was a bomb planted at the site. Neither did I plant a bomb. There was a bag full of gold moving at almost lightening speed. I didn’t care to run after it. I didn’t care if I had enough money for my food after 10 years. I didn’t show partiality towards kids of my state. I also didn’t bribe the organizers to get me the cheat code of the game. I played with all the kids. I was just enjoying myself.

I was free. I was myself.

The carnival got over. And for the first time I had a deep sleep – that too without Larpose. The next morning my wife took me to a school where she had arranged an admission interview for me. The interviewer showed me pictures of weird flowers and asked me their names. She then asked me to sing some nursery rhymes.

I, somehow, got admission. And that marked the end of happy days.

Immediately I joined 3 tuitions. I joined swimming class followed by singing class. I did homework till late evenings. It became a pain to carry the 5 kg bag to school. Surprise tests became nightmares.

I, then, yearned to become older soon – so that I could come out of this mess.

[I don’t know if he went back to 30 years life again. All we know is that he was not satisfied neither when he was a 30 years nor when he was a baby. Every age comes with its challenges which seems too huge for that age. If he were a baby again, he would have wanted to be an adult. He would have been as happy as or as sad as he is now. Of course, the complexities in his life would have decrease – something which he experienced in the Carnival.

As Gertrude Stein puts it – A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE 

PS: Bhagawan and Dev, and Khushi and Anand are almost synonymous]

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ghajini Revisted

There are certain movies which are so good that you would like to watch them multiple times. However, there are certain movies which are on the other side of the spectrum. You find them so bad, so ridiculous that you want to watch it again and again. For me, Ghajini falls in that category. I must have seen Ghajini about 10 times and every time I find something different – something strange that I hadn’t noticed in my previous views. Maybe, it’s my bad gauging power. Maybe, just as some people get a new depth, a new meaning, a new interpretation each time they read Bhagwat Gita, I find newer thing each time I watch Ghajini. [Click here for my review of the movie]

In my last iteration I figured that the end background music of Ghajini has been picked up from the signature music of the good old Dooradarshan. Check it out for yourself.

Go to 7:09. I know it's a torture. You may let the buffering to happen and then directly go to 7:09

Now, compare that with the Doordarshan signature music below:

So, it's not that only the Anu Maliks and the Pritams get inspiration from other sources. Looking at this, somehow i feel that just 7 notes (saat sur) are not enough. How much can one innovate with just seven notes!

  © Blogger template 'A Click Apart' by 2008

Back to TOP