Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Whither Kashmir? Freedom or Enslavement - Arundhati speaks controversy

Do you have to agree to a point of view to be able to appreciate the intent for that point of view? Maybe not, at least not always and certainly not necessarily.

The controversy started when Arundhati spoke at the seminar organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society on 'Whither Kashmir? Freedom or Enslavement' in New Delhi on 21st October. Apart from a lot of other things that she said, the one sentence that created the controversy was “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this”.

Sounds controversial when one reads it for the first the first time, but is it fit to be labeled anti-national? Expressing whats on your mind into words suddenly makes you eligible for being booked for sedition? Enough number of Kashmiris say this almost in every single rally that happens, not just in Srinagar, but in the rest of Kashmir as well. Is it not more logical to non-judgmental and just listen to what is being said and make an effort to understand the why behind it?  Enough number of Indians (living within the international borders, which often doesn't even include the valley) have over the years accused the Indian government of neglecting them and making them completely alienated with the Union - North-east is an obvious example, and even Maoists may fall into this category. So when our own so-called citizens feel so cut-off from the rest of us, whose fault is it, or rather whose responsibility is it to change that? And if they continue to feel this way, does it mean we will force our rule on them because we lay claim to the piece of land which originally belonged to them (the Indian Republic came into existence only in the last century)? How sensible is to keep occupying a piece of land where people do not want you, or where possibly a majority might even want to completely do away with you?

These are lots of questions, and the answers may even be contradictory. But we still need to seek answers to these. It makes me so uncomfortable that we fight over what Arundhati says, but do not even try to understand that at the heart of it there is so much empathy. She is an activist, and she is doing a fine job at keeping the government on its toes. Maybe all the controversy surrounding

I am a supporter of free speech, however, the definition of free speech means different things to different people. Let there be a debate, let there be an open and frank debate. India's position is indefensible in some areas and the first thing would be to accept these and move forward. I hope to see more sensible feedback from political parties, rather than the hurried criticisms of anyone who dares to speak differently. We risk not being a free society anymore.

Here is a speech by her, just sit back and think why people (presumably mostly Kashmiris) cheer so much for her. What is it that she says that makes a connect with the people?

Friday, October 22, 2010

The song of our love

The song long lost, the song never heard again,
The song which bound us together, and the song that tore us apart.
The song of agony, of pain, of death,
It is the song about love, the song of our love.

None weeps for it anymore, but the song itself,
As it flows out of the cup of our palms.
We let it all drain, as the tears in our eyes dry up,
And our love song drowns within itself, not yet dead, not even alive.

I try and look for it, but it's all gone now,
But I remember it within, afraid to sing out loud.
I look at it in my hands, and see nothing anymore there,
Its all gone away, the song of our love.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ਇੱਕ ਓਅੰਕਾਰ ||

A famous saying by Guru Nanak. Something which reminds one of what Prophet Mohammed also famously said. This is the beginning of the Mul Mantra and is something that forms the very base of Sikhism.

ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ II

Ika ōaṅkāra sati nāmu karatā purakhu nirabha'u niravairu akāla mūrati ajūnī saibhaṃ gura prasādi

There is but one God. Truth by name, the creator, all-pervading spirit, without fear, without enmity. Whose existence is unaffected by time, who does not take birth, self-existent, who is to be realised through his grace.

There are various translations (all similar in meaning) and I have used one of those here for those of us who do not understand Gurumukhi. Listen to the Mul Mantar below, nothing touches you like the purity of this beautiful piece, especially early in the morning.

references: wikipedia, sikhiwiki

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

WnM - food

W and M are on a phone call. After discussing the very distinct possibility of an alien spaceship visiting their respective cities, they get on with the other topics. Surprisingly food comes up for discussion. 

W: Let's eat the same food together.
M: Superb idea. What do you want to make? I am game for anything.
W: Hmmm...
M: We can make daal and rice and eat it with salad.
W: eeeeeeeee... 
M: Oh am really sorry :(
W: I can't eat all this in life anymore :(
M: Sure sure. Lets make khichdi. 
W: eeeeeeeee... 
M: Oh am really sorry :(
W: I can't eat all this in life anymore :(
M: Ok lets make something continental. Pasta?
W: But I do not have pasta with me.
M: Hmmm...
W: I have a better idea.
M: Ah...
W: Lets not eat.
M: What??? Why???
W: I think you eat too much food.
M: What???
W: Yes, I want you to starve.
M: What???
W: Yes. And if you really hungry you can drink a cup of chai, preferably with no sugar.
M: What??? Please don't do this to me :|
W: Shut up. You will do exactly as I say.
M: Please dear. Have some heart.
W: Now I have to finish my very interesting book now, the cat is almost ready to devour the dog. Drink tea, if you really have to. Now goodbye.

M realises that the call is already over. He looks blankly at the phone and a smile crosses his face. He goes and makes Maggi and savors it with black, strong and sugar saturated coffee.

Moral of the story: There are advantages of a long-distance relationship. You DON'T have to starve every single night.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Be Stupid (sex sells)!

Be stupid has been DIESEL's promotional theme/ identity for the past few years. Here are a few images I took from my phone from their promotional kit and some other promotional material, some of it are also a part of the very exclusive Diesel parties in India.

Some of the more interesting and kinky things are not exactly from or for India, but much of it is. 

So why be stupid?

You'll have more SEX. (this one is very critical)
You'll meet more strangers.
You'll have one hell of a story.
You'll make better Friends.
You'll create more.
You'll discover talents you never knew you had.
You'll get that much more to Genius.
You'll spend more nights away from home.
You'll never wish you were someplace else.
You'll be equal parts feared and admired.
And yes, you could die. Just not of boredom.

You can see the entire campaign here.

See the official Be Stupid philosophy in this video here...

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