Tag Archives: musings

Marmee!

She’s flawed. Yet she’s perfect.

She’s elegant. She’s hardworking. She’s barely tired. She’s always concerned.

She taught me to accept nothing lesser than what I deserve. She made me bold. She proved women are at par with men.

She put me to sleep on long days. She stroked my hair telling me how proud I made her. She let me make up my mind about what is right and what wrong.

She taught me life. She learnt from me too. She shared her mistakes, overlooked mine. She broke rules. Yet she respected them.

She let me fly free. She brought me back to the earth when I lost my way. She cried at my success. She held me through my failures.

She fought for me. She let me hold her when she was weak. She showed me her weakness. She became my strength.

She’s my ‘Marmee’. And I couldn’t have asked for any better!

Some days, I miss you here. Other days, I write about you! 😉 Love you, Mom!

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Graciously Yours!

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We, the Indians?

A New Zealander’s view on the reasons for corruption in India:

Indians are Hobbesian (a culture of self-interest).

Corruption in India is a cultural aspect. Indians seem to think nothing peculiar about corruption. It is everywhere. 

Indians tolerate corrupt individuals rather than correct them.

No race can be congenitally corrupt.

But can a race be corrupted by its culture? 

To know why Indians are corrupt, look at their patterns and practices.

Firstly:
Religion is transactional in India.

Indians give God cash and anticipate an out-of-turn reward.

Such a plea acknowledges that favours are needed for the undeserving. 

In the world outside the temple walls, such a transaction is named a “bribe”. 

A wealthy Indian gives not just cash to temples, but gold crowns and such baubles.

His gifts cannot feed the poor. His pay-off is for God. He thinks it will be wasted if it goes to a needy man.

In June 2009, The Hindu published a report of Karnataka minister G. Janardhan Reddy gifting a crown of gold and diamonds worth Rs 45 crore to Tirupati.

India’s temples collect so much that they don’t know what to do with it. Billions are gathering dust in temple vaults.

When Europeans came to India, they built schools. When Indians go to Europe & USA, they build temples.

Indians believe that if God accepts money for his favours, then nothing is wrong in doing the same thing. This is why Indians are so easily corruptible.

Indian culture accommodates such transactions morally. There is no real stigma. An utterly corrupt Jayalalitha can make a comeback, just unthinkable in the West.

Secondly:
Indian moral ambiguity towards corruption is visible in its history. Indian history tells of the capture of cities and kingdoms after guards were paid off to open the gates, and commanders paid off to surrender.

This is unique to India.

Indians’ corrupt nature has meant limited warfare on the subcontinent.

It is striking how little Indians have actually fought compared to ancient Greece and modern Europe.

The Turks’ battles with Nadir Shah were vicious and fought to the finish.

In India, fighting wasn’t needed, bribing was enough to see off armies.

Any invader willing to spend cash could brush aside India’s kings, no matter how many tens of thousands soldiers were in their infantry.

Little resistance was given by the Indians at the Battle of Plassey.

Clive paid off Mir Jaffar and all of Bengal folded to an army of 3,000.

There was always a financial exchange to taking Indian forts. Golconda was captured in 1687 after the secret back door was left open.

Mughals vanquished the Marathas and Rajputs with nothing but bribes.

The Raja of Srinagar gave up Dara Shikoh’s son Sulaiman to Aurangzeb after receiving a bribe.

There are many cases where Indians participated on a large scale in treason due to bribery.

The question is: Why do Indians have a transactional culture while other ‘civilized’ nations don’t?

Thirdly:
Indians do not believe in the theory that they can all rise if each of them behaves morally, because that is not the message of their faith.

Their caste system separates them.

They don’t believe that all men are equal.

This resulted in their division and migration to other religions.

Many Hindus started their own faiths like Sikh, Jain, Buddha and many converted to Christianity and Islam.

The result is that Indians don’t trust one another.

There are no Indians in India, there are Hindus, Christians, Muslims and what not.

Indians forget that 400 years ago they all belonged to one faith.

This division evolved an unhealthy culture. The inequality has resulted in a corrupt society in India where everyone is against everyone else, except God ­and even he must be bribed.

Brian from Godzone

NEW ZEALAND

A friend sent this to me a month ago. And all I could say then was, “If I think he’s right, it makes me less Indian. If I think he’s wrong, it makes me untruthful to myself. Undoubtedly, his is a very Western point of view and I’m sure there are cases in non Indian countries where bribes have won them wars and treachery for money wasn’t unfamiliar. But I neither have the information right off the tip of my tongue nor do I intend to look up for it because that would just result in mud slinging and digressing from a thought process which deserves a second thought, at least.”

A month later, I think it’s time we gave it a second thought. What are we doing to ourselves? Are we so afraid of failure that we will keep kneeling before idols? Don’t we want the chance to retrace our steps to find out our mistakes? Or is the ultimate goal always money? Isn’t that what makes us corrupt? Isn’t that what has always led to wars, be it Indian or non-Indian? How does it matter what the other person’s religious beliefs are? How does it matter if they pray five times a day or once a week? How does it matter if I am an Indian or an Irish? After all, country borders are nothing but ‘shadow lines’.

Yes, Brian from Godzone is right in a lot of ways. He’s right when he talks about wealthy men giving more to Gods than to other poor men. He’s right that temples collect so much that they don’t know what to do with it. He’s right that our caste system separates us.

But he’s wrong if he says all Indian men are self-centered! India is a large country. 1.25 billion people out of the Earth’s 7 billion live here. If we were all equally selfish and vain, the world would be far from over by now.

He’s wrong if he thinks only Indians played underhand in wars. “At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War.” (And it took me just 30 seconds to lay hands on this information.)

He’s wrong if he thinks it’s our Hindu religion which makes us worse as humans. No. We are the ones who choose to pay to the Gods. They didn’t ask us to. Let’s not sling mud on Them. I wouldn’t want to point out how many controversies the Churches are embroiled in.

He’s wrong if he thinks only Indians have divisions in their societies. At least we don’t pick people on their skin colour. Oh wait. We do. Fair and lovely. Fair and handsome.

This isn’t about WHO’S RIGHT and WHO’S WRONG. This is about WHAT’S RIGHT and WHAT’S WRONG.

And corruption is wrong. War is wrong. Dealing with religion in money is wrong.

But so is intolerance. And mud slinging. And generalizing!

Let’s just try and make the world a better place to live in. There can be nothing more right than this. Would you want to agree, Brian?

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : Friday post! Because Saturdays were becoming too predictable 😉

The Presence of The Past.

They say if you blink, you miss it. We waited impatiently, clicking pictures of others and selfies of ourselves, being photo bombed and photo bombing others, all the while creating memories which we probably wouldn’t refer back to again. Not because they wouldn’t be memorable. But because we create too many of them these days.

We were waiting for the lights at the famous Mysore Palace to go on. They say it looks enchanting. It is a work of technology which brings out the magnanimity of the work of art. It requires a single flick of a switch to light up thousands of little bulbs. 98,260 to be precise.

The Sun had set. Darkness had fallen. People were still clicking. Cameras were flashing. And just like that without any warning, without waiting for the clock to strike a particular hour,  the lights went on! And enchanting it was!

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Who would have thought a century ago that beauty could be kept locked up in pixels? Who would have predicted that you could hold the whole world worth of information just in your hands? How different our achievements are from those of our forefathers. They took pride in bigger and better; we in smaller and faster. They built with brick and mortar; we build with silicon and carbon. Their memories faded with time; ours with obsolescence. Their achievements were the heritage; ours is technology.

Graciously Yours!

 
Picture Courtesy : In collaboration with Ashwini Bhat.

Why? Oh why?

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Often, things don’t make sense. Why does the Sun rise every day to set? Why do the flowers bloom only to be plucked by mischievous little bratty hands or to be offered at the feet of stone idols of the same Gods who created them in the very first place? Why are examinations more valued than the lives of those hundreds of young who succumb under their pressure? Why is a job position much greater than a friendship you’ve nurtured for years? Why is the money more important than the ailing parents you’ve left behind? Why is it selfish to love oneself and idiotic to love others (either ways, I’m slandered)? Why do we run after fame when oblivion is all that destiny can give us? Why is immortality a boon when you know all others around you will die? Oh and why we do we bake those immaculately beautiful and fabulous personalized cakes only to dismantle and eat them within a day or two?

I’ve diverted enough from what I really want to say out loud (or in this case, write).

Why do I hate loving you?

Often, things don’t make sense. And this is just the beginning of it.

Graciously Yours!

Image by 4freephotos.com

The Poetry of Life.

She awoke to the Tyndall effect the rays from the nearest star made in her small room. She could see the dust particles dancing around each other. She wondered how much of it was cosmic. She smiled.

On her way to work, she bought more than a couple of roses from the young boy at the crossing. The water drops shone like precious stones on the petals. She smiled.

She typed out the report she was to submit. As her fingers moved across the keyboard, the clicks rhythmically buzzed in her ears.  She thought of the electrons zigzagging through the silicon jungle within her laptop. She smiled.

She passed by a temple in the evening. She had never ventured into one. Yet, the smell of the incense sticks was her favourite. She smiled.

She popped corn kernels for a late night movie. The oil simmered and the kernels flowered with the pop, clonking against the lid. She smiled.

“She smiles easily,” they said.

Because. “Every atom has a poetry,” she thought.

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Graciously Yours!

Wheeling towards life.

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“You see that man down there who’s cycling?” said the Creator to the little baby beside Him.

The soon-to-be-born gurgled, “Yes” in baby lingo.

Soon, even his mother would understand it as well as God did.

“That cyclist doesn’t have ambitions. He hasn’t made plans on how he wants to spend his next five years. He saves much less than he spends. He helps his neighbor, an old lady, with rations every month. He gives kids, he doesn’t know, candies to eat. The world will tell you it is wrong to be him. They will tell you to think about yourself. They will mock you if you don’t plan. They will chide you for being ambition-less.”

The baby looked up at the peaceful soul beside him. He looked puzzled. Saliva dripped from the corners of his parted lips.

Chuckling, God took the baby in His lap, wiped the drool and continued, “I want you to be like him. I want you to live one day at a time, one moment at a time. I want you to dream but I don’t want you to become so blind with ambition that you forget why exactly you were living. I want you to respect the beauty of my creations and find your strengths, hopes and solace in them. I want you to always believe in yourself and in humanity. I want you to appreciate life much more than fear death.”

“Will it be easy?” the baby asked, looking down at so many unlike the cyclist.

“No, it won’t. And when it isn’t, remember that God did not bring you this far to abandon you.”

And saying so, He let go of the baby, whose head was now visible to the doctor as the mother screamed in pain.

Graciously Yours!

P.S.: What according to you is life?

Picture Credits: Ishita Shah.

Flowers over birds.

Recently, I went to an undisclosed location (the mystery is alluring) where we can safely say that birds and flowers can be found in abundance among other things (and it was no bird park. Duh.).

From the blog : 1000 words or less. This blogger clicks fascinating pictures!

From the instagram of the blogger over at The Uncertainty Principle.
From the instagram of the blogger over at The Uncertainty Principle.

I have never fully appreciated the patience exuded by photographers who click bird pictures. Until I tried to capture their shots, of course! Birds are such elusive creatures! It seems as if they know that the shutter is going to close in on them and they just have to ruin the frame! So while my friend went on trying to capture birds, I stuck to the flowers. Well, for one they’re colourful and many. And secondly, THEY DON’T RUIN THE SHOT BY FLYING AWAY!!

Tucked safely within.
Tucked safely within.

Windmill much?
Windmill much?

Who said three is a crowd?
Who said three is a crowd?

Fallen but not lost.
Fallen but not lost.

So what if I can't capture birds? Bird's nest, it is.
So what if I can’t capture birds? Bird’s nest, it is.

Which reminds me that I have a bird shot from an earlier trip! Well, technically not so much because these birds don’t really fly away. But. Yeah. Whatever.

Hah! It's not impossible. Though improbable.
Hah! It’s not impossible. Though improbable.

Graciously Yours!

Pictures Courtesy : 

1000 words or less. (Brilliant photographer, I tell you.)

Prateek (@pk9692) from The Uncertainty Principle.