Categories
philosophy

Mortality

Sometimes, things happen that make you aware of your insignificance , impermanence the futility of it all.
When you tend to question why it is the way it is, does the question even matter.
How do we celebrate a life or mourn it’s demise , how do we define life or can we define it. Is it what you leave behind or what you took with you.
Yes sometimes things happen that make you aware of your own mortality.

Should you comfort yourself by believing in the soul and the religious texts which talk about rebirth or resurrection.? Or should you believe in much harder to digest the end.

Are memories a person leaves the real self ,? And if yes are you leaving behind you ..because one day.

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India

BJP: Subsidies are BAD, AAP is misguided

Over the past few days, there have been tens of articles and thousands of comments  about how AAPs decision to provide free water and 50% cheaper electricity are misguided and do not make economic sense.

The merits and demerits sure can be debated, and that is beauty of AAP that people are debating it. Never in my life have I seen people debating so fervently whether free water makes sense?

But one line of thought that really really confuses me is when BJP supporters use this and claim that AAP is more left than the left itself and BJP is a better choice, apparently because it is against subsidy.

So I decided to look around to see BJP’s policies

So here we go, a list of things from BJP manifestos

Delhi

  • Reduce price of electricity by 30%(By Competition, CAG and RTI– No Idea how 30% figure was reached but they promised to reduce by 30%)
  • Reign in price of onions and tomatoes in 30 days(No hint on how)
  •  Free essential medicines to all Delhi residents for life

 

Karnataka

  • Twenty five kg of rice at Rs one for all poor families( frequency etc not specified)
  • Free Laptop to all university students(may require 4000 crores BTW)
  • Free wifi and internet to all  schools and colleges

MP

  • Free smartphones to all students(college)
  • Free/subsidized bus passes for students
  • Government to pay rent of students staying in private hostels
  • Debt waiver for farmers
  • 50 percent subsidy on water pumps for small and medium farmers
  • Life insurance and rice at Re. 1 per kilo for those below the poverty line

Chattisgarh

  •  Interest-free loans for peasants
  • Rice at one rupee a kilogramme will be provided to 42 lakh poor families
  • Free power supply (for 5 hp pumps)
  •  Free laptops and tablets to students in the first year of their college(Engineering and Medical)
  •  Free Tablets to the science and arts stream students

And these are just 4 states , and these sops and populist measures(as AAP is being accused of) are being doled out in each and every state.

Are subsidies bad? The opinion is divided on it, I for one believe that some subsidies are necessary , yes giving cheaper food to poor is one of the things that I personally support.

BJP and congress have delved into this subsidy business for a loooong time, they are neither averse and neither new to this. But like their performance, their manifestos are also dubious, without accountability .

When other parties make such claims ,most people(Our internet savvy junta) just ignore it and assume that nothing is really going to happen ,or , “sale khaa jayenge sab” (They will eat away all the money) . The problem with AAP is that it is delivering and that too too fast for many people to digest.

End note: A few BJP supporters commented that AAP is against FDI in retail , hence they are commi and hence vote for Namo, BTW BJP is also against FDI in retail, at least on paper.

You may debate the economic merits and need of measures taken by AAP, but please do read the manifestos of your own party before making comparisons.

BJP Trolls: You may now start abusing

 

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Poetry

Nostalgia – Ode to college life and friends (English)

Nostalgia English

Since long have I waited for this day

wondering what ahead of me lay

I used to say,for 4 years I survived this

then how come when its over something seems amiss

A lot is left unsaid and unheard

a lot of memories still unstirred

who will now make my nick names

who will take all my blames

with whom will I bet on the lyrics of a song

was it dong dong or bong bong

Who will be my wingman when I hit on someone

who will be my support, when there is no one

When we decide to study the entire night

but end up gossiping till its bright

Who will tell me all my awards are trash

maybe I should sell them for some cash

Ohh those days

When we used to sit and laugh at someone for no reason

When talking to a friend’s enemy was nothing but pure treason

When we could call dibs on anyone we saw recently

and all dibs would be treated pretty seriously

Who will tell me i am great when i am down

and when i am flying high will drag me down without a frown

who will be my michief maker and partner in crime

who will fight with me over just a dime

During exam times who will wake me up and ask me to run

But then also pour cold water on me ,just for fun

Who will call me from back seat and ask me to look at front

then laugh when I take the teachers brunt

I dont know if this will happen again

please tell me  we will meet again

There is lot left to say

how I wish these times could stay

Life will throw a lot of challenges and there is a danger

SOmeday our best pal might be a stranger

it will become hard to recollect names

forget our old stupid games

you can laugh at me today I wont mind

Will save it to bring a smile on my face

when life gives me the grind

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Book Reviews

One of the most important works of Science Fiction- Foundation Series by Issac Asimov

I am a sucker for science fiction , the realms of possibility when you combine science with fiction is just mind boggling.

But I am ashamed to also admit that I have not read a lot of science fiction work. I have been feeding my appetite for science  via  books such as Brief history of time, theory of everything and also via numerous documentaries on string theory, m theory and movies and TV series such as Dr Who.

In all this I missed reading Issac Asimov, yes Issac Asimov.Yes I know I can no longer call myself an old Science fiction fan :). I am  like a new born.

So I strarted with the series called foundation, and man, I have been missing SO much.

People call it one of the most important work of science fiction.

The story is about the time when human kind spreads throughout the galaxy and a galactic empire is setup. A scientist Hari Seldon calculates that the empire will crumble in 500 years and the entire humankind will be in the clutches of chaos and barbarism for 30,000 years. No One can stop that , but he can reduce the chaotic time to a mere 1000 years. He sets up 2 planets at the opposite ends of galaxy  and names them Foundation, where he gets in scientists from all over the universe and puts them to the task of preserving the knwoledge of the universe. This is the story of one of the planets and how it navigates through a crumbling empire

The novel has many many incidences which make you question  the things you are taking for granted and see the world in a different light. It makes you see how histories are twisted and how beliefs are changed over the course of centuries .

Trying to imagine foundation as our future, we suddenly become aware that we also are someone’s future and our past is as forgotten , as misinterpreted and as lost in myths and fables like we might be.

The way the novel speaks about technology, the socio impacts of  haves and have nots , the way  science fiction  which eerily reminds you of the current state of affairs is simply brilliant and makes you   wonder , did Asimov look into the future ?

Currently on the second book in the series “Foundation and  Empire”

 

 

 

 

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India

Article 377 What is it all about? Explanation

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Disclaimer: There is Adult Language in the post: You have been warned . Though I do agree that youngsters today are much more aware of such topics , I would still ask people with <18 years on this planet to not read ahead.<——–Moral Police, there!! I have the warning.

Also ,I am not a lawyer ,so if you find my interpretation wrong, feel free to point it out and lash against my ignorance publically on this forum. Make me suffer

*********************

There is currently a huge uproar over criminalisation of Gay sex by Supreme court of India. This post is an attempt to explain what exactly happened and what is article 377

Article 377. Unnatural offences: Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

When was this introduced: 1861

What does it mean?:  It means that a law made in 1861 is still dictating how people are allowed and not allowed to have sex. The main point to note here is  “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal”

What is being Banned:

Carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal

Carnal Intercourse: Basically intercourse of sexual nature . The general consensus is that every kind of intercourse that you are thinking about at this moment is carnal intercourse.

Against the order of nature: This is basically the point of contention. What is against the order of nature? As per the definition, anything that is not supposed to provide life.

Hence gay sex ,which cannot produce children  because none of the gay men have the orifice which is as per the order of nature to produce children(Vaginas) , stands criminalised.

With any man, woman or animalI guess many people missed this point. It is not just the gay men but also the hetrosexual men and women who are covered under this ambit.  Basically If you use any other orifice except Vagina, the police can arrest you and put you behind bar for 10 years.No fellatio my friend(I am sure you are googling the meaning  right now), basically no Oral Sex or anal sex (there I said it).

Also : No animals, I guess that is explanatory

 

What is Not being banned: Being Gay(Lawyers may correct me here). There is a difference between being Gay and actually having gay sex. It is same as being hetrosexual but not having sex. You can still shout on top of your voice that you are Gay ,but unless it can be proved that you had sex with another man , you are not a criminal .

So what happened in Supreme Court: 

In a landmark ruling by Delhi High court  “Naz Foundation v. NCT of Delhi”(That is how court cases are named) on 2 July 2009, the high court said that the article 377 was unconstitutional with respect to sex between consenting adults. (If I had simply said that it was made unconstitutional, many trolls would have jumped at the “Animal” clause, so here you go, animals is still an offence). This ruling was landmark ,as for the first time the courts recognised that sex is not just a means to have babies.

Supreme court on the other hand said:  NO WAYYYY Dude , you cannot change the law just like that, it is Written, even though it is outdated and discriminatory. If there is a law and the government has not removed it, it must be something people want(Remember government is the voice of the people). Hence the Law stands and you can be punished if you publicly say that you have had  Oral sex or Anal sex with anyone, your Gay partner or your spouse.

Yes the very same homophobes who fought for this law may be committing the same crime every night.

***Random Commentary Starts********

So basically the whole idea is centred around “Against the order of nature” i.e. unnatural. If the Homophobes(mostly religious organizations) won this round , why can they not challenge other things , such as use of condoms? Isn’t that also against the order of nature because they prevent child birth? How about sex after menopause? Or people with fertility issues?

You can stretch your imagination to any extent here.

The supreme Court had the opportunity to make history, they lost it.

And it can lead to extreme harassment of Gay individuals  by police , because interpretation of the law may be different for different people and may be also defined by how homophobic they are. They can also disrupt the distribution of condoms ,stalling the fight against HIV Aids.

And only Gay people may be further pushed to the undergrounds, even though the law is NOT JUST against Gay people.

So even if you are a homophobe but you and your hetrosexual partner still enjoy  Oral sex, you gotta support the LGBT community in this one:  Fight for your right to fellatio.

My stand on this: I have said it before also and saying it again. This article violates the rights of people. I fully completely stand behind the people of India(Surprise  homophobes… many hetrosexuals actually support abolishing this article, hence people of India and not the Gay community) who support abolishing this article and reinstating the delhi high court ruling. I see no reason why someone’s bedroom habits can effect the moral fabric of society or in any way should affect me. Being gay is not a matter of choice, it is simply a matter of biological orientation.

What next: The ball is in government’s court now. They have not bothered to repeal the law , I guess it’s high time.

Positive thing is that  Congress(Sonia Gandhi) and AAP have publicly supported abolishing this , but sadly BJP is awfully quite. Modi has also not made any statement yet.I am not sure about other political patios

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Poetry Videos

One Million Magi- English Poem

Let me start this post by apologising to Subho for not posting this beautiful poetry of his earlier(It’s been a year ). I had tried recording it at a few instances earlier but failed, the poem is too powerful for me to do full justice and I was not happy with my initial trials, even though this one may not be as excellent as it should be, I hope it atleast does not do injustice to the poem .
Here you go: One Million Magi

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Plays

It Hurts: Short play contest

For the second year in succession  I got a chance to take part in Short play contest held by Dramanon Hyderabad . Last year I had directed and acted in a self-written play “My Daughter’s Facebook” and was part of the Indian School of Business’s Theater Club troop.

This year as part of cathayatra I performed an adapted  play “It hurts”
originally  known and “This hurts”. Sadly we lost 🙂 but it was an amazingly fun experience .

Got to see some amazingly talented theater groups perform some very moving SKITS.

The finals will be held on sept 7 at Priyadarshini Auditoriam in Nampally public gardens, so if anyone is around, do check them out.

Also there is a prize for best trailer and our trailer is among the top 8 :D. Keeping my fingers crossed
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3Px-1BohEU&w=480&h=360]

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Poetry

Ah the sweetness of nothingness

Nail by nail,

Stroke by Stroke,

Seals my Coffin.

Ah the sweetness of nothingness

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Book Reviews Product reviews

Book review: The Edge: Become More Than What You Are

Recently I got a chance to review a book by my friend Nishit Lal:

“The Edge: Become More Than What You Are”

So what exactly is this book about?:

In one line: The book talks about how you can change your behaviour and eventually your fate by changing the way you think

The book talks about various concepts and tricks that can be used to change your outlook towards life . It also talks about how simple things such as resistance to change can affect your view point and lead to stress and even depression.

The hits

As per me the book scores high on simplicity of message and language. The author does not try to evoke awe by filling up pages after pages with difficult non comprehensible vocabulary , instead relies on a more conversational tone. The book is more like a dialogue and concepts covered are simple ,practical yet powerful.

I liked the chapter on mental states the most , where the author tries to reason that many a times our issues are because of the wrong mental state we are in and how important it is to be in the right state.

The Miss

Some areas where I felt the book lacked was verbosity and overlapping concepts. For eg if one example is sufficient to explain a concept , the author tries to reinforce it by giving too many examples. This possible can work when speaking to someone face to face but may tire a reader.

Also I felt that some of the concepts were very much interlinked and could have been merged or shortened. I liked the choice of topics but was a left a little unsatisfied by the length. The book can be condensed to a collection of short and powerful essays.

Also, though I am not sure of it falls under misses, but some form of spiritual angle(not religious) , where the change is more at subconscious level rather than conscious would have been welcomed.

Should you Buy?

Yes : If you want an easy to read book that brings forth simple yet powerful concepts that can help you.

No: If you are looking for some inspiring book that you believe can change your life , or you have read too many self help books and have developed a  disdain for them .

Buy Link

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Radio

Listen to Kabuliwala by Tagore

On 7 August 1941  Rabindranath Tagore left this planet . He perhaps was one of the best writer, thinker and intellectual who had a profound effect on the minds of his readers.

On this day I want to re-share one of his stories that I recorded: Kabuliwala

A simple and heart warming story . I plan to record more of his stories soon, tell me which one should I record next

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvMXGUOqPPA&w=560&h=315]

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