31 January, 2011

Yearning to go rural....

The question of whether or not all the complexities we have drawn onto our daily lives, is worth or not has kept my mind boggled for quite sometime now.

On the one hand, there is the incessant urge of us humans to explore the unknown realms of unconquered nature. This urge is what has lead us into the cognizance of the vastness and grandeur of nature. While this is making our lives complex with every passing second with all the ramifications in the form of technology and innovations, it has also given us immense gratification, to further instigate our thought process to ponder more and better.

But, on the other hand, this quench to understand nature, by unleashing the humongous information and ramifications in the form of technology has misaligned us from our fundamental sensual pleasures we would otherwise incessantly derive from nature. The solace nature gives us has been replaced with artificial and temporary indulgences. Once a while, when we are back at the bosoms of mother nature, the immeasurable bliss it renders is irreplaceable.

Pursuing our inquisition is a pleasure of its own, pursuing it without letting go our natural indulgences in all the grandeur of nature is most important.

PS: The state of my mind while composing this post has been perfectly conducive to churn up contrasts such as the ones presented in the post.
During an eventful trip recently, I found myself walking for miles early in the morning, chewing Neem stalks to cleanse my mouth ( I still wonder why people transcended to tooth pastes and tooth brushes!); Eating simple, unsophisticated, yet delicious food cooked on firewood; Singing and dancing around campfire; Laying on my back in open fields, staring at the stars(majority of which are not visible in the city!).
I am not sure as to what we have gained by endorsing the urban sophistications, but I can clearly see all that we are missing!

26 January, 2011

Facebook Republic Day!

Change your profile picture in tricolor theme; Post a futile status message saying "Happy Republic Day", without knowing what a Republic is!; Get tens of likes from like minded "Patriots"; Talk about shallow nationalism for a day ; Try remembering the National heroes, as portrayed by the media; Most of all, enjoy the holiday - stay at home, or better rush to a shopping mall! 

Isn't it a really nice way to commemorate the oblivion of a Republic India?

This sort of a superficial and occasional patriotism is what has rendered India to it's current messy state.
Does this sort of occasional sense of pride and nationalism do any good at all? Aren't we only trying to please ourselves, or our entourage by showing such shallow patriotism? We let go daily opportunities through the year, where we can excel as citizens, and only on a few occasions exalt in the name of patriotism.

Every time 'We the People', 'celebrate' the Republic Day, we must place a check on the extent of how much of a Republic we are.
A Republic gives heed to its citizens: Our Voice matters in a Republic. But, with every passing year, this national trait is eroding and will soon be met with oblivion, without any remorse.

It is alarming to observe a huge section of the society being happily complacent with the lack of Democracy in a Republic, and are self approvingly endorsing such hypocrisy, branded as nationalism.

If you are proud of your country, be so every second of your life, and transform that pride into efforts and actions, which will better the nation. Please stop this occasional hypocrisy!

23 January, 2011

Collateral Damage: The State and the Centre duo

First a recap of the proceedings in India, with some points specific to Karnataka:
  • The overall inflation has hit 8.8 %, with food inflation at about 17 %; While the Central Govt is attributing this anomaly to be symptoms of growth, i.e, necessary for increasing the GDP, citizens are the ones who have fallen prey to this firestorm. [ A recent central govt report recognizes that 70 % of the population survives on Rs.20/day] So, where is the growth?
  • Since the deregulation of  fuel prices in India ( i.e., variations in fuel prices would be in synchronism with the International market, without much intervention from the Govt.), there has been a sharp increase of about 20% within a span of less than an year.
  • Central Govt.'s hush-hush methodology (or inaction?) until now, towards the speculated 1.5 Billion USD worth of tax evaded Indian money in the Swiss Bank accounts, is also a matter of grave concern.
  • Showers of other scams, which fancy themselves, unashamedly with dizzying figures attached to them.   India shining? Yes, very much.  The bars are set high this time: Prerequisite for any scam to hit the media and make news has become about 100 crore Rs; anything less than that is not even covered by the media!
  • Continuing increase in farmer suicides, and their rate of retrition from farming have aggravated the already ineffective agricultural system in India
  • The State Govt here in Karnataka has been busy dodging the allegations and corruption charges against it. So, it has least bothered about the perilous state the citizens are being pushed into.
  • And as one of my friends had pointed out, there is not even a pretense about citizen welfare amongst the State legislators these days, and are busily 'flinging mud' (media phrase!) at each other
  • A state sponsored and imposed Bandh today, to protest the Governor's grant to prosecute the CM, according to the ruling party was to be observed as 'Indication of people's support to the CM'! If Public transport is shut off, and commercial establishments forcefully closed it can only increase the anguish against these morons of Nth order. 
While these and more chronicles of the pathetic Governance are getting ever ubiquitous, we the citizens are 'Silently witnessing the grand Spectacle'!
By the way, do we still have an independent judiciary? Or, is Judiciary the next addendum to list of terms that are limited only to the text books, joining the list of these attributes: 
Sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic! 
This is what the Constitution promised India to be, and where do we stand today? Who is to be held responsible? Why has the system gotten this rotten? Who is the culprit?

I cannot propose a pragmatic solution at this juncture, but can clearly see each of us being responsible for this pathetic state of affairs. No salvation would be feasible from this mess, without the active and activated participation of each one of us.

22 January, 2011

Reclaiming the fundamental people....

We meet a lot of people on a daily basis. Not everyone leaves an impression on us occupying neurons in our brain. And of the few people who do leave an impression, for me, the ones who permanently reside on their alloted neurons, and invading into more neurons are the People who are still fundamentally very people-like.

By quoting a phrase like fundamentally people, I am blanketing all the people who have not lost their identity in the sophistications of the freaky, gadgety world. They are more or less rarities, who are less dependent on the rest of the human inventions, or at least not in a vulnerable state of dependency. People who 'use' technology, and not who 'live' technology.

There are numerous anecdotes to recollect the humanness of these special people I have come to know. I shall start with the logging of the latest one.

Be grounded
An ophthalmologist I visited for consultation recently, reminded me the importance of being grounded. Grounded as in not the humility aspect of it, although that too was inherent to her. But, it was more about thinking in a simple and realistic manner. All the thoughts and words emanating from her, were bouncing off a basic ,yet strong mental platform.  During each moment of the interaction with her,  she was manifesting the simplest, yet so alien thought process. With no complexities, looking at everything in their simplest forms, making it all seem so obvious, while my mind was stuck in a jargon war, 'trying to think'!

With every passing day, our dependence on everything apart from our own ability has been increasing unscrupulously. We are getting more vulnerable by the day. We are crippled when there is no power, or even when we don't spot a calculator to multiply two two digit numbers! When this is the state of the improvisation of our abilities, I can only recollect one person, who defied this dependence in every practical manner: A man I would have loved to know better, my grand dad.
He wasn't extraordinarily dependent on machines, on the contrary he was relatively self sufficient with his exceptional abilities. For instance, he used to never wait for a bus, or a rickshaw, for his 10+10 km work commute and he didn't want to own a personal vehicle. He used to walk briskly the entire distance, do his day's work and walk back to home effortlessly. On the contrary, I can only think of the cribbing each of us consciously does for any purposeful walk, of even a km.
Also, he was my first reference encyclopaedia for any doubts in History, or general science, or politics.
He was an ad hoc quiz master. I have always wanted to emulate him, and I must have been partially successful in trying to endorse his mind set, but never his physical stamina or the strong mental conviction, for which I shall remember him eternally.

Such people are the ones, who remind us of all the unreality we are filled with, and in a silent manner of their own urge us to reclaim ourselves from the shackles of  dependencies.

14 January, 2011

My Location: The Green Peninsula

Firstly, at the risk of sounding chauvinistic, I dare to confess: Of all the cities  I've visited (as yet, only within India) nothing comes close to being Bangalore. I am addicted to the weather, ambiance, people and places here, and find it really tough to 'adjust' elsewhere. And yeah, it is shaping up to be a vulnerability of mine. Nevertheless, you would hear conforming confessions from most core Bangaloreans in the same context.

My physical location in Bangalore is one of the best places to be. It is The Green Peninsula: Three sides surrounded by the best greenery that Bangalore is still left with, and two patches of serene lakes; All within a radius of about 2-4 km.
@ the IISc
To my West is my favorite portion of Bangalore - The Indian Institute of Science. If not at work, I'll most probably be found in the IISc; visiting friends, calling for meetings or participating in sessions. This is the best place to be cycling. The rich flora, the serenity, coupled with my books and music, and the impeccable lemon tea have made it an addiction of sorts...

@ UAS, approaching the big boulders

To the East is the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), and this has immense retrospective value to me. It used to be the childhood weekly picnic spot. Over the weekends, me and my cousins would pack some snacks, or find some mulberries, or the strawberry-like flowers of cacti and 'trek' the small hills ( i.e., the big boulders), through the tongue-like mud roads to reach the Campus grounds.These huge grounds were where I scored my first 100 in Cricket ( two teams of 5 each were playing:), while I was in my high school. Other fascinating regions of this was the veterinary campus where the poultry, piggery, dairy farms were present. Now these farms are diminishing, but the pastures, and rest of the greenery is in decent condition.
Hebbal Lake, and a small portion of GKVK
To my North would be the continuation of the UAS campus, Gandhi Krishi Vignan Kendra  (popularly known as GKVK). I have paid the least number of visits here, but will be soon frequenting my rides to this campus as well.

The two scattered water bodies; the depleting Hebbal lake and the serene Sankey lake do add immense value to ambiance in my vicinity.

After having lived for a long long time in such a proximity, it comes as no surprise that I'm obsessed with this ambiance - the Green Peninsula of mine.

12 January, 2011

Breaking the monotony!

My recent decision of voluntary, but temporary disconnect from the online networking happened spontaneously. I had no clear explanations to myself, when I decided to do it. But, there was an uneasy feeling, an apprehension of sorts which had led me to it. Without projecting it to be an exaggeration, I am presenting my observations here.

During the first couple of days, I did realize the advantages which I had missed by perenially being available online. It might seem as an anomalous regression, tending away from the shackles of today's complex obligations of the digital social etiquette. It was certainly a regression, but not anomalous; I'd say it was very natural, which facilitated a breather from the claustrophobic WEB.
The highly available architecture might do well with core switches in networking, but as people a pause in our interactions with the rest of the people is very much necessary: If not for other reasons, at least to break the monotony.

Monotony, is something I consciously try not to get entangled in. On the other hand, as if to manifest the paradox, this persistence against monotony by itself would end up being monotonous. And, in such instances, the best thing to do is to hibernate. Although this time, it was a hibernation only from my commitments to the Web-World, soon I'd want one absolute hibernation, this time inclusive of all domains.
Well, fear not! It ain't reclusive: It would only be an essential pit stop.

Another understanding, I seem to have arrived at is the ease with which we can get influenced by the increased interactions with the uni-dimensional networking and activities online, again a ramification of the monotony. As a result, our discerning faculties, which differentiate realness of real people and the realness of the digital personas of people, get eroded either when used unscrupulously, or when unused scrupulously. Again, breaking the monotony is one efficient solution to tackle this narrow perception syndrome.

PS: More to be said, will append subsequently...

09 January, 2011

BPL India vs IPL India!

The post caption gives a deep, contemporary insight into the ever growing disparity in India.
BPL (Below Poverty Line) population in India is a massive section of it, and while most of the real BPL remain left out in the Government's segregation. There is also the never-ending controversies surrounding the criteria and benefits availed to this section  of the population. Nevertheless, what one needs to absorb out of the term BPL in India is that, a major portion (a conservative figure of at least 30%) of the country's population is not in a position to afford basic food, shelter, health and education, while there is another extreme section of the population that is well and far beyond this population, who are oblivious of the BPL.
A statistic would accentuate this disparity: Just 52 individual Indian citizens own assets that is worth 25% of the entire nation's annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Further, when the democracy is tending towards anarchy, the media does well by catalytically euphemising this transformation.
The 'breaking news' for the past two days on all popular media enterprises, which have forcibly invaded into our lives, is that Player X has been sold in a fearsome bid, or that Player Y has gone unsold in the shameless IPL bidding. All of a sudden, the chaos surrounding the scams (~ status quo?) seems to have mellowed down. The media has temporarily forgotten about them, and will revive them when their TRP hint going downwards. Off late, I haven't been able to contain my frustration against the highfalutin media. But, then I realize it is just a ramification of a peril that is deep rooted into our systems.

The arguments and ideas pertaining to changing India have been happening for long. Corruption has become systematized, as in, the system provides for immense opportunities of embezzlement, nepotism, and other 'rich varieties' of corruption, inviting the great scamsters to eat the country from within.
At this juncture, one sigh of worry by an important Indian is worth mentioning:
"India can ill-afford crony capitalism..."
Dr.Manmohan Singh,Prime Minister of India

When the disparity is accelerating, corruption is rotting the country from within, there should be a lot that each of us can do to nullify these perils.

02 January, 2011

A contemplative sabbatical

I have decided to take a sabbatical from all my online activities for sometime (including my personal mails). I shall stay so, for at least a week, or even more than that.
Will reveal my reasons once I am back online.
For any important communications, feel free to give me a call, or meet me up :-)

01 January, 2011

2010 -> 1-1-11

Wish you all a radical and blissfully happy new year :-)

Let us strive towards making this year and the future from now on better than it has been, by being part of the change which we will set rolling on.
Standing at another check point, to measure the evolution in the past one year.
Now, looking back at 2010, personally, it has been exceptional in many ways: Paradigm shifts, Perpetual ideas, Personal bliss....

Here's a small retrospective log (for personal chronicling of course;) of the year that has been...

My stand on religion has gotten clearer; At least to myself, while, most of the rest are perplexed further. This endorsement of mine as a disbeliever has made a lot many unhappy, understandably. Nevermind, I am happier than ever with this outlook and am working to make it better.

Another major paradigm shift has been of my perception of the society. It has gotten more critical, in a shrewd manner, and still going on. Learning, understanding and interpreting the mechanisms of the ways in which the world is run is more than fascinating: It is enlightening.

Professionally, my apprehension of getting complacent seems to be coming true. Now that I have gotten conscious about it for sometime now, I am working to counter this sense of shallow satisfaction, to keep myself motivated and to do more than what I am currently doing. Come next year, there will be some tangible actions.

Personally, no new friends this entire year. That comes as no surprise, and only adds to my record of being me. By the way, the old ones have become sparse, further more. Whereas, few old acquaintances have transcended to become real close companions. There is more synchronism in the better entourage that is in the making. Glad for that :-)

Like always, the only incessant resolution is to evolve, for the better. And I hope each of you does the same.

Wish you all a transformative new year; Transformative in the sense of curbing all the negatives and accentuating all the positives.


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