24 February, 2011

From ponderous to wondrous!

It has been quite a while that I laid back and did what I love the most: To let my mind wander...

Off late with all the tasks and corresponding completions timelines, there has been little opportunity at hand to just 'while' away some moments with no purpose at all. This isn't me complaining about all the tasks I am committed to, but expressing my want of those wonderful moments, moments of unfettered bliss within my head...

The euphoria emanating from such purposeful 'purposeless inquisitions', with no tangible outputs is an exquisite feeling of self fulfillment. This gratification is necessary for me, to keep this narcissist mind at work.

Time, spent such, is an investment one would quintessentially have to make, while mining into the talents and ideas within thyself !
Such ponderous moments culminate to become wondrous creative acts.
And, that is Mission Accomplished! Being at it,regularly is an exquisite treat each of us could give ourselves...
Vista 1: (Get to see it only my blog! album)

20 February, 2011

Hypocrisy as the Lifestyle syndrome

I meet many people; people who don't enjoy what they do. They simply go through their lives, getting on with it. They got no great pleasure from what they do; They endure it, rather than enjoy it, and wait for the weekend...
Sir Ken Robinson

Using this excerpt from Sir Ken Robinson as a take off point, allow me to present the little acknowledged, but the common societal catastrophe: The ubiquity of superficiality in people, or the Hypocrisy as the Lifestyle syndrome.

We might have acknowledged this syndrome, i.e., in others; But most of us wouldn't dare to evaluate ourselves, to see where we personally stand on this scale of self treason.

Deriving pleasure and gratification out of the work we do is as irrelevant in today's world, as the expectation of honest and earnest governance in today's pseudo-democracies. The unfortunate trend, which has percolated to become a trait of the society is : We'd know it is wrong, but wouldn't bother to better it, because supposedly everyone does it that way!

We bury our natural urges and talents deep down, piling the routine of hypocrisy, confusing mediocrity to be excellence, and pseudo recognitions as results. Few moments of exalting happiness is what keeps us going, when there's a life full with exalting gratification that goes wasted.

A friend of mine says, "All our priorities are screwed up! They're nonsensical". And I so agree with it.

We emulate others, while we lose our authenticity; Worst of it all, we feel no remorse about this self betrayal. Starting from our desires, passions, culture and lifestyle everything has one common factor: Pretension!

After cribbing about this syndrome to this extent, I shall end it optimistically by remembering the few true humans I know: People who are, what they are, and others would only want to emulate them.

A depiction of the so called transition

14 February, 2011

Bryan Adams and the Greatest Sing-along concert in Bangalore!

Bryan Adams in Bangalore (image from TOI, we weren't allowed with our cams!)
After the two hours of Bryan Adams in Bangalore, I was unable to make an audible sound, or even stand up straight; I was drenched in dust but was euphoric and was certainly still on Cloud No.9!
But, even a minute before, until there was Bryan Adams on stage, I, like the rest of the thousands, didn't feel any fatigue, we were just ecstatic to see the Deity himself singing, jumping and cheering with us energetically, in his flesh and bones, until he got us soaked to our bare bones!

The sea of people, a sea with a common current of Bryan Adams' music in it, was the experience of a lifetime. I'm certain that the Indian audience cannot sing-along any other artist for almost all the songs performed! It was scintillating, and not to mention intoxicating. 

While me and my friends were guessing as to what might be the opening track, he surprised us, by more aptly opening with "There will never be another tonight", and he had the struck the right chord as he got us all jumping and hooting throughout... He introduces himself as Bryan Adams, and starts off with "Here I am", and this track never fails to give goosebumps, and in a live show, it blows you away.

I can recollect something special about each of the tracks performed, but I'll prevent myself from making this the longest post by me, and only mention the rest: Somebody, 18 Till I die, Everything I do - I do it for you, Please forgive me, Heaven, The only thing that looks good on me, Night to remember, How do you feel tonight, Can't stop this thing we started, Cuts Like a knife, Here I am, Hearts on Fire, Thought I'd died and gone to heaven, Baby when you're gone, Cloud No.9, Run to you, You've been a friend to me, Summer of 69 and I must have missed out a few and he closed the show with his Bare Bones performance.
Dizzy!And that's what it was like!
There was an awesome jam between Bryan Adams and Keith Scott for one of the tracks, and later a dedication to Keith Scott in Hearts on Fire.  To perform the female lead for Baby when you're gone, Bryan pulled out a girl from the audience and it was superb, and she did perform well!

At 90 mins the band closed the show with Cloud No.9, but the crowd asked for more and more, they did give heed to us and went back and performed Run to You and You've been a friend to me! Then the band members bid us adieu, while we hadn't got enough. 
And this time Bryan Adams, stayed back and did two tracks from his Bare Bones, The way you make me feel and Straight from the Heart ( acoustic guitar, his voice and  him playing mouth organ!):The perfect curtain call!

These two hours of my life will remain evergreen and immortalized, with resonance of Bryan Adams' performance, his energy, the music and all the words which mean so much to me!
Unintended Trance at the show...

09 February, 2011

ಕೋಪ ಬರಲೇಬೇಕು!

ಇತ್ತೀಚಿಗೆ ಒಂದು ಸರಕಾರೀ ಕಛೇರಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕೆಲಸವಿದ್ದಿತು. ಒಂದೆರಡು ಮುಖ್ಯವಾದ ದಾಖಲೆಗಳನ್ನು ಅವರಲ್ಲಿ ಕೊಟ್ಟು , ಕೆಲಸಕ್ಕೆ  ಹೊರಡಬೇಕಾದ ಸನ್ನಿವೇಷ.

ಆ ಕಛೇರಿಯ ಕಾರ್ಯಸಮಯ ಬೆಳಿಗ್ಗೆ  ೯:೦೦ ರಿಂದ ಸಾಯಂಕಾಲ ೫:೦೦ ರವರೆಗೆ ಎಂದು ಒಂದು ಫಲಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಸೂಚಿಸಲಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಈ ಕೆಲಸದ ಸಲುವಾಗಿ ಹಲವಾರು ಬರುವರೆಂದು ಅರಿತ ನಾನು, ಮತ್ತು ನನ್ನಂತಹ ಇನ್ನು ಕೆಲವರು ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಬೇಗನೆಯೇ ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಸೇರಿದ್ದವು.

ಸಮಯ ೯: ೦೦ ಇನ್ನೂ ಹಲವಾರು ಜನ ನಮ್ಮ ಸಾಲಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಸೇರಿದರು, ಆದರೆ ಆ ಕಛೇರಿಯ ಕಾರ್ಮಚಾರಿಗಳು ಬರುವಂತೆ ಕಂಡು ಬರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಸೇರಿದ್ದ ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ತಮ್ಮ ಕೆಲಸಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಲು ಸಿದ್ಧರಾಗಿರುವಂತೆ ಕಂಡು ಬಂದಿತು. ಸೇರಿದ್ದ ಜನರ ಸಂಖ್ಯೆ ೧೦ ರಿಂದ ೨೦, ೧೫ ನಿಮಿಷಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸುಮಾರು ೪೦ ಜನ ಸೇರಿದ್ದರು.

ಸಮಯ ೯:೩೦ ಆದರೂ, ಕರ್ಮಚಾರಿಗಳು ಯಾರೂ ಬರಲಿಲ್ಲ.
ತಡವಾಗಿ ಬರುವುದು, ಬಂದ ನಂತರ ನಿರ್ಲಕ್ಷ್ಯತೆಯಿಂದ ಕೆಲಸವನ್ನು  ಮಾಡುವುದು ನಮ್ಮ ಭಾರತ ದೇಶದ ಸಂಸ್ಕ್ರುತಿಯೆಂದೇ ಹಲವರು ನಂಬಿದ್ದೇವೆ. ಹಾಗೆ ನಂಬಿದ್ದ ಕೆಲವು ಜನರು ಇದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಗೊಣಗಲು ಪ್ರಾರಂಭಿಸಿದರು. 'ಸರಕಾರೀ ಕಛೇರಿಗಳೇ ಹೀಗೆ', 'ಏನೂ ಪ್ರಯೋಜನವಿಲ್ಲ' , 'ಊಟದ ಸಮಯವನ್ನು ಮಾತ್ರ ಸರಿಯಾಗಿ ಪಾಲಿಸುವರು ', ಎಂದು ಇನ್ನೂ ಬಹಳ ರೀತಿಯ ಮಾತಿನ ಕಿಡಿ ಕಾರುತಿದ್ದರು.

ಸಮಯ ೯:೪೫, ಕಛೇರಿಯ ಕಾರ್ಮಿಕರು ಯಾವುದೇ ಆತಂಕವಿಲ್ಲದೆ, ಹಾಯಾಗಿ ಬಂದರು. ಬಂದು, ತಮ್ಮ ವಯಕ್ತಿಕ ಮಾತು ಕಥೆಗಳನ್ನು ಮುಗಿಸಿ ತಮ್ಮ ಕುರ್ಚಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದು ಕುಳಿತು ತಮ್ಮ ಕೆಲಸವನ್ನು ನಿಧಾನವಾಗಿ ಪ್ರಾರಂಭಿಸಿದರು. ಅಲ್ಲಿಯವರೆಗೆ  ಗೊಣಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಜನ, ತೆಪ್ಪಗಾಗಿ ತಮ್ಮ ದಾಖಲೆಗನ್ನು ಕೊಟ್ಟು  ಹೋಗ ತೊಡಗಿದರು. ಆತನಕ ಅವರು ಕಿಡಿಕಾರುತಿದುದನ್ನು ಆ ಕಾರ್ಮಿಕರು ನೋಡಲಿಲ್ಲ; ಹಾಗೆ ನೋಡಿದ್ದರೆ, ಸ್ವಲ್ಪವಾದರೂ ಯೋಚಿಸಿ ತಮ್ಮ ಕೆಲಸವನ್ನು ಸರಿಯಾಗಿ ಮಾಡಬೇಕೆಂದು ನಿರ್ಧರಿಸುತ್ತಿದರೋ ಏನೋ . ಆದರೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಜನ ಈಗ ತಮ್ಮ ಬಾಯನ್ನೂ ತೆಗೆಯಲೇ ಇಲ್ಲ .

ಸಮಯ ೧೦:೦೦, ನನ್ನ ಸರದಿ ಬಂದಿತು. ನಾನೂ ನನ್ನ ದಾಖಲೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕೊಟ್ಟು, ಸಹಿ ಮಾಡಿದೆ. ಅದಾದ ನಂತರ ಆ ಕಾರ್ಮಿಕರನ್ನು ತರಾಟೆಗೆ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡೆ. ಸರಿಯಾದ ಸಮಯಕ್ಕೆ ಅವರು ಬಾರದ ಕಾರಣ, ೫೦ ಜನರು ತಮ್ಮ ಕೆಲಸಗಳಿಗೆ ತಡವಾಗಿ ಹೋಗ ಬೇಕಾದ ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿ ಉಂಟಾಗಿದೆ, ಮತ್ತು ಅವರಲ್ಲಿ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪವೂ ಜವಾಬ್ದಾರಿಯಿಲ್ಲವೆಂದು ಹೇಳಿದೆ. ಅಷ್ಟರಲ್ಲಿ, ಆ ಕಾರ್ಮಿಕರು ಬರುವ ಮುನ್ನ ಗೊಣಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಜನರು ನನನ್ನು ಸಮಾಧಾನ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು  ಹೇಳತೊಡಗಿದರು. ಆ ಕಾರ್ಮಿಕರ ಮೇಲೆ ಇದ್ದ ಕೊಪಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಈ ಸತ್ತ-ಪ್ರಜೆಗಳ ಮೇಲೆ ಕೋಪ ಅಧಿಕವಾಯಿತು. ಕಛೇರಿಯ ಕಾರ್ಮಿಕರು ಬರುವ ಮುನ್ನ ಅವರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಹರಟೆ ಹೊಡೆದು, ಅವರ ಮುಂದೆ ಏನೂ ಹೇಳದೆ, ಹೇಳುತಿದ್ದ ನನನ್ನು ತಡೆಯುತಿದ್ದ ಆ ಮೂರ್ಖರಂತೆ ವರ್ತಿಸುದ್ದ ಜನರ ಮೇಲೆ ಇನ್ನಷ್ಟು ಕೋಪ ಹೆಚ್ಚಾಯಿತು.
"ಅವರ ಬೆನ್ನ ಹಿಂದೆ ಅವರನ್ನು ನೀವು ಟೀಕಿಸಿದರೆ ಏನು ಪ್ರಾಯೋಜನೆ? ಅವರ ಮುಂದೆ, ಅವರನ್ನು ತರಾಟೆಗೆ ತೆಗೆದರೆ ತಾನೇ ಅವರಲ್ಲಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಜವಾಬ್ದಾರಿ ಬಂದು, ಕೆಲಸವನ್ನು ಸರಿಯಾಗಿ ಮಾಡುವರು!" ಎಂದು ಅಲ್ಲಿದ ಜನರನ್ನು ಕೇಳಿ, ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಹೊರಡಲು ಆರಂಭಿಸಿದೆ.

ನಾನು ಕೊಪಗೊಂಡುದನ್ನು  ನೋಡಿದ ಒಬ್ಬ ಮಧ್ಯ ವಯಸ್ಕನು ನನಗೆ  " easy  ..easy  " ಎಂದು ಉಪವಾದ ಮಾಡಿದರು.
ನಡೆಯುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ನಾನು, ಅವರ ಬಳಿ ನಿಂತು : "ನೀವು  easy  ..easy ... ಅಂತ ಹೇಳಿಯೇ ನಮ್ಮ ದೇಶವನ್ನು ಈ ಸ್ಥಿತಿಗೆ ತಂದಿದ್ದೆರೆ ...ಕೋಪ ಪಡಬೇಕು ರೀ!", ಎಂದು ಗರ್ಜಿಸಿ ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಹೊರಟೆ !

ಹಿನ್ನುಡಿ :
ನನ್ನ ಅನಿಸಿಕೆಯ     ಪ್ರಕಾರ ನಮ್ಮ ದೇಶದ ಜನತೆ ಗಾಂಧಿಯವರ ಅಹಿಂಸಾ ತತ್ವವನ್ನು ತಪ್ಪಾಗಿ ಅರಿತು ಅನುಸರಿಸುತಿದ್ದಾರೆ .
ಗಾಂಧೀ ನಮಗೆ ಕೋಪವೇ ಬರಬಾರದು, ಎಲ್ಲವನ್ನು  ಸಹಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಹೋಗಬೇಕೆಂದು ಹೇಳಿಕೊಡಲಿಲ್ಲ!

ಅನ್ಯಾಯವನ್ನು ಕಂಡಾಗ ಕೋಪ ಪಡಬೇಕು,
ಆಗ ನಮಗೆ ಬರುವ ಕೋಪವನ್ನು  ಅಹಿಂಸಾತ್ಮಕವಾಗಿ ವ್ಯಕ್ತ ಪಡಿಸಬೇಕು!
ಎಂದು ಗಾಂಧೀ ಹೇಳಿ, ಅವರ ಬದುಕಿನ ಮುಖಾಂತರ ತೋರಿಸಿಕೊಟ್ಟಿದ್ದಾರೆ...

06 February, 2011

The Motorcycle Diaries

I knew not who this young man was, or what he had become later on when I watched The Motorcycle Diaries, intermittently in Zee Studio before a couple of years. I tried to read the book now, pretending to have not known this young man, or what he has come to be to me.
It was an experience reading The Motorcycle Diaries.

The book is not only the account of 'making of a revolutionary icon' in the 20th Century. It is an elegantly written, profoundly influential travelogue. It is one of the finest and smooth books to read. The simplicity of the people and their lives, with all their struggles amidst the vivid descriptions of the sublime nature is the consistent undercurrent throughout this Diary.

The entire book is as if a prologue to the last chapter (When you read it, might agree),
Recollecting a few lines in the last chapter:

I knew... I now knew that when the great guiding spirit cleaves humanity into two antagonistic halves, I would be with the people.

This young man chronicling his adventures and revelations in the countryside of the Latin American continent could have been anyone amongst us. Each of us at some point of time are brought to such revelatory experiences in one form or another. The point is how much of influence these experiences have on us. We seldom give heed to what these experiences reveal to us; We conveniently shut ourselves off.

Whereas this young adventurer, who set off to know his continent's people, was transformed to become one of the greatest revolutionaries of the human history, who goes on to inspire millions of youngsters even today.

We might concur, or differ with Che's politics and his warfare, but the urge to recognize and stand against oppression, backed with relentless dedication and efforts is what Che is all about.
He is as relevant today, as he was during his times.

We need to open up ourselves; Then observe and act. If it takes a little of Che in each of us to do it - So be it.

Never a step backward,
Never a moment of weakness.
- Ernesto 'Che' Guevara

01 February, 2011

Working Class Hero

In the year 1984, in Shimshapura, a village not far away from the Silicon capital of India, Bangalore, there lived a rational man who was ahead of times, in relation to the circumstances he was brought up in. The story is about this man rising above all his peers and contemporaries.

As a background to this story, Untouchability and Casteism in India are perils which are still haunting various regions of India, and are far from being things of the past. I find it unneccasry to elucidate what these superstitous inhuman acts are capable of unleashing, as we have had chronicles narrated to us in our schools and most of us might have witnessed it in person.

While our protagonist is in his early twenties, living in the orthodox, caste-conscious village ( like the many then, and a little less now), has an entourage of seven other youngsters in the village. Interestingly, his entourage comprises of a person from the 'lower' caste and this by itself has outraged the rest of the village, as it is still presumed to be 'unholy' and 'degrading' to interact closely with these people who are called as the 'dalits' otherwise in India.
Reiterating the fact that he was 'rational', he would profess to his peers that caste-based discrimination to be a foolish superstition,and people shouldn't endorse such inhuman discriminations. His entourage was convinced better than the rest of the village.

Until now, the protagonist and his entourage had only interacted with the lower caste friend of theirs, whereas they hadn't visited his home or eaten there.
During one festival, this friend invites the rest of the entourage to his home for the special supper. These young men, who had until then professed rationality, didn't think otherwise; acted by their words and happily joined their friend from the 'lower' caste for a relishing dinner, a hitherto event in the village...

Post dinner, each one of them, because of the prejudices they were brought up in, questioned themselves, if it was any different or 'unholy',or if they felt 'guilty' to have suppered with their friend. Convinced that they had done the right thing, they slept that night peacefully.

For the next couple of days, the news about this young group of villagers having suppered at the 'dalit's' home spread all across the village, into some 1000 houses, like wild fire. Every road-side conglomeration of people would discuss exhaustingly about this 'atrocity' committed by these youngsters. With the news reaching the village heads, and the Panchayat, they decide to summon these young men for the 'shameful' disdain exhibited by them.

No logic presented by these men was given heed to, and all the 'accused' were 'convicted', for the crime of having brought disgrace to the entire village, and the 'upper caste'. As a punishment they were fined Rs.50/- each (substantial amount in the 1980's) and were to undergo the re-purification process: It would comprise of shaving off their heads, taking a public bath with turmeric and soap-nut powder, and drinking a trickle of the 'holy cattle water' or the cow's urine! As the entire village was against these men, including their own family members they had to succumb to this ridiculous process.

After undergoing this atrocity, our protagonist is outraged and furious.

During an immediate visit to the town, away from his village, he meets his brother. The brother on questioning about his new hairdo, and the subsequent narration of the entire saga, is infuriated and escorts his victimized brother to the press and everything is reported there.

As caste-based discrimination and untouchability in India are constitutional offenses, the newspaper report which appeared next day triggered the police to reach the village and hand out serious warnings to the village heads. The village heads went absconding.

Unaware of the ramifications of  his newspaper interview, our protagonist reaches the village to be welcomed with stares of admiration from a few, while the rest were dreadfully scared! Once he spoke to his friends, he realized the implications of his newspaper interview and was glad that the elders were being taught a lesson for their stupidity...

After returning from their tenure of absconding, the undaunted village heads regrouped the Panchayat and decided to boycott the protagonist along with his family (seclusion from the rest of the village).
With pressure from within the house, with his brothers asking him to leave the house, the protagonist had decided to stay away from his house. But, his mother urged him to face the villagers and stay put at his home.

With moral support from his mother, he started to visit the village as he would normally. To counter the ignorance of the rest of the villagers, he began to analyze the history of the village, and noticed that there were many other upper caste people who had and were interacting with the 'lower caste' people for their benefits (for the sake of free labor, illegitimate relationships, exploitation and so on). He jotted down the names and instances such as those, and started questioning the village heads, who could not confront him. They started dodging him, and during this process he had mobilized a good number of other rationales from the village who would join him for this essential cause and fight against such caste-based discrimination in their village and nearby ones.

Over a period of time, the villagers' ignorance and audacity had molded our protagonist into a leader, and he was the first member from his district to have won a Panchayat seat in the elections, standing for the party he endorses.
Even now, he is a leader who resonates to the ground level problems of his villagers and goes to great extents to see that he can help them with the best of his efforts.

PS: The name of the protagonist is G Ramakrishna, from the Malavalli taluk of Mandya district. People in his taluk are more open and welcoming to people from other castes, although the peril by itself is not fully abolished. GR even now is active in mobilizing people to stand up for their cause, bringing them out of the shackles of inhibitions and ignorance. He is one common man, who turned to be a Hero, a working class hero...


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