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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Paper V/S Practical

As part of my College Curriculum, I am taught Media Laws and Media History and as protocol demands; I take a test on  the same. After a week's tiring effort of learning these laws, articles, provisions and amendments I realized the futility of the same in actual practice.
It had been quite painstaking to learn Article 19 1(a), especially because our teachers wanted us to quote the points word by word.
For those who don't know; Article 19 1(a) lays down the laws for Freedom of Press. A few days after writing a 5 page answer on this topic, I read about the Salman Rushdie 'fiasco'. I haven't read The Satanic Verses yet and hence choose not to comment on the argument of religious sensitivity.
However, my greater concern is why can't the laws be implemented for once! There are laws in place which allow all creative pieces to be subject to public criticism and judgement but where do death threats feature here! 
Why can't we behave as grown-ups and deal with the matter in a more mature manner than to take up arms at the drop of a hat! Why should a person of Indian origin be compelled to live abroad?
I was so elated every morning to be reading of the Literary Meets in the two extreme corners of the country ( Jaipur and Kolkata) but even this hasn't passed without controversy.
The meet of the intellectuals has revealed the underlying fear that resides in their hearts as well and the sense of  'in'security being offered by the Government, continually!

P.S: In Class 8 we read in Civics: India is a 'free,sovereign and a democratic' country.
That was paper.
Practical: No Comments!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Make Chai not War

It is amazing to know what an act of comedy can actually do. I attended
a Stand-Up Comedy session this weekend. It was organized by the American
Center Kolkata and indeed it was a power-packed performance with three
Indian Americans taking the stage by turns.
I enjoyed the evening with my friends and as we rolled over the floor
laughing, I realized, the experience had superseded my expectation.
While they touched on the age old jokes of women and their telephonic
conversations, Gujaratis and their English mispronounciations, there
were several other jokes which had an underlying message. That's when
the underlying theme would hit you again an you'd find yourself laughing
more at it's ironic relevance because the theme read- Make Chai Not War.
Azhar, one of the comedians commented the Google webpage which always
shows two primary buttons- Google Search and I'm Feeling Lucky. The luck
bestowed on the latter left us in splits and we realized how we
overlooked these things and forgot to smile!
Their splendid sense of humour didn't leave fake 'Nice' shoes alone as
it tried to compete with the original 'Nike'.
As against popular comedy which is most often vulgar, Make Chai Not War
made us think.
Have you ever thought why the security personnel subject heavily bearded
men to greater scrutiny? Well it is an unsaid fact that the suspicion is
on grounds of religion. But come to think of it, if they were on a
terror mission wouldn't they do away with all things that invite
trouble? Hence it's only obvious that they undergo a 'make-over' of some
sort. That's when I realized that even Kasab who was involved with the
26/11 attacks, wasn't bearded!
Sit back for a moment and think and in retrospect you'll find a reason
to smile in the most mundane tasks as well.
Make Chai Not War, and smile if one out of ten times you put in sugar
instead of Sugar Free tablets!

Friday, 13 January 2012



Today was a lazy day- typical to the winter season. College is off and thus, not having much to do I was lazing around. I tried very hard to catch up on some sleep but only found myself tossing in the bed from one side to another.
Just then my attention was drawn to the children who were playing downstairs. One girl said, " Nai main college nai office hi jaungi." The other insisted that she go to college only for some unknown reason. 
Nevertheless, they settled for college.

They were playing what we as children would call "ghar-ghar".
(I've never quite understood why the names of these games are doubled: ghar-ghar, teacher-teacher,  office-office)

Then the lassy spoke again - "Main savere uth k isse 500rupaiy mangungi." As their conversation continued it turned out that she even har a reason for demanding that sum - a college picnic. The next question was, Where would her picnic be? 
Within a fraction of a second she changed her mind and decided it would be a college 'trip' somewhere. 
Ok, the others agreed.
But again: Where?
"Kahi bahar hona chaie... Bahar mane out of India," she said casually!
And soon enough they settled on London.
Whether the British Government would sanction the visa or not, whether they would get the tickets or not; these young ones, approximately between 7 and 10 years old, set out on a trip to London.
The surroundings had to change. This change was even easier than the change of sets in films. They flocked out of the building to continue their game in the adjoining area and that became London without the Thames or Hyde Park, but London all the same!
Alas! That area was beyond my hearing rnage and when they returned half an hour later they were talking about doctors and blood.
Apparently, someone had suffered an accident. (imaginarily)
"Iska blood group O Negative kaise ho sakta hai? Negative to khali bacha log ka hota hai. Ye to abi bada hai na to positive hona chaie."
Little did they know that blood groups don't change and least of all they knew that the change of our outlook towards life is in the reverse order.

Such are the pleasure of childhood- enjoying London, college and office in a mere half hour. But sometimes it's not just restricted until childhood. I had a friend who enjoyed 'Barbie-Barbie' and 'Ghar-Ghar' till we left school!
If you choose to grow up then and only then will Heathrow be your only point of entry into London!