Dec 30, 2009

Make laws, make rules, create memory loss

All around me, when I see someone littering, or spitting, I hear some convent-educated, well-fed voice go "You know, they should make a law against this. And fine all those who do it. Like in Singapore" (or London or any other phoren countries). Someone else goes, "Laws won't make a difference, we should create awareness." And I think, will ANYTHING work? For what has to change primarily is mindset. People have to get conditioned to think differently. And to tell someone, 'Hey whatever shit you are thinking, you are wrong' is not easy. More so, to get someone to believe you without punching you in the face.

Most people would get angry at being questioned. Humans as we know are conditioned as a species to live with the thought that they are the most superior beings. Now they apply this theory to compare themselves to other humans too is just a natural outcome or side-effect. So telling them that what you are thinking is just retarded, old fashioned and simply stupid will just get you a red nose and a black eye, maybe some abuses.

So, as it turns out, I know many people who belong to that 'I am always right' category. And well, I have tried, and tried. "You know, bell bottoms are seriously out of fashion". "Mushrooms ARE vegetarian". "Drinking milk does NOT cure all diseases." and more serious topics too.

Just like them, we have those all over the world. Take for instance the perennial Mumbai local ladies compartment traveller who thinks - So what if I stamped on your foot, you are no one to scream. Or the rickwala who has a sticker saying 'Spitting spreads TB' on the back of his rickshaw and some red liquid in his mouth. And then there are the elderly who will be all gung ho for secularism but throw a fit if anyone in their family decides to tie the knot with someone outside their religion. Blasphemy!

So, what can we do then? I think there is no option. Laws and rules will be their, maybe be enforced but no one will be willing to follow them. You can't change thinking. But of course you CAN create memory loss *evil glint in eye*.

Comic book villains, where art thou?

Dec 26, 2009

The spirit

I like festivals. But as much as they have a religios relevance, I don't like that. I like festivals independent of religion, custom and rituals.

I believe every festival has a soul to it. It has an individuality and a personality, just like you and me. And that is what I like about each festival. Holi for example, is colourful and loud and gets easily drunk- carefree and oblivious to the world around. The kite festival on the other hand prefers to speak very little, and yet makes its presence felt through the burst of colours dotting the sky. Diwali for me, is loud, garish, fun-loving and exuberant. It is that nice, sweet aunty next door who loves flowers in her hair, and always makes good food for you.


Christmas. I love the Christmas personality- the Christmas spirit. For me, it is like this tiny fairy with transparent wings and tinkling anklets who goes around sprinkling magic dust on everyone. Yes, quite fantastic, but well, I actually feel that on Christmas. As much as it is a religious festival, for me it has hardly any religious significance. I just the love the way everything looks, the way people behave and all the cultural modes and symbols floating around that time of the year. The icy cool nip in the air, the red and green and white fluttering all around, the white lights twinkling like stars from every house. And cakes, and carols. It's just rhythmic, a festival of music and merriness. Everything in Christmas has a musical quality in it. From the Ho, ho, ho's, to the bells in your window, to the 'Merry Christmas' greetings.


I like Christmas. And what I like is I don't have to be Catholic to like it. I don't have to go to church to celebrate it. I can still put up a tree and decorate it. I can still walk around with a Santa hat and exchange presents. And it still makes me feel as much a part of it as anyone else. All I have to do to feel what they call the Christmas spirit is walk around and look at the simple decorations on people's windows- not the store or mall or street decorations, but the home ones.

And I can feel myself dancing to the rhythm of the festival.

Dec 18, 2009

Anjaana raasta

I just had this sudden urge of writing in Hindi. So I began:


Galiyon ki mehek mein huye aise mashroof
Ke sadakon ka pata hum bhool gaye,
Fiza ki madhoshi mein kho hi gaye,
ke lamhon ka pata bhi bhool gaye.

Saundhi mitti ki khushboo bichi,
Aankhen moond hum kheeche chale,
Oas ki boondon se baatein karein,
Hariyali ki chadar par daude chale.

Patli si sadak bhi chhut gayi,
Khushi khushi hum gum hi gaye,
Neeli chadar odh, hare bichawan par,
Thake tab do saans late gaye.

Raat ki surrati hawa suni,
Mausam jaise dharti se kare baatein,
Meethi yeh boli mein aise khoye,
Ghar wapas kaun jaana chaahe.

- © HAEM ROY

My critic avatar

I saw Avatar recently, and I came out with mixed reactions. The much awaited movie was both much more and much less than what I expected. And I realised, I mostly had one line reactions to it:

- Effects 10 yrs ahead of their time, and a story 10 yrs behind its time gives a movie that lies in the present.

- Before I could say How, all I could say was Wow!

- The movie lover in me was stunned by the level of filmmaking. The critic in me cried out for some story at least.

- This movie defines our present state: Humans are the villains, we sympathize more with aliens than with our planet, we are always out to take what is not ours, destruction is just a daily norm and heroes or miracles are just fantastical.

- Sci-fi is just human stories and love tales told through blue or green bodies.

- Filmmakers take ten years to make a movie that shows trees falling down and nature being destroyed through special effects, and the world beats them at doing so in real time.

I will keep adding to the list as and when I come up with more. And you are welcome to add on.

P.S: A friend who accompanied me claimed that the aliens were copies from our Lord Krishna who was also blue skinned, and the name Avatar proves it. This is her theory. What's yours?

Dec 2, 2009

Perception

I fly by
past my dreams
oblivious to the shooting stars
as I stare at the little boy
who carried a basket of laughter on his back,
I look at his 9 coloured rainbow
as he rubs his crayons on the sky,
and paints the trees blue
I find my dreams rushing back
I find them flavoured with dew
Looking at the stars for the first time
I make a wish.

- © HAEM ROY