Forgotten, overlooked or failed to be recalled?

India loses a final match and you end up reading ridiculous updates on social network, which indicates, highlights, India’s sick mob mentality. Till yesterday, I was happy to live in a country with cricket fans who worshipped people like Sachin Tendulkar! Today I am disgusted to know that these aren’t cricket fans but spiteful fanatics! To add to the worsening situation that unnecessarily went against Yuvraj Singh, his residence was stone pelted.

People should rewind their heads and think of how Yuvraj Singh has played before and the kind of passionate, aggressive run-scorer he has been for the Indian team. In fact, Yuvraj is the one to have steered India to the World T20 Finals and also the 50-over World Cup with a spectacular performance! And where did all that go yesterday? Gone, Forgotten, Overlooked or simply failed to have been recalled? One bad match and the legendary cricketer loses it all? Out rightly ridiculous! There’s no sportsperson in this world who has always performed in crucial games!

If we look at the ICC World Cup T20 finale of 2014, Sri Lankan players put up an effortless play and they deserved to win! It was a painful inning to witness for Indian fans but turning to hooliganism was the last thing expected! Even India deserved to win, before the match had begun – they’d remained unbeaten throughout the tournament. But they probably forgot how a final match has to be played!

A player can’t see a ball passing from besides him and then he says: “Oh Shit! I missed it!”

A player has to run for his life to reach the ball crossing the boundary!

And those typical Indian misfields, and a dropped catch here and there!

And if Yuvraj was that vulnerable, blame Dhoni for sending him instead of Raina or going himself!

So the team is to blame and not only Yuvraj!

Singling out one player indicates how fanatic cricket fans turn! And if stone pelting was the punishment to non-performers, there have been non-performing or under-performing actors, television stars, politicians, governments and more. Have the balls to do that even once and then come speak of

To me Yuvraj is a true winner: who fought for his life and has come back to Indian cricket. He did showcased his capabilities in the match against Australia, in this tournament! All those who think they’re even capable of playing Gali Cricket after undergoing months of Chemotherapy sessions and taking stone pelting after under-performing, may remotely have the right to criticize this legend!

I reiterate my stand: Cricket fans, Grow up! Have a heart and don’t lose your sanity! A true legend can never be forgotten, overlooked or failed to be recalled!

Mr. Yuvraj Singh, if you’re ever reading this, I salute you as a Cricketer and I’m sure you’d be back to the same passion and aggression in no time! Thanks for being by the side of the Indian Cricket team like a Lion!

 

Does cultural & religious freedom entitle you to uncivilized behaviour?

“India is a culturally rich country with diversity prevailing at almost every few steps as you traverse the land.”

~ The most clichéd textbook statement, even though it is true. If you really want to witness this diversity, just look around and you’ll find how differently people behave and live. I remember one of my lecturers in the Communications class talking of how beliefs are mere by-products of the juxtaposition of cultural & religious roots of one’s family, geographical location and upbringing. This largely shapes a person’s belief, attitude and in turn of like-minded popular groups too. Diversity is the beauty of Indian culture. Indeed, it adds spice and flavour to our lives! The Indian constitution too respects this diversity hence introducing a few clauses that don’t let inequality persist. Good.

However, the down side of diversity comes into picture when despite cordial civil behaviour inked in the book of law, certain attitudes remain grounded into people, communities, etc. This is where the problem begins.

We live in a world where the need to coexist prevails: even before being a human right, it is the law of the nature, etched in the process of evolution. The prevalence of coexistence is the biggest challenge in the the diverse India.

A policy of living peacefully with other nations, religions, etc. Despite fundamental disagreements – the meaning of co-existence defined by dictionary.

When I speak of challenge, it means maintaining peace. If you are an Indian and I need to explain you how this happens, you’re probably not older than four years! (No offence intended)

Speak of any two religions- have we accepted each other and can we co-exist? If so, riots would perhaps never happen!

All this co-existence gyaan reminds me of a many incidents and instances, also my post on acceptance (read here.). I’d like to share something I’ve been witnessing over a period of time.

Right behind my apartment, there’s another apartment, under construction. I am annoyed with its presence since it blocks sunlight to my bedroom completely, however, its relevance holds in this post only to an extent that I hate the building being constructed. Now comes the primary reason of hatred:

Every thursday night roughly between 9 to 11, a certain religious group of individuals, not more than 10-15, gather for a satsang sabha in the parking area of this under construction building. They gather here, sing bhajans, aartis; share stories of the God they preach. The origin and authenticity of the songs and their pledge & anthem are a matter of doubt to me as their tunes partictically resemble Hindi Film songs, India’s national anthem and India’s pledge. 😀

Anyway, the point is they use a mic and a loudspeaker to sing and do all the talking. I would have understood this if it happened once in a while and for a larger audience. But every thursday night, there is this “nuisance” as i would rightly term it, that tends to disturb my sleep.

My objections:

1. Why use a mic? There must be at least 200-300 people whose balconies and bedroom windows must be facing this building, where nuisance happens! Not all of them visit this satsang. Therefore using loudspeakers and mic are a source of big disturbance.

2. Venue is a personal choice and convenience. But aren’t there rules to behave in a civilized way? Did you just forget you are supposed to co-exist in the surrounding you are? Your preferences for religious beliefs, activities and rituals can be different from mine. Why the show-off? Keep it a personal business either in a closed hall or room. Volume is always an issue. Mic again can be conveniently avoided.

Well, where coexistence comes into picture here when neither me nor my other neighbours who are getting disturbed, have thrown things at this gathering, which was quite convenient. But then others not understanding civilized behaviour violates coexistence as it becomes no more peaceful.

The challenge to coexistence in our diverse country lies here:

A lot of aspects in a cultural and religious diversity are a matter of individual choices. That is why any given two communities are “Fundamentally Different”! Tolerance is one aspect.

However, believing that religious and cultural freedom is one’s fundamental right, does not entitle one to impose one’s thoughts or activities onto others in the first place. Secondly, it does not again entitle such beings to uncivilized behaviour, in the name of right and choice.

I happy to live in a diverse surrounding, provided everyone co-exists in a true sense.

Alas! The Cold ……….

 

There’s a sun waiting to rise
There’s a wave waiting to splash
There’s but a word waiting to be spoken
There’s but a feeling waiting to be expressed
Alas that insolent moment
That suddenly shadowed the light with clouds!
Alas the turbulent waters that gulped life down in the deep!
Alas that cold expression~
That robbed all the inspiration!
There were no more feelings inside
And words no more mattered!
Only a deafening silence pierced through the moment
Leaving behind a stone~
That never came back to life again!
And the world mourned her death!
Set her free, oh master!
She is no more yours!
For she is no more herself~
Only a puppet to your desires!
With attempts to mend,
You tampered all the more~
Stealing the bewildered fire
That died out fueling your discontent soul!
The innocent soul she was~
Moulded the way you shaped…
Alas! She couldn’t be yours~
For you never let her be!
Alas the worst ever theft~
That of an inspiration!

  • The Fire (nirvanasoliloques.wordpress.com)

Indeed a story I never wanted to Hear!

woman-under-attack

A few days back I read this blog post by a woman traveller (link). The post expressed her experiences during her visit to India as a student. She named it: “India: The Story You Never Wanted to Hear”; and there she quoted, “India: A traveller’s heaven, a woman’s hell.” I perceived it as something a woman from a foreign land visiting India as a student took back from my country. Moments after I read this post that haunted my mind for quite a long time, I noticed this news flash about a photo-journalist gang-raped in Mumbai. Hours later, the news flashed about protests that broke out around the maximum city. In a day’s time I saw updates of enraged friends on Facebook! When all this happened, the very words in this blog I read seemed to come alive. Let me first share what she writes:

Do I tell them about our first night in the city of Pune, when we danced in the Ganesha festival, and leave it at that? Or do I go on and tell them how the festival actually stopped when the American women started dancing, so that we looked around to see a circle of men filming our every move?…

…Do I tell them about bargaining at the bazaar for beautiful saris costing a few dollars a piece, and not mention the men who stood watching us, who would push by us, clawing at our breasts and groins?…

…When people compliment me on my Indian sandals, do I talk about the man who stalked me for 45 minutes after I purchased them, until I yelled in his face in a busy crowd?

Well, this was not Delhi’s gang-rape; this was not Pune’s woman travelling home after a night shift and were sexually harassed; this was not a city’s red light area; this was not the Assamese tribal woman shamed in public; this was not Mumbai’s photo-journalist gang-raped in an isolated area and this was certainly not a case that had shook the nation. And I am surprised why not! This sort of a humiliation that my traveller friend faced is something every woman faces when she attempts to step out of the house and live a normal routine life, working, travelling, hanging out, walking or shopping. This daily public disgrace is not a matter of national concern or a breaking news flash!

“Eve-teasing is a criminal offence.”

The unfortunate story is that I have seen this only on hoardings at select theatres, and a few of such other public places. So what does it take to make this statement count and taken seriously? Either a woman fights back in an unusual way, either it is a high-profile case or the woman becomes a victim and people will talk about it day after day, yet only for the time being!

Delhi’s incident was “a life cut short”: 8 months for the crime to have happened and her family still waits for justice to happen. Sabrina Lal, Jessica’s sister waited 11 years for that! What do I expect from my country? Not that I hate it, but I am only accepting my country like a person accepts one’s name which is given by someone else, and then add one’s own meanings and definitions to it to seek for self identity!

I am left with no answers to a hundred questions! Do the lawmakers really have to worry about the age of the criminal? I remembered a woman whom I admire, once wrote,

“If you don’t know parenting skills, please use condoms or get operated. The skewed girl ratio I can (still) do with. The uncouth ill-mannered, in-disciplined, road-ragers, road hogs, squatters; I can do without…”

With all due respect, well if I may simply add to it, “It is also the disgusting, shamed, disrespectful bastards that we may happily do without…” In this case, the lawmakers may not have to worry about deciding “whether to punish them” because of the culprit’s *age*, who is for your information old enough to rape.

Good parenting skills are what many advocate for, true. Perhaps that is not solely enough; a strong self conscience, self-realization is needed; an openness to speak frankly about human-emotions and desires is needed. This cannot always be taught and again, be completely taught. This where a society comes into picture: law and order is a constraint put over those individuals whose emotions lose control to an extent that it robs away the basic human rights of other individuals.

Now logically speaking, I answered my own questions. Sadly, I still lack conviction because my inner feeling still tells me that introspection may work for the sane. I still wonder what can work for those who can easily lose control over their bottoms at the mere sight of women…! Is it so natural? Is it so common to feel so? May be! But is it common and sane to rule over the world of your own desires, even if it suppresses other individuals of their human rights? I still wonder. If someone can solve the complex matrix, please do let me and the country’s stakeholders know about it. Because, this is indeed a story I never wanted to hear or I never may want to hear!

Any Solutions to Bad Cinema Manners?

Me and Shantanu used to end up for movies practically every sunday. Initially we used to experiment trying to visit different theatres but finally settled upon PVR as our only place to view movies considering two factors: Movie Options and Crowd. This particular theatre in Ahmedabad tends to get a crowd that believes in appreciating cinema as an art. Plus we have a bonus of good food, more options and a decent ambiance to spend the entire day there switching between movie shows. Two-three movies a Sunday used to be a routine. Now when I read Hrishikesh’s post about Generic Cinema manners, I was tempted to add more. Sigh! I can’t blog  on his comments section and hence, the post with a bit of redundance. What do you do when you encounter such irritating patrons? If you were me, you would feel like strangling or stabbing the person right away but you reconsider your impulses, soothe yourself and then…? Curse people about basic Cinema Manners…!

image

Let me classify this one into a few types of viewers I have encountered at the best cinema hall I have seen so far.

1. Elders talking way too much:

This section of people let you end up in the biggest frustration. You can’t be rude to them beyond a point. And how many times do you go on indicating to them about basic manners. If you still go a step ahead and tell them, you will surely hear more sounds than before, gossiping about your behaviour.
“WHAT? Do I have the permission to sink into the movie in peace for which I paid, just like you did?”

2. Couples:

Well, you got better places to get cozy. I mean what is the desperation to just do everything in these couple of hours. You would surely not prefer to glare at the backseat and tell them to please not keep kicking your seat. It is so embarassing and all the more irritating!

3. Kids:

Kids are innocent they say. Dude, I know they’re innocent and they can’t be seated in a place for 2-3 hours. Where does the role of a parent go then..? It is so irritating when you are watching a movie, a kid bangs on your head from behind, or kicks your seat from behind! And when you glare back at them, the stupid mother who believes “Her kid is entitled to trouble anyone in the theatre just because it is a kid”; will give the most irritating smile in the world. If there is a wailing baby, take it out for a while. Well, there are other careless patrons who put their infants to sleep but leave them sleeping on the walkway besides middle corner seats. And yes, how do I forget parents who dont buy tickets for their poor little kid who then roams around in the entire cinema hall .. wow…! Someone told me, “What if you were a parent?!” I was like, “My kid would be taught basic cinema manners before it enters one! Forget others, I would hate if my young one ruins my own cinema experience by misbehaving!”
4. LIVE SUBTITLES:

When you go to watch Hollywood movies, in English and it doesn’t have subtitles; pray you don’t get this category anywhere aroundside. You listen to dubbed versions of every single dialogue and the person ensures you can’t hear the next dialogue. Dude, if you really want to boast your English Grasping Skills, cinema hall is one place, you will never be valued. There are dubbed versions of the movies; prefer them please and spare me?

5. Commentators:

Go watch an “A” rated movie with heavy use of desi slang: Bang On you can’t hear many dialogues. Okay, you understood the joke, and so did everyone else. Laugh riot is one thing but commentary after.each one? Screaming as if you were just thrown off the 12th floor? I don’t understand this obsession of Indian audience with the use of desi slang in movies; dude m and b words are known practically to every adult and there is nothing so great about you knowing it or seeing its use on a public domain.

6. GROUPS

These are the worst. A group of more than 3 or 5 is usually a big nuisance at the movies. Whatever be the movie, you are sure to get comments after dialogues that relate to the group members- IS IT A PRIVATE SCREENING FOR YOUR GROUP? Often a family of 7-10 with kids is even worse. Kids will create problems, as aforesaid. They will fight for a seat beside their favorite cousin and result: only one adult failing to control their behaviour. Adults are equally ill-mannered: popcorn will be passed from one end of the row to the other. They will always be concerned about their friend at the other end being well fed with popcorn and pepsi. Another speciality? Only one uncle out of 3 in the group of 8 will get up in the interval for pop corns, arrive ten minutes late by when everyone has settled and then shout: “Le lo…arey wo hisaab baad mein karenge”

7. Mobile Phone Users:

Ah! I can slaughter them into pieces. PVR gives a 1-2 min teaser to put your phone on silent or switch it off before the movie begins. I believe most cinemas may be doing so. Still…? Dates and Dinner Plans; Regular chit-chatting; Work and the list goes on… “I am at a movie” can be said softly or texted. Emergencies always allow you to go out and be at ease. But we love talking loudly in the middle of movies..! And no matter how many times do we glare at you, insult you, or just shout at you, you will remain the dog in manger.

8. FOOD Orders:

Not a major problem, but a few of them have special demands like you’ve hired personal cooks: “Bhaiyya ketchup nahin diya, bhaiyya yeh teekha hai, ismein chutney kyun kam hai, ismein barf kam daali hai aapne..” No comments…!

9. The Retaliators:

They may be any of the above and they will retaliate back, shout, make an issue out of things and create a racket. You temporarily curse yourself on raising the issue you couldn’t help suppressing..!

10. MOVERS & SHAKERS

You have to arrive real late both at the beginning and after the interval; just because you are not enjoying the movie, you shall get up thrice each for the food and loo and to top that all: you’re right in the middle of the row. You will laugh like you’re the only one in the cinema hall going ROFL and you pass comments like you are a critic evaluating it for the Oscar awards..!

Disclaimer: The above list is Illustrative and not exhaustive.

Well, not always did we come across such patrons during our PVR experience, but we sure did encounter such “SAMPLES” at the place we still find to be the best in town for a wholesome movie viewing experience. If this post applies to you, dear reader: You better note that it is very much intended to offend you by each direct or indirect indication. You pay the ticket money only and only to get that comfortable seat and watch the movie with your own eyes and ears. This amount does not entitle you to talk in between the movie, behave as if you are in your private chambet or do anything that may disturb the movie experience of other patrons.