Thursday, August 29, 2013

Good Code Bad Code.

Hello folks

I love to watch debates. Especially those featured on BBC (The big questions). They are attended and participated by people in all walks of life and are conducted in an extremely democratic and secular manner. More often than not both sides present rational arguments. There are of course bad apples sometimes, but on an average it's intellectually enriching. The themes covered are primarily ethics, morals, religions etc.

The post is about the one I recently watched. And I had strong opinions on that one. So decided to tickle my dead blog with this mulling.

The issue : Is religion good for children?

Is childhood indoctrination necessary? Would they be lost for moral code without religion teaching them one? Are they incapable of being good human beings without this religion-derived set of values.

I think absolutely not. I think being good to people, having a sense of obligation towards fellow human beings etc. are inherently wired into our brain over the years. There is a reason man is called a social animal. Yes there is a give and take kind of a motive also. But all these traits form a very strong moral code in itself without the need of any external enforcer like religion.
There was a beautiful quote I came across on Facebook, "if religion is the only thing that stops you from being a horrible person, then you already are a horrible person". (amazing content on Facebook, that's going to be my next topic.)

This is one of the reasons why atheists/non-religious are still looked down upon in our society. Anyone who denounces the notion of a higher power is consider morally corrupt. This is particularly understandable in a milieu like that of India. Thanks to the years and years of cementing and defining the social and moral structure by the religions. That too dime a dozen.

One should ask oneself does one have an authority to spew morality lessons, when his/her good-doings are based on such a brittle foundation. Just the other day I was having an argument with a friend about religions bringing out good in people. I asked him, if your religion is removed out of the equation would he immediately turn into a murderer, a rapist, a thief. I do good things not because I am coveting a place in heaven or fearing the heck. I do good things because it makes me feel good.

And same is the case for any psychologically stable human being.

And that's why I am against childhood indoctrination. To borrow another beautiful quote, "children should be taught how to think and not what to think". Unfortunately in our society this rule will be taken as a blasphemy. The results of such "training" is evident. A closed and narrow mindset, an inherent discomfort to any dissenting view, and a latent opposition to freedom of speech. Why should children be taught good values on threat of retribution.

I refuse to believe that it is impossible to imprint upon children good values regardless of the age group, provided the parents do it properly. It's very easy to pass on ethics and morals if you yourself have a moral system that is a result of your own deciding. I am sure morality instilled this way will stay with them forever.

Religious approach
Do not lie...Because the god will punish you and send you to hell.

Non religious approach
Do not lie...because it hurts when one lies to you or it makes the other person feel bad.

How simple is that...It's absolutely arrogant and insulting to think that children are not capable of understanding this line of thinking. Many of the world's most developed countries have significant nonreligious populations. And yet,their social and moral fabric is stronger than ever. It's true that such type of thinking has a long way to go till it is pervade in our country.

But there is a ray of hope. More and more people are becoming liberal, rational and open minded thanks to tremendous amount of "unbiased" information and meeting people sharing similar ideology. They are understanding the fallacy behind the religious way saying what is good and what is bad. And hence I hope this generation will make sure that its children are brought up with a pristine set of values derived from their parents alone and not some artificial source.

To sum it up, be good not because someone up there might be keeping an account of your activities, but because you are inherently a good person.

See ya.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

From 2012 into the nineties..

Wassdssfspp pplzz???

First of all a very happy new year.It has been a great year.Besides, nobody cares whether a glass is half full or half empty as long as you know that someone gonna refill the empty half.Hope this year turns to be that benign re-filler and more awesomer than 2011. :)

Even though I had decided not to entertain my thoughts on blog I had to defer.The blog is dying and nothing writable comes to mind these days.Besides,its new years eve and I am stuck here, like 2000 freaking km away from my home.And I am frustrated. :(

But as they say, nostalgia is a refuge of a homesick(fine I said that!!), I chose to reminisce about the 90's I grew up in, and write a post about it.This also came from the chain-youtube-links-clicking about the programs, songs, movies etc from that which I stumbled across somehow.
Frankly, the tone would resemble that of a grandfather telling his grandsons about his childhood...But that's not exactly it and I am sure there are many who would be able to relate to it.

Me and many of the other people of the 90's generation are lucky to have been blessed with this simple yet completely fulfilling entertainment for a sufficient long time while growing up so as to carry and cherish the memories of it forever.

The only real connection to the pixel/digital world (literally) was the video game.Again it was not everyday afair.Most of the times it used to require permission from parents..and only dad knew how to connect it.
I enjoyed playing those low res, cheap graphics games with my friends more than almost any game I played on my pc/playstation.There was never a save option in any of those games hence finishing the entire game used to earn you a lot of respect.
The theme tunes of Marios, contras etc were like a part of the background music for my childhood. :)

Then there were those awesome programs on dd1.
Those who have grown with the likes of cable tv dish tv tata sky etc would never fathom that there was once a time when 2 channels were more than enough.

I dont know how many will agree but we had our very own potent superhero for a long time in the form of "Shaktimaan".We all were crazy about the show.I used to come home early running from school just to catch those last few mins.It may seem a pretty lame program now but that time it ruled the heart of every kid who was a wannabe shaktimaan.
Saturdays were favorite as there was a cushion of Sunday after that.A typical Sunday used to start with waking up with the tune of Rangoli..It seems funny now but now that I think of it, I almost never got to actually watch that show.
The painful realization of the school the next day, was associated with the ending credit sequence of Surabhi.I disliked Sundays.I still do.

It would take a separate blog post to talk about each and every legendary program on dd1.I would write on that someday...Tahekikaat, Alif Laila, Marshal, All the Best, chandrakanta, Ek se badhkar ek (it used to be very awkward when some "hot" song was played on the program), Nehle pe dehla, srimaan srimaati and on and on and on....Also a lot of DD metro programs.

Watching cricket matches was a lot more entertaining affair then.They used to be watched in groups, with your cricket buddies, family etc.It used to generate that level of interest.

How many times it happens now, that you surf through the entire package of channels provided by your dish tvs and the TATA skys and find absolutely nothing worthwhile to watch...
May be it was fun then because the concept of channel surfin hardly existed.All you needed remote was for volume and switching off.May be when you don't have so many options, or rather not aware about them, that you start valuing what you have.

The only time when I used to really mooch off the cable tv was at my cousin's in Pune in summer vacations.It was the time when almost every cartoon on cartoon network was superb.Hardly any other channel got watched.
And ya, how can I forget WWF (it was called that then).The intense discussions with my cousin that followed after the major bouts and speculations about whether the good guy will conquer the bad ones were an essential part of being a fan.
There was once some signal interruption when it was aired briefly on our tv.It was like find a pot of gold.The joy was short-lived ofcourse...

The world has taken leaps and bounds from that period.It can never relapse to those golden times again (golden for my generation).And yet still I lose myself every time I came across a familiar tv show...a familiar tune and keep following the link after link..It provides me a brief errand into that awesome growing-up hour or so goes past like anything...when I finally close the youtube, remove my headphones...I look at my laptop..I look at the facebook page opened on it..I look at the mindless updates people posted compulsively....I look at my smartphone....I look at the hefty bill at dominoes lying side by...

Suddenly they all make very little sense...they all seem redundant for some unwanted guests in my nostalgia.....until the effect finally wears off....and I join back the fellow zombies on facebook...

~Wanted to write much more but attention span issues are there.
~Pardon typos,grammatical errors,spelling errors..seriously too bored to recheck and correct.

Monday, July 18, 2011 good so far... :D

Somewhere on a highest branch of some tree....twilight time...

Crow 1: Hey look,thats the faccha I took a crap on yesterday..
Crow 2: <*Rolls eyes*> ya...Thats a strange phenomenon!!
Crow 1: No no no...I meant look how happy he still looks...
Crow 2: Hmm...havent they been through this c*n crap or what..
Crow 1: Oh comeon...its been there since I used to crap in my mom's lap..that cant be the reason..
Crow 2: Looks like the current batch is greener..<*Winks*>
Crow 1: Not really...I heard the figure is 7% this time...its a bigger sausage fest this year..haha.
Crow 2: I wonder what has kept his spirit high...have they not started that cv things yet or what.
Crow 1: Oh please...I think their whine about their CVs would humble our cacophony.I think they have stopped RG from this year..that must be the reason.
Crow 1: you think so..I hardly see anyone roaming outside anymore...they still have it...things like these makes them fall in love with their books....but wait a I see a guitar on his back..
Crow 2: Hmm...poor chap...must be going for auditions..Hey what say we make him realise the golden rule of "shit happens" together...<*Evil smirk*>
Crow 1: *High pitched excited croak*
Crow 2: On count of 3....3..2..1...Tadaaaa!!!
<*Victorious cacophony*> <*loud what-the-fuck*> <*Victorious cacophony*>

I flinched in my sleep and woke up...but there was no stinky white spot was a dream afterall...I lol'ed to myself...while the sleep was pulling me with her fast, I chuckled to myself...."What have my dreams good so far....ya right." :)

PS: This entry was sent for the IIM Calcutta Literary club,of which I am a member now.Yippyy :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I dream of....

He was tired...tired of dying bit by bit everyday..waned by the misfortunes that had become a routine and yet did not allow him to get used to them.Exasperated by the baffling coincidences that made him a loser at every step of his life...
His life was full of happening...the bad ones..he kept writing the sad chapters in his life everyday..

And yet...somewhere deep down in the ordinary mind of his,he saw a light of hope...a flame whos existance was yet to be ascertained....a flame which was going to serve a precursor to the countless conflagrations...His name was going to get engraved in every stone that mattered...Every time capsule was going to witness and record what he was going to do...even he did not know why he felt all this...

When is that day going to come..He mused (like everyday) one night as he put his tired cells to sleep one by one...

Somewhere in the half conscious quarter of his sleep he had a feeling..Feeling that he had never experienced once and yet he knew the smell of it but was never allowed near a favorite dish brought in front of you just for the smell and then snatched away when your stomach is crying with hunger...But this time he sensed it a bit more strongly.This time it did not stayed hit him squarely on his mind.....and what a beatific feeling it was...

It was the epiphany....epiphany that he was The One......epiphany that the time had come....his intense desire has finally fulfilled....he felt that aura which is felt only by the almighties....
For once his head was held high instinctively...his ever arching back became straight...he felt how it was like to be oneself....Enough was enough now.
No more was life going to play cruel game of dies with him...No more he was mere a dispensable insignificant earthling...Time had come to answer them...Time had come to silence them all...He finally had what he had seen only in his wildest dreams...

He had his Fate on her knees in front of him...something every mortal human being secretly desires deep down..

The moment had come...All that was left to permanently sign his name in the time was that final act...something that was rehearsed a million times before in his mind...But to futility,until now..
An act that would be a legend for the centuries to come..

He approached them...channelised all his rage,the mad vigor of victory in his hand...and iniated the sequence for that fitting reply...That sequence took and eternity to complete....every spectator had his breath stuck deep down his lungs...Time became a very distant relative of the observers...

The zeitgeist intently waited to make an entry of the occasion.

Finally that moment was over...the hand had reached his perpetrator....and kept reaching...with more and more intensity...


He started laughing with rage...with sounded like a mad if someone was mocking maliciously..
His hand did not stop...

He woke up with a snap.Why was he slapping his own face...he saw something red...something black on his palm...a mutilated cadaver of the mosquito that had raped him out of his dream...his face was painted red with the bites and his own slaps...although it was difficult to separate the shades of red,whether they were from the shame,the angst,the pity or the actual slaps...

He did not bother...It had taken one measly bloodsucker to wake him out of his mammoth dreams and left him abashed.
He surrendered.....He yielded in...his mind was unbearably heavy and weightless at the same time from the vicissitude of what it had experienced just now...Although he had tried to teach his mind to bear,to tolerate quietly,it never listened to him...nobody did.Nothing had changed...nothing was going to change..Ever..!!

He could hear the mad cackle if someone was mocking maliciously...he did not have to think twice about who it was...

He was only too familiar with his fate's laugh.....his head,back to its misery...his back,back to its defeated arch...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

While My Guitar Gently Smiles... ♫♫

Every time I surrendered to the anomy,
You decorated the silence for me..

And when I needed that missing hue,
You helped me find it within you..

Droned by tedium,when the mind became cloudy,
You allowed me a refuge in your melody..

Gone are the days when I sang blurred,
You made my empty songs sweetly colored..

Because of you,the music happened to me,
You bonded with me and me with thee..

elated I am,as I hold you gently,
You will,as always,serve me dearly..

PS: (For those who are interested) There is something interesting about this poem.Try to find it out. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Something experimental.....

Dear You,

You took a stab at breaking my spirit.You tried your best to drown me into the infinite oblivion of negativity.
You tried your best to push me into the abyss.But I held on to the very cliff till my nails bleeded.
When you left thinking that you undid me,laughing maniacally and hysterically,I was smiling at you.When you left and announced to the world that you had me done,I was already preparing my triumph speech.
Though you took away my speech,my sight,my hearing,you couldnt take my soul.Each and every cell of mine was warning you that I will be healed,I will be back,I will be paying back with interest,My time will come....

My time has come....

Ive learned to put a smile to my pain.Ive learned to draw silver linings around my sorrows.Ive taught my will to live.When I smile now,its as pure as a baby's conscience.I don't feel a need to contort my face lines to hide the toil and turmoil that once my life had become.I can build the temples of serenity and peace within my mind at my will.I've learned to paint my dreams with a colorful gamut of hope and happiness.
The canvas of my mind is fresh and clean all over again.The colors of spite,sorrow,hate,malice doesn't even stay on it.

I smile at you now.I laugh at you now.I pity you now.I condescend you now.
In fact I am so strong that I forgive you.I leave you to live the life of eternal debt of pardon from me.Its more painful than anything you would have ever experienced.You will realise in due time.
Go now.Go till you couldnt distinguish between your blood and your sweat.Move till the line separating sanity and insanity disappear completely.Wade till your mind becomes a blank slate.A blank unwritable dastardly slate.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Bombay to Goa...


I actually wanted to write a sequel to Pingology.But thought of pre-empting it with something that is much more relevant and much less a balderdash.This is something I have been planning to write since I arrived in Goa for a sabbatical after resigning from my job in Mumbai.

This post is somewhat about what Mumbai meant to me in my 3 years of stay.

Let me begin.

I wont sugarcoat my opinions.To be frank I did not really fall for Mumbai.I couldn't really come to peace with this city even after 3 years of my stay.For someone who has stayed all his life in Goa, it's hard to accept the city life.More so when that city is Mumbai.The more you observe the more you tend to see how diametrically opposite Goa and Mumbai are on every level.

While living in Mumbai many times I used to have this mental image about it depicting a room whose walls are obliquely swelling outwards having reached the threshold of its capacity to hold matter inside.("where 2/3rd of the population lives on 1/3rd of the land"..from some book).Its almost like having a free empty space (be it for a ground or garden or whatever) is a crime.There is an inherent tendency to stuff/fill an empty space,based on its size, with a mall,a building,a shop,a vehicle or a person.Of course a native Mumbaikar who has seen all this while growing up will find this a routine and a matter unworthy of any fuss.

A Goan wont.

Let me describe the yardstick against which I compared Mumbai.
I was born and brought up in Goa which is known for its sushegad (come must know the meaning of that term by now) lifestyle,laid back culture,no worries,no tensions,the pace adjusted to a very comfortable speed as per everyone's needs,the relative indifference to the terms like hectic busy rush etc etc,the smooth shiny roads between lots of greenery and trees just optimally filled with traffic in the office times and occupied more by the occasional stray dogs or cattle than vehicles in the quieter quarters of the day,the serenity that is omnipresent though the people,through the clean pollution-free air that surrounds,the blurred boundaries separating a neat village from a city,the ever so beautiful capital city,the pleasant climate,the rainy season that turns everything that is green into greener and did I almost wrote a paragraph about Goa without the word beaches....(no pun intended) and best of all,the genial people...

To be frank,and ask any Goan for that matter,a shift from Goa to Mumbai is not much different from speeding up a car from 0-100 Kmph.
The drastic movement does affect you at first.It did to me as well.

Ill be upfront about things I did not like about Mumbai("hated" would be too strong a term).
The insane travel times owing to the zombie traffic,which can be desettled with as little as one light rain shower,the robust and efficient local train network which is always defeated by the ever bulging population,the noise pollution,air pollution,lack of greenery and trees,senseless number of malls everywhere,a continuously growing thick jungle of concrete etc etc pushed me to the wits end when I was on the receiving side of it and made me run as far as possible from it.
But over the time I acclimatized myself to all this(although not completely).I learned to live with them.

Now let me face up the other side of the coin.Let me tell you what Mumbai meant to me.

This city brought me in the broad day light of reality from the Comfortable cocoon I had been into whole my life.
A bird cannot fly living its whole life in the nest.It has to jump into open air.Mumbai was that uncharted open air.I don't know whether I've learnt flying but I at least realised that I have wings.
New people,new environments new rules etc. brought about a lot of change in me.The decision making ability,the maturity,a broad mindedness,the perspective everything was positively affected by a significant extent.

The rat race is closely associated with the lifestyle over here.But I find that term pejorative.It's more of a race.Whether you run it as a rat or a cat chasing the rat or just like that roadrunner who doesn't care where he reaches,its your choice.
Its meaning is open for any number of interepretations.
I look at it this way.It gives you a sense of competition.A desire to prove yourself.A desire to rise above and break the stereotypes,a desire to make your mark,to be heard,to be known...
And frankly whatever little success I had in achieving all this would not have been possible had I been in Goa.

There is an insatiable zest for life here.The city literally lives through its people.
It was for the first time that I was in a same city of terror strikes(26/11).And I will never forget that.
The life was back to normal within hrs.The terror was failed miserably and shamefully in the hands and minds of the Mumbaian.
He showed that it would take something more than cowardly terrorist attacks to break its soul.The unshakeable spirit of the people really dazzled me.It really was awe inspiring phenomenon for me.There is simply no place for past-tense in a Mumbaikar's life.
Legend has it that the Phoenix bird routinely burns itself to ashes and reborn and rises again.
The proverbial phoenix of Mumbai doesnt have that much time.It just keeps rising.Taking all the blows and burns, healing itself on its way up without halt for a respite. :)

Summing it up,I am glad that Mumbai "happened" to me for many reasons.Wanted to write even more.But some other time may be.
May be I was a tad critical.May be my view towards Mumbai appear as a narrow minded one to my mumbai friends.But then we all tend to have a soft spot for our home land. :)
Having said that every place has its unique signature which sets it apart from others.Its not about how beautiful the signature looks but how unique it makes the signee that is important.And i totally respect that.
So please do not misconstrue my comparative opinions as condescension.

Love you Mumbai..but just as a good friend :)