Sunday, October 24, 2010

Old is...

In the Nazi Germany orders were given to execute the differentially abled/mentally handicapped people. This was to prevent the bad blood contaminating the good.

Today the old and sick have become a burden to the fast paced society. We would also say good riddance to them than spend a lifetime regretting. Haven’t our funeral homes become place of relief?

I was travelling with my friend. He was talking about how ‘painful ’ it was for him to see his mother take care of his grandmother. They had to put up with the whims of bed-ridden grandmother. She developed back ache due to constant physical exertions. Once old people were taken care of with fancy hopes of inheritance. Today we will have to do it on sheer goodwill.

When my paternal grandparents were on their death-bed, they didn’t have any to take care of them regularly. It was my dad’s responsibility, but he had to take care of his three kids too. Job prospects weren’t that good in India. The social equation has changed a lot. We can never classify things into black and white.

‘The old Age Homes’ were considered evil years back. But today they have become an inevitability. The government has realized the upcoming challenge of growing number of old. Even the government had to pitch in with schemes for folks of affluent people.

Kerala, which has been a centre of migration, has a characteristic landmark today- palatial homes of NRIs with old parents roaming inside like ghosts. The irony is once they coveted for a huge home. Today it has become a prison.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Relationships and an essential ingredient

It was the maintenance workers who smelt something fishy in the rented house. They had been hearing the TV @ full volume all day. And no one responded from inside. They called up the police who broke down the door.

Wife’s face was plastered by marking tape. She had been strangulated to death. The husband had hung himself. They had married out of love and it wasn’t that bad for a murder and a suicide.

During the investigations his mother revealed that the wife had been receiving late night calls from someone unknown. It was indigestible to him and the suspicion might have aroused the devil.

My sister told me about a girl friend of hers. She is engaged to a guy working across the seas in the sands of Arabia. They started off by chatting through Gmail. He took up no time in spilling out all his sexual escapades. The problem started when he wanted her to reveal hers. She did not feel comfortable with sharing the past. Do you think knowledge of her past would make him feel more secure?

It’s easy to slip into an illicit relationship today. We have got social networking sites and free text messages for aid. You find someone in the internet, then enjoy yourself in the virtual /real world and slip out at the right time. In reality you can’t call quits before burning your fingers. And sometimes the ghosts of the past will be back to haunt you.

Having said all that I do not claim to be a saint. I have fallen in many unpleasant situations while trying my luck online. Yes, I’ve had my share of fun too. The reality is it’s very difficult to control myself, in spite of knowing the consequences.

Disclosing the little secrets to our better halves can be tricky. Rather than an ‘open book’, the secret of a decent family life can be ‘trust’. Trust is something built mutually and may take years to happen. So laying yourself bare in front of someone you hardly know could be dangerous.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Fatherhood

Fatherhood must be one of the most thankless job in the world. In any sop or comic strip a father is portrayed as bald, pot bellied, slightly dumb fun killer. He will disapprove your clothes, your sense of fun, your hang outs and your girl/boy friends.

I had a childhood like most of the kids around. We were three siblings and as money wasn’t a lavish commodity, everything had to be utilized to the maximum.

Until my pre-teens Dad was the super hero. But he had this problem of going over board when it came to disciplining or advising. It’s not that he beat us around but he had this strange ability to irritate.

As you enter your teens, a slight wisp of moustache appears. Everyday you check in the mirror for its progress. It’s not just the face, hair appears in all ungodly areas. You find out that the women you have been seeing in TV give you strange sensation and you find it difficult to control some your private parts.

Moreover the hormones start playing games with your mind. There develops a fancy notion of adulthood and hence a sense of equality and freedom. You question your dad and it gets more and more vocal. You write out a thesis on ‘How to be a better Dad’. Overnight, he gets thrown down from pedestal of invincibility. He is your no. 1 enemy now. This , like many other boys, is my story too.

As I enter adulthood, marriage and family looms in distant horizon (I am not much fond of the prospect). I ask myself ‘How can I do better than him?’ Strangely I find out that I won’t be much different. Just as someone said, I will grow up to be my Dad after all. If any rebel teen is reading this the only one thing I have to tell you is: Wisdom takes some time to arrive. So sit tight and wait.

We have a camp for the youth every year. The last session is ‘Sharing session’. There was P who was the ultimate joker in our group. He stood up ‘I don’t know if you guys will be surprised at what I am going to say. I used to boil with rage on my dad. He never allowed me to be myself or pursue my dreams. He even barred me from participating in the State level athletics. I abused him publicly and used to shower expletives on him. I want him to know I am sorry’. You may not feel anything much on reading this but that day there was no single pair of dry eyes in the room.

I am sure you guys would have interesting encounters with your dads.

This post is dedicated to a brother-sister duo who are my good friends. During the initial days she was the one who encouraged me in blogging, making me believe I have a huge fan following in her college. These two filled our lives with so much fun and laughter. The mother used to load us with all sorts of food. I remember the birthday celebration we had last year. A few days back their dad was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I pray that almighty will give them the courage to face it and moreover I am sure that some miracle is about to happen and the Dad is going to get well.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Taking a look back

Religion and region seems to be a hot topic for the blogging world. For a single problem 1000 people arrive with some 10,000 solutions.

For some years I have been getting a chance to read some history. Are the issues we see today exclusive for 21st century? No, the conflicts and strifes had an incarnation in every generation. Sadly we tend to close our eyes and minds to history and simply refuse to learn from it.

There was a time in India when Hindus went to Dargahs and Muslims to Sadhus. They celebrated each other’s festivals with an open heart. Why did we end up where we are today?

The solution for the present may lie in our history. Hence it’s important to go back and rethink. But sadly our history text books are grossly inadequate for it. The academicians have used the text books for vested manifestos. We are taught of blood sucking rulers, war lords, etc. For us the leaders just remain a picture on the wall or an antique.

I happen to read about a man, Mustafa Kemal. He was the founder of modern Turkey. He banned religious schools, religious dresses and even the Arabic script. He knew the future lies in education and spent heavily on it. Thanks to his measures, Turkey is one of the most progressive Islamic country today. Why haven’t I heard about him in my school?

This Thursday the whole of India waited for the ’Ayodhya’ verdict. It’s a controversial piece of land in India which the Hindus claim to be theirs and Muslims as theirs. It’s an 18 year old issue which resulted in much bad blood, rioting, shifting of ideologies and allegiances. As the minutes ticked by, I was chatting with my friend on what is to be made out of the site.

He said a free hospital has to be constructed, where there are no religious divisions and where the poor are treated for free. I said it’s quite impractical.

‘Why not a bar? There we find no religion or caste or creed. Just plain boozing and everyone stays happy!’

‘Even a strip club would do. We never ask a stripper or prostitute her religion!’

Let’s take a walk back. The history waits with open arms, to beg us not to repeat the mistakes of our fathers.

I will close with a few words on a WW-II memorial ’How many died? Who knows the number?’

About Me

My photo
Shakespeare,Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Lincoln never saw a movie,heard a radio or looked at TV. They had loneliness and knew what to do with it. Thay were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.