Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wisdom, rain and three-legged cat.

Some people have considerably greater capacity to hurt you than others. That is not the real issue. The real issue is that they know they have this ability.  

It has been raining in Delhi for the last few days rather heavily. Driving back home from office is a nightmare. Traffic jam lasts longer than you can imagine. I curse Delhi government and those who run the Delhi government. I make desperate calls to someone high-up, to basically tell i am stuck in a traffic jam for foreseeable future, and it sucks, so do something about it, they tell me that they will do something about it, they have done something about it, but will do nothing about it, they have done nothing about it for decades. They think, perhaps, that traffic jams, when it is raining cats and dogs, is a tourist attraction, roads turn into canals, and people are stuck inside their cars till perpetuity, because cars are not boats. At least the pedestrian are moving, wading in knee-deep muddy water that stinks. 

Yesterday, i drove back very late from a party, so missed the traffic jam. My friend Kiran fed us with the best cooked Andhra mutton ever. I was satiated. The driving time from her place to my home was just ten minutes. I see my neighbour having a roof-top party. They wanted me to join in. I was too tired to attend another party. Instead, I walk into my bedroom to find it flooded with ankle-deep water. The water came down gushing from the stairs, entered my room from the main door and settled to form a big pool. Somebody left the roof door open. My Persian-carpet-look-alike-rug was floating in the water. I did not do anything about it. I just switched on the fan and went off to sleep. I felt like sleeping on a boat in the middle of a lake. In the morning, the water level had subsided, there were some dry patches on the floor, but it was raining outside threatening to disrupt Delhi life, again.

I have a pet now. 
A three-legged cat. He is primarily white, with some black patches, old and dignified, likeable and proud. He has made home on top my of shoe-shelf in the balcony.  He looks straight into my eyes, is cute, furry and moves around lethargically, as if telling 'don't bother me.' 
I have started feeding him leftovers. He loves it. 

He seems to wait for me every evening. I make sure there something to feed him.

He is domineering. The dogs of the street don't bother him. He never steals, nor insist on coming indoors. And ever since, i patronized him, the thief cat--small, dark, thin, ugly and slimy one--has stopped coming. 

My pet, I call him लंगरु बाकैत (crippled nincompoop), has marked my house as his exclusive territory. 

We have developed mutual regard for each other.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Assange, Facts, America and India


I have come to this conclusion long ago. The Julian Assange episode only proves the point again. Facts are the most potent weapon against the politicians and bureaucrats or any other form of practising unscrupulousness. 

They just can't deal with facts when it stares on their face. It makes them shudder. The more is the quantum of facts in public domain the lesser is their ability to bluff people at large. Facts making way in public domain sets in a fear psychosis in them. They have to do a face-saving act but there is no fact-saving. They react. And since they can't dispute the facts. They attack the messenger. In this case it is Assange who is caught in the firing line. My thoughts go to hundreds of RTI (Right to Information) activists killed in India. 


Assange is confined in a room of the Ecuadorian embassy in London because he made a lot of damaging facts pubic. The managers of, still the most powerful nation, the US, were abash.

Facts have the power to hold the most powerful accountable. Invincible media baron Ropert Murdoch seemed so helpless when confronted with this one potent fact: his reputed publication, erstwhile News of the World, with one of the highest English language circulations in the world, indulged in phone tapping and bribing cops to do 'exclusive' stories. 

Facts have opened many exit 'gates' like Watergate..( for the unscrupulous. 

The power-mongers of the US were embarrassed because they were seen doing things that they publicly condemn. Double speak is not something that is only peculiar to the Americans, the Indian politicians too have mastered the art, often bite the bullet thanks to revelations of unsavoury facts. Some have spend time writing poetry in the jail. 

The insensitive bureaucracy in India to me is the illegitimate child of the British Raj. While the colonial dispensation has fortified its place in the history books, India--the welfare state, is still run by a bureaucracy that remains as haughty and opaque as ever, relive the Raj, where they are the privileged, have the profound duty to guide destinies of the millions of masses. 

There is a complete mismatch between the powers endowed to them and the accountability mechanism that holds them responsible for their actions in exercise of these superlative powers.  

They operate like institutionalised goons. Their influence stems from another 'fact' that they are the sole custodian of critical information. They hide crucial facts inside cryptic files. 

RTI has a great potential to disseminate facts in public interest--a bureaucrats' nightmare. The government is actively working to blunt the edges of this knife-edged legislation.

I like to see my carrier of a journalist as a mission to bring facts in public domain in pubic interest. Good for me. 
Is there a factual answer to this? How can Assange escape London?  Or will he have to wait for the stone-eyed American politicians to blink?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Me, wisdom and Gibran.

Today sitting by the huge glass window of Ashish's penthouse on the eighth floor, overlooking lush green agriculture field, where birds of varied description fly, feed, i am wondering all that is happening to me, and the way i am reacting to it, by shunning the need to react, and go in a shell, to recuperate, and do things that is required of me, and not that i crave for, and wait for the season to change, hopefully for better. It is hot and sultry now. I am sweating.

Khalil Gibran has said things that make perfect sense to me this morning. You are good, you strive to give of yourself. Yet you are not evil when you seek to gain for yourself. I want to believe in this. There is a middle ground. Absence of good is not necessarily evil. 

For friendship: he is your field which you sow with love and yield with thanksgiving. That is not always true. It has to be true. My mind perhaps fails to register sometimes.

The "I" in me, my friend dwells, in the house of silence, and there it shall remain for ever more,  unperceived, unapproachable.

Sitting alone and writing, and you find a book,that you should actually avoid reading, but can't put it down, for it tells you what you want to hear, you end up reading random passages, start quoting from it recklessly. Here is more of Gibran:

My friend, thou art good and cautious and wise; nay, thou art perfect-and I,too speak with thee wisely and cautiously. And yet I am mad. But I mask my madness. I would be mad alone. 

Thou canst understand my seafaring thoughts, nor would I have thee understand. I would be at sea alone.

Solitude is the ally of sorrow as well as a companion of spiritual exaltation.

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. ...and you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the season that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief. Much of your pain is self-chosen. 

So make the right choices. Life has to be a right mix of reason and passion.

For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction. Therefore, one must rest in reason and move in passion.

And remember, your joy is your sorrow unmasked....unto you, they are inseparable.

Enough! Time to work. Gibran is back in the bookshelf.



Sunday, August 12, 2012

A happy Post

I thought would write a happy post. 

People tend to do such a thing when they are sad. And sadness is generally about some form of loss. And loss is basically an undesired change. And that we humans are essentially are status quoits become miserable.

So that means embracing change or ability to ride the tide of change is what keeps people happy. 

The flip side is also true. Sadness is essentially then the resistance to change.  The more one resists a change, the more one sinks into the sad-pit.

I have made a choice not to resist change. I would rather be part of the change than disrupted by it. Having said that, still I am conscious of the reality--that changes can’t be treated as some tamed animal.
The best way to deal with changes in the pursuit of happiness is not to negate them but to respect them, allow them to take their toll.

Some changes are hard to deal because they change the very nature of life; demand more changes in the way one has lead life so far if one desires to live further. Some changes question the past in a way that corrodes present. 

Gusty changes adrift one into uncharted spaces. There everything is new, even one's own self appears a stranger. Uncertainty is the only glorious certainty. The senses are dim here. The visibility is low. The surroundings are foggy. The air is damp and heavy. There is a quite unrest within.  And you do not know what to expect next? 

I would in a situation like this sit still till am acquainted with my surroundings. Then, soon, the change will stop to harass me badly. 

And now that I have decided to be happy, this potent change has come as a white open space. I will treat it like a new canvas that brings with it a sea of possibilities Things that seem insurmountable now look meek. And when one starts to work, things also start to work.

The same changes that came as sadness personified actually liberates one from the clutches of the past and hurl far into the possibilities of a new bright future.