Monday, May 30, 2011

Driving "Lessons"

The Toyota SUV (guess it was a Prado), swerved, honked and braked with arrogance, sending the Maruti 800 shuddering door to door. I was behind the little Maruti and had to literally stand on the brake pedal to avoid a collision. The driver of tiny Maruti lost his nerve and went over the median.The big car was in no mood to relent. In the meandering 6pm traffic it was certainly the big bully of the lot and was in no mood to let anyone go ahead. I made use of an opening on the left and went ahead, as I was about to pass the Toyota, I glanced in and saw a middle aged guy at  the wheel. He saw me about to go ahead and swerved to the left sending me for cover. He went ahead and I noticed him from behind showing no consideration to the pedestrians wanting go to the other side. He seemed to be a law unto himself and the traffic lights were not his concern.

I missed him somewhere further down the road and moved on my way.
Was it road rage, or just misplaced pleasure?

It is the law of Nature that the mighty devour the meek and the weak. The big dwarfs the tiny. Is it not a jungle out here? I remembered someone observe so.

My mind wandered to the past and the recent times. Wondered how many times I have seen the same act enacted in life not by an automobile but by Man. I could recollect a few occasions when I have seen the big and the mighty vandalise the weak.

It is said that evolution is progressive and that the weak has to be the fodder of the mighty. And the cycle goes on. The mighty of the day may soon find itself the meek of the lot, on another day. It is unrelenting. That kind of Vedanta, the philosophy seemed to be an unsatisfactory explanation to acquiesce the unfairness of happenings. Certainly there is quite a lot of impropriety even in the case of that SUV. But the arrogance of the driver was only the tip of many such examples, colleague against colleague; boss against subordinates; wealthy against the less privileged; friend against friend, the list may go on. But does the audacity of the driver of that SUV have something to do with the laws of nature? I do not subscribe to that view.  Is it not something that we have all seen in real life? The power of arrogance! The incident mentioned by chance is only an allegory.
Certainly the SUV and its driver must have reached their destination with a satisfying air of steamrolling along their route. It is a fact that bigger vehicles take on the smaller ones, the passersby and honk them out of existence. I continued to feel the discomfiture that crept in while I was tailing the SUV and was witness to its brazen manoeuvres.

The disregard shown by men /women wielding the mechanical power of an automobile for the man on the street- the pedestrian and the less flamboyant vehicles, may not certainly be a rarity. The automobile is just a metaphor for the rudeness and discourtesy man shower on man. And on anything he sees as inferior or a lesser subject.

I can feel a sense of self-reproach looking back at a few instances of rudeness that I may have displayed on occasions. Isn’t rudeness an imitation of weakness?

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Counsel

The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself”, - so said Oscar Wide.

Isn’t it quite true? How often have we been advised, eloquently and  with the imperiousness of wisdom but annoying to receive? I often wonder if it is not easy to offer advice and suggestions on matters of life rather than to apply in our lives the silver-tongued regurgitation that we give.
I have often been forced to delve into all repository of patience when people intervene with corrective suggestions and how one should conduct in certain situations and matters. Which, knowing them is quite obvious will not be applied in their lives.There may be ideal ways ,but they may not always be ideal to be applied ipso facto.

Receiving advice, suggestions and pieces of wisdom are quite wonderful matter, but the provider of such advice is not the master, the bearer of the situation that one is in. It is one thing to articulate criticism in the way a person walks, but entirely a different matter to shove one’s leg into the others footwear and then enact a perfect "cat walk’’ in life.

This does not mean that perse, advises are to considered anathema. I feel it should be left to one’s judgment and acumen to discern, to sieve the supposed wisdom that is offered and apply what is wanted.

But the annoying part is that advises are often given unsolicited and without any personal experience or knowledge of the situation, the state a person is in ,or is helplessly left to tend all by oneself. And the hardest species who descend in such situations are the ones who believe they have the antidote for all and every matters in life.

Until a few years ago, there was absolutely no interpersonal connection between members of my paternal family and myself, my sister and mother. In fact they lived deluding themselves, that we never existed and that fabulous reign of opportunism ran for a quarter century and little more. It was a few years ago that one of my cousins whom I met the last when I was little alighted from no where one morning and eulogised my mother and fervently inquired about our well being.

 Conveniently for him and the rest of the folks it was sunshine days for me, my sister and mother. During the years of hibernation of my paternal folks, there was a lot of pressure personally on me from others in the form advises that we should not bear hurt and animus for their indifference and they were the brothers , sisters, nephews and nieces of my father. There was considerable pressure (let me call it, advise) from these “Samaritans” to engage my paternal folks in the wedding of my sister. I put my foot down that it was unnecessary. And that we really did not miss them all the years we were not existent from their point of view. I was categorised as arrogant and impertinent. So be it! My logic was simple, and that sunshine day relationships are rather done without. And I did not notice us missing something vital in life.

The past story is now repeating and has visited us (I, C and our children) from another angle. And I still hold the view that, sunshine day companions are always not welcome, even be it the Sultan of Brunei himself.

It gives one the much  needed vitality!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

" I've looked on many woman with lust..."

“I've looked on many women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times. God knows I will do this and forgives me”. These were the words of Jimmy Carter the former CEO of the United States.

I find it almost impossible to add on to his candid remark which may be universal about men. I felt comfortable reading Jimmy Carter’s comment because sometimes this unholy feeling creeps in, which will not from now on! And if any “man” chooses to deny or distance this comment as alien to his chemistry he must be “Janus – faced” and an incorrigible hypocrite. Well in a free world one can choose to be so or not and that should not bother anybody alarmingly.

“Ay, every inch a king. When I do stare, see how the subject quakes. I pardon that man’s life. What was thy cause? Adultery? Thou shalt not die. Die for adultery? No. The wren goes to’t and the small glided fly does lecher in my sight. ....”.  The bard has comforting words that certainly does not spell doom and pell –mell for those of us who see comfort in Jimmy Carter’s observation .

Could there happen to be a man amongst men who would not ever covet lustfully a woman who is not his lawful wife? 

It is also said (quote),”Passion is the evil in adultery .If a man has no opportunity of living with another man’s wife, but if it is obvious for reason that he would like to do so if he could, he is no less guilty than if he is caught in the act”. That was St. Augustine with puritanical religiosity of the early centuries.Which certainly forbade quite badly for the many who were St Augustine's contempraries as well as many of us.

The fact is that ‘coveting’ which Carter meant has to have a reciprocal action if it is not to end in a limbo. That brings us to adultery and which must have a respondents to call it so. I have not heard many women being candid as Carter was. Though disconcertingly for the prudish of the female sex, (there are still many around), the statements of Madhavikutty (Kamala Das) would be loathing. That lot among women would not even hesitate to call the late literary romanticist, Mrs. Kamala Das, lecherous and will eff and blind to damn her for bringing forth disrepute upon the female species.

Not many among women in our societies would speak openly about matters mentioned here. However it is only a common matter of logical deduction or inference that women are not a distinctly frigid species to not think as men do. It is true that social conditioning and morals laced and pickled in hypocrisy of ‘dos and don’ts’ taught while young play a dominant role in damming the rapids of biological exuberance.

It was quite some time ago and I was in casual discussion of “nothing “with an acquaintance of mine. Without deliberating, the topic of discussion moved into matters of man -woman relationship. Though we agreed that the moral fence is what pulls back the lecherous temerity in human beings, it is also precisely the matter that encourages jumping over the fence. We wondered if either of us could confidently state that these matters of moral restraints and dos and don’ts will stay in the next century. The word “adultery” may be consigned as an antediluvian word. Without any deliberate intent we moved into topics of our life before marriage and after, though we did not specifically broach on the subject of our personal adherences.She gave me the story of her friend who does not waste an opportunity to accuse her husband of misdemeanour, so that she could either be at ease with her liaisons outside or delude to feel satisfied that her acts  are tit for tat.

It was then that she did a sort of “Jimmy Carter”, when she said that she do fanatsise about other men in times of intimate moments with her husband (boyfriend), but has not found it enlivening. But she is not very fearful of maledictions from heaven or the taboos and conditoning associated with morality, because of her virtual escapades.A perfect victim for St. Augustine!

I wonder if the elements of priggish forthrightness will proscribe this post.

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Elementary and Silly"

The state of being peeved, feeling piqued, and desperately trying to hide behind any available apron from the silliness and stupidity of one’s conduct, is indeed an unpleasant state, but a fascinating display from the perspective of the onlooker. Especially when the onlooker has been made the center of the protagonist’s childish ire! The facial expression they bear when the ludicrous folly is apparent to the world is something that must be discerned at close quarter and enjoyed.In fact it does not make any sensible bearing to feel offended and angered by the puerility of the person.

I’m not referring to an oration or conduct with criminal intent. That is not the subject that I’m thinking about. This is of the absolutely childish and stupid kind, irrespective of one’s age or educational background. And it may be a harmless act or utterance, or one that has some malice sautéed.

How many such instances have some of us been through!                                                                              

I have been through some, and honestly I have had the amusing pleasure to watch at close quarter the discomfiture of the other. Saying something that had no reason to be told or doing something that was out of sync and silly, probably driven by ego and an imperious nature as also by the character of impatience towards anything and everything that is different from one’s predilection are what that sends such people into discomfiture and is overrun by the urge to hide his/her face from the glare of others. Such tribe never cease running and being grouchy .No sympathies from my position because, such conduct deserves such state of misery or discomfort. It is surprising why even erudite and the intelligent stoop and succumb into this silliness.
But do they will to accept the folly of their infantile disposition? Many may not! And that evidently tells that scholarship alone cannot be a panacea for the serious short comings in outlook and conduct. The ill luck is such people hesitate or decline to own up their folly- they apparently believe to be infallible.

Old habits die hard, don’t they? Or they may not. The onus of moving on will be on those of us who may not want to be as silly as the other. 
And it is true that when such person does something silly and of which he/she may be ashamed of, he/she always will declare that it is his/her duty.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Columbus, Osama and the Star of David

I posted some portions of this as my comment on a Blog post that came up on the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The fact that the USA is more often “the villain of the piece”, is a known matter and I’m certain acknowledged by the USA as well. Please go through the Nobel lecture of the British author Harold Pinter to know more about specific cases where the USA displayed hypocrisy, and criminal acts.

Osama like India’s Bhindrenwale was the creation of the State. If Mrs. Gandhi and the pliable joker Zail Singh cultivated and nurtured Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrenwale, successive governments in the USA did the act on Osama.

It has been the US policy of playing dirty in any third world or developing country if it feels that the government of the country has a policy of "equidistant".During the era of the cold war they did that under the guise of hunting communism under every bed.And after the fall of the iron-curtain they have a vital tool in Islamic exteremism  and the subject that has been at their heart since Christopher Columbus landed in the New World- "trade and usurping native resources".Though the Soviet Union (former) showed no qualms in playing dirty in countries that did not toe its line, one could understand that, because the so called communist in the former Soviet Union did not swear by values and principles of democracy and human rights. Fair play was not in their lexicon. But the USA, a country that spirits in calling itself the “new world’, the beacon of freedom and democracy- mauling societies and governments in poor third world is a paradox and symbol of decadence and hypocrisy that has eaten into its system.

Remember, the USA is a country built on sweat and tears of immigrants from diverse national background, who journeyed across the Atlantic. But also understand that it was the forefathers of some of those immigrants who ventured into the New World in the schooner Santa Maria from far flung Spain and thence began the systematic depravation and annihilation of the meek and the less powerful. The very same policy is continued since the last years of the 15 Th century, but in various other forms.

As long as the World does not exercise the will and the courage to designate a fair deal for the Palestinians who live as refugees in their own land,.men like Osama bin Laden will usurp the Palestinian cause and showcase it as injustice perpetrated on the Muslims of the world. The irony is that men like bin Laden do not care a hoot for the Palestinians and their cause. And in the same vein neither the Fatah nor the Hamas are interested in cahoots with the terror groups of bin Laden and the likes.  These terror groups like the Al Qaeda, Jaissemohammedh, and LET etc have only one agenda and that is the proselytization and cultivation of  perverted religious philosophies,bigotry and fanaticism.Finally a medieval and archaic Caliphate to invoke the manna from above! Issues like the Palestinian cause is  only an opportunistic tool in their ulterior venture.

If Muslims all over have a grievance that can be addressed by the world community, the US and the West in particular, it is the creation of a democratic Palestinian State, but, also ensuring that it accepts the necessity and the inevitability of coexistence with Israel. And rest of the grievances, injustices, and atrocities if any on Muslims elsewhere are often the making of the Muslim themselves. When Muslims – Shiites and Sunnis vie to extinguishing the other, when the Ahmedias and other schools of Islamic faith are hounded, when bigotry and obscurantism is pedaled by religious schools called madrasas, when medieval laws are inflicted on the hapless, when education is relegated to the background and when women are seen as instruments and trivia, then certainly its is the core problem within the community and that the making of the community itself. Why has not a Bin Laden come forward to tackle the dirt  and scum that has incised within Islam and Muslims like limpets? Why is it that as often said the majority of the Muslims are moderate and silent? They are silent and in my opinion pliable too, else men like Osama will not be able to hypnotize and brain wash young men and women to blow themselves into oblivion at the promise of a paradise full of fornicating women and men, of pleasure and spirit, but manifestly from where   nobody has yet come back to write a travelogue.

The misfortune of today is that even people amongst us  who laud and swear upon acceptance of dissimilar views and dissent as a civilized way of living, turn out to be extremely volatile and incapable of accepting a divergent view or opinion. Even in them lurks the bin Laden intolerance and extremism. And they engage not in discussion, debate or negotiation, but in playing spoiled, (the Blogdom has ample examples).Is not that a form of extremism?  

Extremism and intolerance in any form and guise is harmful. If there are two forms of extremism and madness in this world today that can perennially threaten the existence of man kind it is the fanaticism of Islam and Zionism.