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Religion

I don’t belong to one religion or another. Yes, I was born into a particular religion, but I neither follow it, nor associate myself with anything related to it. I’m an agnostic atheist, for the lack of a better term.

But somehow, some of the dearest people in my life seem to not respect this decision of mine. Not that I give a flying fuck anymore; it’s just fascinating.

Over the years [and a gazillion pointless discussions later], I’ve come to realize that it’s not worth the debate. Most believers that I’ve come across, including my family, find it offensive that I don’t believe in their god or their religion. Can you believe it: offensive!

Truth really is stranger than fiction.

Now, I’ve just finished reading ‘The Last Templar’, by Raymond Khoury…

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…and whilst I didn’t enjoy the book too much, there was one bit in the book that made me smile. This bit mentioned in the book used to be a part of my side of the argument before I gave up hitting my head against blind faith.

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This:

“Vance heaved a dire sigh, ‘I know it’s easy to blame all the conflicts in our history on politics and greed,’ he said, ‘and of course they play a role…but beneath it all, religion has always been the fuel that keeps the furnaces of intolerance and hatred burning. And it holds us back from better things, but mostly, from coming to terms with the truth about who we’ve become, from embracing everything science has taught us and continues to teach us, from forcing us to make ourselves accountable for our own actions. These primitive tribes – men and women, thousands of years ago – they were scared, they needed religion to try and understand the mysteries of life and death, to come to terms with the vagaries of disease, weather, unpredictable harvests and natural disasters. We don’t need that anymore. We can pick up a cellphone and talk to someone on the other side of the planet. We can put a remote controlled car on Mars. We can create life in a test tube. And we could do a lot more. It’s time we let go of our ancient superstitions and face who we really are, and accept that we have become what someone just a hundred years ago would consider a God. We need to embrace what we’re capable of and not rely on some arcane force from above that’s going to come down from the sky and make things right for us.'”

Did the Pope see what I was reading?

News of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation broke just as I was reading about Reilly sitting in The Vatican, wondering if the pope is aware of the facts that’ve turned his world upside down. Reilly is a character in this book I’m currently reading.

Which book? This one:

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Creepy coincidence.

*shudders*

YouTube on Rahul Gandhi

We’re all busy. Very busy. At work, at school, with families, with friends, planning parties, buying cars [*giggle*], paying debt, raging over the weather, spilling coffee, and a whole bunch of other things.

In the last few days, I’ve gotten rather busy too. And in the bargain, I missed out on listening to the much hyped speech Rahul Gandhi delivered as the Vice President of Congress, in Jaipur.

Thank heavens for YouTube!

I got a few minutes to spare this morning and decided to finally look the speech up on YouTube.

I have nothing against, nor for the party or the person. I know very little about both to be able to form an opinion.

I’d like to add that at this stage, I’m only halfway through the 40 minute long video of his speech, but it was in the third minute of his address that something rather…*ahem*…strange caught my eye.

I had to take a screenshot and write about it. Just had to.

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click on the image to see a larger version

What’re you trying to tell me, YouTube? Are you making a statement on Rahul Gandhi? ARE YOU? Is this your take on him? Eh? EH?

*looks on with a straight face*

And you thought this post was going to be about the actual speech. Heh!

Not a movie review: Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola

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Image source

SPOILER ALERT: In case you haven’t seen the movie yet, this might spoil one little part of the movie for you. Just a teeeeeeeeny-tiny little part.

I don’t write movie reviews. Hence, this isn’t one.

Let’s start with that.

Quite often I come across little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments in movies that make me wanna stand up in the middle of an over-packed movie hall and scream out “DIDJYA SEE THAT?!”. But to my fellow movie-goers’ utter misfortune, I don’t. And they miss out on some of cinema’s most spectacular moments purely because they blinked when they shouldn’t have.

And I have a strong feeling that those of you who’ve seen Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola might have missed what I thought was, well, clever.

In the movie, when the villagers’ harvest gets spoilt the morning after it has rained, there’s this intense, emotional, almost melodramatic sequence where you see villagers crying over their harsh luck. The background score gives this sequence apt support. It’s your typical sad saxophone playing somewhere in the background.

In this sequence, there’s a shot of the door that leads to this temporary store-room where the villagers had stocked up their harvest the night before. The door, if I remember correctly, is open and you can see a pool of water collected inside, and some of it streaming down the stairs. On one side of this short flight of stairs sits a man, gamcha in hand, crying over the harvest, and the land he’s about to lose.

What you might’ve missed, however, is the man on the other side of those stairs. Not meant to be in the limelight, our man sits there playing his saxophone, literally giving you the background score for this entire sequence.

Yep, he’s actually sitting there in the same frame as our gamcha-clad villager, the door, and of course, the water.

So the details might be a weeeee bit off [I haz goldfish memory], but our man with the saxophone is definitely in there somewhere.

Let me know when you spot him.

I don’t write anymore…

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I’m not sure why.
The words haven’t run dry.
But I always seem to
Have other things to do.
I click and post.
I’m a good party-host.
I invite and attend.
I ping; type and send.
It’s easier that way.
I work and play.
Spend time here and there
(But mostly on my chair).
I type and click and listen and read,
And somehow, pay no heed
To the words that seem trapped…behind a door.
And I just…don’t write anymore.

2013

Angered, hurt, furious, helpless, desperate, apathetic, revolting, inhumane…these are just a few of the many words that we’ve read and reread in the past few weeks in news stories, social media updates, blogs, and editorials.

The following words by Ned Vizzini from ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ spring to my mind when I think of the events that have shaken 1.2 billion people in the largest democracy in the world:

“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”

A new year is merely a change of date. There is nothing new it brings, unless there is a conscious resolve to do so…to bring about a change.

Let us hope that in 2013, we all make a conscious decision to stand up for every human being’s rights, to stand up against violence towards anyone, stand up against violence of any kind, and pledge to never say ‘This isn’t my fight’.

Because it is. It is my fight and it is yours.

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On a slightly somber note this year, albeit from the heart,

I wish you a prosperous and joyous 2013.

The gift of observation

This is what happens when 10 year old pieces of papers with long forgotten scribblings on them materialize out of thin air.

*****

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Observation is a gift. Or a curse.

Depends on how you view it, I guess. Actually, it depends upon the situation you’re observing under. For instance, it depends upon whether you’re observing out of sheer lack of anything else to do over a cup of extra sweet, luke-warm cappuccino, or if you’re observing while waiting for someone to show up, who would have arrived an hour ago if they had any sense of time at all.

In either scenario, I’ve come to realize that eventually boredom or frustration leads to an intense amount of concentration on behalf of the observer, wherein he / she ends up taking in their surroundings to such an extent that a carelessly ignored receipt floating on a puddle of freshly-settled rain water under a table in an outdoor coffee shop when picked up by the janitor or crushed under a chair by a casual, unintentional nudge of a passerby’s foot causes mayhem in the observer’s world.

*****

Unfinished. Because the person I was waiting for arrived.

Happy 65th, India!

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As a generation that was born post independence, our lack of appreciation for our birth right is…understandable, I suppose. As is our scepticism, our anger, our apathy, our utter disbelief at how things happen in the world’s largest democracy.

And yet, there is something so promising about her potential. There is so much that a nation as special as ours can achieve.

We just need to give her a chance. We need to give ourselves a chance.

On this day, I salute India’s potential. I salute those who believe in her. I salute those who believe in us.

Happy 65th, India!