Saturday, August 27, 2005


Somebody used this quote in a conversation yesterday...

"In the unfolding drama of life, we play our roles unrehearsed."

Really enjoyed this one... am still savouring the taste :-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Letting off some steam...

I just met this person... young... smart... energetic... intelligent... doing well academically... meeting all the "necessary criteria" on the "social development index". A few minutes down the line she says very zealously, "You know what, I just love anti-feminist jokes." And I just stared at her while she went on to tell me her latest favorite. Here goes:

Q: why don't women know ice-skating?
A: Coz there's no snow between the bedroom and the kitchen.

I know it is terrible of me to have even repeated the joke here... But I wanted to... Wanted to make a point (besides wanting to get it outta my system... why should I be the only one to suffer?!)...

I believe that feminism as a term is a much-abused and very loosely used today (unfortunately, of course). Half the junta speaking about feminism has no idea what it means... and here I am especially referring to the ones who leave no stone unturned and no turn unstoned to curse feminism at even the slightest of opportunities. It is one thing to differ in opinion. But it's totally ridiculous to pretend as if you know it all, sit on the ideological high horse and pass judgements while living in utter ignorance. I mean, is it fair to they themselves to draw opinions which are so ill informed?

Please... it's high time we know what feminism is... very simply put, it just means "ZERO TOLERANCE TO VIOLENCE AND DISCRIMINATION BASED UPON GENDER". Is it really so difficult to comprehend or accept. And for those of us who believe it is "women's problem", please think again. Being a man myself, I can vouch for the fact that men too suffer at the hands of patriarchy. What about all the times we were called sissy for simply accepting the fact that our glands too can produce tears? Simple things... common sense... things that should be givens in our lives... justice is a very simple thing... makes life so much simple... but we try to complicate things as much as possible by wondering if men and women are equal... of course, they are... why does it take so much of an effort to accept something so... so... basic. Yup, that's the word - basic!

And for those who don't agree... you can rubbish me by calling me an idealist. Yes, I am an idealist, and would go on to say that there's nothing as pragmatic as well-thought idealism. Call gender justice unworldly and we'll only be hurting ourselves.

The same young person went on to shout her frustration off, "I don't seem to understand what do these feminists want! What is it that they want to change?" And all I could think of saying was, "You, Ma'am!"

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Ever inhaled clouds???

There's something very comforting about this poem... this is some sort of a "heartwarming" poem... windows are amazing things, truly!!

You know,
We could get pretty deep
about windows.
They could be metaphors
for all kinds of
philosophical things.
But do you know what I think
about windows?
I like them.
You know why?
Because on a snowy day,
I can sit insideAnd be warm,
And be outside, too.

-Sharon Terry

I was once staying in a hotel in Mussoorie, and it was amazing to sit next to a big window in my room and watch the fog slowly rise in the valley below... and I could then open the window and let the fog and the clouds in... it was just amazing... have you ever inhaled clouds???

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Freedom for sale

It's the Independence Day today... just a few things that I see surrounding me:
  • The newspaper is full of these freedom offers... advertisements that shove their brand(s) of freedom under my nose along with the steam rising up from my morning dose of coffee... one says, "weight loss freedom plan... join the fight against obesity"... the other one declares, "independence offer... buy our laptops and leave the rest behind"...
  • My grocery store sells these "independence packets" of fruits... an orange, a chinese pear and a green apple. In case you are wondering what this means, it's their "sweet" idea of the tricolor, folks!
  • The bookstore's put these packets of tiny flags on display... you can pay by credit card in case you aren't carrying cash... just in case you've suddenly remembered it's the independence day today and a sudden wave of patriotism has filled your veins!
  • As I type away my thoughts at the cyner cafe, the poster on the wall reminds me that today's the last day to purchase the "Freedom 2005 pack"... "Real Broadband, Real Freedom", it announces loudly...

I dunno what to say... how to interpret all this... But my mind's still stuck on the child who in rags came to me in the morning, pinned a paper flag to my chest and asked for a rupee... Shouldn't we be happy that freedom's available for sale just around the corner at the nearest shop for a few bucks... or with the begging child with a scattered face??!!

Happy Independece Day, folks!

Economics of Violence

The WHO has come up with a brilliant report on the economic effects of interpersonal violence (it excludes self-directed violence, war, state-sponsored violence and any other collective violence), measuring the impact (in money terms) of the interpersonal violence we find all around our lives. Here's a sneak-peek:
  • Cost of violence is almost 3.3% of USA's GDP (about US$ 40 billion per year!)
  • Child abuse costs $94 billion annually to the US economy
  • Intimate partner violence amonts to $12.6 billion on an annual basis in the US

For those of us who seek refuge in the fact that these statistics speak of only North American and West European situations, the report states that these costs are much more severe in the poorer nations, but the statistics are not available.

And where proactive steps have been taken to prevent and/or address such violence, the economic benefits have been much bigger than the corresponding costs.

Having said this, isn't it tragic that in order for us to denounce violence, we need statistical awareness of the costs involved?! What if the costs of violence weren't high? Let's assume that the economic benefits of prevention efforts were negligible in comparison with the costs? Would that make violence acceptable? Would that have made the prevention programmes any less significant?

Is it all truly about money, honey?