Monday, 6 August 2012

Fearing Identity loss

Off late, I am getting a bit agitated when someone, including my wife, who takes up on people talking about 'Indian Culture'. This recent post of her's is a vent of the thought about 'Indian Culture'. I thoroughly disagree with her (for yet another time) albeit not completely.

Nope, I am not going to support that NUT, who said, wearing short dresses is a shame to Indian culture nor the person who asked 'what job did the girl from Guwahati had to do in the pub'. My questions are simple yet not trivial, complex yet not unanswerable.

1. What is Indian Culture?
2. Where do you find yourself in the Indian Culture?
3. If you say citing 'Indian Culture' is bull-something, is there anything equivalent?
4. What is your life style or the pattern of your lives?

To me Indian Culture is yet another chaotic thing as the Indian Language. Do you know that Hindi is not our national language as per constitution? The Constitution has given Hindi the status of the official language and not the national language. Hindi is an official language because majority of the population speak and understand (or atleast try and get there) Hindi. Since there are so many languages and many dialects with in each of the languages in India, arriving at a National language is akin to asking a lady to direct you to the right exit. I would compare the term 'Indian Culture' to something similar.

Indian Culture is something that you think IS YOUR culture and IS NOT everything you think is THE culture. So, according to me, if you can understand and project your Identity that is all the culture. Culture is not something we need to project when we go shopping or cinema or to a pub. Association towards your culture should be when there is a need to exhibit it. The need could be in the form of National presentations/representations, special occasions, days you wish to wear (mind you, wearing is just not dressing up :-)) your identity.

While I strongly support A, that the generation cannot be such lame in shaming India with the 'Indian Culture' tag, on the other hand I do have my questions. I cannot stop from thinking that the war against culture makes us forget our identity. Often identity/originality is lost, let go, trying to define ourselves as someone else.

I am an ordinary Tamil Brahmin (no horns, no strings other than my poonal), my fear goes a long way in losing my Brahmin identity. I do enjoy the chorus of 'We will, we will rock you!', like I knew it the moment the album was released ;-), I also enjoy the chorus of 'Chittam Chirugalea.. Inburuvar embaavaai' (that is Thiruppavai by Andal) like I knew it when Andal penned it or the way it ends as '..Vayyam Sumappadhu Vambu'.

People (including my wife) would call me a priest, a pazham or whatever, but this is my identity and you may give names you want to. They say 'You will feel the importance of something only when you see it going away or gone'. For me that is the very fear. Though it is inevitable that these things keep changing generation after generation, you should give it to me that I can take a slow killing poison than a head shot!

Now that we are going to have our baby, I want to provide (and not thrust) all those that pertains (with in my reach and practicality and known to me) to our identity, to my next generation. Ofcourse, TO BE OR NOT TO BE would the next generation's wish, but who are we to stop providing?

To cover up my answer for the Q4 above, I feel culture is your Identity, root, practise. To maintain it, is difficult; to ditch it, is on a drop of a hat; to ridicule it, makes you think learned; but once you have lost it and when you feel it is not there, it would be a huge vacuum.

Thursday, 26 April 2012


Not a moment passes by with out thinking "why can't I carry the baby instead of her".

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

It is not over yet!

As of my experiences of life, I always felt working your way from failure to success is the best thing that can happen in anyone’s life. You would know the meaning of life better and you will enjoy the success better. I believed in this until a couple of days back, but, not anymore. Sadly, I came to this conclusion after seeing my Dad.

We, as a family, had a very tough time (financially) to start off and then slowly worked our way saving, working extra hours, managing with limited resources etc., I am not justified to quote 'we' here because my parents had taken much of the pain in their 'periods of glory' to give me the glory of my life. [However even I have sacrificed a few of my toys and that’s the reason for the 'we']. Touch wood, we are in a better position now. My Dad had retired from his (official) services and he is gracing visits to his children’s' place, viz., me and my sister. All is fine.

However I see an uncomfortable silence in my father. He once used to be very jubilant, making fun of all relatives (even my friends), and everyone would say 'when V is around you are bound to get a good time', but then that is far gone now. Escaped like a smoke, disappeared like a mirage, washed away like a Tsunami, wretched by wind. But why is this change in him? Why has he gone down so much psychologically? why why why???!!!

While there could be many reasons for it, the prime reason that I see is, he is comfortable and secured now. There is no need for him to work hard to save the extra penny, no need to curtail his expenses to save more, no need to decide up on a choice, no need to manage money. Now that myself and my sister are independent (read: having own incomes and families) he doesn't have to decide up on what to buy for us, what to buy for the family etc., This very thought itself makes him feel that he has lost the charm in his life. He feels he is no more the essence of the family; he no more is the nucleus. Though, neither me nor my sister could help him change his thoughts, we feel really sorry for him. We want him back to his jubilant himself, but I have already lost hope.

Dad, it is not over yet, you are still the nucleus of our family, we respect and love you for what you have done so far, and we love you for ever. Things aren’t mounting big anymore for you because you worked so hard to make them small. Out of challenge does not mean, you have lost the race, it means you have won over everyone by miles.

My verdict has changed, a hard earned life only leads to more miseries, and it is just a bell curve which is going to dip eventually.

Daddy, it is definitely not over yet!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Is this the 'Western' Arranged Marriage?

For ages, the western world and including those with in the same territory (precisely Indians) who had resorted to love marraige, had taken more liberty to ridicule arranged marriage.

Well, I am not going to talk about which one is the best, I do know that it is all case based, some arranged marriages are unsuccessfull and some love marriages are successful as well. But what I am trying to find out the is what the west is drifting to a psuedo 'arranged marriage' style, only more technical and reasonable.

A week ago, the British Govt. sanctioned that any individual with reasonable purpose (marriage??) can get the history (character certificate :P) of another individual.

Click to see BBC Report

The MET office is allowed to share information relating to any domestic violence that the party in enquiry is involved. I am not sure if the if the outcome of the enquiry is a 'Yes' or 'No' or would it detail something else too, however you do have a way of life where you can get a character verification of a person you wish to marry/partner. Fair and I do support this change. Infact, a report says that there were 91 cases of women and 26 cases of men being murdered of domestic violence. If the information can save some ones life, why not? In simple terms, prevention is better than cure.

To me it sounds a bit like 'arraged' marriage. Though not completely. The term 'arranged' still sounds apt for these cases isn't it?

Friday, 20 January 2012

Homai Vyarawalla: Peek through her lens

For all those (like me) I din know about her till I found this article. I felt really ashamed and small that I did not know such a personality. Most of all, she was alive (until 15 Jan' 2012) and clicking.

I don’t think I am worthy of writing about such a personality. She is India's first woman press photographer. Her passion matured to an official photographer during World War II. While we are being filled by news channels with all the kurtas and boy-cuts and debate organizers, Homai Vyarawalla's lens did all the talking. Articles say she cycled around Delhi carrying heavy photograph machines (today also known as camera :P) wearing Sari. I am not trying to emphasis on 'Sari' though I read so many who are obsessed with 'changing what we wear'. I feel these are trivial things and what really matters is the message you would pass and Homai certainly passed her message and now no more.

My heart automatically goes on to blame the education system that decides on syllabus and contents of our academic books. Why isn’t such great people part of our books? Is it that hard to get a lesson on her? In my state, books have been issued with the then chief minister in one of the lessons. Well, I am not going to ponder on whether he should be in there (prose) or not, but she should definitely be there.

I might be yet another moron trying to blame others for my ignorance, but pride like these should have been carried across the borders. We (our country) lack the power to put out prides forward. We are only defending ourselves all the time. Example, the infamous Suresh Kalmadi's opening speech. There had been criticisms all over the world with news of the shortages in the CWG 2010, and on the opening ceremony it was very evident that this was a 'never before' experience. But the speech did not send a message. When you do that, you are just allowing more criticisms to flow in. Don't just pass a message; tattoo them on the criticizers mind.

Monday, 16 January 2012

AP Police chief, Fashionalble clothes, Slutwalk, this, that

Would the AP police chief have thought that he would become so popular? Nay... yet he is!! Unfortunately for wrong reasons.. yet again in India.

Before actually gettin in to what the AP chief spoke of, lets pan our browsers to another event that has travelled from west to East. The SlutWalk. I am very sorry to say that my country women have lost directions. You have become more emotional than tactical. Believe it or not my Jaan, you are being easily tricked, fooled and utilized of. Have you ever thought why a valentine’s day, mother's day, women's day etc., pick up so much on greeting card, gift sales? How long have these been in practise? I don’t think I need a special day to celebrate by mom or any mom would need a day to celebrate her motherhood. It is injected by someone who is making good benefits out of it and women just carry it forward not the moms. OK, so if you wish to celebrate mom's day and exchange gifts and cards, have you ever considered doing the same on children’s day? Does any mother/father really care to gift, exchange cards for children’s day? wake up and kick the smoke my dear ladies.

The idea of slut walk is to convey that modern outfits don't invite men to misbehave. And the ultimate goal is to reduce the violence, sexual harassment, rape, misbehaviour over women. How on earth would this walk deliver the message? Take it for granted 'Men do not get any message out of this'. Having got the media coverage, the sensation, the public ears you should perhaps use this to terrorise those men who resort to rubbish behaviour. Delivering some message that you will wear whatever you want is not worth it. Apparently, people who curtail your freedom to wear is within your house and home or with in your reach and not the general public not the people on Delhi high streets. Use this visibility to dictate strong terms to the Men who take women for a ride. For less important things you are perhaps better off to ask Anna Hazare to dedicate one of his fasting days.

Now to the AP Chief,

Ladies ladies ladies, have you lost the power to respond. You are only reacting. Can you tell me what wrong did the AP Chief cop say? Did he say, you should not wear modern outfit? I am interested in listening to the entire speech than to this infamous 1:21 minute video that even would publish to gain site visits. I am not ready to raise my flag for a half-baked video clipping. Coming to what he said, he says men are provoked because of the modern outfit. Why can't you believe it? It is bitter but it is TRUE. Telling a cat 1000 times that you are a tiger family will not stop it from drinking milk. The question is, does modern outfits provoke? simple answer is yes. The number of rape victims who were 'fashionable' is irrelevant. A provocation may not end on the person who caused the provocation. The vent would be on a more vulnerable woman who may not be modern. So your numbers of moderns woman don’t face the music is absurd.
To me, the Chief says, since there is this modernized outlook, men who had once been Jane’ less Tarzans have started to act like Brad Pitts. Given our public services system, expecting the cops to be around all the time and at all places is impossible. THE SPEECH ENDS THERE. He does not go on to say that women should not wear modern outfit. Perhaps the next set of words would or should have been, PLEASE BE READY WITH YOUR SELF DEFENSES, TRY TO DEFEND ATLEAST TILL THE TIME COPS OR SOME ONE REACHES OUT TO HELP YOU (IF AT ALL).

"Why would you want to be DRAUPATI expecting Krishna to give you the cover!!"