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On MODIfying, Developing and Changing INDIA

There was a country, a country of spirited and adept men, finding itself in the path of recovery from the heavy blows of imperialistic pas...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It was well past midnight. I was searching for this old classic, Swathi Muthyam as I heard highly of the film and its director K.Vishwanath. I have been hearing about three of his films particularly, out of which I have already seen Salangai oli. Of the other two Sankarabharanam and Swathi Muthyam, I found the plot of Swathi Muthyam interesting and found it in YouTube. But damn, there were no subtitles. So I had to postpone my plans until I find this movie with subtitle elsewhere. I was about to close the window and go to bed but another movie caught my attention which I have already seen it in school days,Guna. I was not particularly impressed and had a vague memory of the story. And with the string of Hollywood psychological thriller movies and movies about deranged minds I acquainted myself in the recent past, some part of my mind asked why not I try this movie to see how our own counterparts had done.

I had not been a big fan of kamal movies until my early twenties where I liked Hey Ram. And obviously knowing the tragic plot of Guna I did not want to see it fully. So there I was, an insane guy in the midst of the usual-manic-movie-watching-spree well past midnight wanting to just check out a movie to get a feel of it.

I turned the movie on. Time elapsed and when I was 30 minutes into the movie I found it odd that I had not skipped any scenes. Usually if I check out a movie I just skip and see only the most interesting or engaging scenes.An hour elapsed and until then there was only one scene that could tickle my part of the mind that wants it to be marveled, inspired and stupefied while watching a movie.

After the initial set up of the story part it got better, those marveling, mildly stupefying elements in the scenes could be seen often. For the next 45 minutes or so it made me laugh, wonder, empathize and appreciate. I thought it wasn’t that bad an idea to catch up the movie giving up sleep. When I was thinking on those lines being glad, there came a blinder. A blinder of 20 minutes, an awe-striking twenty minutes of pure awesomeness, complete brilliance after which I knew a tragic climax is brewing. 

 Tragedies, as they say, are not my cup of tea when it comes to movies and books. Though I could appreciate movies of any genre as long as there is element in it, I am just another guy who grew up liking all-is-well-at-the-end type of movies. So I thought of turning it off and I almost did. By then I was reminded of such a movie, a movie of sorts that has a tragic ending. The movie’s name was American History-X which taught something about the right interpretation of movies sometime ago. The lesson was tragedy could sometimes be poetic and profoundly beautiful if presented well.

I wondered whether I could apply what I learnt there and decode Guna in the right sense. Eventually I got back and completed the rest of the movie that ends with the vividly-remembered-image of kamal jumping from the hill. It was not all poetic as expected. But when I thought more deeply from a creator’s perspective I realized there couldn’t be any other better way of ending it. 

When I said about lesson learnt from American History-X I forgot to add couple of other points. The poetic element of such tragedies, I referred earlier, is not readily visible. They hide behind the cloak of fate, co-incidence which we give as reasons for the tragic endings. They remain hidden until we uncover the cloak, until we interpret the reasons for such endings in a different angle or the right perspective may be.

In American history-X, Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton) is a neo-Nazi racist who is sent to prison for killing two Black guys who try to steal his car. In prison he becomes an outcast because of his white superiority theory and everyone awaits their chance to strike. Derek is subjected to a brutal incident; a black man whom he got acquainted in prison helps him out of it. Change of beliefs happen and Derek realizes his mistake of racism. He is released from prison and to his dismay finds that his younger brother is following his own footsteps that could end up in a disaster. He explains him about what he thinks now and his brother sees the point.

Seeing this one would think that there is an all-is-well kind of climax on the cards. But to one’s surprise his younger brother is killed by a black kid next day in school. Derek finds his body and he breaks into a cry. The movie ends.

The screenplay, plot, the philosophies and the entire movie proved brilliant except for the climax. It seemed artificial in the otherwise well thought out script. The protagonist’s character arc was complete, and he was no more a racist. He is a changed man; he has succeeded in stopping his brother from treading a wrong path. All was fine, everything had been answered and what is the point of killing the brother? I pondered over this and it stuck to me in a while. When I dissected it in terms of a story and its ending it did not make sense but when I did think in terms of the journey of the character (i.e. of protagonist's) it made all the sense. I realized that there could not have been any better climax.

 The climax actually was the real testimonial to Derek’s change. With his brother’s corpse in his lap he is presented with two choices. Either, he could give himself to anger and go on a killing spree as he did earlier or he can be the changed soul who knows violence and hatred doesn't solve anything. Derek chooses the second and that decision completes his character arc truly. After that I began to see the importance of moving the story in relevance to the protagonist's journey, protagonist's objective.

And the 20 minutes of awesomeness of Guna comes into picture right there. To continue on the same lines, the awesomeness that I referred was not because of any regular mass movie elements such as best dialogues, adrenalin pumping actions, on the top flashy performances et al but it is in terms of the authentic, well thought out characterization. As I said for American History-X, the awesomeness of these 20 minutes could only be seen if it is interpreted in terms of character’s journey. 

Guna is some one of a deranged mind who thinks he has a lady love called Abirami loathes his life. His abusive father had abandoned his wife after which Guna’s mother had to involve in the flesh trade. Guna doesn’t like his mother or the brothel she has in which Guna has grown up. While treatment he says to the doctor that people are nasty, the world is nasty and he himself is ugly with the features of his father’s face and that he is impure. He says his only saving grace is Abirami, a nonexistent, imaginary divine lover who can cleanse his mind, soul and body. He calls others as “Humans” suggesting he is not one of them and comments that the world is disgusting. Thus the character’s objective is to escape the humans, escape the world they dwell in and live with Abirami.

Rohini is a daughter of a rich father who had just died in a plane crash. She is almost left alone with her mother gone when she was 8. Being a motherless child with her business obsessed father she had grown up in hostel without any shade of love falling on her. Now all she has is 20 crores of her father’s business with nobody to care even a bit about her.

One day, Guna comes across Rohini and sees his Abirami in her. Their fates intertwine and Guna ends up taking hostage of Rohini. He takes her to a mountain where human interference is on the very minimum. After her foiled attempts to escape, Rohini gets the better of Guna when he risks his life while saving her. She refuses to lift Guna who is hanging at the tip of a cliff. Guna falls off. By then Rohini’s caretaker comes with Gunda’s asking her to sign a blank document. Rohini finds the evil design of taking possession of her property. She denies. But S.K, the caretaker threatens her with rape by Gundas after which Rohini signs. S.K says she could not live even after she had signed the document. He aims the gun at her. She closes her eye getting ready for the bullet to pierce through her. Fortunately Guna comes and saves her only after S.K breaks her leg. Guna kills one of the Gundas. Rohini is left unconscious. 

Guna takes her to a remote cave. He tends to her while she is unconscious. What lies there in the cave is not Rohini’s unconscious form but a reincarnate of Rohini. Rohini has experienced death,physically when she closed her eyes awaiting her death when S.K prepared to shoot and emotionally when S.K threatened her with rape thus destructing her emotions, destructing the belief she had on people. Now she is a new person with new beliefs and new hopes surrounding her. She is the Abirami of Guna’s dreams who had ceased to be just a figment of imagination, who had been given life by Guna himself; she is the Abirami who could give to Guna salvation and who wants herself a salvation.

 After a while Rohini wakes up and finds Guna bandaging her broken leg. She is overwhelmed seeing Guna taking such good care of her despite her betrayal. A conversation ensues. Each of the words that they spell shows how their inner search is answered. She asks him whether he is not angry and asks why he is so good to her despite her leaving him to a possible death. He says the reason is he loves her. “What kind of love is this when you don’t even know my name”, she asks. He says that her name is Abirami and that is how it is for him always. “Abirami”, she whispers. Good than Rohini she says. Who is Rohini asks Guna, for whom the girl who is sitting opposite had always been Abirami as far as he could remember. For that she says,” She was a girl I knew” rechristening herself as Abirami, reaffirming her transformation into Abirami.

She understands that love showering Guna is better than the money-lust souls she had been living with.  She says, to be Abirami who is loved beyond limits is better than being a loveless loner Rohini. Though her partly enlightened human mind cannot still understand the feel Guna has for her. She asks whether he wants her mistaking sexual motivation in Guna’s love. She thinks he had saved her honor and life and deserves her. Guna denies and says he wants to marry her saying implicity that his is not a love as perceived by humans but something beyond human understanding and something purer than human love. She asks him to marry her then and there for which he says he wants to marry her on the full moon day.

                                       Part of the 20-minutes-of-awesomeness

Then Rohini fever struck, bedridden. Out of a sudden whim, may be laying there protected by the shoulders of a man who genuinely care for her had ignited something in Rohini's mind, she asks Guna to marry her. He says full moon is due by only next day for which she says her heart is filled that day and it is the full moon day for her. She feels real happiness perhaps the one she had never felt in her whole life and she wants to multiply it. He ties the sacred thread. Thus Rohini’s longing for love has been answered. The loveless attains pure love and happiness completing the character arc. Guna’s objective of escaping the people, finding his Abirami who can cleanse his heart, body and soul, is also fulfilled. 

As the movie ended initially I thought the poor souls could have been allowed few more days of life. But the verbalization that my heart is filled by Rohini clears that as well. Rohini of the old could have lived 100 years and never see happiness. But this reincarnate of her’s, Abirami had seen a day of sublime happiness. Rohini would have traded a day’s happiness and death than 100 years of loneliness. Guna was the catalyst she needed all her life to see the world as it is and life as it is. And as far I know nothing could be any poetic than that. And the song "Kanmani anbodu" damn its an piece of art especially for the lyrical transformation of ordinary lines into a song, Vairamuthu's best.

People always bring up Kamal Hassan’s name when Guna is discussed. True that the man has lived the character and at certain points you won’t find his acting brilliant as you tend to believe Guna was not a brilliantly orchestrated performance of the skillful actor kamal Hassan bu someone real who had been mad all his life. Even I thought Roshni as Rohini has done splendidly well that too for a debutant she was brillaint. Generally she looks attractive, cute with her expressions, dialogue delivery and a tad hot sometimes but I felt her to be strikingly beautiful and irresistible in those cave sequence. May be it is after all true that beauty is not skin deep and it has to do with the person one is. Back to the point, I think the true hero of the movie is script than Kamal Hassan.

Thought I speak highly of those twenty minutes, though to me the movie starts only after an hour of actual movie starts and it ends before twenty minutes of the actual ending I think the other parts are also necessary to build towards that good part. Over all it is one of the best movies I have seen in the recent past, may be the one I would ever see all my life. Damn this deserves rewatch(already seen it 5 to 6 times in 48 hours :P) and it belongs in my collection of all time great movies undoubtedly. A classic or at least a cult classic as accepted by many.

Hell I have lots to say but I think it is enough for now. May be after watching the movie for another round of 10 times I would write a better version, a part 2 may be. ;)

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Been a long time that I wrote something in this space. Not because I was lazy,not because I had nothing to say but sheerly the fact that I was apprehensive about whatever I wrote stopped me from posting anything. Three to four half-written posts saved as drafts would testify.  I guess,the perfectionist attitude that I picked up lately and my emphasize for an unique content are the main reasons that held me back. To my dismay, my other writing catalyst which is the strong impulse or a sudden overwhelming feel on things also failed to inspire me to write. In short I was not touched,moved or antagonized by a larger degree in recent times.  If I pay enough attention I would know that this habit of mine meant I am surrendering myself completely to the ridiculous-mature-world of adults. And of course without a shard of doubt I would hate that,So I had to break the chains and write a post at least for being myself.

After making up my mind to write,I did not have much of difficulty in zeroing upon  a topic with this thing,the friendship day around the corner. I, for one, known for the posts I have written in the past on friendship, I thought it would be a fair idea to revisit my opinion on friendship. It looked worthy a undertaking to invest time and this post is just a result of it.

In retrospect when I see,all through the turn of time, friendship has always been projected as an entity,a bond which has a fixed definition despite its presence among different set of people across different age groups. Its definition has always been confined to the common perception and the common viewpoint accepted unanimously by everyone.  But at a quarter century of an age when I look back it looks odd. How can something that is so common and widespread can have a single whole interpretation. Personally if you ask me, I don’t think what I perceived as friendship when I shared a chocolate with a kid when I was three is as same as what I felt when I averted ogling at an attractive girl just because she was my friend's love interest.It is not even close to what I feel today as friendship when people of my age group are expected to shut themselves and bury their head being narrow minded in the name of making/saving their career.

Friendship has undergone a change.Like air,I have seen that friendships shrink and expand. Oddly it works in an opposite way. Even when the life’s demand is too much,even when life becomes hot bed of thorns the air of  friendship should expand and be in its glorious form but these days that is where the much undesirable contraction happens. I am not sure whether people are the ones to be blamed because they tend to go with the flow like a sheep in the herd to save itself from butcher's knife,they have to go with the socially accepted lifestyle to qualify to be called a “Social Animal”. In these circumstances if anything is to be blamed I guess it should be the wicked word called “Career”,a 20-th century invention to keep people from tasting real life and the society that has given an impression that the career is cornerstone of a man’s life.

So when I say my idea of friendship wouldn’t be anywhere near what I felt exactly a year before,I guess it is fair.  At this moment when I look back with all the years of experience,with all the accumulated sweet moments and prejudices I am at a loss of words and ideas to perceive friendship as it is. For instance,if I try to wipe out the clouds of common opinions, definitions that had been forced upon me and look in the deep recesses of my mind,I find that I could not describe friendship.

In those moments I resemble like a computer with a 512 MB Ram hanging in a limbo being not able to withstand the heavy process running in the background,looking all set to crash.  I have these two thoughts about friendship confronting each other, to outsmart one another every time. One says, from the recent experiences of  broken,failed bonds that friendship is never a perpetuating feel but something seasonal. Like one of those phases of listening to music where you are obsessed with a particular genre and move on to the next. It gives an impression that there is nothing called lifelong friendship.And that every single thing portrayed about friendship is like a tempting noon mirage to the thirsty pair of eyes in a sultry desert.

On the other hand, with the patience-personified-angels hanging on to me year after year despite my stupidity the other part argues that, Friendship is as real and as human as the blood oozing out from an aching wound. There had been/are people who had wronged all cynical thoughts about friendship and prove to be sun in the east of my mornings every single day glowing with love for which I owe them everything in life. With the argument between these two parts getting intense leaving me in a state of mental paralysis,one day I decided to retire from the world of chaos to go into my inner self and get an answer.

I sat back,took time and scrutinized my experiences to sort out things for myself. After a while I was able to see few things clearly. The foremost thing that came up in the analysis is that the intimacy between two people can never be the same and it shouldn’t be in any relationship. There should be ups and downs,there should be moments of anxiety without which it can not be real. In initial stages of every relationship the understanding and the intimacy tends to be  in an optimum level. As the time flies by, it tends to get stronger and that is where the problems starts to crop up. At a certain point the intimacy reaches its peak,it may be days or weeks or months. It stays in that peak level for a certain period of time and then this intimacy sows the seed for a casual mindset of taking the other for granted. The common reason given are like he/she is close they will understand me and I don’t need to be formal with him/her. This provokes a spark which ultimately leads to contradiction or some gap. 

This is common across all relationships and what happens after this differentiate between what I call as a seasonal friendship and lifelong friendship. In seasonal friendship the intimacy that has hit the roadblock will never be back on track. The long dormant ego that had slept during the days of  being close awakes. Sometimes apart from the ego , the extent to which someone is hurt also play a role. Both compete to prove tough leaving the relationship to die and in course of time the so called intimacy becomes a myth than a real thing that filled the heart.

Second thing that I felt strongly is that the notion that friendship is common despite gender which is all a hogwash. Basically I accept that friendship and the feel is the same but then the approach can not be the same. How much ever intimate a girl and boy may be , there is a line put forth by culture or basic manners or whatever that divides them. That is the reality.This difference,I can say, is felt strongly when the “taking for granted” phase comes in. Guys normally get offended when taken lightly and especially when it comes to a girl the offense factor just grow manifold. A guy turning his face and walking away is hell lot different from a girl doing the same. The other factor that makes the offense factor gargantuan despite whether it is a girl or boy is that friends doing silly stuff having known how much it will hurt us. Simply its not what is done but who has done it makes all the difference. Most of the times it is not only regret that you feel but anger too have its place.

Also what people do when they have difference of opinion some times makes you go mad. If some one had been so close with you for years  and act cool,be relaxed as if the difference did not affect them and when they act as if you don’t even exist may antagonize anyone and especially for a guy like me it will leave me in a raging mood. Personally sometimes I could not understand what people wanted from me or worse still what they want from me. But in a broader perspective honestly I am past those days where I go on rampaging mode or be mad at someone.  Those days are behind me, I have no time and most importantly I have far more bigger things pricking me now.

Moving on,the other thing is when two people share a bond sometimes it is very magical, very divine. And once any of the one involved do something stupid or when the above “taking for granted” phase happens leaving someone hurt,creating a gap that magic is lost forever. They can even get back later,apologize with each other and rejuvenate the relationship but the magic doesn’t come back,you don’t feel the intimacy as before. Sometimes its like a fragile golden thread that can not be glued back once it is snatched. So if your friendship with some one is delicate,innocent and humble make sure you handle it with care as you will handle something made of glass.

Finally I can say that,Friendship is like an egg shell covering a magical intimacy. Some relationships are like raw eggs where the magic is lost if the shell of intimacy cracks. And some relationships are like boiled eggs where the inner core remains unaffected even if the shell cracks.(I know it is a lousy example in a rather serious post but can’t think beyond now :-P).

To conclude,I guess most relationships fail because they don’t get past the above test of temperament. Unfortunately these kind of test of nerves are not one time phenomena but they come in cycles which in a way make you realizes the worth of friends. The life long relationships which I referred are the ones that see through these tests every single time. Happy to have few friends who are in that category. If there is anything that I feel good about which makes me feel I am a blessed soul then the presence of people of this kind should be the only reason in my otherwise bruised,tattered life at present.

 Though presented with a confusing notions about friendship,though the human condition has reduced to such a miserable state to mark a day for celebrating friendship despite celebrating it every single day I wanna say “Happy Friendship day” to everyone out there who loves me,who still remembers me though I hadn’t spent time with them, the ones who hates me and the ones who had conveniently forgotten me.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Capital punishment(CP) or death sentence,the highest level of punishment imposed in the civilized society to make the guilty pay and to demonstrate that the society will not tolerate injustice was nothing new.This practice is no invention of the modern world and it should have its origins connected to the the early formulation of civilization when the thought of order,justice crossed the human mind for the first time.Without a doubt it should have been crude,brutal and ruthless in olden days and though it should have been aristocratic, something that was belted out at the whim of monarch or the supreme man as means of intimidation and threat,the need for preservation of it was undeniable.But as the cultures evolved the deciding authority, the method of execution, the categories of offense that merited capital punishment evolved as well and the whole process was made to look sane at least in parts in the modern days.

When things were like this,one fine day the "Evolved world", which had scaled the moon,which had sent probes to Mars questioned whether it is right to put someone to death that too by the government and the judicial system that is supposed to protect.Their "evolved compassionate mind" thought for a while and declared that capital punishment is a blot in the fabric of human civilization and as the most modern intelligent generation of all time we should abolish it.Have we ever agreed on anything? Another group said that death sentence is mandatory to the world as a sword is to the king without which governance is not possible. Following that, a debate, a controversy ensued ( as usual) and in the process some countries abolished the idea of death sentence.Then UN called for a resolution to abolish it all over the world which few countries denied to accept thus helping in keeping the debate of capital punishment's need alive.Since then the controversy rages on and let us try to understand the sensibilities of the arguments.

One might wonder about the tone of the above lines and find it slightly critical on the advocators of Anti Capital Punishment.It should strike as odd when someone who belongs to a country that gave birth to the concept of non-violence hint so.But not only me I guess any Indian would favor CP having learnt that any terrorist can just stroll across a city street and shoot innocent people at will,after having known that the home of democracy,parliament can be attacked as if it is the backyard,a practice ground for terrorists, wouldn't it be a natural reaction? And without a surprise one can imagine that India is one of the countries that deny to accept the abolition of CP and it is rightly so.

More than anything death sentences are needed to prevent perpetrators from committing the crime again.It is just a bargain we have to make to save many lives by taking one.Secondly when the crime rate is soaring high in a time where death sentence applies, what would happen if it is abolished? What would stop the criminals? Having said it,the odd thing is that the people who oppose capital punishment exactly put forward the same as allegation.They say that the "prevention strategy" doesn't give the chance of rehabilitation and that everyone has a right to life which is crushed when death sentence is given by the legal body that is meant to protect.In addition,not only it is the offender who suffers staring the impending death but also his family during the entire period of investigation and  execution.Rights,suffering? Man,I wonder whether the poor soul who was killed was from the streets and that he had no family that suffers for his loss? Isn't it ridiculous?

It is also argued that it becomes revenge when you take a life for another life and it is asked, "what is the logic in killing the people who kill people to show them that killing is wrong?" Fair,but what I don't understand at all is whether convicts are that naive to not know killing is wrong? Aren't most crimes deliberate with full knowledge of the impact it will make? Hasn't killing become another profession or a game with exception to few that take place on the heat of the moment.People who promote the abolition of CP should know that they also represent/ speak for men who plant bombs and massacre innocent civilians and people who involve in things such as rape, human trafficking etc.The alternative that Anti CP advocators suggest for CP is life imprisonment or LWOP(Life without Parole) which can not help in all cases.

Will LWOP hold true to the terrorists,serial murderers.What would happen if a convict like Noida serial killer is given LWOP and he manages to escape the prison in course of time? Do you think he will keep quite after escaping? Will the prison life turn him into Mahatma? If the complete implications of abolition of CP has to be learned then the case of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh who is a Pakistani terrorist should be taken.He kidnapped 4 foreign nationals in 1994 and threatened to behead them demanding the releases 10 Kashmiri terrorists. Later he was detained and was sent to Tihar jail to be locked up for life which proved a mistake and wreaked a havoc that was too heavy.

First, an Indian Airlines flight was hijacked and a man named Rupan Katyal,a newly wed who was returning from honeymoon was killed.Later Omar Sheikh and few others were released as per hijackers demand. Omar Shiekh flew and started doing what he does best.In 2002 the same man, beheaded the American journalist Daniel Pearl who was kidnapped in Pakistan.It should be noted that when Daniel Pearl was killed the Pearl couple were expecting their first baby.Also Omar Shiekh played important role in 9/11 attacks in which thousands died.When the point of right for life is discussed then one has to consider the rights of others as well.What about the right of the victim's wife to live with her husband ? What about the right of Pearl's baby to have its father? What about the right of life of thousands who died in 9/11 attacks?

Apart from deterrence, some cases purely merit the punishment like serial killing,terrorism as discussed above, felonies like human trafficking, women trafficking, child abuse and even rape.I guess more than homicide the instances of such crime bears unimaginable brutality. Especially rape of minors and child abuse.One might wonder whether rape,human trafficking etc are as grave as terrorism? Yes,in some cases like this its more worse. Often these trafficking and abuse cases are not as simple but they are subsidiary to a more graver crime like murder,kidnap or other crimes.

Having said everything,it is not so wise to take a side without ever lending your ears to the other side's argument.So as an obligation let's see what is the other side's stand.Among the arguments against death sentence the point that emphasizes on the instances of wrongful execution of innocents holds valid and something that needs attention. Given how easily the judicial system can be bent, the instances of innocents getting executed are high.I guess for this the investigation process and the judiciary has to be refined.People involved in the trial like the judge,advocates and the cops should be able to differentiate between the innocent and a criminal.Scrapping death sentence altogether will not be the apt solution.

Even though one might be critical about the Anti Capital Punishment advocators we can empathize with them when we dig deep.Apart from wrongful execution there are things like execution of minors,painful methods of execution, imposing death sentence to not-so-grave crimes. Web sources say that China,Middle East and some African countries are so tight-fisted that they impose death sentence for not only murders and drug trafficking but also to common crimes like robbery, theft,adultery,flesh trade.Notably in the Middle East homosexuality is a crime punishable by death which is ironical where gay marriages are legalized in some parts of the world. And in some cases it is insane to the level that conversion to another religion, idolatry,tax fraud, corruption(Are you kidding?) are capital offenses.

Apart from the insensible issuance of CP for random crimes the execution methodologies also seem to play part a part.The element of cruelty and pain inflicted also concerns the Anti CP advocators.Other than hanging and to an extent Lethal injection where the convict is injected with a dose of drugs rest of the methods like electrocution,gas chamber, decapitation (beheading) and stoning are still followed which are cruel.In addition to that few Islamic states follow the practice of executing the criminals in public places like in roads and in some cases they have special arena where stoning and beheading is conducted like a football or cricket match which is not acceptable.Oppression of women is common in these countries that adultery,women involved in flesh trade and in some worst cases rape victims are also stoned to death which is very much objectionable.

So finally one can see that to retain or to completely abolish capital punishment is not so sensible.As a general rule it can be avoided and in special cases it has to be imposed.Even in murders, the crime that is conducted just on the impulse,on the heat of the moment should be considered and in such cases imprisonment or life sentence is enough.But terrorists,serial killers and offenders who pose a serious threat should be sentenced to death. Some countries have various degrees of murder out of which first or second degree murders are given death sentence and the same can be followed world wide.Rape especially if it involves minors,child abuse should fall under capital offense depending on the case.

Apart from that if the United Nation wants to do something,it should standardize the offenses that come under capital punishments rather than blindly eradicate death sentence. It would be sensible to make sure the punishments imposed are for reasonable crimes and uniform throughout the world.And few countries should come out of backward thinking, death sentence for theft,tax fraud and changing religion? Come on! The punishment they carry out for adultery,flesh trade etc shows the oppressive attitude towards women in the name of culture,religion.This is ridiculous and pathetic and these people should change for good.If voices have to be raised,if controversy should be made then it should be on such things.

My Note:
I watched a movie and a message that was just belted out just for the sake of it, at the end inspired me to write this.The movie is Aravaan and the irrelevant message that has no connection or whatsoever with the movie saying,"Death sentence should be removed", annoyed me and I took up this post.Even some days before there was a commotion in TN asking Rajiv Gandhi assassinatiors to be exempted from death sentence which I thought about writing but did not get time.I don't think just because you have some sentiments and emotions for an issue you can blindly demand such things.If they are the ones who killed some x no matter who that x is the person deserves penalty and if it is death sentence then it should be given.You don't connect irrelevant facts and conjure up reasons to defend them.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A letter is supposed to have a salutation.But here I am desperately giving it a miss for couple of reasons. First,this is not a regular letter that people write to friends and family or to apply for jobs.Rather,it is a love letter.So who cares if it complies to standards or procedures. Secondly,the real reason which I guess is, I am not sure how to address you.I thought of "Hi" but it was too cliched, then I considered "Dear" which sounded too intimate.I eventually had to drop that as we hardly have spent enough time together.Then my mind suggested "My love" which was definitely out of question.I may be crazy but not juvenile to use something like that even though my mind deep down wish I could use it.

I know this is eyebrow rising.May be you are muttering under your breath how dare I was and have I gone crazy? If you are,then take a break to know as a matter of fact that I am also asking myself the same questions.I never planned on any of it and everything just happened.I spent time thinking that this will eventually pass.But it never did.I was pushed to make it pass and here I am.I said that this letter is about love.Yes,a typical love letter in all aspects except that it is not meant for a proposal.If so,asking what am I writing this for would be a sensible question. I guess its because of the fact that this is my last option to make the feel pass,a small ray of hope to get over you.

Yes,you heard me right. I write this so that I can end this and move on.I could have kept on saying to myself and deceive that this is a mere crush or a delayed teenage attraction and continue to drag this game of hide and seek.Or I can face the reality, infer from the signs, accept the facts, weigh the practical considerations and see the truth as it is. I chose the second after figuring out that erecting castles in air based on coincidences will only make matters worse and to stand up and face whatever the reality would be sensible.

But how do I do? I did not know.How would I ever stop noticing your imaginary double's projection whom I find everywhere,every time.How would my brain ever refrain from loading your memories. Aren't you the first and last thought of my mind everyday? Tough call. Unfortunately there isn't much help from outside too.If I look back, all through the human race there has been no better method suggested to get over a girl than to surrender oneself to the vicious claws of liquor which I am completely against.You see,I am different. May be not in a positive way but sure that I am not one of those regular guys to believe in liquor,growing beard etc.

So I had to look for an alternative and this idea struck me.Wouldn't it ease the anxiety if I talk about this with someone? Yes,saying things out unloads the weight that you are carry on your chest. But whom do I talk to? Parents are a very bad option to discuss especially when you want to get over a girl .Friends,may be? But they will say different things out of care which will end up confusing me in turn.They love me but they can not see through my eyes,they can not feel through my heart.Shouldn't I be the one eating if my stomach feels hungry? Then who can it be? After sometime someone unexpected whom I can discuss this with came to my mind. Guess who?

It is You! Yes,who can be the best person to talk about this than you.But I was not sure whether I will be comfortable in exhibiting my inner feelings to you in person.If so,why don't I write? And without any second thoughts,I picked up a pen and paper in the hope that I will have my mind up and working while writing so that I be a bit smart.But my heart completely took over and may be because of that things may be blunt and overtly candid. Don't mind. Let me add another thing,wise or stupid, I made a decision to write but all through some sort of guilt pricks me for troubling you for my selfish reasons.

Spare me an apology if you could.But what choice do I have.I did not plan anything, I did not even imagine the possibility.It just happened.It was never like,"I saw you,I was impressed,I developed a feel for you and wanted to be in love".To your credit you are good looking but frankly I don't think you are the most attractive girl I have come across.You were nothing like my idea of a dream girl.Neither did we share a great rapport which turned slowly into love.Yet it is a wonder and I don't know still how I developed a soft corner for you.A line from a movie,Pyaar sirf ho jaatha hai (Love just happens) which I always considered a romantic rubbish might come to my rescue here.

In retrospect,it looks all magical and stupid at the same time.Suddenly one day you looked different.There was something about you,something very intriguing and I felt drawn to you.I knew something was wrong and told myself that its just an attraction or may be a crush.I gave it sometime.But sooner I started seeing more than one reasons to believe that this was more than a mere attraction or even crush.I was not crushing the crush instead you were crushing my heart and it was getting stronger.It didn't seem a good sign.Someday I did not want to find myself irrevocably in love and that taking no for an answer was not at all an option for me.Moreover when you are a guy who believe love happens only once in life it doesn't help.Burning all the bridges did not seem wise and I wanted to give myself a chance.

I wanted to getaway and I came up with some crazy exercises.I would try to convince myself that you are not the one for me and that I can get a better girl.I would compare some random girl that I come across on the road with you and persuade my mind that her smile was pleasing than yours, pick up another girl and say that her eyes were much brighter and magnetizing than yours.This routine loops over with assortment of comparisons like someone looked more fun comparing your serious persona,someone's waving hair was better than yours,someone was more stylish than you,someone had a nice accent than you and someone's voice was nicer than yours.All day goes like that and I will feel happy for successfully turning my focus away from you.It seemed to start working out but actually it never did.

When I crash on to the bed on nights those smiles,congenial demeanor,waving hairs, symphonic accents, stylish looks and voices will be crushed to pieces and all that occupies my mind will be that someone's memories whom lost out to every random girl in every aspect during the day.That girl was not beautiful but she was managing something that even the world beauties failed to do which is to steal my sleep.End of the day I will find that my attempts are down the drain.I took another route.That is to avoid you,your thoughts to be precise. When someone faces danger the usual response can be either flight or fight.I chose flight which seemed easy.I invented a way to cheat myself by forcing my mind to dislike you without reasons.Shutting out your thoughts,avoiding interactions with you were part of the plan.

They say that the world doesn't become dark when you close your eyes.As such feeding the mind with hatred could not erase what I felt for you.And a day came where I clearly realized, understood and knew by heart all that was happening to me and saw things as they are than how I wanted to.Epiphany was just a word before but not after that.I knew there was no looking back.By then I felt embarrassed about my knowledge on love.I wondered how much the external entities and opinion of others governs us.How much they deceive us into believing about what love and life really is? How well other people put their word on our mouth and make us say things which we never had any idea of.How these films,pop songs and novels of today adulterates an individual's idea of love?

What a hogwash those meeting of eyes,electrifying touches,the magical love from the very minute they come face to face in movies had been.Had I believed in those things perhaps I would not have been doing this stupid thing of writing this letter as I never saw anything in your eyes than your blue iris.I would have convinced myself that whatever I felt for you was just a school boyish crush or a mere teenage-like attraction and got over you.Would have been good for both of us.But unfortunately I saw or rather I was shown the stupidity behind those things that was dumped in front of us as love.

The more I figured out about what love is,the much the feel I had for you looked meaningful. I understood that love is not seeing someone dashing on a fine morning and finding yourself overwhelmed with a sense of joy,emotions.It is not about inventing someone while treading a new path.But it is about discovering that someone whose path is intertwined with yours,who silently follows you like your shadow.It is never about the sudden rush you get but an affection that had grown over a period which has roots deep down.

Though notion of love was bogus I found that the other things relevant.It was the usual stuff shown in movies.When you are in love the world looks colorful and suddenly you find life in your life.You would have crushed tulips and gulmohars before but after you find someone even cactus looks beautiful.It did,for me.Suddenly a puppy running on the roadside,a toddler on a bus ride look alarmingly spectacular.Before you might have been chatting about how badly India played in cricket,how much Indian politics suck even during a visit to the Mughal garden or the Niagara falls but now even the pasture on your backyard looks beautiful. You turn into a nature lover overnight. Clouds, beaches, hills fascinate you.

You no more run for a roof while it rains but get drenched and oddly finds it pleasurable. Before Ilayaraja's songs makes you yawn but now you see what a Master Class Musician he is and You listen to only melody songs.Titanic tragedy shatters you and all the Shahrukh movies makes you cry.Your DVD collection of actions movies are replaced by dead drop romantic movies. You give a stupid smile when you hear his/her name.You are extra absent minded, forget things and be more stupid than usual.You dream with your eyes open and daydreams are the order of the day.You act too good as if you carry the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi when he/she is around.

And above all you give a trademark sheepish, disgusting(for others) smile while doing all the above.To top it all these stupid things look meaningful.I had my share too and I got to thank you for such moments.It was a nice little period like walking on an exotic beach on an orange evening.It was dream like.Not sure whether it was because of that I had to wake up after few days.You know,time is an interesting entity.It changes things over a period.It changes you,it changes others and at times it changes the world around you too.It makes mountains into deep holes and deep holes into mountains.Unfortunately the change is not always for the better.I literally bore evidence to that.

Yes the times have changed.I,no more,can deny what I feel for you.I,no more, can cheat myself and above all I can never see myself beaten down especially in love.I also don't want to close my eyes and pretend nothing is happening.But I intended to accept the truth as it is and then I am now giving up before it is too late.The world may call me a coward but I don't care if that cowardice can prevent me from being crucified emotionally.I did not want to love you and as a matter of fact I resisted falling for you once but it turned out different.On similar notes now  I hope we don't fall for each other,I hope nothing happens and there is really nothing between us.I wish this is true and it stays true forever.But do we have control over things that happens? Who knows.

I also understand the fact that there are more differences between us than anything in common.You are way out of my league and I am out of your league.We have personalities that are on opposite extremes which oddly was something that got me interested initially.I am of the opinion that an ideal couple complement each other and thus they complete each other. I believe,life will be happier with you .I know you will be the fuel to my torch of success.I said I don't see anything in your eyes than your blue iris.Yes I don't see anything magnetizing as they say in movies but I get a sense of  hope,belief and faith when I look into your eyes. Fortunately or unfortunately if you are by my side I will feel I own the world and die a happy man.Having said that I also I would like to clarify something.If nothing happens between us I am not stupid enough to sulk and ruin my life.

Sure I will be upset but I will get over you in a while.And of course if you are not in my life then I will/will have to marry some other girl.May be it will not be as bad as I imagined,may be I will like her more and we will live till the end raising children like in fairy tales.But I will miss you,there will always be a hollow,a void in my heart. Without  you life will not be complete, there will not be a sense accomplishment in me.Also If you are by my side,I don't have to set you as a benchmark and try to see your qualities in another girl whom I have to marry,I will not have to undergo the misery of comparing a girl with you every time I see a girl for commitment.Whatever,I don't know whether we are destined to be an ideal couple or not.I don't know whether I will complete you but I am sure you will complete me.May sound bit one-sided,a bit selfish but I don't care. 

May be this is stupid,may be this is not the pure harmonizing,transcendental love,may be you don't like me,may be you are already committed,may be you are just another middle-class girl who don't afford to think about love,may be you are in love with someone else but this had to be said.And by chance if we are to come face to face, for heaven's sake don't turn your face and walk off  even if you are pissed off.Just leave a smile,at least a forced artificial one because I may put up a brave face and be heroic outside but inside I am too fragile especially with loved ones.Finally I would like to apologize if anything offended you or anything proved hurtful.I did not mean it and the sheer thought was that you needed to know my feel for you,you needed to know all these,you needed to know my predicament that..

I am standing at the cliff called life...A slow poison called your memories,a slight imbalance called your smile is all I need to fall into a delightful abyss called love...I don't know whether an guardian angel awaits at the depth of the abyss with her hands extended to catch and take me to the realms of her kingdom or is it the barren rocks and stones that awaits at the depth to cushion my free falling body? I don't know..I don't know whether  is it worth my attempts and whether I should loose myself,take a risk of falling into it Or am I supposed to walk on the known planes on the other side of the cliff that has been staying the same from the time immemorial?

I started writing this by February 12 but could not manage a nice ending for a long time.Even now I have managed something in a hurry.Actually I thought of a short story based on a love letter.The story revolves around the letter and and the outcome is this.May be after someday I will expand this up and use it for the story.That's about it.Other speculations are welcome and the post is open to interpretations.Do people ever believe if the truth is said? :P

Monday, January 02, 2012

It is customary for me to write a New year special post every year.Except last year where I felt that I have given a tad too much of perspective to my personal life earlier that year on my blog and I decided against the idea.On the contrary this time I felt its not a bad idea to provide a over dosage of my domestic life than to leave this blogosphere dry and barren for long.So here I am to look back the year that went by and to streamline all my expectations, plans and aspirations for the year that is blooming at its own pace in front of us.Exactly a year back If had been writing this I would have said that I underwent numerous experiences and I had seen everything that included good,bad,triumph,defeat,delight and depression in the year that passed by.But here as I bid adieu to 2011,I am not sure whether I can say the same as the occurrences doesn't form such an assortment of variegated experiences. Not a lot of things happened.Yet whatever happened has proved intense,deep and in a sense enriched.

2011 started somewhat ok and January was not bad except for the horrible Pongal experience where I had to stay back in Chennai alone instead of going to my native.But that is part and parcel of the game. I don't wanna complain about it.No big deal.And as days passed then came February which should fall under the one side of the extremity that I referred earlier. It was a period where life was a living hell and thousand things ran through the mind all the time.Simply two questions formed the reason for all the lunacy,stress that are "Future?" and "What/why am I doing whatever I was doing?". Issues started cropping up (or I perceived it did or I created it) from all ends and I felt as if I was being choked from all fronts and by every single person.I was distressed to a level that I mulled over leaving my job.Leaving a job? What's the big deal about it,you might ask.

Well,it was a big deal for me having drifted away to irrelevant spheres after finishing graduation and finally tumbling on the right track by sheer coincidence.The best part is the irony of the episode as this is the same job which seemed like a blessing that enabled me to feel secured and assured myself, suddenly transformed to a horrible curse.Added to that it was only 8 months that I joined where I was serving a service agreement of 18 months.In that scenario leaving a job meant fighting Spartans in Sparta without shields.And finding another job? It was too far a call for a Skillful(?) :P guy like me sans experience.An attempt to capture that despair in words would be futile.

More than the job(somebody doing a job for the sake of doing it is nothing new and of course people getting to do what they are passionate about is the only thing to be surprised about) I think the way I looked at the situation was the reason for all these gloom.But my inbred inclination and desire to see something as it is,did not help me in anyway and my pragmatism played a big part which is to be blamed.I thought,If everything is really messed up what is the point of making myself believe that all is well and convince myself that everything will be alright. One part of me nursed my ambitions of writing and the other part elevated my uneasiness with my job.These two did not go well with each other and it created a honest hatred not only on my job or my management or my company but on the entire corporate set up and its working.(Some points in this post are as a result of these things I guess.)

Literally I was torn between what I "wanted-to-do" and what I "had-to-do".A battle was raging on between the right-thing-to-do and wise-thing-to-do.The question of why am I doing it when I don't like created more problems for myself and I was left feeling guilty.The  question will be like as follows,

Mind: Is the bond stopping you?
Me:  Hell,no.They won't cut my head off  If  I break the bond.

Mind:  If not, is it the money?
Me:  No.What is the point of money when you are not happy.

Mind: Are you doubting that you can't get a new job?
Me:  Job hunting in this recession hit market is not a good idea yet I believe I can pull out a job if I really apply myself.

Mind:  So are you afraid of being jobless and the stigma that comes with being unemployed if finding a job becomes impossible?
Me:  I don't give a damn about what other people think about me.

Mind: Oh,come on.If it is not any of these then what the hell is your problem?

I did not know by then but later I figured out the reason.The reason is deep down I did not want to join another company and be content with my fingers romancing the keyboard all day typing a software program for a client in a faraway office in US and also I had developed a sort of hatred on the entire IT business as I  said earlier.Secondly,I wanted to do something that is in line with my love for writing.But then I can not embark on that as I was not sure of my skill/talent in writing(still not sure :P. But that is different).What if,if I find I don't posses enough skills in writing after leaving my job.So when I thought over, it boiled down to "surety". I did not want to do anything which I was not sure of.I was only making measured,planned strides hesitant to explore the unknown.

All said the reality is, One really needs to be heroic or idiotic and be courageous or senseless to do such a thing.I was not any of it.The inaction and cowardice which was more of a necessary cowardice proved essential to survive in the long run.Yes,for surviving it is enough but for living it's not.End of the day however necessary, cowardice is cowardice and that stressed me as well.Worst of all,during the entire episode I felt like a sulking,thoughtful adult which I hated the most.Hard lessons were thrown in and it made sure that I realize life is not at all romantic and heroic.It said,heroic ideas like "Follow your heart" and the sorts are clearly not simple and has terms and conditions of its own.

Amidst all these one might throw in a smart question.Why should not I do the job calmly until I get confident about my writing and until I make some inroads in that.Sensible,fair enough. But my nature is not such,I am naturally impatient,bit hard-headed and If I am convinced and fix my mindset, I could not bring myself to do something I don't like.May be I lack the restraint or discipline to force my mind.But that is what I am.So doing a job I did not like was a brutal excersice for me and it was out of question.It is like living with a wife whom you married against your wish.Every moment you spend with her is a time spent in agony.

Moral of the story: Don't try to be surefooted always,sometimes risks have to be taken. Sometimes you have to explore the unknown to improve you and your life. Secondly, making a grave mistake is better than inaction.Hesitancy and fear of defeat will not help.In life sometimes what one does without thinking much makes them what they are.Too much of thoughts can cloud your vision.

End of the day,coming to grips with the fact that I am leading a meaningless life and I am deceiving myself killed me more than any real issues.Given such a situation friends and family are supposed to heal your wounds.But here they did not abate the agony instead they only magnifiedit.And in those times I was like ready-to-explode-anytime.All I need is an edge,a reason to simply to get into the mood.Once it was done I will go on and on.One such made me to write this.(That should give a fair idea of what I say).In a short time noting how brutal my behavior was I started to sever my social interactions and spent more time on blogs,my new found passion of writing stories,watching more movies etc.

But eventually after a period of month or two I no more felt the same way about the job or my life.It was not because I developed a liking or I was resigned to my fate.It was simply by consciously brushing aside the thoughts on the subjects like future,job etc.Ignorance is a bliss they say and I was experiencing the meaning of it.I would stay ignorant or deceive myself by focusing on FB,books and movies as sitting in a corner doing nothing brought these questions. All said and done,I think that period of two months was necessary.It added a new dimension to me and changed my ideas.Also I came to know or I realized a thing or two about myself. First I was skeptical about people(or even me) considering myself good. I understood the fact that I am not good as not doing something bad doesn't make one a good soul.Only doing something good makes people good .Not doing anything bad or good is being neutral that is being a mere human.

Secondly,I realized that by nature I am endowed with a good brain and with regard to emotions I am cold.Nonetheless, what I was doing all these days was trying to be emotional and sentimental forgetting the presence of an organ called brain.(I can't recall the last time I used my brain or applying it anywhere.Of course how the hell I would write a blog post of this sorts if the brain was active :P).It was more or like Einstein's theory of a fish that tries to scale its skill by the measure of how well it can climb a tree.I got the moral that I should be doing what suits me than following what was said in general.

Though the first part of the year was such a pain,things started to turn by May and by the year end I was pretty relaxed and calm.I learnt to bury the demons and pushed them to a momentary slumber if not I had exorcised them completely.And towards the end I was completely submerged in the alternative reality that I created for myself like the ones schizophrenics creates themselves to escape harsh realities.(You now know why I was not blogging or very much available for the past 2 months :P).Honestly I don't mind anything as long as I have some fun and I don't go crazy.In such a kind of eventful testing year I also had my fair share of euphoria.

One of my story getting picked in the Top 50 of pomegranate short story competition was one such.The results are yet to be announced for the competition yet it is a high point for me to get featured in the top 50 given my kindergarten level story writing experience.But having said I guess the hard-work has paid off.Ironically that particular story was written exactly on Jan 1st 2010.I did not take bath nor did I move out of my system all day simply spending the entire time in writing.I think that start on the first day made the rest of the year productive writing wise.I can't be happy more than this.In addition had a fun time with friends as usual i.e when I was not made to sulk :P .

Looking ahead,I don't have many new plans for 2012.I have identified few things which are slackening my advancement and looking to route out them.Yeah,things like spending lot of time in FB being one such.FB,movie watching almost killed my time which I should have spent fruitfully.Its good that I don't spend time in chatting a lot which will gobble up time and I am looking forward to continue that.In addition I want to loose all my inhibitions and be myself(its highly difficult but yet I will try) and speak my mind.In these lines one more thing I want to change about myself is to let go of relationships that are not working.Meaningless expectations and false beliefs will only cause pain.I don't afford to build castles in air in this regard.Time to wake up I guess.Other than that looking forward to chill out with my buddies and party in FB(within a specific limit)  as usual.Apart from that I hope I carry the confidence and writing skills in writing blogs to story writing which I think will be phenomenal.My language skills are dipping and I am finding it increasingly difficult to write.Looking forward to improve it.

So at this time burying all the pains,hiding all the frustrations I open my arms to embrace the new year as a gesture of offering a warm welcome.Let the year take everyone an inch closer to their respective dreams spreading love and happiness in its course and if it has to inflict pain and frustration let us hope that it is worth a important lesson and bargain a rich experience out of it.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL WHO STOOD BY ME AND THIS BLOG.Me,this blog is nothing without you.Thanks for the support and expecting the same as well in the years ahead. :)

On the outset of it,this post might look like another brooding except that it is not.Always the moments that are closest to the heart and the moments in which you live your life to the fullest are retained by the brain in the form of memory.If these are what I remember from 2011 then they are the moments that count.Yes,I feel the 'real' me during such moments and the insights they provide about myself and my life is unmatched.If I risk writing this not bothering about judgement people are going to make about me then it should be for a simple reason that I don't want to forget this and I badly need to record the year.So that's about it.If there is anything that is really worth worrying then it should be that I did not find a girlfriend even in 2011.Pray that I get one(well,not just any one but someone of my range :P.If it is just anyone then why the hell am I waiting? ;)) so that she hears all these blabs which will spare you guys next year.Think about it hard. :P
Thanks for visiting!