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Showing posts from August, 2016

Where is the Hindu Intellectual?

My idea of religion is borderline-atheism. In today’s India, it is very down-market to be talking about religion. Customs and traditions unnerve me. There seems to be no logic in continuing to do things the way they have been done for centuries, simply because that is how we have been doing them, for centuries. Still, there are places I would not want to go and touch. Modernism today has two problems, one, it tries to change benign symbols which identify a people merely for the sake of change. Just as “This is how we have been always doing it” is not an argument to continue with a thing. On the flip side, that can also not be an argument to oppose it. Secondly, there is such a surge of fake righteousness that the real meat of any movement is lost in the noise. Those who control the narrative, claim to be the weakest and are the first to cry victim-hood. It is a common trend. So you pelt stone, hold the state to ransom, out of your free-will (you can very well chose not to), on

My Bright Saturday- The Magical part of the Mundane

There were many things of immense import which begged to be written. Religion in politics, the art of creating a narrative- how slyly media creates a narrative. I was reading Sol Stein on Writing on the way to office on Friday, and it occurred to me, the total apathy with which a student, a leftist leader from JNU charged with rape is being treated by mainstream media. A regular in TV debates, a known figure from a University much in news for all wrong reasons of late, and media acts as if nothing has happened. The silence is to kill the story, so perfectly dead truth being presented. Nothing beyond facts, no flesh, not blood, not personality caricatures. It is discomforting. But then I will write about it next week. This week, I write about simple pleasures of life. My monthly visits to children library with my eight year old. Here it is, I share my Saturday with you. While on my way from the Car workshop where I had dropped the car for repair, I get a call from Nonu (my eig

Book Review- The Waves- By Virginia Woolf

Book: The Waves Author: Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) Genre: Fiction (Spiritual/ Philosophical) Style: Experimental Published: 1931 Publisher: Hogarth Press Rating: Must Read, Classic “The Author would be glad if the following pages were not read as a Novel.” – Wrote Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) on the manuscript of The Waves (Initially called The Moths ). It was first published in 1931.  We are close to a century since this book was published, still this book is unparalleled and unequaled. The Independent called this Book of a Lifetime . This is not an easy book to read. Beauty is never too easy to create, or is it ever too easy to savor to the fullest. Both production as well as the consumption of true work of art needs to be earned. This is a difficult book to read yet immensely elegant and infinitely exquisite. The story, unlike most fictional novels, does not unfold through dramatic events. It doesn’t depend on drama, it deftly steers clear of the mundane

Why I Hate Birthdays?

Don't get me wrong. I am not a depressed teenager contemplating death as a plausible way out of life. I have too tough a hide for that. There used to be a time when Birthdays excited me to no ends. A birthday is a perfect occasion to reconfirm and substantiate one's station in life. Friends embrace, kisses, blessings- your role as a father, husband, child is all settled once again. Your station in life is substantiated, reaffirmed. You are a prince (or the princess if you are a woman) for a day.  But then you grow up, get wiser and broken from inside. You realize the inadequacy of the dream to keep you aloft. You no longer levitate, in spiritual terms. You dread the day, you drag yourself through it. It lies at your door, like a dead dog, in such an awkward fashion that you cannot walk around it. The pretense of your being a special person doesn't survive unblemished for even for an hour- an unadulterated, unbroken hour.  You realize that the day is as crappy

Writing on Independence Day- Yet Again

There is an advantage of being a blogger over being a columnist. One is not tied up to events and deadlines. I have earlier also written on Independence Day. This time, I thought I would take it easy. I thought, I would rather let myself laze out through Rain-drenched days of Delhi, read Virginia Woolf, watch kites flying high, and take pride in the sight of Tricolor fluttering in the enthusiastic Monsoon Breeze. But here I am writing again. On Independence day.  I am writing on account of some unsettling things which have happened over the last two months, gets worse over the day. And no, I am not talking about the intolerance. In a nation, where soldiers are shot everyday on border, women get raped and killed, without a whimper, unless they fit the political agenda of political and thought leaders, the mass outrage on beating of people is more outrageous than the beating itself is. Further the same people who are working on the well-designed, although largely exposed agenda,

Why PM Modi's TownHall is Path-Breaking?

There are certain acts which are more important for the intent than for the content. " I had a dream" of Dr. Martin Luther King , might not have a blue-print a plan for liberation of the down-trodden in the American society, but the intent was so strong, so potent that the content was sure to follow.  Yesterday's Townhall by PM Narandra Modi is one such event in the Indian politics. I am not sure if PM himself realizes that. He has set in motion the wheels of democracy in a direction which going forward, has the potential to create something bigger than he is.  In one swift stroke, he has established direct connect with the citizens. When was the last time we saw the PM talking directly to the citizens? Let us look at what this Townhall does to the polity at a broader level, instead of trying to lazily assess Modi's body-language and analyse his dress for the occasion.  One, he allows questions to come from citizens. He chooses to answer. In an era, wh