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Showing posts from October, 2016

Please Let the Soldier Be

I decided to write on this matter, and had almost given it up. There were strong reasons for the same. The policy matters of Defense are pretty complex and then there are great minds who spend days on end to decipher, understand and explain it. The people who have spent a life time in uniform and are directly impacted by those policy decisions. I have neither the knowledge nor experience to talk about it. But then Rahul Gandhi wrote a letter to the Defense Minister, Manohar Parikkar. He knows and understands the matter less than me, even with his months of introspection in exotic foreign locales. I am sure about it and I have valid reasons for it. He has always been rich and therefore few thousand Rupees that is the bone of contention is not even a blip on his mindscape. Secondly the closest he has been to soldiering is when his dad, a commercial pilot was called on to service during 71 war, which he escaped by applying and getting annual leave at the same time. I felt I ought to writ…

A Husband's Views On Karvachauth

Today is the day of Indian, or should I say, Hindu festival of Karvachauth, much popularized by Bollywood. Initially a festival of Northern India, now it is widely celebrated. The festival is primarily of a day of fasting, observed by married women, praying for the long life of their husbands. As is the practice, the festival is marked by severe criticism every year by over-jealous atheists, fanatic feminists and bigoted secularist, who claim that the festival is patriarchal, regressive and anti-woman. If one considers those rants to be true, one would believe that there is huge amount of physical and emotional trauma that womenfolk are subjected to, in order to get them around to fast on the day.  However, if one were to visit any of the markets in Delhi, the scenario is quite contrary. You will find happy, joyous women on the streets of Delhi, excitedly visiting beauty parlors, with their husbands dragged themselves behind them, holding the kids as wife gets Mehandi to her hands- do…

About Ramayana and Its Hero- Valmiki

About a fortnight back, I had picked up Valmiki Ramayan from the bookstore, primarily to read it to my daughter. That the weekend was to be followed by Dusshera and Valmiki Jayanti was not on my mind. Valmiki Ramayan is to my mind a great work of Indian Literature. It is the first big book I had ever read, sometime when I was in class IVth. It is considered to be first epic in the human history, first poetic story.
            The book was written in the backdrop of early human history. I would rather presume that it reflects the time when Human civilization was in the initial stages of moving out from the forests, with one set of people still staying in the forest, still away from the concepts of reading and writing, farming like Vanars; another who moved into agricultural world, still close to nature and counting on the early discover of fire to keep themselves safe, being on the periphery of the forests; and the third which was arrogantly destroying the old ways of life, negating t…

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man- James Joyce- Book Review

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Some books are an act of education; they cannot be read in haste, cannot be understood in one read. James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man gives one such feeling.
It is a coming of age story of Stephen Dedalus. Nothing extraordinary about that. But then there a rich, slowly flowing lost river of philosophy which moves beneath the surface, turning an ordinary story of a boy growing up, encountering questions about faith, religion and sex, into an exceptional, extraordinary and engaging story. The story moves along the timeline, much in the manner of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, where the writer is seemingly a passive narrator. Further, while this book is more of a philosophical essay wrapped around a story, Ms. Woolf’s book, on the other hand, is rather a Story primarily, with a philosophical touch. This book is blatantly philosophical, dwelling into the dangerous territory of religion and how a growing mind looks at God. It begins with his school, whe…

About Mahakali- The Eternal Mother

The strongest aspect of a woman, uncontested, unwinnable for a man is motherhood. Kali is the eternal, divine mother. She represents the silent darkness of the time when nothing was there, and from there, from darkness, from nothingness, she shaped life. She is every woman, every mother, which stands in darkness, so much so that she herself becomes darkness (Kali~ Darkness) and creates life, beholds life, births life and nourishes life. The light emerges from the darkness, and the colors rise from the lack of colors. She is the dark womb from where the feeble light of human life takes first breath. She is the consort of Mahakaal (Kaal-Death), Shiva- The lord of death, Mahakali. She is death. Hinduism celebrates life as well as death. Death being the moment, where we clean our slates and start afresh. Therefore, both death as well as life are intermingled, interconnected and interchangeable in their meaning. Death can be looked at as the end of life; can also be looked at as the beginn…