Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

Mind Chatter: The Voices in My Head

In Minds and Mindsets on May 31, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Image by: Nevit Dilmen:: Image License 

I’m observing the tussle between several views originating from the same mind. They discuss what is liked, what can be liked, what cannot be liked, what is not liked. What I should be, what I shouldn’t be, what I could be, what I couldn’t be. What I got, what I didn’t get, what I didn’t get but someone else got. What I should say, what I shouldn’t, how I should react, how I can’t react, how I shouldn’t react. “Don’t react!”

I notice my mind struggling to generate an unambiguous performance report.  It assesses, was I rude, was I polite, should I have been ruder, should I have been more polite? Was I cunning, did the situation permit me to be cunning? Am I good, am I a good human being, what is a good human being? Was I good enough, am I good enough, am I better than the rest, am I the best? I want to be the best, do I really want to be the best, am I doing enough to be the best, do I have to be the best?

I watch my mind trying to build my identity. It investigates, do I like this, do I love this, do I like it ‘cause you like it or do you like it cause I like it? Do I like you? Does it matter? What do you think? What do I think? What do you think I think? What do you think she thinks? What do you think she thinks he thinks? Why is everybody thinking so much? I don’t care what you think! Or do I?



The Five Large Scale Addictions

In Random on May 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Jeans:  Denims (or dungarees) were used as navy and prison uniforms in the 20th century until they caught the fancy of the youth. It is now an integral part of wardrobes, across generations. Aren’t we glad!

Chocolates: The seeds of Theobroma cacao have created a revolution of sorts. Chocolate continues to mollify women, lure kids, invade palettes and spark temptations. Its contribution to oral pleasure is commendable. The dessert menu is worthless without chocolate.

Mobile phones: They snap you out of sleep, they ring at the wrong places, they damage your brain, they make you impotent and you are probably on your way to suffering from TMI (Texting Message Injury) but you can’t get this device off you. Ask me the time and I’d rather consult a phone than a watch.

Television: From big boxes with tiny screens to large sleek Plasmas, LCDs and LEDs, they’ve come a long way. The journey from black n white to color to three dimensional (3D) to internet integrated televisions has only strengthened our addiction. If your house has a door, it is most likely it has a television.

Carbonated soft drinks: Gulping down carbon dioxide to eventually burp it out is quite a peculiar habit. Come to think of it, the drink neither elevates your mind nor visibly energizes you. It simply hooks you onto a tingle on the tongue. When soft drinks sell like hot cakes, you know life’s unfair!

A Secular Nation?!

In Minds and Mindsets, Random on May 16, 2011 at 2:40 pm

India is that secular country…

where political parties are staunch believers of “Divide and Rule” and are almost always successful at creating rifts between members of different regions and religions.

where a maharashtrian rickshawallah takes offence at being called “bhaiyya” but doesn’t mind being called “uncle.” (He’d rather be British than Bihari.)

where college admissions and recruitments are characterized by regional as well as religious quotas- Gujrati quota, Malyali quota, Catholic quota etc. (Especially in Mumbai where everybody is a minority.)

where residents of the Eastern part of India are called Chinese; at least until they blurt Hindi. The rest of India often has difficulty recalling the states in that area.

where the lower half of the country is called “South India” and the rest of India has no idea which “South Indian” language belongs to which “South Indian” state; for they all “sound” the same.

where we have gujjubens, doodwallah bhaiyyas, sindhi chors, maka pavs, parsi bawas, kanjoos marwadis, chinkies, madrasi annas, sardar jokes and so on.

where getting your children married to members of other regions (or religions) is a grave offence and can severely tarnish the family’s image or infuriate the Gods!

where some people still believe Muslims and Pakistanis are the same entity.

where people cannot survive the state (let alone the country) thus, giving rise to new states.

where whenever we talk about “unity in diversity” we give age old examples of fighting the British rule. (Uniting against a common enemy is not uncommon. It’s called “unity in adversity.”)

where the most recent example of “secularism” that we are surviving on is- a Christian giving her seat to a Sikh to rule a Hindu dominated country. (If awareness doesn’t prevail, we’ll be using this example for an awfully long time.)

Jai Hind!

The Size-Zero Rat-Crap

In Minds and Mindsets on May 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm

You must’ve noticed the sudden anti- size-zero movement in the fashion circuits. The fashion industry is suddenly averse to size-zero creatures, conveniently equating it with anorexia, based on their incomplete knowledge derived from nowhere in particular. Ever since size-zero has been kicked off the ramp there has been a frenetic hunt for the perfect number.

Today’s newspaper had several minds (ranging from the imbecilic to the almost-aware) debating over the perfect size of a woman following the UK fashion industry’s declaration that 14 is a perfect size. The desi fashion experts eventually zeroed down on the number “10” with each one expressing their views on health and beauty and all of that “stuff”.

Predictably, the moment the fashion industry expressed their disapproval of size-zero women, the other sizes used it as a platform to condemn, insult, and reprimand the number. Almost as though the large masses, by virtue of their poor self-images, were waiting to slash back at all the skinny women who made them feel fat and ugly without explicitly mentioning it.“You called me fat then! Now, I shall call you skinny! Haha!” That’s weird because it was never ok to call a large woman “fat” but now it is somehow alright to call a thin woman “skinny” and frown over it.

Cat-fights aside, standardizing beauty does not propagate wellbeing among women. Then again, propagating wellbeing doesn’t seem to be the intension. Fixing size-ten as a perfect size and considering the variety of shapes and sizes that women are available in, what makes you think that maintaining the number would be any less cumbersome? What makes you think it will eradicate self esteem issues? If calling size-zero models ugly (or unhealthy) makes you feel beautiful, it is most likely that you are a sadist.

In the midst of this debate, where does the concern over health creep in? Experts are merely clinging onto another number called the Body Mass Index (BMI). An adequate BMI does not free you of health hazards and potential breakdowns. If health is really a concern, hire health experts, have strict checkups, design standard routines and generate a report that certifies that a model is healthy before she sets foot onto the ramp. These procedures are not uncommon in military, sports, and various organizations and should be made an integral part of the modeling world as well. Consequently, instead of your report rejecting the diameter of your waist (or you BMI for that matter), it will reject your habits. At the end of the day, even if you are a size-ten, the checkups will keep a tab on your diet as well as your drug abuse despite the fact that it doesn’t show on your external body. Why? Scared you’ll be caught surviving on a beer diet?

The fact remains: Beauty cannot be standardized.

In Your Words

In Random on May 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Motivation, agitation, instigation, inspiration, aggression, greed and bias can evoke a revolution if you are armed with words. So, if you want to effectuate change, being a good orator will help. He who has learned the art of grabbing ears has earned the opportunity to create a revolution by infusing a goal, an opinion, or an emotion into the listeners’ minds. He plants a clear thought that can be nurtured in brains of varying caliber. He plays around with the thought knowing or unknowingly. As a result, even the wisest man cheers with the crowd, curses with the crowd, prays with the crowd, sings the national anthem with the crowd and lets himself get carried away by the immense energy of the floating thought, intentionally dropped into the sea of minds by the speaker. The damage is done. The outcome of a Gandhi and that of an Adolf Hitler is yours to see.

From Milk to Bread

In Education on May 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm

The infant is barely off its mamma’s breasts and it waddles to play school to socialize. Pre-primary greets the naïve creature with various lines and curves. He spends a lot of time trying to strike some correlation between two objects drawn on a piece of paper. The correlation begins with “A” for “Apple.” After 26 such correlations and a million similar attempted explanations, the child enters the next level of incomplete knowledge. Here, the child questions the system, “Of what use is this?” Nobody answers. The child climbs another ladder; with ease if he is extremely lucky. Several reference books, photocopied notes, copy pasted assignments and futile exams later he gets certified. Shortly after that, the child needs to prove to his future college authorities and employers that he is a citizen of the country and has endured the education system for the claimed number of years.

The youth, left with a bunch of certificates to earn their bread or peanuts maybe.