Getting Back on Track

Somehow, getting back on track after an illness can often be as frustrating as the being ill…

It is very funny – during the illness, I spent my time trying to work – slowly and little by little and I did complete most of my assignments anyways…So I was quite a good girl.

And so, I decided that having started to feel a bit better, I should take the day off! Well, it wasn’t meant to be so much of a day off, but more of a day out of the house.

hello A friend and I went off to the movies and watched ‘Hello’ – the new movie based on the book ‘One Night @ The Call Center’ by Chetan Bhagat. Regular readers of my blog (!!) may find this post relevant. In any case, I did quite like the book (and the others by Chetan Bhagat) – he is quite an easy read. I think as a writer, that is very important. And having worked in a call center myself, I could relate to the story and the characters quite a bit – especially Vroom…

hello2 So, the movie is pretty much in line with the storyline of the book – except perhaps some parts where they had to do the ‘movie’ bit about it. Considering that Sallu bhai plays the writer, it was probably necessary to give him a song and dance routine in the beginning!! Katrina wasn’t that bad either – she had such a small role! Perhaps, that’s why!! And the other stars were simply superb too – Sharman Joshi as Shyam, Gul Panag as Priyanka, Sohail Khan as Vroom and Isha Kopikar as Eesha did marvelous jobs. The woman who played the role of the married woman who discovers her husband is cheating on her (Oops! I forgot her name, and her character’s name!) was tepid at best – neither did she do a bad job, nor did she do such a convincing job of her role either! Ah! Well!The guy who played Military Uncle was also not-good-not-bad either!

So then as I came out of the movies, I went through the missed calls. The long and short of it is that today I purchased something that I have been wanting to buy for quite some time now – the Table Mate II….

table mate

Looks good – right!

Well it is something else to actually get it assembled – but I managed it somehow.

And now, I can be quite comfortable while I sit on my work cushions and type out my stuff.

You see, sitting with the laptop on the lap is not quite a feasible option because the thing tends to heat up real bad – some people I know have actually told me that they got burnt and shit!

tablemateaction So I went out and got myself this thing!

I just slide it under the cushions and adjust the things to the required height and lo presto – my laptop stand is up and running with me sitting quite comfortably on it. Now I don’t need to shift to the ground or do all kinds of weird acrobatics to get my work done….plus it saves me a LOT of pain in my arms from having to  type at the most uncomfortable angles on the planet. This thingamajig allows me the comfort of having the pleasure of sitting and typing as if my laptop were on my lap without actually having it ON my lap!

Ok! I think I am starting to sound like a sales pitch here!

It is getting a little late in the night – gotta log off and get some shut-eye!

Good nighty folks!

Cheer up! It’s not the end of the world, you know!

My Hero – Amitabh Bachchan

Everyone who knows me, knows that I love Amitabh Bachchan. And that PK doesn’t like him one bit. LOL. Well, he’s learnt to live with it, I suppose.

In Bollywood, they call him the ‘Big B’. For me, he has always remained Amitabh Bachchan – My Hero. Ever since I began to watch movies, I have been fascinated by this tall man (6’ 2”) who had the deepest, most moving voice of all times. It’s quite funny, the thing about his voice, because he was rejected by the All India Radio when he had applied there once!

Of course, I have graduated from my childhood days where the entire name was spoken as one word … but then, his voice, his personality, his screen presence – all have always managed to stir something deep within me.

Probably because my father was a tall man, I always felt that men should be tall. (And Yes, I Still Do Feel That Way!). But then AB always managed to add a bit of oomph with his voice. His demeanor on screen was always very fabulous. I remember, when we were living in Thane (this is before I came to Pune in the 3rd grade) we used to rent a video player in the summer holidays and watch movies on the telly. Of course, most of the movies were AB movies. He was really big then. To be honest, I don’t really remember the plot much (not from back then anyway), but all I do remember is this tall, wonderful man who always fought for the underdog and was always hard-done-by and, most importantly, he had this voice. See ‘Shakti’ or even ‘Coolie’.

You don’t really understand that much when you are a child. Back in 2nd grade, you don’t really have the concept of ‘angry young man’ or ‘sexy voice’ which he epitomized. But you get the drift. I knew something was very, very perfect about this guy.

When I grew up, and we all had cable television, AB rocked his way into the households of all and sundry. Now you could see him right in the comfort of your own home. It was then that I watched all those movies of his – not as a child but as an adult. Of course, the admiration only managed to grow, not diminish. Although I have to admit that I have not seen all the movies that he has made, but I have seen most of them anyways.

Amitabh Bachchan was first noticed in ‘Anand’ – which is quite an achievement in itself because he shared screen space with the then ‘superstar’ Rajesh Khanna. Then ‘Zanjeer’ took him on his path to success. It was AB who brought in the concept of ‘angry young man’ into Hindi cinema – see ‘Trishul’, ‘Deewar’ and ‘Shakti’. Despite that image, he still does the best comedy and drama that I have seen on screen. See ‘Chupke Chupke’ or even the recent ‘Cheeni Kum’ if you don’t believe me. Even in the evergreen ‘Sholay’ the man does make one laugh, and of course, I cried buckets when he died in the movie. His dialogue delivery is awesome – see ‘Silsila’, ‘Kabhie Kabhie’ and even ‘Don’ if you don’t believe me! Some of his ‘mature’ roles which I liked were in the movies ‘Abhimaan’, ‘Saudagar’, ‘Kaala Patthar’ and ‘Main Azaad Hoon’.

Amitabh Bachchan is also one of the most well spoken people in the Hindi Film Industry. His oratorical skills are simply amazing – he speaks so well – whether in English or in Hindi. He has always used his voice to his advantage. I always use him as an example to show people how voice modulation skills can be used to an advantage. He knows his assets and uses them well.

As is the case with most everyone, AB’s life too went through ups and downs. What I admired about him was despite all the hurdles in his path, he managed to overcome and surmount them. After his company was declared bankrupt, he went through a lot of complications and problems financially – so much so that he would have even lost his house. What I like and admire about him is that despite this, he worked hard and got the money to pay back the loans.

No matter what hurdles came his way, Amitabh Bachchan has managed to surmount them with a class, a finesse that comes only with a sense of inner awareness. I mean, here is a man who some people claim ‘rules the Hindi Film Industry’ – he has his share of fans and critics – but when the time came only a few trusted friends stood by him. And still, this man did not lose his presence, his calm or his poise. This is one man I can look up to without feeling that he will cause a Tower moment for me!

Even today, when he acts on screen, he has a presence which puts the younger actors to shame. The characters he plays always come across as real, and he seems to have gone deep into his role.

What can I say – I can probably write reams and reams, but the fact remains that Amitabh Bachchan is My Hero!

Links: (Wikipedia Page) (IMDB Page) (Amitabh Bachchan’s Blog)

On Why Rang De Basanti Would’ve Never Gotten That Oscar

This is a short essay about my personal feelings about why India’s entry to the Oscars, Rang De Basanti and why it would’ve never gotten the Academy’s Award.

Let me tell you first off, that I have no authority whatsoever, on the technical side to really make any comments. But I do have every authority as a discerning viewer to make these comments.

Plus it’s my blog and I’ll write what I want to!

What follows is a list of movies which have won the Oscars which I have actually watched. Therefore, my commentary on the subject above will be a comparison to these movies, especially regarding my favorite part of any movie – The Plot.

So here is the list: (Credit to Wikipedia for the info)

1939: Gone With The Wind
1941: How Green Was My Valley
1943: Casablanca
1958: Gigi
1959: Ben-Hur
1964: My Fair Lady
1965: The Sound of Music
1972: The Godfather
1979: Kramer vs Kramer
1982: Gandhi
1984: Amadeus
1987: The Last Emperor
1988: Rain Man
1990: Dances With Wolves
1991: The Silence of The Lambs
1993: Schindler’s List
1994: Forrest Gump
1995: Braveheart
1997: Titanic
1998: Shakespeare in Love
1999: American Beauty
2000: Gladiator
2001: A Beautiful Mind
2002: Chicago
2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004: Million Dollar Baby
2006: The Departed


I have personally watched all these movies, some of them several times as I happen to own the CD of a few of these movies.

What struck me odd when I saw RDB (Rang De Basanti) was how the writer could take such a beautifully constructed plot and then screw it all in the end. For the most part, the movie went down well with audiences in India and even with me, till I saw the end.

The movie captures the angst of the urban and rural youth of India. The youth who are stuck within traps of their own making for the most part. With an ample dash of nationalistic fervor thrown in for good measure. Concurrent to the story is the dairy of a young British woman’s grandfather who witnessed the hanging of Bhagat Singh. So while she chucks it all in Britain to come film her dream movie, she encounters these people. She sees shadows of the characters of her film in all of them and they are all thrown into a mish-mash of flashbacks and current events occurring in the movie. All this was very well done.

The script then began to screw up big time. While the story established the need of the characters to gain justice, albeit through the time tested method of Satyagraha, they then resort to killing of the corrupt politician.

What did not go down well with me was when they took over the Radio Station (??!!) and began telling the world what they had done, the army commandos attack them and shoot them on sight. I know for a fact that the Army or the Police are legally not allowed to do that. They cannot shoot unless the firing comes first from the other side. In the movie, they did not even try to negotiate. They just shot the characters. Which was the most unrealistic part of the movie.

After killing the politician, why didn’t these people simply turn themselves in? This would have been more in keeping with the story so far.

Or they could have just exposed the corrupt politician in the media and gotten their revenge.

I mean, at the end of it all, it was just a waste!

So, if I compare this movie with all the movies listed above, I find it sadly lacking in coherence vis-à-vis the plot and storyline and the actual culmination of the development of the characters over the duration of the story.

India making its foray into the Oscars is all very nice. But they have to realize that formulae that work with the Rickshawallah crowd do not work with the Academy.

Even though a movie may have an innovative presentation style, it may not be competent enough. Most movie makers forget that the basis of any good movie is still its script, and not the popularity of the actors, songs or technical innovation. There are other awards for such categories.

From my point of view, a movie becomes a ‘Best Picture’ if it qualifies on all these fronts and more. The movie has to satisfy the viewers with the quality of the storyline and has to be pretty much logically in line with the build-up of the story. The climax must certainly not be an anti-climax. The movie and its (ill)logical ending must make sense to those evolved sensibilities and intellects sitting there and voting for the movie.

Language is never a barrier. I have seen Chinese movies with subtitles which make more sense that this movie.

Movies like RDB will never win an Oscar. My Humble Suggestions:

Write a good plot. Re-Write it. Let it at least make sense. Read it from a third person’s point of view. Read it from a point of view of a person who is a total stranger to Indian culture, way of life etc. Technically making a movie up to par with international standards is just not good enough. The story should be that way too. A random stranger from any part of the world should be able to easily relate to the conflict within the character and characters, very easily.

Perhaps, then we may even win an Oscar or two!

Cheeni Kum – Sweet!

A 64 year old man and a 34 year old woman (whose father is 6 years younger than this man) – meet, fall in love amid the hustle bustle of their individual lives, and want to marry each other.

All this amid the crackling dialogues, the sizzling chemistry and the amazingly touching plot….makes for an extremely entertaining evening.

Cheeni Kum shows Amitabh playing a chef-cum-owner at an Indian Restaurant in London where he cooks and talks people down as there was nothing to it. Then, he has this mother who sits at home watching ‘Sex and the City’ and getting on his case to go to the gym. This role played by the evergreen Zohra Sehgal was amazing. Then we have Amitabh connecting to the little 7 year old girl next door, who has blood cancer and who, surprisingly, dishes out healthy doses of advice and optimism. She is the best part of the movie, really. Of course, one should not forget the character played by Tabu – she is the one who gets the guy – she is the one who gives him tit for tat. You cannot even doubt or wonder how these two connect – they just do and so the age difference does not seem to be something important. Enter Paresh Rawal’s character that plays Tabu’s father. A Gandhian who simply can’t do without his early morning walk and his chicken for dinner – a completely hilarious combination, if you ask me.

All in all, Cheeni Kum is a sugar-free comedy that makes you laugh and cry and doesn’t make you feel sorry that you went for the movie after all.

That being said, one should not ignore the fact that the movie is choc-full of endorsements for insurance and Sugar-Free tablets.

The fact that the writer and director comes from the advertising field (especially copywriting as well) can be seen in each and every scene and dialogue.

The whole effect is marvelous. This is a movie you can buy the VCD/DVD for, and watch it over and over again, just to laugh a while at the reality of life.

I give it 4 outta five. Really!

Spiderman 3 : Kids in Cinema Theatres : Ek Chalis Ki Last Local

This is a post which has 3 posts in one – you may call it a 3-in-1 post!

Happened to watch Spiderman 3 yesterday with the boyfriend; got pestered by the kids in the seats above us; and watched Ek Chalis Ki Last Local thereafter.

Overall an enjoyable experience for the first and last, the middle one is a rant. Read on…

Spiderman 3

Loved the movie! That’s probably the best way that I can sum it up in one sentence. Great effects! Great Spidey!

Loved the new villains – Sandman and Venom.

The movie also took the sub-plot of Peter Parker and his girl MJ to the next level. And it also moved along the plot of Peter Parker and his job with the Daily Bugle. Nice work. Kept the flow going from the previous parts.

Of course, we have an addendum to the murder of Uncle Ben with a new character thrown in. HUH! Anyways, he becomes the Sandman when he falls into a pit of sand and gets electric whatevers because the pit is a part of a scientific experiment.

To sum up what I felt about this twist, I can quote from Spidey : “Where do all these guys come from?”

Answer: The same place / way that you came from!

Spidey gets some black glob from outer space on to his suit which alters his personality. Now we have Peter Parker doing a John Travolta-like dance while walking on the streets and a bit of his hair on his face. Nice! Kinda like a new personality of his emerges.

However, I did not like that part where Harry dies. I mean, why does the bad-guy-turned-good-guy have to always die? Typical plot twist, that!

And then we have MJ getting kicked out of her role from the Broadway play, and then Peter not understanding her while wanting to propose to her, and then MJ breaking up with Peter and then finally getting back together with him at the end of the movie. Nyah! That’s typical too! I want MJ to behave more rationally!

What I liked in the movie is the way the effects were so well done, and how they took the story from the previous movies and pulled it on forward. That was well done! So I give the movie four stars outta five.

Also another thing I did not like during the movie was …

Kids in Cinema Theatres

When we have a movie like Spiderman, it is expected that kids will storm up the cinema theatre. It is therefore the job of the parents to keep them quiet during the show.

While we were watching Spidey, the bunch of kids in the row above couldn’t keep still. All was quiet when the action sequences began, but then the wailing and bawling and jumping about took up when the non-action sequences were going on. Meanwhile we have parents running after the kids and stuffing their faces with popcorn and chips.

No amount of shushing from the public could quiet them down.

Understandably, kids of a certain age do not comprehend the non-action sequences of such movies. So why do the parents bring them to the cinema theatres?

Honest suggestion to parents: Buy the DVD or the VCD and watch the movie at your home where your kids can forward the scenes that they are not interested in watching. This also means that they can make any amount of noise and thus not disturb other viewers who have come to the cinema theatre to watch the ENTIRE movie.

Also, I would like to suggest that movie theatres can hold special screenings of such movies just for children. This way, adults do not have to face the rousing babble of incoherence that emerges.

Often, I have seen that parents take small babies or tiny tots to movies – other than such movies. These kids are really not interested. If at all, most kids just want to see the action sequences or the songs. As for the rest of the movie – they couldn’t care less. Of course babies are really not interested whatsoever.

So why do parents take these babies to the movies with them? If you don’t have nannies etc to look after the kids – don’t watch the movie. Sometimes you need to make sacrifices for having kids. This is one of them times. Other people may not be interested in hearing the crying and wailing of your loved child. Take the baby to the park or the zoo – why trouble the 50-100 other people in the cinema theatre? Think about it!

Ek Chalis Ki Last Local

Good movie! Great Laughs! Never a dull moment! Keeps you at your seat for the whole of 3 hours. But your butt doesn’t hurt. The plot moves along smoothly and does not get boring. There are some really funny bits in the movie.

Abhay Deol has done a good job. But the boyfriend felt that Ritesh Deshmukh could have essayed the role better.

Neha Dhupia does nothing exceptional. No heartbreaks there. She does play her role though, and that’s it.

I give the movie 3.5 outta 5.

The story begins when our hero misses his last local train to home and seeks a ride back home in a taxi or rickshaw. He encounters Neha Dhupia who seems to be in a similar predicament, and going to the same location as he is. Thus begins their journey where they begin walking towards the next ‘naka’ hoping to find a ride back home. Along the way they encounter several members of the mafia and the police, a murder happens, the hero wins and loses a lot of money gambling – the works.

Overall the movie is good – if you want to watch it only once. Its not one of those ‘lets watch this movie again’ or ‘lets buy the DVD / VCD’ types.

Movie Review Including the Glaring Mistakes in ‘Water’

Just came back from the movie theatre after watching Water, the movie by Deepa Mehta. This movie was banned from being shot in Varanasi, India and was finally shot in Sri Lanka. Hence my interest. Also, the fact that this movie completes Deepa Mehta’s trilogy which included the movies Fire and Earth. I had quite liked both the movies. Probably, that is why I was keen on watching this movie too.

This movie is supposed to be a portrayal of the situation of the widows in pre-independence India. If that is why this movie was banned and all that, then I think that the whole issue was wasted. The movie doesn’t really portray that much. There are better movies than this which show the plight of the widows in India. So if that is the only reason why someone would want to watch the movie, then please don’t waste your time.

Then we come to the glaring mistakes I found. First off, the Swastika symbols depicted throughout the movie were wrong. They were the other way round, quite like Hitler’s Swastika. That is not how a Swastika is drawn. Every Indian / Hindu person knows this since childhood.

Here are a few pics of the correct and the incorrect Swastika symbols:

Correct / Auspicious Swastika:

Incorrect / Inauspicious ‘Sauwastika’:

You can find more information about the Swastika here.

The second big mistake I found was Gandhiji’s age depicted in the one scene that he makes an appearance. In the movie, it is shown the Gandhiji is the newest politician-reformer on the scene and that he has just arrived from South Africa. Well, as far as my knowledge of history goes, he was not a tottering old man like he was shown in the movie. In fact, he ought to have been quite younger than what was shown.

Now let’s talk about the characters. Lisa Ray plays one of the widows who is used by the ashram to earn money via prostitution. Well, when John Abraham’s character wants to marry her and she discovers that his father is one of her clients, and that if she goes back to the widow ashram she will be put back into business, she commits suicide. That, in my definition, makes her quite a cardboard character. After all, she was quite enthusiastic to marry the bugger even though it was not ‘right’ for widows to want to remarry. All that love, and no courage. Especially no faith in the one she loved, who in fact shows up and wants to marry her despite all the hurdles.

And the less said about John Abraham’s and Lisa Ray’s acting, the better. At least, Lisa shows some potential. Given a few more good roles, she might just bloom into a good actress.

Seema Biswas has proved her mettle yet again! She is the only good thing in the movie. And the little one, Chuhiya played by Sarala is endearing and charming till the end.

Kulbhushan Kharbanda’s character surprised me no end! He plays a sadhu of sorts who talks about Dharma or religious laws with Seema Biswas’s character. With all the stuff going around, I actually expected him to want to exploit this woman. He didn’t and that surprised me!

The movie drags on and on and there seems to be no plot besides the failed love story. The cinematography and the locations are quite breathtaking as well.

I suppose with the bad, comes some good! So I will give this movie two and half out of five. That’s fair by my reckoning.

Secular Democracy – or Is It?

The constitution of India states that we are a secular, democratic republic. But every morning when I see the newspaper, I find that very hard to believe. “Why?” you would ask me: the whole world is raving on about India. But as an Indian, I am offended when I see the newspaper every morning.

There are nice things in there too, but they are few and far between.

India is a democracy and a secular country – but the truth is that all of this is just a concept that we are trying to attain. The reality is different. How can a country be democratic and secular if we ban movies and books and any kind of art which ‘offends’ a certain class of society?

For a real democracy to exist, and to truly prosper, the individuals living in that democracy must have the right to be exposed to all sides of the truth. No matter whose version of truth it might be. Individuals will decide what they want to see or read and what they don’t. If they like it, it will become popular, and if they won’t, then no one will read that book or see that movie.

Why should a section of society be ‘offended’ by it? And why should there be any sections in society at that? Respect for another person’s culture, tradition, religion and individuality comes from within. I believe that is called ‘humanity’. There should not be any distinction between individuals based on class, caste, creed, sex or religion. However, in modern day India, such is not the case. These distinctions exist.

They exist when I see violence break out because of the ‘reservation’ system existing in the country. Why should there be any reservation – for any particular caste or sex. Aren’t we all equals? If we are capable of obtaining a particular job or college seat, shouldn’t we get it?

It all begins from birth and ends with death, here in India. Each form that we fill out, since we are born till the day we die, has a column for stating your religion and your caste and your sex. Do away with such forms in the first place. When we are ‘secular’, if we are ‘secular’, why should we know of the other person’s religion / caste / sex anyway? Respect for another individual should come naturally.

They tried to ban ‘Da Vinci Code’ when it first hit the movie theatres. All the Christian kids I knew hadn’t even read the book, but they hated it with vehemence. I found it strange. I mean, to hate something, the least you could do is know what it is in the first place.

Christianity is supposed to be the most widespread religion on this planet. Why does it seem to be improbable, for instance, that Jesus Christ could have had a wife and a child. Is it because it is ingrained in us to think that religious prophets are not human at all? Or is it because it irks our sensitivities? One wonders how such ‘sensitivities’ originated in the land of the Kama Sutra.

This is something I find quite strange, since this religion is not indigenous to our country in the first place.

Funnily enough, not many protests occurred when this movie was released in any of the other countries. They had Christians too. I suppose they are more accepting compared to the Christians in India. The book / movie and the storyline of the book / movie did evoke a comment or two from the Christian community worldwide, but the book / movie didn’t get banned worldwide.

Parzania’ is now being banned in Gujrath because the story involves the Godhara riots. Strange. Why don’t we see a movie or a book for what it is – just a movie or a book? It is real – the riots in Godhara did take place. Banning a movie that shows them, is not going to make the past disappear. What will be achieved by banning a movie? The past cannot be changed, no matter how hard you try.

The riots will not be wiped out by not showing a movie that depicts them in the storyline. Aren’t we all avoiding facing the truth by banning such movies?

Black Friday’ went through the same fate for depicting a story that evolved around the Bombay Blasts – and it was steeped in legislation for so many years. Finally, it is going to be released on the 9th of February. I will see the movie and post my comments here.

Water’ was not even allowed to be filmed in India due to similar reasons. Does this mean that widows in ancient India did not suffer? The movie was subsequently filmed in Sri Lanka and is now nominated for an Oscar.

What do the politicians gain from banning movies that depict history? Are we truly democratic or are we emulating communist Russia from the Cold War days? Can entire periods of history be wiped out by banning books or movies that depict facts?

On one hand, Indians are being empowered by laws such as the ‘Right to Information’ Act, and on the other hand entry of any information in an individual’s life via a book or a movie is being controlled by the politicians.

India is truly a strange place. A heady mix of cultures, traditions, religions and sights, sounds and smells. Here, people hail from all walks of life, and living here is not easy as it sounds. But for someone who likes this life, nothing could be closer to heaven. It’s just the politics of this country that irks me the most. I don’t read anything much about it – it is a cultivated habit to ensure that I don’t get frustrated.

And now comes the difficult part. Blaming others is easy. Seeing the same shit in your self and admitting it is tough. I am going to do that here – for the world to see.

I am not someone who likes the violence and irreverent behaviour towards women that is prevalent in the Muslim society. Personally, I know quite a few Muslims, and they are wonderful individuals.

It’s just that most of the violence / terrorism prevalent in today’s world owes its origins to them. And this violence / terrorism are fanatic and religion-based.

The chief thing about them that I don’t like – as this violent behaviour is inculcated within them since childhood.

Another thing that I don’t like about what I have seen in Muslim society is the way that they treat women. It’s not even about the Burqua. If one goes back to the area of origin of a particular religion, one understands how certain customs of that religion originate. And I have tried to keep an open mind about every religion that I encounter.

And, given my country’s history, I never could develop a liking for them as a people.

Also, Hindus are known to be peace loving people, or so I used to think. We have never retaliated with violence. But today, when I saw ‘Parzania’ I was ashamed to call myself a Hindu. Not because of any religious / spiritual aspect, mind you. Simply because, I had never imagined how sickening, we as a people, had been in those riots in Godhara.

When I had read about it in the newspapers, I had felt quite good about the retaliation by the Hindus. Seeing the movie made me see how wrong I was.

Not that I am an advocate of non-violence or Gandhiism, but, there are times when I feel that Gandhi had some sense. This was one of those times.

How can one human being be so brutal with another? Just because he has a different path / thought / religion / caste / sex / belief system?

What has the world come to these days? I am ashamed! I truly am!

Our country is something that I have always been proud of being a part of – Unity in Diversity – we were taught in school. Is that just a phrase to be read in text books and never to be followed in real life? Or is this the real world – where we say one thing and mean another? Is this what maturity is all about? Or am I one of the foolish Idealists?

These are trying times, and I am trying to see the truth when I am surrounded by so much fog. I could have never imagined that a Hindu person could rape women and kill children, even if they were Muslim. It is so shameful. I am humiliated, and yes I do take this personally.

I had too many long-held beliefs, which for a long time, I felt were un-shakeable. I was a snob, and a caste / religion based discriminator. I have thought these shameful things in my life. But over the past couple of years, I have experienced the fruitlessness of such thoughts and ideas. I have changed. I know it. I feel it. And taking a page out of Gandhiji’s book, I am admitting it, for the whole world to see. I am ashamed of what I had once been.

How difficult is it to see that we are all one? Connected and interconnected, made out of the same matter – energy – we are all the same. Each and every religion will say this. No religion advocates violence. No religion tells you to lie and steal and kill. Each and every religion is just another way of life – another way of getting closer to a universal consciousness – another path towards obtaining oneness with the supreme. Each religion uses rites and rituals to bring discipline within its followers. Each religion uses parables and myths to convey basic truths that every individual can follow. Each religion is just another road towards the same goal, by whatever name it may be called.

Why must we feel that in order for a particular religion to exist, others should be wiped out? It is the shameful history of all mankind where this trend has existed.

Why must we first destroy, so that we can create? Why can’t all of us just co-exist peacefully?

Is this how Man is going to be wiped out from the face of the Earth – in the process of killing one another in the name of some entity that advocates peace and humanity in some form or the other?

Today, I am ashamed to call myself human.