Thursday, July 29, 2010


First off, apologies for not updating the blog since a long time. I feel like putting up an "under construction" sign. Something like:
"The author of this blog is undergoing a radical change in her thought process and her writing abilities. Any inconvenience caused is regretted." 

Since college has started, not a single day goes by when a new thought doesn't enter my mind. Not even a new thought, a new thought process, a new way of thinking. Either it is planted, or created. I have never been in an environment where my thoughts have been given so much importance. In an engineering college, knowledge is just drilled into you. As opposed to that, in a journalism college, especially in a good one, the aim is to open your mind. Not just in one direction, but in all directions possible. 

From wondering about the role of English in India today, to critiquing a gut wrenching documentary on the Dalai Lama, each day is unique and wonderful and completely unpredictable! It was on one such day that Bittu Sahgal came to our college to give us a lecture on "Save the Tiger". He is the editor of the Sanctuary magazine and has worked on Tiger projects in India. I am ashamed to admit that when he came in, I didn't know who he was. Post lecture, I spoke to my friends and they told me all about him. In a way, it helped me look at him and his message (and the delivery of the message) in a very objective manner. At the risk of sounding pompous, there are ways to improve his lectures on the subject. 

The gist of the matter was, we not only need to save the tiger, but also our ecology. Mainly, our forests, or else the whole water balance would get disturbed and the consequences so on and so forth. We were all so moved at the end of it, that we were desperately asking "What can we do to stop this!" And he said, just do your bit, don't waste water, don't waste paper and most importantly, as journalists, spread the message! So that's what I'm doing when I strongly suggest you visit the sanctuary website. Not because you are an environmentalist, or because you care about global warming. Simply because "global warming will not affect the 'earth'. The earth will exist long after we've gone. It's humanity that needs to be protected against global warming, You and me.. "

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bharat Bandh

Performing an appropriate chance pe dance, I left for Pune the moment I came to know that there is a possibility that Monday will be a holiday. Promptly ignoring the reason for the holiday, namely the Bharat Bandh, I built wonderful castles in the air about eating out, watching I hate luv storys etc. Needless to say, dil ke armaan aasuo mein beh gaye. While I simply made plans to catch up with friends and relatives, I started wondering about this so called for-the-common-man-movement. 

A poll on some crappy (but I presume reliable) news channel showed that 40% viewers believed that the bandh was for their good, whereas 60% felt that it had no bearing on their lives. The papers are full of rising inflation and rising prices of essential commodities. Everyday a question is posed to the government about their inaction regarding this burden on the common man. The opposition has run from pillar to post, ensuring that the people get to know about inflation and the supposedly indifferent government. From moving cut motions against price rise of fuel, to the latest bandh, from the look of it, we seem to have a very reliable opposition working in our interest. However, is moving a cut motion the right method to agitate against price rise? Don't even get me started on the bandh..

Obviously, I'm most upset because I didn't get to watch I hate luv storys. Apart from that though, the bandh brought normal life to a complete standstill. Though the government took efforts to ensure that it didn't, it pretty much did. Thank God, hospitals were working properly. When such incidents occur, you usually find the common man cowering at home, and mawalis ready to pounce out on the streets, destroy public property and slap people around. The whole atmosphere is tense, tv channels keep showing damage and destruction in a repeated loop, further forcing us to get scared and sit at home. The loss to the public coffers due to bandh on trade should be considered an insult to us as now there is less money to perform work for the good of the public. So, what was the point of all this? Apart from political mileage, save little. 

As a solution, I hope the day comes when any goonda mawali thinks 10 times before destroying public property. An intelligent opposition has twin tasks. One is to challenge the government when it gets too sure of itself. The other is to engage the government in dialogue to skillfully solve any crisis. It's never enough to just do one of the two. For political gain, the opposition can ensure that  the media  gives it due credit for good suggestions for improvement of the situation. I believe this would be a win-win situation for all...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Limitless creativity...

I love the process of deconstructing an unnatural phenomenon. The wonder that I feel, just before discovering the truth, gives me a real high. For instance, while traveling, I've often noticed that a few homes and buildings appear as if they have no entry roads leading up to them. Now I know, its impossible that such a building would exist, but when I was younger, my imagination would run wild at the thought of living in such a house or building. Do the owners magically teleport into their homes? Do they leave their cars on the main road and always go walking in? More than anything else, the very idea of a home with no visible road leading up to it fascinated me, since it is such an outlandish idea.

When my friend was younger, he used to get scared looking into puddles during daytime. He could see the sky reflected in them, and assumed that the puddle was that deep! When I was young, if I ate a lot of chicken, my parents would say, "tomorrow  morning, kukuchakoo noises will come out of your stomach" and I used to actually believe that. When we see magic performed by a magician, till the trick is revealed to us, either by our own brain or by the magician, we believe it to be true. The point before the truth is revealed, the mind is free to explore so many possibilities! Such creativity can be employed to explain even a seemingly simple incident or object. It amazes me, the kind of constructive and destructive distraction our own minds can provide us...