Monday, March 30, 2009

E Fever

"When I feel insecure, I like a non-secular national party. When I am not feeling scared or vulnerable, I lean towards the secular party" - thus spoke my friend!

We seek a sense of security. Of course there is a sense of security in numbers. But the fear of falling through the cracks is always around.

Fanatics scare us but we would rather be with our own fanatics. Thats how I read it.

For me ... a fanatic is a fanatic ... there is no mine and yours on that one.

I believe that this sense of security is false. After some point this security will become suffocating and we would draw a line and say, you are a hardliner and I am not and divide ourselves again. There is no end to reasons for division. That has been happening since centuries.

The human need to feel better or superior in comparison is insatiable. And so is the need to overcome oppression and bondage. I admire Mayavati for she knows her math well and she is a good card player.... Success is truly the distance you cover.

I have been trying to come to terms with the fact that the concept of Hindutva came into being because it was an idea whose time had come. Even if I didn't approve. Maybe I was not tuned into a certain reality that always existed, that there exist people who genuinely want to remain divided for maybe it helps them in some way, like that old sense of security!

Maybe just maybe I need to keep this party's non-secularity aside and see if they have been able to do good work where ever they ruled.

I am thus looking at the candidates of these parties, not their allies but their candidates. Who do I trust to make the right decisions, which decisions matter most - economic policies, law & judiciary, reforms, infrastructure development, world trade and a few more issues.

Its funny that in this over crowded country the majority and the minority fear each other. Ha!

Each of the country's socio-economic strata's desire different things. I might want better growth opportunities and stability but the autowallah who gave me company today wanted a thousand bucks in exchange of the vote, someone else might settle for a blanket, yet another might want subsidised grains and commodities.

So what would I do if I want a sweeping victory? I will define my goal to reach each or some of these classes (maybe ignore those who are too few to matter... ), prepare candidates who each of these classes would relate to (I think that should be important) and launch them and then of course ensure I have the budget for all this.

If my target audience is illiterate, poor, deeply polarised on religion, then no sweat at all... Just say what they want to hear. Critisize your opponent, make false promises and win!

The election fever has caught up and its here for a while!!

Sporadically Inspired

I am given one million gallons of milk and and thousand tonnes of sugar. I have to use it all. But the milk can't be too sweet or too bland to taste. I need to know how much will go with how much and how long it will take to use it all up.

Thats what love is like. You have a huge load of sugar (affection, care, warmth) but you need to strike a balance to make milk shake. Don't use it all in one go. Don't hold back too much for then you will stop enjoying the moment.

Balance outside comes automatically when there is balance within. You gotta love yourself before you can even understand loving another.

My friend said - whatever you do make sure you have fun. I thinks thats very important.

I can't stand ideology wrapped in morality and self righteousness. I meet it everyday.

More often people like to sell wisdom.

It takes confidence and depth to keep quiet even if you don't agree. But more often unfortunately it only takes fear for people to keep quiet.

There is great imbalance... the divides are great - rich and poor, hungry and well fed, illiterate and educated, hindu and muslim, marathi and bhaiyya, above poverty line and below poverty line, etc etc etc.. But there are greater levelers.... love fear kindness hatred happiness sadness and all the other intangibles. Happiness does not check my bank balance before knocking at my door, not does fate or luck.

There are two worlds I occupy, the one limited by sight and the one which is boundless within.

But I need the balance to make the transition.... as said the enlightened Buddha!

What I would never learn in MBA

The long weekend ended and the terrible mean Monday arrived. I always knew it was on its way... and that made the weekend even sweeter. So when this particular Monday ended I was too eager to get out of the office walls.

Mundane issues on my mind, I left office with thoughts of hot poha and chai waiting at home lovingly prepared by mom. On this evening the wait for autoriksha was not very long and along came a wandering lost soul who stopped and nodded in affirmative towards my destination. The usual routine of trailing large behinds of very large trucks or buses on a narrow lane. This man I noticed perhaps had an equally good reason to take me home and fast or maybe he was just himself ... "A get out of my way for I will not apply breaks" autowaalah! Having given up my fear of speed on crowded mumbai roads, I knew I'll get there pretty quick!

He was wearing a white shirt and pant, long hair and a grown beard. He asked me if I thought the new east-west flyover was any good. I said ofcourse, together with mahindra flyover it means that I am home in half an hour. What could be better. He shrugged and laughed at me. And I thought thats nice, for a change someone with an opinion. Brilliant!

Thoughts of the election fever on my mind, I casually asked -

I: Vote doge kya?
He: Nahi, koi fayda nahi hai.
I: Kyon? Agar dete to kise dete?
He: Joh hazar rupya dega, use vote denge, warna nahi denge.

I smiled to myself, my bloody MBA-programmed head and the stupid gyan is of no use in this conversation. He shut me up. Thats usually my state when theory (read gyan) meets its cousin - practical life.

And then on a whim or god knows for what reason, he said to me.... aap to shayad congress ko vote dengi. I was truly stunned.

My destination was arriving. And now I didn't want to reach home for the next fifteen minutes. I wanted to tell him why he should vote but I think its wiser to let people make their own choices but I did want to share with him why I wanted to vote. And hence I asked-

I: Bachhe hain kya?
He: ek ladka aur ek ladki. Dono achhe school mein padhte hain....

I wanted to say something but before I could gather my thoughts he said... madam main MA pass hun. Pehle ek jweller ke yahan kaam karta tha.

My MBA-junked head flashed a "System Down".

He smiled at me when I gave him extra change and asked me if this is my usual route....

While I walked away, I dragged along a zillion thoughts with me. I came back to the point where I have often stood, looked up at god and thought to myself why is God's design at times painful.

There was a lot I could've said but I didn't.

I am the lowest common denominator when I cast my ballot. It may be very minuscule a percentage... I may be the millionth number that comes after the decimal. But I am there. Thats all I am in this vast crowded country of mine. I add up... therefore I am!


For you

You are end of one road
And the beginning of another
The thought that sails on my sigh
The dream that weaves while I sleep

An extension of my desire
The root of my soaring height
You are my farthest distance
and the shortest route

You wash my world anew
cold winter mornings
Fog & Dew