Monday, September 28, 2015

No logic, no magic

Prime minister Modi was on a video, in which he spoke with anguish, and choked back his tears as he described how his mother had to do house work, washing vessels and clothes of neighbours in order to bring him up.
I am sure that his emotion is genuine.

But isn't that how more than sixty percent of Indians live? Overworked, doing menial jobs, undernourished and without basic medical and other facilities.
Shouldn't he, who has risen from the ranks feel the same way about the hundreds of thousands of women ( in the words of Modi himself) who still live exactly as his mother did, rather than just saying that of course, this is what all mothers do?
Why do all our leaders, especially the ones who know what poverty is, totally forget the downtrodden, and have nothing to offer them, or  never ever try to perfect the system so that they have access to good water, sanitation, schools and hospitals???

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The logic behind killing bloggers

Why were four bloggers from Bangladesh killed?
Why are there some others on the hit list?
It never occurred to anyone but the killers that blogging can go beyond being a personal diary, and actually be a threat to someone.

The main reason behind this is that the truth is no longer what the media offers the public.
Media wants to sell, and publishes sensational news rather than the truth, which is sometimes so gruesome (oh so...boring) that no one wants to know it.

The public does not want the truth. Why? We want the dream, and the truth is ugly, so not in vogue. No one wants to know the truth, especially about themselves. People are busy inventing lies, in things big and small. for instance, many people spend a lot of effort in showing that they are better than they are. Some others want sympathy, and pretend to be worse off than they are. While there are those who will not accept that they have aged, failed, brought up offenders and criminals, and have generally wasted their lives. The media has chosen to partner such people as they form the majority

Then there is this thing called blogging. It's free, and affordable to anyone who has access to internet. Most people don't bother about blogs. And then there are extremists, who believe their brutal violence should help them control the world around them. After having soaked himself in a violent drama and having pitted himself against governments and gangs, the terrorist happens to cast his eyes on the words of this lone weakling, the blogger, who seems to be free and uncensored.

He now believes that killing a blogger would silence voices of dissent, and does what he knows, which is to kill.
Rest in peace Niloy Neel

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The magic of the vanishing Afghans

It was early 2014.
Two men in their twenties introduced themselves as Afghan nationals, translators at a mammoth international hospital chain in the capital city. There were many patients of Afghani origin,who were being treated in these hospitals, and they helped such patients communicate with the doctors and vice versa. They wanted to improve their English.
Paid upfront.
While their English was of the passable kind, they were excellent communicators, which actually makes focussed language improvement and error correction through drills a little hard.
I was only fairly satisfied with their improvement, although we spoke a lot and worked a little bit on writing.
They spoke of their country with great love, and about how looking at the sophisticated hospitals in India shocked them, because it made them aware of how backward their country was. They lamented the fact that very little was actually being manufactured in their country, and how they imported almost everything.
They kept asking the administrator to give them ID cards so that they could satisfy the authorities about where they were. So the language centre printed student ID cards for them and gave it to them, ten days after they joined classes.

They took the ID cards, smiled and thanked us, and never returned.

The logic behind cleaning one's fridge

Neighbour - Please clean the fridge 
Maid: Why sir, do you want me to clean the fridge?
N: It's a long time since I had it cleaned.So, why do you ask?
M: No sirrrr, I work in another home in this community, and that sir asked me to clean his fridge. The very next day, he sold it on OLX...
Me: Bwahahahahahahah

Friday, September 11, 2015

Partiality defies logic

I taught English to a person of Japanese origin.
"How do you find out the caste of a person? Do people in my office do it by looking at the candidate's face or is it through the name?"
He blurted this out during one of my classes. He was in India as a representative of the Japanese company to recruit people to his Engineering company. His job was to ensure that the right standards were maintained in hiring.
His question shocked me, for I had always assumed that the corporate world operated on meritocracy. I asked him to explain himself, and he said that many talented technicians were rejected, and his team, which consisted of Indians, recruited people whom he suspected to be of their own caste.
"The name gives it away," I explained to him.

It is true that many private schools, colleges and companies hire people of their own castes, and sometimes only people of their own castes.
But the pathetic and backward state of affairs seems not to have changed with the entry of international players. Many Indians are blissfully unaware of the cruelty that underlies the comfort of their lives.
Looks like change is far away, and discrimination continues to prey the poor and downtrodden masses of this country

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The magic of a poor man's logic

I read the "True History of the Kelly Gang"

The novel
a. is impressive, made an impact on my heart and head
b. is hard to read, as the author has used the voice of an uneducated man; so no punctuation.
c. sounds honest because the author uses the voice of a man who is plain spoken (all the reviews on the back cover, praise the voice)
d. takes a pragmatic moral tone, tells us about the morals of a man who chooses to do what he feels is right
e. shows how history recorded in newspapers can be complete lies
f. shows how the police and the law can be cruel, heartless, uncaring for the poor and can suppress and exploit the weak
g. shows how poor people have really miserable lives that they cannot get out of
h.shows how bad luck can age poor people instantly, can kill them, can destroy their families far more easily than they do the families of fat cats of other classes.
i. We don't feel sad all through the novel, because the speaker takes life and its terrors as they come, and we see the world through the eyes of a pragmatist
j. we feel the love he has for his mother, his acceptance of her faults, and his deep love for the daughter whom he never gets to see.