Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ephemeral truths?

Talking about ephemeral truths and eternal lies.. I wanted to write about this truth test thing.
I personally find it funny/weird/childish for a CM to promise or ask someone to promise in front of 'God' about anything. Come on, even kids know how to lie.. Or in Hindu style, it is Kaliyug, for God's sake. Even if the CM had promised, I wouldn't have believed him entirely. But what he did in the end was funnier. He just dodged the issue entirely.


He refused to take the truth test he himself devised and expects us to believe he is true? I hope he isn't as naive as that. But that brought me to another question. If you truly believe in God and if you truly believe God will punish you for misdeeds etc, isn't corruption a misdeed? Isn't trying to hide corruption a misdeed? If you are anyway going to be punished for all these, you might as well have promised. (Or) If you truly believed in God, why were you corrupt in the first place?

I have seen this kind of 'god-fearing' people a lot. (Like people who fast for one month thinking about Butter Chicken throughout!) People who spend their lives making black money, evading taxes, misappropriating funds, what not. ("Aisa nahi karoge, toh zindagi me kuch nahi kar sakte.." or the "Ner vazhi romba suthu kozhandai!"* types) And then they go and write off one crore to charity. I am honestly unable to understand if they think their God is that dumb- like he will forgive you if you pay him enough! It is like they believe in God in spurts when they realize he might punish them. And for the rest of their lives they continue without any morality. If I could be God for a day, I would spend at least some part of it ragging these people. You know, just keep arguing with them, until they accept they thought God was as big a fool as themselves.

Anyway, back to our CM. I was discussing this stuff with a friend and we came up with the theory that the CM thinks corruption is not wrong as such. But he knows lying to God is wrong. And that's why he didn't make the promise. That answered my confusion a little and the theory sounds OK to me, though I can't find for the life of me how anyone can think corruption is not wrong. I can imagine someone saying, "Everybody does it. Why penalize me?" or even "Without doing so, you can't become rich" but "NOT wrong"??? Honestly, either I am incapable of that level of self-deception or I am impractical by Indian politics' standards, but corruption IS wrong. Even to save your soul. 
And if you really think God exists, forget your double standards and better believe in him fully enough not to be corrupt in the first place. Or you will land up in this funny "God-promise I didn't do it" situation. And then, don't blame me for laughing!

*This was one of Sujatha's most awesome dialogues. I really really love Sujatha for this one! For those who don't recognize it, it came in Anniyan.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ridiculously online...

Long morning. Continuous meetings and my head is really too full to get any work done until lunch. So was looking at some of my incomplete posts, and saw this one. It is a link I read long ago, and which is plain funny-- 6 RIDICULOUS arguments that actually happened on wikipedia.

I particularly liked this one "Is Adopting a Black Sheep on Farmville Stereotyping?" . Reminds me of a lot of things-- Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai put together, a Dilbert comic (Scott Adams is a genius!) and farmville days of my life.... 

P.S: Actually reminded me of this comic as well...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mashed bananas, pyar and shopping....

It is the end of a particularly awesome weekend. And after a long time. Started off mildly with a visit to Landmark where I ended up reading HP7 instead of  looking at new books (I have been re-reading the series, ‘coz I had forgotten most of the finer details), but at least that helped my wallet a little. Anyway, watched a play yesterday evening after a long time, and 2 movies today- all of them were a real laugh! Ended it with Anand Bhavan coffee- so I really can’t ask for more.
Now for the stuff I watched.
Butter and Mashed Banana

VERY GOOD play. It is really long since I saw one, the last I saw in B’lore was “Night of January 16th” and though I love the story, it was good-but-not-very-good. This time Rangashankara was full (never seen it like that before) and that only served to increase my expectations. Fortunately, I was not disappointed. The play is a satire about freedom of expression in India. The dialogues are amazing, and the actors did a great job. Each of them seemed carved for the role, and I liked many of their theatre techniques (Expressions, use of music, use of dance, almost everything). Thing is drama is something that not too many people watch, so you might think that this is only good for regular theatre enthusiasts. But no, not at all. Anyone who has watched a movie and heard a Beep where there should be some slang that anybody could have guessed, can watch this play and completely relate to it. Coming to think of it, even anyone who has ever used a dictionary can go watch this play :)
And that was the beauty of it. It was hilarious enough for the common man and creative enough for the serious art critic. I hate to tell out plots, so that is all I will mention, but I strongly strongly recommend you to watch it. There are 2 shows in Mumbai on Tuesday and Wednesday, and two more shows at Whitefield next weekend. If you have an hour, and haven’t seen a play in a while, it is a must-go. Actually, even if you have never seen a play at all, it is a must-go!

Pyaar ka Punch-nama

This was a lighter movie, and was mostly comedy revolving around relationships. I expected the feminist in me to come out saying “that is not how women are” and “this is so chauvinistic” etc. But actually I didn’t. There were so many dialogues in the movie and so many situations which I could relate to real-life behavior of women I know, so I had to admit the movie was right about portrayals. Women ARE demanding, and women ARE confused. Not all of them. Not at all times. Not to the same extent. But then, women are all that. And more. It might be because of the way society views them, or because of the way they are brought up; it might be because “Man's love is of man's life a thing apart, 'Tis a woman's whole existence”* or it might be because of natural selection but then women really are like that. (I know I must be the only jerk to think of evolution after watching Pyar ka Punch-nama, but I completely blame Dawkins for that- he has driven that angle too much into my head :( ). Anyway, I even came up with couple of theories about why women are the way they are and what men/women can do about this, but I am not gonna trouble you with all that.
Let me just say it was a good movie to watch, and hilarious. It is still on theaters, so if you want a good laugh, it is quite worth the money to go watch this one. (By the way, if you are taking your girlfriend, be sure to warn her that it is just for fun and surely she is special and ‘definitely’ not like the girls portrayed in it ;) :P)


Confessions of a shopaholic- a movie I have seen at least twice already, second time only for Hugh, but he really suits the serious boss role. But I still liked watching it today. Shopaholism is quite an alien feeling to me, though I think B’lore is infecting me a little with it. But then, this movie always reminds me of why the “fish crisis” (fiscal crisis) happened in the first place, and why Indian parents are right about a lot of things, like teaching their children the value of money. Otherwise, nothing particularly great about the movie, but if you like shopping (and more so, if you are a girl) it is a must-watch.

So, that’s it. And to round up my list of recommendations- it will be very much worth the 15 bucks to finish this up with Anand Bhavan coffee, the way I did. :)

*That's by Byron in Don Juan. I hadn't read Don Juan until I wrote this article and was surprised to find it had so many wonderful lines (Including truth is stranger than fiction!) and also some great analysis of men and women. Find the original here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Artist

Though this comes on a relevant date, this is not related to M.F.Hussain at all! I was thinking of something and merely found the artist to be a very good metaphor...

He stood, brush in hand, pondering. Again.
A dash of yellow on the cheek,
but even then the complexion was not right.
A tad darker, a tad lighter, it went on like the monkey fable.
And yet, that image in his mind, shining clearer than ever. Tantalizing.
With each brush stroke he knew what was wrong,
But correct this one, and the right eye’s hazel is too strong.
Search as he may, for the ideal in the real,
it could never be as perfect as in the mind.
Maybe that inconspicuous yet irritating flaw
was what made reality real, and he had to give up;
Maybe his mind's ability to imagine it was the true masterpiece 

And he had to merely appreciate himself;
Or maybe it was both perfect and possible. And he was to go on searching after all...