Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm as peeved, irritated, and disgusted as anyone else in the country at the turn of events on 26/11 in Mumbai. I, however, don’t blame the politicians squarely for this. They have some role to play and they failed, but I ask what we did in our role. I’m watching all the debates going on the TV, in the neighborhood, and everywhere else. This is our mindset for so long. We need some hero to look upon with hope in despairs; same way we need some villain to blame. While making heroes and villains we absolve ourselves from all the responsibilities we should do. For now we have found NSG commands as heroes and politicians as villains.
I have few simple questions:
1. Who made these politicians?
2. Who give them power and role to play with lives?
3. What the so called “intellectuals” including media doing about it?
4. Is the terror our ultimate and the most priority problem?
5. Why this kind of blame game or basic debate never happened in US after 9/11?
There are many more but I start with these only. My thoughts and observations on these are:
Politicians are people among us. We only make some of us politicians. We only give them power and role. So why put all the blame on them and not something on us? I find the people coming on TV and screaming on these debates equally hypocritical and disgusting. Even the media, when blaming those politicians who are trying to come at site and taking advantage of the situation, forgets that they are doing the same. I saw several times the police have to intervene by repeated requests to ask them to stay away and still they are trying to sneak through for one shot. They are also glamorizing it. It is just disgusting when the same reporters start blaming others but forget their own roles when time comes. This is what happens in all walks of life; everywhere. When the so called intellectuals come and debate on TV or some other media, about how the root of all evils are the politicians, I want to ask them a simple question – what are you doing about it other than talking right now? Then what’s the difference between a politician and you? If anyone has any idea where they are doing something on their own, not suggesting the steps the government should take, I’m ready to listen to that person. I have never seen any such talk happening or any such conviction. It’s very easy to put the blames and that’s what we do all the time.
When the train blast had happened and a security mechanism was put, but 70-80% of us or even more were not trying to use any of those. Why we assume that police will come after us to ask to follow it when it is for our own benefits? It’s a country with so high population that most of the things that work in other countries will not work here. There can never be adequate number of police to enforce it. So it will be always the responsibility of the people who understand the benefits to follow it and lead the way. And surprising factor is that most of these 70-80% people are educated. Rather the high percentages who follow the rule are uneducated or less educated; may be following it just out of curiosity. I have even heard the argument that it is a farce and nothing happens out of this check; I can take a bomb through it and it will not detect etc. It’s all fine but what are you doing? You are just not following the rule. What if the instrument is latest now and can detect something? It might have taken a few more seconds but you fix your eyes on the person beside you who may be able to reach the train a few seconds ahead and hence looking at you victoriously. You don’t think to look back at him with a look “You cheat!”
There are several such instances that I can keep mentioning. I think the idea is conveyed. If you think a little more, you’ll, for sure, find that the deep rooted cause for the system failure to rise to occasion is something else. In my view, terrorism is not the number one issue here. It is a priority issue but not for whole country. At this moment also you can go to many places in country and ask, “What do you say about Mumbai attack?” People will say, “It’s horrible and must not happen.” If you ask next “What are you going to do about it?” Most likely the answer will be “First I’m going to look for day’s ration and feed my family then think something but it’s very bad and someone should do something.” People worry about these things but do not have luxury of time to ponder over these. They are too tied to their daily struggle and the majority of people in India are in this category. I was reading a story in the newspaper sometime back when one person was proudly saying how Lalu Yadav came in flood to give him Rs. 2500/- which helped him. So now he will vote for him. He and his family don’t care for this issue. Even when you leave these people out, you will be surprised to see if a politician will come at these sites and several scores of people are still following him, supporting him, and chanting eulogies. This all happen just because our loyalties are not with national or social interest but the individual interest and we all are to blame for this.
Contrary to popular perception that government took a lot of security measures to prevent an incident like 9/11 to happen again, I feel that it has not happened there for these many years because of people. Although they complaint about the long time to catch a flight but no one tries to find a way out of it. Majority of them comply even without security officials guiding them at each step. People feel from within themselves to not debate on such issues but united. Even an issue like current ongoing financial crisis united all the parties to pass the bailout package. In our country all parties united only when time came to stop the legislation for definition of “Office of Profit”. It’s the same mindset for which our honorable former president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam once said that same people will follow the same rules once outside our country but not when within the country. This is a national shame.
I’m the same too. I’m waiting for someone to take lead and then I’ll do the easy things like contribute some money, sign an online petition, go stand somewhere with a lit candle, speak out something in some debate or write an article. I’m not willing to take any tough decision or tough route. I, however, don’t blame others for this but myself. I hope these thoughts will someday stir me enough to take some tough decision which will not only help me but the country. I have started the process with small steps by putting the changes in daily habits however small that can be like wearing the seat belts whenever driving the car. I know a lot of others are doing the same and my hope lies in them.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The concept of “quicksand” is interesting. One can argue that it is a geographical formation and not a concept but I’m talking about the concept.

When I was 7 years old, I heard about this concept in a storybook (I don’t remember the name of the book now). It was explained in geographical terms. I always had some bad dreams about it although it was not to a level of nightmare. Later I came to know that it is more myth about quicksand than facts and most of the facts are distorted. Still the mythical descriptions really intrigued me but dreams stopped and thoughts went to some unconscious plane as I forgot about it. Also when I started distinguishing concepts, facts, and myths, I classified my understanding of quicksand as abstract concept. I never thought what after being trapped in a “quicksand”.
It was long before I thought about this subject and then one fine day I suddenly got interested in this subject again while watching the movie “The Replacements”. The football coach (played by Gene Hackman) asked a bunch of players, “What you fear most?” Among lots of funny answers, the hero (Keanu Reeves) came with the answer, “Quicksand”. Everyone had a bewildered look on the face and one of the fellow players even sarcastically said, “It is a scary m@#$.” The coach interrupted to talk about the concept. I don’t want to say the story of movie but it just all flashed in front of me and I almost screamed, “Here it is.” This is what I thought almost 20 years back. I felt so excited and repeatedly watched that sequence of dialogues. Still I never thought about what after being trapped in “quicksand”.

I am again remembering it. Before I move on to say more let me tell you what I mean by the concept “quicksand”. Those who have watched Keanu explaining it in movie, I’ll repeat it for them but in my own words.
“Quicksand” is a state of mind or a situation, in which more you struggle to come out deeper you get into it. Then you will feel all trapped and suffocated. In the end, your existence is destroyed. A chill runs through your spine thinking of such a trap. It is a painful destruction. You can feel all happening but you cannot do anything. If you do something you get trapped more, feel suffocated more. You suffer the most in such a slow destruction. The most dangerous part is that it looks all the same and beautiful till the time you step into it. You don’t know you are stepping into it and when you realize you are into a quicksand it may be late.

I always think of a situation of quicksand. You failed for a purpose. If the purpose is so strong that it supersedes everything else you are doing in life then it is a situation of quicksand. The more you will think for the reasons or the purpose or the things happened, your judgment will be clouded. You will not be able to think of anything other than failures. You will be depressed; it can be minor or major. This cycle will continue – the more you think, you are more depressed.
So is there any way out of this? I think, “Yes”. It is the individual’s “will-power”. Sometime the “will-power” alone will not be sufficient and you need to go in right direction. In such a trap, the right direction is to think of immediate survival; think of immediate goals, think of the next moment only. No quicksand is limitless and once your survive enough to see the limits, you can start thinking to get out of it.

Nothing left to say except that I am in a quicksand. Now I think what after being trapped in “quicksand”. A good thing for me is that I started thinking to come out as soon I stepped into it. Rather I was aware beforehand I’m going to step into it but could not find a way in time to stop myself. I’m depending on my will-power and method. I believe’ I’ll come out.

So it is not the natural beauty or I should say the strangeness that has attracted me to this subject but the psychological manifestations which make you fear it. I am feeling it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

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