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Opinions, the Manu Smriti, etc. August 9, 2008

Posted by K in Gender, Politics, Recent reads-and my comments, Reviews/Rants.
16 comments

What a pity we are all entitled to our own opinions.

(It is. Really. Because it then means that it is okay for a person to hold discriminatory opinions. It is okay to believe that a joke which goes like-there are three problems in the world, email, gmail and female-is funny. That believeing the Manu Smriti doesn’t spew venom against Shudras is ok.<–I was challenged to read the Manu Smriti and find out for myself whether the quotes used by Dalit Rights activists do actually figure in the ‘seminal’ text. I did; last night. I read 44 of the 274 pages, and then used the search feature to read every-tenet?- pertaining to Shudras. I will attach the link*, and the specific points that merit special reading, especially for those who still believe that the likes of Dr. Ambedkar were fools, and ranting out of context.)

(Somethings are just wrong. I won’t spend any energy trying to ‘compromise’/see the other side.)

*http://www.esnips.com/doc/133237a9-b9bd-4823-b37e-9555e3d0f707/Manu-Smriti—Sanskrit-Text-with-English-Translation

Leave a comment if you want me to mail you the particularly obnoxious-article?-numbers.

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Reaction: The Motorcycles Diaries (filmed) August 9, 2008

Posted by K in Reviews/Rants.
Tags: , ,
3 comments

Well, I saw the Motorcycle Diaries (finally). And frankly, I expected much more than a heroes gaze turned upon a larger than life character. The film was entertaining, undoubtedly, but I expected to see what went into creating Che Guevara, what made him the revolutionary that has since catapulted him into, ironically, bags and tshirts that continue to sell like hot cakes. All I saw was a lot of anguish on the rather,er, dashing, actor’s face; a brief moment of ‘understanding’ in a briefer episode with a mining couple; and a completely unnecessary swim across a river that pleased the crowd (and was meant to). The gaze of the camera is on Guevara, throughout; Guevara’s gaze is not what is effectively portrayed.

Bombay, theatres, and gender in educational spaces July 22, 2008

Posted by K in contemporary, Gender, Politics, Reviews/Rants.
17 comments

Maybe I need to go on a Saattvik diet or something (if I were to believe HT Brunch), but I HATE watching movies in theatres in Bombay! I resent the imposition of the national anthem on me, and I resent the arm-twisting of every theatre goer into standing up for the anthem. Just what is achieved by the exercise escapes me. I wonder if people rebel against it… or is the social pressure too strong for that. I know when I was late in standing up, I heard a voice say, rudely, ‘khare ho’. ‘Stand up’. I stood, because I was the only one not standing, around me. I succumbed to the ‘air’ around me. I felt threatened, as if I would get branded ‘anti-national’ or something. In ordinary situations, such a tag wouldn’t bother me. But in a strange city, amongst strangers, I’m not that brave. I suddenly realise, ever so often these days, what it is like, being the minority.

This automatically leads me to question how I became the minority. Was I, and people who think similarly, ever the majority? Or did the privileged space that I called my college lead me to believe in, and expect, a different reality.

I’ve often thought about the space and place of all-girls institutions. I was mostly against it. Incomplete education, unfair to the boys, unnecessary and bla bla. But Pallavi pointed out something that I had never considered. We are who we are, largely because we studied in an all-girls institution. And by that, I mean, we grew into people who are confident of their, our, ability. In several co-ed colleges, one sees that very few girls ever occupy union positions. If they do at all, they are elected into positions that are traditionally seen as a female domain-cultural representatives, literary representatives. Seldom will one find a girl sports representative. Very few girls are allowed to get their hands ‘dirty’ by running from pillar to post, arranging for sponsorships. In things like theatre productions, seldom do girls get to carry the heavier props, if there are boys around. I’m not making a very coherent article, but what I am trying to say, is that it is only in a girls college (I shall not speak about school at this point…) that girls do everything that goes into the making of college life, from administration, to running around, to doing a hell lot of ‘dirty work’, to you name it. Perhaps that is why students who pass out of such institutions gather such infamy as ‘feminists’. The lack of a need to depend on the other gender, or a need to protest against gender violence, verbal, physical and psychological, seems to ‘de-feminise’ the female. Having a mind of one’s own, and caring about things like how gender is portrayed and dealt with, automatically constructs a forbidding image.

How little the world has changed!

MAIDEN!!!! INDIA!!! 2008!!! SCREAM FOR ME ‘M’BAI! February 2, 2008

Posted by K in Diary, Maiden, Music, Parikrama, Photos, Reviews/Rants.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
41 comments

I’m baaaack!!! Time for a review, and this time, since the hysteria of seeing Iron Maiden for the first time isn’t applicable, it will be a more mature account. *cough*

I SAW THE PLANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I SAW THE PLANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I SAW THE PLANE TWICE!!!!!!!!!!! I saw it parked in a bay when I landed (distant view, but oh, most faintworthy!!!!) AND TODAY WHEN I WAS ON THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT I saw it taking off. I mean, this is sweet justice, for short people like me. We may not get to see much of the stage (Sob. Boo hoo.) BUT WE SEE THE PLANE!!!!!!! Or I did, at any rate smilie

In case you’re wondering why I go on so about the plane, here’s why.

maiden-plane-4.jpg

maiden-plane-5.jpg

Custom made piece of genius smiliesmilie Flown by Captain Bruce Dickinson.

capt-bruce.jpg

(Photo courtesy Melville Sequeira)

In case I haven’t mentioned already…Ed Force One (Flight no. 666; seriously, and always) carried some 20 tonnage of equipment (Every song had a different back drop), all the band members and all the crew!

Okay, back to the gig. I was quite apprehensive about the Mumbai crowd because I had heard bad, baaad things about them. I was supposed to meet two lots of friends at the grounds and funnily enough it turned out that they knew each other and were meeting up anyway ๐Ÿ˜€ I ended up seeing a lot of familiar faces, 3 people from school.

However, back to outside, at 3:PM when I reached the MMRDA grounds, Bandra-Kurla Complex, I was astounded to see a line a few 100 people deep. Gates opened at 4, so I was fretting and expecting to see a mile long line by the time I reached, as is what happened in B’lore.

Not Mumbai, it seemed. There were ticket counters outside the venue, as was an official merchandise outlet. The infrastructure was waay better this time; not only was there no shortage of drinkable fluids, vendors were actually bringing them up to you throughout the concert.

I was very surprised at the size of the venue. I had imagined it to be bigger or atleast the same size as the Palace Grounds. It seemed tiny and till just before Maiden, there didn’t seem to be too many people around. We had decided to stand centre middle; ie. close to the mixer board where the sound is generally the best, and where, we imagined, we would get the best view, all things considered. The other option was go right up front and risk being caught in a mosh pit. Well, the sound was good, way better than Bangalore, and even though we were so far back, I got to see more of the band on stage than last time, although I missed the energy that comes with standing closer to the stage. As far as I could make out, the stage was built higher this time, and there was a ramp at the back for Bruce to do his stuff. And ofcourse he climbs the steel supports on the sides again smilie

There was some serious pushing once Maiden began, but thankfully it subsided before it got crazy. There were, apparently 3-4 mosh pits somewhere about, however and I REALLY wonder how people can mosh to Maiden…Maiden is headbanging stuff, not let-me-hurt-you-you-hurt-me-stuff…

The opening acts finished their stuff quite quickly this time, which was strange. There was a good half hour-forty five minute gap before Maiden came on. Nervereck, the CRI winners, were quite good; I liked them although the crowd was impatient to get Maiden on-stage. They did not get half as horrible a reception as fTn last year, and deservedly. Lauren Harris came next (good on you, Steve ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and she was waay better(than last time). Her USP was more than simply her looks (all the men and some women couldn’t take their eyes off her…as usual) or, as Akriti put it, ” I have to admit she has great hair”, and she didn’t repeat her annoying HOW YA DOIN BANGALORRE this time. She has a powerful voice, and I don’t think I’ll mind seeing her opening for Maiden once again. It’s not my type of music but I dig her vocals ๐Ÿ™‚ Her drummer is one cool cat, hehe. She looks to be oldish and has a platinum blonde almost mohawk, and the guitarists are pretty good too. Parikrama was the last and final opening act, this was their fourth time opening for Maiden in a year, and they were naturally ver grateful to Maiden and management. They also made us thank DNA, and for once I agree, and say again THANK YOU DNA (bring ’em again ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Their set seemed really short this time, they did the new stuff, which I like, but I wish they had played Open Skies again. The mad violinist has got even madder, Imran Khan smilie

The crowd was steadily growing by now, as I mentioned, and once Maiden came on, whoa, it was difficult to move. Blore, however, was more crowded, and the crowd at dear old Bengaluru had more energy!! From where I was standing, I could barely see people jumping and when I began jumping, two people gave me weird looks and said to each other ‘yeh to/isse to char gai hai’. Those two weren’t Maiden fans anyway, they just came coz they wanted to see a live concert. So whatever, I knew I looked mad, but this was about getting mad, anyway. I just hope my hair didn’t whip into too many people. I asked Akriti, who was directly behind me, but either she was too nice or she was so busy having the time of her life that she didn’t even notice smiliesmilie

I felt sorry for the people I was standing next to; I sing horribly and I was, well, singing along, singing wrong a lot of times, because I suck with lyrics in the ordinary way anyway, and in the middle of a gig how can I be expected to keep my wits about smilie

The setlist was mostly predictable but what the hell, we all loved it smilie

  1. Aces High (AMAZING live!! Churchill’s speech included)
  2. Two Minutes to Midnight
  3. Revelations (YAYAYAYAYAYAY smilie)
  4. Run to the Hills
  5. Fear of the Dark
  6. WASTED YEARS!!! smiliesmiliesmilie The crowd went MAD!
  7. Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Bone chilling, out of the planet, beyond words. Met up to expectation and more. He introduced it like he did on LAD, and I knew it was coming, so I went on like a broken record, saying ‘This is what NOT to do when a bird shits on you’ and then laughed like a maniac when he finally said it. ‘kin AWESOME!!!)
  8. Hallowed Be Thy Name (the classics and by now run of the mill, got the greatest crowd response. I’ve got to admit, the Mumbai crowd is more tuneful than Bangalore! smilie Bruce noticed too, you guys are good singers, he said smilie. )
  9. POWERSLAVE! (Bruce did many costume changes, more than I expectedsmilie He began with those BNW and DoD trousers, an armour like triangular jacket and a funny cap (beanie some called it…) on his head. He lost the cap soon, had a brilliant mask on for powerslave, an AMAZING cape for some, and ofcourse, he donned the red costume for Trooper again!!)
  10. The Number of the Beast (It was amazing when the crowd screamed out the intro words with Bruce… Woe to You Oh Earth and Sea… The 666 bit reverberated a fair bit, I can tell you!!)
  11. Can I Play with Madness (Another massive favourite)
  12. The Clairvoyant (I love this song, get goosebumps everytime I hear it)
  13. Iron Maiden ( always, ALWAYS a killer! The most simple song lyrically but BOY oh boy what madness it evokes and invokes in you!!smilie)
  14. MOONCHILD (A surprise; as Bruce himsef said, they haven’t done this in a while)
  15. Heaven Can Wait (AWESOME!!! Especially the chorus bit. I caught a passing glimpse of the fanclub members who got to go ‘whoa-o-o-o’ with the band..lucky bums!)

Bruce was quite chatty and funny. The Bombay/Mumbai confusion got a little time. “Good EVENING Bombay, Mumbai, whatever”. “When we were growing up we read about a place called Bombay,” he said. “And now, we’re told, it’s called Mumbai…We were told, no matter what you do, do NOT call it *pause* *pause* MUMBAI!” We all loved it, ofcourse smilie “So what we’re going to do is compromise and call it ‘M’ Bai!!” That had the crowd roaring with laughter again.

He indicated that India was now firmly on their touring map, so all of us basically get to see Maiden again…and again…and again…smiliesmiliesmilie He was in top form, his vocals are better than they have ever been, and his amazing stage presence is getting un-representable in the mere words of a mortal! He had fun with the crowd, asking us to “SCREAM FOR ME LONG BEACH haha” “I guess that only works in Long Beach”. He did many manic laughs and BOY do his manic laughs sound great! smilie While introducing the band, he introduced Nicko as the most sartorically challenged one, to an appreciative roar. I think Steve must have got the loudest cheer (YAY, hehe :D), and we were all chanting Bruce’s name as he paused theatrically before announcing himself. Actually, I dont remember if he did finally introduce himself smilie

There were a fair few foreigners again, with a Bangladeshi contingent this time ,who got themselves clicked with their flag. Sky News, Sam Dunn and several news channels were covering the gig. The press conference before the gig too can be found on the net. I shall link to them later.

There was an official merch store, and they had some cool stuff, including three tour shirts and an eye of Horus cap. I wish I had bought a tee, in hindsight. Shall hopefully see them around in stores like last timesmilie

Maiden began with a recording of Doctor Doctor and ended with Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life as usual. I love them both, they are so typically maiden and appropriately indicative of what is to follow. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life especially seems to me to sum up all that is maiden- British, humour and british humour smilie amongst other things
I am SO glad I went!! I might have enjoyed the B’lore gig much more ( I would still rate that gig higher, for whatever reasons-mostly because of the crowd), but this was royal!!! I am sure I have left out many other amazing (there goes that word again! ๐Ÿ˜€ ) things, but I am still wallowing in the after-effects of the SECOND MAIDEN GIG OF MY LIFE!!!smiliesmilie

So begins the world tour of 2008…Somewhere Back in Time indeed!

SCREAAAM FOR ME MUMBAAIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 26, 2008

Posted by K in contemporary, Diary, Gender, Recent reads-and my comments, Reviews/Rants.
Tags: , , , , ,
11 comments

Hindustan Times has a new obnoxious writer: Vinod Nair(Damn, and I thought all Mallus were nice). I don’t know what his column profile officially is, but it ends up being a space where he unleashes his misogyny. The first column I read of his was about Indian women and their inner wear , and the second one I read, today, was about inner wear again, and though he tried (or did he…?) to make it about both genders, he managed to produce schpiel about how women like displaying bra straps and underwear bands, but get offended if men stare. Now the problematics of him not seeing a problem with lecherous men apart, I wonder why he writes such shit. Does he get paid by the scale of nastiness? It’s HT City, hence quite possible (though I admit I quite like Under Honey’s Hat: the fictionalized gossip column).

Maybe the issues raised by him are pertinent, if not to me, then somebody else; but why does he deal with his subject matter with such female body related venom? Why does he objectify women with his very male gaze, and more importantly, why is he allowed to??

In other matters, I attended a placement presentation by a company called Star Magna. Now I don’t know what the company actually is like, but the representative who presented the company sure didn’t create a very good image of it. And considering that this company deals with brand management it seems a trifle amusing that they couldn’t build their own brand in front of wee college students.

The problem was not so much with the nature of their work-brand management. I might not be a fan of the luxury segment but that doesn’t mean I go about, fangs bared, looking to bite all such companies. I had a problem with what she said. They were looking for PR (Press Relations) agents who would talk to the media regarding whatever company they were handling. She went on to qualify ‘media’: we, ofcourse, don’t call the likes of Punjab Kesari and Jain TV, she said. My head went !!! immediately. One of the first things she said was that at the end of the day, what the clients want is money. And managing brands ought to be about maximising profits. So I asked her if she thought readers of Punjab Kesari and watchers ofย  Jain TV either were all poor and/or did not desire brand-y things. She seemed too think not. Her answer made it evident that either she wasn’t doing a good job presenting the company, or that the company was disgustingly wannabe and wannabe-elitist.

A part of the presentation spoke about how the company also deals with model management and promotion of artisans and craftsmen of India. So when Question Time came, I asked her how the elitism was reconciled to this NGO work, how one company could on one hand, only want to deal with the likes of E-News and not the ‘masses’ that presumably patronised the likes of said Punjab Kesari and Jain TV, and at the same time look to give visibilty to the artists who come from such ‘masses’. She, ofcourse, felt the question was irrelevant, that the NGO was just something the owner did as a hobby (why put it on the COMPANY profile, then? And even so, the incongruity/hypocrisy stands)ย  and that I was asking it just for the sake of arguing, and that she didn’t get my question anyway. I was much amused by now, and conveyed to her that I, however, had got the answer.

The woman was rude when others asked less-controversial questions, and had come to recruit without an idea about the package she would be offering. She snapped at people, was ill-informed ( “We would prefer post-graduate students here”… “How many first and second years are here”…”Doesn’t your college offer post-graduate studies?”), and didn’t know she had earlier conveyed to the Placement Cell that the recruitment process would include a GD followed by an interview.

And then she has the gall to say “I mean, aren’t you guys, like, a little, like, whatever” Rude, I think she wanted to say.

I mean,like, yeah I want a, like, a jawb, but please don’t insult my intelligence, and don’t think you can bully me just because I’m a wee student. Sheesh.

December 1, 2007

Posted by K in Abstract Ramblings, Diary, Life, Maiden, Music, Nonsense, Reviews/Rants.
6 comments

The exams are yet again upon me. I, yet again, am grossly under-prepared. Actually, as of now, my condition is better described as ‘not prepared’. The grotesque thing is that I couldn’t care less. Moving on…

India refuses to trade arms with Burma. Finally, and yippitty yay! Now he can say “Congratulations India”. ‘He’ being a member of the Burmese Government in exile.

Life in Metro-movie that tries too hard. Unsuccessfully.

The fests are upon us. And we are upon exams. Need I rant more?

Lauren Harris is supporting daddy’s band again. Steve-really.

One goes to watch Aaja Nachle tomorrow. One hopes one has not done foolish thing.

One wishes life would wipe up after itself. One takes one look at a definition of life and gives it up as a hopeless case.

One…… has writers block.

HT Platform: Nandita Sengupta July 27, 2007

Posted by K in contemporary, Life, Reviews/Rants.
5 comments

Sex Education begins at home, she says. The lady feels that sex education in schools should be ‘put on hold for the moment’

Sample her gems-

‘In December 2004, two teenagers showed us why introducing sex education in Indian schools is asking for trouble’. She was, ofcourse, referring to the infamous MMS case. Note the keywords: teenagers, INDIAN SCHOOLS, trouble…

She follows that up by contradicting herself by stating in the last sentence of the rubbish piece that- ‘In school, ‘sex education’ with all its overwhelming relevance (????!!!) is best left alone. …The same way that teaching youngsters about religion does not lead to fundamentalism, telling them about sex does not lead to irresponsible behaviour(my italics).’

The woman is daft. I wonder how she got herself published in the edit page. She tries to make a case but her ‘arguments’ are pathetic at best. At one point she attempts to be a great debater and says that ‘Sadly, the aguments for sex education (her italics) are even more hackneyed than those against it-the opponents at least known for thei dogmatic approach’. Er, yeah. Right. Ofcourse, she doesn’t go on to show HOW the arguments are ‘sadly’ more hackneyed. She tries, though. Here, THIS is why she believes it is more ‘hackneyed’-

‘The ‘progressive’ (she puts the word within ‘ ‘) reasoning behind talking about sex is to make minors aware of AIDS so that they can be cautious about their sexual behaviour. It is an unfortunate generation for which sex and talking about sex will be associated with a disease and its entailing burden’.

This sentence astounded me. I mean, what does the idiot want? The world to bury its head under the sand and look the other way? Because, well,er,*cough cough*, AIDS is a burgeoning threat in todays world!! Lets not talk about safe sex because the young shouldn’t forever associate it with yucky disease...

Stupid woman.

Sex education in schools is a must. Most parents feel uncomfortable discussion sex and sexuality with their children. There are children as old as 14-15 (and this is only in my experience…I’m sure the figures an be more horrifying) who do not know what a condom is, who do not know how one becomes pregnant, and that oral sex can transmit the virus.

The point is children WILL find out about dirty dirty sex. (They aren’t blind, and we must credit them with the bare minimum of intelligence. ) Shouldn’t they then be given the correct information about it?

This strange author(her, not me) can choose to live in her own blessed world, but the point is, yes, it would be GREAT if sex education started at home, but in all likelihood, this won’t happen soon. And EVEN if it did, it needs to be supplemented at school. After all, just because they are Parents, it does not mean they have all the information.

Warren Hastings ka Saand June 30, 2007

Posted by K in contemporary, Friends, Reviews/Rants.
3 comments

I have a tag to answer and Aridhi’s performance to write about. Tag I think I shall do later, aridhi’s acting review I’ll do now ๐Ÿ˜‰ Atleast, a short one. I shall do all the writing later.

I loved her emoting on stage…it was very realistic, not melodramatic. I hate melodrama ๐Ÿ™‚ As a Sutradhar, I thought she did a better job than most of the others. The right pauses, the right amount of referring to the projected painting on the curtain. The voice projection, enunciation and volume were rather brillaint too : )

The laughing role ( was it the Malin role?)ย  was awesome too. I think I liked her best in the comic roles. It is just her thing! I could not believe how she lifted the role of an ordinary cow to such levels! Yes, she played a cow, which meant that she covered herself in a white sheet, stooped and walked about the stage mooing with the other cows.

She, however, brought the cow alive. I don’t know why I go on and on about the cow role and not the others, but I guess it is because of the way a potentially low-key role was transformed into such a unique one. I wish I could do that : )

Oh dear, this sounds rather like a report card! I shall have to redo this post when I’m feeling chirpier ๐Ÿ™‚ Goodbye till then ๐Ÿ™‚

May 23, 2007

Posted by K in Diary, Reviews/Rants, Uncategorized.
9 comments

I have been watching a bit of TV, so I thought I’d talk about it. Okay,okay. I’m just bored and at home with a cold. I needed something to dosnivel.gif

1.Family Law: Channel-Hallmark. Timing:A million times a day, it seemseyes.gif

One thing- the title music is HIGHLY inappropriate. Most episodes end with a twist that is meant to make you saaad, and suddenly this roaring, rocking score kicks in. Slightly..weird.

One of the main lawyers in this is the guy who used to be in Three’s Company. He has…aged. lol. I personally find him very annoying ๐Ÿ˜› Actually quite a few actors in this serial are very annoying…but I still watch it ๐Ÿ˜€

2. Judging Amy: Channel-Hallmark, again. I’m an addict. Save me.

I got ‘hooked’ on to this show a year or so back. Loved it. I had a thing for courtroom dramas. I don’t like it so much now, but if it’s coming and I am bored, I will watch it.

The character of Maxine Gray is quite brilliant, and the woman who plays it is charming. Sprightly, spirited and spunkey. Aha! I alliterate :-p

Little note- Amy Brenneman who plays Judge Amy also did a movie with the Schwartz man. Maybe it’s because she has got ingrained in my system as Amy from Judging Amy, but I thought she looked ridiculous in it.

3. Grey’s Anatomy: Channel-Star World. Timing:I watch the Thursday morning one.

I know its supposed to be tragi-comic, but it’s the comic bit that gets me. I love the characters, the actors and the storyline. And it’s a medical drama-I have always had a thing for medical anything.

4. Simpsons: Needs no introduction. I watch the late night episodes. Simpsons does this thing to you…you break out into unprovoked laughter at weird and odd times. Like at 3 AM, sometimes eyes.gif

5. Prison Break: Star World, Tuesdays, 10 PM. When I saw the promos I laughed condescendingly. When I watched one of the early episodes I laughed mockingly. Yesterday I swallowed my laughter. I am a new addict.

Fast paced storyline, INTERESTING storyline, and good looking protagonist ๐Ÿ˜€

Hm. I know I watch more TV. This list shall be updated.

Now,in fact.

6. ER: I watch the Hallmark one, which is older than the season being shown on Zee Cafe. I think it’s a great drama; the characterisation is there, the stories are strong, and it doesn’t drag.

7. Di-Gata Warriors: Channel-Cartoon Network. At first I thought it was another one of those irritating Jap toons. Actually it probably is, but if so, the graphics are way better-the mouths don’t do that weird anime thing. Its a cute, fantasy toon ๐Ÿ™‚

8. Popeye– I’m strong to the finech coz I eat me spinech coz I’m Popeye the sailor man, toot toot! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love this toon ๐Ÿ™‚

9. Tom and Jerry.

May 17, 2007

Posted by K in Abstract Ramblings, Diary, Life, Reviews/Rants.
10 comments

I haven’t felt strongly about any issue for about a year now. I used to be the sort of person that had a (strong) opinion about everything under the sun. But in the past year or so, I haven’t chosen to take a stand on anything, publicly. I have felt more and more that my standards are mine alone and cannot be expected to be the standards agreed to by others.

The very idea of taking a stand lost its appeal, because it seemed to me that there cannot be any ‘right’ stand, and to even assume there is one, is an act of intellectual snobbery.

I have had my fight with intellectual snobbery. I have fought to keep away from it, but I know, and it kills me to know, that I slip into it too often for my liking.

Everytime I got angry or simply could not believe when people made what were, according to me, insensitive comments, I twisted myself up into knots. The insensitivity of the comments incensed me, but what right had I to assume I was right? What makes my way of thinking, or even the ‘sensitized’ people’s way of thinking the ‘right’ way? How can I ‘fight’ for the right way, when there may not be any? What is ‘right’ becomes entirely subjective. I have no right over another’s life unless they invite me into it.

Yesterday forced me to confront my thinking after a long time. Recently I had had a glimpse of the murky world that lies ‘outside’, the politics, and one’s helplessness to do something to correct a wrong. And how the one who steps out to remedy the situation has to go it alone, and with chances there will be hell to pay.

I wasn’t proud of the way I reacted. I was anxious and scared, and ashamed of myself for being so. I tried to ask myself why. Why was I anxious, was it because I was afraid to stand up to the truth? Was I afraid to stick my neck out? I’m not sure I have the answer. But I think it is largely because I don’t know whether I’m in the right completely.But then I question myself, do technicalities matter? They do, if the only system of justice is the man-made court of law. I am not an atheist; I have faith in another system. Does that make me an escapist? Where is the line between human agency and faith in god?

Yesterday made things a little clearer. Somethings are just wrong.

I witnessed something so disgusting that I was angry after a long long time. I saw how someone utilised one of the many things that are wrong in the world as a prop. As a convenient means to attain a selfish end. It angered me to see the casual way it was used to garner sympathy. The attempt to manipulate sickened me. And it really angered me to see how the person did not see that there were emotions involved on the part of other people. I’m not being very articulate, but this is one of those times when words completely fail me.

The heartlessness aside, the toying with a serious problem is a thing of concern. Matlabi people cause a lot of needless stumbling blocks in the world. They take advantage of steps taken to put things right.

Take the anti-dowry law, for instance. I was really happy when the strong law came to be passed; to know that if a woman complained of dowry harassment, her husband and in-laws could immediately be put behind bars. Until I found out how many women file false complaints.

Why do people do this? Do they not realise how harmful their lying and trivialisation of a serious issue can be? How much do people like this set back attempts to take human society forward? A skewed system of Newton’s third law seems to operate here…for every action taken to right a wrong there will be a reaction that as good as cancels the action.