Thursday, July 22, 2010

leap of faith...

have taken two, and then one more, literally...the first was somewhere in the Himalayas, jumped from one rock to another...those roundish huge rocks weathered by the ganga...i remember i thought for like 20 mins...had two or three false tries...and then i just got tired, and made the jump. hobbled once on landing, but then stablized and...
the second was an experience. was at the banks of Powai lake, on the IIT side, and there is this huge land mass, then what looks like a very narrow creek, and then another landmass. there were many people there...the creek looked really really tempting, and the mood i was in...
again cam the waiting, staring at the creek, thinking, nope can't do it and walking away, coming back, nope i can't, what will people say....and then i just thought, what the hell. took a quick run and jumped. 
landed right on the edge, it was clayey, my foot started slipping, but thankfully took another short jump and was on firm ground...and then the crowd erupted. people started shouting at me, are you mad and this and that. i was like 'iit kids, why would they shout at me, insanity should be part of the culture here...anyways, the one thing which caught my was a comment by someone, the creek is 10 feet deep or something.
and then the fear set in, the only way back was jumping over the creek again, but then izzat ka sawaal bhi tha, took a deep breath, did a trial run (which people thought was supposed to be an actual jump, and when they realised it wasn't, they thought i chickened out) and then took the leap again, this time with ease, actually shouted out 'fuck, that was easy!!!' after landing. 
and that was my bragging part of the post. now why i am writing this.
when do you take a leap of faith, well when you really really want to do something, when you really feel strongly about something, and when you know what the consequences could be in its entirety, when you know what if it goes wrong, what if it comes good. but you can't really know whats gonna happen, there is this feeling of uncertainty, and when ur just tired of waiting for the fog to clear. you just take the risk.
the thing with these jumps is, that since you don't know whats gonna happen, you give it ur everything. and somewhere in between that leap, an unknown force takes over you and carries you...i remember distinctly that it seemed like i was floating during that jump, time had come to a standstill, my body was not moving, i was just floating, as if something else was carrying me. then comes the landing...and then comes the euphoria out of the realisation that you made it. it is a high not comparable to feel supremely confident, you fell immensely powerful, you feel indestructible, you feel nothing can conquer you, and sometimes if you are weighed down by something previously, you feel liberated.
leaps of faith are important, should be taken once in a while, just to reaffirm urself...for a short period of time you get a very very pure feeling of joy which helps. 
i have no idea why i wrote this post...will add when i do. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

understanding kids...

saw the movie Udaan yesterday...not a great movie as per movie standards go, too one dimensional, missed out on the explanations of why, but then it does make you think on you own. The movie is about a teen not  being understood at all, watching the movie, most who have not gone through it as a kid , think its extreme, but it happens, in varying degrees.  mostly it happens but in a very subtle way...and i think happens more in India (or developing, under developed countries) then anywhere else.
then read a couple of articles given here and here...and that made me think. 
One point which comes out of all these is that Kids need to be understood, i an introvert by nature, have been trying to find out for a long time why i am like this. what moulded me to be an introvert, was it my genes (it wasn't), was it my childhood, my youth? 
the thing is, there are signs early on, and they get cemented as you grow up Nothing wrong with being introvert or being another kind, but it needs to be understood. Understood early on, and parents behavior needs to be changed accordingly. 
as a kid, and there is nothing new i am saying, you are like a clay sponge, you absorb things unknowingly, at a very subconscious level, and you mould yourself, without knowing how or why. You develop defenses against what you perceive will hurt you...and these stay with you throughout, because they become so deep rooted in you subconscious, so even if you, like me try to understand the reasons, and on actually understanding them, are unable to get over them. Most, and i mean most, don't even try to understand the reasons, most are unable to figure it out, so actually trying to change is impossible. 
the movie Udaan, gives a good perspective on the father, he did want to be there for his son, he did go to the school, and wrote once in a while, but never knew what to say. thats the typical indian father,  but then again the reasoning is also give....he says 'i spent my life getting everything for you, making sure you had everything, that you went to the best school...' and thats the gist of it. 
thats why i mentioned the developing / underdeveloped nations, the generation of the 60's and 70's, had to work so hard to just put the basics on the table, and for them ensuring their kids got what they didn't was the most important thing, so a continous pursuit of money was the most important thing. they thought that kids will take care of themselves.
also because of the upbringing they had, (and explained by the dialogue by the father in Udaan "agar hum aise jawaab deta to ek chaata milta" or something), because of the fact that their parents thought that kids should grow up on their own, don't need guidance et al, but just ensure that they get their food and discipline, they too, unknowinlgy, inspite of all the love and care, became like that. 
a third factor is understanding and maturity of a society, i have written about this before, now that India is maturing, and now that the basics are available for a lot of people, they can start thinking of the abstract higher level needs of kids. Making sense?
Parents also used to think that understanding a kid, talking to him/her will make him/her all soft, will not enable them to be tough, and being tough was important then more than it is now. well i kinda agree, but then a balance needs to be maintained, and to maintain that balance a parent must have time. If just providing for your kids takes up your time...
thinking about it, it might seem that an understanding parent, but someone who is not able to provide for everything would be the best, but nope, not sure of that. 
let me say this at the end. and this not just a disclaimer, but its circumstances, because of what your parents did for you, because the good education that they gave you, you are what you are and able to think of all these things for your children. It progression, balance is easy to speak of, but if you find it difficult to buy uniforms for your kids, you are going to find it really difficult to explain it to them and hear them out. 
PS: reading back this post, the tone kind of blames parents, but believe me, i understand and i respect, this post are just my way of understanding and making sense out of it. Don't take me wrong.
also reading back, Udaan does touch on all these things, doesn't explain it too well, but then its Anurag Kashyap, and the new age India Cinema, which assumes a higher level of intelligence and maturity from the audience. 

Sunday, July 04, 2010 much and why?

Saw a debate on the Supreme Court judgement in India about the right to Freedom of Speech, that it should not be absolute, but with some reasonable restrictions. The debate was on NDTV - the Big Fight.

Absolute freedom should be given, but only when the society as a whole and as individuals can use it responsibly. To make sure that the society is responsible, the society has to be mature, mature not to overreact to criticism, not to take it as a threat to their beliefs, but to take it as an opportunity to self question. That requires confidence as well.

Another question to ask is, why do you want that absolute freedom to say anything. To pass judgements on anything and everything, whether it concerns you or not, or, to ensure that you speak up against what you think is wrong.

The first is just the absolute wrong reason, and thats where defamation cases come in. more about that later. but the first, just gives rise to channels like current Hindi channels we have in India, and helps groups of people to take advantage of the issues to push their own agendas, like certain groups in India, who 'organise' protests against everything, right from couple sitting in a park, to Bihari in Bombay, to M F Hussain's paintings.

The second, where you don't like whats happening, you don't agree with it, you don't think its right, but it doesn't really affect you directly, you are not involved in it directly - to what extent should you be allowed to speak or action? It is not your cause, you do not understand it fully, even if you do, you surely don't feel the emotions around it to the same extent as the one's directly involved. So are you in a position to make extreme statements about it? or for that matter take extreme steps to justify your postion, and still not be directly involved.

I believe, the absoluteness of freedom of speech should be directly related to the maturity of the society, and / or the effectiveness of its judgement systems - courts.
If the society is mature, can make and take positive criticism, and can decide on what is the larger good, then yes, absolute freedom. Because then, extreme situations won't ever arise, people who have an opinion will speak it out mildly, but continually, and people who they have the problem with, will take a look at every opinion, and judge it at its merit. And as required, change.

That would be ideal, but if the society is not as mature, the courts come in picture. The courts ensure that extremism is not there, and if it is, it is justified. Anyone who doesn't really care about something, shouldn't be making statements about it...anyone against whom statements have been made, doesn't just try to mute the statements, but instead gets into a healthy discussion about those statements.

Rules should only be for a society like ours, the immature society, where a majority doesn't know right from wrong and don't really care, a minority are selfish and will use this freedom to push their own agendas and manipulate the majority...that is where Rules, absolute rules are required. True, rules mute down the extreme 20% of the spectrum, because of these rules the progress of society will be slowed down, because those extreme thoughts are the ones which change the world, but even though the process will be slow, it will be steady, it will not be a roller coaster right which will leave many hurt and dead.

Some more things:
Is use of violence justified, well before you ask that, ask why does someone resort to violence. Simply because what they want to say is not being heard...because their voices are so weak, that its easy to ignore them. And they haven't been heard for a long time...and so the only resort for them is violence, to ensure that attention is paid to what they are saying.
This simply points to a failure of democracy, where smaller, weaker groups are not heard. If the democratic mechanisms were efficient and effective, every small problem was heard, and a reasonable answer given to it, this wouldn't really have been a problem.

Defamation cases - I don't think you can file a defamation case against someone just because they said something against you, i think you should only be able to file a defamation case if you know that the other person didn't have enough information to say what they said, or they don't really care about it, but made a cavalier comment to piggy back on the news it creates.

Never should we take away the right to criticize. It will make the world a easier place to live in the short term, with everyone just praising everyone or staying quiet, but in the longer run, it will make our world static. Most of the changes come out of criticisms...specially the slow ones. There are few big bang idea led changes. If you don't let anyone criticize, the creators are always gonna think their creations are perfect and will never want to change.

A lot of this becomes very clear if you read what Osho has said. Freedom with responsibility, experience something before commenting on it, slow inborn change...are all fundas from Osho.

Also can't find the recording of the debate online, but some of the comments in the post are attributed to or refer to what was said in there. Like India not being a mature country, like the fact that we have very good democratic mechanisms (on paper at least) but the people not keep pace with them.

And also i love the fact that more and more people are talking about 'the idea of India'...we really need to understand what our country stands for. we have all learn it in Civics, but do we really understand it, do we really care about it.