Friday, February 22, 2013

Life of I

I was born
Raised as Hindu
Then a Brahmin
Was a student
Taught that I am an Indian
I became educated
I became rich
Still I wasn't done
I became a simple man
A patriot
Environmentalist
Humble guy
The pragmatist
The game wasn't over
Then a hesitant voice
From within asked
Who is this I.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Violence and you

What can be more disturbing than the sight of a graphic violence?  How can the picture of a 14-year old chubby kid munching chocolate disturb me?  Believe me, it disturbed me and it would disturb you.   The kid was killed a few minutes later, shot point blank.  The information that the boy was killed and picture of him nonchalantly eating a piece of chocolate troubled me like anything.

I can't name the feeling, for naming it would be to run away from facing it.  The feeling stays there, like a bad food troubling your stomach.  Let it linger for a few minutes; this is real.  This feeling is real.  The information is just information, it is not my experience.  I can make believe that it my experience, I can feel like a boy facing guns.  I'd be as helpless as I'm right now.

Like the boy facing the gun, like the girl teased by a bunch of goons in a Delhi bus, I'm helpless.  You are helpless.  Let us not run away from this feeling.  Let's not wear the hat of a cold judge and lecture about strong punishments.  Nor do we wear the hat of a saint or a human rights activist and preach mercy.  That's running away from the reality - the reality that we are helpless.

Experience it, experience it fully.   Then, with a clear mind let's take to the action.  The action is driven by what you can.  At the very least, you as an individual, can start to respect life - not just human lives; you can respect women - not just a motherly woman, but can also respect someone that you'd have never respected in your so-called life.  You, as a parent can influence your children on these lines.  You may become the upholder of justice who wouldn't spare a culprit even if they are the kith and kin, you may become a saint who can forgive the worst offender  - these are all possibilities.

What is real is what you experience, here and now.