Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Reading China through "Dictator's handbook"

Can China exist as a democracy? Is it even possible? If it can't sustain as a democracy, what makes the single party factory-of-the-world system so special to ensure evolution rather than revolutions? Perhaps the 'dictator's handbook' can answer that question better.

Today I was listening to the podcast "Intelligence squared", as I do with every evening walk from my office to home. The motion was that democracy perhaps is not suited for China. I thought that debate is preposterous - say that to an Uighur peasant or a miner dying of lung cancer or an indentured labourer at any of the big electronic companies. He/she will tell you the answer.
What I was most interested by was the recurring rhetoric about the economic miracle of China, that this kind of economic growth is unprecedented. That it single-handedly brought 70% of world's out-of-poverty transformations.
So on the one hand of the debate, there was this sweeping generalisation - economic prosperity…

Love/ trust OR power

In any relationship, there are only every two possible operating conditions - Trust/ Love Or Power. You need to have either of these two things in a relationship for your own good. If you have neither, its best to walk away if you can. If not, the second best thing is to gather strength to fight for respect.
Any relationship is either based on trust based cooperation or competition for power. If you are lucky, your life will get entangled with a person who respects you and has your best interest in mind. The second possibility is that the  relationships turn into a game of power - where there are daily skirmishes to gain a leverage between the parties.
But both these types of relationships have some sort of balance between the partners. The first is where the presence of love/ trust creates a nurturing atmosphere for both the parties. The second is where there might not be love, but at least there is give and take - some sort of equality in power, some measure of respect.

But sadly, …

About concerns

1500 children have died in Ashram schools in last decade in Maharashtra. 
Out of the countless atrocities, 16 brave women came forward to tell harrowing tales of sexual exploitation by state sponsored terrorists.

These are two of the news stories that appeared in media yesterday. I got to know of them, because I recently put a Google Alert to 'adivasi'. (Because mainstream media simply does not 'cover' their lives) Otherwise, I would have not known about them as well. What if the 1500 children were not adivasis in remote Maharashtra - what if they were from affluent households in south Mumbai. How big the news event would have been then?

We are as primitive in our worldviews, if not more, as our manu time ancestors and their patriarchal power games. We have not evolved one bit. Time in its passing throws up one revolutionary after another - Phule, Ambedkar - but even these giants can't illuminate the apathetic darkness of humanity's soul for long. All that can …

The nature of corruption and the blue pill Mr. Modi offers in return

"Surgical strikes" of Mr. Modi Mr. Modi loves the metaphor of surgical strike - precise, effective, absolute. If surgeries are for flesh-and-bones bodies of living beings, the surgical strikes that Mr. Modi likes to unleash on are bodies of 'terrorism', 'corruption','poverty' etc.
In a physical body, a 'surgical strike' can be contained. The target and the weapon is definite and known. The cause-effect are immediately visible. The metaphor loses its meaning when you try to use it on conceptually elastic exchanges such as terrorism and corruption. What I mean by conceptually elastic is - terrorism or corruption are fairly fluid in their meaning and depends on who is defining whom as being a terrorist or corrupt. 'Corruption' or 'Terrorism' is not a thing or a person that we can see, smell, touch. It exists between people as an exchange.

Take for example the concept of "Terrorism" State sponsored terrorism is called n…

There's an idea in the soap sud

Grooming is magical.
I am not talking about hygiene here. I am talking about the fantastic ability of our minds to groom its thoughts while we groom our bodies. It is as if there are switches on our bodies - on the scalp, on tooth, on the skin. As water falls/ razor shears/ tooth brushes on these switches, the mind wakes up an army of little switchboard operators in our heads. These little people get busy connecting all the ideas that lay flaying unconnected, unrecognised so far. And while we stare at ourselves stupidly in mirrors/ at soap suds/ at the objective zero (our own personal abyss our thoughts sometimes gets lost in), a fresh new thought bubbles out of that stupor, like a ray of sun piercing a dark cloud. And it is these thoughts that truly wake you up. They wake you up to a new reality, a new perspective, an obvious truth, a solution to problem that was grinding down our lives and we didn't even know that it was.
Eureka!
And now you can walk confident in the day, unaf…

the momentum

So here's the thing - writing blogs is atleast ten times easier than writing a cohesive and engaging story. I am writing a series these days. Series because I am still not confident about writing one long novel (or even novella) sized story. I am starting small with small stories that are united by one context. Anyways, the point is, once I thought of the idea, I wrote the first two stories fairly quickly. I was 'in the flow'. I wrote it when I was busy at work and home too. 3-4 projects at work, chores at home and yet I could write these stories fairly quickly. Now I have the idea for the third and fourth (and a complete new set of ideas for another series), but I simply have not written 'anything' in the last two months. I have been less  busy at work in this time, and home chores are now more manageable now that we are settled in a routine. Yet, I struggle.
One of the reasons for it taking that long is my lack of confidence in the subject matter. I spent consi…

I am a writer

There. said it. This should force me to do it everyday. 

Recently, I decided to 'become' a writer. By this I mean, being more committed to write things that build up to something. As against, random posts here and other blogs. (this blog was, among other things, once called 'Repository of random hearts'.) I want to write stories, novels and useful thought-through articles. I want to write because I believe there is a shocking paucity of 'utopias' and ideas of future of humanity currently in popular imagination. I think I have the imagination and the ability to dream of better futures for us that we can use to then achieve. Action starts with ideas. Unfortunately, most ideas these days are either dystopian (Look at all the hollywood movies these days. The world is forever ending it seems. Or worldwide trends - right wing xenophobia, a sense of overwhelming inevitability of capitalism.) or very narrow minded (Look at tech - of all the things that are possible w…

Dance freely

Love the way people dance in this video.
Look at the women especially. So beautiful, so joyful, so full of life. Their movements come so easy to them - Like a leaf flows with breeze, their bodies move to rhythm - with a happy natural suppleness.  (Well, the song that plays is different from the original to which they danced, but you may check out the original).
It is as if they have turned their bodies into superconductors of happiness and joy - joy runs through their bodies with no hesitation or pretense or opposition.
The others around them are not necessarily moving along in the same way, but they instinctively make space for each other, instinctively anticipating each other's moves.  They move individually, true to themselves, but in step with everyone. It is amazing how individualities can exist even when you are fused in a collective. Plugged-in to the collective energy of convivial togetherness, yet alive with unique expressions of the same energy.
As against the so calle…