Musing of a verbose mind. It borders on all that takes a skeptical and highly critical view of whatever is happening or has happened in our world..... do read it and post your comments..... discourse is welcome.....

Pictures speak a thousand words.....

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Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | By Gautam | In

Serene. Tranquil. Placid. The pictures pretty much sum up the mood I'm in. Monsoons are great. Wish they could stay here forever and ever and ever..... Look at the life that they bring to the parched earth, the dying trees and our moods too.....






The clouds in the following pics..... seems like they all have a story to tell..... their mood changing with every passing second..... calm now, rage flowing a few seconds later.....






Presentations.....

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Posted on Monday, July 27, 2009 | By Gautam | In


Numb. Comfortably numb. Estranged. Jeopardy. Double jeopardy. Good. Bad. Ugly. Butterflies in the stomach. Dumbfounded. Bored. Stuck. Damage. Collateral damage. Egos. Hurt egos.

No. I'm not just writing some incoherent set of words or pouring the psychotic blabbering of a frustrated mind (although I'm a bit frustrated, but you can blame it on the jet, err train lag). These have a very critical bearing on all of us who are in a presentation. Doesn't matter which side you belong to. These words suffice the mood in the room.

The presenter is too scared. The crowd is too bored or too anxious. But be rest assured, the 'too' tag is utterly (butterly) justified. All but extreme behaviour rules the roost during a presentation.

Your palms are sweating. You're playing with your ring/pen. Butterflies (big ones) are having a field day in your stomach. Helplessness has conquered your senses. You wish you weren't there. The audience is busy in their own chores. Some are listening, some even jotting down something. Some look simply unimpressed, bored, even yawning. And you are on the podium akin to the sacrificial lamb who will be sacrificed any moment now. The presentation is finally over but your tension is far from over. Now you'll have to face the volley of questions the audience has for you (provided if they were listening). Some of your friends use it as an opportunity to have their share of fun by making you uncomfortable. Your frenimies were waiting for this day and this day only for some time now. And at last its all over. Some claim victory, some are devastated, some disillusioned while some just laugh it over. Complete entertainment.

Many of us have been privy to this sick thing called presentation. Sometimes on the podium and sometimes in the audience. And most of you will concur with me that the vivid description that you just visualised (courtesy- your truly) is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Yet we have presentations galore.

Do we really need presentations??? I guess we do. It satisfies the hedonist inside us. Ponder over it.

Power point????? Far from it.

History......

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Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 | By Gautam | In


History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.


It is not "history" which uses men as a means of achieving -- as if it were an individual person -- its own ends. History is nothing but the activity of men in pursuit of their ends.


History does nothing; it does not possess immense riches, it does not fight battles. It is men, real, living, who do all this.

-Karl Marx

VIP- Very Irritating Person

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Posted on Sunday, July 19, 2009 | By Gautam | In ,

VIP. Very 'Important' Person. It's a new species of humans altogether who are supposedly superior to all the other humans on the face of this earth who are, well, un-important. Or how else does one explain the 'important' tag that is fixed to a privileged few. I was told as a kid that India is a democracy. A few days ago, I checked the status of our country and it confirmed that we still are a democracy. Democracy you say? Well then what's up with this VIP crap???

As the case is with most of us in the school, I too was poor in a subject called civics. But I'd studied enough of the dreaded subject to know that our constitution assumes every citizen of India to be having the same set of fundamental rights, bound by the same set of duties and governed by the same set of laws. Yes, I've written the 'constitution assumes' because had everyone been equal, we wouldn't have a relic of the feudal past where some citizens would be important and others, well they'll be citizens who would be law abiding, who would be paying the taxes on time but still wouldn't be important.

The whole concept of VIP is highly contradictory to a democratic setup, its even blasphemous if you consider the constitution, the state and your freedom to be holy. As soon as you accept someone to be important and dole out the state's services to him/ her on a silver platter, you are doing dis-service to all the other citizens of the country who are and maybe more patriotic than your VIP.

What does a VIP in India do other than blocking the traffic for hours altogether, enjoying a state's hospitality for free, a police escort and a motorcade full with his/ her cronies, spouse, children and whatever else can be cramped in.

As a kid we all have seen movies where the now clich├ęd zamindaar (the feudal lord) would be greeted by people who would fall on his feet. The same scene is repeated now, even after 60 years of freedom when the state bends backwards to accommodate these so called important people.

Feudalism is not dead still.....

Gimme back my TV.....

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Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 | By Gautam | In


Couch potatoes of the world!!! Unite!!!

Such should be the war-cry of all the lesser organisms of the world who have been shunned, branded lazy and what not by this cruel world which cannot see the happy faces of all the channel surfing men and women who wield the remote, decide the TRP ratings and thus the advertisement revenues of the television channel. But even after taking on this thankless and arduous task of spending numerous hours before the television screen, what do we get??? Nothing!!! Absolutely nothing.....

Oh wait, we do get something. We get betrayed by these television channels. Why am I so serious and making such a hue and cry at a time when there seems to be no terror attack or an under-construction bridge falling or China attacking? Well there is a reason.

Switch on your TV sets. Come on do it! Switch to any news or music or sports or movie channel. Do you see something wrong? Ah! I forgot. How could you with all those long hours before the idiot box affecting your otherwise hawkish view.

What I'm talking about is the encroachment of the viewing area with all those flashes, logos, tickers & advertisements rolling while a programme is still on.
  • The news channels- well the anchor's pretty face is barely visible what with the screen being filled up from all sides.
  • Sports channels- we now have a ticker running at the bottom of the screen with a big logo of the channel. Couple it with ads running in between bowls being bowled. And yes, the hunger for more ad-revenue sometimes eats up a bowl or two during a cricket match.
  • Movie/ Music channels- they too suffer from this new bug called a ticker. Looks like it'll be a quintessential part of TV viewing now. Agreed when a film in wide screen format is being telecast, one can bear some. But something moving on your screen (other than the actors) while Captain Jack Sparrow fights off Davy Jones pisses me off big time.
  • Family Channels- well if you have the courage to sit and watch all those saas-bahu shows (for which you'll be nominated for a Red & White Bravery award), you'll find that they too have been pervaded by the same malice.
The part in all this is that the content quality of channels is progressively going down. The number of ads being taken is progressively rising up. And we are actually paying to watch all the crap being doled out along with reduced screen area and ads.

What the duck!!!

Power cuts not so bad after all.....

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Posted on Sunday, July 12, 2009 | By Gautam | In


"Oh! The power's gone!!!"

And with this starts our raving and ranting and cursing and bad-mouthing the utility companies, the government, the system and pretty much anything upon which we can take out our frustration on! With the advent of April till August (in some cases much beyond than this), the dreaded power cuts start to materialise. Like a Ginnie out of a bottle. A gift to us by the power companies. With the temperature soaring in these months, the frequency of power cuts also goes up, charting unprecedented heights as the power cut hours break new records each year. For some, it has become a way or a part of their lives. For some, it helps keep track of time coz whether or not we like it, the religious audacity which is followed in executing the cuts on time will put even the British Generals to shame. Maybe all of us who need a lesson in punctuality can take a leaf out of this!!! Indian Railways and many other government offices can learn from the power company executives.

But this is not quite the motive with which I sat down to write this blog. There is, well an ignored side to all the power cuts which we hate so much because we're so very engrossed in the worldly pleasures which require electricity to run. Here is a list which will try to list out the positives of cuts-
  • Save Money- what with all those long hours without electricity, your ACs and TVs and computers and what not of this world are dis-functional. The electricity bill which sends you those high voltage shocks are a bit benign. Thanks to those equipments not working.
  • Eco-friendly- seriously, with all those coal powered generators getting a breather due to the power cuts, you can proudly wear the badge of being eco-friendly!!!
  • Lesser spam- what do I do when I'm using my computer? I tweet or nudge or poke or scrap or blog (like right now) and spam the cyber space with all those terabytes of data. So do most of the people. So now with a power cut, all those over-worked servers can take a breather.
  • Quality time- with a power cut, we tend to point our verbal guns towards our family, friends (in short, whoever's around). It lets you connect to your near and dear ones. With a cut during night time, one can even enjoy a candle lit dinner.

See, a power cut isn't such a bad thing after all. It has so many inherent qualities which we choose to ignore and desperately want to become a developed nation with no power cuts. Shame on us. We should thank our planners in the executive with such visionary skills.

Long live, err continue the power cuts.....

Dry state bleeding.....

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Posted on Thursday, July 09, 2009 | By Gautam | In


We all know that Gujarat is a dry state. We all know this too well that assuming no one in Gujarat wants to booze is quixotic. Then why does the Chief Minister of Gujarat wants to ban the sale of liquor??? Why this moral policing on the state subjects??? This question becomes all too pertinent in the wake of the recent hooch tragedy wherein at least 76 people have succumbed to spurious liquor. Don't know how many more would be engulfed.

Liquor is bad. It breaks off families. It is the root cause of many a social evil. And much much more. We all have been taught this since time immemorial. Ministers galore have bashed boozing. Some have even walked the extra mile to even ban it. But they forget one important fact- that liquor alone fills the state coffers. Much like the sale of tobacco. Men are fallible. And many a men have fallen for it and wasted off their lives and the lives of even their loved ones.

But do these acts of some merit the reason for banning liquor and in turn be incomprehensibly indifferent to a section of society which enjoys it responsibly??? Utterly wrong. It would be like banning driving because some are rash drivers.

Also a dry state is a misnomer. An oxymoron. Look at Gujarat. Do you really think its dry as in dry??? Well you'll be wrong if you do. States like Rajasthan, MP and Maharashtra are the ones which harbour liquor smugglers. And hooch??? Well spurious liquor is a reality. The states may turn a blind eye to its existence but incidents like these surface every now and then killing many (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/dry-state-gujarat-reels-under-hooch-tragedy/96745-3.html?from=rssfeed).

Its better to let the subjects have what they want- liquor. Regulate its sale. And please please please curb the sale of hooch. Or else the hiccups will not be of the one's intoxicated but those of the chief minister.....

The Fourth Pillar of Democracy- RIP....

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Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2009 | By Gautam | In


The day of July 3rd. Times of India carrying almost half a page of coverage of section 377 of IPC being declared illegal by the Delhi High Court on the first page with more news and editorial material on the inside pages. What do I infer about the newspaper? That it supports a libertarian point of view and wants India to move forward without being souped up in trivial matters. The scene was totally different for Rajasthan Patrika, a vernacular newspaper which prides itself in being the most widely read newspaper in Rajasthan. The same news found space, but only on the 8th page and that too for a space of almost 2 square inches!!! Instead it carried the viewpoints of two distinguished personas condemning the ruling on the same page with more newsprint and ink devoted. Journalism and how???!!

Newspapers are called the fourth pillar of any democracy. Or so we thought. More and more newspapers have started to take sides and/ or publish news that they deem is correct and suitable for their readers. The editors, those intellectually superior beings, are happy towing the line the owners of the newspapers take. Not for one second thinking about their duty towards building a better society, their duty towards democracy. TV news channels had for long become victims of sensationalism, vulgarity and doling out trivial news. Their print cousins are simply following suit.

Gone are the days when one Mr. Ramnath Goenka decided to publish blank pages of The Indian Express to show his solitude towards the Indian Constitution and its people. And oppose the dictatorial emergency in India with Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi at the helm.

Its a sad state of affairs when newspapers are trying to push forward their morality on their readers without reporting the facts in an appropriate manner and letting the reader make an informed decision. This tendency is seen more in vernacular newspapers rather than their english cousins.

Journalism seems to be dead. The fourth pillar of democracy- Rest in Peace.....

Section 377- going going gone!!!

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Posted on Thursday, July 02, 2009 | By Gautam | In , , ,


I'm no gay or lesbian rights activist. I'm not interested in the sexual allegiances of people either. What happens in the bedroom, stays in the bedroom! But the erstwhile British Raj made it a point to wrap on the moral veil and tell the subjects how to behave in their bedrooms. Free India decided to ctrl+c and ctrl+v the draconian laws and hence Section 377 of the IPC was also carried forward as a raj hangover. We're in desperate need of customized laws that reflect the sensibilities of India and not that of some colonial ruler. The funniest part is that Britain has long done away with these inhuman and discriminatory laws.

The worst part of 377 is that it gives even the highly competent constables (due pun intended) of Indian Police to detain people of same sex on the charges of sodomy, even if they're holding hands in the public.

Being gay does not make anyone inhuman or straight people highly humane. On the contrary, people who consider themselves as straight are the one's discriminating, launching violent attacks against gay people.

And as I've already said, the government has no right to interfere into and encroach upon our privacy by peeking into our bedrooms. Sure, religious leaders and moral police will take their stand against this development calling it as unnatural and all but I hope that these developments are irreversible.

God made humans with free will everyone has the the right to exercise his own free will. Period.

Will the so called 'keepers of the society' please shut up???