Saturday, 20 October 2012

Multi-tasking and the art of balance : a comic thesis of existence.

I think all women need to be given multiple arms and legs.....
This way we can do all that we do and avoid getting our joints out of place and those cricks in our neck,  tennis elbows and writers wrists,  dark circles from sleep deprivation and the rest of those aches and pains, as we dash about trying to balance many universes all within one orbit!

When anyone phones me and asks me "are you free?" I am always rather perplexed and never know what answer to give. I am often doing my step-aerobic style up-two-down-two in my studio, on varying size tables that are my portable ladder inventions as I wobble my fat little five-foot self attempting to reach corners of my painting. I feel convinced that my cat sits and watches me hoping to see me do a humpty-dumpty act for her entertainment! 

I must be going a little loony too these days because my great source of self entertainment is to play back a video I took of myself illustrating a problem I had with my MacBook Pro to show to the engineer at the the I store. It is so hilarious as I enunciate each word, and fumble through a demo of what I believe is the problem. It has me rolling on the ground with laughter .... ! Well at least I feel one up on my cat because she can't figure out what all this solitary mirth is all about as she disdainfully opens one eye to squint at me with due reproach for such seemingly unbecoming behaviour!

The overloaded hand bag....this trope of survival has the world and more in it always.....! It is meant to be my remote control to order. However the gods of order must be conspiring against  me as I frantically search for things that should have been in the handbag. Opening cupboards and closing them as though I am changing into a performance artist in the fifth decade of my life, I search high and low for things that I firmly believe have legs of their own; often to find them in places I cannot recall ever putting them!!! My memory of course is like a sieve for the more mundane factors of everyday living; which would not matter at all if I was up on a mountain  alone!

Its a nice thought that mountain idea.

The only thing is that Surendran has booked his space on the summit before me!!!!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A candle in the wind : Malala Yousafsai.

I have not postponed writing about Malala Yousafsai, the brave and courageous teenage activist from Pakistan, because I was so outraged and horrified that I could not trust myself to write with any coherence of thought, except pure rage at this barbaric inhuman attack.

The passing days have had me sending all my energies through every action that I do, to aid her spirit to fight and survive. I am haunted by the innocence of her eyes and the wisdom of her words, and notice that in fact her face bears a striking resemblance to Ann Frank.

Does one really need to explain the rights of education as an equal opportunity for all children in the 21st century? How does any religious belief condone a fourteen year old child being singled out for a deliberate execution-style assassination ? How do governments that claim to uphold democratic principles do so little about extremist organisations that flourish on their soil;  turning a blind eye to them controlling entire regions of a country where they exert their orthodox dictate over the people, subjugating them against their will to a life of fear and repression? Why do we lose our basic human instincts towards one another, turning bestial and savagely cruel, in order to exhibit our supremacy over others ? I have a million more question plus more that hold the perplexity of how a young girl could end up shot at point blank range because she dared to insist upon her right to education in her country.

Millions of people the world over await for Malala to survive this attack on her life. She has unwittingly become the face of freedom from tyranny and the voice that represents female empowerment, the world over. I can only hope that those like Imran Khan who talk about revamping Pakistan politics will sit up and do something substantial to demand that those who have committed this dastardly attack on Malala, are brought to book;  and serve a life sentence as a consequence of their actions.

However why does my heart and head both tell me this never will be the case, ever.?!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The media circus....but who's the real clown in all of this?!

Too many expose´s and sting operations become scams in themselves, perhaps.  And with the new adalat being the television channels that bring the mirch-masala and dirt of who-dun-it-worse into the homes of millions of Indians, you have "breaking news" like bad farts  leaving the pong of rubbish littered all over your brain.

Whether it is about  mango men or those wearing capsized paper-boats with carbon promises chaapofied  on their rather empty heads, at the end of the day the systemic failure is not being addressed.  Good governance that is transparent and accountable and that should work for the people of this country, is not going to be delivered via this circus. With TV channels and the print media so utterly dependent upon corporate sponsorship; who are we kidding about unbiased news when money dictates points of view in this country. Perhaps what is the real amusement from this charade of "we are cleaning up the system" is the embarrassment of the opposition who thought that the new crusaders of  the aam aadmi would be amicable to becoming their allies in the presumption that they had a "common" enemy! 

My disenchantment with the movement, India Against Corruption, came quite soon after its inception when Mr. Hazare propagated beating up any youth who consumed alcohol. The medieval righteousness of such thinking made it clearly obvious that his vision, well meaning at best, could not really provide India a new leadership of relevance regarding reforms. To offer policy advise to draft relevant bills against corruption or to sustain a movement to bring political changes through an electoral system. Perhaps what we got was the moment where collectively we could hold an idealistic dream.

Arvind Kejriwal on the other hand after parting ways with  Anna and his core team members, has a campaigners aggression that connects you to his cause. But he has yet not displayed a political manifesto that goes beyond the single point agenda of corruption. Laudable as this cause is, and essential as it maybe to purging the system of a great deal of rot; there are however larger issues that need to be tabulated  into a reform  strategy if an alternative leadership is being presented to the nation to be voted into power.

I am fast getting bored of the mere posturing of goodness.  Connecting electricity cables of defaulters does not suggest a roadmap that offers better law and order facilities, fast track courts, economic stability for the poor,  nor gender equality etc.

I don't want slogans any more.
I don't want endless press conferences that become slinging matches.
I want something more pertinent.

We know that almost every political party member covers up the personal muck of each other, including for those in parties that they are supposed to be warring against. We know this all too well. What we need therefore is for legal action to be taken when serious allegations of cover-ups are brought out into the public domain. Get on with this and not one probe after another that dies down, one inquiry after another that produces reports upon which no action is taken.

We have had the likes of Chandan Mitta who are elected by their parties into being spokespeople on their behalf, and who go from one channel show to the next  spewing forth their gibberish. He was one of the most strident voices  to denounce the secularity of an artist like M.F. Husain, which was to serve the communal agendas at play in politics during that era.

So what shall we say  dear friends ?

I think we will have more of the circus come to town don't you think;  and with it,  a gaggle of political clown all with their stupidity on show for us. Yesterday communal issues, today corruption tomorrow who knows....

TP ratings are what counts no...?

Hurrah! This is our shining India....!!!!

Monday, 1 October 2012

My Monday Thumbs down list...!

Every one talks of being stressed. Today in a conversation with a friend over the phone I was stumped by the laments  that poured out about the stress of success ! Today most often than not when you pose the common question about how life or work is getting on, one gets an immediate response of stress levels and complaints of how demanding work is! It set me thinking about how fickle we are about what we desire. For those of us who have pursued education and then the logical sequence of formulating a career to establish our independence and economic stability from our work endeavours, it would appear that being fully engaged with life becomes a bench mark of our  success, and not something to continuously complain about at all!

I personally feel that those who are genuinely successful aren't the ones who make a song and dance about how hard they work; because if work is demanding then we are able to test our capacity of delivering what in fact we trained or have opted to do as a job/vocation/service/venture....whatever. So why all the hoo-haaing about stress, may I ask?  Perhaps people feel that if they sound content and happy with their jobs/careers they may be considered as under-achievers. Whatever it is, I am putting the word "stress" on my current thumbs down list! It is frightfully boring to hear these repetitive laments for one, and it is a sure fire conversation concluder that you can pull out of the magic rabbits hat that dries up the lightness of social togetherness!

And what may be the way to de-stressing, may we ask.......?
Today the new chill-pill  is sitting for hours playing mindless games on one's mobile phone!!!!!
Surrounded by family and friends who like to play games on their phones,  I often end up as the bitch-witch who puts a no-no ban on such activities during family time. Television too can become addictive and make for anti-social time  as channel surfers go from one program to the next,  which pretty much shuts the door on  conversation! Creating the time and the space for communication in a family is imperative;  and with this world of gizmo gadgets and social media with its cyber chat rooms and twitter messages commanding the attention of many, it becomes a herculean task to plug in quality family time....but persist fiendishly!  I do so because I love the laughter and fun that family togetherness provides. Mithun and Samera along with our spiritual children and adopted grand-daughter Aditi brings to the family a interactiveness that is precious and unparallelled. I also believe that a world without human interdependence and truthful engagement is a selfish and insular world. So a thumbs down to mindless gaming and television surfing when in company, says the bitch-witch emphatically!

Another social horror is the bragging brigade of me and I make the universe syndrome! Bragging,  net-working in social spaces and name dropping are complete taboos and get two thumbs down from me. Utterly boring and taxing to say the least,   I wear a fixed smile that leaves me numb and semi paralysed facially for hours after such encounters. 

And then you get the insincere remarks that always zero in (excuse the pun) on body sizes!  How thin you have become is the typical remark you get seven days a week, from all and sundry! With an addition ten kg's that bounces around with me like a pesky child I would rather leave behind some where,  I am left wondering what prize reply I am expected to make that  can equal the level of insincerity! A thumbs down most definitely to the irksome drivel of the dumbo dumb-dumbs....! 

Well Baroda is catching on to the fake trade market which found me catching my own breath like a beached whale of sorts! I went to an exhibition that  boasted of 2nd and 12th century bronzes, original letters from lord Curzon, old maps, original manuscripts of Gandhiji  etc. Of course when I asked for the authenticity of those items that were on sale I was told they come from the grey market !!!! That many of these antiquities were fakes was obvious, but the most amusing aspect was that I was told that "Government of India authenticity certificates" accompanied some of the artifacts for sale!!! I guess the "collector " of these objects who was having this "sale" must have thought that Baroda was filled with rich idiots who can be conned!!! Thumbs down to fakes and phonies every sense of the word!!!!