A Waste of talent and opportunity – Maybe Shobhaa De was right about the Olympics

Rio slums favelas Olympics
The slums of Rio, in sharp contrast to the excesses of the Olympics.
Source : adventuresofjk.com

Jackie Collins (1937-2015) was an author popularly known as the “queen of trash literature”.

After initially acting in British B-movies, she went on to write thirty-two novels about sex, infidelity and gold digging socialite adulteresses who usually fell for gangsters. Her writings were called “nasty, filthy and disgusting” and she was charged with “creating every pervert in Britain”.

Moving on to a certain Shobhaa De’s Wikipedia profile:

Shobha Rajadhyaksha also known as Shobhaa De (born 7 January 1948), is an Indian columnist and novelist. De is best known for her depiction of socialites and sex in her works of fiction, for which she has come to be known as the “Jackie Collins of India”.

Now here’s what India’s own habitué of rich people’s literature-viagra had to say about the 2016 Rio Olympics:

Okay, Ms.De’s elevator doesn’t quite go up to the top floor, it’s probably dust and cobwebs up there. 

But still, she might be right about the Olympics being a waste of money and opportunity. Her statement would have been more dangerous and on-point if it weren’t accompanied by her room temperature level IQ.

The Olympics have always left a trail of bankruptcy, abandoned venues, and cost overruns. Be it London, Athens, Rio or even Tokyo.

London

General societal message: “Good evening Mr.Bond” said Queen Elizabeth, as the London Olympics painted a success story which will stay in the minds of people across generations.

Reality: Organizers of the 2012 London Olympics made a £53m loss in the 18 month period to the end of September last year, official accounts show. There were unsold tickets of a quarter of a million and a drop in the number of visitors, along with the slowest sales growth numbers in all of that year.

Athens

General societal opinion: The Olympics went back to its birthplace. A tradition was revived, sanctity was restored. Something along these lines.

Reality: A well-cooked goose moussaka amounting to $356 billion. 

Rio

General societal opinion: The mayor of Rio called the recently completed Olympics “a success”. He also did some sort of victory lap while the announcement. I hope he had ample water and energy drinks.

Reality: Between 70,000 and 90,000 evacuated. Charges of rampant corruption and fear of water pollution and Zika attacks. 

Tokyo

General societal opinion: Super Mario, shocking Shinzo Abe cameo and LED box like things. Obrigado Arigato.

Reality: Cost overrun by more than 100%, from eight to fifteen billion dollars.Plagiarism allegations over the official Tokyo Olympics logo, and abandoning of a two billion dollar stadium investment. Oopsie already.

More than two million people have been forcibly evicted or displaced as a part of the Olympics between 1988 and 2008. The event has never been conducted within budgeted cost, since 1960.

The Olympics have always been a mess. The glamorous medals and the awe-inspiring closing ceremonies will never justify all the foolish decisions that were made along the way.

The mountains of cash that could have been used for other practical pursuits, instead of this:

The Olympics, what a waste of money and opportunity.

Fish

Fish

“We’re all like fish, you know”

Dhananjay’s legs dangled down from the dam, water rushing beneath his feet in white frothy rage.
The dam was one of his favourite haunts since his school days. He would pick up Suresh from his house and they both would take turns cycling through the bumpy road as the other one sat on the front bar.

They used to come here for the freshly fried river fish, forgetting the tiredness of school hours as their aching
calves pushed on for one last stretch of cycling.

To Dhananjay and Suresh, the dam was worth the cramped up leg muscles.
And now here they were, middle-aged men who still hadn’t missed a beat from their childhood bonhomie.

It wasn’t just fried fish nowadays,Dhananjay brought the glasses and Suresh had the liquor.

They found solace with a glass and a ciggie in each hand. The weekly visit to the dam gave them bigger fish to
fry.

“We’re all like fish, you know”

Said Dhananjay as he ashed his cigarette into the rushing water below. Suresh was no further behind, always
ready with a sarcastic comment.

“We’re always drinking till our ears leak and flopping around when on land, is that why?”

“Ever seen a goldfish?… The ones living in the fancy bowls”

Dhananjay was immune to sarcasm. His total lack of humour wasn’t because of the alcohol. He treated life as
one big staring contest even when sober.

“Yeah what about them?”

“How would the world look like to them.What runs through their minds when it rains food once every two
hours, what is the level of understanding they have of this world?”

“Looks like I’ll have to do the driving tonight”

Suresh was not into conversations about goldfishes. But he knew there was no stopping Dhananjay at this point.
The floodgates were opened. Sitting back and listening was the only thing he could do.

“Let’s just say a goldfish is not aware of the fact that there is a bigger world than the tank it lives in.Whatever it
understands is confined to that small tank. It has no idea of how life works, and it associates every single
positive or negative act in its life to fate or..”

“God”

Suresh sat straight, the conversation was taking shape into something comprehensible.But comprehensible is
not always coherent, thus came out the question

“But if the goldfish is us..and by what you say, we’re all seeing and feeling things just because someone bigger
than us makes us to, doesn’t it make that person God? And what would be the purpose behind all this?”

He swept his hand across the surroundings, cigarette in hand as if implying the dam, the water and all the
people in them were somehow meant to be purposeful creations by God himself.

“There is no purpose! Don’t you see!”

Whatever general morbidity that was a part of Dhananjay, was lost in the budding excitement of this
conversation.
“Why would you raise a goldfish or a colony of ants for that matter… And give it a purpose? Would you not
give it a free hand instead of.. somehow trying to give it a convoluted clusterfuck to find it’s life in?!’

Suresh had no choice but to cut him off, Dhan was never one to swear on instinct.
“Okay! Okay man, let’s dumb it down a bit.What are you trying to tell me? What has the goldfish to do with
anything?”

“Okay let me simplify things”
“The God we speak of has no reason to bring in any rules. There is no holy scripture. There is no instruction
manual to our birth.We have an open canvas and we have the right to live…”
“Uhh… Dhan..”

Suresh cut him off again, but this time, he had a clear reason.

The conversation had continued till late night, and the cops had begun to clear the dam of night crawlers and
drunkards. And since they both were holding their own share of alcohol, Suresh and Dhananjay naturally
dropped their bottles and cigarettes upon the sight of the police constable and began to walk inconspiciously
towards the their bikes, hoping the law doesn’t sniff out their dose of booze.

“Okay.. tell it to me in short”
Suresh whispered under his breath as they walked past the police officer standing menacingly with his lathi.

“Tell you what?”

“Tell me what you meant by all this?”

“What I meant was, that there are no rules!”

“Then why are we afraid of the policeman?”

“Because he doesn’t know about the goldfish, and also because we’re about to drink and drive”

Intellectual Debate Dinner Table

TO-Logo-headerlogo

Opinions?

My last fling with contributing towards this site was eye opening, and also fun.

So here I am, furiously searching for topics to write on. Topics that are viral, the ‘in-things’ people want to read about. Topics which befit Prajnesh Karthic’s opening article for The Opinion.

From writing about the sadness of all the rape and the raging forest fires, to the sheer nonsense of alleged Hrithik-Kangna interactions, and the amazing combination of sadness and celebrity drama that is the Panama papers.

My shelf in The Opinion’s liquor cabinet was more or less empty and I had the power to fill it with either hard hitting booze, or cheaply brewed bubbly. But with great power comes great confusion, and a great deal of time spent staring at a blank word document.

And there came a point when my topic or the lack of it, became my talking point.

What constitutes my opinion? If I can write about anything, how would I write about things in a way dear to me?

How complicated, or how carefully constructed should my thought train be for it to translate into a well written article?

I am told that people can hold any kind of opinion, and that everybody is entitled to one. I have no idea about the vastness and the capabilities of my entitlement, but I intend in fully finding out.

So,

Welcome to TheOpinion.in, I hope to learn more about you and your opinions. You will get to know about mine.

Dear reader, this website will be our intellectual debate dinner date.

Lots of love,

XOXO

Prajnesh Karthic.

Opposable Thumbs, Not the Only Qualification

Monkey

A Prison For Your Spirituality

29th May. 2014.My birthday came by and I was taking in calls from all those people who remembered.

There was this certain well wisher who couldn’t make it to meet me in person as planned before, so naturally some time was spent discussing my birthday itinerary with said well wisher.

My birthday plans didn’t include the obvious early morning trip to a nearby temple, as I have never been a “Ummachi kaapathu” person before. But I was asked to visit god’s place at least this one time in my life, asked in a rather   firm way I must add.

So the resident god-house near my place of stay was an Aanjaneyar Temple in Mambalam,Chennai.

God was supposed to exist in every object of the universe and yet I had to go to Mambalam now to meet up with him. Completely acceptable logic to me .

So I went there to the monkey gods shrine, and since I didn’t know the standard procedure to take in the holiness of a place, I started looking for the prasadam stall.

After a few seconds of looking around, I found what I was looking for and found something else along with it too.

The temple boys had a monkey tied to the base of the prasadam table, maybe as a symbol of the deity they believe in. The monkey was suddenly the recipient of my curiosity, and believe me when I say I have unbound curiosity.

The monkey didn’t mind me at all, staring at me just as it had stared blankly at the countless visitors before me. There was a simple hemp rope attached to it’s right leg and the weight of the table above the rope inhibited my new friend’s movement.

I considered the monkey to be my newly met friend now, and tying the legs of my friends doesn’t sit well with me at all. So I removed the rope from it’s vestiges and both my friend and my curiosity were unbound now at the same time.

The table was not weighing down on him, the rope around it’s leg was now a useless piece and he could go anywhere he wanted to in all of west Mambalam.

Yet the monkey did not move.

The stare which greeted me when I first met him, was still painted across his face. He had no wish to be wild and free just like he was meant to be. Pretty content with scraps of food offered by god, he didn’t care to return to his normal monkey mindset.I realized that, according to him I was just an annoying brat on his birthday adventure.

That my people, is a narrative that fits even us greater simians. There are too many of us with beautiful minds in this world, only to have the beauty curtailed by the dogma of religious beliefs.

Religion is the thing standing between us and God. Isn’t that such a funny statement to make?

Religion, as opposed to it’s initial purpose of acting as the ladder to reach the almighty, has now become the mountain one needs to climb to overcome the burdens acting on one’s individuality.

The rope around your leg is growing tighter, and you are becoming less aware of your own capabilities.

It’s time to answer a small question. So, what type of monkey do you want to be?

Does it Even Really Matter?

Sex

Does it Even Really Matter?

I am supposed to be warning you that the following discussion is not safe for women, children and minors.

But here’s what I’ll tell you instead;

The discussion is not safe for people who aren’t open minded. (honest question,why is this topic taboo anyway?)

Sex.

Here, I said the word. And nothing happened, nobody punished me or anything. It is just like every other word. You just try saying it out and tell me if it feels any different.

This blog post is not going to be spicy (boo!). Nor is it going to be educational (yaay!). I am writing all this to know why sexuality is not looked upon as a personal preference but remains a topic which is only analysed in our imaginations.

There is no need to be discriminatory to a person just based on his/her sexuality, imagine somebody who wont let you sit next to them in a bus because you are wearing the wrong brand of jeans.

A person’s sexual preferences, just like a brand of jeans, remain his own choice which he doesn’t need to answer to anyone about.

In the country I live in, homosexuality is a myth which doesn’t exist, a disease which has been cured.

We try to make issues magically disappear by ignoring them.

It is a concept which most of us don’t understand, but that doesn’t mean it is a sin. Our ignorance of homosexuality is based on some points which really have to be discussed.

Our Laws:

Article 377 basically says that homosexuality is wrong while it really isn’t. Do we have a law which says sexual relations between a man and a woman is perfectly legal? We don’t.

Then why do we take up the responsibility of interfering with the private preferences of another set of human beings when it doesn’t really threaten us?. Here’s why:

We are afraid of differences.

Differences threaten us, they take us away from that orderly cocoon we built for ourselves.

A homosexual person is considered wrong not because we are under threat due to said person, it is because our cocoon gets threatened when it knows about such people.

We are scared, and that social fear translates to such laws which protect our un-informativeness.

Calling out “ah, gayyy!” at someone is not really funny. Even if #social #media tells you otherwise.

There are evil straight people and good gay people in this world. They are termed evil/good because of their sexuality deeds.

P.S: If god hated gay people as some of you claim, he wouldn’t have created them in the first place. So stop acting as if you have inside information on god’s opinion.

P.P.S: I am a straight person.