A PVC Pipe, A Sickle and His Own Hands

Violence

I was returning home from office. I usually board the suburban train at a major crowded railway station. One such day while I was waiting for my train to arrive, all of a sudden people starting whispering among themselves, all of their gazes directed towards one corner of the platform. What I saw stunned me. Firstly I had never seen such shocking incidents happen in front my eyes. Secondly I despise being at places where such things happen.

A group of guys wearing completely unbearable and completely tarnished looking dresses each holding one weapon in his hand. His own hands being one of the weapons. As hundreds of people in the platform confusingly watched the much filmy incident unravel, one from the group hit the PVC pipe on some guy’s right hand, one fellow smashed unendurable blows right on the guy’s face and the other was holding huge sickle in his hand. Before anyone could realize that a group of men were attacking just ONE guy, they realized everyone watching them and in the wake of getting caught, ran away. The sickle had no work to do at least.

By then my train had arrived, I got in and while it slowly started to depart, I gazed at the boy holding the sickle. It was nerve-racking. Even if it feels like I am exaggerating it was indeed nerve-racking to watch him just hold the sickle. The boy looked not more than 20 years of age. I did not get a chance to look at the boy who was attacked.

While this is a first person encounter, I have heard hundred other stories of revenge drama, most of which could be made into movies. My village was once upon a time one of the most feared of places. Things have improved drastically at present. Just while I was feeling happy about how my village isn’t the way it was earlier, I heard a story of a group of men from my own village attacking a guy from nearby village. The guy who was attacked was last heard to be in ICU.

Besides the fact that almost 90% of such stories I hear involve boys, the fact that such mindless and imprudent brawls happen itself feels bitter. Having seen and heard so much about such violent incidents, a few questions arise, for which my pessimism in general shoots up to innumerable levels. When I try to contemplate over the possibility of positivity in resorting to such unlawful and unpleasant acts, I fail to find a proper positive reason. There isn’t any.

Although sometimes resorting to non-violence might also be insufficient to settle an issue, most of the times talking and settling things would lead to better and peaceful settlement. Violence is lawful only when there is threat to your life. You kill an ant since it brings you pain physically. You kill breeding mosquitoes because they are the source of diseases that are lethal. Again a physical threat. Violence can only be justified when you are at the receiving end of it.

Harvard University physiologist Walter Cannon coined a popularly obvious term Fight-for-Fight. His research shows that we are naturally and psychologically vested with instincts that help us “survive”. When we sense danger, Adrenaline is injected into our blood stream making our heart beat faster than usual making faster blood flow to muscles. At its extreme also considerably rare, a phenomenon called Hysterical Strength sets in giving us super-human abilities to get over the situation. Naturally human body is wired to enable survival.

You could resort to violence if not doing so is a threat to your own life. After all you are the most important being of your own self. Other wise resorting to violence just means things in you are wrong. When you hit someone without the fact that your life is under threat, such an act is not natural. You are just not wired to do that heinous act. Also not to mention violence is unlawful. I have nothing to opine about law. Law and justice has a long way to go before it breaches its own barrier of unlawfulness.

Next time when you resort to violence remember its is not the natural you.

How Oil and Nuclear Energy are Dictating the World?

Nuclear Power Plant

“Oil Politics is World Politics”, said someone near me while I was on a bus, travelling. The return journey had to be by train and obvious choice was to buy a newspaper to pass time. I did. Being much involved into economics and business after skimming through the headlines I turned back to the Business page. It read,”Crude oil prices hit all time high, Indian economy set to suffer a big blow”. Everything suddenly struck chord.

As a Chemical Engineering graduate I knew a bit of economics behind crude oil dictating the world economics. Let me try to explain it in layman terms.

The picture below is the ever humble demand-supply curve. The blue curve tells you that when the demand for quantity for a product decreases, the price of the product increases. The green curve tells you that when the quantity of supply of the product increases, the price of the product increases.

Demand-Supply

How are these curves related to crude oil price?

After an oil rig(Oil rigs drill into earth and extract crude oil) is build, the cost of production of crude remains the same whether the rig is operated at 100% of its capacity or 60% of that. When the demand for quantity of crude oil is low the producers of crude oil are forced to operate the rigs at a lower capacity but since the operating costs remain the same they are required to increase the price of crude oil produce to cover up the costs. Also when prices shoot up due to low demand for quantity, the producers are forced to supply(or produce) more oil to cover up the costs. Thus increasing the oil price. Demand and Supply dictate crude oil prices

What does increase in oil price do?

It does a lot. A rise in oil price means that the nations spending money into importing oil are forced to spend more money increasing the price of the end products such as petrol and diesel. What happens when the cost of petrol and diesel increase? the cost of any form of transportation increases. Logistics sector gets hit. Cost of bringing that 1 kg of tomato to a market near you increases thus the cost of tomato increases (However oil prices are not the only factor with which tomato prices are fixed). You know what happens when the cost of a kg of tomato shoots up. Bonkers! Bonkers! everywhere. Tomato is just one such example.

Crude oil is set to rule everything around you for many more years to come. Something that is similar to crude oil and currently one of the kingpins is Nuclear Energy. Dividing Nuclear Energy into two, Weapons and Electricity. Electricity from Nuclear Energy has been one of the most efficient ones to have been discovered. A major quantity of energy that India produces is from Nuclear plants. And almost similar to it is Nuclear weapons. Nuclear Weaponry has been a back bone of National Supremacy. World nations conduct nuclear tests and show the world their supremacy. Indigenous nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon launchers are built and tested to alert the other nations. These tests protect a nation from being attacked by another with the fear of being counter-attacked. Thus dictating the world.

While Crude oil economically dictates, nuclear energy strategically dictates the world. Both of them combined are current rulers of the world.

 

Nothing is Breaching The Constitutional Code of Conduct

right to free speech

A major chunk of Indian citizens are unaware of the Fundamental Rights that they are entitled to. Most don’t even know the existence of Fundamental Rights. I doubt even if 999 people of 1000 have gone through The Preamble to the Constitution, let alone The Constitution of India. What’s ironical is that an extensive collection of only those of 999 go on protests and least foolishly put up Facebook statuses that are never going to be heard. And ironically only those 999 people talk about politics being “dirty-man’s-den”. There is so much cliche about politics in India. Some day I would like to talk about the common notion about Indian politics. This introductory passage is nothing much in sync with what this article is about, however it is healthy rant against those 999. The little sync is in my reference to The Constitution of India.

It takes much pain, pressure, support, diplomatic power and unending support from people to change the law. It takes more of the above said to amend a constitutional right. The Jan Lokpal Bill’s failure to be passed in parliament is a perfect example of it. We believe we have a strong Constitution framed. I don’t doubt it.

“Udta Punjab” and Anurag Kashyap have been under scanner for a while now, so is “Iraivi” and Karthik Subburaj. The Mumbai High Court cleared the former with just 1 cut and “A” certificate. When I tried to research if what Anurag is undergoing is constitutionally fair, I extensively had to scratch my hair to baldness to completely understand the ever charming, ever controversial and never ending idea of “Right to Freedom of Speech & Expression”. I am no voice of people. Any thing I say can spark controversies. I am now not going to conclude anything about this fundamental right. But I still hold the “Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression”. So let me continue.

“Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression” has been the most intricate of Fundamental Rights that an Indian can hold according to the Constitution of India. You seem to understand it for a minute but it ditches you the next minute and takes a different stand. It is distinctly exercised among the world nations. A glance through the “Article 19” of the Constitution of India would tell you this. ↓

Article 19

All Indians are free to express anything of their interest unless it doesn’t affect an existing or to be made law, unless it is a threat to the state in some form of the other, public order or unless it is against decency and morality and of course the most important of it unless it doesn’t defame someone. Udta Punjab probably does nothing. Iraivi is out of question.

While we talk of cinema it pains to talk about people like M.M.Kalburgi and Govind Pansare who were brutally murdered while they were only exercising their fundamental constitutional right. They did not affect law, did not agitate public order, did not defame anyone nor did they go against morality. “Right to Freedom of Expression” also gives “Right to Protest”, which is indeed right to talk, write and go against something. All of this is Fundamental Constitutional Right.

But take the case of Aseem Trivedi, he was arrested for drawing a cartoon that depicts the parliament building as a western style washroom closet and a toilet paper rolling besides it. What does it do? It defames the parliament. At least that was what the reason he was arrested. On one side it is of course an act of sedition. Parliament is a common entity. Common to any Indian, so are the national emblem, national flag and entities of that sort. Poking fun of this common entity that is supposed to be the pride of India can of course be charged with sedition. A lot of people argue that it quashes the “Freedom of Speech and Expression”. We cannot deny. However going by Constitution of India, it is an offence.

If you can’t talk what is supposed to be right, then talk what is written as right. If you can’t talk what is written as right, try to make it right. When you can’t make it right, live by what is written as right.

Eventually what is common matters. The law is common. The Constitution is common. It matters. Change it or live by it.

 

Of Observations Not Being Otiose

Well, I have no idea if Lisa Gherardini, popularly known as Mona Lisa was a real women. Speculations tell she wasn’t. Experts tell she was. I have an anchored belief on the experts. Not out of mental bias, but out of something else. Something intriguing. When you have a ruminating look on the expression of the painting, its intriguing enough to tell you such expressions are not bound to be painted out of sheer imagination. Look at the expression again.

Mona Lisa

What do you think Lisa is upto? Sad? Happy? Depressed? Blissful? We don’t know. No one could conclude. For that matter only Lionardo da Vinci can tell that. What would he have observed when he saw the model sitting in front of him? Only he knows. Looking into the picture, I see a hundred ways it could be interpreted. Just that expression can tell you volumes about the painting. The expression of Lisa is just one of the entities that Lionardo has deeply observed. If Leonardo never observed Lisa’s expression, it wouldn’t have been the worth a million dollars which it is.

What’s in observation?

Wildly, Observation has shook mankind enabling its reach to unimaginable borders. Most of the greatest inventions and discoveries are results of brilliant observations. Newton “observed” the falling apple and did not just rub his head away. Roentgen observed that a random ray doesn’t penetrate through bones, named it X-Rays making it one of the greatest discoveries.

While I write this I observe two dragon flies fluttering and dancing. How do I interpret that you ask me? In a hundred ways. You observe the same thing and you interpret in a hundred other ways. These interpretations of ours create a hundred conclusions bringing us to this advanced part of world where nothing has been impossible.

When you get defeated in a war, it just means the enemy has observed you better than you did. There were instances where a meager army of a few thousands went on to defeat an army comprising of lakhs. Ever heard of guerrilla warfare? It is exactly that. It is where a unit of very few armed or unarmed men wage war against a larger and stronger army. How do they do it? They observe the enemy and hit where it is required.

When it comes to observation, it isn’t facile enough for you to master. It is also not tough enough to not be able to master. Observations vary from person to person. When one observes two dragon flies happily dancing, the other observes that the two are wrestling. Observations lead to distinct interpretations and distinct interpretations lead to research and debate. Research and debate bring us conclusions, inventions, discoveries, happiness, sorrow, solutions and also ideas for your next write up. You don’t require a topic to write about. Observations give you ideas on what to write next. A small observation did make me write this.

Wide observations enthrall you into a world of unending boundary of thoughts. Observations can break boundaries that were never broken. Stop watching. Start observing.

P.S Why do all paragraphs in this article start with “W”. May be I just wanted you to observe 😀

Everyone of us Should Vote. But Why?

You get into an MTC on a sunny morning at Guindy bus stop and hand over a ₹500 note and ask “Anna, oru Nandanam(Brother, one Nandanam)”. The conductor would give you a striking stare that gets tattooed in your mind till you get down and he would say,”Moonu rooba change kudu(Give me 3 Change)”. You check the change section of your purse and you find the bracelet that your girl friend/boy friend gave, the ticket of your earlier bus travel and also along with them a 2 coin. How does it feel like when you don’t have that 1 to rescue you? Okay, I know its inexpressible.

Now yet again let me give you another nostalgic, embarrassing, helpless feeling. Lets say you have written the last semester exam of your life(Final year, Final Semester, One last exam). And one sudden sunny day results are out and you find that you failed in your last semester exam by one mark. One single mark. You put up your paper for revaluation and the revaluation result says “No Changes”. How would you feel? Okay, I know its inexpressible. (No offence please. I just wanted to give you that feel :D)

Imagine this happening to a deserving politician. One such politician, son of veteran politician and former governor of Kerala late B Rachiah’s, A R Krishnamurthy who lost against R Dhruvanarayan in Santhemarahalli(Sc) constituency in the 2004 assembly elections. While Krishnamurthy contesting on JDS ticket polled 40751 against Dhruvanarayan’s 40752 votes. So how would that feel? Yes again, inexpressible.

Vote

Being a part of democracy, its important that you vote. You ask me why? Let me tell you why.

Consider a strong politician X who is contesting against another strong politician Y. X in your opinion has scams to his name and is someone whom you’ll never believe. And Y who also has scams to his name but has on minimal scale along with some good governmental and welfare initiatives to his name. But again you don’t believe in him too. So you opt not to vote. And after results get declared you find X defeating Y by one vote and that definitely is yours. Now X gets into the assembly, loots more and more money. This is what is happening in Indian Democracy. We either don’t choose at all or choose to stay aloof or choose the wrong person. Now that you did not vote, you just became a reason for wrong person representing the state. And we go bonkers when they do nothing and just loot public money.

Your one vote makes every possible difference. So yes press some button of your choice on the ballot and get your index finger inked. India will improve.

Black is the New White

black is the new white

I stay frozen watching TV. The inevitable happens. 10 minutes after the show started advertisements start flashing. Advertisement of a popular washing powder shows white shirts getting whiter and brighter. I now imagine. What of black shirts?

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The morning of the new year I happen to hear this story from one of my friend. He wakes up as early as possible that morning. He bathes. Makes him up and gets ready to hang out with his friends. Suddenly his mom yells at him. “Dai nalla naal athuvuma karuppu satta potukriyae. Vera ethaavathu potutu po(Why on earth are you wearing black shirt on this auspicious day. Wear something else and go)”. He sobs having left with no other choice.

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I have been visiting countless number of temples since my childhood. Temples in India attract people in huge numbers. The point to be noted here is the diversity of people. I have seen black, brown, pale, white and people of all complexion visiting temples. As soon as I enter the shrine of the temple I see God in front of me sculpted beautifully in a BLACK sacred stone.

If Black depicts sorrow, God depicts sorrow too. If black depicts sorrow, every night is sorrow. The whole idea of black being called a sign of evil is obsolete.

Why is there diversity in complexion if God is partial to the colour white. Why are shrines of God Black in colour. We humans ourselves force the idea that black depicts sorrow and we ourselves go on sculpting the shrine of God on a black stone and worship it. Isn’t that unfair? Yes it is.

****

The fact that his mom’s words made my friend sob is a great sign. People of today’s generation understand the world better. Yes! They say we are losing the culture that has been in existence since a thousand years. But does that anyway matter? It is now enough if we know the past. Sati was a bad practice of the past. Didn’t we stop that cruelty? So everything of culture is not to be preserved.

Wearing white on auspicious days was a culture. But it no longer is valid. I have worn Black dresses on auspicious days. I haven’t felt even a tiny bit of negativity in it.

Black has nothing to do with sorrow. Black is nothing to do with being pessimistic. Black is nothing to do with black of those days. It is just another colour. It is just a part of light. It is just another colour that is visible to your eyes.

Just think of the blind. They love black. Infact they only love black. They see black. They live black. I have seen happier blind people than most of us. Black is no more a bad omen. If it is, it shouldn’t be.

Look around you. Black is inevitable. There is less white these days. Black is not bad. Black is the new white.