Story of a lost journalist

December 27, 2008

No ‘you’ and ‘me’ please, just ‘us’

Filed under: life,My Musing Moments — Cris @ 12:11
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There is this thing that bugs me. Its when people say to people “Hey its Christmas. You ‘Christians’ have got to treat us”. Or else they say “Hey its Ramzan you Muslims should fund the party” and Dasara time its got to be ‘the Hindus’ who take turns. It bugs me to the core whenever someone cracks things like that. And I hear it a lot.

“Hey I don’t know how its done for you Christians but we do it this way”. Blah, blah and blah! 

This kind of “you” and “us” attitude is awful. Ok so people may follow different religions – but that was no reason to come out with “you are different from us” attitude! If anyone wants to celebrate Christmas or Ramzan or Holi its got to be a we-will-do-it-together thing. It is so much more- lovely, so much more human… Cause dig this – the “yous” and the “wes” are all humans! 

Ok I am probably overreacting. But it was Christmas a couple of days ago and I knew people who would only wish “Happy New Year” cause they thought the “Merry Christmas” was not meant for everyone. And there are some who just joke about it but don’t really “mean” it. Still it bugs me that they take into consideration who were from what religion and then crack these “its only you who has to treat” jokes. Wonder when humans will get that gift – of being able to see humans as humans. 

I believe all celebrations have just one purpose – having fun together. And together was the keyword here.

December 18, 2008

About divorces

Filed under: life,My Musing Moments — Cris @ 09:53
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Hmm this should be hard. But I have wanted to write about it for sometime. To put it in one question – Is it a wrong act? 

A generation back, divorce must have been the last thing thought of when a marriage fails and unless dire scenarios came up, people chose to stick with the marriage. There might have been exceptions. But today, divorces are not that rare and doesn’t always tell the story of “another man or woman”, or a lunatic-spouse deal. A divorced couple may give the reason “cause we didn’t get along well” or “it just didn’t work out, there was no love” 

But was it as easy as that? No, no and no. Divorce is still heard of as a condemned word. “Divorce? Are you crazy? No way am I letting you. You are living with him/her no matter what” – the typical responses of a parent/a relative/friends. 

Agreed, marriage calls for a lot of adjustments and understanding – you cant expect two different individuals to agree upon every deal on earth. But that’s not what I am talking about. When a marriage goes to a level where you find yourself unhappy all day and night long, when you realize beyond doubt you can never work it out –what was the point in clinging on? Why was it so important that you had to stick with the person till end of life no matter what? Wasn’t marriage all about making your life happier by spending it with someone you love and care about? When that love and care is not there, why would you choose to ignore it and go on with your lives unhappily? 

Cause divorce was still “evil”, unheard of and a shame to kith and kin. People choose to make their own lives unhappy to have the world around them believe they are happy. An idea that always goes above my head. 

The argument against this was that young people didn’t really need a reason anymore to divorce, they separate for the silliest reasons heard of. Why I am against this argument was that – whatever silly reason called it for, would they have gone ahead with the separation if there was love in the marriage? Wouldn’t they be the ones who should hate the idea of a divorce more than anyone else if they still cared for each other? Why was this so hard to understand? It was not the silly fights or reasons that was important – it was their decision – they wouldn’t be able to take it if they didn’t really want it! And they wouldn’t be able to proceed if they didn’t want it! Divorce was not a momentary deal! It gives you months to rethink, to reconsider – if all those months didn’t make them want to come back together, it simply means one thing – there is no love! 

And then of course the most-fought-upon subject – what about kids? “Cant you live together for their sake?”

What do people think about kids who see their parents fight all day and night? Would kids be happy watching that or would they rather have their parents away and happy with each other? There need not be any pretense about this – kids who watch their parents fight each other shut themselves off in rooms and never find happiness at home. They seek comfort in friends and school and in worse cases, bad influences. 

I know a girl who saw a psychiatrist as part of her parents having problems – the first thing the doctor asked her was “do you have an affair?”. The stunned girl said no and wondered why he should ask her this when the problem was with the parents. The doctor explained “Usually kids who face such problems at home end up having boyfriends/girlfriends at a very young age”

I know, no business of his, but well it showed that doctors expect kids to go “in the wrong direction” (since he obviously considered an affair wrong for a 17 year old) when their parents were having trouble with each other. 

I strongly believe that kids would be much happier if parents who fought each other stayed away and still managed to spend enough time with them individually. 

Divorce is not really a hard deal to understand. Cause what reason prompted it was not all that important unless it’s a case of serious misunderstanding – even then if there is love in the marriage, things sort out. But if there is no love, please don’t live frustrated lives forever – you had a choice. If you wanted to avoid divorce, take a lot of care on whom you marry – that’s where your decision really matters. But then humans make mistakes and a mistake may be hard to avoid, but not so hard to correct.

December 5, 2008

Another autorickshaw story

Filed under: life,People — Cris @ 23:39
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It might look like I have started an autorickshaw story series. Here is another one. Couple of days back I was trapped in a ksrtc (state bus) – no they didn’t lock me inside. There were some protests going on in the city and the major roads were all blocked for hours. So I jumped out cause [ahem] quite unlike me, I was late for my next stop. My plan was to run till the point there was no more traffic jam, grab an auto and go. On the way an auto-wala who first said he wont take me, followed me and took me in. He dropped me at the next bus stop – and dig this – free of cost.

“Ivide ninna mathi pengale, bus kittum” – You wait here sister, you will get your bus.

It was a small distance but who would do anything for free today?? I was not in a position to press him to accept money cause I had just about enough for my next trip. This is a short entry. Its just that I want to remind self and readers here that there are many nice people around us… they do these little nice things but thing is, little nice things are a little big, they have a long life.

November 20, 2008

Truth, an alternative to Lying

Filed under: My Musing Moments — Cris @ 18:45
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I just read from a blog about the courage it takes to be honest. I have been having some thoughts about this. About how, a lot of people have taken to lying so much that it just doesn’t seem to make a moment’s difference.

It surprises me when I see how easy it comes to them, how they don’t have a moment’s hesitation or afterwards a moment’s guilt in lying with a straight face. One thing about being honest was that you didn’t need any doubts about your stand; you could be as loud and as firm as you liked. But that didn’t seem to verify your honesty anymore, considering the liars were just as good. Only place you can expect a difference is when liars forget the lies they once said and later contradict their own stand.

Day 1:

“I have always scored 90 for Math”

Day 29:

“I have always scored 100 for Math”

Day 49 – in a drunken moment

“I just want to pass Math for once in my life buddy sniff sniff sob”

The thing is all this lying is not because people are so bad. Its just that they have somehow gotten used to ejecting a series of small lies to get their way, it didn’t seem to matter anymore. So if you are not allowed at a place cause, say, you needed a condition ‘x’ to be eligible, they don’t see it as an obstacle on the way. To their clear single-direction mind, they wanted entry so they get it, it was not their fault ‘x’ was there in the first place so-

What makes me sad more than the lying itself is the ease with which people do it not feeling a tinge of doubt about its virtue, about their assumption that this was the way of life. For them the question of “Oh what do we do now cause we don’t have it” never arises. They look at others to whom it did, with incomprehensible eyes, eyes that said how can anyone be so slow. To them, it is only a solution everyone will have to arrive at sooner or later, and that for some weird reason, some people were taking time. Truth does not come any different to them, they don’t despise it. Its just that, they use it as an alternative to lying. When you can’t use the truth, you use lies – the logic was simple and its unlearning quite hard to force upon. Especially when the ways of truth promise no easy paths to a glorious life, the way they had it before.

But how did lying become so everybody-does-it? Was there not enough stress on how important it was to stick to the truth anymore? Did no one tell kids that telling the truth even when they did something wrong would actually make room for leniency? Why was it that lying, even if it was for a simple insignificant matter ignored and not corrected? Cause that means a lot. I can say because when I was a kid there were times my Mom told me “See how your brother admitted he did it even though he knew he’d be in trouble” and to me it seemed like something really respectable. Next time when I did something wrong, I’d run to my Mom and proudly announce I did it.

“I sat on that new expensive dining table, and broke it, all by myself” (mm yes, that happened. Hey I just wanted to test it, but err, it was glass).

It started as a funny way to speaking the truth, but once you understand the importance you don’t feel like swaying away – a simple lie could kill you with guilt for days ahead, you’d rather stick with the bitter truth. Cause its so much better to be punished for something you did than getting credit for something you didn’t.

November 4, 2008

Kapil went, Kumble goes, Dhoni will go

Filed under: Diary,My Musing Moments,People — Cris @ 13:18
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I am not a sports lover. I am not much of a cricket follower. A match on TV on a rare day is all I have to my credit of cricket know-how. So when I read Kumble was retiring, I thought “Guess its about time. Poor Nish wont be taking it good”. Poor Nish is my bro and he has a history of sitting sad over retirements, of people he says are absolutely talented. He did in 1994 when Paaji left the ground. Now is Kumble’s turn.

But when I read about it yesterday, I found myself a tad too sentimental. These lines from The Hindu especially had me slushy for a long while

“I know how hard I had to fight to get this cap and how hard it is to play at the international level. It’s a proud moment to represent a billion people whose expectations keep rising each time you go out there.”

Seems just days ago Kumble, Ganguly, Sachin, Dravid and Jadeja ran around the pitch in their twenties. These guys were around for such a long while I just identified Indian team with their names. And now one by one, they are all going. How I hate that new leaf-old leaf story! But yet these names were the new leaves of 90s, just like an Ishant or an Uthappa is today. There is just no changing that.

October 25, 2008

Problems are a new world, suicide not its exit

Filed under: life,My Musing Moments — Cris @ 02:00
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When you are born you don’t have a reason to live – you don’t think if life is worth living. You don’t know anyone or anything and you go on to live. You learn to like the world, the people. When you go to school you are entering another new world – you don’t know what you will face there. And yet you go on to live. You go on to make friends, relationships.

Life would always put you in new worlds. Totally unfamiliar to you, totally new to you that it scares you to the core. Your problems are another such world. You are scared by it. Same way you were scared to enter the world (you might not have been, am not yet sure what babies have in mind when they are born – but all that crying cant definitely mean a happy thought), same way you were scared to go to school. Your problem is just another new world, a way out of which you may not be able to find immediately. But then why if you didn’t end your life, when you entered the world, when you entered your school, should you end it now? You should go on to live. That’s why you were born.

Explanation on why this entry: I just read Seema’s post on suicides and after commenting there, I wanted to write more. Not wanting to take up all of her comment-space I thought I will put it here.

October 16, 2008

Sad, part 2 of Orissa post

Filed under: life,Political — Cris @ 03:53

My Orissa post was one of the loudest entries I made in the blog. And Srijith had actually asked me to quit writing humor and switch to politcal issues. I dont have any plans for that. But news in dailies are not changing and every other day things are taking a worse turn. Steadfast towards the wrong direction. Today I read in KT’s blog her concern and then a friend gave the link to a well-worded article from huffingtonpost of Shashi Tharoor. I was quite happy to see someone like him take the initiative to talk about it cause it matters a lot when a person who knew about the world enough to get a lot of respect from among the masses, to whom people were willing to listen to, came out to the forefront and took things up in hands. Added to that I was listening to heal the world a few times and somehow it carried a lot more meaning – today, now. For the children of this world, who knew not where or what they were growing up to.

Link for the video 

Lyrics: as taken from this site

Think about the generations and to say we want to make it a better
world for our children and our children’s children. So that they know
it’s a better world for them; and think if they can make it a better

There’s a place in your heart
And I know that it is love
And this place could be much
Brighter than tomorrow.
And if you really try
You’ll find there’s no need to cry
In this place you’ll feel
There’s no hurt or sorrow.
There are ways to get there
If you care enough for the living
Make a little space, make a better place.

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for
You and for me.

If you want to know why
There’s a love that cannot lie
Love is strong
It only cares for joyful giving.
If we try we shall see
In this bliss we cannot feel
Fear or dread
We stop existing and start living
Then it feels that always
Love’s enough for us growing
Make a better world, make a better world.

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race.
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for
You and for me.

And the dream we would conceived in
Will reveal a joyful face
And the world we once believed in
Will shine again in grace
Then why do we keep strangling life
Wound this earth, crucify it’s soul
Though it’s plain to see, this world is heavenly
Be God’s glow.

We could fly so high
Let our spirits never die
In my heart I feel
You are all my brothers
Create a world with no fear
Together we’ll cry happy tears
See the nations turn
Their swords into plowshares
We could really get there
If you cared enough for the living
Make a little space to make a better place.

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for
You and for me.

Refrain (2x)

There are people dying if you care enough for the living
Make a better place for you and for me.
There are people dying if you care enough for the living
Make a better place for you and for me.

You and for me / Make a better place
You and for me / Make a better place
You and for me / Make a better place
You and for me / Heal the world we live in
You and for me / Save it for our children
You and for me / Heal the world we live in
You and for me / Save it for our children
You and for me / Heal the world we live in
You and for me / Save it for our children
You and for me / Heal the world we live in
You and for me / Save it for our children

October 12, 2008

Why dont girls do things alone?

Filed under: My Musing Moments — Cris @ 19:47
Tags: ,

Another day planned for museum-book-reading and watching on-the-street-folk-songs, not quite successful. Museum turned out to be too hot and full of mosquitoes and folk song singers sang their last line for the day when I reached them. Hmph. Atleast I had my music player on and a long promising walk. During my walk I noticed something. Not many girls did stuff by themselves. What was it with girls and doing things alone? Alright you didn’t have to walk alone for miles, but be it anything – including taking a trip to see a colleague 2 cubicles away – they need company!

Movies, or restaurants or anywhere – girls didn’t want to go alone. Even shopping, that which they are reputed to be in love with – well there I might have to correct my words. Cause once left inside a shop, I don’t think many women actually bother not having a companion to turn to when clothes or cosmetics fell in numbers. No I am not generalizing here. I am one of these shopping women. But thing is, I don’t understand the whole in-group-we-do, alone-we-don’t pattern.

Lets keep the security factor aside. Lets consider a hypothetical world where it was safe for anyone to go out. Would then things change? Was it only the fear factor that made them look for company? I frankly don’t think so. Cause like I say, inside an office, inside buildings where you knew everyone and everything why would you need someone to cross a room or climb a staircase with? You cant say you will be too bored by yourself! Cause you weren’t there for a leisure trip! You were there for business!

And this pattern was more common among younger women. If you look at middle aged women, they didn’t mind going out to buy vegetables or whatever they wanted going out for, alone. Of course some venues are exceptions like Cinemas. Again I don’t think it’s only the safety concern that kept women from going alone. When I was in Infosys Mysore, the campus was without doubt the safest place to be in and girls and boys sat on pavements at 3 in the night, without fear. But if you looked at the canteens, the food courts like they are called, not 1 woman would be by herself. Even I, when I went to eat alone, found myself entirely conscious, checking if anyone should notice anything wrong. Why should anything be wrong just because I dined alone? Men, on the other hand sat by themselves in many tables, happily enjoying their food. I followed that from next time around.

I am thinking it’s the whole getting conscious-stuff. Women were for someone reason more conscious about how they carried themselves than men, including being by themselves. I am not sure if there is a psychological reason here but that is somehow the way it works. And if you ask me, I think it is sick! I really think its high time everyone was able to walk or go wherever they wanted to, as long as they felt it was safe – what I mean is other than the factors they didn’t have any control on (like safety) they should keep aside all silly mind prejudices and deal with things straight.

As a side story, on my way back today, a man who was driving a car slowed down and said “excuse me 1 minute?” I looked quizzically and he came out of the car, and asked pleasantly “We don’t know each other but do you mind if we get to know each other?”

I was taken aback but I managed to smile and say “Yes I do. Sorry” and turned to walk. He smiled apologetically, said “ok” and went to his car.

I considered the whole episode with nonchalance. So someone thought he wanted to talk to me and I was not in the habit of making acquaintances out of street strangers so gave it a pass. But when my I told my Mom about this, she was all upset. She thought it quite bad and dangerous. I am not sure if it was the way the two of us looked at things, or that like always she was right and I a dumb fool but I somehow still don’t get it. What was the harm in that as long as I knew what to do and what not to? And why should that man, just because he talked to me be cast off as a villain – I don’t put it off that he might not have had the best intentions, but how can we judge anyone so fast? I guess that’s cause of the numerous abuses on women happening in every nook and corner of Kerala – no one was to be trusted anymore. Hmm! And I keep saying, lets forget the safety factor temporarily – no that was not to be forgotten. Not now, not ever.

October 5, 2008

Old injuries die slow

Filed under: life,Personal — Cris @ 04:38
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I heard somewhere recently that it was hard to forget old injuries, of the mind. I find that absolutely true in my case, not that I think its anything appreciable. I wanted to be someone who’d harbor no feelings against the cause of injury – people. Why I write this today is cause I think I have crossed that stage, but then again I am not entirely sure after a fresh new wound.

Quoting an instance. There came one day when I had to do an editorial, and finish it in an hour. Though I made it a point to write every nonsensical thought till date, it never occurred to me to read or write an editorial before that. And this was a senior authority asking. I somehow felt desperate for help. I knocked at a few doors, one being of someone I knew or thought I could barge into. Everyone was turning me down, they were all caught up with something. I ran through mind scenes from the past I had gone out of my way to help out the turn-down-ers.

But the big blow came when the one I thought I could barge into shut the door at my face. She was busy preparing for something she had to attend a few days later. Besides “she was done with editorials, no more will she deal with it in any way”. Click. End of conversation. Tears blurred my vision as the scene that crossed mind was from the previous day when precious long minutes of tight work schedule was kept off for the same friend, and ending up staying late night to finish.

I was uncontrollably distressed. Called a friend far away who knew not to write an editorial but who heard tears coming out of the receiver and wondered why the seemingly bold girl she always knew broke down on a matter as naïve as that. I didn’t know why either. But it was not the editorial that caused it. It was the realization for a short while that when a crisis (however big or small it was) came to you, you were alone. I felt helplessly alone for a few minutes; that every hand I tried to reach out from a pit I was falling into refused to grab mine. Much later when another friend who was away, came to rescue, I allowed myself to be consoled and deal the matter at hand – finish the editorial. Felt quite happy later when the person I send it to said it was quite good.

I have never tried editorials after that! But like I say that was not the issue, the letting down was. The friend in question had knocked my door several times after that, and I had always opened it despite devil Cris asking me to close my ears and pretend not to hear it. I am not trying to be an angel here, cause I have almost always kept away from people I didn’t want to be with, for my own selfish reasons. I liked this friend, and when she called for help I went out cause of that. But in the end I somehow end up feeling the taste of that old slammed door, old injuries certainly die slow. And to add to it, today, I have got another taste – not exactly a slam door but one that said – when it came to the good stuff, I was just not good enough. It hurt a lot more than it should.

I have no idea why its always the silliest deeds that sometimes hurt you without any limits. For I know that if I retold these tales to someone, the response should be none else than “Is that all?”

Strange. But there, that’s how it works, my mind. No predicting when it jumps up with joy and no saying when it shuts down forever in misery. It’s really a dumb thing you know, your mind is.

October 1, 2008

Madhupal’s Thalappavu, brilliant Malayalam movie

Filed under: Movies/TV — Cris @ 14:30
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Thalappavu was beautiful. Not probably the right word. Mm touching? Heartrending? Maybe brilliant. Let me explain. Its about a story in 1970. A lot of stories. A lot of events, happenings. And its told in 2005. By an old man, Lal. Lal transfers with him, the scene, to the past, each time he finds a connection, cause after 1970 he hadn’t really lived, he just existed, running away from the realities he feared. And why? To hide, to escape.

Prithvi Raj comes in the past. And he was perfect for that role. I know he is not quite popular among the youngsters but I think he did a great job here. In fact he had fewer number of scenes, appearing only where Lal remembered him in the past, and the present. Lal, contrary to his usual tough-guy roles, plays the soft hearted policeman who had a normal life; memorable years of teenage, and then a wife and 2 kids who meant the world for him. But the events he was about to witness and experience was too much for the soft-heart he had. Prithvi Raj opens new lines of thoughts for him. Prithvi Raj offers him his hand when he falls down, just like he had to so many other people.

Lal was brilliant. Some of his old self reminded me of Thilakan’s role in Moonam Pakkam. The helplessness and weakness of old age… already a soft person, Lal calls out for a lot of mixed feelings including one of depression. He touches the audience with his niceness, with his helplessness and most of all with his tender affection for fellow beings.

I am not a Prithvi fan but I liked his scenes, it was just apt and brilliant the way he gave meaning to his gestures including a simple smile or glance.

Through Lal, Madhupal tells the story, through Prithvi he passes a strong message, through the events, he passes a sense of righteousness he hopes to evoke in the audience. He had done a neat job of interweaving the past with the present as remembered and seen by an aging old man. Only, I would have suggested to make all actors speak for themselves, especially when the cast involved the likes of Rohini who could have done marvelous with her absolutely natural dialogue-rendering. The girl who played ‘Sara’ was good, apart from the dubbing factor.

Atul Kulkarni was remarkable in his brief stint. Jagathy, Manianpillai Raju were all proof of the great choice of cast Madhupal made. I hope he continues in this new directorial role for a long time, not that there was anything he could be encouraged with. I went today frantically cause the movie was limited to one show per day, within a couple of weeks of release. It should probably stop running in a week. Sigh, that’s sad. That when horrendous movies like Annan Thampi or Verthe oru Bharya could run for so long, really deserving movies cant last a fortnight!

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