Thursday, January 19, 2017

A rant - Jallikkattu

I come from a family which is right leaning (although my father would never agree) and has always had great respect for the Judiciary in India. 
(I also have my own theories on why right leaning or why the Judiciary was so respected but this not the time and place for it so may be later.)

May be even due to this very reason, I never possessed any interest in Politics or current affairs unless it came close to my heart in some form, touched a nerve and/or I was simply too bored and purused the news.

The last few rulings (or not) and events though - I must say they have been a bit of a shocker!

Marital rape not covered under the act against Rape and Violence
---oh well, because that is an age old traditional institution that cannot be questioned or disrespected with such suspicions?!
---I came to know about this with all the debate around the Nirbhaya case.

Homosexuality is against the law as part of the unnatural offences
---oh, that!  That's because although it has always been around in our culture, it was never accepted as the "norm" (unlike marital rape)?!  So we will just uphold that as is, won't we?

No action against the Breweries and Soft drinks companies from using up our water resources to make their drinks even while many parts of the country suffer from draught!
because we just cannot halt production of organisations that keep the economy going?!
---The Maharashtra draught and all the articles around that - I think someone raised a question about the breweries at the time in one of the articles and it continues to be a constant nag at the back of my mind!!

Note: I do know that the Judiciary can only act when someone raises the case with them and I am not informed if 3) above was ever raised as one.

What is really up with us here in India?

We are in a chaotically beautiful phase here.  In the middle of a decade of transformation, of an identity crisis, where the "so called western/modern way of life" is heckling at all our present cultural and traditional practices.

A phase where people are constantly choosing what from our cultural and traditional past still is relevant to our newer way of life.

I myself live a life of an hypocrite sometimes, where even though I do not believe in so many practices but still end up being participating for various reasons. 
But that said I am very clear of what I do believe in, and what I don't. 

I have just evolved to know the difference in people - where and when I think my protests or confrontation would pay and where it would simply cause harm and pain achieving absolutely no gain for either parties involved.

This "knowing the difference" has brought me so much peace at the cost of not explaining my true beliefs or pretending to go through a few mins of some practice that I may not believe in.

This may not work for everyone and but has for me and I am glad for it.

I have strayed away a bit from the main point I wanted to discuss!!  On that note, this ban on Jallikattu has caught my attention due to having people around me that are passionately involved in protecting this tradition and voicing their protest!

"Neeya Naana" on Vijay TV once, quite a few months ago, had this very topic and brought in all the experts (Senapathy is a name that I do remember) that are actively involved in the case today, to talk about Jallikattu... and boy was I blown away!? 

The idea of "Madumeikkira payala!" was utterly crumpled and tossed out; I saw so many educated young and old, expertly explaining agricultural and socio-economic details that left me totally bought to the cause.

I recommend watching this show if anyone is interested. 

Now this and a few articles I shared on FB are just GEMS!  The most striking of this one for me is the evidence from Sangam literature, the Indus Valley seal and the description of the Event from the "Durai Kaalam".

https://thewire.in/19157/banning-jallikattu-will-decimate-indias-indigenous-cattle-breeds/

I wish we could see the arguments presented on both sides in the Supreme court.  My strongly instilled belief in Indian Judiciary tells me that if anything like these articles were presented as arguments in the court there would certainly not be a ban but only a Regulation for this sport!  Wonder what really went on in there.

To think about the real cause for this case - There are hordes of sports out loose that actually cause harm!  What about them?  Why this sport specifically is being scrutinized?  And the other question that nags me is why would they target Tamil Native breeds?  Given that UP and MP are much higher with their cattle and milk production ratios, have they been taken over yet?

Update:  I learnt from one of the videos that they indeed have been.  TN is one of the few states that still have a majority of the native breeds.

These questions are more of trying to prove if there is really an alternate motive to this Ban with the MNC's and taking over the world of cattle conspiracy in mind?  What is the argument for the other really?  I would love to get my hands on the court evidence and argumenbts if they are public!

An FB page had someone posting a wonderful summary with a reference to A1 and A2 milk and the background studies.  A quick search gave me this.  I am sure we can find much more detailed papers on these.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3475924/

There was one specific comment from one of the FB forum/conversations where the statistics provided (or not provided) was being questioned and that was simply intelligent questions that did not have answers.

The simple way to stop this protest and put sens einto the protesters would be to distribute this report and evidence is it not. They could seek the court's permission(if required) to make this documenbt public and make the protesters read those arguments?  So called ëducating the masses". 

If you truly care about the animals then reach out to the people that want to "cause harm" and give them your arguments, no....!!?    Not go door to door just publish your arguments online or in one of the national papers.  Nope! 

There are more and more articles, videos and recordings releasing day by day that simply educate why Jallikattu is important and what it stands for.  No wonder I support Jallikattu and the preserving of native breeds. 

If one were to suggest a better way to keep this going without the "harm"I am sure people would welcome it but that is c onspicuously absent from the arguments on the other side!


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

I've coined a new Term! Writer's Vomit...

We all know Writer's block and use it profusely without any regard to whether we possess any writing prowess and/or creativity.

Dumbfounded is not equal to calm and quiet.  So, is Writer's block.  If you just can't write does not mean you are experiencing a block.

The few times that I had used or atleast wished to my alter ago snorted and smirked killing all the flourish that came with the words and I just... mellowed down, let's say.

Now for some reason this morning, I realised how I always write in short and hurried bursts once in a few months and then just nothing for months and years.  Not that what I write are great pieces of work either! :(

That's when the words (or henceforth the 'term') just walked into my mind and sat there looking at me impatiently, as though it was getting bored until my stupid brain caught up and realised it had to share it with you all.

Well, enough of nonsense and nothing...I present to you a new term of my coinage...."Writer's Vomit".  Yes, that is what I am going to call and insist you do...
Nah just kidding...
You would think I was!
Please...! :(
No, I am not begging!!
NOT.

Well, once again nonsense and nothing aside...
I think it is justified to use the term though for such periods of harried writing that most of the amatuers go through.  I lead by example, see!  I just had to write this down.  Holding back only made it worse.  The urge was so strong you felt quirmy and uncomfortable, unable to sit out whatever you were about to do.  Nothing is comfortable except for getting it out.  The more it is 'ALL of it', the better.

And for most of us, (ok, some of us, whatever...) what comes out is quite putrid and reeking; all that we have ingested from the world, either fully, or in most cases partially, digested! 

And do I really have to say it? Ok fine, yes people do not enjoy going through the contents, No! 
And someone usually has to clean up after you. 
And if you are sick/sad (figuratively), it just falls back on you to clean it up!
Told you it all fits well!! :D

Now, the most interesting thing is that the ones going through the contents, or even watching you do it, get the urge too!  Tell me it's not true!?  How many of us have penned down, vomitting half baked stuff just because we were "ïnspired"?! I've done it loads of time.

I've even searched for it on Google to make sure I was not untittingly "plaigarised" someone else's words.  Here is the proof.  ;)



So yes, I hereby Coin the term Writer's Vomit!  Feel free t use it ;) On me too yes.... :P

On a side note, I did contemplate Writer's Orgasm but I could not identify this writing urge with it entirely, to be honest.  I mean look at how multifaceted and (satisfyingly) justifiable Writer's Vomit is to describe - not to mention the crooked fun - what we go through and end up producing?  May be we can reserve that for a work resulting in a good piece but not my personal choice.  I leave it to you...:P

Thank you for reading.  I would much appreciate, comments and conversations here, than on my FB post if you found this through there.  Cheers!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Sapiens: A brief history of Human Kind, a book by Yuval Noah Harari.....Has earned another fan

Let me just start with my conclusion - it is a great book and a must read for anyone remotely interested in History, Prehistory, Anthropology, Genetics, Natural Sciences, Philosophy, Human Rights, Animal Rights, Meta Physicists etc..,

Theologicians or more specifically the religious, please keep away from it if you are fanatics.  Or should I say, you definitely should give it a read with an open (relatively) mind?

Yes, that's how many fields it covers in its Venn diagram, showing the intersection of all these fields, comprising us, our lives, the bigger and more difficult questions from time immemorial.

As part of the conclusion let me also warn you that if you are seeking answers for these big Life questions (or even the small ones), no you will not find them there.  But that is the point!

This book charismatically states the whole of "Human" history and that of the world around us, from our perspective, with all its intricacies and shows us how everything is so interconnected. 
Although this is something most of us educated in the modern (westen as Yuval might like to point out) education system, are vaguely aware of, even if we do not completely grasp the depth of it, is what this book gives us...the depth and perception that is required to see the Big Picture of Life as we know it.

It asks all the basic Big questions, What and who are we? Why are we? Where are we (less addressed in the physical sense and more in the 'timeline of life' sense)? Where would we go, what would be, and why?  And most disconcertingly, for us sometimes, the why not'?s

I felt transported back in time, to the days when I discovered that I was not crazy or dumb to be asking certain questions that I was.  Yes, it's true that 'partially educated' and 'inquisitive' are usually not a good combination, but that is how most of us "normal" folks  run most of our lives.

Such as, the time when I first read about Higgs Boson; I was probably 19 years old.  This was a time I was going through a frenzy to learn the chart of particle physics by heart.  Or rather, I was making a chart of all the "known" (or theorised should I say) particles in the known universe.  Not that my volatile memory held it for long or my poor & almost dysfunctional mathematical comprehension helped me understand the nuances.  But can't say I did not try!  Well, back to Boson, I was shocked to learn that my teenage question - what distinguishes Matter and Energy - that was dismissed or (ambiguously) not explained, was not, just a stupid question arising out of a brain ill suited to understanding.  But rather a question still puzzling the human kind and (like all questions ever are) VALID.

This time Yuval gave me a pat on the back and said, "see, you are not crazy nor alone to be suffering doubts and questions" such as
1)  about one's identities and nationalities in an increasingly global civilisation,
2) the conflict between passion and pride for a native language while repulsed by caste system although both are rooted in cultural identities,
3) the "agnostic"ism towards religion, spiritual and paranormal curiosities
are all not because I am not "FULLY"formed.  But are rather natural and healthy and already being discussed in full swing for many years now among "scholars". 
As a gene-obeying, evolution-complying, social "Human", yes this did comfort me, the fact that I am not alone (both literally and figuratively).

However, the questions remain to be answered.  The big picture is interesting, intriguing, fascinating, depressing all in various measures.  But that does not mean, we are doomed. The message is clearly optimisitic, with almost a hint of doubt, for the benefit of hindsight. 

The one thing that I did wish he had explained better was, that though climate change has happened all the time, and that we like all our predecessor natural beings are only contributing to it (albeit too fast and too destructive in our case), although we may yet survive and do something to help heal the world, we are STILL NOT out of the danger zone!  But this message, that he DOES leave, I felt, was not explicit enough.

My thoughts are hence, thus:

1) Yuval says, Climate change is not a problem in itself, it has always happened. True!

2) My thoughts on the lines of what he too said:

Ecological destruction is the main key issue but that too is probably "natural" in the evolutionary process, this time intensified by the fact of evolution having created a naturally selfish and destructive being, us.  Or may be all species are if you think about it, the selfish part atleast.

3) When I say evolution, I am taking the view that cultural and cognitive evolution which before Sapiens were not too great which are new in this age old process but still a "natural" factor although the end products of this may not be - such as missiles and factory emissions.

4) The problem with climate change and destruction is that, becase Humans are trying to retain the world as they knew it ('know it' would not be true for we have already lost some contemporories of ours, in the evolution speak - lookup the extinct specis from the not too distant past).  But from an evolutionary point of view this will never be true.  By this, I mean the world staying the same in someone's context!

5) Accelerated destruction and eco imbalance are a menace because, even if Sapiens -with our enlarged brains and extensive cognitive abilities- may yet come up with great advancements that would give us new source and let us contruct a Noah's Arc to provide sanctuary to all the beings of the world, we still are in the danger of "YET". 

To put it simple, It may not happen before the events are set in motion! 

And that is probably the worst fear of all.

6) Evolution in itself might be changing (point 3).  From only genetic and organic, came cognitive and resultantly, (agri)cultural, industrial and now technological (r)evolutions!

This might be why we are changing from beings of US to beings of ME.  Whether or not it is a good thing, Yuval says - much like a musing elder - only time will tell.

7) All in all it is an exciting time to be living in.  I might even consider proliferation(!!!) to make sure my genes get to experience the changes of the FANTASTIC (not necessarily good) changes!!!
OR NOT, for precisely that reason!!?  What is after all My genome and My (extant) experience?

Well, in all, it was an excellent and enlightening book that keeps you hooked.  Not sure if listening to the audiobook somehow made it even more awesomatic!

Thanks to a friend (Sanjay, if you are reading this) for sharing his "read" on goodreads and thus introducing it to me!

Thanks for the book Yuval!  I am almost at once wanting to read Duedus and not... for what you might choose to tell us (or not?). 

Will I be similarly enthralled or disappointed?!  I suppose Time will tell?!! :)

Thank you for reading.  I would much appreciate, comments and conversations here, than on my FB post even if you found this through my post there.  Cheers!

Musings on FANDOM and the much expected journey... 

My recent visit to Hobbiton- the icing on the cake of the little visits to LOTR book and movie places of NZ- prompted some thoughts... 

Hobbiton is obviously a "the destination" once in NZ if one is an LOTR fan.

And so it was, for us too.  LOTR was introduced to me by my brother when I was 15 when a bunch of us went to watch the movie "Fellowship of the Ring".  Of course I fell in love with Aragorn (and Viggo Mortensen) and he was the definition of "the man of my life" for my 15 year old self (and I fought over him with two other cousins of my age at the time).  I did not like Viggo Mortensen as anything outside of the role/looks of Aragorn, not even as himself when I googled him. :( oh and Gollum! I used to (still do sometimes) imitate/enact Gollum.  When Suresh gifted me the One Ring, I surprised and even spooked him with a "my precious... Gollum gollum" in Gollum vocals... :D a quite plump Gollum that made me though, he he!

The book is a different story for me... The first time I tried reading it was a #fail; not being able to go past the first 100 pages! This was back in 2007 and I was still in university.

I read it again much later, probably in the heights of joblessness of 2008 June - Sept break.
Having always been a fantasy fan, it was no surprise that I liked LOTR.  But I was not a fan in the traditional sense.  I never was - for anything - for that matter. 

I realised it when discussing Harry Potter books - which I read over and over again - with a dear friend (Lakshmi Ponnuswamy) and realised what a "fan" means.  I decided I would never be a "fan" of anything in that traditional sense where you remember and recall every minutiae of a book/movie.
But that is not to say I can't remember the events, characters and details quite well.  I just don't bother to remember them all and do not think it a sin if I forget something.

Fantasy and especially such a detailed and multi-layered epic such as the LOTR family of books, holds a very special place in my heart.  I too have had, no less than Elven dreams, trying to speak the tongues, (of course also trying to invent my own) when I was still smitten with the first read.

Visiting the WETA, (the studio that created many favourites such as LOTR, Avatar, District 9), the statues of the Kings, Gollum and Smog at WELLINGTON Airport.
Visiting some of the places where various scenes from The Hobbit were shot were quite an experience in that it would probably take another post to, if not for each spot. Oh and Avatar!  Can't wait for sequel(s)...!

Coming back to my experience in and at Hobbiton, it reminded me of..... how I was not a FAN. So many fans were feeling special just by being in the place that created Hobbiton for everyone, almost as well as how JRR would have wanted it envisioned.  For me though... it made me feel sad. 

Let me explain here, it is one thing to look at Mount Doom up close or go to the WETA studio and look at the gear or the graphic aids used, to look at the life size replica of your favourite characters.  It brings just JOY.  

But HOBBITON is just different (Atleast for me).  It's this perfect, peaceful and beautiful place, filled with happy people.  It's not hard to imagine but the movie did good by expanding on that dream with wonderful details and capturing the essence of it all.  And to go to the actual place to see where they brought it to life is a memory I will cherish, an experience I will remember. 

But that being said, here I was, looking at Bag End with no backend!!
Nothing except the door and the frame really.  That sort of killed me.  I could, in that moment, empathise with those kids that go through their "Santa is your mom" moment.  It was this bunch of highly skilled people working in a dedicated team effort and mounds of creativity, imagination; and I am sure immense FANDOM, that created this absolutely brilliant place that was only in the imagination of all those LOTR Fans and JRR's epic words till then.

And there, for me, was hard physical evidence of the fact that it was all NOT REAL.  It was NOT TRUE.   Of course I knew it all before.  But in that moment to actually see it all as a SET and be explained the details of how they painstakingly put together the magnificent piece of work-art, was this feeling of sadness that dampened and dripped on the feathers of the wings of joy and made it just float half heartedly instead of soar into the sky.

On the one hand, I was there, with one part of me being excited about being here at HOBBITON!  And the other half of me quietly withdrawing within myself into a deep corner with accusing teenager eyes. 

So instead of writing a piece of review on TripAdvisor - I am sure there are gazillion reviews already so one less is not going to affect people's decision if they already are looking for "reviews" to decide to go to Hobbiton - here I am lamenting a slight fraying in my dream fabric.  A must see if you are strong (fan) hearted unlike me.

Monday, May 16, 2016

குடல் கொடுமை, உருளை வதை!!

மெலிதான உன் தேகத்தை கையிலெடுக்க
உன் உவர்ப்பை என் உதட்டில் ருசிக்க
சிறிதாய் கடித்திட பொறுமையின்றி
                             முழுதாய் விழுங்கிட
தனியாய் அமர்ந்து பார்க்கும் என் பகல் வேலை
                             கார் கால ஏக்கமாய் மாற
குடல் காணும் கனவில் ஆழ்கிறேன்
என் அன்பு உருளை கிழங்கு வத்தலே!!




கறுமுறுவென கடித்த்துண்ண
மேலிதுரு கொண்ட உனைத்தேடி
சுடும் சுகம் கொண்ட பகல் கனவில்
ஆழ்திடச் செய்யும் ஒரு நிலையாய்
கடும் அடம் கொண்டிருக்கும்
என் குடல் செய்யும் இந்தக் கொடுமையில்
                                நான் எல்லை மீற
தொட்டில் இன்றி கட்டில் இன்றி
குழந்தையாய் பிறந்ததாம் - இந்த ஊளச்ச்சதை!

Binge breaks

I've been meaning to do this for a while actually! (Like most things).  May be a stray thought branching off from the the world hunger series (or not! Been too long, can't remember).

I wanted to write quick short poems or funny lines or whatever expressions I can pen about my binge cravings every time I feel them (no I am not pregnant, just unhealthy!), and thus hopefully distracting my brain for long enough to actually overcome it!  Ingenious - ahem* desperate ahem* - it sounds, doesn't it? Let's see how long it works, for it did today...:)

So, I'll post my first attempt shortly!  Well, ended up writing two versions of the same thing because I was struggling for words to finish even one.  If you understood that you know what it means to fall out of touch with your writing spurts.


 

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

ஆசையா காமமா?

நீ உன் முகமயிற் நீக்கினால்
என் முகம் ஏக்கமாய் வாடியது...
இது பிள்ளை ஆசையா, செல்லக் காமமா?

Monday, March 21, 2016

No Blogger App on iOS App Store

Yes, this disappointment gave me more than good enough reason for me to pick the pen sorry phone sorry the good old laptop to express my horror at finding this out this morning!

I had deleted the Blogger App to make space for some music, assuming I could always download it again, as I usually do with several apps, to overcome the "16 GB woes" of my dear little iPhone 5, a gift, I have no mind to part with. 

Oh on that note check out this one if you don't already know - http://www.mophie.com/ - which is now available through the Apple website as well.

This morning having the initial symptoms of a writing urge (thanks to some inspiring writings such as http://www.sindhusankar.blogspot.com and http://www.raudri.blogspot.com that I read and re-read after a long time) I cleared up other clutter from my phone and went looking for the Blogger App via the Search on the App store.

Not finding it there I was confused and tried to find it in my "Purchased Apps ----> Not on this Phone section" list. I drew a blank when I could not find it there either and re-tried both ways before it stuck me as worryingly odd.

Googling the problem, actually brought this link up - https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/blogger/DHXxVoEzMPU;context-place=topicsearchin/blogger/category$3Aios%7Csort:relevance%7Cspell:false

Apparently it's been out since Feb this year and I had not noticed it! (roll eyes: of course since I obviously did not look for an App that I already had).  I would have appreciated some form of notification via email or such from their users list!! (Ya I know I am traditional like that, expecting email notifications!!!)

There are NO GOOD FREE BLOGGER APPS on the iOS at the moment.  A big gap in the market and I am surprised there was no official announcement.  I understand the blogger user base, mostly personal bloggers, has waned and IS quite small in the face of worthy competitors such as Wordpress but it's always hard to face the truth as a nasty surprise!! (I could hear google and Apple going "You belong to a group of people that is so small that it is negligible.")

THIS got me back to the predicament of moving away from BLOGGER and even the whole argument of how (Personal) Blogging is dead, now that everyone prefers to go back to FB to like or comment where every blogpost is auto-shared to begin with, announcing to their "readers"!! 

Having successfully avoided or not seeing any new value in the Tycoons of the new age of always connected world, has contributed to me being a Tumblr (really any social network other than FB) retard and somehow denying the existence of the well established Wordpress!! 

I know! I know! I have considered Wordpress several times in the last so many years since BLOGGER started its slow decay but what can I say, the loyalist in me always reproached me into quietude!  Not really the AdSense loyalist, mind you, for I have made, not a single dollar from it yet, in all of my almost 7 years with it!  Ha! Beat that! :)

I even tried GHOST a few months ago and somehow did not think I blog enough to be paying for a blogspace.  May be I will make the move to Wordpress or a new Blog space.  Or not at all, coming across some new way to write/post that is not Blogging. No I am not talking about the microblogging platforms made for short attention spanns and word misers,  I am quite (unbearably sometimes) generous and find it hard as it is to cut short, thank you!

What do you think, have you found any other new ways of doing things around here? What BLOGGER Apps do you use on your iOS devices?









 

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Nayanthara Mattrum Samantha

I am not big on movie reviews and probably have written not more than one.  And technically this is not a movie review but rather a discussion of certain movies or certain aspects of Tamil cinema that I have enjoyed recently.

Dark humour has been around in Tamil cinema for quite a long time though it used to be far apart and  far less frequent.

I think it started with the Venkat Prabhu and Co., that Tamil Cinema welcomed this genre back into its folds once again leaving the audience pleased and heavily entertained.

Chennai 28, Goa, Saroja - etc from this crew especially - I believe trained us well enough to be able to appreciate new comer spectaculars such as Soothu Kauvvum, Neram, Jigardanda, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kanam.

I love this new category of Tamil Cinema with its fresh bunch of actors, musicians and artists of all cadre.

Now add to this list the recent Naanum Rowdy Than.  Let me stop you right there if you started to object that this is not to be compared in terms of script or plot strength to the other ones listed above.  I totally agree on that.

But what I loved about this movie is - I never thought I would say that but - Nayanthara's acting!  I think I started enjoying her "style" from "Boss engira baskaran" but it was mild and barely there.

I did not like her - may be the script's particularly the dialogue's fault - in Raja Rani.

But in NRD, she has definitely done a commendable job.  Again there are script hiccups in this one too.

Despite being yet another DUMB HEROINE FALLS IN LOVE routine with the only character strength being her deafness, I think the movie is enjoying its success hugely thanks to Nayanthara's acting and dialogue delivery - not sure if she has used her voice in any movies before but it suited the role perfectly.

Moving away from Dark Humour and going to a what's called a MASS ENTERTAINER which I have nothing good to say about most times, is the movie "10 ennrathukulla".

Nothing great about the movie at all, if you were expecting me to say such things...   It was as awful as you would have guessed.  Once again SAMANTHA here has pulled off the DUMB HEROINE character very well.  For a change I was not watching just Vikram in a Vikram movie which is saying a lot for me.  And you could clearly see the variety if you compared this to her own another DUMB HEROINE performance in anjaan!!

*SPOILER ALERT*  I must say I did NOT enjoy her transformation and "mannerism" for her role 2 in this movie.

So, just wanted to say, good job ladies...!

Disclaimer: Given that I do not follow movies or actors/artists closely enough, I may miss details or other good works of theirs, please forgive me if you are a hard core fan or enthusiast.   This is purely based on my observations limited to the movies I have watched and enjoyed.