Wednesday, 17 October 2018


So I have questions and I need help finding answers.

Questions like -
Why is there is a sudden rise in minor voices being heard in mainstream media?
Minor voices = marginalized voices. For long Dalits, farmers, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, they have all been part of the wider discourse, but not like this. Never like this.
What caused this?
What was the tipping point which made the mainstream media sit up and say that this will make the top 10 news stories?
What is there in some stories that make it more compelling than the others? What sort of stories are still not getting covered? And for what reasons?
For example, we didn’t have so many child abuse cases being reported till that Aamir Khan came and said this happens in our homes. More importantly, he encouraged us to talk about it. So, the newspapers started running more and more stories highlighting them. Yet, we still find it difficult to have a conversation about sex and sexual orientation in a civil manner.
Come to think of it, the minor voices have always spoken against the treatment meted out to them by those in power. And change has always been effected through a long and sustained challenge. Case in point, the long and arduous fight surrounding Sec 377C and the petitioners victory for everybody on getting the draconian law struck down is what in my naive and limited knowledge considers to be normal struggle and humanity showcasing that at the end of the day, commonsense will prevail.
Why is there an increased disobedience against the establishment especially when we seemingly have deficit of almost everything but a deficit of information?
Are the actions taken by the establishment in reaction to the rising voices or are their actions resulting in the decibel levels rising? OR is it all a vicious circle? Is the rise in decibels of minor voices a reaction to rise in conservatism globally?
How are seemingly despotic ideologies being voted to power or on the rise around the world?  
Who is voting for them?
Why are they voting for them?
Especially when the voices being raised are in complete contrast to that of the establishment.
OR, is it because that the new establishment has come into power that these voices are being raised around the world?

I think these are the questions, the big picture ones. The kinds which are often grasped as a viable conspiracy theory. And so, with blunted senses and pointed arguments, I shall try to make sense of the questions.  
Like all good mysteries, let us begin with what do I know? What have I observed?

I know that the world is in a hyper state of flux. Basic definitions, which we long held closely and chose to define us are rapidly changing without us even recognising the change. For example, literacy is no longer just limited to the 3-Rs. Even in the absence of the 3Rs, people are adapting to the technology, finding ways to connect and consume information. As a result, Institutions and positions of power which long aided in the bandaged functioning of society is getting (in most cases in spectacular fashion and often times violently)ripped off. The speed at which institutions and positions of power are being torn down is not matching the speed at which alternative models to take its place or is being replaced by a substitute anodyne as a makeshift solution.  

Agreed a large number of institutions needed to be brought down, and there still remain institutions and positions of power which need to be challenged. The social fabric needs to be resewn. But what is the new fabric going to look like? Who are going to be the artisans who are going to be instrumental in giving directions? I raise this question with intrigue and a sense of excitement because I suppose, I recognise this movement to be similar to the stories I have heard or watched as documentaries from the 50s and the 60s coming from the western world. Which in contrast to the growing economic story of the east. I understand that cultural influence is directly tied in with the economic power of the story teller. 

It is not surprising that change is sweeping across the world, Like Bill Burr said in some radio interview, the pendulum was kept from swinging for a really long time. Something snapped and the pendulum has been let go. Now it has swung to the other extreme. It is going to be take time before the pendulum comes to a rest. We don’t know what things people believe in or hold close to them will the pendulum knock down. What intrigues me is the response to the change. Who is responding to and how. And I am curious as a cat. 

This, change, is no longer an observation as much as it is a fact of life. And as things change, we haven’t had time to make sense of what is changing, what has changed and what will change as a result of all the things which have transformed with the passage of the beast we call time. We know who is bringing in change and we understand why too. And much like Newton trying to understand gravity, I suppose I seek answers and an understanding of our response as we watch the move. I strongly believe that the increasing number and frequency of the different grassroots movements is a symptom of something bigger. One that we haven’t quite had the time to take a step back and figure out. It is also extremely evident and obvious about who opposes change - it is not going to be encouraged by those in power or those who wish to maintain status quo. But I want to know about the others. The bystanders. The undecideds. People who don't wish to venture into a debate for fear of being falling into the binary trap of right and wrong because the situation is complicated and can't be simplified to be put into words. 

As I said, I don't have the answers. Just questions. Whole bunch of them. Anybody raising their hands to help me find answers to them?

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Amul - A Short Story

Its morning again, I can hear the darned birds chirping outside, with my eyes still closed I can hear the ticking sound of the wall clock like the irritating sound of the water faucet dripping. The water faucet never drips in my house, because I don't like it dripping, like the way mom's head was dripping blood, and flooded the floor and spoiled the carpet. I like everything neat and clean.

My name is Amul. I believe my father was especially fascinated by the utterly butterly delicious girl. Though I have a liking towards her myself I don't like to acknowledge that to anybody. Though not many people have actually found out about this connection. But am aware of this because my father during one of his happy drunken moods told me about this. And those are rare cases. I know for a fact that even if am genetically part of my father, I will never become like him.

I study in the 7 th grade. And I like my school. My favorite subject is math. I don't understand why people don't like math. I see star world in the evening and people are always saying lame ass jokes about them sucking at numbers. I love my math teacher,her name is Simi Miss I dont know her last name guess its Miss.We all call her Simi Miss. She is funny and she reminds of my mother. I like Simi Miss because she likes me, she thinks am smart. And I like it when she kisses me on my cheek, esp when I solve some of the questions she gives only to me. She always gives me questions to solve and only me. And all her questions she tells me are named after old men who thought of all these questions and then they died trying to solve it, which I find really funny. She gave me today some old man's problem called the Fermat's theorem.

My mother died when I was 9 years old. My dad hit her in the not so good drunken moods and she fell. And then she died. My dad did not tell me anything and I understood that am supposed to act like Gandhi's monkey. I always wanted to ask this question to Simi Miss . I wanted to ask her, why the monkey uses 2 hands to cover one part of their body. Doesn't make a good ratio. What it should look like is 2 monkeys one covering its eyes and mouth and the other covering its ears.

The model monkey would be me. And the monkey covering my ears would be my father. What I really love about this picture is that the father monkey is not drinking. I find old people to be so damn funny. And i find them even more funny especially when they cry. Everybody cried at the hospital that day. I could draw graphs for all the different frequencies they were crying in my head for each person.

My favorite sport is cricket. I think I can kick Sachin's ass. And I also think that he is highly over-rated. But my best friend Anita doesn't think so. She thinks I will get smashed out of the stadium, but that's why I like Anita, she can be so stupid at times. She told me about this funny video, her mum hides and keeps in her computer system where women are naked and are making funny noises. She and me tried making those sounds but she sounded better than me, maybe she practices them before she goes to sleep, she denied it but I still have my doubts. She is my class-mate and my bench-mate. And whenever she forgets to get me lunch we fight and divide our bench in to a Indo-Pak war zone. But she is funny and teaches me all the bad words her parents call each other. Her favorite swear word is bitch, she told me that this is what her mum calls her grandmother.

After i come back from school, I go and play till my father comes back home I rush back home and sit in front of the TV. After dad makes dinner its his turn to watch TV and he asks me to go to my room. On some days dad watches something on tv which I think is something like the funny video Anita's mum watches. I try to sneak a peek. But I can't really see anything, except for the blue light.

So I try and solve the problem Simi Miss gave me. Its pretty simple actually. I rewrite everything because Simi Miss can't understand my handwriting, and I draw lines and all. And then I go to sleep, hoping that those darned birds don't wake me up again.

note: This is just a fictional story. More like a prologue. I just wanted to write something today. So i did. =)

ps: I may continue the story... Maybe not. :P