Tag Archives: Rama

Whose Fault is it Anyway?

By Ankit Chandra

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Off late, or maybe its an exponential function of getting older, I’ve begun to see more shades of gray in our lives. Not to mention I have a huge trouble differentiating between greens and grays ( I think I am colourblind), but that again, is digression.

The grays I am talking about are absolutely divergent from the simple problems as we used to face. much like the transition from 11th standard’s finding forces of friction between two cubes, to finding the forces of friction between all bodies in a moving cycle.

Earlier it was so simple to point the good vs the evil. God Ram was good, Ravan was evil! it was simple. But then IBN live ran a story saying that in south India, some people actually worshiped Ravan and thought Ram was evil! Even that could have passed off as an exception, if it wasn’t for a wiki article on Indo-china war in 1965. Before that, as most Indians, I thought that the fault was all Chinese. After reading that article, it wasn’t clear who was wrong. Chinese, according to that article, were just trying to protect their territory. Whose fault was it then?

Then I watched Devdas (new one, again). Obviously the hero in the movie, Devdas, was loved by everyone. Poor guy, because of the pain he went through because of Paro leaving him or his father punishing him for everything, he got into drinking problems. Although otherwise a drunkard is considered bad, in this case Devdas won all the sympathy because we all ‘knew’ why he became a drunkard. So then, something becomes despicable only when we judge the act. But as soon as we get to know the reason behind the act, the whole picture turns itself on head, and the character become a hero of a Rs. 30 crore plus movie.

There was this character in this movie. That of Devdas’s bhabhi (sister in law). She comes out in a very sinister portrayal. But I now think that was because the movie doesn’t get into the details of her character. If Devdas had his reasons for turning into a drunkard, she must have hers for turning into a bitch. Maybe if those reasons were shown in the movie (like a disturbed childhood, early rape or whatever is heart wrenching enough), we might not have considered her evil. Assuming her part of story was shown and we looked at her with the same sympathy as Devdas, who was responsible for all the fracas? Whose fault was it anyway?

I think the point that comes out is that there are so many shades of gray that I am bound to get confused in between them (and I almost thought I was colourblind :P) Most of the people in the world are living in the various shades of gray. Let’s be a little more careful the next time we point are fingers ‘knowing’ whose fault it actually was after all.

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You Can’t Exist. It Offends ‘Us’

By Ankit Chandra

khajuraho

In the news today, among other more immediately critical things, is this news about a paintings exhibition in Bangalore (http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/in-bangalore-moral-policing-means-three-paintings-face-the-wall-326900?pfrom=home-otherstories).

What’s the big deal about a paintings exhibition? Isn’t it just about some people only putting their expressions on to some canvas? who has time for that right? To be quite honest, I think it would be a big deal when a painting exhibition was actually not a big deal. Sadly, we are not there yet.

So what happened was that in this paintings exhibition, there were some paintings showing a few Hindu Goddesses in the nude. A local BJP ‘leader’ walks in and sees these paintings and flips out. He ensures that those paintings be put inside out, so that no one can see them. He said “I have reported to chief coordinator of Chitrakala Parishat saying you people should not show like this, Hindu gods and all. We have our own belief, we have our own culture…”

When I read this, I had a mixture of feelings inside me. Besides the obvious questions like ‘who the hell is he to be the representative of Hinduism’ (I am sure Lord Ram didn’t send him an appointment letter, because I think God likes me more than this BJP leader), I was more anxious because I see a special type of slow rape and murder happening here. That of freedom. Not only of speech, but to exist freely. Given that this rape of freedom a slow process, I am sure the government wouldn’t care to fix this, as this doesn’t affect the elections in 2014, or the local Karanataka elections, whenever they are held.

This is an urgent problem. Not only in Karnataka, but in Tamil Nadu with Viswaroopam, or with the late M.F. Hussain, or with the painters in Ahmedabad whose exhibition was vandalized, or with Deepa Mehta for making Water. The list goes on. And this list scratches our faces with its iron finger nails telling us that you must live in servitude of those who can walk over you whenever they feel like.

Anyway, back to the news. The father of the painter issued a statement: “There is absolutely nothing objectionable in his paintings. If that is so, then all temples should be destroyed.” After reading this statement, I had another mixture of feelings ride inside me. One of which was that of desperation. You see, in the older times people seemed to have more freedom of expression. They ‘could’ sculpt Hindu Goddesses in the nude. And those sculptures were integrated into temples. In 2013, we have regressed to a time even before them. Maybe stone ages where the whims of a petty local politician were taken to be a decree more critical than the dreams of Rabindranath Tagore.

Of course we could not have one more than one Nobel in literature. For that, we’d need to coexist in this century first…

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सब खवाब हुए धूमिल…..

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पैदा हुवा मै जिस दिन, माँ-बाप मुस्कुराये I

थी तंग घर की हालत, लड्डू ना बाँट पाये I I

बस आस उम्मीदों में, बचपन भी मेरा बीता I

हर हसरत रही अधूरी, लगता रहा पलीता I I

ना शिक्षा मिली ढंग की, ना काम ढंग का पाया I

संघर्षों ने जर्जर, कर डाली मेरी काया I I

शादी भी मैंने कर ली, पैदा किये दो बच्चे I

हालात अपने फिर भी, हो पाए नहीं अच्छे I I

महीने से हफ्ता पहले, घर में ना टिकता राशन I

तब खाने को मिलता है बीवी का केवल भाषण I I

पीता हूँ ख़ूनी आंसू , है ह्रदय मेरा ज़ख्मी I

जीवन में सदा मुझसे, रूठी रही है, लक्ष्मी I I

सब खवाब हुए धूमिल, अरमान सारे टूटे I

है आखिरी तमन्ना, ये प्राण तन से छूटे I I

हे ईश!  मेरे मुझको, बस इतना डर सताता I

जिस राह से मै गुजरा, बच्चों का ना हो नाता I I

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