Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Happily depressed?

Strange...I consider myself a happy person and yet..I am drawn to depressing films, depressing songs, depressing books...They move me in a way that happy things don't always touch me. Not never, but definitely not always. But a sad song, a tragic film, or a heart wrenching book almost always draws my attention and I get hooked.

I'm troubled, and puzzled.
What does this mean?
Does this mean I am a depressed person?
I don't think so! It can't be - I am so happy!
Does it mean that we feel sadness and tragedy with more intensity than we feel happiness?
I'm not sure...I've felt sadness with the kind of intensity that I wouldn't inflict on my worst enemy...but I've also felt so much happiness that it's actually brought tears to my eyes.
Does it mean I've not let go of things that happened in the past and that the past has marred me with scars that haven't yet gone away? Perhaps I do have trouble letting go of certain things, but I certainly don't consider myself marred and disfigured with scars from the past.

I'm very confused. So I've decided to call it 'Happily depressed'. It's not a permanent state of being, like manic depression. It's a bit more transitory, like euphoria. Except it's not euphoria. It's being happily depressed.

Anyone know what I'm talking about?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Ma

Nothing that I can say will ever be enough...I'd have to write a thesis!
So I'll just say Happy Birthday to the best mama in the world! Yay!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Round Indian chappathis

I just watched Bend it like Beckham. I found it in the video library at LIPA while browsing through the shelves, and decided to pick it up.

I realised something while watching it. As Indians, sometimes we feel ashamed of how backward we are in terms of social customs, traditions and attitudes like "there's nothing better than respecting your elders". Yes, the Indian family in Bend It Like Beckham was a stereotypical sikh NRI family, where marriage is of primary importance, marrying a white person is out of bounds, a black person - it's horrible, and marrying a muslim - well, that's unthinkable! Where a woman is defined by who she marries and how many children she bears her husband and how many cars he provides for her. Where a woman's life is restricted to making round indian chappathis and living her parent's dream of becoming a doctor or lawyer. Eventually of course, Jess in the film gets to do what she wants..and that's what makes the film stand out for me.

But as I was watching it, I caught myself thinking - What must the English people think of us Indians? But then I began thinking otherwise...A realisation hit me. We Indians make the mistake of thinking we are exclusively backward.

But then again, we came up with the kamasutra didn't we? Sexual teachings.
We also have the Khajuraho temples. Eroticism at it's best.
Our gods and goddesses wear nothing but jewellery to cover themselves up. Elegant nudity.
That's pretty forward, I'd say.

Another thought struck me...The west is equally backward about some things, if not more. I saw the way Juliet's suspected homosexuality completely freaked out her mother in the film, and how once it was established that Juliet was not a lesbian, her mother said "Oh, I have nothing against it, love!"
I thought about my Greek friend, who's father refuses to talk to her because she gave up her career as a lawyer to come here and study Dance.
I thought of my flatmate who keeps his sexuality a mystery to his parents, who's mother only suspects that he's gay, and who's father doesn't have a clue.

Maybe we aren't more backward than other countries. Maybe just as backward. And maybe we are forward in ways they are not, and backward in other ways. Vice-versa.
Maybe it all isn't just black and white. Or grey.
Perhaps it's all just a jumble of colours that just needs sorting out.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Big little things

Sometimes the littlest of things can mean so much...

A pleasant look in the eyes of the passer by.
A phone call from someone you thought you'd never speak to again.
A twitch in the corner of your teacher's lips when you know you've done something right.
The ordinary words of an extaordinary person.
The smile on someone's face.
An unexpected visit from someone you haven't seen in a long time.
A letter.
The memory of the smell of a person.
A little message left for you, saying "Hope ur doing ok"
Two lines of a poem.
....An mms sent by a friend...a picture of a loved one playing cricket.

I'm smiling, Recho.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Happy Birthday

Ah...Happy birthday, 23 year old! I just wanted to wish you..this is just one of the ways. I'll go have a beer later, I promise!

I just didn't want to sound all sad and upset, you know. I was thinking of printing the lyrics of 'Lazarus' on today's blog, but I have a feeling you'd scoff and say, "That's so gay, sylvan goddess!" So I decided against it. :)

Hope all's well up there. Did you meet some of the people who really inspired you? I don't know why this one name's stuck in my head cos of the funny way in which you said it - Chuck Sculdiner(is that how you spell it?Or is it Schuldiner?)..You bumped into him yet?

I bet you're having a blast there, and also amused by all the happenings here, with us all. I can see you smirking at some of the things that have happened, and also smiling mischeviously at others.

Heh. It makes me smile to think of you. I was just telling my friend, Stian about your birthday a couple of days ago(all my friends here know all about you!) and he said I should celebrate it the way you would've! Haha. I don't think I could do that, though. I'd either have to start drinking whiskey at 8 in the morning, or I'd have to stay up all night.Or both! And you know how I'd get if I did either!

But sure, I'll celebrate. Ganesh, in his own way, taught me to do that, actually. It's Krishnaswamy, by the way, not Krishnaswami :P..but then again, you always spelled my last name wrong too. ;)

So much is changing in my life - I'm consolidating my career, I'm learning to accept a lot of things I didn't before, I'm so in'd be in tears with laughter seeing how hopelessly in love I am... I'm all grown up, tots. And happy.

All said and done, I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss you, your stupid phone calls(I was going to quote you, but I think you'd hate me for it, so I won't :P), your stupid promises to come visit (I know, I know..I promised too), you flipping your eyelids to freak me out, and giving me 'life lessons', and telling me about your EVS classes and how I should listen to metal, about your constantly-in-turmoil love life, and about how your friends aren't a bad influence on you(I'm sure you know how much I know of that now!). I'd also be lying if I said I haven't cried. If you are watching us all, you'll have seen the sadness and the tears, so I won't lie. But I also know it would've made you feel awful, so I intend to SMILE.

And here...I'm sending out a message for you, and just in case you do get it - I don't want to be it to be all sad and stupid.

So with a big smile, I'm sending you millions of really tight hugs, and lots of kisses, and uhh..I hope you're sensing my state of absolute euphoria at you having been such a huge part of my life! mWah!

Happy Birthday again. I love you, you stupid fellow! :)

p.s. I found one of your websites! Now you can go on ahead and continue to annihilate! Hehehe.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Life's too short

It is. There is so much that needs to be done, so much we want to do with our lives, but theres no time. I know it's stupid to think this way, but it's true isn't it. 21 years of my life have already gone by and I've not really done anything with it.

Hmmm...well, maybe I have..I have loved. And I suppose that's a lot. I have loved and lost, lost and learned, learnt and unlearned, unlearnt and re-learned, re-learnt and consolidated, consolidated and loved some more, I've loved some more and gained immortality through it.

But then I still fear the short span of time we have on this earth.

And I dread the day I will lose yet another person I love.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Jesus Camp

A documentary on Evangalists. I saw clips of it on the internet, and was quite literally jaw-droppingly horrified. American children as young as three are rambling nonsense, a little nine year old girl ages as she speaks of spreading the word of the Lord to adults. Watching her I felt like I was seeing a 35 year old person talk. I felt like telling her - "You're nine years old! Go play with your toys, and read Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton for fuck's sake!"

Here's a few links. Be prepared to see some really fucked up stuff -

Google Video - Jesus Camp
Jesus Camp - Nine year old Rachael
and.....Here's the trailer!

Watching this made my skin crawl.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Fucked up night

Last night was a weird night. Jetlag forced my eyelids to pry shut at eight in the evening. Succumbing to the welcoming sleep, little did I know what I was in for.
In absolute darkness, in lucid sleep I heard noises outside my door. As if someone was scratching against the door. With a key or something. Hannah heard it too, she said this afternoon.
Outside, the wind blew with a fury, whistling..drawing strength from the uneasiness that oozed into me.
Somehow, sleep came to me and whisked me away on a ship of dreams. Of horror.
Everyone I knew had died.
Everyone that I loved, was gone. But not quite. An almost identical clone of theirs still existed. But it was not them, and I knew this because I knew them. There was only just a hint of a difference, but it was difference enough...a very slight difference in skin colour, the ever so subtle alteration of their personality, the little tinge of evil in them.
And suddenly I heard something snap. Was I awake? Did I hear something?
Before I could think, my dream conquered my consciousness. Vanquished in my sleep, I was the slave of my twisted subconscience.
The hell I was in continued, undefeated. A bitter ghost of my real past came back in my sleep to haunt me, to torture me, to violate my peace of mind.
In my sleep, I wept. I didn't just weep. I sobbed. Uncontrollably.

In my sleep, I forced myself to open my eyes. Anything to end the misery, somehow.
I felt my eyelids stir. I tried harder to push out the evil images from my head. My struggling eyelids gave in enough for my retina to take in the blurry red light that was the flashing numbers of my digital alarm clock.

A sudden rush of adrenaline hit me. I was awake. I opened my eyes wider, trying to see through the sleep, and the tears. The clock said it was 4.20 in the morning.
I didn't care. I would not sleep again. No way. I was not going to get sucked into that desperately hideous dream again.

I leapt out of bed. I washed my face. I looked around. I had known all along, it seemed to me then, that I had been dreaming. Yet while I was dreaming it, it was real enough to make me cry, to make me feel ugly when I woke up.

I came out of the bathroom. My eyes fell on something lying on the carpet. I went close to it. It looked like a mangled piece of metal. I picked it up, and amazed, perplexed and yes...definitely frightened, I looked at my bedside table. There stood the feet and ankles of the little metal figure I had stuck onto my bedside table with blue-tak. I looked down again at the mangled piece of metal...yes, it was the legs, the hips, the torso and face of that metal figure. How on earth did that happen???? What could make a metal figure the size of a walnut, just snap into two in the middle of the night? Was that the loud snap I heard in the middle of the night?

I came online. And there was Ganesh. I talked to him, vented and cried. About the resurfacing of evils of the past, about the pain of the death of loved ones, of the fear of the death of the ones that are living, of someone who hurt me beyond explanation. More than hurt me.

I feel better now, but I still feel weird. It was just an extremely bizarre night. I hadn't felt this weird and fucked up since I hallucinated about Toto two years ago.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Victor's Justice

On December 30th, at the crack of dawn, Saddam Hussein was swiftly executed. The sentence on the basis of which the Sunni dictator was executed, was this - Killing 148 Shias in Dujail in 1982. How specific. 148 shias. Hours later, a massive car bomb exploded in a Shia town, injuring about 45 people and killing 35. This divide and rule policy was followed even over an issue as sensitive as Saddam Hussein's execution.

Also, the number - 148. Why shouldn't Bush and Blair be the next ones to face the gallows? They, by invading Iraq, have already taken the lives of 3000 innocent Iraqi civilians. Is that not worthy of the death penalty? And What about our own Narendra Modi? He massacred over 3000 people in Gujarat over a span of 2 days in February 2002.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not defending Saddam Hussein. In the words of an Iraqi who was interviewed on CNN, "Of course he should've been executed. But he should have been executed by the Iraqi people, not by the Americans."

Even the vulnerable Iraqi people cannot be fooled. What George Bush calls an Independent Iraqi government and an Independent court consists of puppets, and the puppeteers steer their actions from Washington DC. Everybody knows this. Who are they trying to fool?

What was the motive behind the execution? Even George Bush didn't claim that it would end the violence in Iraq. Everyone knew that it could only excacerbate the situation. Iraqis were said to be "dancing on the streets" according to american television. And sure, some of them were. Saddam was a nasty piece of work. But more and more news reports say that Iraqis are apprehensive, fearful, worried and disappointed. The Iraqis fear ethnic and sectarian violence. So why does Bush call it a "great milestone"? Iraq is no less disorderly or chaotic. It can only mean that the Americans want disorder and chaos. They obviously feel that as long as Iraq is unstable, they can continue to justify their occupation of Iraq. The truth is they don't want to stabilise Iraq at all. They want to keep it as unstable as possible for as long as its possible, so that they can stay there. That was their goal from the beginning anyway. It wasn't weapons of mass destruction or 9/11 or wanting to rid Iraq of a dictator(who gave them the authority to do that, anyway?). Their goal's always been to control Iraq.

It's pretty obvious that his execution is considered unfair by many. And if Bush doesn't expect some sort of retaliation, he's a damn fool. He has angered many many people, and made the world an unsafe place. By his stupid moves, he increasingly endangers the lives of more and more people. What does he want? Another 9/11? Of course angry extremists and hardcore Hussein loyalists will react. I'm getting more and more convinced, that Bush doesn't care if he's endangering the lives of people in his own country. He's even endagering the lives of people in the UK, the other member of the "coalition" during this whole invasion of Iraq.

It's all a big mystery...why was the execution done so quickly after the sentence was upheld by the appeals court? Why was it done on a holy day? What about the UN? Was it revenge or justice? What has the world gained by his death?

Everything that I know about the execution of Saddam Hussein leads me to believe that the motive behind his 'murder', was not justice.

I think they hastily and thoughtlessly executed him in a rush because they felt that the momentum of public opinion would catch up with them if they waited. They knew that most of the world would not approve of the execution, and I believe they finished him off before public opinion gained momentum and put pressure on the Americans to act differently.

Also, it was a deliberate decision to kill him on a day considered holy for muslims. Eid. Have we ever heard of anyone, however cruel and evil, being executed on Christmas or, say Diwali? Why did they choose to kill him on that day, if not to bring about some sort of provocation?

What really horrified me was the breaking of the promise that the tape would not be released for public viewing. Not only was the tape of his execution released to the Iraqi television, but also to the world. Everyone who wished to, watched the last few moments of Saddam Hussein's life, sitting back on their couches, in their living rooms. What's worse is, I believe the entire footage of his execution is available on the internet. Quoting a friend who saw it, "It was horrible! You can actually see his body falling through the pit, his neck hanging on one side, obviously broken, and his body swinging from side to side." How did they let such a thing happen? It would be unheard of, if a President of any other country, or any other political figure was to be executed. How did they let someone with a camera phone tape it all and put it up on the web? There's a deep-rooted lack of care and sensitivity about this whole thing on behalf of the Americans, who we all know, control everything in Iraq.

What happened was a new form of Medieval Barbarism. That's what occupying forces did in Medieval times. If they occupied a country, they'd overthrow and execute the king of that region. That's what the Americans did. They used lies like the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and Saddam's involvement in 9/11 as excuses to occupy Iraq, and once they succeeded, they overthrew and killed the ruler of the region.

What the Americans are calling a move to stabilise and rebuild Iraq, is in reality, a war.

Crimes against humanity are meant to be tried at the International Court of Justice. Saddam was tried by an "Iraqi court" in an American occupied Iraq, and everytime the judges showed reluctance, they judge was changed. And unfortunately, Saddam was justified in saying that he doesn't recognise the legitimacy of the court. He wouldn't have said so if he was really being tried by an Iraqi court, because the world would've shut him up. But here, much of the world was silently agreeing with him.

There are some international standards of justice, and there are International bodies unanimously created for these purposes. But the Bush administration is sending out a loud and clear message to the world. They don't want the world to believe that they are working within a global democratic setup. They disregard the UN, they don't believe they need to listen to anyone. They want to establish ultimate supremacy. They are not showing obedience to any international agencies. They want to dictate terms to everyone. The UN is powerless to do anything, though it does make noises every now and then.

When America dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, the war was already over. Japan had already surrendered. They dropped the bomb to send out a message - Dont fuck with us. And that's what's happening now.

So despite the fact that Saddam was a man who deserved to really suffer, losing him has not just been good riddance. His execution was a breach of international standards of justice, a message to the world, and the demolition of the last obstacle in the path of American supremacy in the middle east. It has only instigated more instability in Iraq, more anger in and outside Iraq, and made the world even more of an unsafe place!

Moreover, by being so hasty, thoughtless and insensitive, they've actually made people sympathetic to Saddam's cause. Saddam deserves no sympathy. He does not deserve martyrdom. Gandhi was a martyr. Saddam Hussein today, stands in the same place as Gandhi. They've turned a cold-blooded killer into a Martyr. He refused to wear the "naqab" during his execution and faced his death with calm, they said. By executing him without a fair trial, and because the world knew the motive behind his execution was not justice, but revenge and other things, he's attained martyrdom.

So all in all, what has the world gained? A horrible man who should've been subjected to rigorous improsonment for life, or harrassment for life like General Pinoche from Chile was harrassed, has become a martyr in the eyes of many. The world has become more unsafe, and will live in constant fear of retaliation where more lives will be lost. More British and American families will lose their children. Recently 20,000 more troops were sent to Iraq. The world stands with no faith or hope. The UN and other international agencies have lost their legitimacy. The world faces an opposition-less bully in the form of America.

As for George Bush and his administration...ah well, they're grand!!