Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I: So whats the big deal man? Its just another day!

ME: How can you have such a lackadaisical attitude towards it. Its not just another day, Its your Birthday!

I: So? I am Arun John, for record sake born on 17-10-1986. Would you have loved me better if it was 19-10-1986? No right? Then what are birthdays for. Getting drunk? Spending money on insane treats? Its just for legitimizing your existence. Just so that you know when you should go to school, college, university, get married...and so and so forth.

ME: But doesn't it feel good when your family wishes you a Happy Birthday without a fail first thing in the morning. When your close friends call you at 12 at the night to wish you. When your mom gives you the most genuine hug in the world. When your friends come and pound with pats and hugs and all of them the best you could ever have?

I: Well...except the birthday wishing part, do you mean to say that you don't get the hug or a friendly pat any other day? Then I am sorry to tell you my friend, you better get a couple of really good friends! If possible a good girl friend too...

ME: Come me, a birthday is an important day. I mean, its only once that you are born, and even if I believe in multiple lives, I might have to wait till my next birth and for that this life has to get over and there is no guarantee that I will be born a human in my next birth! So for me, Birthday, the day you entered this world is a huge thing. And celebrating a Birthday is a kind of salutation to the whole beautiful biological process that worked behind you and to the fact that you are here, to make a change or to live your life or to love no purpose or what not...

I: True, I also salute the beautiful and wonderful process behind it. But it doesn't make a difference having a day dedicated to it. I would rather worship the time I was born if anything, the moment. Not a day dedicated for it anyway...and hello! Should I be glad I am getting older? To be reminded of my responsibilities and duties on a yearly basis as I grow in age!!!

ME: Responsibilities are there no matter which month or day or year you are born. As a child, a different set of responsibilities, as an adolescent a different set, as a father or a grown up middle aged man, again different responsibilities. So in that sense, you are right. You don't need a birthday to be reminded of your growing age and inevitable responsibilities and roles which come with it.

I: See...I understand your argument dude. It does feel nice to have a good hug, a good meal with your people, a good drink to celebrate your place in this world and all the emotions tied with it. But again, wouldn't you enjoy all those every other day? When would you say no to a good hug, a good meal, a good drink?
So Birthdays to me are nothing of great significance. And to be very honest with you, I am secretly glad that these sites like Facebook and Orkut prompt the Birthdays because people do take offense if you don't wish them on their special days! And these sites are very prompt in letting you know when those days are!

ME: Thats true, even I secretly admit it. But again, is logic a good solution to everything. Even for this logic to stand, you need an emotional base right! We as humans are primarily build on such emotions of love or hate or relationships and friends or dates or what not...

I: I agree with that. So I make myself malleable. I don't say I won't wish anybody on their birthdays. I don't say all this is crap. I give what people want. I have friends of whom I don't even know when their birthday is. But I have a group of friends whom I wish on a regular basis, give a gift, pep him up and make him feel special. Thats how I see things..

ME: To each his own man. You cannot just brush aside something saying I don't approve and it doesn't appeal to me, so I won't do it. It if requires, you have to do it.

I: Ya. Thats all it is, Catering to requirements...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chocolate, Mama and Kids...

Let me tell you a story of chocolates and mama and kids…

Mummy mummy can I have that chocolate? “Please mama…please”. The clever mom who knew it would create cavities said “No, there is no way, you can’t have it.” Now little did she know the child was inspired by Gandhi or at least couple of his principles…like fast unto death and non-alignment.

When Chandrasekhar Rao said he wanted Telangana, big mama Congress told “Beta, calm down when time comes and when you are grown up, we will think about it” so our beta kept quiet for a while, but threatened to take away the chocolates from the fridge…all of them.

And so one day the time came…our beta again demanded the chocolates…mama said “time not up!!!” Gandhian follower beta stated fasting unto death, “no chocolate-no other food” was his motto. Mama got worried…what if beta falls sick and loses health while she is still in charge of the house? And more than that what if his friends blame her, what if the neighbors blamed her??? What is the friends withdrew their support and admiration for Mama dear!!! “God…to hell with the chocolate, my son’s friends and family goodwill is more important to me than some chocolate. So here is the chocolate, go and enjoy…”
But mama didn’t know that it would still create cavities…left and right her sons and daughters started fasting for more and more chocolates…but poor mama was not willing to make more chocolates nor buy news ones for the sake of distributing…

Now the beta is unhappy that mama gave the chocolate not because she liked him, but because she liked his friends better and the other kids are unhappy that mama is partial, that she doesn’t like everyone equally…
My heart weeps out for poor mama...
My heart weeps put for the beta who was reaffirmed a fool…
My heart weeps out for the other kids who also like the taste of the chocolate…
My heart weeps out for myself…in the race for the chocolate I am in an identity crisis, did I study in Hyderabad or Telangana? Will the Biriyani be called Telangana Biriyani from now? Will the price of booze come down? Alas…mama I at least want the chocolate wrappers…

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Do I look the part!

I have never felt the need for looking the part of something. I always believed what is inside you is what matters. Be it in the office, apart the fact that you've to look decent and in a work place I have never felt the need to look 'corporate'. I haven't felt the need to look like a professional or a anything for that matter. But all these are so negotiable. The maximum that can happen to me if I don't dress corporate for my office is a pink slip. Thats the worst case.

But have you ever felt the need to look a Hindu? Look a Muslim? Look a Christian?

For the first time in my life I felt the need. I am born to a Hindu Brahmin mother and a Latin Catholic Father. I have been baptized, Arun John, very much a Christian but brought up learning to accept all religions and cultures. I have gone to Temples, The Kumbh Mela, Churches, Gurudwaras and quite many places of worship in my so many years. But I've never felt the need to look a Hindu to enter a temple, a Christian to enter a Church. I don't know if there is something called the Hindu look.

Yesterday I went to a temple in Hyderabad, near my office to pray and see the Dussera festive nip in the air. I admit, by regular Indian standards I look more a Muslim than Human. I sport a goatee which is influenced by the rock culture. But this also in branding terms make me look a 'Muslim'. I have never felt a thousand eyes upon me scanning me top to bottom as if I am misfit, an intruder, an outsider. But yesterday when I went to the temple I felt that. I felt each and every one right from the security at the temple entrance to the priest performing the pooja inside the deity room looking at me with scanning eyes placing my religion. I am not a person who frequents a temple or church or any place of worship for that matter; but once in a while when I do I would like to pray properly, have a silent conversation with myself without the fear of being scrutinized.

Is Religion no longer a matter of faith?
Even if I am a terrorist who wants to blow up the entire place if my face is neatly shaved and I look Hindu enough I can go into the temple without the fear of frisking and scanning?
Is there a need for this generalization or branding of Religions?
Is Religion a matter of faith or of identity?

There are many more questions in my mind which isn't so refined to be put down on a blog. But the incident freaked me out. It depressed me to know that I don't have the freedom to look what I want and follow the faith I want. I am more a patriot or nationalist than them I believe. I am a more mature and accommodative person than the octogenarians of middle aged ladies and gentlemen I saw there I believe.

I hope that people someday go back to being accommodative. We Indians have had a very accommodative culture. Religion is a matter of faith and its an extremely personal choice. If not accepting everything, the least we can do it respect it and treat the person as a fellow being rather then branding the person this or that! I am now overcome with a terrible pathos and a feeling of despair around me seeing face to face certain facts I never thought would affect me....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oh..its a mistake!!!

People excite me. In my 24 years of life, I had the fortune of meeting and talking and spending time with many a kind of people. From the many experiences I have had and still have on a daily basis, I have come to a conclusion of my own, people are most interested in pointing out others mistakes! Now, pointing out mistakes is good, but isn't accepting it dignity? Just like you would like to point out, shouldn't you also be ready to accept it, rather than being defensive?

An incident which happened yesterday is what gave me the extra jive to write this post. One of my friends who is also a blogger, received a comment on her latest post saying it is 'substandard' from an anonymous person. Now, receiving such a comment even from a known person is quite unusual, leave alone an unknown person. The anonymous person who said its substandard later clarified that s/he is an avid reader of my friend's blog and that her writing is 'precious' and enjoys reading her posts. This just opened a can of worms in my mind:

Is it so typical for human being to always find mistakes with somebody? How come the anonymous person never commented anything good on the blog I mentioned, in none of them? But unfailing commented 'substandard' in the one which s/he found not so interesting? Is this then criticism or plain beating around the bush to sound important? When do you pretend and in front of whom?What can you term by mistake? Is there actually something called right and wrong? If one person is right, does it mean the other person in wrong?

I personally don't believe in a phenomenon called right or wrong. Just because I am right doesn't mean the other person is wrong nor vice versa. I believe in respecting. I might not be able to accept certain things because I am an individual and I am unique in terms of my mental make up. But I have to respect and that I believe is what makes a man better. Whatever the action is the other person did, s/he has a reason behind it and I respect the reason...

Ego is the word! Everybody has one and he or she thinks the other one's is bigger!!!