Archive for the ‘ life ’ Category

The Wizards of Oz

So much has been said, written, quoted, and commented regarding the heinous crimes against Indians in Australia. You might think this is another rant from a fellow Indian citizen over dosed on news. I am writing this cause I find it obnoxiously alarming that Indians in Australia are being targeted. The Higher Commissioner of Australia has quoted in a press conference that in 2009 the number of attacks on Indians was 105 compared to 17 attacks the year before. 617% increase in attacks on Indians living in Australian. It matters to me even when I am coming from a country that is plagued with problems and trying to deal with it.

Last week the External Affairs Ministry (EAM) issued a travel advisory for those in Australia. The travel advisory should have been issued early considering the alarming rate of assault and violence on Indians. The travel advisory helped the world to see the best of the Australian government. I hope someone from SNL or Jon Stewart was watching the reactions/quotes/remarks from the top order of the Australian government cause it would translate into a laughing riot script.

My favorite character from Australian politics is the acting Foreign Minister Simon Crean. Just love this guy cause he says,

“Over the Christmas period there has been a spate of stabbings. This, unfortunately, is a violent threat and a violent tendency that has emerged. It so happens that one of the victims is Indian. There have been other victims. Melbourne is not the only city in the world in which this happens. It also happens in Delhi, it happens in Mumbai, and it is the responsibility of all law enforcement authorities to get on top of those issues.”

Hey Simon Crean, next time you must plug in the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the genocide in Rwanda, the pirates in Somalia and the separatist elements in Yemen. He also gives the word ‘emerged’ a new dimensional outlook.

Everyday is a new turn and twist to Indians being attacked Down Under. Below listed are few –

Make up your mind

The abundance of bilateral talks is confusing the Oz government. The Oz government hasn’t reached a conclusion to love, hate or share a love hate relationship with India. A congruent Australian government opinion would help. Simon Crean decides to shower some of his trademark quotes (as above) to the Indian government, the next day the Australian High Commissioner says that India’s actions are

“measured and totally understandable”

and then says

“Indian media is a wonderful and varied beast.”

Media Outbursts

The Indian media has received heavy criticism for covering the deaths/attacks/assaults/brawls on Indians in Australia from the Australian government, media and certain sections of the Indian society. If a 617% increase in the attacks of Indians on Australian soil does constitute as a part of prime time news then what does? Indian media has become the scapegoat for the Oz government and media.

“Indians are safer in this country than they are in their own country. If you have a look at the data, they are safer here than they are in India. They’re the facts, what we’re seeing is really a hysterical and uninformed outcry from some portions of the Indian media, and I expect we’re just going to have to live with that,” said Victoria’s Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland

.

Mr.Overland, one effective, action oriented statement and a logical explanation from your government without the word opportunistic would stop the

‘hysterical and uniformed outcry’

.
Blaming the Indian media is quite ambiguous. I think the coverage from the Indian press as a whole does translate to balanced reporting. Indian voices from Australia and those of Australian citizens has been taken into consideration and beamed live during panel discussions and reports. A good way to shut and prove the entire Indian media wrong would be some action oriented results or evidence proving that these attacks are not of racial motive.
Mr.Overland should at least read what the press in his own country is saying regarding Racism.

The Oz media hasn’t adhered to best practices in journalism. Adopting a counter attack mode, the Oz media has dug previous statistics of crime in the sub continent to showcase safe Australia. Majority of the times, the statistics is a combination of dowry deaths, homicide, riots. Below is an excerpt from ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’,

“In 2007, according to India’s National Crime Records Bureau, 32,318 people were murdered in India. Another 3644 were victims of ”culpable homicide ,’’ roughly equating to manslaughter. In a category of its own, 8093 brides or their relatives were killed in ”dowry deaths” – murdered by greedy grooms and in-laws angry over the amount of dowry paid by the bride’s family. And there were a further 27,401 attempted murders. By contrast, in 2007, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports, 255 people were murdered in Australia. Another 28 were victims of manslaughter, and 246 survived attempted murders. No dowry deaths were recorded.”

Definitely makes a good campaign for safe Australia. There are problems that plague India and we as a country are dealing with it. This does not mean we cannot voice our opinion or demand to know what happens to fellow Indians on Australian soil.
One man who makes perfect sense in Australia is Greg Sheridan, the foreign editor of ‘The Australian’ newspaper who says,

“There is nothing more lame than an Australian defence that points out that racism and policing problems exist in India too.”

Finger pointing can only strain bilateral ties and not generate solutions or provide security. The Australian government needs to understand the power of the television medium before lashing out insensitive quotes and comments before lamenting the country’s public image has taken a hard hit. For starters, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard should limit her words of wisdom.

Student Community in Oz

The Indian student community has been the target for heinous crimes. Most people blame the students for taking the subway late at night or for living in dodgy neighborhoods. Student communities anywhere in the world have access to a limited amount of income. Students will live in areas where rent is cheap; this is a fact of life be it in Mumbai, Philadelphia or Singapore. They have to work night jobs for the money and will have to travel at night. What should the students do? Should they move into security gated Australian neighbor hoods to escape assault. Do they stop taking up part time jobs in the night time? Only if the Australian media listens to their own public’s opinion and voices. Here, you can read how better policing can quell racist attacks from the newspaper ‘The Australian’.

If it’s not Racial Profiling, What is it?

The Australian government has accepted that there has been an increase on the attacks of Indians. A majority, including me think that this is a result of racial profiling and outburst. The Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi agrees that the attacks on Indian students in Australia were

”racial outbursts.”

(quote taken from ibn.live)
The Australian government overlooks any word that begins with the letter R. So if it’s not racial profiling, then what is it? Give us a legitimate explanation as to why Indians are dying/assaulted/stabbed on Oz soil. The Oz government cannot dismiss all the crimes against Indians as urban opportunists at work, drunken brawls, a walk in the park and dark alleys. Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of ‘The Australian’ newspaper says,

“the government clings to the idiotic defence that most of the crimes are opportunistic as if it is impossible to be opportunistic and racist. In making these assertions they must be the only people who believe them.”

A change in attitude and the power to acknowledge has to come from the Australian government to ensure such dastardly acts of pre- mediated violence does not occur.

You must see read this. An interview of the Australian High Commissioner with Karan Thapar.

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Artistic retreat

I dream of building myself an artistic retreat. A retreat where you are surrounded and engulfed by art – cinema, music, books, paintings, sculptures, anything that inspires you and calms your senses. To begin with, a few days here will work wonders for your soul. An ideal studio artistic retreat to slip into. I can see myself living here. Absolute Bliss. Love the creation especially the windows.

Resolutions

The word resolution has to be the most common verbiage used during the first week of the New Year. Life experiences have taught me not to take any effort to make new resolutions, as my old ones are still pending and never renewed. The past few days I have come across resolutions from bloggers, friends and strangers. There is no dearth in creativity and imagination that goes into making resolutions.

2010 just might see people skinny dipping, watching a play, getting married, hiking, reading, playing with children, taking a vacation, job change, standing up to bullies and more. Almost forgot the most important one without which resolutions would be meaningless, weight loss. I saw a few resolutions which said, “Find Love.” Perturbed how one can make such a resolution, I decided to look up the word meaning for resolution.
(source: dictionary.reference)
res•o•lu•tion (rěz’ə-lōō’shən)
n.
The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination.
A resolving to do something.
A course of action determined or decided on.

I still fail to understand how you can –
a) be resolute/ have firm determination on finding love
b) resolve to fall in love
c) have a course of action determined by which you find love

Clearly all the ‘find love’ resolutions can’t all be love from a puppy or a kid. Find love spells more like the shampoo on the back row of the hair product shelf at the store, which if you are like me can’t reach. Enlighten me, on how the hell you find love.

If you are at Hard Rock, do you eye a potential, down shots, flutter your eyelids and make drunken sexy conversation?
If you at a grocery store, do you eye a potential and accidental bump your trolley into his?
If you are at a bookstore, do you eye a potential, stand next to him and pull out the same copy of the book he is holding?

Maybe I’m a clichéd romantic in my inner monologues to think that love finds you and not the other way around.

Find love just has to be the most over hyped, unrealistic resolution ever!

The Facebook Fiasco

New social encounters usually end with, “Hey, I’m on Facebook, will add you on.”
“Are you on Facebook/Twitter?” makes the cut as this century’s redundant question. Rule of thumb, anyone who has access to the internet has been bitten by the online social networking bug.

Facebook envisages you ‘to connect and share with the people in your life’. There is no love loss adhering to Facebook’s vision. This noble thought is many a time responsible for changing your privacy setting often from prying eyes of your grandparents, cousins whom you have conveniently lied to, those you never want to meet, parents, professional friends, pseudo friends. Facebook has successfully embraced all ages. Infact when it comes to the sub continent, there is just too much of connecting and sharing.

I was a Facebook junkie. My day began with a cup of kapi (coffee) and logging to Facebook. After checking my page, it’s straight to the live feed section. The live feed as the name suggests is an overdose of information. The live feed brims of status updates, wall posts from friend of a friend who forgot to set his/her privacy setting, photo albums, application messages, updates and the virus more deadly than Ebola, Farmville updates.

As a country that thrives on voyeurism, there is no surprise that people enjoy sieving through the live feed. The honeymoon with live feed section and eventually Facebook does end due to the nature of information that hits your sensory sources.

There is no shortage to status updates on these lines,

“Thanks honey for the amazing candle light dinner”
“Yay! Going to Greece again for two weeks. Ciao soon”
“We are standing next to the statue of liberty”
“Fingers crossed for my second promotion this year”

There is a trend in the way status messages are written. Most of them echo a pseudo, complete show off, fairy tale, yet extremely vital to human sustenance tone.

There are wall posts from a friend of a friend who didn’t meddle with the privacy setting. These wall posts often echo good times only.

“Where were you? Me, neha, Arathi, Rahul and the gang went out. Missed u. Hugs”
“Damn! You missed it, you should have come ya”
“We had such an awesome time in Hardrock”

Facebook does take care of those who aren’t camera shy and loves to upload every picture they possible have and actually have the patience to sit and tag each picture. Everybody loves pictures. Even if a single album contains nearly 250 pictures titled, ‘Night Out’, ‘I love my work’, ‘Weekend’, ‘Me’. Yes, the ‘me’ category is predominant.

Application updates are a sore for your eyes. Farmville has taken the sub continent captive. Hardly a few left who hasn’t given into the temptation of online farming. The live feed section over flows with updates reminding you to adopt your friend’s lost calf, reindeer and sheep, asking you to fertilize your friend’s farm, congratulatory comments on your friend’s farming abilities.

Poking is equivalent to a, “Hey! Wass Up! Hows you doing conversation’’. Virtual gifts are regarded as thoughtful, commenting on photographs, liking status updates, adopting lost cows, attacking your friend’s profile by your home breed werewolves, updates on your friend list constitute of sharing and connecting with people in your life.

In short, Facebook might get on your nerves at some point. Then what do you do? You can shift your loyalties to the micro blogging site- Twitter. Deleting your facebook account is not such a wise idea. What if you could commit social networking suicide? You read correct. Online social networking suicide. Well, that’s when you click here.

I came across this via Swiss-Miss aka my favorite designer.

You ain’t alone. Many are fed up of social networking and turn to committing social networking suicide. Web 2.0 suicide machine lets you sign out of social networking sites as Facebook, my space and linked in forever. The idea behind Web suicide machine is that you will meet your real neighbors again!

“Liberate your newbie friends with a Web2.0 suicide! This machine lets you delete all your energy sucking social-networking profiles, kill your fake virtual friends, and completely do away with your Web2.0 alter ego. The machine is just a metaphor for the website which moddr_ is hosting; the belly of the beast where the web2.0 suicide scripts are maintained. Our services currently runs with facebook.com, myspace.com and LinkedIn.com! Commit NOW!” – Text from the site

Don’t wait or hesitate, its time to save your energy, calm your inner monologues when you see mindless updates and connect in real person, real time with the real world. Time to go say hi to your neighbor and friends than poking them.

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Horoscope Translation

Woke up and read this –

“Out of all the 365 days of the year, this one is very very special. I don’t mean that they sky will open or the earth shake, but the seeds which are sown today will eventually transform your life for better. A spot of confusion might be inevitable, but you can work around it.” Peter Vidal, The New Indian Express Horoscope.

Wonder for which Gemini the above holds true. Definitely not me. Cause I am nursing a bad tooth. Sitting at home, disoriented and deciphering a few essential truths peppered with angry inner monologue rants. Losing focus too often. Have heard many stories of interns in the print media recycling and editing horoscopes for the paper when the syndicated ones would arrive late. Must be a case of that.

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Murphy’s Law + Finagle’s Law – Karma

After fiddling with the custom status setting on Facebook, I decided to read through this year’s status messages. End of the year does trigger a reflective mood. I have been very prompt with my status updates. Perfectly sums up my emotions through the year. There was substantial amount of coverage given to Murphy’s law, desperately waiting for the weekend messages, explored the emotions of being a slave of globalization, celebrated good times, weddings, social obligations and random ones which I cant even make sense of.

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time, in the worst possible way. Yep, this year Murphy’s Law and Finagle’s law knocked me down real hard. The year started with the evidence of Murphy’s Law at work and moved on to my social life. As the months progressed, I became Finagle’s love child. Saying this year was a roller coaster ride would be demeaning the essence of Murphy’s and Finagle’s law.

While navigating the roads paved by Murphy’s and Finagle’s law, I wondered what happened to Karma. Karma can be roughly translated as reaping what you sow or if one does good or spiritually valuable acts, one deserves and can expect good luck; conversely, if one does harmful things, one can expect bad luck or unfortunate happenings or simply what goes around comes around. I am a staunch believer of Karma; though the intensity has considerably reduced since it abandoned me. Hell, I knew people worse than myself. I saw good karma manifesting in the lives of many even in those people I completely detested, but not an ounce in my own. My Karma was embargoed by Murphy and Finagle. I decided to give my instincts a run for its money. It did betray me occasionally, when it came to choosing a movie theatre, issues at work, catching an auto, ATM machines near my house, tailors and sometimes matters of the heart.

Cradled in the lap of Finagle’s law, I started to act on sheer instinct and desire. Things ain’t that bad now. Murphy and Finagle have moved on to other full time victims. I am wearing the old coat to buy the new book. And might have to do it indefinitely. It’s worth it when you know what you want. Karma has been visiting me in the form of strangers, unknown bloggers, college friends, good old friends and doting family members. Not a bad way to end the year.

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Single..its the mingling thats troublesome

Being in your late twenties and uttering the words,

“I am single”

attracts a tumultuous volley of questions. The usual mindless cliché questions go like –

“Babe, don’t tell me you can’t find one guy. What about work or church?”

“I think you should make the first move. Don’t wait for the guy. This is the 21st century.”

“Are you doing your bit? Dress up ya. Some nice mascara drama. You should lure the guy.”

“Why can’t you go talk to the guy? It’s because you ain’t doing anything.”

There is never a dearth of advice – good, bad, ugly. It’s everywhere, given by everyone and it’s free. I feel advice should be charged to keep sanity alive for the person who is getting the free load.

My usual truthful thread of replies –

“Seriously, I can’t find anyone. No one. Everyone who is nice is already taken or gay.”

“It’s not that I am single due to an oath or a cult group. I haven’t met anyone.”

“Please, it’s just a crush. One way Love Street. I can assure you that.”

“If the guy is interested, he would come and talk.”

Few months back, I had a round table conference with another single friend on our current status. Trust me; there are very few people with whom you can have a sensible and sagacious conversation on single hood. We wanted to decipher why women like us – enterprising, well read and spoken, heavy interest in politics and foreign affairs, peaceful and affordable attitude and personality, practical, non-pseudo, intelligent, normal looking (we wouldn’t have made the cut for playing ET), spontaneous, credible amount of spunk, fun loving, mildly aggressive for the right reasons, active cognitive processes, inexpensive ego cradling, tolerant, loves simplicity and is garnished hmmm more like dipped with sarcasm would be single. PS I love cricket too. We had no history of violence or earth shattering crisis.

At the end of the discussion we reached a conclusion that men can’t handle women like us. Seriously, I ain’t on an ego trip it’s the truth.

More than a majority of the opposite sex often reads –
Enterprising – ability to choose/ experiment a new, fancy and delicious drink every time we go out
Well Read – read Cosmopolitan to check out the love-o-meter guide
Well spoken – ability to make aww so cute cuddle conversation sprinkled with self indulgent Ego tripping
Politics – office politics and thesis on Bruni and Jolie
Attitude – Anyone from Sex and the City
Personality – should alternate on clues/ change with social circumstances and surrounding people
Practical – weekends spent in the claws of venture capitalists as Fuga, F Bar, Blue Bar and the likes
Non-Pseudo – signing up to receive updates from Green Peace
Intelligent – has the perfect little black dress/ shoes and accessories
Spontaneous – pub/club hopping
Spunk – throws up and still asks for another drink

There is a dearth. Dearth of men, though riding high on the wave of globalization haven’t surrendered their grey cells. Dearth of men who haven’t forgotten that spontaneous means impulsive thinking, the way to charm a lady through conversations of politics, attitude means to be yourself, fashion doesn’t mean F TV but to understand textiles, texture and the art of design, practical also means not to be engulfed by venture capitalists every weekends.

I read this on twitter few days ago and it sums up –

For every idiot there is an equal and opposite gender idiot. Singles are people with incomparable intelligence.

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