ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘human

Reincarnations of the Modern Kind

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When a Rajinikant movie is released, there are poojans and processions all around. The fans have relegated a mere human to the status of God. In fact over the period of history, there have been several such cases when humans have performed such feats that the followers became worshippers.

They say there is God in all of us. Let’s consider it true for a while. Let’s try and identify the almighty who walk among us and whose reincarnation are they.

1. Shiva America
Partition The Destroyer. A handsome young man, meditating and minding his own business, when disturbed unnecessarily, opens his third eye and wreaks havoc on the world.Who more similar than America, A place for opportunities, an inviting habitat. But when Japan carried out an unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor, retaliation was swift and deadly. Even Taliban would agree! Revered and Feared Partition
2. Rama Sachin Tendulkar
Partition The Maryada Purshottama. Unswerving self control and virtue. The composure and patience never wore out. Perfect adherence to dharma.The choice is unanimous. Sachin Tendulkar. An ideal man and a perfect human. Need I say more? Partition
3. Ganesha Pranab Mukherjee
Partition Vighnharta. This son of Shiva, hailed as the Remover of Obstacles.For the past 7 years of UPA rule, Pranab Mukherjee is the one to whom Congress run in dire situations, he is Vighnharta for sure. Partition
4. Hanuman Manmohan Singh
Partition The devotee. Served Rama from the heart. Manmohan Singh was the right hand man of Sonia Gandhi when she was bidding for PM post. Once she decided to sacrifice, her ardent devotee was rewarded. Ever since 7, Race Course has hardly disobeyed 10, Janpath. Partition
5. Durga Mamta Banerjee
Partition Feminine Force. The Devi riding a lion with a smile. Fearless.Mamta Banerjee has fought against the system for last 35 years in West Bengal single handedly. Her only weapon being her fearless and killer attitude. Durga came into full force in 2011 assembly elections when she ran over her opponents. Partition
6. Lakshmi Jayalalita
Partition The goddess of wealth, wisdom, prosperity. Sheer good luck and wealth to all the devotees.When IT dept. raided Jayalalita’s premsies, everyone was astounded to see the wealth. She promises her voters cash and kind if they bring her to power. Partition
7. Krishna Akshay Kumar
Partition The prankster. The raas-leela. An ideal lover. The Supreme Being. The Gyaan of Geeta.Akshay Kumar has always been known to be a ladies’ man. The pranks played by him on his co-stars are a part of a legend. The wit and humor is unquestionable. Partition
8. Annapurna Big Bazaar
Partition Goddess of food. Supplies food to people.In today’s world its Big Bazaar which fills the hungry stomach. From food to fruit, everything you get by making a wish to Big Bazaar. Partition
9. Vishnu Common Man
Partition The preserver and protector of creation. Mercy and goodness. It’s a self-existent entity.The Common Man by R K Laxman has been the face of aam aadmi since eternity. As witty as Vishnu and representing the facets of humanity akin to various avatars. Partition

Why do we Celebrate Birthdays?

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Like always, I threw a party for my friends this birthday. We celebrated, ate, I got gifts et al. This year was different though. I turned 25; a quarter of my life gone. According to a legend, man lives total of four lives. First 25 years “life of a human” when he enjoys, next 25 years “life of a bull”, when he works like hell, next 25 years “life of a dog”, when he barks and no one listens to him. And the last 25 years “life of an owl” when he is awake at night and listens to everyone without his own existence.

Accordingly I am done living the enjoyment part of my life. During early years of my life I used to wait eagerly for this day. New clothes, gifts, money. As fate should have it, I started falling ill on my birthdays regularly. At the age of 8 my Grandma decided enough is enough, no more celebrations. “Logaun ki nazar lag jaati hai chore ko”.

From that day, I avoided opulent celebrations, a tradition which I have carried on since. It has been just a few close friends, raising a toast and a small cake cutting; personal and close. Inadvertently I have moved on from opulence to sobriety.

I often wonder why we celebrate birthdays at all. When and how the tradition started? It could not have started before the advent of calendars, right? We just celebrated birth and death prior to that. At birth God gifts life, at death God takes it away. Both events take us closer to God. Hence the celebrations.

During winters, days get smaller, and as summer approaches they start getting bigger. Early people thus considered advent of summers as rebirth of Sun. This was among the first annual birthday celebrations by man. When calendars came into existence the same was applied to birth of the son (sun, Jesus) and effectively to every human being.

So what does birthday celebrations signify during our modern times? Are we celebrating the coming year, are we celebrating the accomplishments of the past year, are we celebrating surviving yet another year?

If we are celebrating the future life, than with each passing year, we have less and less reasons to celebrate. So should a septuagenarian celebrate any less than a guy in his twenties? If the answer is no, then one thing is quite clear that we are not celebrating the future life.

Are we celebrating the past year? But why? The past is past. It is gone. It is a like the sand which has dropped out of the hand. It is like the wind that has passed. We could have admired it as it was happening but why should we celebrate the past. Though we often raise a toast to the past years accomplishments during the party, it’s just a filler.

Since we move one year closer to death, we are for sure not celebrating the gift of life. Coz we are one step closer to that gift being taken away. It will be a delusional stunt of defying death if that is what we are celebrating.

What I feel is that birthdays are just a timely reminder of our existence in this vulnerable world. It’s a way by which we feel ourselves. We realize our existence. “Look, I am still here, despite what life has thrown at me. It’s just another way to celebrate who we are and where we have come from. It’s just another way to announce ourselves.

Same Same but Different

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Last night I had this amazing dream. I woke up at night with lights flashing all over. A man with big mustache and vintage golden dress was standing tall, over me, and laughing loud. “Wake up, you lazy bugger, Wake up”. Sleepy and startled, my first reaction was to blame it on the overdose of Vodka that night. But soon the gravity of the situation or can I say the lack of it dawned on me. Aaj toh lag gayi Mamu!

He told me I was dead. Died of a certain Gastropathic attack. Gas! Couldn’t it have been something legendary?  Like being attacked by flying dragons while jumping of a plane which collided with a UFO. Leave it.  I died of Gas alright.

Here I was, one moment trying to realize my dreams, my future and the very next facing the shock of my demise. My whole life flashed before my eyes. Family, Friends, Future. What now? I begged, pleaded with my soul transporter. Let me live to make things work, make things right.

It’s hard to say that it was my lucky day, given that I just died. But he took pity to me which clearly didn’t seem to match his M.O.  “There’s one condition though”, said he. “Here it comes” “Give me a reason to let You live.  Hey it’s easy, “I have so much left to do in my life. Get married. Make a career. Have kids”. He gave me a smile. “You don’t seem to get my question. Why should I let You and not some other person, live”

I was just an answer away. Given that I have been writing exams all my life, it shouldn’t have been that difficult. But believe you me, however hard I tried, I couldn’t get an answer.

Have you ever thought? Trying to make a mark in life, a place for ourselves, we have ended up being clones of each other. Lost that very individuality that we have been craving for, fighting for. When I look outside my apartment all I see is blinking stars. Only they are not stars, they are other apartments. We are all boxed up. All flats look same. All work looks same. All roads look same. All blokes look same. How is my life any different to my fellow men?

Well, it only seems logical that we all be same. The funda of evolution revolves around learning and surviving. We learn from others, grab the best of all and apply to our lives. Thereby becoming a hybrid.

With the advent of cut throat competition, this cloning process has only hastened. Don’t you remember your mother/wife saying, “Pados waale Sharma ji jo TV laaye hain humein bhi wohi chaiye” Or a kid crying that he wants the new Play station which his friends have. You covet other mans wife, car, house, life.

If we look at it the other way round, “What’s the problem in being clones” After all we are all born humans. Same at birth. Same creator. Same creation. Why is the need to be different? Just that it doesn’t seem all that right to be part of a monotonous system. It just seem what can I say, unnatural.

The similarity doesn’t end with the lives we tread; it follows us to our grave. However hard we have tried to make our post-death ceremonies different, the truth is, after a certain point, nothing but dust remains.

Anyhow, I was not able to answer the question of the big mustached guy. Good that it was just a dream. Am not sure what I had done for real.  Not even sure I really do care to be all that distinctive. I might try now and then, something out of the blue to be different. Might also be successful at that for a while. Till someone decides to catch up and steal my thunder of course.

The day I cried

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What is the most passionate human emotion? Love, happiness, anger, sadness would be some guess perhaps. Well, not exactly. It would be tears. The singlemost, strong emotion on earth. You feel happy, Tears of joy. You feel sad, Tears of sorrow. You feel angry, unable to control yourself, Tears of madness. You fall in love, Tears of passion. You feel hurt, Tears of pain. You are caught red handed, Tears asking for forgiveness. When someone departs, Tears of loss. When your child excels, Tears of pride. The list is endless. Tears span all emotions.

Let me admit at the onset, I do cry sometimes. Not in public though. After all I have to keep my male ego going.  I have never even imagined myself doing so. Would be a highly embarrassing moment. Or so I thought!

Last time I remember myself crying was when my grandfather died. I was in my hostel room when my sister called me. The tears just flowed, they were spontaneous. But it all got over with no one around.

This time it was an auspicious and public occasion. My sisters wedding. I was busy with arrangements and couldn’t foresee what was to come. It was the Ladies Sangeet function. Few words about this Ladies Sangeet. It is organized as a pre-wed ritual on a grand scale in North. Stage is set up. Professional dance and music troop is called. Everyone from the family is supposed to dance. However good or bad it might be.

I am not a type to dance or sing. So I decided to duck via what I could do. Say a poem. Little did I know that it would prove to be my nemesis. There wasn’t enough time so I jotted down a few lines and added tit-bits from my older writings. Everything seemed fine. I was through with most of the lines. I had just described an incidence from our childhood and there were awes all around.

As I reached the end where I chastised her for deserting us, something happened. I can’t describe it. I tried to resist myself, cautious of being on stage and eyes staring at me. Couldn’t help it. The tears followed. What a Man was I!

I managed to finish the poem just in time to see my crying sister rushing towards me. And the worst part, I was forced to dance too. Here is what I wrote.

“बचपन की एक बात पुरानी,
कुछ सुनो तो कुछ में कहूं कहानी,
मैं बीच रस्ते चेंटा था,
कुछ हठ था भरा कुछ रूठा था,
मुझे था वही खिलौना लेना,
जिस में थे दो तोते और एक मैना|
पैसे थे चार जरूरतें थी दस,
मैं रो रो कर चिंघडाया था,
माँ ने भी थप्पड़ लगाया था,
तभी किसी ने प्यार से थपकाया था,
माँ मुझे कुछ नहीं है लेना,
भैया का बस चुप कर दो रोना|

वैसे भी ऐसा क्या मांगे वो,
बस दो तोते और एक मैना,
बस दो तोते और एक मैना|


आज तू बिदा हो है चली, बाबुल का घर छोड़ के,
बनाने चली तू नए रिश्ते, पुरानों से मुहँ मोड़ के,
कुछ और देर तक रहती तो, मिल बैठ के बातें करते हम,
कुछ बात पुरानी कहता मैं, कुछ गम मिल-जुलकर करते कम,
कुछ और देर तक रहती तो (सिसक-सिसक), मिल बैठ के बातें करते हम,
कुछ बात पुरानी कहता मैं, कुछ गम मिल-जुलकर (सिसक-सिसक)…”

Written by arpitgarg

February 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Smell of blood

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Chukk…Chukk…Chukk…Chukk…Thud!…Silence…Realization…Rush…Bachao…Bachao…Wait…Relief… Compensation…Chukk…Chukk…Chukk…Chukk

If one asks you, how many train mishaps took place in the country last month? You wouldn’t be able to answer, leave aside naming the trains involved. Like most other Indians, I am a regular train traveler and a keen one too. Even amidst the stats of two accidents taking place daily, neither do I change my travel plans, quiet frankly, nor can I afford to.

Only when it hits you close enough that you come to feel it. A train rammed into another during the heavy fog. I read the news and turned the page over as routine. It’s only when I found out that a dear friend of mine was on the same train that I became anxious. Now he is a guy who is least bit affected by such things. “These things happen”, is his attitude. But something he experienced that day forced him to change his outlook. A newfound respect for life, perhaps. He wouldn’t admit this, so no point drooling over.

According to him a real accident site is nothing that we witness in movies and quite far from the well shot clips that run through news channels. The sense of shock can’t be explained. It’s the state of cluelessness. It takes time to gather the composure. You fear to get down at first, not knowing if it’s a terrorist attack, an accident or some alien invasion. Such is the mental state. People start reciting Holy Scriptures.

If you are the one who would get down to take stock of the situation, you might see some smoke and dust at the rear of the train. The closer you get to the injured bogies, the more anxious you become. The smell of dust and sand gets strong and so does the crowd. You come near the huddle where people are trying to help the injured. You sense a smell which is intoxicatingly nauseating. What is this smell? You wonder. It strikes you just as you near an overturned and smashed bogey. It’s the smell of fresh human blood and raw human meat.

You see a wailing mother whose child is stuck inside. You can’t help her. You are struck by a feeling of sheer helplessness. There are scenes you would have never wished to see. Somewhat similar to the ones you might have heard from doctors working in emergency ward. The ripped open stomach, cracked bone, crushed skull and hanging leg (only leg and nothing else). All this and the intoxicating smell. The head feels dizzy.

You witness a whole new world. Everyone becomes a family; tries to save as many lives as possible. Consolations…Water…Medicines are collected from everybody aboard. Anyone who had had a doctor in the family becomes one today.  And Ah! no help from the authorities still. You see a bogey which is crushed to half with no way to pull the people out. Near it, you see a person, who in lieu of helping, try to pickpocket the unconscious and you feel no strength to confront him.

When the help arrives, you find the authorities helping the AC coaches first followed by reserved ones followed by general ones. The worst part of it is that nobody cares. Such deeply engraved is the class system into our psyches that we don’t see any wrong in what is being done. Neither do AC coach people feel embarrassed, nor do general coach people complain. Within few hours the train departs.

Witnessing death from that close tends to turn you towards faith. You vow to enjoy each and every second of your life from then on. After sometime you forget and it becomes a part of your documented memory.

Written by arpitgarg

January 27, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Confusingly Chaotic

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During the college farewell, a batch mate of mine asked, “So, where do you see yourself, 10 years from now?” I did what I do best, excuse myself with the sheepish smile. I never had to answer myself this question before. I mean I did schooling coz everybody do. There was no vision or so called planning that went into it. I went for JEE coz that’s what was “the hottest” at the given time. I opted for Computers for no other reason.

I remember a discussion with friends over dinner, “Why they opted for the particular engineering stream?” For most of them the criteria was Rank. I mean come ‘on, if 80 out of top 100 rankers (and more) are opting for Computer Science, that doesn’t mean all of them have such deep interest in it that they would have perished without it Or that the ones who didn’t get it were never interested in it. So let’s get one thing into perspective. What your interests are doesn’t matter during the cut throat competition in a developing world.

I took the job hoping to rise up the ladder along the normal path. As it was about to happen, the elastic snapped. The economic bubble burst and the condition of uncertainty in jobs might have led to the current thought process. Did I really want to be a software developer when I grew up? Was that my dream? If no then am I doing what I never wanted to, 5 days a week 9 hours a day, just to enjoy the weekends of my life. Has my life contracted to mere weekends?

This takes me back to the concept of civilized living. When was the concept of “work” proposed? Who proposed it? Why we followed it? We live on a spherical ball, don’t know where are we coming from, don’t know what’s inside the sphere, what’s outside the view. Just going on working through the week to enjoy the weekends. Working through our youth to enjoy the old age. Something doesn’t seem right. The concept seems flawed. It’s too mechanic, too un-human.

Maybe it’s this mechanics in our life that lead us to a peaceful timely death. Or the chaos would have had us much before.

Written by arpitgarg

January 27, 2009 at 10:59 am

Bush Shoed: Why does nobody care?

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The President of the world’s strongest democracy; the leader of the free world; one who could demolish the whole world. I am talking about none other than George Bush. Amidst the election campaign and following elections in US, it struck me how politically irrelevant Bush has become today. He has become a bit dormant of late. Gone are the animated speeches, war on terror talks and all those gimmicks. Republicans might have forced him to become mellow, keeping anti-Bush sentiments in mind.

His irrelevancy became all more relevant when an Iraqi reporter threw a shoe at him. I mean come on; a President being thrown a shoe at should/would have evoked sharp feelings among the people. I don’t see much of such reactions, at least neither in the news nor on the blogosphere. Americans seem to have moved on. For them Obama is their man Friday.

What struck me is the fallibility of human being. Some 6 years ago, who would have thought that anyone, leave alone a Muslim would be able to throw a shoe at the President of USA. I read in an article that throwing a shoe is the ultimate insult in the Arab world. Was this anger and insult against President of USA or George Bush? Would Obama also be subjected to the similar treat? Let’s wait and watch. A person, however powerful he may be, has a particular shelf life. This is the biggest strength of nature against us humans. Everyone die one day. Bush era is over in US, so much so that people don’t even care anymore if he is shoed at. At least, not much. As for rest of the world and also liberals among the United States, we can surmise the reaction as, “Usne kaam toh Joote khane waala hi kiya tha”.

Written by arpitgarg

December 16, 2008 at 9:39 am

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