ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘money

Why US Elections make me sad: And no it’s not about Trump

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money_politics.jpegElections in world’s oldest democracy and the leader of the free world should have been about all that is good about Democracy. It should have been a showcase to world which can influence non-Democracies to become one. However I am afraid to say US elections make me sad. I’ll tell you why.

The debate should have been about the candidates, the policies, what they can do or not. However I see the media discourse about who is raising how much money. Money, which should have been abhorrent when associated with a candidate, is being considered a virtue. The liberal media is celebrating the candidate who gets more money out of the wealthy donors, the Oligarchs.

Consider the headline on CNN, “Clinton burying Trump: $42 million to $1.3 million”. It reeks of a feeling that a candidate with more money is more virtuous. And this makes me real sad. It feels the real purpose of democracy has gone lost. Each person, rich or poor, was to have equal say. However a donation by rich, which is then used to influence other voters, makes the voice skewed. Rich has more voice even in elections. I am sure if Trump had raised more money, the headlines would have been is his favor. It’s not just CNN, its all media. In fact it’s a general sense.

Whole concept of democracy has become a sham. In the world’s largest democracy, India, it is even a bigger sham. Billions of dollars of black money is spent during General elections. It’s akin to buying votes.

So much money in politics and its naked celebration by media makes me sick. Makes me wonder, where did it all go wrong?

Written by arpitgarg

July 16, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Why are Baba’s and Guru’s relevant in society?

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baba.jpgCouple of disclaimers first, I don’t go to any Baba and Guru and nor do my family. Secondly, I will restrict myself to Hindu Baba/Guru’s for the sake of this article. But same thing can be extended to all religions. It’s a societal issue and not religions issue.

When Asaram went to jail amidst sexual allegations, a lot of people I knew felt pained and were devastated. These people have put their faith in Asaram for years; revered him as their God. “Humare Bhagwan ke saath yeh kya ho raha hai?” one of them lamented. They were common people who were genuine in their regard and their pain. Asaram exploits brought a lot of disrepute to the religious Guru’s. The murky secrets were out in the open.

But the issue I want to touch upon goes deeper. Why do people need these Baba’s? What is it that these people are searching for in life? What is it that these people lack in them? It’s complicated. I feel it goes much further. It goes to “Why we are here?” People have been trying to find the answer to this question. What happens after death? Such things trouble us. Next is the race in life. Everyone wants to be more successful than the other soul. Some look for answers, some look for advice, some look for success. Whichever Baba/Guru provides whatever, people go to him.

I will be very blunt here with no disrespect to any one in particular, Modern high profile Guru’s are nothing but a sham. They do this just to make money. People cometh the last. VVIP Baba’s and their VVIP functions. If you have money, you will sit in first row in the Baba pandal.

For me a Guru must be above the money. If I see VVIP front row seats in a Baba’s pandal, I have no respect for them. But most of them are such. They try and keep up their humanitarian side by PR of helping the poor. This gives their rich followers some ammo to quench their morality.

Such Baba’s exploit the fears of people and become a pied piper to them. But I can’t blame them completely. If people are ready to be duped, what can anyone do? But the TV and VVIP Baba’s are not for me. I prefer meditating in silence instead.

Written by arpitgarg

June 29, 2016 at 8:51 pm

Posted in General/Society, God

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Money and Friendship

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A close friend of mine always said, “Beware your friends more than your enemies”. His reasoning was, you already know that your enemy will try and harm you, but your friend is the one whom you tend to trust and thus are more vulnerable. You least expect a friend to attack. Thus to be safe you have to be more vigil with people who you trust.

I came across some similar situation. People who call themselves your friend; proclaim it with a drum in hand, are the ones you should throw out of your lives. So I learn’t the hard way. I understand you have to have few people (or at least one), whom you can trust. To find such people amongst your friend group, you have to test them. I am not saying become the old lady from “old lady and the wolf story”, but do test them. Only then you will know if they are for real.

If you help your friend with cash or kind, they will pretend to be loyal to you. But how do you if they are for real? A rule of thumb is if you help your friend with money, you put your friendship at stake. Do it only in life and death situations if you have to, not as a norm. Else you are equally guilty of his/her impending betrayal.

If you have helped your friend with money, decide on a date of repayment with interest. Most of the times, the “friend” can get money from somewhere else, all he/she is looking for is to save on interest. Involve the interest component. This will preempt a lot of betrayals.

Even if you don’t need money, do ask a friend whom you have helped in past to lend you some. This will show the true colors if any. Never be gullible enough to fall prey to the crocodile tears of such people. Else they will hurt where you are most vulnerable, at times when you need their support.

I would suggest never involve money in friendship. Money is such a thing, which ends lives, this is just a friendship. There are a lot of people who will glue themselves to you just for taking advantage. It’s you who have to be careful. Remember, it’s never fun to find out you were being taken for a ride.

Written by arpitgarg

September 23, 2015 at 4:45 pm

Posted in General/Society

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Friendship Day. Really?

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Just got a call from a long time friend. “Hey pal. How r u?”, asked he. “I’m fine”, said I. “Just called to wish you friendship day”. And we both laughed to tears for next 30 secs or so. A day for friendship. Who are we Colonists? Ok, bad joke.

Friendship is the essence of humanity. Why is there a need to put a day for it? Ok…let me try and go with it a bit. It’s friendship day, today. What am I supposed to do? Call up my friends? Greet them? Shouldn’t I be had been doing it regularly if they are my friends?

Historically such days were declared to celebrate some achievement. Independence Day, Republic Day etc. What I feel is sometime down the line, it became a fashion to declare days just for the sake of it. I mean friendship day? Who are we Invaders? Again, bad joke.

In college I understand, it gives a shot at maaroing chance. What after that? Also with declaring days with increasing frequency, it’s not far when we will be marking more than one thing on a single day. Imagine Friendship Day and Animosity Day falling together. That would be hilarious, now wouldn’t it?

To me it seems yet another capitalistic agenda to mint money. Friendship band, cards, gifts, tv, movie and what not. That’s genius by the way. Respect.

With the scale getting larger year by year, not long before I get mutated too. Who knows my friend, you will get a card from me next year.

Written by arpitgarg

August 5, 2012 at 10:16 pm

General Dyer @ Ramlila Ground

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After an unusually long Saturday, I made a last dash to my TV remote, before going to sleep. Little did I know that sleep would be the last thing on my mind soon.

A betaal lookalike yoga guru, who has raised hell about black money, prevalent corruption and a long-dead system, with a tinge of political ambition, was about to be turned a martyr.

A veteran leader from the party in power stated, “We are not afraid of Baba. Had we been afraid, we would have jailed him long ago”. The relevance of his remark came haunting back with the sad scenes from the capital.

Sending in Police and Rapid Action Force at dead of the night to lathi-charge sleeping innocent common men, reeks of colonial hitlerocracy. When I first saw the movie, Rang De Basanti, the scene where peaceful candle light protest was crushed forcefully. I was sure such thing could never happen in my country. China perhaps, but not in India.

What has happened today has shamed me. How can I cite General Dyer now, when Jalianwaala Baag has been re-enacted in Delhi. Lathi-charge, tear gas and burning the stage are akin to the gunshots in today’s democratic times.

Thousands of people who have come from across the country, where were they supposed to go at the dead of the night? Why not do the same operation during the day? Tear gas is to be used on rioters and miscreants, not on peaceful sleeping people.

If I can’t even protest peacefully against the issues that are haunting me, what should I do? Should I become a naxalite? Should I become a terrorist? Should I hang myself? Should I leave my motherland and live a life of an orphan?

Yes, I am corrupt. But I support any such popular movements against corruption. Even if it’s political then so be it. Coz quite frankly, I am simply fed up of being corrupt.

You are not razing down Adarsh. You have not realized a penny out of 2G. You have not brought back even an cent of black money stashed abroad. But you do sent a 2000 strong force to raze down the shivir.

Baba has been extern-ed out of Delhi. If tomorrow I will raise my voice against corruption, Will I be extern-ed too? I think I will quote from a famous movie, Go to hell DK Bose.

Secret Talks

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Personal Secret is described as something that is known to the person alone and not to any of his acquaintances. Lie is defined as an intentional false statement. They both are related as one leads to another.

Everyone keep secrets. To keep them hidden, they lie. There are various reasons behind. Most common are shame, loss of money, property, love desertion, to brag etc.

I have come across people who kept some weird secrets, told wonderful lies. Some of substance, some just for fun.

1. Kyunki…shhh
A college mate leads the pack. You know how it’s common to deride the ‘Saas-Bahu’ soaps. Well this friend of mine just loved them. The situation was precarious; he couldn’t dare to them watch openly, lest he became butt of all jokes. So he used to download and watch them all alone quietly. As fate would have it, he shared the folder by mistake across the network and the skeletons came tumbling out.

2. Categorically denied
Our society has been divided into class and caste and so is the college admission process. However in some a stigma of being a category student creeps in. Treatment meted out to them could be a reason. There was a guy in our batch, who lied about the same. I won’t go further into the reasons, as the discussion is complex. But when it came out in the open, it left everyone wondering.

3. Had a boyfriend
Most common of them all! Don’t tell about having boyfriend/girlfriend and keep yourself in the market. It’s okay for causal flirting but when done to take advantage, it becomes tasteless. A girl fooled around with a friend to get him to do the academic work allotted to her, while keeping the existence of her boyfriend hidden. Here’s a fact: ‘Guys only help Single Girls’. She knew this well. I can’t say that my friend really cared or so he said later on.

4. From Upstate
We often find people hiding their birth place. Across Europe, I have found people from Pakistan calling them Indians. In Mumbai, few people from UP, Bihar fake their origin to be Delhi. Sometimes out of being scared, sometimes otherwise. A friend of mine introduced himself in the first year as a Delhite. It was only in the final year that we came to know he was from Ghaziabad. He tried to justify by citing NCR. Well reasons can be aplenty. We do still poke him for the same.

5. Opener
A senior at college related to me a funny story. During their first year, a guy told everyone that he was the highest JEE ranked student of their batch. He was called Kholu (common term for rank opener). He enjoyed the limelight for a semester, at the end of which people came to know the truth. They started calling him nakli kholu. Why he lied is still a secret as he maintained his innocence all through.

6. Open the Closet
A serious issue with our society as far as homo-sexuality goes. I have known at least two people who kept it a secret, for obvious reasons though. Hopefully, in future the social stigma attached o it will wither away and people would not have to hide in the closet.

7. Uncle Sam
A first year student who was a localitie was being ragged. He dared the seniors, “My uncle is in ULFA, stay away from me or else don’t tell me I didn’t warn you”. Needless to say, he got away. The fun was, everyone knew he was lying but no one dared to call otherwise.

Hopes and Ropes

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Written by arpitgarg

May 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm

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