Category Archives: Thoughts

Day Fifteen: Voice

The Voice
At the Golden Temple, Amritsar.

Why did we invent language?

To diminish boundaries, or the other way around?

All religion is serene;

It’s we the people, who’ve sort of forgotten

Why we created religion in the first place.

It’s us, always been us,

Who downgraded one religion, or the other;

Ours was always the better one.

We fought wars,

We conquered.

Photographic memory

image

My first memories of being captured, on a photo film that is, consist of me being rushed to the terrace, followed by a change of clothes and a brief touch up, which is followed by introduction of two more kids almost the same age and then one of my brothers clicking the picture. That was around a decade back, more or less. How times have changed!
The first camera dad bought was a Kodak. It was silver-grey in colour with one of the fancy shutters, drag it to the left and the camera lens will present itself. It came with a tripod, which I somehow never managed to fasten to the camera. There was this timer option which, well in those days, was not common. There was no zoom option however. You couldn’t waste the reel on pictures of sunflowers or bugs or drops of water, either. Each reel meant thirty two pictures, thirty five if you were lucky. Hence each frame had to be perfect.
I don’t exactly remember the year when the camera was bought. I must’ve in the fourth or fifth standard at that time. Can’t be sure! And hence, like every 90s kid it fascinated me! As did the TV or the radio or those game stations we had. Ah good old times! I was as I was saying intrigued by it, also I wasn’t really allowed to touch it. I had once opened the back compartment that housed the film, destroying a good ten-twenty pictures in the process. So yeah, there’s that!
How times change!
Fast forward to the turn of the century, or sometime around that. Say hello to digital cameras with their megapixel ratings, lenses that extended past the width of the cameras, crazy zoom options. Times changed and how! The Kodak was dead, my sister had dropped it on her Goa trip and well sand did some stuff which I wasn’t able to deal with. I had by now established my superiority in all things digital or mechanical or electrical. Next we bought a Sony. Since then we’ve bought a couple more of the Sony digicams. The one I currently own is a DSLR.
And that, right there brings me to the party philosophical question.
Granted that the quality of pictures has improved, granted the ease with which you take the pictures has also improved. But haven’t we also lost some stuff. That excitement when the camera was brought out has vanished. That anticipation over the trip, that excitement, that preparation for the perfect pose, it has all gone! Nobody says “cheese” anymore! If it’s not perfect you simply erase the previous file! Phones have cameras! Facebook is filled with “photographers” showcasing their “photographs” which usually involve a watermark which goes like this ” photography”. The photographs well they usually involve some bugs, some plants, some birds, some animals or some stuff. I’m not saying its all bad, irritating yes.
The novelty has gone missing. That I do think is bad. If you ask me to go back to the photographic films, I won’t, but there are times when I miss the good’ol times!
Oh! And on that note do check out “Sajal Photography” !
Wait, that can’t be right!

Elections mess

Nitesh Chaudhary belongs to the 2K10/EEE batch of the Delhi Technological University/ Delhi College of Engineering. He many-a-times happens to board the same metro as me and that does lead to some fruitful-mostly-political discussions. He also has a knack to find people to debate with other than his batch-mates or people from his university or any other college for that matter. He doesn’t really blog, though he could be found here.

Here he talks about the ongoing Gujarat elections. Read on.

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Source: Google/Reuters
Source: Google/Reuters

Come elections, and we face a typical environment every single time- heated debates over the unsuccessful tenure of the incumbent government and the lack of choice for a better opponent available to the public. The Gujarat elections have reiterated my point.

What Keshubhai, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and finally Modi have spoken about Gujarat have content beyond doubts. Modi asserts his success in metamorphosis of Gujarat from a debt laden state to one attracting international investors is unquestionable. Rahul calls it a success for the rich and a loss to the poor. Sonia and Keshubhai reiterate the echoes stating Modi to be a businessman with friends in corporate houses, and selling the pieces of Gujarat to the wrongful owners thereby denying the local public their right over Gujarat. The other claims include corruption levels in the state to be at an all time high.

The allegations have found support in the poor farmers and labour class, as they did in the 2007 elections. This makes one believe the incredible level of truth in politicians’ words, so what if it’s directed to the harm of their opponents.

The response to the allegations props out back and quick, not from the tongue controlled spokespersons but often the supreme leader of the crusade Gujarat government is led by, Mr. Modi. His view that allegations hurled at him come from sources that have epitomised the standards of corruption in Modern India- the leaders troubled by allegations of misappropriated properties by family members. This leads one to wonder, how correct our leaders sound when faced with charges accusing them of being at fault.

The success story of Gujarat has undoubtedly raised brows across the top echelons of technologically advanced nations bringing them to a cat-fight to push each other to share a shining Gujarat’s pie to their advantage. This is surely a thumbs-up to Mr. Modi and his comrades and deserves to invite applauds from his true enemies. Though it is hard to be seen in politics like ours, the sordid side of this success tale has been elucidated with discreet sharpness. The poor in Gujarat have not prospered the way others have, if not perished to the extent, the opposition prophesise. The truth lies in how our nation’s poor fare as a whole. It is a stark reminder to the Modi-opponents that the states ruled by them fare poorly, in fact poorer than Gujarat when it comes to measuring the success of ruling governments on the rural-welfare-scale.

Though the ethnic factor shall haunt the Modi government for its failure in bring succour to its deserved benefactors, all agree for now, that the Modi government shall return even against their wishes, at least for now.

One, when contrasts the governments, encounters a Hobson’s choice among parties to select from- those that carry out development of the infrastructure and people as a whole are often the ones associated with serious corruption charges, and ugly scams, and the others that do not invite the ire of public as corrupt one (though rare in our scenario), do not work at all. The still favourable choice between the two for the innocent masses is the corrupt but promising government and so the wheel keeps turning.

Mistakes we make!

We make mistakes, quite often than not; mistakes with people I mean. Lack of conversation is the most prominent one. There are many reasons to it. I’ve written earlier about one, expectations, that is. We expect people to behave a certain way and when they don’t things go downhill from there on.

Where do expectations arise from?

We see people in our molds; what we don’t see is our mold fits us and only us. Comparing one man to other is just wrong, wrong on so many planes. It’s a common mistake which I, for one hope all of us make; not because it’s a good thing to be making the same mistakes all over again, but because I do this.

In my circle, I’m the only person connected to literature, not exactly though, but it’s a good approximation nonetheless. So, when it came to making plans for the upcoming Jaipur Literature Festival, I as expected went ballistic. It was the last year repeating itself all over again. I for a moment, failed to realize none of them had the slightest interest in literature. I for a moment wanted them to be me; or at least a part of me.