Politicians squabble, strut, do photo ops over the bodies of dead children

So even as families are searching for their loved ones in Jaipur. Even as the nation is in a state of shock (if they can get their minds off cricket), and the grief of mothers that lost their children is not over, the Politicians have stepped in. The Rajasthan Chief Minister is claiming that the intelligence reports were deliberately vague, like ‘weather reports she said’ and advised Sonia Gandhi not to try and come to the state to do photo ops for political mileage. But of course the top brass of the BJP was there, doing immense amount of photo ops for their own political benefit. I hope and pray that the people pf this country see these political acts for what they really are. Our politicians often turn into parasites on the miseries and grief of their own people.

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The Indian people deserve better

No wonder Indians do so well when they move overseas. Look at the odds they have to overcome just to survive in their own nation. If they are not constantly fighting bureaucracy, corruption, lack of basic health, education, the state is unable to even protect their lives against acts of terrorism. Isn’t it time that the people forced the politician to overcome their obsession with their own power, greed and criminal irresponsibility ? Is it not time for the people to hold the politicians accountable ? The state is as responsible for these acts of terrorism as the terrorists themselves.

Terrorists strike in Jaipur

Will we never be free of this ? Innocents being killed in the name of political or religious gain. How does this killing of innocents help anyone ? Who was probably killed ? Families that went shopping, or to pray in the temples, or tourists that came to Jaipur from all over India. Having saved for this one holiday with the family. Not once thinking that they were just walking into a terrorists bomb. Lets just pray for the families and the bereaved ones. At this moment I hear over 40 people are dead. I just hope and pray the count does not go up by the morning.

IPL 20/20, like quick sex with no foreplay- the end of cricket we grew up on ?

Will there never be another Gavaskar or Tendulkar in Indian cricket ? Is the time to nurture cricketing talent over ? With fortunes being decided on the hit and miss formula of 20/20 , will it all be about instant gratification and financial returns from now on ?
Don’t get me wrong. I am addicted. But I am completely confused about who plays for who. While I knew who’s side I was on in an India/Pakistan match, how do I root for a great Pakistani bowler against Tendulkar ? And how dare Vijay Mallya speak against Dravid, one of the greatest Indian batsmen playing the game and should he not confine himself to selling beer ? Suddenly the much maligned Indian cricket board seems almost benign in light of the ruthlessness of the current owners of the team ! And I feel disoriented when the fortunes of the teams are being decided by the Australians and the Pakistani players that float in and out. Are Indian players going to be sidelined ? Will we ever be able to raise the spirit of Indian team together again after they have publicly fought against each other ?
We need to say a one minute silence to the cricket we knew, even as we welcome instant gratification.

a smile of wisdom

shivani sent this poem by Bharat Thakur that I took the liberty to share with everyone.
when a saint and a wordly man met,
each looked at each other,
silent and mocking.
both laughed at each other.
each said the same thing:
what have you done to yourself?

Do we need to make any sense ? Lecture on film at North Western University in Chicago

Was delivering ( I guess) a lecture on film at the Northwestern University in Chicago. This was a film history class and I am one of the most film illiterate people I know on the planet. By the time I got to be a film maker it was too late to catch up. Yet the students and I had a very interesting session. We plunged straight in to the ideas of ‘not knowing’. How do you approach story telling without knowing the outcome. How do you completely surprise yourself. Is any art, including film making, an attempt towards exploration of the unknown ? For if it is not, then it is not art is it ? How do actually go out and try NOT to make sense, but allow the inherent tensions that exist within that exploration to surface, the inherent contradictions within you to surface, and these contradictions then begin to tell the story. Or some semblance of a story. Something emerges that you cannot take credit for, for the film had, or the story had it’s own organic being. The story and you meet not in the realm of sense, but somewhere outside in the largesse of the universe where the story is not trying to make sense but is somehow provoking thought processes that have so much contradiction in them that they make sense and do not make sense at the same time. Like a boiling pot – with somehow sense coming to the surface but disintegrating into ‘no sense’ and sinking back, merely to give rise to the illusion and a tantalizing glimpse of sense again, only to fall back again into no-sense. Like all great poetry. Leaving the viewer/reader to connect the dots to try and create something of logic or of sense in it all. Or not.

Is this a dream I live in ?

” Is this a dream I live in ?” you asked me as we travelled in the car back from your tennis lesson. “But how would I know, for the word ‘dream’ does not come when I am really dreaming. What happens when I wake up ?” I was completely taken aback by your question, for you are still just 7 years old. Taken aback because for centuries the mystics and the wise ones have been grappling with this question. Except they may not call it a dream. They call it Maya, the illusion. Life is an illusion. It means the same thing.
Problem today is that many philosophers and mystics look down upon the ‘dream life’. Like ‘because it is an illusion, therefore it is something silly’. Not to be taken seriously. No my love, life is to be taken very seriously, for every thought, every action, every moment, every passion dissolves into a great churning that is your life. What is called your karma. And your karma is the connection between your universal self, your atman or soul, your god self, or anything you would like to call it, and your ‘maya self’, or your ‘dream self’. It is what you experience when you wake up !….

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Global Food Shortage, who are we kidding ? It’s your daily starbucks that could be causing it !

Just came back from New York, where every paper is talking about food shortage, and the scepter of the US having to hoard food. In a country where it is impossible to eat your way through one serving, and where the biggest battle is not against terrorism but against over eating, it is a difficult idea to comprehend. And what did Condolizza Rice mean when she said part of the problem is a change in the eating habits of a more prosperous India and China. Like the world’s problem are increasing because we are eating better or living better ? That is not true in any case, except for a mere 5% of India’s population. But lets get this right. There has ALWAYS been a world food shortage. Since I can remember in any case. People in the US may not have noticed it, and those of us living in India, China, Africa and elsewhere may choose to avert our eyes to what is staring us in the face, but we have always been surrounded by people that live in a constant state of malnutrition and starvation.
So what do we mean when we say that prices are rising and food riots are breaking out ? What we mean is that something has gone wrong in the supply chain. That somewhere people have started to profit more from the supply chain, and somewhere people are hoarding. THAT THE PRICE OF FOOD HAS GONE OUT OF THE RANGE OF MOST POOR PEOPLE. But who controls that price, and if it is market forces, who controls those market forces ? Certainly not the individual farmers.

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New Media : How are we exploring the net ?

Just added the category for New Media. Our world and the way we interact with each other is changing. Social behaviour is changing because of it. So we should be sharing points of view on it. In Asia Internet surfing is increasingly done on cell phones. It is estimated that in India 65 % of the basic internet usage is done on the cell phone. We seem to be jumping the PC technology straight into mobile technology. But in rest of Asia, for completely different reasons, the same is happening. In Korea and Japan the internet download speeds are faster than the rest of the world with more killer apps available. In the US the Iphone has spurred huge use of the interent on the mobile device. But how will this be paid for ? This is a very interesting article on the challenges faced by the Google type advertising models
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/apr2008/tc20080427_580014_page_2.htm

Faith, Prayer, Mythology,

🙂 says :”i am surprised that you put mythology above PRAYER and FAITH !”
faith, prayer, mythology gods and goddesses are all ways to keep going beyond your sense of the individual self – they enable you to break out of the prison of individuality, the prison of the mind, and allow something much deeper inside you to connect to something far more expansive. More expansive emotionally, more expansive instinctually , more expansive spiritually, and more expansive creatively.
We call that being in touch with expansiveness an awareness of the universal self, of being in touch with consciousness, or even being n the presence of God. So being in CONSTANT touch with either Myth, or Prayer or Faith, almost with every breath is what I am talking about. That being n constant touch is what mystics have called the ‘state of being in constant and universal love’. And it is so important not to make this ‘being in constant touch’ become too specific.
For there is something ‘breeze like’ about the infinite. The more you turn it into finite ways and methods and laws, the more you try and make them logical, the more you look upon this as methodology, the more you are turning the potential, the constant whiffs of breeze, the ‘presence’, the attitude , the unknown emotional feelings of the spirit, into dogma and a set of rules, or a method. In those cases the very Myths you are using, the very faith and prayers you are using turn finally into rules, dogma, obsession and then excuses and weapons for destruction and conflict – as we see religious conflicts all over the world. Shekhar