Sitting at SFO listening to Homeland security threat level of ‘Orange’. Quite a colorful way to describe what they think is a dire situation. I am off to champaign to celebrate drinking. Will be back and hope to update this space with some riveting articles i.e. I’ll give my two cents worth on the current social,political, economic and all that jazz conditions around the world. Happy Unofficial !!
This is where I first learnt of the term Carpe Diem – Seize the Day
Here is the last scence from the movie. Quite Brilliant. Good thing I never watched this movie during school. All hell would have truly broken lose.
Background Applause and screaming ( The floor manager in the NY studio raises a banner telling the people to shout )
I walk in with a smug glee and the usual express jacket. Now shaking hands with John.
John(Shakes Hands): Welcome to show VG. Its a pleasure having you on the show.
Moi: John John, It is such a great pleasure to meet you. I must confess, I am a true fan. A true fan. Not like one of those liberals who will stop watching your show since it wont be funny anymore without President Bush.
Resounding Laughter and cat calls
John(smirking): Ahh but you see I dont plan to let go of President Bush so easily (Sinister look). Bush has plans of writing his memoirs and also giving speeches to raise money for his presidential library. I’m sure he’ll give enough speeches for our new segment ” Cluster Fuck of the Presidential Library ”
The name of the segment flashes across the screen with roars of laughter
John : So Arvind, your ofcourse part of our new segment, were we talk with immigrant’s who have got jobs in a time when American citizen are availing more unemployment benefits than even Wall street.
Moi(Serious tone): Of course John. There is a easy explanation for that. The reason why the American citizen is availing so much of unemployment benefits is because, well the unemployed are the CEO’S of AIG, Lehmann Brothers and Bearn Stears. You cant have those kind of names on your unemployment benefits payroll without giving them 10 million a year bonuses. Not that it matters that the government doesn’t really make a profit out of running unemployment benefit services.
Mild pessimistic and cynical laughter all around
John(laughing and then regains decorum): But seriously do you feel responsible that, you have a job while people native of this country don’t have one to talk about.
Moi: Natives?? John the bloody Caucasian pilgrims swindled my namesake American Indians and bought Manhattan for 25 Dollars. Well they did that at least according to Family Guy. And of course John soon with the housing bubble burst Manhattan will be that value once again. What goes around comes around(The namesake Justin Timberlake song starts playing in the background)
Laughter and a little bit of dancing continues for around 30 seconds give or take as both Moi and John make a fool of the caucasian and Indian dance capabilities.
Moi(Taking my seat): But seriously John, the corporate firms thought they got us for cheap. We Asians worked for 15 hours a day without question. They thought we were the best deal they get after Mexicans. But we, we Asians we are smarter than that. The Mexicans you see kept growing, but they kept fighting on who would mow the largest lawn or open the best taco bell. The lacked the unity. But us Indian’s, we infest without people noticing us. We procreate when we reach the US and marry someone that mom tells us to marry. No one tell us nothing about sex till we are 26, but everyone in the entire clan wants a grand son in one year. The procreation continues at frenetic pace because well we don’t really know where we are going. Do we now . We infest till floors of your corporate offices are filled with the mild chatter of Hindi. The chatter accumulates like the head louse which we are famous for and we suck the blood out of everything.
John(With a shocked expression): But, I was really just kidding about you stealing American Jobs. I always thought the American Indian population was the best of the immigrants in this country.
Moi: The Best, John John that was all just an act. Have a ever seen us order food at one of your restaurants. Ordering the ham burger without the ham, the bacon and cheese omelet without the Bacon and going to the steak house and ordering fries. Have you not realized still why Vikram Pandit is still CEO of Citigroup. Come on John, I thought you were a street smart guy. 1.9 million Jobs have been lost in the last one year. Citigroup has lost over 20 Billion dollars in the last year. They were given 25 Billion dollars two months back only for them to announce one month later, they would have to sell part of the company to keep them afloat. No one can keep his job after all these fuck ups. Not unless your Indian. Or of course George Bush.
John(With a grin on his face): Ladies and Gentleman. VG. We will be right back after the break
John and Moi shake hands as we move to a break.
Disclaimer Notice: All conversation posted above are the copyright of Moi(That’s ‘me ‘ in french). They may not be reproduced, retransmitted or felt up without my permission. Maybe not the felt up part as long as you are a girl. Also the views are not meant to be in a discriminatory fashion but more of funny ranting of a bored person at 1 in the night on a Friday night. Arigato.
The Ursa Major stares down on the face the earth along with the moon which is three quarters into the lunar month. The temperature hovers around 35 with a still and stale feeling all around. Not the ideal day to be pacing around on the stone terrace with a single grubby room after an early dinner. A boy of around 13 years walks in circles staring into the sky in a dreamy fashion. This is his customary habit whenever hes nervous, anxious or in anticipation. The legs move in a similar fashion to that supported by the random walk principles in thermodynamics. Thirty minutes pass and the food taken is well into the digestive track and still the boy paces with no change in intensity. He waits. He knows his father will come up after his dinner for the customary night walk. He needs to talk to him about something. He never finds it comfortable to talk to people about anything important. Anything personal. To ask for any help. This personality trait will never leave him. A real conversation goes both ways. Those questions have no answers.
His father finally comes up. He knows his son has been waiting to talk to him. He understands the reasons, but prefers to keep him waiting. He did not raise a spoilt child and he had no plans to start now. So hes acts as if hes not definitive about what his son wants. He questions his sons need and says the usual ‘I’ll think about it’. Then in customary fashion switches on his walkman. The conversation ends.
The son had always been momma’s boy. He knows that till this day. But he knows his mother will not give him much of an advantage. His parents always took decisions together and one person’s approval was well just not good enough. He has waited patiently till now. Patience was never one of his virtues. Another personality trait he manages to keep for a very long time. There was nothing much else left to do today. This was becoming a daily practice now. He would take another shot tomorrow.
It has been over one month since the conversation began. He had not enjoyed them. His still never does. But they were worth it. This bit of convincing was the best he would ever get at. This he realizes much later on. It is 10 in the morning during summer vacation and the door bell rings. He runs to the door. Its here.
His first computer.
Comment by Avneesh Jayaswal
“Wait.. So what other ways can people mourn the deaths that happened in Mumbai? There are a lot of ways a person can be concerned with a given situation. Running for political office isn’t the only possible way one can possibly care. Voting for a different government in the elections is another way things can be changed. And all the people who are involved in their lives doing ‘other things’ are in some way contributing to the country and society of India.
I think the most important part that you are missing is that change doesn’t necessarily have to be from the top. In a democracy, the people at the bottom of the system can each change individually and make change happen at the top levels.
Also, if you think that the only way these conflicts or wars end is with a change in generation, that is a highly flawed philosophy. If you don’t think so, look at Kashmir, the situation has changed from what it was about 10-15 year ago and that according to your reasoning can not be explained. There are multiple instances where change has been brought about both positively and negatively from the bottom up. It’s about time that Indians as individuals realize that and work together to make it happen.
As far as making facebook groups go, even that is a big step in moving forward. One good example that comes to mind is from last month’s issue of WIRED magazine. Here’s the link to it:
This post will be reply to the above comment.
When I talk of a entire generation passing before the conflict ends, I take the much broader perspective into consideration. From 1965 with the Second Kashmir War, to the terrorism in Kashmir during the 1990’s which continues through today, there may have been situation where changes were made. Time periods where the situation were better. But is it really right on our part to even suggest that months of moderate peace followed by further escalation as the best you can get. That is not change in any sense of the imagination. Atleast not one which should be considered as change. This is what I mean by taking one generation for real change to actually take place. The world has a peaceful time during a small period of time between WW1 and WW2 when Germany rose to power again. To even think that 10 year period before the global depression and the rise of Hitler and Mussolini as a period of change that we should be proud of is an insult to the people who suffered before and after that. When I say one generation, I take a much broader perspective of the situation, not a picture where you are safe one day and dead the other.
Death is a private event. Mourning of the dead is an even more private event. To conduct candle lite ceremonies is alright to an extent if it is conducted to only mourn the dead. But to use these ceremonies as facades for protests is an insult to the dead. It is a insult for the people who actually knew the person. The dead do not care about revenge. If someone believes that ones death can be used to make up a public event, it is not mourning the dead or respecting the life lost. It is a promotion of selfish needs. If you can really believe that something good can be made out of dying, then they should sign a donor card and take their lives. To make TV documentaries probing into the lives of the people who were affected is not investigative journalism. It is journalism of the worst kind. An attempt to use the dead to increase TRP ratings.
The view that democracy works and that someone from the bottom can actually make a change at the top is an romantic view of Democracy. A view that is professed by democracy but does not really exist. If change could be made by one person, why does AHRC(Asian Human Rights Commision) shows that 23.2 percent of politicians(MP’S) in India ( as of July 2007) have pending criminal investigation against them. Is it that not one person in the constituency felt that they weren’t right for the job. Or is it that one person cannot really make a change in a Democracy. The line ” Your vote matters” is a romantic view of Democracy which maybe philosophically true but statistically false.
With regard to facebook groups. The number of facebook groups based on stats that i could find as of March 9,2008 were 6 million user groups. Let us assume at least 10 % of those groups are for a cause or a purpose. That gives us around 600,000 users groups. You suggest one article that states how facebook has changed things. Hence the odds of facebook groups actually making a change is as much as winning a lottery. If you give career advice to a person you do not say go buy a lottery. The same logic applies here. An exception does not become the rule.
My views may be narcissistic, but romantic views lead only to falling off a high mantle and landing between hard place and a rock.
George H.W. Bush was aged 23 years in 1947. Boris Yeltsin was 17. Mikhail Gorbachev was 16. Ronald Reagan was the oldest at 36. 1947 was the year India got its independence. Coincidentally it was also the year of the First Korean War just in the aftermath of WW2 and also the beginning of the Cold War. The United States of America and the Soviet Union under various leadership fought the longest battle lasting 42 years all around the world. A war during which anyone growing during this period learnt to mistrust communism. It took almost 50 years since the start of the cold war for the mistrust and the bad taste to go away. A generation for people to change their opinions, a generation for the 20 and 30 year old for the 1950’s to die and for the new generation to leave the bitterness of the past for a better future.
At around the same time when the cold war was fizzling, a small organization was formed in the wrecks of the Afghan war of the late seventies. Al Qaeda was formed in 1988 from the remnants of the Mujahideen who fought the Afghan Russian. It has been prominently said over and over again that US did never help the Al Qaeda and this might sound like a conspiracy theory, but for the stupids who think that Mujahideen never had the support of Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan, The National Security Adviser of the Carter Administration openly admitted in an interview in 1998 that the Carter administration authorized buying of weapons for the Mujahideen. BTW anyone who has watched Rambo 3 will know that, the Mujahideen that Rambo fought for(This was 1988 when the movie came out and the Afghan Mujahideen were heroes then) were actually going to become the Al Qaeda of the Future.
Terrorism took to roots in 1988. This is 2008. It has been 20 years since modern terrorism that we have learnt to fear in this generation took shape in the snow capped mountains of Afghanistan. For India the induction of terrorism came a little later on(Not state sponsored wars, in the 1960’s and 1970’s we fought Pakistan for Kashmir not Terrorists). Beginning with the 1993 Bombay bombs, followed by numerous bomb blasts with the latest being the bombs and hostage crisis at the Taj, Oberoi and Trident and the Nariman House.
The headlines on CNN-IBN reads ” Words are not enough India wants action”. I could list numerous other headlines from the print media here but then I need to go run for political office in India, no wait maybe I will join the Indian Army, maybe the IPS, maybe IAS and IFS and be a diplomat. No wait I just want to finish this blog entry and then go back to watching Arrested Development. And so will everyone else. Continue to do what they were doing before the attacks happened. The people who were unfortunate to get caught up in the attack. I mourn you. People have lit candles for you. Your death has been recognized. Now did your death cause a change ? Yes it will when this generation fall apart by death. The change will come only when the new generation comes up and chooses to get along with this enemy and create the new enemy during their time . History tells us that conflict ends when the generation is wiped out, either consumed by the conflict itself or when fluids builds up in every part of the body and every breathe becomes a task as hard fighting this conflict and then the lungs finally give up. The European imperialist were the enemies in the 1800’s, it was the Germans in the early 1900’s, it was the Russian in the second half of that century. Now it is the Middle east terrorists. This conflict is still in what you could call its “Tweens”. You might say, it is very much just beginning. It is naivety to think change can be made so easily by forming protest groups on facebook or holding protest banners.. The very fact that you are even on Facebook or on the roads implies you don’t really give a fuck and that you don’t have much to do but just want everybody to think you do. Damage control and reduction of collateral damage is all that can be done in such conflicts. I believe that was done. So everyone needs to shut the fuck up and get back to their lives.
Since my last post few days after my birthday, a few things have changed. For the uninitiated, I have moved across the country to San Mateo in the Bay Area working with Visa. The sands of time empty and the hour glass is turned and is restarted.