Thursday, June 29, 2017

Not in my name

The various demonstrations that took the country by surprise yesterday show that India is not lost yet.  People gathered in thousands in various places to show their protest against the attacks on people belonging to a particular religious community.  From the time Mr Modi came to power in Delhi, certain criminal groups emerged under the banner of right wing religious activism and attacked certain sections of people.  Unfortunately the Prime Minister never condemned any of those attacks.  It appeared that the attacks had his tacit blessings.  It also came to light that the BJP and its allies are spending huge sums of money on spreading malicious information on social networks.  Those states ruled by BJP are changing the history textbooks in order to present the new generation with distorted histories.  In short, falsehood and hatred were being foisted on the nation very liberally.  It was an alarming situation.

The latest protest in the form of #NotInMyName gives hope to the nation.  If the people refuse to accept falsehood and hatred, no one can foist it on them.  India deserves a far better government than one which insists on selling balderdash to the people. Let movements such as #NotInMyName rise and spread throughout the country so that the 2019 general elections will teach the right lessons to our politicians (most of whom are hard-core criminals). 

The BJP’s contribution to the nation has been a neurosis.  The party took the nation from one stereotype to another, one contradiction to the next, one paranoia to another, never achieving anything beautiful, elegant, vibrant and swinging.  So much rubbish was heaped on the collective psyche of the nation.  As a result, certain animals became more sacred than certain human beings.  Human minds became polluted with filth that was given religious colouring. 

Let that change.  Let the Prime Minister and his teams learn that Indians still value life and its beautiful forms such as harmony and creativity.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


The first time I read Richard Bach was in 1980. I read Jonathan Livingstone Seagull and it obviously led me on to Illusions. As a 20 year-old man who was terribly immature and even silly, I found the two books a great inspiration.  Both the idealistic Jonathan and the reluctant messiah of Illusions grew in my consciousness for many years.  Then I grew out of them.  The other day I was looking for a light read as I was recuperating from a viral fever which left me rather debilitated.  Illusions caught my attention.  It kept me riveted though I now don’t agree with quite many of the things in it which were gospel truths for me some three decades ago.

The basic assumption of Illusions remains true even today.  It will remain true any day.  The world as seen by most people is an illusion.  We keep chasing shadows such as money and positions, luxury and redundancy.  We seek to fill the ineluctable vacuum with religion and god(s).  It’s only a few rare beings, highly evolved beings like the protagonist of Illusions, that realise the futility of all human endeavours. 

Human endeavours keep the world moving forward.  Achievements and more achievements.  But the world keeps becoming a worse place for living in.  We are still living in illusions.  All the progress, all the religions and gods, all the gurus and preachers haven’t added a modicum of refinement to the human soul.  The really refined being will continue to be shot dead like in Illusions.  Perverts rule the world.  Religions and gods are the palliatives that soothe the bruises so that we can go on with our perversions.  Illusions are the only truths.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Land of monks and peace

Lingdum Monastery
Of all the places I’ve visited, it’s Gangtok that keeps beckoning me again and again.  My wife and I spent three days there in 2010.  I don’t know if the place is quite the same today.  Back then, it had a pristine beauty.  The streets were narrow and congested but without any filth anywhere.  It was a clean hill station. 

Quite a few monasteries lay around the town itself.  There are other monasteries elsewhere in the state.  In spite of all the hundreds of visitors walking around at any given time, the monasteries look spick and span.  It was the monasteries that really drew me to Gangtok in the first place.  When I mentioned my travel plan to a student from Silchar, he asked me why I wanted to visit Gangtok.  “Nothing to see, Sir,” he said.  “Monasteries,” I grinned. 

Bakthang Falls
Along with my wife I visited every single monastery in and around the town.  There’s something repetitive about the monasteries.  They look similar, sound similar and smell similar.  Even the dusky light in the prayer chambers is the same in every monastery.  The air in that duskiness vibrates with a tang that seeps into your heart and spreads through your being like an intoxicant.  Did I carry a duskiness somewhere in a secret chamber of my soul?  Did I, like a child who had done something wrong, wish to hide myself in a dark corner of one of those prayer chambers with the soothing resonance of a tuning fork enveloping me from the world that waited to pummel me ceaselessly?

My wife and I were celebrating fifteen years of our life together then.  We decided to return to Gangtok to celebrate the silver jubilee of our marriage.  Little did we know that some of our dreams would soon be dashed to the ground by what happened eventually in the Delhi school where we worked.  Many people’s dreams were shattered by the events which were conjured up by the gangsters of a godman who ran a different kind of ashrams in and outside the country. 

Gods are quite funny creatures.  Some of them save while many of them are goddam killers.  I would wish to return to the gods of Gangtok at any time, even to the Ban Jhakri that populate the state’s legends.

PS. Written for Indispire Edition 175: #TimeToRevisit

Pessimism of the gods

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