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Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Death and perspective...

How is the death of 33 people different from the death of 140?

Is it because the former was unexpected, while the latter was just a statistic?

Which is more worthy of our attention?

How do we categorize the impact of these two separate incidents on our collective vacuous consciousness?

Which is a greater tragedy...the one wrought upon by a disturbed mind or the one that was a collateral effect of an interventionist policy of a nation on another?

Every death is sad and a tragedy...but in today’s world even death is a number.

The dead too had a story before they became anonymous digits aimed at satisfying the collective masturbatory fantasies of a society that thrives on sound bytes of infinitesimal lifespan. What are a few deaths, especially as they remain faceless and lay mangled in market places and work places? Fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, everyone reduced to a single number.

So what else is news then...

Energetic discussions of the 'sangeet' ceremony and the guest list at Amitabh's house for
the impending event of the century - the importance of this day, second only to the day we celebrated our first Independence day back in 1947 - preceded any other topics. Tarot card readers held sway on who will win the world cup ("Sri Lanka will win the match against Australia, only if they bat, bowl and field well...but Australia can also win, provided they don’t take Sri Lanka lightly and play according to a plan"). Shilpa Shetty cannot be dragged away from creating 'news', especially after she single handedly showed the decadent 'western world' the ideals and virtues of a 'Bharatiya Naari' by putting Ms. Goody two shoes in her place. These days Ms Shetty is out destroying our culture by allowing 'An officer and a Gentleman' to repeatedly kiss her...effigies has to be burnt, she should be stoned. Reams of paper, gigabytes of bandwidth and copious amounts of alcohol has flowed over the 'supposed' non performance of a team ranked sixth in the world - among the eight who actually play the game. The world cup has at least given all those forgotten cricketers self important roles as 'experts' and 'analysts'. I say that the biggest revolution in Indian cricket has been not the likes of the Gavaskars, the Kapil Devs or the Tendulkars...its has been Ms. Mandira 'the noodle strap' Bedi. She has collectively captured the imagination of even those not interested in cricket...who cares who wins or loses as long as Mandira wriggles around and gives poor Charu Sharma and the other panelists collective apoplexy. Buying into her own popularity, she has decided to auction each of the sarees that she wears on the show thru ebay...now, who wouldnt want that?

When we have these, why do we need to ramble about a few deaths here and there? People are born...people die. What is the big deal? But yes, what happened at the University was a tragedy. Students who are our future died at the hands of a mad man...he should be shot...what he killed himself, oh well...then he should be tried and shot again. While you are at it send your sms to the question of the day.

Did the killer shoot himself or castrate himself?

If you think the answer is one, type 'Yes, I am a fucked up moron'

and if your answer is two, type 'No, I am a son of a gun'.

India answers.

What of the 140 who died in the bomb blasts...what of them? People are getting killed there everyday...what should we do. After all they should've just let the Americans rule them...they were bringing them democracy right, and if those morons cannot handle democracy, its their problem...all the Americans were asking for in exchange were a few barrels of oil...not those weapons of mass destruction dammit. These Iraqi's I tell you...

Oh and that other thing that you read about - at bottom right of the fourth page of your
daily newspaper - a family of lower caste members being raped and beaten to death in public, all because they thought they could hold on to their property...well what is news worthy about that I ask you, they were being taught a lesson as 'our culture' had to be protected. Our culture and great scriptures explicitly state that we 'can' rape women in our country and plunder the have-nots. Fie, on those that squat outside our shiny villas and reach out their grimy hands through the windows of our swanky cars...they are but photo-opportunities for re-iterating myths. So what if we have a few million hungry or a few million homeless...we are going to build the next Singapore and the next Shanghai, who will travel on the Golden Quadrilateral to attain their nirvana.

When did we grow numb...when did we stop to care?

3 Comments:

Blogger Alan said...

Dude. You are being overtly pungent about too much.
I think America is a better and humance superpower than any other.
Of course any nation has its own villains and stupid people.
The amount of good done to the world and its people vastly exceed any wrong doings.

April 28, 2007 12:41 AM  
Blogger ReadnRyte said...

Alan - You didn't get my point. I was just trying to sort out the conflicting thoughs in my mind about how we have become far too numb to really care about anyone else except ourselves. This could be for many reasons.
Also, I was not trying to be anti-American here. Tangentially she found a mention...and of course I had sometime back written about the very dichotomous nature of USA.
But I certainly do not agree that she is a 'better and humane superpower than any' or that the goods that she has done far outnumber the bad. Also, we are privileged to be sitting and discussing about the nature of the American influence on the world in general as we are not caught in the crossfire...whereas am sure there are parts of world where they dont have a choice.
I agree though that every nation has its heros and villains.

April 28, 2007 6:19 AM  
Blogger redwaterstew said...

right said joe. next time drop a line when you post. been a long time since I came around these parts.

i have been perplexed by this collective amnesia to the point of being resigned to it. can we ever fight it except to retain a semblance of sanity in our individual lives.

to see what they want to see, to weep when they want to weep , to shout when they want to shout. do we even realize, that we are supposed to be democracy.

did u read the statements of the korean who did it in Virginia before the networks and newspapers blacked it out. it could be any of our kids there. give it 10 years of 10% growth. and lo behold we are there.

alas we are all packaged dude. will we ever become human

May 02, 2007 9:21 AM  

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