Liberal Thoughts

issues that otherwise won't matter to the others

The Real Inspector Hound

realinspectorhoundplay

With much curiosity, I and a friend of mine went to see this play last Saturday. The first thing I could notice was that the play appeared to have started already. But wait a minute! Aren’t the lights over the audience seating space supposed to be dimmed out? Why were they still on? Has the play started really? Why is one of the casts already there on the stage, comfortably seated, as if he was also waiting for his audience to grab their seats, as if he he didn’t want anyone to miss the play “from the beginning”? Too many questions in the beginning itself!

A mystery well built. It was only much later we realized that it was in ‘Pause’ mode. A play with a pause button!

The attraction point for me in this play was Kalki Koechlin. She is one gorgeous and talented lady in the movies and this being a play, where I get to see her LIVE, I couldn’t miss the opportunity! As the play carried on momentum, the humor in the play was getting its place. The character sitting in the ‘pause’ mood in the beginning was a critic, Moon, watching a play along with another critic partner of his, Birdboot, a womaniser indicated to have an affair with one of the actors in the play he is watching. Wow! A play within a play it is then. As and when the other characters start appearing, the light and sometimes sarcastic comic gets some good deserving rumbling laughter from the audience. Oh! BTW, it was a packed house.

And then, Kalki aka Cynthia showed up on the stage. It was a moment of aghast pause for me. She was sophisticated and mesmerizingly beautiful; needless to say, talented too. Her act was flawless, as well as the others in the lineup. There was energy on the stage. The part when she grabs and pulls up her sleeveless purple long frock, on the pretext of “I love Albert”, which was quite repetitive but not annoying at all, was one of the amusing scenes.

The Real Hound Inspector is a comical spoof mystery thriller. The plot is a secluded England house, which gave me the feeling of one of the houses pictured by Emily Bronte in Wuthering Heights. The mystery however turned into a confusion for half of the audience when the critics, Birdoot and Moon, merges with the play they were watching and criticizing. More so confusing because the whole act repeated itself with laughable twists. The “not” real hound inspector, as it turned out later, was amazingly hilarious. His flawless dialogue delivery to raise the humor is credible. Here is one of them “Don’t hide anything, begin from the beginning…”. Only if I could add the intense emotion with which he delivered this line! However it appeared to me as if the character matched to Inspector Jack Clouseau from The Pink Panther. We finally got to know The Real Inspector Hound and the lights went dim.

The audience were surely working out in their heads what they had witnessed. It was like trying to solve a puzzle. Nevertheless, the play was met with laudable applaud. While leaving, two people from the theatre group urged the audience to pen down their feedback on a large whiteboard. I noticed one comment which read “Confusingly Interesting”! Well said in my opinion. Yet it was worth the money and even urged me to come back and watch the play again.

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November 1, 2011 Posted by | Review | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is seeing believing or believing seeing?

I had been passing across some random papers, links and magazines about multiple subjects that I got hung onto this topic. With a collection of some thoughts and also after looking out for some “self thought” topics, I came up with this as a speech topic in my third CC project in my Toastmasters journey. Though the actual speech didn’t go exactly as I wrote this up, the core matter still remained the same. And here is how i scripted it.

Our earth is a fixed flat plate around which the sun rises and sets. – How difficult it would have been for this idea to change to what is more prevalent and apt now? What was the problem there? The people of those ages believed what they could see.

After the next 5 to 7 minutes, you will be able to understand the complexities of what it takes to associate seeing to believing. Let me try and eliminate the problem of the visible and invisible through 3 statements –

Statement # 1 – “Seeing is believing”
This statement in whole is a mentality lying underneath all of us. And yes, it’s very valid too. Well for most part of it. However, there are two very basic facts that we do not consider when we pass across that statement.
Fact A – “it’s not there but it’s there” – this is very elemental – Carbon atoms are the basic compound of every living organism. But! Can you see a single Carbon atom? Diving a bit deeper into the atom, there are protons, neutron, electrons. Well, these in their individuality are as good as existing in invisibility. To the naked eye, it’s not there, but it’s there! Can you see electricity? Can you see gravity? Theoretical existence and proof makes them as good as true and we perceive it as it is.
Fact B – “it’s there but it’s not there” – This is very much informational. Here my reference is a more complex and in theoretical form – databases! They are invisible and conceptual. You cannot see it, you cannot feel it. And yet, the knowledge bases we build will continue to treat them as purely theoretical forms of explanations.

So no matter what you get to see and what you do not, don’t just rely on seeing to believe something which is not necessarily true.

Statement # 2 – “You’ll see it when you believe it”
That’s an optimistic way of motivating people. It can show that after reading a best seller by that name on personal development, you decide that you are going to change. You believe that you are going to change. Let’s take the case of a clinic that helps people reduce weight. “The slim you in 3 weeks”, “wear that spaghetti strap your boyfriend gifted you”, “Obesity is a disease and its curable, Call us now!”. And the innocent flab bellied people would place themselves in hypothetical situation. They are forced to make believe!

Of late I have been forced by the environment around me to get distracted towards those similar ads, “Cure baldness before its too late” Ouch! That sends a shocker in me. And to think of the fact that I used to keep a mane of hair back in my school days, it saddening to see the hypothetical me with a bald head. I definitely do not want it to be in a situation where its “TOO LATE”. They are forcing us consumers to believing what we want to see.

So no matter how much you wait to See to Believe, if it’s a make believe concept, you will get to see it.

Third and final statement – “I’ll believe it when I see it”
Relying on believing by waiting to see it, there arises a great degree of uncertainty though. According to Heisenberg’s principle of Uncertainty in quantum mechanics, the observer influences the circumstances being observed. It’s also a personalization of the first statement about how I am treating the bits and pieces of information that I have been fed since my education started. I am made to believe in invisible things which are difficult to digest. Why? Simply because in our limited “Alice in wonderland” territory, most of the things I know had been proven by some person, and I have taken it for granted. Have I tried to prove myself that the earth is round? NO! I had learned that there were nine planets in the solar system. But its been a couple of years now that they say that Pluto is not a planet but then they added a couple of others to the list. How do I even know if they are not bluffing? If they add or remove planets from my conceptual understanding, I cannot see beyond the morning star and the evening star and that’s all my naked eyes can believe in.

In Japan, green and blue are considered as the same color and referred to as ‘aoi’. A native Japanese would point to the sky to indicate ‘blue’ to show the color ‘aoi’. He will then point to the ‘green leaf’ and say it’s the same color ‘aoi’. For them what colors they see is purely on perception, but when I see it, I will definitely call a green ‘green’ and a blue ‘blue’. Why? Because I see it as two different colors based on how and what I was taught.

So, even if something is not there but there or something is there but not there, even when you believe what you want to see, what I will believe is not necessarily purely on what I see but what is embedded with the unconscious knowledge of what I have learnt and am educated with. The fact that something is not readily visible doesn’t mean that it is true or if it is false. That being said, its best to conclude that it’s up to yours and my mind, as to what we would want to believe, we see it or not! It’s all upto us to see and believe or believe and see.

May 12, 2011 Posted by | General | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Activity aback

Aren’t we all so fond of music and yet, there are times when we don’t get to hear any sort of music. Likewise, there hadn’t been much of an activity here. Outburst of thoughts and ideas needs some external thrust when it diminishes from within. Outcome of events never ceases to surprise or shake. The external force has come. The push has been made. Ideas and thoughts are looming up again.
Liberal ways of the thoughts is back on track!

March 26, 2011 Posted by | General | , | Leave a comment

Why so Google?

The normal human functionality is so dead in this generation. Blame it mostly on technology. We have seen mostly in most sci-fi movies of course, where the human race is so dependent on even the most simplest of things, where the use of technology has just made a slave of us human beings. That dependency is previewed in many sci-fi movies, being rubbished as fiction and “not happening” is questionable.

Androids are already in the scope of being totally present and acceptable in the human society in just a matter of some time now. There is already a ‘breed’ of robot which perceives the nature around it and copes, understands and reacts accordingly. That is ‘technology dependence’ of course. And if you don’t believe in me, you are a a sure lunatic.

Looking at the current generation of ‘intelligent and tech savvy’ people, just look at the online scenario. Look how dependent people are into the services and products of Google (referenced as G from here on). Here is a simplest of the example (and I am saddened to see it with many people). Say you know about a website name. The most common norm of people of this generation is to ‘search’ for that site name in G and then proceed ahead. That’s a pathetic sign of dependency. People have become so lethargic to even try out ‘that name’ by typing in the address bar and going to the website directly than outright in G first! Logic seems to be deviating much towards G. Are the people of this generation of the belief that G knows the best?

The direct and indirect approach

The direct and indirect approach

That I feel is callous. Next in line comes the online time spent. If you can notice, the person sitting next is most likely to be engulfed in GTalk or chat within Gmail. Wow! That no doubt is a win win situation by G folks to capture the chatting minds to successfully divert a whole generation from Yahoo Messenger to GTalk. I guess, Y! hadn’t seen this coming when G’s chat service came up. G of course deserves an applause, for it caught the sentiments of the masses to capture the chatter’s market to make its chat service an anytime running application as soon as the computer boots up. They are sure smart! And Google still gains in popularity by WoM – Word of Mouth. No expense at all in that. Technology encompassing. Of course you are free to disable the Gtalk application at all as soon as your computer is on and ready to use, but still you are tempted to launch it on your own at one point or another and keep it running until your computer is on. And I should say, G is smarter enough to let it run even when its just the mail service running. An added advantage, you get to access video enabled chat from gmail whereas Gtalk doesn’t allow it yet. People are just lured. Of course its human nature to catch with the better of the options available.

But am I complaining? I am also one amongst the users of the numerous services of G and sure am benefiting from it, a benefit which not necessarily need be monetary. But I am no preacher of them. I would rather say, go to this website blahblahblah.com or so. I would rather say “search for information of this topic in Wikipedia” than in G. I would rather prefer my friends call me over the phone or I ring them up if its something urgent or they want to discuss about something and otherwise just shoot a mail if its not so outright important. However, the sheer computing power of G makes them irrefutable to ignore and keep up with the advances of technology. It’s human nature to progress with time.

Even so, the various advances in technology is making the common man so dependent on the tech-run life, they are losing the very nature of being human. I have a belief that if the 24 hours of a mans life is being governed by multitude of those devices, its no difference than being a slave of those devices rather than the devices being your slave, a parasite living on some smart thinking by some smart group of people. It would still be inexplicable if the human mind could contemplate at what they are capable of doing on their own than relying on some ‘stupid’ devices for a superficially ‘comfortable’ life.

Of course, we seek out for various comforts of life, but its at the cost of surrendering our very nature of being human, i.e. the attribute of working out better solutions and at the same time being physically and mentally active enough to encompass the practicability of a great life. Hope wisdom is not lost for the sake of technological advancements of leading a smart life.

August 9, 2010 Posted by | General, Humanly | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Case of Bribery

I lodged a complaint against a traffic police today and for my own records as well for visibility of others like me who are harassed by cops, I thought it better to get the same complaint put up here as well.
Just about a couple of hours before this incident happened, I recall seeing a hoarding on the way saying out loud about non corruption in the state of Karnataka. Laudable! That this can be the situation as a long-term plan but for now, it’s just a joke. And I happened to have the first hand experience of it in no time after seeing the hoarding. Kiss my luck. I was so infuriated even though it was a small thing which we can easily say “it’s ok! let it go”. I have been seeing this happen again and again to me and many other people who I know. I am sure most others also have been through a similar fate but passed out of it “phewing” it off as “escaped!”.

Corruption! Sad that it gets you involved even if you are not willing to. I will still laugh at that hoarding as long as I keep on seeing it. They say “nothing’s gonna change”, “it has been like this, it will be like this”, “you can’t do anything”. Well, I am trying to do the least and let me see if the cops accuse me back of false complaints and charge me with even a bigger offense. To go with, I thought I will try out the public grievance system and use the power of internet. Good thing in here is that the people in the administration who actually are serious about removing all levels of corruption has an online version of registering complaints. And I am going to find out if it actually works or not. Bangalore traffic police runs their website wherein anyone can lodge a complaint or provide suggestions. The complaint I lodged in this link is as follows –

This is a complaint against one of the traffic police in the traffic signal between Victoria Road and HAL Airport Road. I didn’t get his name for the records though. He charged me Rs 300/- against a traffic violation of Jumping Traffic Signal today 4th Aug 2010 around 6:30 PM. I said ok and demanded the challan. He immediately said ok give Rs 100/- and after giving him the amount, again I demanded the challan because I would rather pay the government for a fine than bribe a cop to get away with it. He kept the Rs 100/- and when I still insisted for the challan acknowledging receipt of the fine, he blindly objected and started abusing in Kannada. He spoke to me in English first and then turned the tone and language of conversation into Kannada for what? Because I am an outsider? I don’t have to throw light on what is the impression of the typical policeman in the eyes of the public – amongst the few good men are these abusive, bribe taking, non moralistic guys. Well who cares about morality now-a-days anyway! I could make out that he was saying me to go learn Kannada first and then demand challan or anything and was also saying you want challan you will have to pay Rs 300/-, you go to court and pay the fine there.
Even though I was not sure if I had actually jumped the signal, I was polite enough to pay the fine, but the policeman just pocketed the money. I insisted on the challan over which he threatened me by asking a higher fine amount and saying about going to court for that. On asking about why he was saying Rs 300/- first and then came down to Rs 100/-, he said if its Rs 300/- he will charge me with a case of Dangerous Driving. Now that was surprising. Just for a bribe of 100 bucks, this guy was threatening about going to court and pay the 300 bucks there if I want. He was letting me choose. Moreover, I was riding at a speed of about 40 to 45 kmph at that turning and also due to few other 2 and 4 wheelers in that signal. So his saying about ‘Dangerous Driving’ is totally out of question here.
How does one make a distinction between Dangerous Driving and Jumping the Signal? Is the traffic policeman here at his own discretion to say Dangerous Driving if the accused doesn’t pay him the ‘bribe’? A common man like me cannot do much but just walk away because then, he can again charge me with any other serious offense and make me liable to pay for more than just Rs 100/-.
It’s not about the amount of 100 bucks I was charged with but its about the moral attitude of the traffic police. And this is the third time that this has happened to me.

After submitting the complaint, I got a BIG note saying “Thank You, We will get back to you soon”. Having a tryst with government websites earlier, I am not sure if this will work out, but its a wait and watch game now.

August 4, 2010 Posted by | General, Humanly | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Holy Cow! Shoo! What?

Speak about cow and Hinduism sees as a holy image. It’s not uncommon to see people touch a cow passing by the road and seek blessings by then touching their temple and heart with the right hand. In the countryside, they are of course used for farming and dairy products. The city side it would only serve as a dairy source and maybe some pulling bullock carts to transport supplies. But still, she is considered to be sacred, holy and so she is prayed to win some blessings. For the non-Hindu’s however, its possibly just another animal that is or was domesticated and would turn up as a menu item.

holy

apathy of the cow which is holy in India


But its surprising that the same people who treat a cow holy can also treat them in a way which definitely is not an act of sanctity . The domestic cows are seen left to roaming around in streets of busy city roads. There are no caretakers for most of such marooned cows. They are let loose and left on their own if the owners cannot meet up the medical needs or if the cow is just like another white elephant – to just feed fodder and get no milk in return. It’s sad that the same cow who is looked as a figure attached with holiness is later turned aside as another liability. Does holiness fade away with time?

During a visit to a temple with my mom and two sisters, I saw a strange and funny combination of both at the same time. And it was saddening too. A newly wed couple with few other relatives were taking shelter from sun below the plastic roof of a shop when a cow strolled their side. The woman set her hand ahead, touched the head of the cow seeking blessings, closing her eyes and then touching her forehead and lower neck. Then suddenly, her husband hit the cow hard from back and pushed aside for her to move out from ‘their’ place yelling out “Shoo! Go away! Go Away!”. I am sure the cow also would have got puzzled as what is happening. From the front there is the woman praying her and adoring her while from the back, the guy is hitting her back shooing her away. Me and my sister were feeling sad for the cow but were also laughing over the couple at how the good and bad can happen at the same time, and in this case from the same family.

You can go to any religious place but no matter how many sacred chants you made, how many statues you prayed for blessings, as long as there is any ill-treatment from your side, there is no washing off your sins.

January 18, 2010 Posted by | concerns, General, Humanly | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Car Aflame

Aflame! Sorry but I do not mean an excited car out here. lol.

I witnessed a car burning in flames last night when going to meet a friend. It was just about 200 meters from the car when I, riding on my motor cycle, was signaled by a medium built guy to stop. At first I thought it might be another mugger as it was already about 10 pm and there are rarely any people on that road. But I slowed down and the guy screamed out not to go ahead as there is a car burning, fearing it might burst at any moment. I stopped and watched the blaze. It was mainly in the bonnet while some streaks of fire could be seen at the bottom of the car as well. For a moment I watched how serious it was. Was it by some miscreants or was it an accident? There were a host of other people and vehicles lined up at a safe distance while further frantic calls were being made by the same guy who signaled at me to stop other approaching vehicles. After a while I started at full throttle, wore my helmet and raced past the blazing car. At the same time when I was starting, a mini fire truck wailed beside me and parked just crossing the car. As I reached a possibly safe distance, I could imagine a sigh of relief in the watching small group.
Car Aflame
I returned back through the same road after some time and could see that the situation was back to normal. This time again, I stopped and walked near the vehicle to have a look at the damage. There were some 6-7 people with the car this time, 2-3 of them discussing possibly about the dealer of the car, damage compensation etc. On asking one guy standing beside, he told me that the engine just caught fire, possibly overheating or some electrical glitch somewhere.

The car was a brand new Tata Indica GLS. This was a live sight I had witnessed after reading stories of three such car fires in the local newspapers in last two months.

October 17, 2009 Posted by | General | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Special Apple Dosas with “Pain”

Heard that an apple a day keeps the doc away. What do you do if its Pain-Apples and especially when its called Painapple Special Dosa? Slapstickally comic but the restaurateur just overlooked it I guess. It was only later that they realized Pineapples would have been better than Pain-Apples .

PainApple Special
Wanna grab one?

July 3, 2009 Posted by | General | , , , | 1 Comment

Michael

Mikaeel he was at the age of 50, when he left the followers of his style of pop in a loss. It was reported that most of the community websites unavailable when the news broke out. Some were in shock and disbelief, some were heartbroken.

It was November last year that Michael Jackson had become Mikaeel, embracing Islam. In fact, most of the people in his reach went towards same faith. His songwriter David who became Dawud, his producer who turned from Phillip Bubal to Idris Phillips and his brother Jermaine.

He was black and yet he was white. It was probably this song “Black or White” that I first heard about MJ and started liking his songs thereafter and also those which were already present before but I didnt even hear of! As sort of his comeback to the stage after a long enough gap, his London show was eagerly awaited by millions of his fan followers but alas, sadly he couldn’t last till then. It’s a wait that is going to be a wait forever. He left a gap within all which will be felt for long now. It was supposedly the last of his performances.

He lived like a king – he was the king of pop, but he died in debt. The later part of his life went with a lot of media publicized controversies. He didn’t want to die young like Elvis, and 50 is well not young enough. The gods kept that part in mind I guess and has made it appear a bit mysterious as well.

Rest in Peace Michael alias Mikaeel.

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June 29, 2009 Posted by | General, Humanly | , , , , | 1 Comment

Is anything happening?

Its been two months now since the shocking attacks in Mumbai on the 26th of November last year. For a quick chronology of the 26/11 attack, refer this link. The well choreographed plot by a bunch of teenage kids went on from the night of 26th November, Wednesday to 29th November, Saturday afternoon. All else killed but one captured by a couple of not heavily armed Mumbai cops. Brave men!

Soon, all fingers pointed towards Pakistan. Since then, there had been investigations by many groups on the plot. One of the much reputed international investigator agencies too dropped in. Our defense system was heard or felt to be assembling up for go-for-the-kill. The lone captured terrorist was a vital clue towards many aspects. We sure were no short of other vital proofs. But that’s all that has been happening. None has been sentenced to any trial. There is no news of any other big fish being in clutches of the law. There had been talks, discussions, added tensions and hostility, exchange of words, handling over of dossiers to Pak and all such drama. Its odd enough that India has been asking to hand over a few of the key terrorist masters like Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarrar Shah, while Pak wouldn’t agree to comply stating that if any terror minds, if any found, as such will face trial in their own country. Interestingly though, the law in Pakistan currently do not have any provisions for dealing with those who had commited crimes outside the country.

Representatives from the international power who unhesitatingly consider them as being above all laws also attempted to resolve the tensions, making sure the worse do not happen – unlocking the nuclear warhead. Its ultimately in the hands of the countries which are involved in the soup. However there is the ‘system’ which we as usual are complaining about, that is still letting things hanging.

The past two months has seen many events unfolding with regard to the terror attacks. There is progress or not, I wonder how many does care about it now. Some of us are tired to sit and watch at the pace it is going. Some are sure nothing major will happen for at least a decade. Why? See the 1991 Mumbai bomb blasts case. That case was dragged at all ends possible for one reason or another. I was just a kid unaware of any such events back then in 1991. But only last year did we see the long list of criminals that were to be produced and acquitted ot convicted. Yet the main accused are yet to be netted.

But lets still have a hope. As the new Prez of the states has used – “Hope”! This Jan 29th is to see Pakistan respond to Indias file on proofs and records submitted to them. But there will be more to come until the real conclusion is reached. Or is it even going to conclude?

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January 26, 2009 Posted by | concerns, Humanly | , , , | Leave a comment