Stories on Casteism and Sexism

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The Ramayana

Have you heard the story of Shambuka? Here is the story in brief from Wikipedia:

Shambuka (Sanskrit śambūka) is, in Hindu mythology, a character in some versions of the Ramayana. According to that version, Shambuka, a shudra ascetic, was slain by Rama for attempting to perform penance in violation of dharma, the bad karma resulting from which caused the death of a Brahmin’s son.

So, one of the famous Gods, Rama, beheads someone because he didn’t have enough privilege to do something based on his caste!!! That’s not all. He had asked His faithful wife to go through ‘Agni Pariksha‘ to prove her purity. She passes the test but guess what – He despises her no matter what! He banishes Sita, even as she is pregnant. To be just? Really? Is this the example we are being shown how casteism and sexism are elements of our “holy” culture? Is this the ‘Rama Rajya’ we are expecting in our country?
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Human Imagination, Religion and the Irony

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I was attending a lecture related to the ‘History of Mankind’ and I came across this interesting analysis about evolution of human race and religion.

When the organisms in this world started forming groups, which was millions of years ago, their main aim was to help each other out in times of troubles caused by other groups or individuals. There was struggle for food every day. There was struggle for life and survival. Every day.

Being in a group helps. But, there was always a limit to the maximum number of people which can be part of a group. Scientists have observed that the magic number is 150. If the count exceeds 150, there are more chances of internal disagreements, frictions and rebels against the current leadership. Till date, the concept of magic number stands true for almost all organisms in this world, except us, the human beings. Human beings can now be in groups of millions and billions, which we call states and countries. Yes, there are frictions, rebels, chaos to say the least, but still they are a group. They take pride in where they belong to, their ancestors, their culture, their religion. And because of such big groups, human beings are the most influential organisms in this world. I think, we can easily say that human beings are the organisms which decide the fate of this planet.

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End of an Era

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It is the end of an era as Sachin announces his retirement after his 200th Test match against WI in November. Cricket, for me at least, won’t ever be the same again.

The 'God' of Cricket

The ‘God’ of Cricket

No one knows what goes inside the dressing room. When India won the world cup, Yuvraj Singh was one of the oldest team members in the team, he had probably been a team mate of Sachin for a time more than anyone else in the squad at the moment. Yuvi was ‘The Man of the Tournament’, and I think, he didn’t or doesn’t need to prove himself to anyone. Whenever the opportunity came he performed, like he did throughout the World Cup.
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The Changing Days

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February 15, 2013 marked completion 3 years of my first job. Of course, it marked a lot of other things. Neither could I see any post in Facebook about the same nor did I get any ‘hey, We’ve completed 3 years!!!’ from any of my so many friends who had joined 3 years back (after some horrible time past college pass-out).

Since I don’t have much to write about ;), I would first like to go about why none of my friends ‘boasted’ of this ‘milestone’.

  • First, few of my friends were too busy to realize any calendar day other than which ones are client’s business days, release dates, implementation dates etc.
  • Second, for a few, it was not really a matter to boast of.
  • Third, for a few, it was not a thing to be called a milestone.
  • Four, we friends are not well connected anymore to discuss these things.

The fourth point, somehow, bothers me a bit. We all are growing up, rather growing old, to see some unavoidable phases of life. In the process, we lose track of where we had once dreamt our lives to end up; we forget about the close friends we once had regular contact with and the plans to make fun-filled trips with them.

There are friends and there are others and there are few questions which both the sections of people ask. These days, it is about one of the most horrible things that could happen to a bachelor – ‘Marriage’. Friends are getting engaged, married and even having babies. With all that, you get the pressure from ‘the higher management’ of your life (sadly!) to ‘perform and achieve goals’.

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The Selfish World

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This is a cruel and selfish world. The gist of what I want to say is that we can’t just expect anything from anyone. We have to find our own way through the difficult times. I am writing a few points for myself and sharing with you. See if you find them useful 🙂

  1. Love. Never expect people to love you back.
  2. Make friends. Don’t expect everyone to be there for you.
  3. Help. If you really do, you will feel great. But, don’t expect people to be grateful to you.
  4. Be truthful, honest and loyal. Very few people believe in these things. If you do, be proud of yourself. Don’t get carried away or don’t expect people to change.
  5. Trust. It is an easy thing to do. Choosing whom to trust is the difficult task. But, you have to do it.
  6. Work honestly. But, you should remember that no matter how hard you work, you will be expected to work harder for the reward you deserve. So, take out something from your work that remains yours forever : knowledge. Learn when you work.
  7. Fight for what you deserve. There are people who want your share.
  8. When you make your disaster recovery plans, you can count two things in. You and your resources. Just two.
  9. Keep smiling even when you are going through difficult times. You can influence a lot of people with that. It will cheer up people who love you; it may be heartbreaker for the people who don’t.
  10. Live life to the fullest.

Life and Love

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A person is defined and remembered with love by what he/she has achieved so far in terms winning others’ hearts and not in terms of education, wealth or related accolades. We all know, more or less, how important it is to ‘learn to love’ others.

Where do we get the first glimpse of love? If you’re thinking about some cute girl in your school whom you would share pencil and eraser with, I think you need a bit of memory-refresh. It is our family members who teach us how to love. Our elders in family teach us how to love unconditionally, with care, patience and dedication. It is always easy to give up on someone but they make us realize what love can achieve.

Then, we start knowing people other than in our family. We start loving the company of few of them. And then, we learn about the most beautiful relationship in the earth – Friendship; we get friends. There were times when we were not able to give a clear definition of either ‘Love’ or ‘Friendship’. We just loved being with friends; hoped there hadn’t been sunset and we could go on… just being with friends.

Then ‘Education’ happens. It gives us knowledge about all the worldly things; the need of gaining knowledge and the art called ‘survival’ in this competitive world. We learn about society, Marriage, Sexual orientation and other stuff. But, during the process we tend to pollute our feelings. We start defining ‘Love’ and ‘Friendship’. Then comes the worse part. We find that special one of our life and fall in ‘love’ (it’s often a feeling defined by ourselves depending upon that special person ;)). Continue reading

The Saint and The Heroes

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Netaji Subhash Bose

Netaji Subhash Bose

I recently appeared a quiz on Netaji Subhash Bose. I am a big fan of him. He is one of those heroes in the fight for freedom of our country who chose to stand tall in their ideology and stand firm against the English empire. From what I know about the hero, I feel that he is one of those human beings who knew how to convert imaginations, dreams and thoughts into actions. He was one of those freedom fighters who thought that their first duty was to get their motherland the freedom it deserves. After the ten-question quiz I felt like I should google a bit about him; I have always been very fascinated about this master of disguise, the mysterious hero, the courageous fighter. Then I came across this interview of his daughter Anita Bose-Pfaff where she answers the question – “Why did Mahatma Gandhi not support him?”

In some ways they were of (the same) opinion. In other ways they were not. In the 1930s Gandhi clearly worked against him. Very often Gandhi is portrayed as a saint, which he was not at all. In my opinion he was a very shrewd politician. He was a lawyer who really knew how to work the system and manipulate people in a positive sense. He certainly made my father resign as Congress president. My father respected him very highly in spite of that and was always anxious to hear Gandhi’s reaction to what he did and what he said. It was my father who called Gandhi ‘Father of the Nation.’ The INA slogan ‘Jai Hind’ is still the greeting used in the Indian Army today; my father picked the Indian national anthem. It was first played in Hamburg at a gathering. So there are still a few symbolic remains from his activities in India which people tend to forget. Gandhi and my father were of the same opinion regarding the partitioning of the country. Both of them were dead set against it and in some context my father said, ‘The British will try to partition the country.’ He and Gandhi were very much against this.

Complete interview : http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/may/11inter.htm Continue reading

Being Extraordinary

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There is a dialogue (perhaps the last one) in the movie ‘Marley & Me’ which I really liked.

How many people in the world can make you feel extraordinary?

We dream of being extraordinary; being a rock-star, being a super-hero or may be being a celebrity with millions of fans no matter what we really are. We dream of driving the crowd crazy with every gesture we make. Then there are people who prefer being in the crowd in those dreams of ours. It’s our family and our loved ones who make us feel extraordinary.

A child’s first step to walk and the first attempt to speak a word – for parents these moments are just priceless. The moment we are born, their dreams are ones to fulfill ours, their needs are the wants of ours. The first sketch that we make is the finest art they have seen. When we get a prize, they feel like the winner. Fallen from bicycle, injured with a cricket ball or crying because your favourite team lost a match, they are always beside you. It’s nice to be loved. It’s nice to find people around who really care for you. But, what happens to people when it’s their turn to try and pay a fraction of what they got in return?!

I remember an evening in August (last year), when I was in front of a super-market waiting for something I had ordered in the food court nearby. I felt a gentle tapping on my shoulder. I turned back to see an old lady who must be in her late 60s, actually trying to stand tall. She looked at me and asked with a smile and respectable dignity – “Can you please help me reach there so that I can get a place to sit somewhere?” My reflex was – “Yes, of course…”. She started walking with me, with her hands on my shoulders, to the nearby exit gate where there was a place where someone could sit. I could feel her hands trembling, and that she should not have been there considering what her health permits her to do. Continue reading

What Makes ‘The Box’ An ‘Idiot’…

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The Idiot Box

The Idiot Box

The Jungle Book, Malgudi Days, TeleSpin, Duck Tales, Alladin, Chandrakanta, Three Stooges, I Dream of Jeannie, Dennis the Menace, Shaktimaan – These are the few TV shows I can recollect I have grown up with. With time the flavour of the TV shows and soaps have changed significantly and in a way that can not be easily comprehended. To conclude whether the overall change in TV viewing is positive or negative may be a difficult task even for the accomplished critics.

The TV channels have come up with new and newer technologies to give the viewers improved visual experience. At the same time, many channels, which are supposed to be providing information, try providing cheap entertainment which results in meaningless air. Many shows, which are supposed to be providing light family entertainment, provide stupid stories to fool fools. There are popular (and very popular) daily soaps which in fact don’t have any kind of story in them (it is completely my perception :)). But, everyday they try to put something interesting for their dear viewers. May the content be stupid, what matters is the TRP. There are so many people in our country who like those kind of shows. The characters and stories in the serials are sometimes the topic to discuss in parties and all. The marriage of the lead character in a serial takes thirty episodes which includes two episodes when she is upset with her hair-style. A character who plays a mother looks much younger than his daughter. And above all… you can never be confirmed whether a character is alive or dead; never when it is a lead character. Even after getting a bullet in the forehead a character gets well with minor memory problems. Continue reading

My Programming Journey – The Hard Facts of the Software Industry

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Disclaimer : The content below does not aim at making any statement about anything living or dead. Anything like that merely is a coincidence. This post is more like an entry in a personal diary. I am writing more for myself now.

It's not me! :)

It’s not me! 🙂

My lecturer who was teaching me ‘Programming in C’ had made one thing very clear to me – that I will never be comfortable with programming and it would be very difficult for me to pass the final examination keeping in view the knowledge and attitude I have towards programming. Anyways, those words gave me a kick on my back and somehow I was able to get a ‘C’ in ‘Programming in C’. It needed the combined effort of me and my room-mate Mahesh.

I was very comfortable in C++. I got an ‘O’ in my lab. I liked studying RDBMS and somehow found it very interesting. Don’t take me otherwise, but it really is :). Again I got an ‘O’. Then I took my first out-of-curriculum language course in summer, 2007. It was for Java. At that time, eight people (including me) were sharing a single PC to practice programming after the classes. I was catching up with things very easily. While studying the advanced Java part, I learned HTML and I liked working with it. My friends made me believe that I am really good with these things.

After six months I was the one who was supposed to design the website for the tech-fest of my college. I tried applying JSP for this but things did not come out to be so easy. Continue reading