Sunday, April 30, 2006

Its the trust factor, stupid.


The self needs to be conquered first in order to conquer anything else. This has been the recurrent theme from ancient times, which is reiterated in all modern management books too. However too much focus on the self can be devastating as also the cause of anxiety, depression and much else. There comes a time when a particular idea or attitude becomes so inherent in a person that he is unable to see things in any other way. The manner in which a person interacts with people around him is also a direct consequence of the passive or dynamic nature of that person.

Trust becomes an inevitable part of any interaction. Trust is largely a result of the perception that the subjects in question, develop among themselves. There may be an air of mistrust when interacting with some people, that I have observed sometimes even after repeated conversations. May be an attitudinal issue or a general feeling of mistrust or plain boredom or tiredness with either of the persons.

Also aloofness can be a sign of many other things for example disinterest, arrogance, fear, or a genuine reason of the mind being focused on some other object. There is a tendency to interact with a closer section of friends differently from that with colleagues at work and there may be a strict demarcation which I guess is the most wise thing to do.

The basic premise for friendship in my opinion has many things which need to be keenly thought over before getting a stamp of approval. Firstly a wavelength match and then that is not the end of it, how the other person treats you or how you treat the other, has a bearing on the level of friendship that you develop, to state the obvious. 'It is better to have no company than to have bad company' is the old adage, which I am a firm believer in.

Though I am not very adept at making friends, acquaintances would be fine and a strict formal comradeship will never be difficult. Is it a case of being too judgmental ? Also I prefer to be alone at times, when any disturbances or the presence of someone else would irritate me greatly (probably the sense of being that develops if you are a single child). The exact opposite are some people who can make friends at an almost exponential rate. I am not saying one is better than the other just an observation as to the ability to make friends or is it acquaintances.

And trust is something that develops only over a period of time and not in a split second ... (BLINK!)
Would like to know your opinions on this and parameters that you apply & trust relations that you develop. The general modus operandi.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Quote Unquote

Shamit's Quote for the day:

If you are always frequency hopping how can you expect to be friends with anyone having the same wavelength ?


[ Only books probably come close ... ;-) ]

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Thought Stream : Indians, Matinee Idols & Ego

Reading 'The Argumentative Indian'; here Amartya Sen talks about the scepticism and dialogic traditions of Indians from ancient times, including the inherent rational inqiry in the Vedas about god, the ideals in Gita as also the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata by giving anecdotes and instances from these parables that highlight this questioning attitude. Opposing views in these epics are not totally banished, and as he says 'an argument that refuses to die out definitely remains alive, only to come back into life'. In the essay that I am presently reading he has refuted the isolationist and narrow-minded approach that the so-called Hindutva movement (namely BJP, RSS etc) wants to portray. Also discussed are the selective history propagated by changing the school syllabi to demonify the Moghuls and the tendency of the fundamentalist forces to mix up the Vedic and Indus valley civilizations as one, including creating fraudulent scholarly works to prove the same. He states that the Vedic culture and Sanskrit came from Indo-European regions and not from the region of the Harappan civilization - this of course has been a debatable topic since decades. India has always accepted and accomodated races such as Muslims, Jews and others who faced persecution in other nations which even Swami Vivekananda states in his works. It is a secular nation state with Hindus as the majority, not a theocratically Hindu nation.

Was watching 'Dev' an excellent movie yesterday - could catch only the last part of the movie - with Amitabh Bachhan in the lead role, a movie which draws parallels to the Gujarat riots and the hand in glove scenario of the police force and the government with perpetrators in targetting muslims. Om Puri in the role of one such senior police officer gets a house with several families burnt alive as retribution for getting a politician arrested in a riot case, when Amitabh having witnessed the carnage reports to the government, Inspector Tej (Om Puri, who is Dev's long time friend) gets Inspector Dev killed, and finally commits suicide. Other actors included Kareena, Fardeen, and Amrish Puri.

Today was an officially declared holiday.
With the passing away of the kannada matinee idol, Rajkumar - the state saw unprecedented violence; the police being the target of the mobs' ire. He was indeed a much admired personality, but the sort of violence unleashed due to emotional outbursts, only goes on to tarnish the icon's image. I remember some of the movies that used to be telecast on DD and had watched a few in which Rajkumar plays James Bond'esque roles. Loved the song 'Naadamayaa', not sure if he had formal training in singing but this raga-based song was an absolutely amazing, lovely rendition by him.

With all this happening, I was thinking about the nature and consequences of ego which tries to establish itself as prime and rejects everything else, a false illusion that it creates. The 'I or you' concept is indeed very foolish. It has to be 'I and you' - everything has a rightful place in this world and cannot be wished away. What one decides to follow of course is a pruned path; saying no to certain things and accepting others more benefitial in the wordly pursuit.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Mental Angioplasty

Like clogged pipes, sometimes the mind gets clogged, unable to do anything productive outside the banal sphere of what is termed 'work'. Whether that very work is responsible for this or the pursuit of too many other interests, I do not know. Not being capable of concentrating and focussing on what you would like to do can be irritating. For example it has been some time since I have written something interesting; apart from blog posts that you get to read or some other junk or some very formal article that I was forced to write due to prior obligations. How will I justify that?
Probably I need to keep a little book that some people suggest for writers as if as a surrogate for the biological memory - which can be used to jot down ideas as and when they come to mind. Ideas do come and go; but to expand it into a story or sustaining the idea to a larger form of a book requires tremendous patience and dedicating ample amounts of time. With a life which demands priority in other areas, it tends to become very difficult to achieve the same. Need to unclog those neural paths ... and soon, before there is a mental arrest.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A bengali movie today ...

Sometimes movies on television can be a valuable means of generating thoughts; though most often it acts as a medium of unidirectional communication stifling the thought process in its wake. Was watching a bengali movie on ETV Bangla called 'Chayasurya' literally translating to 'shadowed-sun'. The story is of a bohemian girl who grows up in a well to do household in Calcutta where she has a sister who is her exact opposite. She is of a dark complexion, naughty and always with a 'dont care' attitude. Also she repeatedly seems to fail in examinations, becoming a cause of great ire for her parents and relatives because of her ways - playing around cricket with the boys on the street and giving studies a damn.
As she grows up and becomes notorious for her ways, with unkempt hair and an indifferent attitude; the story portrays the difference in how the family treats her as against her docile and good-mannerdly sister; however the movie doesnt fall into the trap of overdoing it, it does not show her as the extremely rude and cheeky sort that you may have watched in some of those hindi extravaganzas. This role is portrayed by the young Sharmila Tagore in the film. As the movie proceeds she rescues a child, seems to sketch better than her sister who formally learns painting and wants to learn tabla; referring to her sister's sitar as an instrument that cries.

Later on she actually develops a liking for an unemployed man whose face is never shown in the movie and visits him everyday to learn tabla right at 5 in the evening. He even after repeated interviews is not able to obtain a job. In the mean time she visits a place in Bihar with her uncle who is a writer and is like her friend and whom she confides in, comes to know about her lover and asks her to tread judiciously. By the time they come back home her sister's marriage has been fixed with an affluent foreign-returned engineer. This causes her further anxiety and she tells her uncle that she would bring down the dignity of her family if she were to marry the boy, however she would run away if they did not give her permission; on which her uncle admonishes her. She also tells her uncle, that he is not well. In the hustle on account of her sister's marriage everybody forgets about her.

On the day of the marriage it is found that her aunt is missing some money from her purse. First they suspect the servants and then when the servants deny; they spot the protagonist looking totally distraught coming home, on which they ask her where she had been when she confesses she had stolen the money from the purse and says she has spent it but refuses to disclose where. Here an emotional scene shows everybody including her mother, accusing her except her father. The end of the movie shows her standing, staring out of the window, in her uncle's room when he enters and asks her if she spent her money for her lover's illness and she says, she never got that opportunity, and she had bought some flowers and had paid some money to his friends for his funeral. She had expected nobody to notice a hundred rupees missing, when they were spending thousands for her sister's marriage who was a perfect doll; however even this was found only because she had been a 'bad' girl. She laments that should not have been born which would have saved all of them from so much embarrassment and she breaks down, crying that she had been totally neglected. An excellent performance by Sharmila Tagore, also the movie has many famous bengali actors of that time. The whole movie is as a narrative by the uncle who writes about her in his book as requested by her.

I liked the movie as it also reminded me of an argument I had once had with my cousin. The movie is an adaptation of a short story by Ashapurna Devi. Need to rummage in the pile of bengali books at home to see if I have any short storie by Ashapurna Devi. (Links on Ashapurna Devi - [1] [2])

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A right mix ...

You are what you think.
That is so true. How much of what you are, should be externally demonstrated ?
What about hidden feelings or latent talents ?
I get the point that the world understands what is demonstrated, but that can seem so irritating sometimes; as if I am playing to a crowd and all the world's a stage !
What about changing attitudes - it gets affected by this 'visible is right' - a faulty system of judgement, as this can make someone pretend or act out, even though he/she may not be what he is projecting, or doesn't like what he is supposed to be; but needs to fit into the circumstances. Its a clear tradeoff between choice and circumstances along with societal demands that decides what one does or achieves, atleast in most 'normal' cases. But true achievers are not a subset of the 'normal' or is there an overlap ?
There is no straight-jacketing achievers, however the trend is interlinked with 'wealth' someone possesses. I am not saying that is the only criteria; it is one of the most 'visible' indicators of achievement in today's materialistic society. However true talent may have nothing to do with wealth - some musicians and great artists live and die in penury; giving glimpses of the other extreme. Both going hand in hand would probably be the best route. A right mix of practicality and creativity - not being completely oblivious of worldly pursuits or being 'street smart' as they say.
Being true to one's actual self is above all, much more important in my view; given that the person has decided the path to tread in future. Taking that as the goal and a duty, to pursue it heart and soul.

A poem LINEAR - an outflow of the same thought stream ... [Poetic Injustice]

Currently reading a book called 'The Master Strategist - Power, Purpose & Principle' by Ketan Patel.
Also started 'The Argumentative Indian' by Amartya Sen - an excellent book, from the outset.