Archive for October 2008

srilanka crisis resolved

October 27, 2008

Srilankan Tamils are going to be happy. All those who lost their home and happiness are going to get it back.No civilian is going to be hurt in the ‘war’  (all can be fair in war or the war against war),and the chief minister’s daughter will continue to be the MP.

All those who stood in the rain believing that their voices will have an effect can now relax. Many bloggers will run out of topics. All is well!!! Again another political situation has found a solution!

i cannot but want to believe this is true.

i really wish and pray that this is not the usual political eye-wash.

what else can i do, except swear in silence that i stand by the people who suffer. maybe i should start sanskrit ideology- like king, so people- and be shameless, insensitive and stupid…or sly.

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ennui- before and after (1)

October 26, 2008

Ennui sounds nice to hear or say but to experience it is a bizarre bluntness. It would generally be used to call the state in which you are too bored to even say that you are bored. But it is not an indifferent silence, nor is it apathy; it is the slow sinking of a lifeless existence.

Facing emptiness that envelops emptiness, with no fear or anticipation since all feelings have become blunt, calendars, clocks and biological needs just become meaninglessly ritualistic. It is the blind eye seeing itself bleed. It is the poet whose words had vanished long long ago. It is a pain which lingers just a bit too long to be a sensation. It is in a way, a divinity discarded.

Just google it and you will end up thinking it is just boredom. It is not. After a point you do not ‘feel’ bored; in fact, you do not ‘feel’. It is not like the apathy of chronic schizophrenia, it is not the listlessness of severe depression; it is not an illness at all. It is a state of life, a state of mind into which willingly or not one is enmeshed for what appears at the time as eternity.

To define the abstract would be like painting in darkness. But the process of painting must go on in the hope that soon there would be light and forms become visible. So, ennui can be defined for now, as the feeling of emptiness that permeates into inactivity, leaving the body to function while the mind switches to a stand-by mode.

Ennui can be caused by complacency that is believed to be contentment. It is a process in life that may start at any point. It will not only prevent life from moving on, it would also bring about a feeling that life need not be pursued. It is not about suicide, rather it is about emotiocide. Left unnoticed ennui can disrupt one’s life ethos and rupture one’s social fabric.

It is slow and silent in its arrival but sustained and sickening during its presence. It may be a result of one’s satisfaction before the completion of a victory. Success is one’s own level of satisfaction- at having attained a minute’s applause or the posterity’s acclamation. Success generally brings about an adoration- even is masked with envy, from others. But the danger of success lies in its potential to breed ennui.

After tasting success we all would like to let the taste linger for some more time as a memory. We would prefer the world to remember it too. We would start believing that we have arrived. True and total success would lead to a state of mind in which there is peace, calm and purity of satisfaction. But, most often in life, we encounter victories in battles and imagine that we have been crowned after a war. We pause to bask in our own glory and believe that our first step just would end at the pinnacle. We know we have to move, but we may presume that we have overcome the dictates of time. We want time to wait for us till we finish our celebrations. Time however by its wonderful nature moves on. When we have awakened from the short nap after drinking success we find that our army has moved on without us. We would like to catch up but our laziness masks itself as confidence and we pause more. We feel we need rest even when we are not totally exhausted. That would be the time when ennui sneaks into life.

Our mind would lie to us because it knows the truth that truth would be painful. We settle down and start developing the lie. We feel we can take rest. We believe we are taking rest. We do nothing but wait. We wait not in anticipation but in bafflement.

I have often felt that all I need is a pen and a few sheets of paper to write a book. The demands then widen to need a room, an ambience, a nicer table and a better chair, some music in the background, some comforts within reach… and, even if everything in the wish list is provided the mind would come up with reason for inaction- ‘the mood’ hasn’t arrived! This is not depression which can vanish with proper medication. It is the arrogance of affordability.

When we believe that we can afford to just do nothing for the present, we have welcomed ennui. When in the state of ennui, we do not even anticipate. The angst, the anger at incapacity, the melancholy of emptiness and the attentive indifference of blunted emotivity all diffuse into a chaotic smudge on the mind’s canvass over which no image can be painted and under which no image can be seen.

Sometimes just as how it arrives unannounced ennui leaves without trace. By then, it would be too late to begin another campaign. We would have lost our army, our weapons and our grounds.

It need not be a midline shift in ambition and talent that some associate with midlife. It is always the consequence of comfort that one has extended a bit too much in the aftermath of a victory- big or small. When you feel you have done enough, you have invited ennui. So what would be enough to have enough of life?

More on this later.

spirits go on..shamelessly

October 23, 2008

so now it is kannadasan!

His spirit has been contacted and with enormous kindness it has ‘written’ a lyric for a film under production!

I only wish the spirit of MGR will give the hero a charismatic smile and the spirit of Sivaji gives him an emotive ability. I also wish the spirit of silk Smitha would give the heroine the art of seductive histrionics. I hope the spirit of KV Mahadevan will write the music for the song, I hope the newly joined spirit of Sridhar will drive a sense of direction to the director! Am I blasphemous?

Are we not insulting the dead who have no way of defending themselves?

If you really want a kannadasan song in your film, you can pick up lines from his books as how you use bharathi . Every director worthy of being called one knows that (as much she/he knows the fact that  many music directors are not really composers)!

My anger is not at these film-makers, but at the news-givers. I am infuriated that for whatever paise it may be worth, my news-supplying paper is wasting itself on trash. I would like to ask the editor and the reporter-Are you not ashamed to print and publicize such a silly thing? Are you really believing that we are all idiots simply because we still see silly films? Just because a publicity oriented person claims that he owns  your mother will you print the story? Where is the discretion of journalism?

you news-guys have caused me mental agony.If kannadasan’s spirit is summoned today, how can I ever die in peace? I am in ‘mortal’ fear that my spirit will be summoned someday in future.

do i sue you cheap frauds and fake sellers? if gandhi cannot sue when his father is insinuated..what would a hapless idiot like me can?

useless words on a real pain

October 23, 2008

Genocide is being discussed if not interfered in this world. Innocent people who probably never wished for any war between anyone are being killed, hurt and hunted. I just chose to write a blog.

Srilankan tamils are suffering. Since I do not have the shamelessness to join a political farce I will not be a physical part of the ‘human chain’.

So what do I do? Write a blog that will be read by srilankan tamils from their safer havens? Keep writing blogs that would never be read by the cheap politicians here? Vote for the viewer targeted blogs that lament?

I do not know.

All I can do is take someone who is hurt into my house and nurse the wounds-physical or mental. I did it in 1984, I can do it again now…but?

When will people stop needing my little or somebody’s big help?

And when will the intellectual stop talking and do something?

calling the spirits

October 15, 2008

Though there are millions of words to be written before even a handful of the gullible millions would pause to examine the fraudulent designs of our spiritual specialists, this blog is not about the naked cheapness of these con-men. This blog is about a personal anguish. It is about a shame that I have been suffering in a shameless silence for nearly two months.

I had written a blog on how ‘spirits’ were allegedly requested to help in a murder investigation. The purpose of the blog was to express an angry impotence on how our people are taken for a big illusory ride. But it appears my words were counter productive. Even now, I find that people are landing up at my blog while searching for the address of a person who claims to be a single point of contact with the spirit-world. Why do people seek these sickening frauds?

People generally flock to these frauds seeking help when they feel life is beyond their comprehension, when they feel that their difficulties are insurmountable. Life becomes a problem only when the living imagine that dreams are realities. Life becomes difficult only when needs and desires are confused. Life is a riddle only when the language of common sense is lost.

When there is a tragedy, a loss, a real or imagined failure one tends to lose control. Emotions surge and engulf the rational competence that is essential for survival and growth. It is in this moment of weakness that one becomes desperate and seeks solace in illusions.

I feel I have to think more on the aspects of searching and seeking that operate in the minds of my fellow-men. But for now I wish to state in this blog that I am most willing to offer five times more than the ‘fee-normally-charged’ by such spirit-associates if they can answer three simple questions.

Since spirits are supposed to know even who killed whom and when, they should in my naïve opinion know when I did what, therefore the first question is which deity (that I worship) was seen by me in two different temples on the 11th and 12 th of july 2008.

The second question should be simpler, after all my grandfather, grandmother and my father being dead, their spirits can be contacted to find the answer for my question- what is my paternal grandmother’s name.

In the same manner the spirits should be able to say where my father was born– not just Chennai but something like ashoknagar or annanagr.

These are questions that those who are in contact with the man who is in contact with the spirits can ask him and give me the answer.

For someone who is in constant contact with the spirits this should not take more than a couple of days, but I am willing to wait for three weeks in case there is a full/new moon tag that may be used.

So, those who seek v—– ravichandran and land up at this blog, please ask these questions for me. As a bonus, I will pay for three of your questions if I get the right answers.

as the angry believers can notice i am not an atheist asking these questions.

incapacity in melancholy

October 13, 2008

If sadness were to always follow stress and strain, and invariably precede by failure, what is the emotional capacity of the mind, that is, how much can it take? If an athlete can train her/his body to perform more and sustain more than fellow humans, can there be a way to make the mind more capable of dealing with emotional drain? Why are there so many questions when there are always so few answers? To protect oneself one has to be aware of what can hurt. Unless the arrow is identified the amour cannot be designed.

What does hurt the mind? It is always a failure or sometimes even the fear of a failure! Failure is perceived or anticipated incapacity to meet the needs of one’s economy or emotions. This logically dissolves into the rhetoric whether emotional equilibrium is suffice to satiate needs that always have a definitive monetary price tag, and would economic freedom to indulge in exuberance would gratify the demands and desires of emotions!

What would a better state of living be? To begin with let us explore the economic well being which many feel can easily be assessed, defined and successfully accomplished. In the words of Gibbons, the definitive authority on the rise and fall of a culturally rich extravaganza, the answer is interesting, and can perhaps be applied at all times, in and for all times. He said,”According to the scales of Switzerland, I am a rich man; and I am indeed rich, since my income is superior to my expense, and my expense is equal to my wishes.” How wondrous would it be even to dream of this state; but then to be rich, or even assume to satisfy one that the self is rich, is not a guarantee for a life free of stress.

The rich and the poor have an equal amount of tears stored in their eyes; the mind just opens these reservoirs when emotional stress threatens to break the dam of security. So, is emotional stress more difficult to cope with than economic stress? Perhaps yes, depending on one’s capacity to cope with either hunger or humiliation. If the hunger of pride can be suppressed, if the humiliation of hunger can be ignored, if the tenacity of temptation be shelved and if one can just be oneself, well, life can be without stress. Let us therefore define stress to understand, interpret and devise strategies to counter its influence on well-being.

STRESS is and can actually be either EUSTRESS or DISTRESS. (In a lighter but still angrier vein, I do recollect an ill-meaning person saying that the third form of stress was mistress!!). Over the years, just as how good words have become bad, and bad become good, unfortunately unknown to the moralists of modern Tamilnadu, (and here I mean both the protagonists and the antagonists of the shameful farce enacted in the tragic-comedy with a three letter title), the word stress has become associated with its sub-division distress, and eustress is ignored.

Even if we were to follow the last sheep in the line and accept stress as meaning distress, it would help to know the different types of distress. To begin with, let us enlist the types of stress (henceforth synonymous in this article with distress).

There are different types of stress!

  • Disabling stress
  • Disintegrating stress
  • Desired stress
  • Deliberate stress
  • Dazed stress, and,
  • Divine/irrational/incomprehensible fatality masquerading as stress.

It may perhaps help to facilitate the faculties of the mind of the distant yet endangered reader, to comprehend each of these, however concisely compressed this composition be.

Disabling stress:

In these cases, one becomes incapacitated in the present so much that the future goes bleaker and blank. The situations vary with age. In adolescence, a rejected poetic attempt can trigger an inability to do erstwhile capable tasks, and, with physiology partially inclined towards male exhibitionism, beards grow and cigarettes flout in public! At times, if the ladies who perchance read worry, these beards are substituted by neglect of self-care. If one cannot groom self, one cannot speak as usual, smile/frown/be even silent as usual, it may be deterioration. In the adolescent age ( unlike those ages- in terms of years -that it had been synonymous with the teen age of yester-years, it has been declared by the WHO as the age between 12 and 19 (?!!) , love is the incapacitating factor, often misinterpreted as the yearning of the biological leaning towards gratification from the opposite. As one grows older (not necessarily wiser) disability is directly proportional to the decline and disappointments of a Maslowian definition. Maslow was, (for the uninitiated, the ‘guru’ who said man (or human!) needs to satisfy needs primarily to move on in life; his needs in order were, physical, emotional, functional, and social and finally – in a way, spiritual)…joseph campbell diagress with this, and I agree with him

Disintegration was once called `hysteria’. The term became obsolete when people discovered that hysterus referred to the uterus, and it was not responsible for mental afflictions. Possession et al came in this category.

And then, we come to the interesting categories. Can stress ever be desired? Can it be a by-product of bedazzlement? Can on the contrary, it ever be a deliberation? All these questions are answered yes because of the next question. Can there be a stress because of

divine/irrational/incomprehensible fatality masquerading as stress? The answer is simple!

The mask, however minutely designed to masquerade, can never be the real face; so too with stress. Imaginations abound in stress because many think they formulate a refuge. On the contrary ( please think again, can any escape be an acquittal?), all attempts to fool future fall back and one is left to fume about the past while the present falls lower and lower with the clock’s second ( or is it third!?) hand.

So?

Let us face reality. Money buys comforts. Comforts are bought by dreams. Dreams are designed by learning. Learning, if ever faulty, will give the wrong answer. Wrong answers fail. Failure saddens. Sadness is therefore avoidable!

Understand emotions, apply judicial introspection, arrive at conclusion, test it out and finally arrive – to draw a blue-print and build a future!

A hand is needed not just to lift the fallen from a pit, but often to support the trudge uphill. It can be your own hand if you have the courage and desire to climb out of a pit.

written in 2005

pooja holiday,marxian thoughts and mythological musings

October 9, 2008

Ayutha pooja and its holiday of total lack of work, gave me a chance to see a nice film, and also to ramble.

Vanessa Redgrave’s fever was an unusual film. It can disturb the sensitive. It can wake up the sleeping. It may not tell or answer everything but it would make you look at things you may take for granted. It is about empathy, it is about the itch of the comfortable intellectual, it is about values generally ignored. It does peek into Marxism. It makes you identify somewhere with the protagonist, and if you are self-obsessed and stinkingly stupid it would still make you nod acknowledging that you know someone somewhere who thinks or acts like this. It is about wealth. It is about sharing, giving and getting. It is about evaluation and it is also about rationalization.

Rationalization need not be rational, or logical or even truth! It is the mind’s reflex self-defense. It helps you to feel that you are still good. It makes you feel that you are intelligent enough to discard fate as an excuse for failure or success, though you would say you are fortunate to be rational! The film made me wonder why I earn enough to splurge and pay for my staff who work the same number of hours. It made me think of other things too. The morning after the film, my wife and I still spoke of the film and its sub-text. Strangely it made us think of lakshmi- the goddess of wealth in hindu mythology.

Wealth is comfort. This comfort can become condescending or compassionate, it can breed arrogance or altruism, it can make you impatient. It can be disturbing. It can even be hurting. Without wealth I cannot type on this lap top on the problems of the poor who have never even seen a laptop being booted by someone. Without wealth I cannot buy a nice edition of Das Capital. Without wealth I cannot buy food or clothes. Why should wealth be despised? I can really understand why wealth was revered and therefore ascribed divinity in the early hindu thought. It is necessary, but then what is wealth?

The swinging stock market and the sly economics that are discussed by experts are beyond my comprehension. I just know that my charminar costs more. I therefore need to make a little more money. I need lakshmi!

The one interesting aspect of depicting lakshmi in the hindu context is that she is not a simple money making machine! She is a diamond with many more cuts. If all the parts were to be equally contributing to the total, she provides an interesting speculation. She is not just iswarya lakshmi , but also dhairya lakshmi and vidya lakshmi, not to forget the veeralakshmi. but how many hindus pause to think of the meanings and idioms of myths? the turquoise ram and the blackish blue kali are still just there to be worshipped, believed and not pondered! that’s why geo formations are real bridges and cemeteries are scavenged! let me come back to lakshmi.

Though nowadays veeralakshmi helps her own santhana lakshmi, by buying vidya lakshmi, nothing is possible without being dhairya lakshmi! You need guts to bully people in order to amass wealth so that you can buy a degree for your progeny- ofcourse with adequate wealth and bullying capacity it need not be a degree but a designation or a deputation. So the wealthy are blessed by lakshmi. The wealthy therefore have guts, and with guts they pursue and make more wealth. With this wealth they buy education. With the bought education ( nowadays synonymous with a relative recognition) they hope to increase the wealth! It does not follow the script any more. The wealthy wily parents do not beget more wealthy and more wile progeny. What goes wrong?

Wealth is too general a term to just mean money. It is, like health, concrete and abstract, physical and mental, causative and reactive. It does mean knowledge, courage and valor. Perhaps proper distribution or sharing of wealth would mean equal opportunities for all to be comfortable and winning. Perhaps all would have equal amount of earning and spending capacity if they pursue lakshmi, provided she is not like the scary fortune in Boethius’ consolation of philosophy, who flirts and flees at her won unfathomable whim.

That’s why I preferred saraswathi.  (saraswathi is another interesting myholigic creation that means more than the ravivarma image.) She would in the long run get laksmi into the house and also give me sense to know that my work and its reward (worthy or unjustified) would make me immune to the pathetic failure of whomsoever I may wish to promote.

So what am I trying to say? Perhaps nothing, perhaps many things. The film was about the philistine fetishism of the arrogant affordable- perhaps I am yet to quit that club membership.