Archive for the ‘inspired by other blogs’ category

On muthukumar..

February 5, 2009

Immolation ignites, not just the self but the social order in which it occurs. Whatever be the tributes (heaped in hindsight), it is a suicide, albeit an altruistic suicide!

When muthukumar died in the flames that he ignited on himself, in support of Tamil Eelam, it was painful to know  and even more painful to reflect. He died for a cause. He is not going to get any part of the promised money that politicians would like to present, he is not going to see Tamil Eelam, he is not going to win an election, he is not going to see his statue which is the first stupid thing that a crafty politician is going to commission, he is not going to even see that the youth are agitated and angry and demanding. He is not going to be; he is gone. All those instantly printed images of his face are going to fade just a little while before his name becomes another affordably-forgettable trivia. (How many remember the names of those who died in 1965, in the same manner, for a similar (?) cause?)

I have been reading blogs written about this in the past week, and even serious and sensitive writers- vinavu in tamil and meena kandasamy in English- have been swayed by the emotional impact of the immolation.

Yes, he had dared to do what most of us fear- embrace death for a cause espoused. Yes indeed, he has achieved what he perhaps wanted- the youth to awaken. At this moment, just a few days after the death, it may even appear vulgar to discuss him. It would be unfair to ascribe motivations of self-interest to him. It will certainly be cheap and false to reduce his act to the psychological phenomenon of attention-seeking. I understand the pain. I feel sorry for him, but I feel more sorry for his death which I am afraid is not going to do much for much longer. I am afraid about idiots and immature people trying to imitate him. I feel even more sorry for him as I know how short-lived are the emotions that flare without deeper understanding of reality.

There are going to be politicians who would like to use his death to further their interests. There would be cheap writers who earn by writing about him. There would be half-baked intellectuals who would try to discuss dispassionately over dinner on the death of an individual. There would be interviews, columns, serials and even films on this event. Is that what he wanted? Is that what he died for?

How many of those young men and women who went to pay tributes to him know about the reality of Eelam? There is a genocide. It has been happening for nearly a generation. All those young and angry minds were infants or un-born when this started. That is the reason why political traders are selling them lies. The most unworthy of all lies being the projection of prabakaran. It pains me to see youth thinking that prabakaran is a leader in the `Che’ mould. This is the right time for a shrewd, conscienceless businessman to make Tshirts with prabakaran’s image. It hurts when he is being eulogized to this level- just because one muthukumar burnt himself to death and declared that LTTE have a great leader unlike the people of tamilnadu. It is true that there are NO leaders in this state which has politicians aplenty.

Just because we do not have a good leader should we accept a bad one? Let us not be led astray. Even friends and comrades when they were talking to me over the last one week lamented that since no one is there to fight for tamil-eelam, we have to put up with prabakaran. Are the angry youth aware that they have to ‘put up’ with him because no one else is fighting? And are they aware why there is no one else in the fray? Have they been informed if not educated about how those who fought for the same cause were killed because this one man wanted to reign supreme? Do they know of EPRLF and EROS?Were these young minds not idiotic enough just a few weeks back to stand in the rain and form a human chain because karunanidhi wanted to play his political game? One man wants you to stand in rain and get wet as he waves a promise from his motorcade- he was always that way, it is just now that he gets more and more exposed since his reflexes have become slower with super-confidence. As his alternative is the projection of a self-centered person who even now would not dare to face a match stick that might burn him- he needs innocent and unwilling people around him as a shield! Is this what muthukumar wanted?

Just because muthukumar died and declared so, it does not mean that prabakaran and LTTE are the only hope and promise for Tamils in Srilanka. Just because one man burnt himself to an agonizing death does not mean that we have to stop thinking. So what can we do?

Think and make others think. As Indians, we have very little option. We can shout and scream, so can Obama and Hillary; we can cry so can the politicians of the state, we can write—and?

I do not know what we can do as a country. maybe as some learned men say India should not offer assistance to srilankan army. but the stealth of international politics is more complex for such a simple solution. there are many who want an end to this problem, but what is going to be the end? Death of millions? it is happening and after all the deaths, laments and political theatrics, there is going to business potential in the destroyed area. I am aware that there are monsters waiting to rebuild the non-existent bridge and do business with the singhaleese. it hurts.Yet I as an individual cannot do much. I can only offer food and shelter realistically and thoughts and words idealistically to those who get displaced from the terror region.

I can even write poems on the miserable state of affairs- but would this be better than what muthukumar did? There is one difference- I can live to take care of atleast one suffering refugee which would matter more to those who flee from terror than my death.

as some friends have asked me after reading this, i have to say what i feel could be a solution-1.srilankan government must be made to see reason2. innocent lives have to be protected. THIS CANNOT BE DONE WITHOUT INTENSE POLTICAL AND ECONOMIC PRESSURE ON THE GOVERNMENT, but we cannot allow another IPKF, any american intervention will only mess the situation further,britain would just clone america. french will not. china/japan?  i honestly do not feel any military intervention is going to do good. if India can squeeze srilankan government by not offering even silent/sly support a solution is possible…hopefully

On immolations and the psycho-social history of Tamils in this regard later.


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shoes, slippers

December 17, 2008

With all my philistine and bourgeoisie trappings, I am happy. Not for the millions offered for the boots, but for the boots themselves.

Shoes were always a nuisance for me till this day.My school insisted in my growing years, and then some clubs and pubs insisted. I have never felt the need to wear them after school  till now!  But then shoes are good looking. They hide your dirty feet.They are to be worn. Every shoe henceforth shall carry the potent slap on the face of  “farce”ism. With pride, (and perhaps some discomfort due to the long years of discontinuance) I shall try to wear my shoes. And may the Gods that even our atheist/rationalist/pseudo- intellectual politicians of Tamilnadu and India worship in secret, prevent me from wearing one to one of their august assembles.
Shoe or slipper? Which would be more effective to hurl at these horrendous monsters that perpetuate social inhumanity? I wear slippers. I am lazy. I am middle class. Why do I have this snug sly smile when I write? I am rejoicing.

In my usual middle class mentality, in my usual mundane existence I have found another reason to rejoice than sachin’s hundred. I never loved Bush. I never loved (though I had hoped he would be good for the country) our great MMS. But then that Bush was allegedly loved even by me when our PM declared that India loved Bush. Let anyone try to hurl even an unused slipper at someone I love, and I shall demonstrate what love is and how indignantly violent love can be.

I digress. I know. This is common when emotions take over language. What do I want to write about? Shoes? Love? Anger? Indignation? I am just writing all that come through my fingers on the keyboard.
Well… it is time indeed for all those pseudo-moralists to take a know-all attitude and condemn the ‘bad’ behavior. I have already seen one hypocrite saying in a blog that he ‘condemns’ this act, being a ‘journalist himself’. Good. I am happy that journalists have reached this point of sincere(?) and succinct self-modulation. It was all missing just a couple of weeks ago.
So here we are.!All of us who have foot wear! We can use them more effectively. But even for those who grumble at VPSingh and the mandal, ( I saw one doing so in Tehleka too), this is a great opportunity. Those who love globalization can use an Iraqi model. Those who love modernization can use the latest Italian ensemble. Those who are like me stuck with the indianised slipper can still use it.
My only discomforting question was, would the millionaire who wants to buy those shoes care to educate the ‘cobbler-community’ of south india? They can provide you with all those dispensable shoes, while they remain dispensable (and despicable). OK. I know what the comments would be. I am going to be called casteist! Perhaps i am a global casteist! How else can I be when I wear slippers while wanting to wear shoes?

and, i also wonder why all those who protest in words or actions use slippers/shoes to show their anger? is shoe a symbol of anger? or, are even those intellectually posing pseudo-leftists too guilty of saying shoes are a symbol of degradation? if this is the case i am happy at the degradation of dignity dished out to Bush.

But then, why  indeed are footwear symbols of degradation? is it because those deprived few were supposed to be born of/from/beneath the feet of God?

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?

kuselan- the subtext

August 28, 2008

The boss was back, and was sent back! This simple one liner is enough for the greedy money-mongers in kodambakkam to invest around 50 crores.

Sure, this would have been enough for great directors to visualize a schemata and a scenario in their minds, great script writers would certainly be able to weave a magical movement in it. But, the `brains’ that allegedly function and boast that they are on par with those whose creativity they unabashedly steal and plagiarize, have constantly run into trouble. They steal the story, some dialogues, some music and even some camera angles- what they fail to do is steal the great artistes who would have made the whole work good if not great. Since everything works, or so it is believed, around the artiste- it is a tough and daunting task indeed for the `creators’ of Chennai cinema houses. They always take the original story and style, put it onto the persona of the star, and start trimming and pulling and pushing till the whole thing goes out of shape. This blatant disrespect for art is called modification by some and adaptation by others. After the making of an ugly if not shameful product, they spent all their pent-up creative energy in a passionate promotion. Interviews in media, planned leaks, gossips are all well orchestrated for every such ridiculous movie. This `script’ ends in three possible ways-

1. everyone makes money, everyone is happy

2.some make money, some are happy

3.everyone loses money and nobody is happy.

In the case of Kuselan- the mega film that arrived to take on the mega(!) dasavatharam, the scenario has become different. No one is happy. Some have made money, but not the way and amount that they dreamt. Some have lost in a big way because their greedy gamble simply failed. The loss of money was startling and scary for the hitherto sycophants and they demand that their lottery ticket be refunded. The unsuspectingly tortured members of the measly audience, many of whom have the additional tag of a shamed fan, can never reclaim their ticket money. They have wasted their time and money- (parking fee, the canteen cost and the actual ticket value notwithstanding, they may also have to spend on anti-depressants).

What went wrong? Of late many things go wrong in tamil filmdom. Young kids who have been hanging around festivals have been able to find some producers. All those `arty’ films and all those `commercial’ films seen every day in work, have made these guys come up with fairly interesting, slick and economically sensible films. They have shown profits. They have drawn the audience to the theatres. The money-makers have sniffed blood. If a squirrel can yield so much meat, they want to catch the lion (even if the big one should have retired long ago). In the pursuit of their lion-hunt, they have tripped and been trampled by passing elephants.

What is interesting in the current scenario is that the erstwhile star-gazing theatre owners and distributors have rebelled. They cannot ( they claim in greed and shame) put up with losses anymore. They demand repayment! This cheap bad-losing behavior’s humour quotient apart, what is relevant in the drama is the fading image of the super star.

Is the public aghast? Are the streets streaming with sad and angry mobs? Is there a public outrage? Are couch-static socially concerned lap top owners typing out blogs? Nothing of significance has happened. Simply because what happened is not actually significant. It does not concern the average person’s survival and growth in a confused Indian socio-politico-economic milieu. It will not. But, the second page news that this trivia in life makes is superficially amazing. Media needs news. The visual medium is dependent on superstars for viewership. The print media is unfortunately also in the imaginary world where a star makes news every time there is a sneeze. No wonder no one was very critical of the boshed up butterfly effect.

The socio-psychological truth that emerges from the super flop and the subsequent rebellion against Rajnikant needs to be carefully observed and understood. Despite the prostrating media, despite the hype of a sincere and successful promotion, the product failed. It did not fail because the superstar was present only in a small portion of the film. That the star is doing a cameo role was something that the media have been blaring about from the time the film was decided ( It was not conceived! Conceptions are original). It failed because it was a bad film. In the past bad films were able to survive and even succeed just by the charismatic star’s presence. But then those were the times when fresh, young and good talent was not available in the arena. Now with newer directors and better films, it is but natural that bad films fail. They shall fail irrespective of the star value they may boast. They shall fail despite the best selling campaigns in the world.

Another angle to this story was seen in another blog (vinavu.wordpress.com) in which the writer wonders on the validity of star based stories circulated by magazines. It shows how these magazines of tamilnadu, irrespective of their professed pseudo- integrity, have been drooling for news about the star, in the hope of luring readership. If the fragments of this stardom and its on-off descent into `human-dom’, was really so much the staple food for thought for the starved and yearning tamil minds, even a trash film by the star should have been a super-seller. This is not the first time this has happened. Earlier baba flopped. But the journalist jingbang could not resist the temptation to hail the fact that the superstar had graciously accepted the defeat- as though he had any other option. When his next film became a hit, crap about a horse falling dead is not equal to an elephant falling down and similar bizarre stuff mouthed by an angry loser were hailed as vignettes of quotable wisdom!

Kuselan has failed. This is a story of greed and illusion- both being the ideal ingredients of an inevitable failure. But the valiant and courageous band of journalists (as they call themselves) have not given up. They still hold his flag high. They wait for a miracle that would reinstate public belief in the star and revive their sales. A miracle is what the original story of kuselan described. The miracle was not how a poor man became rich by god’s design. The miracle described was the intensity and integrity of a real friendship. But then such sub-texts are beyond our learned people in the print industry. For them a star never fades, it is the eye that blinks. This again is a greed and an illusion, and so it shall be cursed.

Please do read the vinavu blog- which had induced me to write this piece.