Saturday, March 29, 2014

Grin and Bear It

or is the Bull a Boon?

The Bombay Stock Exchange hit 22,339.97, the highest in its history: how much higher will it go? When will it stop, decline, fall, and by how much? Which will be more colossal, the beneficiaries of the highs, or the misadventurers who will be the heartbroken victims of the fall?

Saturday, March 22, 2014



Indian Parliamentary elections, much respected and most maligned, are scheduled to be held in stages between 7 April and 12 May, with counting day on 16 May, when the final results will be announced. 

I see a lot of turmoil whenever India holds elections. This is extraordinary compared to the average election, as generally known in other democratic countries. Each election campaign exceeds the previous one in violence and confusion, but nothing has surpassed this year. Each election sees an increasing number of parties in contention, such that no single party has won a governing majority in many years; coalition government has become a given.

It is a great historical anomaly that a country so completely bereft of discipline and organisation, also entirely steeped in corruption, still basking in its ancient culture of dharma and karma (conduct and fate), resigned to the inevitable and therefore not holding at premium, enterprise, invention and competitiveness, should remarkably have remained democratic from its inception in 1950 as a republic, to the present. Its election process still works, somehow, in spite of everything: vote-rigging, booth-capturing, violence and confusion, both morbid and laughable.

According to the Election Commission, there are 814.5 million eligible voters this year, 100 million more than during the last election (by comparison, there are about 207.65 million eligible voters in the United States). There will undoubtedly be chaos, disorganisation, mistakes, and a lof of cheating.  

And yet, in its own maddening way, India is still the world’s largest democracy; isn’t that a remarkable thing in the polity of mankind? 

Anonymous wrote:

Today in ABCD [AAP / BJP / Congress] , 
i like the very simple statement you have presented of a multi tiered phenomenon and the very impt points you have highlighted. i like the 3 images too and the way your compositions have changed the very nature of these parties.
The light on the brooms takes away the stridency of AAP
The soft petals temper the fundamentalism of bjp
and the somewhat misshapen palm is a contrast to the slap like hardness of the congress symbol making it look hopeless and hapless. 
My addendum:

ABCD and E for Etc.

Heartbreak House

denizens of the city
in your search, greed, lust
 for fresh air

do not create so many

that yawn 
and become so supportless
that they may bring down
the dwelling itself

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Shrouded in Silence

Submerged in water, breathless in air, or tortured on land. Perished, splintered. What, where, when? Another page in man's history of penchant for mystery, but fraught with unending expectancy, hope and fear for the kith and kin of those connected with the missing lives. When, where is the closure? What is the end of the story?

More than 370 questions.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Crime in Crimea

Elsewhere, Everywhere

I have always wondered from childhood through adolescence, and now when it is time for me to fade out, which part of human history is not riddled with crime, or mostly criminal? I am not asking “least criminal” simply because I have no evidence of when criminality was not a major tool for survival or making of history.  As I have trudged warily through my life in search of understanding the meaning of truth and grasping what we humans are, or for that matter what life is all about, I have found that every step that mankind has taken forward has been achieved by trampling upon the fundamentals of the ethics that he himself created.

Grabbing land, property, territory in the name of foraging for food; creation of religions and then going to war and pillaging rapaciously to enforce unprovable beliefs; when was it decided and by whom, that survival necessitates the analytical distillation and refinement of acts of criminality of one sort or another. Treaties, agreements, signatories to codes of conduct, the judiciary itself, which is supposed to preside over and has been created for the explicit, much bandied and pronounced purpose of curbing criminality: have they become perpetrators and collaborators?

In the history of the past two to three centuries, when mankind’s reach over the earth through navigational aids became larger, many agreements and treaties were signed following bloody massacres and depredations. The modern ones are the Geneva Convention, the International Court of Justice at the Hague, the Treaty of Versailles, the United Nations. They are all in place, or were. Have they stopped criminals, or are they also part and parcel of the innate criminality which their masters and creators have drafted as part of a conspiracy for what mankind would call its survival as long as it can last, as long as it can be extended. What did organisations like NATO, CENTO, CHOGM, SEATO, accomplish by elaborate conferencing, pronouncements and stratagems? (How about SHALNOT, CANOT, WART, SMART, XYANDZEE?)

I do not know. What I know however is that there is growing poverty, incrementally increasing dissent, disaffection with polity, crime. If anyone does know the answer, please help me.

Charu wrote:

I know nothing. With that caveat I will resort to Charles Darwin's maxim; survival for the fittest. 

In reference to human civilization people do interpret 'survival' and 'fittest' to their own liking. Unlike animal kingdom; when stomach is full the hunt is left for the future date when it will be hungry again. Not so among humans. They must amass; land, food, money and whatever is considered wealth or power; that includes having more of goats, cows among Masai, Kikuyu and such tribes in Africa and elsewhere.

My two cents' worth.

My reply:

Statistically there is more crime than punishment, from the dawn of civilisation and, I  firmly believe, to the day of Perdition, which would be a fitting finale for all the punishment not meted out.

Born to the Future Fast

This is a bloodless, shriekless fantasy: no forceps, no scalpel, no incision; perish the thought of a Caesarean or other Romans and their ilk. There is just one scream, and then joyous disbelief as the mother watches, and those who chance upon this presentation, like us, also watch. 

It may be too fantastic to be real, at least for awhile or a long while. But since it is so antiseptic and neat, perchance if it became real, let it come with a tag of just one baby, and automatic foreclosure of any future deliveries.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Gurgles of Earth

Carl Sagan introduced his seminal book, Murmurs of Earth, in the following words:
In August and September 1977, two remarkable spacecraft named Voyager were launched. After exploring Jupiter and Saturn, they will slowly leave our solar system and cruise for eons to come through the realms of other stars. Affixed to each is a gold-coated phonograph record, a message from Earth to possible extraterrestrial civilizations.
By far the most complex and informative of all our attempts so far to communicate with other intelligences, the record contains, encoded in the audio spectrum, 118 pictures explaining our planet and ourselves; greetings in fifty-four different human languages and greetings from the humpback whales; a representative selection of "the sounds of Earth," from an avalanche to a rocket launching, from an elephant's trumpet to a kiss; and almost ninety minutes of some of the world's greatest music.
The chance that the record will ever reach an extraterrestrial is remote, but this by no means diminishes the significance of its presence on Voyager. In this book, the group that was responsible for making the record explains how and - still more important - why they did it, and what they feel the record says not only to possible extraterrestrials but to human beings in the last half of the twentieth century.
"No one sends such a message on such a journey without a positive passion for the future. For all the possible vagaries of the message, any recipient could be sure that we were a species endowed with hope and perseverance, at least a little intelligence, substantial generosity and a palpable zest to make contact with the cosmos."

Dr. Sagan's undeniable contribution to astronomy and space sciences, and his gift for boundless compassion for the creatures on earth and, according to his belief, the infinite variety of creatures which existed outside of it notwithstanding, he died at the age of 62 in 1996, of cancer, at the pinnacle of his intellectual faculties, without any evidence to validate his vision of the natural pervasiveness of life, as opposed to the almost certainty of its caprice

While his belief in "billions and billions" of lives of any which form was and is enthusiastically shared by many, I was one of the vociferous but loving dissenters. That is not of any consequence. What matters to me is that I do not see that any one of us, including those being born today across the length and breadth of the earth, is likely to witness during his or her lifetime the vindication of this very tantalizing, benign hope: to reach, to touch, to hear, to feel that we are not alone.

This is also for those who believe in my voice and prognostication. Our planet, in my opinion, is choking, gurgling, for what I think is its last breath.

Anonymous wrote:
I looked at this singularly unique 'selfie' of yours although I totally don't like to refer to any of your works by popular terms. Although you described it in so much detail, I am still unable to visualise how you composed it. 

All I know is you saw it first and then did it. I have been viewing it as gurgle of universe except that I don't really know what the universe is or how much. I use the word only as a manner of speaking to denote the non - earth. That I think is because of the impression you have created of stellar density and the blue elliptical shape like a planet in orbit. This is only a purely subjective impression. Seen in the context of the lovingly dissenting text it does convey the grim and powerful image your words convey of the choking planet.
Charu wrote:

This post is so timely. Perhaps you are as riveted to TV watching Cosmos-A Spacetime Odyssey narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson as we are. 

It is good to remind people, once again, at least those who can take time out of their daily rigor, that the Earth is in its death throes. It may come tomorrow or may not for another century.

But, ultimately it will not matter if you dissented and proven right or Carl Sagan and his fellow believers were proven right. No one will be here to celebrate the victory or the defeat of one or the other. I am not suggesting that you are prognosticating to win a victory. 

Just like the Blue Marble in the picture it will ultimately choke on its own 'codswallop'.

The picture allows a beautiful sinking feeling as one feels after imbibing three glasses of wine. I love the picture.
Anant Nanda wrote:

All these are expression of human desire to prolong life, or life's experience through indirect means. Sometimes indirect means appears to be the direct reality through imagination, say like two lovers viewing moon at two different places come to feel their oneness through their act of watching moon. Assumptions have the tendency of skipping the very first level of proof and become accepted as reality, nay the assumed reality. It all starts as one wonders how can there be only one earth with life, and nowhere else? There has to be many like earth. See, this is the assumption. It all depends how and how many are willing to believe this and are willing to skip the basic hurdle of proof before going to the next step. Here impatience works. Aware that the first proof itself would take several lifetimes, one is forced to leave the first stage and then everything becomes easy: to imagine, to prove something unproved with the help of another unproved assumption, etc.

Friday, March 14, 2014

MAYDAY in March

Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Conspiracy Theories: Logical, Weird, Mysterious and Absurd

Mayday in the month of March: whether it is logical, weird, mysterious and absurd: it is overwhelmingly frightening, saddening, tragic. Boundless sorrow will be its trail.

Sunday, March 09, 2014


or progressive subterfuge
concealing incremental enslavement
exploitative of
biological differences
an inquiry in humility
not an assertion
but obsessive bafflement

Anonymous wrote:

Allow me to comment in 3 parts.

First, the elegance of the form which i read as artfulness, signifies the way in which the market has 'sold' empowerment to women, conveying through advertising blitzkrieg that enhancing appearance is equal to beauty is equal to superiority is equal to power over other women and men of course. 
Second, the fine detailing of the curves and the finery / jewellery represents the craving and desire that all 'normal' women must experience / possess in order to accomplish the above objective.
And third, the bent, bowed and to my critical gaze even twisted image symbolises the 'un defeatable' abjectness of the 'woman condition' which only intensifies with every apparent bold step (hu)mankind takes in the direction of empowering it.

And your words so completely expressing your "obsessive bafflement" serve as a chilling non question... how can it be otherwise.
Anonymous said...
The picture is lovely, I saw it as an odalisque / apsara, reclining sensuously. The text reveals it in a new light, as a woman who may be chained into a submissive position, or even ducking to avoid a blow.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Endangered Innocence

only  human beings
perniciously inflict 
gender persecution

what a horrible price 
and what a self-glorified moniker