24 Aug 2004

Shit Happens!

Posted by Oblivion in General | 12:32am


…and how do you handle it when it does? This is quite familiar – A is in deep shit, and there are ten, or hundred, people putting up faces that you can readily relate with the frozen statues of the Buddha or Gandhi – all calm, serene, composed and what not! – taking the position of a preacher – each one of them! If you are a keen observer, you will find a direct relationship between the intimacy of the preacher with A and the vigorousness with which he uses his hands – like, throwing them up in air, gesticulating as if holding an imaginary pottery wheel, using the forefinger with inimitable precision! And, yes, it cannot be complete without uttering the ‘sacred expletives’ – ‘boy, you should not have done that!’, ‘you know, you should have telephoned B and asked for his advice’, ‘damn it! This is what you do after I bring you up all these years with so many expectations, you damn a******!’, ‘…but I never thought you are such material!’ Each one’s is the voice of Nostradamus; each one of them would have predicted that that action would have resulted exactly in this scenario, and so none of them would have done what you had done at that fateful moment.

Reminds me of the ‘knife’ that Pierre talks about in ‘Vernon God Little’. The knife that is put into your back when you are a brand-new soul. The training dagger. The relationship blade. And with every word – even as much as a ‘hello’, you feel it turn in your spine. Society is obsessed with persecution mania and is always hunting for the hapless victims. There is always an ‘insider’ – the one who is in deep shit, and all the rest are ‘outsiders’ for any event in life. The game of cricket provides a fantastic reference. The batsman (the ‘insider’) is facing the bowler who is running at him – so fast, so fast as one would take off his innerwear at an orgy - with that red ball, or white ball – doesn’t matter, he will hurl at the batsman anyways with all his life, and he has to offer a shot in less than a time that takes one to blink his eyes. Talent does matter, but luck also does. There are some damn good balls for which the batsman has no choice but to play, and when he plays he is out. The hapless victim!

There, in the far, you have the commentator (the ‘outsider’) yelling at the top of his voice into the microphone that is pushed almost into his mouth, in such a shock as if he has just witnessed the most horrendous sin being committed by the batsman. And then you have the analysis – the science and math of it – to prove the batsman guilty. Ok, now, don’t we have the outsiders amongst us as well? – the spectators and the viewers. But then we stop at shock and awe – at least the lesser mortals among us, while they take the positions of jury about to pass a sentence. The commentators might have played cricket themselves, and if at all one of them were in the batsman’s place he might have got out in a worse manner, but see, fate has it that he just wasn’t there at that moment and now he has the advantage of being an outsider. So, he can act as if he would not have played that shot at all. But the beauty is – the batsman doesn’t need any of this analysis. Imagine him listening to the commentary while playing! He cannot play a single ball and he would need a thousand shrinks to address Attention Deficit Disorder!

Life is just such a game. Shit happens. Preaching won’t help. Anybody can goddamn stand on the pedestal and sound voices resembling those from the Bible or the Koran or the Vedas or whatever. Life doesn’t give a damn. It has to be lived. And at any moment, a person’s decision depends on so many factors that are not at all considered by the ‘outsiders’. Nobody can know what is going to happen as a result of a decision. One can only speculate, and it is mere luck if that happens to be accurate. So, A or B or X or Z could be as vulnerable at that moment. Yes, it does also depend on his mindset, but mindset is a variable by itself  and is, in turn, dependent on many factors again. Also, it is not necessary that vulnerability should imply A or B or X or Z would take the same decision at that moment if each one of them is subject to same factors that affect his mindset. I mean, with a sufficient provocation, A might decide to kill B. X might have a higher threshold and would not decide to kill but hold back.

And, after the act, it is useless to analyse what A should have done instead. Damn it, the moment is over! The decision has been taken and the deed done. Deal with this, right? There could have been a million ways to decide and act at that moment and each one of them would have a different consequence, of course. But, how does one, at THAT moment envisage which way things would go? So, when shit happens, sanity is in devising ways to clear the shit and not to analyse what one could have done to avert that. If it happens, it happens. Anything can. Murphy’s law, you know!



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21 Aug 2004

Living With Lies

Posted by Oblivion in General | 10:18pm


'I' or 'ego' or 'self' is fiction. It's a mere construct of thought. There is no such entity as 'I'. What makes me think so? The absolute fact that nothing survives death suggests me that 'I' is mere fictional entity. Invented by mind out of insecurity. And the whole life just becomes a mind-game; perpetually keeping one in illusion! Naturally, the desire for its permanence forces one to entertain beliefs in after-life, punishment/reward after death, and God. To make it more sound, the same is projected backwards, in that one believes this human life is a result of good deeds in previous life.

Such a waste of time! It's the most harmful lie man has told himself. 'I' makes the illusion of division more credible. It divides not just man and man, but it divides him from the rest of cosmos. Curiously, the whole invention of 'salvation' and 'God' intends to make him 'unite' with 'the Other'! Man's life, thus, is a journey from illusion to illusion, all the while blinding himself to reality that's always with him!

Death ends everything. The consciousness and the entity that had been breathing, feeling, seeing, thinking... is gone! It simply vanishes into nothingness. It defies human comprehension, and thus he attaches mystery to that. And the root of this is fear, the most dreadful fear that pervades the collective consciousness and spreads from one generation to the next. No wonder, religion is such a massive industry. It demands extraordinary clarity to 'see' that nothing has actually gone, for there was no such entity in the first place!

There is no 'my consciousness', but only 'consciousness', and it is not a special faculty gifted to man but it is the very nature of life. There's only life. 'My life', 'your life', etc is utterly illogical. Of course, for convenience of communication, it is proper to use 'you' and 'I', else identification becomes unnecessarily complicated. It is the assumption that 'I' is an independent entity that is harmful. It is based on fear and insecurity, so it is false. One may ask, "then who the hell is perceiving all this?" The fact is - there is only perception. No entity that is perceiving. The entity enters in only when mind enters into perception. Anyone can find out this upon careful observation. There is only perception. Then mind enters and says, "I like this", or, "I do not like this". It is at this moment that 'I' enters and distorts the perception. It forces a division between 'the observer' and 'the observed', to borrow from JK. While the fact is - 'the observer is the observed'. 'I' is mere fiction, a lie that we live our whole life with!



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6 Aug 2004

Eyes Wide Shut

Posted by Oblivion in General | 7:00pm


Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose photographs defined the 20th century, died on August 3rd at the age of 95

Do you wish people like these lived longer? I do.



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3 Aug 2004

Censor Board - The Biggest Bore

Posted by Oblivion in General | 12:44am


The whole concept of censor board absolutely bores me. No, I don't have such a high opinion of society that I entirely question the need of such a board. But I'm questioning its functions. Its definitions of violence, vulgarity and obscenity are very confined, and strictly conservative. What should it censor? And what should be the criteria to arrive at the decision? Since it is applied to movies, should it not be its responsibility to not just categorise, but inspire too?

Censoring is almost always associated with sex. If we think deeper, its effects are more harmful than useful. There is already an abnormal amount of suppression of sexual impulses imposed by society. And for all such people, who are usually obsessed, justifiably so, movies act as an outlet. And if they are denied that vicarious pleasure, after having spent their money and having come with many expectations, they come out of cinemas more frustrated. It doesn't need one to be educated in psychology to see this; it just needs common sense, which, unfortunately, is not so common. For such movies, the board's function should just be to classify it with certification. It's meaningless to cut scenes. The people who make enjoy it, the people who act enjoy it, the people of censor board enjoy it, and all of them are paid for doing so! Then why should the common man, who actually pays to watch that movie, be denied of that!!? Ridiculous!

People go to watch porn movies for only one thing - and you know what. They do not obviously go to study techniques in cinematography or editing. Damn it! And porn is not same as vulgarity or obscenity.

Does that imply that I'm suggesting they should let pass any level of vulgarity? Interestingly, 'vulgarity' is quite relative and subjective. So, I don't venture to define it. What I'm implying instead is to discourage 'out of context' scenes and demand filmmakers to think better ideas.

What kind of 'cuts' would I recommend if I were on the board? I'd not let pass even a single music video. Crap! Junk! Garbage! Do you call them music videos? Then what should one call Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall? Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror? Madonna's Frozen? Maksim's Exodus? Enigma's Back to Innocence?

And, interestingly, those artistes blame the demands of the audience for coming up with such bullshit! It's just filling up the fact that they actually are dumb heads without an iota of creativity. I suggest them to watch the songs from Mani Ratnam's movies and get some ideas before wasting money on some audio-visual shit.

Secondly, I would not let any of the movies that focus on factionism. Violence is not just gore and blood, the fixation for divisive labels like caste, religion, nationality, etc is more dangerous, though subtle, form of violence. So, all those movies in telugu that lay undue emphasis on regional and casteist bias, and all those bollywood fare that so mindlessly glorifies India and condemns Pakistan would not be allowed by me. And all those 'love' stories (God! I am fed up with them!) that glorify persistence and obsession won't be allowed either. It is these movies that do more harm than, say, a Basic Instinct with no cuts.

Ok, I call it 'cut' for today!



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