Thursday, August 15, 2019

So where are you from really?

I have seen many people ask others where they are from. This is mostly amusing and sometimes irritating.

This is a nice question while transitioning from small talk to a fruitful discussion. But makes little sense to be trying to guess a person's nature on the basis of where he or she is from.

For example, I was recently told about a guy: he is Punjabi but his family came here from Rajasthan a couple of generations ago.

To paraphrase Chuck Palahniuk, on a long enough time scale, we all came from Africa!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Built for what?

At one of my earlier places of work, myself and a couple of friends decided to create a small WhatsApp group. This was intended only for sharing jokes and making fun of each other.

At present almost all of us are out of that place. However, none of us have left that group.

What initially started with jokes and fun ultimately got to the point of saying "Sorry, I won't be able to make it to the office today."

With time, people started putting office stuff in the group.

So far, so good.

However someone shared a message in a lighter mood yesterday, and someone else informed that this is a work group and that jokes are not to be shared here.

It was surprising, but hey, it's our own sociological experiment now!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Shot by own security guard: Gurgaon Judge's family

I am sure most of us have heard or read about the shooting of the wife and son of a Judge by his own security guard. This was not a private guard but police staff provided to the Judge on official basis.

The crux of the story is:
1. The guard's daughter was severely ill.
2. The guard requested for leave to be able to attend to his family multiple times. All he got was scolding from Judge sahab.
3. When the Judge sahab's family was exiting a mall in Gurgaon, the guard could not be traced.
4. Since they could not bear even a few minutes of delay, Judge sahab's wife and son again scolded the guard.
5. Frustrated guard shot them both with his service weapon.
6. Judge sahab's wife died on the spot.
7. The son, in critical condition, could not be saved and he too passed away after a couple of days.

There are three issues here:
1. Is the guard or any staff for that matter a slave of the Judge sahab? Not only Judge sahab, a lot of our leadership, whether political, bureaucratic or corporate totally exploits their subordinates.

2. When are we going to increase the number of policemen in the states? And not only policemen, we also need more doctors, teachers, judges (yes, judges), firemen, bureaucratic staff and of course support staff for all these people. The way we have private staff contracted to work in government offices is simply a big, big lawsuit waiting to explode in the face of the central and state governments.

3. When are we going to have better labour laws and social security? Government staff, no mater how low in the hierarchy, are actually the fortunate ones! Most of the rest are in a bad state. We are one of the biggest economies in the world, and to think that we have an unorganised sector is totally absurd.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

How stupid can our media get?

I was just sitting at a relative's place. One would think watching TV would be boring, but it is actually interesting.

Other than 99% of the material on news channels, there is a lot of informative stuff.

Just now ABP news was telling about their 8:30 show about Rahul Gandhi raising his hands in a temple as if he was reading the namaz. This really makes one think. What is the point of watching football or Big Boss when our news channels can show so much masala?

Jokes apart, me and my wife were thinking of buying a TV set this Diwali...with all the offers on Amazon and Flipkart, we thought it would be stupid not to buy.

But not now, not after a leading channel like ABP news showing something like this. (I haven't really talked to the wife yet, but what's life without some wishful thinking?)

The same person might be a national hero in the morning, and she or he might end up being a traitor in the afternoon. Then of course that person is a heartthrob by the evening.

In all honesty, news channels are behaving like the boss who tells you to behave professionally when she or he is out of real arguments. Or like the neighborhood aunty who thinks your clothes dazzle too much and so you are spoiling the locality. You get the idea.

As for the news segment on Rahul Gandhi...it's already 8:31 pm!!!!

Monday, October 9, 2017

1984 by George Orwell

If I am stranded on an island with the option to keep just one book with myself, it will be 1984. The word dystopia is the opposite of utopia, but I got to learn from 1984 what exactly it means.

Since there is plenty of information on the internet, there is no use in describing the book. You can read it online on Project Gutenberg here.

Here are some excerpts:

We know history is altered all the time...Orwell just makes it more explicit.

Dunbar might disagree, or not. How would I know?

Inner Party: Ruling classes
Outer Party: Bureaucracy
Proles: Me and you

"...no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it."

Nothing to say here.

"You want it to happen to the other person."

Section 66A is the closest we have come to the Thought Police.
Internationally, it is PRISM. Or is this all we know for now?

I doubt if any sane organisation will keep slogans like these.

Orwell sure created a whole world in this book.

Only if you knew, Winston!

"Vaporized was the usual word."

Doublethink, Newspeak, Big Brother.. these and a few more memes
have only come up because of Orwell's work in 1984.

"Zeal was not enough. Orthodoxy was unconsciousness."

Idiots would not be vaporized.

Freedom in the time of falsehood.

"..intimate connection between chastity and political orthodoxy."

Vaporization in action.



Same question to you: what one book would you take if its the only one allowed on an island with no electricity and other sources of passing time?