Thursday, December 12, 2013

Down with Article 377

Just read The Honorable Supreme Court's judgement on Article 377 in it's entirety. Couldn't help but wonder about those who petitioned the SC to rethink the earlier Delhi High Court ruling of 2009 that had decriminalized homosexuality. Those who moved the petition can be broadly classified into two categories:

1. Those who think homosexuality goes against our faith, our religion
I mean, seriously?

At their simplest, all religions preach a lesson of love. They don't preach a lesson of love with an asterisk. All religions teach us to be accepting of others. They don't teach us to be accepting of only those who do it the way we do it.

If anything, in India, a case can be made for bestiality to be legalized too! Don't believe me? Consider this: Hanuman (monkey god to those of you who belong to the less interesting parts of the world) is a cross between a human and "a monkey" - his mother was a human and his father an ape. Hanuman was one of the closest friends and aides of Lord Rama. In other words, one of our most revered deities didn't have a problem hobnobbing with a creature like that - a creature borne out of an intercourse between a human and an animal. Then why do we? Lets drop the act you hypocritical self professed protectors of our faiths and religions.

2. Those who think homosexuality is unnatural

Are you kidding me?

It is not just us humans who "go the other way". There are numerous species that engage in homosexual acts. From the smallest of nematodes to the biggest of mammals like bottle-nose dolphins and bonobos. There must be some reasons, from an evolutionary standpoint, that some species, including humans, engage in homosexual acts. There must be some benefit to the species, in the long run of the evolutionary time line, that engage in homosexual acts. The research is on going. Some day we will find out.

I personally believe, we, the human species, is going to turn into hermaphrodites. Just give it a couple of million years - provided we survive till then of course. The reason I am convinced is that the process of human reproduction as it is now, where only the female is capable of producing an offspring, is inefficient. If both the male and female can produce the offspring, it will be better for the species in the long run. Now wouldn't it?

It is just wrong

By (re)criminalizing homosexuality, the SC has exposed an entire segment of our society to the whims and fancies of a police force that is already known for it's utter disregard for, not to mention willful violation of, human decency and dignity. Our country-men and -women of the LGBT community can now be incarcerated just because of their sexual orientation.

We can't keep our girls and women safe from rapists, but we will put those who are probably least likely to harm them, in prison, because they don't like to have sex with the female gender. Can it get any more asinine than that?


There is a lot of room on the Indian Tri-color for other shades. Let us assimilate them, not discriminate against them. The violets, the indigos, the blues, will make our flag and our society, more colorful and more fun. The unity in diversity that we are so proud of, will be strengthened not weakened.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hero. And Hypocrites.

Nelson Mandela is no more.

Learnt about Madiba's demise when I just got in to my hotel room in Chicago after a long day at a conference and turned on CNN. Reactions of the who's who of the world were being telecast.

Among other things, President Obama said, " ... The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears.  And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him." And later on, President Obama goes on to say, " ... So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set:  to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice."

Now it may just have been the incredibly cynical bone in my brain, or it could be that I was dead tired and hungry, but, I remember having called President Obama a hypocrite and a sanctimonious ba*****. And I found myself thinking similarly of other world leaders' - Tony Blair's, David Cameroon's, Bill Clinton's comments too. I mean, really? You want to call the great man your hero, but you don't want to act on the many lessons that his life has to teach.

Madiba's body is probably still on the same hospital bed where he breathed his last. Had he been in a grave, he would be turning like crazy thinking of the gall that these people have. Of calling someone their idol, their hero, their inspiration, and then making decisions, especially in their politics, that are diametrically opposite to what they purportedly believe in. We really are hypocrites of the top order, aren't we?

I am almost a hundred percent certain that there are people in Obama Administration, in the White House, who are pissed that Nelson Mandela chose today of all days to die. Afterall Chris Matthews' interview of President Obama was to be broadcast today on MSNBC, and their audience got distracted a couple of hours before the President was to begin his defense of Obamacare on TV.

Fareed Zakaria said it best, in response to a question from Wolf Blitzer, that it'd be naive of us to expect the current crop of world leaders to learn any lessons from Nelson Mandela's life.

Mahatma Gandhi died, and we still killed each other. Martin Luther King Jr. died, and we still killed. Nelson Mandela has died, and we will continue to kill. So lets drop the act.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Oh god ... the small things!

I was chuffed to bits!

Had just reinforced the front buttons on a jacket and an overcoat - all on my own. Was going to the windy city after all - for a week, and a few buttons were coming loose. Had held a needle in hand after ... god knows how long. No needle pricks - not a single one. No tangled thread in other buttons. Unreeled about exactly as much thread that I ended up needing. My mother and both my grandmothers would be proud of me I thought.

The packing was a bit last minute. But, having thought through the night before what I needed to pack along and what I didn't, made it about as easy as last minute packing for a week long trip to Chicago for the first week of December can get.

Shirts smartly folded. Underwear nicely rolled up and tucked away. Sweatshirt - check. Sweater - check. Socks - check. Handkerchiefs - check. Jacket - got it - with freshly sewn buttons. Overcoat - ditto.

A pair of flip flops - in the back pocket of the bag. Toiletries - in the front one.

Passport, visa - in the carry bag. Documents - front pocket. Books - one for the way there, another for the way back - check, and check. Laptop, power cord and charger - packed. Cell phone charger - got it. Chewing gum and breath mints - of course. Jeans - on. Wallet, watch, belt, a handkerchief - on again. Socks and shoes - on the feet. Phone - in pocket.

Gotham city, here I come.

I step out of the door. Backpack on my back. The other bag in my right hand. And but of course, a nagging thought occurs - did I forget something. Naah ... I didn't. Everything went smoothly today morning. Starting with the needle work! Mann I was good, wasn't I?! How could I forget anything ... today of all days.

I put the bags on the back seat of the car. Slam the door. Get in the front. Turn the key. Ramp up the heater. Turn my playlist on. Take a sip of water from the water bottle. Spill some on my right leg. 

And right then it occurs to me ... damn ... did I pack any other pants for the trip? F*** me!

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