Monthly Archives: February 2008

What’s free will?

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Two days there was a general sense of panic and every one scrambling to rush home. No one wanted to get stuck on the roads with the impending arrest of Raj Thackeray. Just as we were getting ready to leave.. a colleague(a Bhargava and from UP) tells another (Dubey from UP again) that “we will get into the most if we get caught in the cross fire.”

For a brief moment, I am frightened too.. my car is a Delhi number plate. what if they fling a stone on me, I wonder aloud. “Oh. You can just tell them your name,” they tell me. I know my fear is not justified and wonder whether I should be relieved that my name would save me?

That statement stayed with me.. I mean.. thats how people are feeling even if they have grown up in Mumbai. They feel like they don’t belong. The next day she tells me.. “you know I felt strange saying that yesterday. It’s like I created a bond where there was none, because of fear.”

I have Muslim friends who also add that they will never be comfortable in Mumbai.. despite being brought up in the city. “It’s not home anymore.” They are willing to live in places deemed as ‘theirs’ only because being a Muslim there is not incriminating.

Only because this city has become so indifferent to maintaining it’s identity that it does not realise its losing its spirit.. The proverbial indominatable spirit.. where is it? Why is it not crushing the ilk of Raj and Azmi?

While politicians exploit it for their gain and while some Maharastrians (like my parents) claim this cleansing is required.. and at the same time, are glad for that vegetable vendor (a Pandey, I point out), who delivers vegetables at home as late as 10 pm.. and doesn’t expect a tip.

Mind your language sir..

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I came across a discussion on NDTV 24X7 about this whole fracas of who is a Mumbaikar..  and in the brief five minutes that I saw.. the taxi union’s chairman was trying to give his pov.. and unfortunately for him, he kept saying “Bombay” instead of “Mumbai” and some “Sena” types who was on the panel.. kept correcting him .. threatening him to say Mumbai instead of Bombay.. and his last line..

“Mind your language sir.. “

* am still pissed.. language girl language.. control the cuss words

Be strong, my little one.

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In the last few weeks I have heard of at least three people who medically have “lost it”. This is not in the conventional way of losing it or the slang way that we use it. This is the serious “I am losing my balance and will need drugs to get the balance back” kinda way.

Its scary because one of them is someone very close to me. Nutty is word I wont use lightly anymore seeing how fraught she is. How scared she is. How appalled we are at not being able to help her. Or even reach her.

It’s not only her.. other early twenty somethings who couldn’t handle ‘it’ .. whatever it was. One part of me scoffs saying.. so what if low self esteem dodges you, listening to constant negatives, bad body perceptions, constantly worrying about expectations is slowly killing the spirit in you.. we’ve all been through it and while are not stellar examples.. we certainlyhave gotten through life? So why the heck is it so difficult for you?

But, on the other hand, when I look at her, I see eyes like a trapped animal, voice not coming out and a defensive posture, I wonder what out of all this has made her turn inward. I usually turn inward when I need strength but for she turns inwards and batters herself even further. She can’t make the distinction in being lonely and being alone. She has lost her ability to judge people and she cannot stop lying. And I wonder what caused it. She was a confident child who did not hesitate in speaking her mind. She was focused to a fault and passionate about causes.

Her friends share little nuggets with us.. and I realise that while I knew every person reacts differently to a situation, I thought this was a more opinion-related stance and not so much an actual life-altering decision. Today she’s become a shadow of her former self and nothing explains it to me.

In my previous job I had once encountered a girl who constantly demanded attention. She cried, lied, threatened to run away and even threatened suicide. I had to escort her home one day and that day I had realised how insidious and how unfortunate it is to have a neurological disorder.. even if it only behavioural.

I think of her then and think the more recent case, now and wonder where does one actually derive strength from. What makes me sure I won’t snap one day. Won’t go running down the road, screaming madly?