Monthly Archives: December 2010

The title taketh..

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.. all the drama from the movies.

One big advantage of being unemployed (or as is politically correct now, self employed) is that I see a lot more of television. That’s when I noticed the profusion of dubbed films sweeping so many Hindi movie channels. I have always had an eclectic taste in Hindi movies but these were movies even I could not sit through.

I realise that dubbing films is a really a big business and many a studio sustains itself only on this line of business but would it be too much to spend a little time on the title?

I never thought twice about ‘Lohe ka Aadmi, 2‘ but then came the long list of Tamil/ Telugu dubbed into Hindi movies on so many of the channels that I started waiting for these movies with glee, just to get my thrill quota from the title.

I present for your reading pleasure only.. for the watching you will have to scour the channels yourself.

The Power Man Dharamveer

The Return of Khuda Gawah

Meri Jung – One Man Army

Aaj Ka Naya Khiladi

Tezaab the Terror

Great Dharmatma

Don No 1

Narasimha The Powerful Man

Trishul The Weapon Never Fails

Main Hoon Rakhwala

Aandhi Toofan

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The unfairness of the advantage

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I know for most of the people in the not northern part of India, the Gujjar agitation means nothing. Just another group fighting for another cause. Especially because it will not really affect you and me, and our living. Or so we think. The current agitation is because the Rajasthan High Court has put a stay on a reservation granted to them about 3-4 years ago, as a part of caste politics. It has asked for quantifiable proof that it is a ‘backward community’. Indeed, if we are getting technical, I want to know what is a backward community and how can I become a part of it.

A few years ago when the Gujjar agitation has started and they were burning down buses in Delhi, it was affecting in my life. And, at that point, someone had taken the pains to explain to me what they were demanding. The community, based in Rajasthan, I understand was demanding a 1% blanket reservation in all jobs, college seats and wherever else reservations were used. This was over and above the already 50% of reservations we already have for all kinds of backward communities in India. That is what the court stayed.

The person explaining the fight to me also found it necessary to explain that Gujjars were a rich community, at least in the cities. A lot of the law enforcement in Delhi and UP consist of the Gujjar community. So money certainly was not a requirement. Being categorised backward was perhaps.

That got me thinking. About really affluent Dalits, who are well educated and make 6 and 7 figure salaries and whose parents have worked in cushy government jobs (maybe due to the reservation, I do not know)… do their children still need reservation? And if they are benefiting from the reservations, why aren’t the deserving Dalits, back in villages benefiting? And if these affluent city folks are successful and educated, why this crutch of a certificate?

The Gujjars you see lying across the tracks protesting the stay- are they the ones to benefit if the reservation is back on track? Or will all the cops of Delhi stand to gain? Making it only a victory in principle for people who perhaps actually need the reservation.

Isn’t that what we hoped education would do? Stop them feeling the need for an edge over the disadvantage? Give the equal platform and bring them to par? But now it seems to succeed you need to be of a backward caste. That’s an advantage the common man won’t give away for the money and success of it while the politician will not want to take away, lest he lose his vote.

And at the end of it all, two-three generations after Independence, there are still huge cities and towns of people who do not get to use the advantage they have had while the so-called meritorious or earlier know as upper caste, today look for ways to fake a ‘backward caste’ certificate.

Yes, of course, I am a Brahmin and wouldn’t be complaining about the advantage if I had it (I think). But my being a brahmin is just because my father was so why should that decide who or what I am and what opportunities I am entitled to? If I can prove my worth, I should be eligible. So what if I am Dalit or a Gujjar? You have the marks/ abilities/ qualities, you get the job, seat etc. But today good marks or skills make me eligible for half the available opportunities, all because of my surname. But I guess that is the argument that was used for reservations in the first place.

Sometimes..

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Sometimes all you need is for people around you to say it’s ok, do what makes you happy, even if it doesn’t make you rich.

Sometimes you need your loved ones to look at you and just once, not compare, discourage or rue.

Sometimes you want to sleep without telling yourself you are strong and can bear this uninterrupted tirade without letting your steps falter.

Sometimes you envy people who adhere to paths they chose and never regretted it.

Sometimes you wonder if fighting negative thoughts can be a full-time, paying job.

Sometimes you wish you could prevent your eyes going blank and your brain modulating your voice.

And almost always you want sometimes to be every time..

Take a swig.

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“I think I will have a beer..” I say opening the refrigerator.

“Why now? Wait for some time..it’s only 8.30 pm,”says my mother.

And we both paused.. looked at each and burst out laughing. She and I both remembered the same exchange she has had with my father, repeatedly.