To be good, or not to be

(Photo credit: VinothChandar) City life poses many a dilemmas to the man in a hurry. Giving an impromptu lift to someone, pointing out someone’s change has fallen down, returning excess cash to the cashier, taking an injured to the hospital… all of us are generous, but how often and how far does it go? A little sincerity is dangerous; too much of it is fatal. Just rephrasing the well known quote of Wilde, but the topic of this post is about how difficult it is to be a good man. It requires real courage, and so the weak hearted, who often  intend to do good, many a times end up going no further. When good men and women keep quiet, the reckless and the bold take over. It’s no wonder that a bad man with tons of courage is held in greater respect than a good old timid man. It is my general observation out of experience that being good, or doing selfless...
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In line with the world

(Photo credit: Wikipedia) It is the basic principle of misbegotten people that they do not lend support to those who don’t follow the ‘line’, which is basically the way ‘everyone’ behaves and lives. So no surprises when those who fall out of line do not get calls or friendly visits. But the day you are ‘back’, is the day when surprise visits and calls inundate you. You then belong to the nasty world. Simple methods govern rules of interaction. Yet, truth is always deeper than we can reach. Look underneath the surface of the world, and see how petty divisions rule lives, and how very happy you are who has left it all behind to live a cleaner life, to follow your own line. ...
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Why the world hates you when you fall sick

Contrary to all known public opinion on this issue, I believe it is a double curse to fall sick. Having seen the hospital model of care at close quarters, I can vouch for the fact that the patient, stripped of his self-caring powers, is reduced to an object, and the amount of attention bestowed goes with his wealth and how much time and devotion his near and dear ones are ready to bestow themselves. The sickness itself and the sick are peripheral. And if you happen to be alone by yourself, only natural pity and human empathy can save you. If you are a cynic, chew on this last fact. To the near and dear ones, what a tragedy! The stress of producing empathetic chemicals gets to them. And responsibility sucks big time, as it always did. But the sick man is the king of the house, for no personal merit or deed of his. Society rules here, but strikes an insidious...
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Confronting reality, media’s way

All new trends and behaviours in society immediately pass through the watching lenses of the media, which knows very well what matters are to be pushed into which court of justice. So it is that matters like singles living alone, live in relations, use of explicit content on gadgets, suicides, alcohol related driving accidents, subjects that immediately rattle the ‘normal’ senses of the journalists are transferred to the courts of psychologists, social workers, sociologists, psychiatrists, teachers, etc – the ‘courts’ that deal with such behaviour. It is a smart move, but puts a question mark on why such features are being printed at all and whose side is being taken. Apparently, interviews taken of the people involved would appear as if the media is objectively reporting a new trend or describing an interesting issue, like a democratic medium would. The involvement of these professionals mentioned above, at a later stage in the report, shows the report in a different colour –...
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Living a free life

As an individual grows up, he becomes a free person in his own right, begins to rule his life, makes his own life decisions, and becomes independent. He is the sole guardian of his best interests, his own self-protector, and the sole maker of his decisions. This alone makes him responsible for his actions. It is not a huge price to pay considering the ownership rights of your body, mind and soul that come with it for a lifetime! To govern oneself, be one’s own ruler, is to be free in its real sense. This is how children are distinguished from adults, and the latter considered responsible for their behaviour. Guardianship, paternalism, protectionism, coming from outside, remove this distinction, and reduce adults to a child-like state. The strongest blow that can be delivered to an individual is to consider him or her unfit for freedom, and put them under some form of guardianship or paternalism, undermining their free nature, returning them into...
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Living in a box

When one has lived for long in conditons of limited freedom, as in regulated and heavily censored countries, it conditions the mind in such a way that exposure to greater freedom only produces an instinctive revulsion and dislike. The mind gets so used to living in protected environments where there are no free spirits to be encountered, that any change that appears to produce a free lifestyle seems wicked and corrupting. This is probably the reason why a good part of the world where conservative religions hold sway dislikes much of western culture. They find it difficult to come to terms with the uninhibited show the western media puts up every night. A free and open life, which has only recently come to be seen as good for humans, remains as disliked as it probably always was. The condition is much like those of boys in conservative societies who do not interact with girls, and find the whole idea of a free...
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The play of passions

“As for me, my business was his money. The passive jade thinks of no pleasure but the money.” – Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe Freedom is a basic necessity of man. If there is any worth and dignity to be have in being a human being, it lies in being free. So much so that, for all crimes the simple punishment consists of taking away this vital element of life. Constraints and necessities too rob us of this precious element. Yet, freedom itself brings along with it a mortal enemy which, given a free reign, reduces man to a mere animal governed by his own instincts. The enemy is pleasure. The dersire to be free comes instinctively to every one of us, and its opponents are easily identified too, dictators of all types and anyone in a position of authority over others. The control exercised by them comes from outside. Inside us there are forces at work that can have a similar effect,...
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Happiness is a side effect

Happiness appears to be the most sought after commodity other than money, and the contest between the two is nearly settled by the saying, ‘money can’t buy happiness,’ although being happy too can’t get you money by itself. That everyone wants to be happy is a universally accepted fact. Why would anyone want to be sad or suffer? Does this mean we are some kind of pleasure-driven, biologically programmed machines seeking happiness all the time? No one appears to have ever felt ‘hungry’ for happiness, felt an urge to be happy, or suffered when deprived of its pleasurable aspects. One may desire more money, more pleasure, more success, or more power, but never has anyone reported to want more of happiness after once being happy, or as suffering for want of it. Nor did religion ever spoke of happiness as a virtue, laying stress instead on denial of pleasure. How then does happiness enter into the scheme of our life, to the...
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Terminator 1, 2, 3 – review

A package of action, science fiction and thriller, the three Terminator series films develop a story whose central idea is now well known to all movie lovers. Two killing machines (they call them ‘cyborg’) are sent back in time, one to kill and the other to save the leader of a war that erupts several decades later between humans and self-aware software controlled machines. The first Terminator had the feel of a ‘B’ grade film, mindless violence with poor synthesized background music that sounded disconnected from the visuals. It was Terminator 2,. the same  plot reworked, with its special effects winning Oscars, that made the series, and the name of Arnold Schwarzenneger, famous around the world. The third version, sans James Cameron, the writer of the original story, runs the same plot around quite unsuccessfully. This time the chasing terminator is a female, although it beats us how and why a machine could or should be so! The common underlying theme of...
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Growing up to be free

Young adults must learn to live on their own, lead their own life, and decide for themselves if they are to be human beings in the real sense of this term. Living under tutelage of parents is harmful in a real sense — it destroys a healthy sense of self-worth and well being, and the ability to look at the world as fresh as one did when one was born. Here is what the mother of Shilpa Shetty, the Indian actress reportedly bullied recently on the reality tv show Celebrity Big Brother said about her daughter’s past life: “”She is waited upon, she has an entourage travelling with her, I travel with her, she is never on her own. Everything is done for her but she thought that she wanted to experience this on her own,” she said. “May be it would also show her something of the other side of life,” she added. In countries like India, parenthood is often glorified...
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