startling banals

28 September 2007

Bali-Rajya anyone?

I remember celebrating Diwali at home. On Bali Pratipada, people in Maharashtra say 'Ida Pida Talo, Baliche Rajya Yevo' (May all dangers and difficulties go away, May the rule of Bali return). Bali was this powerful just and popular king south of the Vindhyas and in his kingdom there was no misery and everyone was happy. The most popular story about Bali is the one in which Vishnu as Vaman takes advantage of his generosity and kills him - asks him for land that he can cover in three steps, covers heaven and earth in two steps and then steps on Bali's head.

Somehow in all Hindu mythology the gods especially their king Indra (like Zeus in Greek mythology) seem to be very shrewd, cunning and to an extent even evil and they always trick and defeat the naive demons. And all this killing of the so-called demons is justified in the name of protecting cows, brahmins and Dharma. Now our much-maligned Ravan was supposedly a great scholar and the greatest bhakt of Shiva. The part I like most about Shiva is his passionate and energetic Tandav dance and that he is the only mythological figure who lives a carefree life in the wilderness, makes love to the mountain king's daughter and last but not the least smokes marijuana. If I ever believed in any god it would be him.

There is such a nice collection of articles on mythology on wikipedia. Nordic mythology is also so rich. Wikipedia takes you on trips round the world and it took me to the legend of Valhalla and the Danish animated movie of 1986 available on youtube in seven parts. Internet zindabad!

link | 0

27 September 2007

India got to

help the pro-democracy protesters in Burma
give more recognition to the national hockey team that won the Asia Cup
help the people fighting corruption in J n K
take the babus to task and make them implement the national rural emploment scheme in all states
congratulate ISRO people for the successful GSLV launch
link | 0
a breeze
wooden window
curtains reveal
the moon

a silent night
the moonlight gives
a blue tinge
even to things indoors

what they say is true
its a different world at night
smooth outlines and shadows
lust or love?
link | 1

22 September 2007

Indian scientists cowards!

BVN's post on the latest desperate drama to return to power of the RSS/BJP - Ram Setu. As with most of their potential non-issues that are kept on the back burner till the time is right, they have been doing a lot of cheap canvassing for years via innocent-looking forwards showing NASA satellite photographs of this limestone shoal.

Yet another scientific truth sacrificed at the altar of not hurting the religious sentiments of people. Can't a single Indian scientist stand up and explain how it is a natural structure? Are they afraid of attacks by the VHP or of losing their government jobs? Don't they have any self-respect or confidence in their own science? How many geologists does it take to explain these facts. Is it their own condescending attitude towards the Indian public's intelligence. The pious ignorant people of India who are so hyper-sensitive about religion. Bullshit.

Can't scientists have any scientific sentiments that can be hurt like religious sentiments? Don't they feel offended when someone publicly mocks their life's work and makes political capital out of it? Don't they feel like going on a mass strike till justice is done and the liars accept the truth?

What government is this that deems scientific knowledge so inferior. Isn't our PM Oxford educated? What good is all this education. Isn't this pseudo-secularism (to steal a phrase coined by the RSS itself). That a Sikh Prime Minister cannot talk about Ram.
link | 1

13 September 2007

Dream on sparrow

Yesterday morning I saw a male sparrow right in the centre of the footpath staring ahead into space oblivious to anyone approaching. It would have been so bad to disturb his contemplative trance. God knows what great thoughts were going through his proud diminutive dignified head. It was best to leave him undisturbed. A bird meditating on life and destiny or maybe just enjoying the warm morning sunshine.
fresh clear morning
sparrow daydreaming on the sidewalk
i change my path
link | 0

12 September 2007

such continuous drizzle sky overcast as if it will never lift still a fresh breeze blows soothing nostalgia about campus lazy days wet black grey roads lazier clouds rest on violet green hills cows walk in no hurry make dung cakes for us to cut struggle to keep cigarette dry lazy smoke comes out thicker than usual same colour as clouds trees drip big drops that fall faster when they sway in the wind dark afternoons no light on purpose to enjoy lying in cosy bed small trek to staff canteen loose change a ten rupee note in pocket dearest friends share tea and smoke converse happily about life in general cut to present eight silent sparrows sit in a line on bare tree branch under lush leaf cover as i watch madly happy for no reason confident i can fly
link | 0