Saturday, January 20, 2007

Boundaries and Prejudices

Over the past three days here in India, and probably in Britain as well (I reckon from all the news that filters in), there has been a huge hue and cry over the Big Brother Racism Issue. To be honest, I’m neither a big fan of the Channel 4 show nor am I a sucker for juicy celebrity gossip. Still, it is hard to ignore all the latest happenings as they are being beamed from halfway across the globe, especially when the whole world is trying to polarize your opinion on the issue and make you believe that a great injustice, probably as monumental as any other thing seen in world history is taking place.

Now don’t get me wrong when I write the above. I’m not a racist, nor am I a proponent of discrimination in any form. In fact, I strongly believe that any form of discrimination, whether it be based on religion, caste, creed, sex or race is utterly despicable. It is the sort of thing that only a human can do to a fellow human and such incidents make us question whether we are really up and above the rest of the species on this earth.

Einstein once said:

It’s more difficult to root out prejudice than to disintegrate an atom.
And I think that brings us to the root cause of this whole issue and of all the other discriminatory issue plaguing our world at this hour. Too many boundaries exist – in our mind and in our cultural interpretations. That in itself makes us wary of anyone new, anyone who looks or seems somehow different from ourselves, enters our lives and the precincts where we live, work or play.

I dream of a world without boundaries – where the flight of an individual is not constrained by the nation he hails from or the conditions he has been born into. I dream of a world where we can all speak a common language, on a common forum. I dream of a planet unified, with every man and woman a part of the whole.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Joys of Being Busy

It's being a while since I entered the world of blogging (I do consider 15 days to be a while, especially when one does use the Web every day for a sizeable amount of time) and to think of it, just one blog entry in all these days doesn't do justice to the nature and the number of thoughts that have been running through my mind during these days. But having said that, what is equally true is that over the last few days, while I have missed updating my blog and all the related stuff, I have also discovered again the joys of being busy.

I am a student here at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani in India and truth be told, the schedule here is packed with so many activities - not just classes and friends, but sports, clubs and some all round entertainment in general. Now that the semester has begun in real earnest, as in classes taking a more serious air and the tutorial tests and evaluative components beginning to make their presence known, it is back to what I did last semester - spend most of the time catching up with the breakneck pace of all that goes on at the institute. Of course, it doesn't help when I admit that I am one of those students who are quite regular - I attend all the lectures and tutorials, so that does give me much less time to manouever.

However, to all those of you who might think that this is a bad thing or that this is too much to cope up with, I think that it is, on the contrary, the best thing that has happened to me till now. I've always wanted to test myself in adverse circumstances and stressful conditions. Over the years, I was often accused of being a choker, as having an escapist mentality; but I am glad to say that I appear to have shed that tag now. And of course, there are added advantages as well.

For example, let's look at all the events that the media has gone crazy about in the last fortnight: There was the hanging of Saddam Hussein, which to me, was a pathetic attempt at attracting viewers/readers on the part of the media. It is indeed shameful that a brutal dictator should be given so much spotlight that a gullible section of the society might interpret his image as being that of a martyr.

Then in India, there was also the small matter of the engagement of Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bacchan. You know that the media has gone into overdrive with a story when the frontpage of these actors appears on the cover of practically every major national daily alongwith the details of the engagement. Pathetic attempts, at best!!!

Basically, what I am trying to put across here is that I was thankfully spared of observing all this stuff over the past fortnight by the mere fact that a re-entry into the BITsian life kept me busy and away from this circus. Never have I appreciated the beauty and the utility of busyness as now!!!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007



I have never made a secret of the fact that I'm an avid football fan (that's soccer for all those who think 'football' is some other savage game) and a hardcore Manchester United fan at that. My support of the club dates back to 1998, when I first began following football. So, as a United fan, it has been a difficult pill to digest seeing Arsenal and then Chelsea (even Liverpool) winning things while Fergie patiently tried to create his third championship winning team at Manchester. And then, we had all these pundits tipping us to fall to our worst finish in the Premiership years this season.

And now at half-term, I can safely say, 'TAKE THAT EVERYONE!!!' For Fergie is back with a vengeance and so is Manchester United. Six points clear at the top of the Premiership with the nearest rivals Chelsea rapidly going on to earn the nickname 'Butterfeet' and the Champions League knockout phase beckoning, things are really looking up. Surely, we'll win some major honours this term.

Add to that the form of Ronaldo, Saha, Scholes and Giggs, you can feel why I'm so excited. And last but not the least, there is still the Wayne Rooney explosion to come!!!