Tag: opinion

Atmanirbhar (Self dependent)

I woke up this morning to another depressing set of news headlines. Each news article brings with it anxiety and doubt. ‘Should I trust this as credible? Is this propaganda?’ I continue scrolling compulsively, unable to stop.

I then gravitate to social media for my daily fix of angst, despair and dark humour. That is, until the phone rings and the day descends into a vortex of vicariously lived trauma. A desperate hunt for Remdesivir. A mad search for a single hospital bed. A wild goose chase for oxygen cylinders. Panic. Fear. Burning pyres. Voices drenched with grief.

The word ‘atmanirbhar’ is a term designed specially for the benefit of the citizens of India by our esteemed government.

In this bid to gift us atmanirbharta … citizens of India are today scrambling for basics while policy makers and caretakers of the country try and pivot. Too little. Too late. The second covid-19 wave has us firmly in its grip.

People, even those with access and resources, are running from pillar to post to save their loved ones. Politicians are defining what we can or cannot have access to. People are being forced to negotiate cash payment for medicines, hospital admissions and test results with those who are exploiting this need for profit. So much for demonetisation. Savings are being cleaned out as people are forced to make decisions under pressure with no choice or say in the matter. The person on the street is struggling to stay safe while earning barely enough to feed their dependents.

The hospital staff is in tears. The laboratory staff is working sleeplessly for days on end swamped with covid tests. The health infrastructure can’t bear the weight of this unending surge.

The harsh, inescapable reality is that the virus has brought everyone to their knees.

India is today in an unenviable position. A country of 1.39 billion people. A heaving, gasping population unable to comprehend why there is no respite from this nightmare.

This is what we voted for. A casual cockiness by our well meaning leaders that set the tone and we all celebrated having beaten the virus. We became lax. Mumbai opened its huge suburban public train network. Packed stadiums for cricket matches were witnessed. Political leaders led by example and helmed political rallies without masks. The kumbh mela 2021, originally scheduled for 2022, was brought forward to appease the majority sentiment and stretched across weeks. A well thought through and researched introduction of farming bills was accompanied by a charming reticence to engage in talks. It resulted in an ongoing six month long battle of wills with farmers on the streets, fighting to have their voices heard. All this regardless of a virus that was waiting for its moment to attack.

courtesy tourmyindia.com

This is what we voted for. Banging thalis and lighting diyas in support of the medical fraternity and crushing them carelessly under an unending stream of patients.

This is what we voted for. A massive gathering of people serving a political agenda at a time when globally established protocols require countries to be watchful, break the chain of contagion and allow the healthcare teams some breathing space. 

This is what we voted for. An ambitious bunch of pied pipers who have led a devout vote bank towards devastation.

Another day draws to a close. I see an ambulance make its way silently down the road with only its lights flashing. We sit within our homes, the ones who are privileged to do so and watch the horror unfold. The less privileged are out there fighting every single day for survival. This is what we voted for.

Dear ‘Dangal’

Some key lessons that were beautifully interwoven in your narrative :

 

 

Relationships based on respect and trust rest on a foundation of deep love.
Arrogance and complacency gets you only this far and no further.
There is no joy in humiliating and defeating your mentor.
Perseverance, focus and hard work are the best route to success and fulfilment.
To teach and have any impact you need to inspire.
Choices define the direction your life takes but course correction is always possible.
Keep it simple.
Patriotism is potent and powerful stuff.
Be independent because at the most crucial juncture of your life you may find yourself alone.

To convey all of this and more without being sanctimonious is remarkable.

You are not just a good film. You are a warm, heartfelt and inspirational story of courage.

An appreciative filmgoer

Dear Celebrity Obituaries,

I’m trying to choose the right outlet to express my loss for a beloved celebrity. On a social networking site.

R.I.P, the most often used, pithy and safe expression … it’s non-committal, on the fence and looking into the park with binoculars. No one sees you or notices you. You, however, notice it all with a token hands up in the air. A part of the tribe that wants to be part of the larger tribe. The Hail Mary #I’mwithit #IknowmyGK bandwagon. An apologetic meow.

Then, there are the quotable quotes. One step further towards committing to a stand. A neutral quote that allows you to wet your toe without getting into a provocative debate.

The forwarded article comes next. This one is a bit dicey. Is it safe enough to put your name to? Will it get the likes and will it position you as smart and up to date? Or will it give away your political ideology, your state of mind, your carefully cultivated personality type or upset friends and family? While you’ve wet your ankle by now, it still keeps you at the water’s edge. You are using someone’s views to position your own. The trolls are still distant.

Then there are the news clips and the documentaries and the audio-visual clips to share. The commentary may simper, be obsequious, surprisingly factual or just downright fake but there’s a choice to be made again. Will you associate with the genteel, intellectual, smart and factual or the frenzied, over the top and volatile editorials? Deep thought.

Then come the Originals. Downright direct, undiluted opinions. Fearless or foolish. Open to bouquets and brickbats. Expressing like or dislike of the person who has passed … may god rest his/her soul. Anything and everything is fair game to this opinionated soul. Measured, contradictory, rabid, dramatic, emotional, ridiculous, loving, angry, soulful, all embracing …. endless genres of expression. Loud roar.

So many choices. So much to weigh. My image is at stake. Definitely, my sanity. To be a fence sitter, observer, water temperature tester, ass licker, skinny dipper or just plain cussed … what will it be? Wary that the beasts on the social net whacking sites could troll. The cops could break down my door. Some jail time. Public apologies. Haters. Worshippers. Nothingness. Safe anonymity. What do I choose?

Worriedly,

A mourner.

Seriously, it’s not about me.

Dear Opinion

I’m feeling very confused with so much of you floating in the airwaves around me.

My evening tv time is assailed by multiple Points of View at volumes that threaten my sanity. I cower behind the sofa as the volume of the tv set is increased to make sense of a very loud person who is always talking over other loud people. I don’t even understand why all of them talk so much. This is family time but its ruined by this person who insists on yelling the house down. Its also very contagious because very soon everyone in the living room is also yelling at each other and walking off in a huff or pouring a drink to marshall their arguments. I get ignored in all of this and its a bit unfair. I have an opinion too.

My opinion is that while its good to chew on a bone its much more fun to bite into a juicy steak.
High Blood pressure is caused by yelling and listening to people yell.
I don’t like diwali crackers
I love my family even though i’m forced to tolerate a lot of their shortcomings
I believe my family is being trained by me and not the other way around, as they would like to believe
Opinion is subjective
Belief is subjective
Fact is not fiction
Stick to the facts
Reality is perception of fact as you see it
It is not an interpretation of fact as you would like it.

I would like to offer this advice FOC. I know no one will take it because once you’re addicted to junk, you are sunk.

I will now trot off to fetch my leash and urge my master to get off his couch and get some exercise. The oxygen will help his poor, deadened brain cells to stutter back to some form of life … even if its temporary.

from the wise one
Called BEAST for some reason