OUT

Everyone’s an activist,
A narcissistic pessimist,
A godforsaken anarchist,
His own protagonist,
Slimy little opportunist.

Writing up those blacklists,
Is on everyone’s checklist,
No intention to co-exist,
These anti-social colonists.
Acting like columnists.

World is full of confrontationists,
Anti-constitutionalists,
Sad and lonely escapists,
Racists and rapists,
Fake facaded feminists.

Where are all the humanists?
Hyper modern ideologists?
Out with all the materialists,
The melodramatists,
The outdated moralists.

Movie review : Jolly LLB 2

Everyone is well aware of the situation of the legal system in most countries. It is common knowledge that the rules are a tad different for the rich and the well connected. The common man in most cases has to settle and solve certain issues himself because he knows that the legal process is long and arduous. Not only that, it is expensive and drawn out. Some lack the patience, some like the willingness and some just lack faith in the system and understandably so. It is interesting how the law can be bent out of shape to protect clients who knowingly break the rules for personal gains, nepotism etc. Sad truth is that there probably will be no end to this menace but if you take every fight as an individual one and take it head on, then chances are that the law might just work in your favour.

Jolly LLB 2 deals with a similar situation. I won’t go too much into the details of the plot but the story is interesting with many twists and turns. It showcases clearly how difficult it is to distinguish between the truth and the lies and how difficult it is to prove which is which. Jolly, played by Akshay Kumar, must stand his ground and face adversity to win this legal battle against corrupt police officials and blow the lid off a massive cover up.

The story moves well with fluidity and the events are well connected. The actors have done well to keep the audience locked in, giving in mini doses of laughter in the middle. In the end it sends out a message too, one that is probably required to be heard.

An entertaining movie and worth seeing at least once.

Missing out

It has been a weird day really. I consider myself lucky enough that i was around for a family event this time. Usually I’m away at sea in more than half the cases. But this time i was glad to be there for the birthday party of my niece. She turned 4 yesterday and she is the cutest thing i have ever come across. I dont think she knows exactly who i am because we haven’t really met as much and there are usually large intervals in between. But she shook my hand and gave me a smile.

Most of the relatives who were in town made it for the party. These are faces I’ve been able to recognise since i was 5 years old. They’ve been omnipresent in my life behind the scenes and they always open up their hearts to me when i meet them. I noticed today however that there was a difference. The laughter had faded, their words were now reduced to the bare minimum and their movements restricted. Their hair had turned white, thick glasses now framed their faces and they just sat quietly by themselves. I realised that the picture i had in my head of them was almost 20 years old. 20 years had made me go from 7 to 27 but they had aged too. And the signs were there too. Someone pointed out to me that my dad had thinned out too. And it wasn’t until then that i noticed and they were right. Dad, being an army man had big biceps and broad shoulders but now his entire frame had shrunk. Today was the first time i noticed the difference. Mum too had a tough time holding the heavy ceramic plates while having lunch standing.

I met my uncle and my cousin brother later who couldn’t make it to the party. They too had changed and i was surprised how i had never paid enough attention to notice these changes in them. A sadness descended on me as i witnessed the change. These faces that were once bright as the sun, now had their brightness fading away slowly. The laughter had gone, the jokes had gone, the fun had gone and all that remained was a mere shadow of their own self.

The previous versions of them had gone and i was sad that i wasn’t around more. I was upset that i didn’t get to spend enough time with them. I was upset that i was so preoccupied in my life that i didn’t even notice that changes in my mum and dad.

I always thought i had life figured out. But all of my plans were about how to move forward and get on with it. I never realised i was missing out on what was already in front of me and around me. I have already missed out so much. I wish i hadn’t.

Moral fiber

A video surfaced on my Facebook feed today. An Audi had a minor fender bender with another car. This other car was driven by a man in hurry as he was driving his pregnant wife to the hospital. The lady driving the Audi, took away the keys of the other car and demanded that the driver pay up or suffer the consequences. Cops arrived on the scene and were helpless as they were dealing with a lady and they couldn’t persuade her to give up the keys. It appeared from the video that the lady knew that she was in a position of power and no one could do anything to her. While all of this was going on, the pregnant wife sat in agony in her car. Soon a mob circled the scene as it always does in India. They pressured the Audi driver to give up the keys, shouted at her and threatened her by waving cricket bats. The lady realised that things were no longer in her favour so she threw the keys away in the distance and drove off.

Another incident happened in front of me a few weeks ago. I was returning back home from my ship and i was at the immigration counter at the New Delhi airport. A crew member was travelling with me and he had a connecting flight from Delhi to Mumbai. Trouble was that the flight was from the domestic terminal and we had landed from Singapore at the international terminal. so he had to clear immigration, collect his bags, take a cab to the domestic terminal and then check in again. To make matters worse, we landed half an hour late due to bad weather in Delhi. By the time we joined the massive line at the immigration counter, his flight to Bombay had already started boarding. I told him to cut the line and explain that he was in a hurry or else he would miss his flight back home. He was a bit nervous to do so since he wasn’t particularly fluent in english so i promised to assist him incase any trouble arose. No one said anything but right at the end there was a lady standing there who raised an objection. She spoke in a harsh and a crude tone and I explained to her that the man was going to miss his flight from the domestic terminal and he had to hurry. She refused to listen and said that that’s not her problem and no way in hell would she allow him to get in line in front of her. So I asked the man standing behind her if he could join the line there and he agreed. He stood behind that lady for the next 10 minutes. I don’t know if he made his flight in time or not.

The reason i am writing this today is that this behavioural trend is on the rise. Putting yourself in front and above everyone else. It has become a character trait for the people these days to feel that they are entitled to every thing. They can say anything, they can do anything and anyone who stands in their way is forbidding them from being free. They feel they have the right to do whatever they want and theres nothing the rest of the world can do about it.

Here’s the trouble. I am all for freedom. But you cannot give it to the people. The people dont know how to handle freedom. People need rules and regulations. They need laws. They need to be told to put compassion for others before self love. In the final Batman movie, when Bane handed over Gotham city over to the people, they all turned into savages. They all wanted things they couldn’t ordinarily have and they were ready to turn inhuman for it. Like in the case of the Audi driver, she should’ve been fined for holding up traffic straightaway. Thats the language people understand. People understand fear, they don’t understand freedom. They dont know how to deal with it.

Moving on from laws, there is a moral code amongst us humans. These aren’t rules that have been written down somewhere but we all know them. Like for instance, you offer you subway seat to an elderly person or a disabled person perhaps. Like in the second case, we were all standing in line with no particular hurry. Due to no fault of his own, the crew member found himself in a bit of a situation and needed our help to cut through the line so he could make it home. It is in these times where we have to show our maturity and our moral fibre. It is no secret that the number of people on this planet has far exceeded its acceptable amount. We cannot rely on law enforcement and the governments to sort out everything for us. Thats where a moral code comes in. Fine i bumped your car and it was my mistake, here is my insurance and here is my phone number. Lets settle this on another day, for now lets not hold up traffic. End of discussion. A mature reaction and a solution that works for everyone.

Why is it that people never work towards conflict resolution? Why does it become a matter of ego and revenge? There are billions of people on this planet and there are bound to be conflicts amongst us. It’s normal. But what we can do is deal with these conflicts like human beings and not take our claws out like animals. It is choosing between being sensible and being nonsensical. That matter with the Audi could’ve been cleared up within 5 minutes and in the other case the lady would’ve had to stand in line for another 2-3 minutes but she would’ve helped a fellow human being. But no.

Maybe the world needs dictators to slap some sense into people. Things are getting out of control and people are living with their feet off the ground now. Head among the clouds, posting pictures of themselves every day, in every place, every hour, all the time. This has to stop. A simple solution is start fining people. for everything. Even if you cause a public nuisance. It needs to be done otherwise people will just take advantage of the system.

Immigration ban

I knew early on that Donald Trump would be a popular candidate because of his theatrics. Although the media was quick to make jokes and write him off, he proved that he had what it takes to fight a campaign against a tough opponent and win. I mean Hilary Clinton was a clear winner and everyone must have been busy preparing Trump jokes a day before the actual results were declared. I had a feeling that on some level people were buying what he was saying and they wanted him to lead the way. Agreed that Obama had a popular tenure but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it was a successful one. In my opinion, all people want is a steady source of income and food on the table. Foreign diplomacy and attacking other countries in the name of peace is all well and good but in the end it is money that is drawn out from the taxpayers and spent elsewhere. Manufacturing moved elsewhere turning big cities and towns into empty jungles. It is understandable that the people were pretty upset and Trump knew that very well. He was smart and realised that the people need a change from mundane politics and promises and needed something dramatic and radical. Using fear as a weapon, he managed to edge out one opponent after another and won the presidency. I told many of my friends early on that Trump was going to win even when it was unthinkable. Yet here we are now.

It has been just over a week since the Trump era started and my god has he managed to shake the world. But i am not surprised by that at all. He is doing exactly what he has been talking about doing in his campaigns. The people voted for him, they knew what he was capable of, they decided that they wanted him in the driving seat. I don’t understand why they are surprised now after the decisions he has made and the executive orders he has issued. It’s like that time when people in UK were voting in the favour of Brexit but didn’t know what exactly would follow. There is a video that has surfaced covering all the things Trump has done within his first week in office and the list is pretty long and controversial. I won’t talk about all of them but i will talk about the one thing he has done to collectively upset a vast number of people. I am of course talking about the immigrant ban on 7 countries citing reasons of national security.

Now understand this. It is pretty plain and simple. The people voted and gave him the power to do pretty much anything. They knew all about him and the media had fired the warning shots well in advance but no one listened. He is now incharge of a country that has everyone’s attention. Everyone wants to be a part of the American dream and make it big. And yes, it is true. Many immigrants have made it big in the United States. It is a country built by immigrants. Trace back the pages of history and you’ll see that the native’s of this vast land looked nothing like the picture of Americans we have in our minds today. It has become like the go-to destination for professionals, entrepreneurs, students, artists and pretty much everyone. With the recent immigrant crisis happening followed by the sudden increase in the number of terrorist attacks in countries in Europe and middle east, it has become a tough call whether to provide shelter and asylum to these refugees while endangering the lives of your own people. The 7 countries mentioned in the ban have zero records of attacks/killings of American people on American soil. the list seems rather arbitrary.

I didn’t really care about this problem. It didn’t concern me, it didn’t affect me. I have no intentions of going to the United States for employment or otherwise and my country has not been named in those that have been banned. I did however came across a video of an American man or Iranian descent crying his eyes out at the airport. He said that they had fled their country many years ago and he was now a legal American citizen. He said he was a contractor and he worked hard building houses for the American people. However, his brother who had done nothing wrong was now being prevented from joining him in the United States following this ban. He correctly points out that the issues are between the governments of the two countries and that the individual people had not done anything wrong but were the ones who have to face the consequences of this order.

Now i few questions arise here. Why must America bear the burden of providing shelter and a fresh start to these people? Yes, they were born in a country which has been torn apart by war for decades followed by years of dictatorship. But is it America’s obligation to provide sanctuary? Doesn’t America have their own people and their own problems to deal with? Yes, speaking from a humanitarian point of view we must all take care of each other. But ideally we live in times where one has to make room for another person to join in. And that sometimes mean leaving someone else out in the cold. out of a job, left to deal with unemployment. So what must one do? The reasons he has cited are baseless in my opinion. Citing reasons of curbing terrorism and shutting doors in the process are questionable and the world has reacted to this.

The people can’t really complain now that they didn’t see it coming because this is all he has talked about in his campaigns. The immigration ban has met with strong criticism and objection from virtually everyone. In his theatrics, innocent people like the Iranian man at the airport get affected and separated from their families. There has to be a better way to serve the interests of the people and deal with issues of terrorism as well. Instead of shutting doors completely, if one was to carry out extensive background checks, interviews with relatives who are legal citizens of United States, plan of action while residing in the country, having them report to the local immigration office or the local police station every week or something to that effect then why not? It seems like a fairly smarter way to proceed. I am sure there are better ways of dealing with this situation. All we can do for now is revolt and make our voices heard. Hopefully this ban would not be permanent and the doors would reopen to those fleeing areas of conflict for a chance at a better life.

For now though, we wait…

Movie review : Raees

Well this one had people waiting for quite some time now and finally it has arrived amidst intense scrutiny. Many of the recent bollywood projects have missed the mark and failed to have an impact; barring a few of course. At a time where one helplessly ends up comparing hollywood movies to the ones we make here at home, one has to step up their game and deliver something that resonates with the people.

Raees is such a story. A man driven by his quest and desire to be a successful man even if it means doing something illegal. However, he doesn’t let go of his ideals and the goodness of his heart keeps him on track. In a cat and mouse game with the police, bribing the right people at the right time yet making sure everyone knows what you are capable of; Raees finds himself running the show and demolishing the competition completely. However, things get tangled and Raees finds himself cornered and defeated when the entire world turns against him. It is in these difficult times that his morals and ethics rescue him and help him evade a crisis, even if it meant paying the ultimate price.

A good story line, sometimes vague and lacking direction but it picks up pace. Powerful acting by Shah Rukh who plays a rather different role than he has been playing for the past few years.

A movie worthy of being seen. Refreshing change from the useless crap that gets shovelled out of bollywood generally.

Remember me?

i often sit and wonder
about those who i have wronged.
Who were once best friends
now who knows where they belong?

Some of them lovers too,
Some of them long forgotten,
Some still fresh and thriving.
some just corrode me rotten.

I wonder if they think of me,
and what they think when they do,
do i come up as a quirk,
or have i caused heartbreak too?

Do they see me as the one who got away,
or the one too good to be true?
Or maybe someone best forgotten,
Or someone they hardly knew?

What am i to these people,
Who show up unannounced
Waltzing in my memory
casting a web of doubt.

And what are the things,
that remind them of me?
A silhouette on the window,
Or a shadow in the sea?

Perhaps a face, a laugh,
Maybe something i said,
Do they remember me,
And stay awake late in bed?

Who knows these answers?
Who knows if they think of me too?
It’s not wishful thinking,
Can’t be more than a few.

Faces flash past my eyes
their words echo in my ears,
I wonder who remembers me now,
After all of these years.