Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Child's Play?

today, we indians are proud when we read that abhinav bhindra has won a gold medal in the beijing olympics. but how much has india contributed to his success. it is a matter of great pride for us, isn't it. and if he had lost, we will have our dailies speaking a different story then.

'spectators', thats what we are; a bunch of responsive irresponsible dumb spectators. why dumb? because, we just croak and chunter... we appreciate, criticize and forget. we react, we never act. look at the state of affairs of health facilities. it will make even the most optimistic person weep in spiritlessness.

when madhu sapre was asked the prize winning question "if you win miss universe, what will you like to do with the prize money" (not exactly the verbatim) in the 1992 miss unioverse paegent. prompt came the reply with an accent "i will build big big stadiums in india". many of us made fun of her for she let loose the athlete in her.she didn’t play to the gallery. she didnt speak about mother nature and mother teresa and world peace. but now. look at our hypocrisy. we want big big stadiums and want to host big big matches as that will get us big big sponsors and make big big paisas. facilities for budding talents. fohhgettt it! her concern was genuine. our concern: with an ulterior motive with "no" social welfare in mind.

the big question today is… are we really working towards producing gold medals like other countries that are amassing medals after medals? actually, we are a bunch who like to just lounge around in glorified ├ętude.

a friend of mine who visited a sports school in pune was irate, really irate when he spoke to me about the sports school. i did believe him, for there is no smoke without fire. but i thought he was just overreacting. he asked me to blog about it. but how could i speak about something that is till now just hearsay. so i quickly called up some punewaasi’s and confirmed the issue. still unconvinced. i visited the place too. and i was zapped. zapped at the state of affairs. “is this how we treat our sports people?” i asked myself. in shame, immense shame, i hung my head down.

i am referring to the international standard stadium that’s being built near pune in balwadi. crores of rupees have been spent to build various stadiums, and also hotels that crop up very gleefully to capitalize on the need of our celebrity sportspersons for 5-star hospitality. these sportspersons are expected to assemble for the ensuing commonwealth youth games at balwadi. but where do “our” budding sports persons stand?

the sportschildren who have been admitted to the balwadi sports school, today, don’t have nutritious food. even drinking water for them is a luxury. i was a witness to an abysmal sight when i saw this big long queue of small children who had come from various parts of the state, waiting with buckets in their hands awaiting the messiah - the water tanker. i tried to investigate with some people there (id not like to name them) and they confirmed that the kids don’t have adequate water to drink, leave alone water for other facilities like toilet, wash and bath.

and no, this was and is not some fleeting quotidian that will phase off. it is a part of their everydayness. it has been so. and so it will be if no one speaks up.

now you will ask, why is there no hue and cry, why there is no voice raised. well, by nature, we all are followers. we prefer to join the troupe rather than leading it. some do choose to lead. but that someone has not hopped and happed to this institution. what are the consequences that one might face if s/he raises h er/is voice? it is exactly what happens to a student when he complains to his teacher in school. s/he is picked up. pinched. allegations are made. h er/is performance is judged unsatisfactory and is finally shown the door.

though it is wrong to generalize, i am cocksure that there might be many places in india with similar wretched state of affairs. “yeh hai, india meri jaan”. how do we expect even a bronze medal with such a sorry state (gold toh door ki baat) can the organizers, the sports ministers... give and explanation? its my india. its my taxes. i have the right to ask. and i will.

is all the money going to corrupt officials? this one is for those ministers and the toli of shameless officials. oye! don’t tell me that there’s no corruption. don’t try to bamboozle us to believe what isn’t, do something about what is, rather than wasting your energy rebutting and clearing up. show us in action. for the world knows that your words have no meaning. there certainly are many who have filled their pockets. and we know that.

very often statistics are provided about the amount spent on each child. how much of genuineness there is in these? no one knows. you can always add a couple of zeros here and there. well, i wouldn’t mind you filling your pockets too, just that if you take 25 paise show us that you have spent the rest 75 paise “really” to encourage a child to play.

nay. i dont feel they will even head to an "allegation" like this, and if they do respond they will, but in the negative.

are you with me at this prognostication?


Thursday, August 21, 2008

The "Jab We Met" Moment

let me admit. i never liked kareena kapoor. and definitely not so much ever before. (what she did in chameli or omkara, i dont feel was a killer performance) jab we met is a movie every cinema lover should see. i strongly recommend the movie to every pessimist. it will leave you with burbles of bubbling optimism. i in fact go a step further and compare her role with that of basanti’s in sholay. the only difference is basanti is basanti and geet is kareena kapoor. im not sure of how many people wanted to be basanti, but i know many who would love to be kareena (geet). not just women but men too. for once, not many were focusing on her snow white skin and cleavage. they saw her as a talent. imtiaz ali gets full marks for creating several anecdotes that one would find thrilling if replicated in real as in reel. and shahid (i don’t recollect his name in the movie) supported kareena very appositely in a seesaw of emotions, when she was down, he was high… when she was soaring he was down. finally, in the end they find collinear balance.

out of the blue, why i am speaking about jab we met? good question. this is because i also had tried to recreate a jab we met moment in my life. something like… going somewhere, but not knowing exactly where. yesterday, i was reminded of the same by a friend on the gay networking site g4m. (when i asked him when we are meeting, he replied, are you taking me to gorai. i never knew the world knew about my date in gorai. lol)

this was around a year back or so. i had been to a house party that ended at 4 am in the morning. we decided to leave to our respective houses. we all were in different rickshaws. i cuddled up to a friend in a rickshaw. suddenly, i remembered kareena of jab we met. from nowhere, i asked my friend if he is willing to come with me to gorai. at first he looked at me with a “have you gone mad” look on his face. but then after a moment of thinking, i found him excited about the idea. i had no clue of how to reach gorai and neither did he. we reached andheri station. we decided to go to borivalli. we ricked it down from borivalli to gorai. we asked people who were out on morning walks and some still so sleepy rick fellas for directions. they guided us well. and we trusted them completely. so at 4:30- 5 in the morning we ferried from gorai khadi to the beach. aboard the ferry we had machhi waali’s for our company. it was stinking. but we found it even-the-more thrilling.

we reached gorai. there was not a single soul there. just a few rick fellas here too. (i wonder how they manage to get up so early, everyday) we sat on a rick. and asked him to take us to any hotel. we were conscious. conscious because we were 2 boys and we were asking for a room. actually, no one would have thought that we were a gay couple. but we were conscious. we kept telling the rickshaw driver “hum rest kareinge and then we will go to the beach”. though he never asked us the whereabouts… guilty conscious pricks the mind. hehehhe

we went to a shack. the owner of the shack looked at us and said “soone ke liye hi chahiye na”. we were shell shocked. we didn’t know how to react. i looked at my friend, and chuntered, “he thinks we are going to sleep, as in… sleep”

we agreed at a cost. he handed over the keys. we moved in. the room was small. it was a dungeon. but who cared. we were there for the thrill of it. and yes it was a thrilling moment. so so so so thrilling.

as it dawned, we took a walk on the serene beach. we came back to borivalli station and exchanged a sweet valediction.

now, suddenly we were feeling sleepy. i, all of a sudden realized that my phone battery had dried and mom would have been trying to reach me. i knew she is going to give me a good dressing down when i reach home. “what a choppy world is this and what a time was that”, i marveled.

i wish not to take his name as it’s too personal a thing to share. he feels it okie to share the episode openly with my name. how on earth will any 3rd person know about it if not so. but never mind. i am not hurt. i have always stood up for my feelings and emotions no matter how much ever romantic or sensual these moments are. just that, i dont 'out' those people involved without asking them. 

you know, its so very easy to get branded as a slut. but i wonder if people who brand other people have just slept with one person in their life. id you are open about your relations, you are a slut. if you do it in hiding, you are a saint. chalta hai. 'slut' if thats what i am, id like to add "i am a happy slut ". :-)

but coming back to the question asked by my friend “will you take me to gorai?” i wish sweety….but can i, without your consent.

point to ponder. hai na.

what say?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

GayZaadi (QueerZaadi) Ready-To-Print Posters

Here are a few posters made for all of those who wish to participate in the QueerZaadi/GayZaadi march and make a statement.

I have branded it as "friends of queer" deliberately as it might encourage people to join in without (or with less) apprehension. You don't have to be Gay/Bisexual/Lesbian/transsexual to join in. So the statement "Friends of Queer" and not "I am Queer". I have added an LGBT zindabad. I couldn't do away with the word Queer, though I respect De's views as QueerZaadi is how it is branded. What we can do now, is have a fantastic event so that the word and it no longer remains an abuse.

I had one of my colleagues asking me "are you starting a new organisation". No No, I am not planning anything like that. I consider myself to be very much a part of Gay Bombay, the yahoo group that actually helped me evolve and come to terms with my sexuality. I just wanted to do my bit for those who are not gay but wanted to express their support. I also have added some that the "Out" LGBT members could use.

I am a bigtime procrastinator. It was my colleague Rohit who made these creatives. Thank you Rohit.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

QueerZaadi March. Join In!

Saturday 16 August 2008, the day when all the brothers of the world will be wristful with rakhis, we will have the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transsexual) community, marching for their rights and decriminalization of their sexual orientation. 

According to section 377 of the IPC, Any person engaging in carnal intercourse against the order of nature with man, woman or animal is liable to be imprisoned for life. 

In simple and crude terms, any one who has anal sex, or oral sex could be imprisoned for life. Gay or straight. No bar. 

This brings us to the big question… How do we interpret “against the order of nature”. Is sex only for procreation, is it wrong to have sex when your intentions are NOT to have a baby. 

Gays are harassed and extorted under the pretext of this law. This affects gays, as they will make love by having anal and oral sex. And yes they will be having sex for recreation and not procreation. (Though it’s their biological need) 

There is much to a gay lifestyle than just making love. They are humans, they have the right to feel love, and express love. Why should they be not allowed to be what they are? 

I am a son. I am a brother. I am as normal as you are. I am gay. And I am not closeted. I am human. I feel sexual at times. I don’t want to have sex with a woman to prove my “masculinity”. If I do that. That would be treason. That would be rape. And I wish not to lie to a woman. I am masculine even if I feel for men. And yes, I feel for men. Emotionally and Sexually.

If I find a compatible boyfriend, I would want to start a life with him. I am an adult. I don’t want to tell anyone that my boyfriend is my friend, or is my brother. I want to tell them that he is my boyfriend. Period.

How can any law decide, what I do with my boyfriend with consent in my bedroom. It’s a matter of personal choice. And I am an adult, and my boyfriend would also be an adult. 

Section 377 does not distinguish between sex between two willing, adult partners and sexual molestation/rape. 

Oh! now to kindle the debate further, you could speak about moral policing. And setting a wrong example for the future generations. 

Moral policing: Please feel free to arrest anybody who has sex in public, Straight or Gay. 

Wrong example: Get gay men married off and ruin the woman’s life. Is that the right example?

I wonder if anyone’s orientation can influence someone’s sexuality. Let me ask you this question, If you are a straight man… and I make seductive moves in front of you. Will you turn gay? 

We have thousands who are forced to marry, there are many who commit suicides. And extortion, so many. How many deaths and broken marriages is it going to take for the government to realize? 

Right to sexuality is a birth right. Sexuality is dictated by the genes when the child is still a fetus in the womb. Are we going to be illegal always? 

Support us. We are gay. We are happy this way. Let us be us. We are not criminals. If we have sex with consent. Let us. We are adults. I repeat, we are adults. Responsible adults. 

Join us for the QueerZaadi march. You don’t have to be gay to join us. Rather, you don’t have to be queer to join us. 

Join us as our friend, our supporter; we could walk in a group that would be the “Friends of Queer” group. Support us in our endeavour. We want section 377 to be amended. Sign the online protest here.

The Britishers, who brought this law to India, have got rid of it. We are still stuck on. 

I urge my readers to join me for the march on 16 august 2008, from 3:00 pm onwards. It’s from August Kranti Maidan (nearest station: Grant Road) to Girgaum Chowpatty.

Until now, some 15 students have confirmed their presence at the march. If you feel strongly for the cause, please join in. These students are going to march with us.
If you have some interesting slogans to share. Please do.
Thanks De for joining us in spirit, if not in person.  

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Khalsa Hosts 1 Minute MobiFilm Festival "Mausam Biga Beega"

cliched this may sound as i have said it manier times,  my beloved khalsa college has "once again" done it.  khalsa  college (now) second only to wilson, has organised a one minute film festival called "mausam biga beega" which  has some 15 films that will be judged by a panel of students from other colleges. the topic given to them is "26 x 7 , are you ready for another round?". these would be mobifilms  and will be shot on a maximum clarity of a 2 megapixel camera phone. guests who have confirmed their presence are meghna and madhusudan (founders: mam movies), subha  and anushakti (csr: guajarat ambuja), nessar (country head:sony bmg), neil (radio jockey: red fm), anjulika (film maker), farida (documentary film maker) and many more. at this august occassion we would also be screening farida pacha's national award winning documentary "seedkeepers".  

regarding the student jury, as of now, praban and shruti from jai haind have confirmed. i have requested pravesh sir to screen their classic movie "hiphopper" that was made in 2x speed, the one that won the first prize in polaris, to be screened as well. he has agreed. talks are on with wilson and other colleges. update karega jab information about other student jury milega. 

this event is open to all. do not miss the movies made by these young budding talents, a word of praise for the praiseworthy, and some "points to ponder" for those who could improve.

all are invited. please do come. the hall is a 90 seater, so the earlier you come the better. do inform me if you are coming so that i could let the college know about the expected number. 

all events in khalsa are very informal. all are family. so no bouquets just mentions and an opportunity to impregnate young minds with your thoughts is what we will give you. 

the event starts at 1:30 - 1:45 pm on Saturday 09 August 2008. Its at the seminaar hall. You just need to tell the gate keeper that you have come for the festival. 

Khalsa college is in matunga, 10 mins walk from wadala,matunga, kingscircle  station, if coming from harbour, central or western respectively. if you are coming by western as in from the churchgate side... then you can get down at dadar and take a cab it/best it to khalsa college. 

landmark: khalsa college and don bosco school are opp to each other.

c u there!

* will update, watch this space for more. 


PowerPoint Woes!

i don’t understand why, but i just cannot get a hand on powerpoint. i hate to use negatives, but i just don’t possess the skill or the aesthetic sense to understand colours and designs well. i am good with moving images, but i am bad with powerpoint. i am not able to force myself. i can’t make up my mind on which design to take and which not. and cultivation of the interest needs to be done from the first stage itself. i mean, even in school, college, all through… i have always loved to jot down words, but when it has come to images, i could decipher and analyze, but have been a lousy artist myself. i know i’m good with the flow of thoughts, can give people content for every page of powerpoint, but just can’t do it myself. i mean, in that time that i make a powerpoint i could rather ideate a dozen or two creative concepts. 

regarding work, i kind of balance my work and my social endeavors, never let myself down on the work front or the social front. except recently when i was feeling rather low and when i knew that i was, i contacted my manager prateek and told him that i need to take rest. and as i don’t mince words, i simply told him what exactly i felt. i guess i would never find someone as understanding as him. he has been the best when it came to understanding his teams needs. his trait of reading between the lines amuses me. mostly he has been appreciative of my work and understands my style much better than anyone else. because of the cool headedness at work, i am in a free minded spirit to do other work during my weekends. 

work wise, i feel at heaven here in shobiz. wouldn’t want to leave ever. but life is what happens to you when you are busy doing other things. so i aint change resistant either. if something comes and falls in my lap, you never know what happens in future. though id definitely want to see the current organization in high spirits always. 

i’ve strictly maintained that i keep my weekends free for my social endeavours and personal growth. it’s necessary for me to meet people from different walks of life and broaden my horizon. besides, i’m not the average joe who does his job goes home and sleeps off. and sluts around on weekends. i want to be helpful to the society. i wish to do much more than just make money. and i will. i do balance my social, personal and professional well. 

just for the powerpoint software. ohh thats only good to see presentations.when it comes to making a ppt myself. can just say 3 words. 

ohh my god!

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