Time of the year: A Graduating Class

This is the time of the year when the atmosphere on any major American university campus is a fascinating one. The weather decides to become forgiving and the relief of the last exam can be felt in the air, even when you do not have an exam to take. This is the time of the year when you can see movement, in things and lives.

And the most heartwarming of sights, for me, is when I see parents of international students visiting this country to witness their children take the grad walk. Indian parents, waddling around for their evening or morning walks and being given campus tours by their sons and daughters – of a place they had probably not even imagined in their wildest of dreams, maybe even unpronounceable to some, but they still put all their money and trust into it. There is nothing but excitement and pride you can see in their faces – legit and well deserved. And thus, this is also that the time of the year when you can see the movement, in dreams of the great Indian middle class, where they take a tangible and recognizable shape, wings spread and ready to soar.

Seeds Of Paranoia: Bengaluru’s New Year

– A newspaper reports of ‘mass molestation’ on the new year’s eve in Bengaluru with nothing as proof but pictures of people who look hammered – both men and women! But the blurred faces in the photographs instantly fire something in our heads which resonates with the word ‘victim’.

– While still questionable, one should not completely rule out that there must have been a good amount of scum in that crowd, there always is.

– Someone writes about her experience and ‘fight’ on social media rather than going to the cops. The excuse of maintaining anonymity is not there anymore but the legal method is still not approached.

– A few ministers from a distant decade make comments which are alright within their realm of understanding but the context is misinterpreted and propagated even further.

– CCTV footage shows nothing of the sort happening at the event. The reporting media outlet makes up excuses when asked to provide the people with further proof.

– One clip of a single attack arises BUT from a different part of the city. Media mobs it and pushes it along with the now questionable piece of news which started it all.

– The culprits of this singular event are apprehended. It turns out they had been stalking the victim for a while – not a case which is exclusive to Indian sex offenders.

– Still no proof of the aforementioned ‘mass molestation’.

– Meanwhile, Indian men get schooled by almost everyone on how they should not rape a woman when they see one.

– International media joins in. The information gets more muddy at their end.

– Everyone projects their righteousness through open letters, articles and hashtags (which slyly shift the aim now to the statements of the ministers rather than the actual issue) while circle-jerking each other aggressively.

– At this point, it is no more about justice, truth or even women’s rights but has rather reduced itself to a game of ‘Look at me! I am nicer, more aware, sensitive and hence better than you. Now like my post and share it so that I get featured somewhere.’

I would really love to see any progress made once that train of thought appears in a movement.

From far flutters the flag free

Atop dead sandstone

A wheel of progress that rolls on the path of peace

crushed by the warring saffron and green

And below, within the rock

Are men with the same flag in their hearts

but colored a bit more with their choice

Mostly with one of the two colors that fight or

anything new what this palette of a land may provide

Anything but that fucking white

 

 

The Academy

Today, sitting in a tightly packed Auto-rickshaw which was shared among seven other people, I witnessed myself sitting in what a discourse between Plato and Socrates would have been like in the modern era. I was shocked how much I was like them in my undergrad years and how most of those common visions and beliefs I had shared were now replaced by something more realistic but impure and vulgar. In twenty seven minutes I carefully heard their views on poetry and writing, drama societies in the city and their culture, politics, media and newspapers, men losing their brilliance after marriage, college privatisation and their extortion tactics, cellphone technology and surveillance, revolutionaries and finally it came to the descriptive praises of the breasts of their newly married college senior’s wife. No one had been paying any attention until the last topic was mentioned and now it held the attention of each and every man in that vehicle. You don’t really need to clear the SAT to appreciate that one. This was exactly when both these young philosophers had reached their destinations and gotten off. It was a pity that the others couldn’t follow the brilliant discussion now and had to stay but the pain of missing out on this last piece of immense knowledge was evident on everyone’s faces. I could now see what the world was all about. The Internet cooed into my ears with the slightly cool but pleasant September wind, familiar words and the answer to it all – “Tits or GTFO!”

When Vaibhav met Lucy in the great Thar Desert

This is one of my favorite videos on youtube and I bumped into it sometime back while surfing on the ‘high waves’ of the internet. As harmless or fun or stupid it might seem to you, it actually demonstrates the exact opposite of what the mainstream demonised image of narcotics has been painted in our heads by the paranoid and authoritative.

The video is a narration by this young man, probably named Vaibhav who goes by the name of Eddy Gordo on youtube, to his camera while he roams the great Thar desert on the peaks of his LSD trip. Contrary to what many might think, this is a non-violent man somewhere in a loud introspection getting a bite of that colorful slice of life. Transitioning between laughter and weeping (because of the sheer beauty of what he is experiencing) he talks repeatedly about the beauty of life and how he loves everything and everyone. His experience is positively positive and his narration definitely an honest one.

Now there already are many videos of people on youtube recording themselves tripping on god-knows-what but this one makes a cut because of its rawness, the guy is not ashamed of what he is up to or how he speaks or what troubles it might cause if the video ends up on public domain – nope, he doesn’t care. The description of the video feels like he had to write it all down in that one impulsive moment, an explosion of feelings where you really do not care about sense but only need to put it out there on something or someone.

I won’t say more but I can’t help but quote Bill Hicks here:
Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.

[I looked up his youtube channel and he has a few other videos of himself trying out bhaang and other spiritual gateways. Also, being the curious researcher I am, I found him informing the viewers on another video that he was bothered by the cops because of this video but he firmly believes that he did not do anything wrong and will continue to explore the new levels of his consciousness. Well, Good luck Vaibhav, ride safe!]