Just found this on my e-diary while clearing/cleaning up some old files. Its a musing from some two years ago (written on 2 September 2010 at 11:07 to be precise), I don’t recall what prompted me to jot these lines down then, but when I saw these this morning, I thought I might have written these last week or the week before. If you follow the news and happenings from the sub-continent then you’d know why!
When I was growing up in a traditional, yet fairly liberal Bramhin household, I might have looked like a God-fearing child growing up to to be a God-fearing adult. By high-school, most of the religious beliefs instilled in me had washed away. By the time I went to study intermediate in science, and came out of it, I was probably not an atheist, but certainly an agnostic. By the time I finished my undergraduate, I was an atheist too, and have been since. When I think of growing up, hearing about Krishna’s Leela, his misdemeanours since childhood, be it stealing, harassing girls, or later being polygamous, causing war between brothers and what not, it was rather strange to see people worshipping him as a God, a role model. Thankfully I didn’t take that literally, imagine where I would be now if I had! The question that boggles my mind is this: why do we still revere mythical characters like Krishna? What does it say about our own cultural mindset? That it is OK to engage in misdemeanours as long as you also do some good? Although I fail to find what good that mythical character Krishna really did! The most popular caricature of the character still revolves around stealing butter and chasing young pretty girls. So what was the real message his story gave to our societies. That it’s OK to hang out in every gallis and chowks and tease young girls passing by? That minor theft is not to be taken seriously and that its part of growing up?
Even in this era of social networks and real-time interaction options with friends faraway, I still find myself struggling to keep in touch with those I would really like to. It’s either email OR the (often hopeless) hope that they follow you on twitter and respond. The first option I’m not very well known for making good use of, while the second many of my friends don’t seem to be making use of! There is something called Facebook but that seems to be for those with lots of time for such things. Anyway, in a long-winded way, what I am trying to say is I am not particularly good at keeping in touch or at using the most populous social network. Nonetheless, once in a while I do think of friends, particularly those who live faraway and with whom the only way of communicating is via these online technologies.
As the title of this post suggests, the Witts are in my thought tonight, and the first part of the title gives you the clue as to what triggered it! In fact I even googled the recipe for my own red kidney beans with garlic and ginger (which I remember the Witts had on their website) to make it exactly the way i used to when I was living in Vancouver. Sadly, I couldn’t find it, or should I say the mighty google couldn’t locate it, not even on its cache! Anyway, although it might have varied slightly from my Vancouver version, I am preparing red kidney beans with garlic and ginger tonight, and hoping it goes nicely with whole wheat chapatis (or tortilla if you will). And of course I’ll be thinking of the Witts and the potlucks we used to have at theirs in my Vancouver era living! This one to you Mr Witt & family, I hope all is well across the pond and beyond the mountains!
Something I wrote earlier this year in Ghana – inspired by D’s “staring at the ceiling fan and remembering someone” dialogue
While others might think if they should hang themselves by their ceiling fan at times of desperation, he is always worried about the ceiling fan dropping on to him while he sleeps on his queen-sized bed below it. So obviously he doesn’t contemplate hanging himself by the fan, for he knows it wouldn’t take his weight and he would just make a fool of himself. He doesn’t know why the room hasn’t got just a single bed in it, which he could have moved to a corner away from the fan but it wasn’t his house, nor was it his decision to furnish it.
The fan has to be kept running all night else he wouldn’t be able to sleep, one thing he can sleep with is the low humming noise of the fan, everything else would have woken him up, but not his fan; as if its humming is his lullaby. But still he is probably subconsciously aware even in his sleep that the fan might drop on to him spinning its blades at mid-level rotation. And its no wonder that he pushes everything on to the side directly below the fan and lies himself on the other edge. If he was sleeping like this during his childhood, he would definitely have fallen over from the bed, but he is an adult now and his body is probably used to being on the edge – edge of the bed to start with, but also edge of the relations and relationships, edge of the society, edge of the country, edge of this world even.
I’ve always wondered what could be the best time to write. When I’m involved in academic writing, it eventually boils down to the dreaded “deadlines” – so time could be noon or midnight, Friday afternoon or Monday morning – until I am at the point when I start worrying about the deadline, I don’t write, and when that dreaded deadline approaches, time or day doesn’t matter, I just write, I HAVE TO WRITE! Whether I WANT to write, or am in a MOOD to write is a different matter altogether.
Now writing (or rather musing) like this don’t have deadlines, and I don’t HAVE to write if I don’t want to. This “option” instead of “deadlines” to write means I rarely write – write proper I mean. Its always easy to find excuses not to write it seems, and I wouldn’t choose but the easier option. But then once in a while you are in a “mood” to write, you want to write, and you just sit down and start writing. This mood-to-write is a rarity these days, but there are days and times it occurs and I have to write even when I don’t have to. Its 0400 hrs as I type these lines, and I “want” to write. Doesn’t matter what I write, as long as I write something, I’ll feel good about “writing” (the process counts and not the outcome!). Read more…
I think there is a bank or some finance company with that name, ing (or ING in caps), but given what is going on with the financial sector this year, I don’t think I should venture into that area…better left that with the experts. What I had in mind when I typed those three letters on the title was more interesting (or may be mundane to many) “ing”s from the web world – such as google-ing, f’buk-ing (or facebook-ing to save myself from someone’s wrath!), flickr-ing, twitter-ing, and so on and so forth. Unconsciously it seems I’ve just listed these “ing”s on the order that I most use.
Google-ing has become ubiquitous with web use, and my online presence starts with opening gmail and ends with closing it! In between google is the preferred search engine, google news summarises the news, google ((btw, isn’t “google” supposed to have been added to dictionary officially? my spell-checker tells me I have made spelling error on it! And gives me suggested words like “googol”, “goggle”, “go-ogle” (my fav) and “go ogle”!!)) map provides the directions (and terrain and satellite images), google scholar searches for academic works, google calendar keeps me on schedule (sms notification is great!), and google documents mean i can open the ms office attachments without having to download them locally, and even edit them and send them back all from within the web browser! And it doesn’t end there either, I have google mail setup on mobile which means all I need is mobile network coverage, and I’m google-ing! Well, enough of google-ing now…
As seen somewhere in northern Ghana