Friday, May 14, 2010

WE the BIASed people

To be a part of the nation

To call your nation a united one , standing tall with its diversity

And then be looked upon as a traitor

How humiliating a form of discrimination can get?

Sir John Strachey , a member of the Governor General’s council who helped in the establishment of British Raj in India expounded in his lectures that ‘India’ was merely a label of convenience , ‘a name which we give to a great region including a multitude of different countries’. Besides, there is not , and never was an India , or even any country of India possessing , according to any European ideas , any sort of unity –physical, political,social or religious.

His lectures were studied by those who worked in India after coming down from Cambridge.

However provoked we may feel as Indian citizens but how much do we do to counter the deep seated bias in ourselves? Why don’t we learn lessons out of history when we were divided to rule?

The term discrimination, whenever read in the Indian context mentioned in our textbooks was always related to the derogatory behaviour of Britishers towards us in the pre independence era , the class divide in India where the lower castes are still facing the scorn of the society and the trend has been on since time immemorial(dating back to inception of the classes)… There are many such prejudices which our society nurtures. One of the lot is the racial profiling of muslims in India. How easy has it become for us to think of a terrorist only as a muslim, making the two words sound synonymous to the ears. The nonchalance with which its exclaimed makes matters worse.

Every attack in the Indian subcontinent is followed with discussions from parliament to the streets of India about the terrorists , Islam , jehad and muslims. If its alright to question the tenets of Islam for the activities of the terror groups and treat muslims contemptuously accompanied with irrational detention of muslim youth then it should be equally right to push all the people behind the bars who created mayhem in Ayodhya over Ram Janam Bhumi issue and destroyed Babri masjid. If not terror then what was it? Like always, all of us should gear up our bias instincts towards all the hindus who were involved in the gory incident.Should not we?

Remember Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam? Surely , everybody does but the question wasn’t asked to check your memory , it was to remind his visionary ideas , scientific accomplishments and above all his position of an ex first citizen of India- The President. Was it just a token attempt to represent India as a secular power at the worldstage?

Racial profiling is one out of the sea of issues which divide us . Bias is the only irrational answer to these problems.

Why cannot we think of progressing as India , why cannot we nullify Strachey’s thinking, why cannot we think of people as human beings, why do caste , language ,religion , class , gender take the better of us ?Why? On a lighter note , it looks like we were not designed to live together by almighty ( Found another irrational excuse to the entire problem).

P.S.  This time around  I have got published in college magazine . The first piece in the english section it is. The info is for those of you who have an access to MCMz college magazine. This piece was not considered worth it ..guess I should have worked a little more on it or probably its too radical for them to publish it in a college journal but thats how I feel and thanks to blogger, I can make a handful of people read this either on their own or forcibly :)

Food , FOOD, fOOd!!!

May 7..(they say it’s a lucky number..I doubt)..the day I departed from City Beautiful carrying along a deluge of memories ..of ‘3’ years of unstoppable action. Of all the three years , given a choice , I would pick year three, for the ‘sheikh chilli’ style of living we had back then and for the weird bunch of friends I made.

Reliving a usual day at Mr. AKz pg

We hardly cared for the sunrise or sunset…we had our own customized version of the day which started at 8 am in the morning ( at the earliest or three four hours later :P). Who cared for the sunrise anyway , it was sun’s job and none of our business. By 11, rubbing off our eyes , we looked at each other with hungry eyes ( no such connotations , don’t take it otherwise) and everyone uttered the regular refrain ,“ Bahut bhookh lag rhi hai yaar” , knowing the fact that we had eaten every edible thing available around in the night.Then , began the hunt for food , by knocking other room’s doors , with pleading eyes for any , I repeat ANY sort of food available with them . Did I mention , there were some people who used to get their morning paranthas , and do I need to mention that if they didn’t offer us , we hated it and our animalish quotient for food multiplied manifold!

Okay , there came the vendor and in no time , one of us used to dash to the street to grab our share of veggies and the other animalish fella threw down 10 bucks (for 3 pyaz , 3 tamatar, 1 shimlamirch and dher sari free mirchi).Later, we gathered for discussion round, what to have?...porridge , poha , maggieeee , top ramen etc etc were the options back then and we used to have NoNE Of the basic materials required .Thereafter , we used to begin staring at each other for finding the innocent lamb who would deck up and take Baawna’z(H missin :d) super Activa ( did I say bhawnaz? It hardly belonged to her. She just used it for getting it refueled for the pg …how so generous!) to get something from the confectionary store. Meanwhile all of us , huddled and worked together as if we were making a super grand breakfast for the entire colony. And on one of those lazy days , we used to settle for aloo ka paranthas from Kumar Rasoi!


At around 1.30pm , our eyes headed towards the balcony with a glum expression on our face as if we were starving since ages( Okay , the breakfast we took at 12 was not so satisfying , a meager meal it was!..poor we!). Thanks to mummy’s lunch service , we didn’t miss our mummies that hard! The food used to be real scrumptious and we used to gulp it down in no time while dirtying around Uchikaz bed all the time ( what a wonderful host she was).And later, for the dessert part , thanks to our jijuz ,we always had unlimited supply of chocolates. This part of the day was always delighting till my buddies moved to the land of nod keeping me aloof most of the time.


After gedi’s in the evening and having spent all our time in the markets , we used to discover at night, "oopz! we dont have anything for dinner". Then began the usual beggary to which we had gotten accustomed to. Anyway, our pgmates were generous during this time of the day and Pooji and Suhaan always prepared brobdingnagian meals as if out of love for mankind ( and yes , for us too), be it pulao , upma etc. to satiate our ever growing hunger for food. And who can forget those ‘ halwa’ treats we used to give to ourselves! Yum , Yum!

Well that’s not the end , late in the night , we used to mutually beg for maggies and there were those cold coffee parties too with one packet of fat free milk to fill in so many tummies!

I am sure , I am successful in casting an impression that we were not just foodies but animals. I have just thrown light on the food part of the day , there’s lot more that we did but food being the necessity and common concern bound us bigtime! Love them all ! People always say there’s nothing like mothermade food , with due respect to my mother’s cooking skills , I feel food shared with friends when everybody is dying out of hunger and wants to devour the maximum share, when there’s nothing edible to eat and friends join up to make something out of nothing….and a lot more stuff like it…that is where you find the real pleasure in eating!