I get loads of bright ideas. In fact, I'm famous for them, but there are so many things I begin, but don't continue. I have a game plan which seems to be working somewhat. I have stopped beginning stuff that will need effort over time to flourish, unless I work out a time plan on how that effort is to be acheived.

Slowly, I'm integrating stuff I've abandoned into this time plan as well, so that my back log of wannados goes down. Of course, I don't really deal with everything. I simply chuck a lot of stuff which still sounds tempting, but there is no way I can fit it into a 24 hour day with other priorities already making demands.

This gets my life mre organized, and surprisingly, I'm acheiving far more than before, but with much less stress. I'm pretty sorted on what I should be getting into when I have some time free, as well as stuff I need to drop all I'm doing and get down to, so that I don't miss it.

Things I have managed to deal with successfully:

  1. Improvements on website: I have created a schedule for stuff like writing, improving/editing, creating graphics/fiddling with templates, link building, ads and other money making things, and so on. I have also created a sequence fort he sites I own, so that I don't end up doing one area everytime and ignoring the others. Plus, I can now do as little as one page every day and pick up where I left off on the sequence rather than making numerous new beginnings.
  2. Blogging: I have created a variety of blogs for a variety of interests. They are really things I want to write about, but its never going to be good blogging unless I can get some kind of a rythm to it. I now have scribefire installed on my Firefox, which lets me easily publish to any of my many blogs anytime from my browser itself. Needless to say, its a handy reminder that I should be writing, and I end up writing far more.
  3. I take some time every day for my work related emails. Its not a fixed time, but depends on the mails that have come in, but a minimum of twice a day is routine.
  4. I take time off for physical work and home related stuff which I make sure I do everyday, and also make sure it doesn't intrude on other times. Keeps the home and business neat and well-tuned and actually lets me have more time for creative stuff.
  5. I take time to fool around. General forums, discussions........surfing around for stuff that interests me... and I combine it with my blogging time sometimes when something inspires me and results in an immediate post through scribefire.

Needless to say, my life is getting more and more manageable, and I hope I don't take this for granted and slip unnoticeably into the old chaos and hurry and panic routine.

An old post. Please note that this is not a comment on BJP today, but an incident from 4 years ago. Bringing it up in the shadow of M F Hussain's death to make two points. 1. There are others being targetted too (and they are alive, so we can change and make a difference), and 2. This boy had not painted naked goddesses, but still got the brutal. So let's not pretend that it is about defending religious figures or something. It is plain old moral policing. We need to grow up. ASAP.

 

The point here is not to bash any political party or anything, but to look at the problem and see what needs done clearly.

This time around, its art. Apparently, the erotica that has always been a frank element of our culture, is also now about shame. An art student's work is put up for exhibition, and he gets arrested. Why? What is this new brand of moral policing? And what is it about Hindutva they are protecting? Why does a government need to interfere with an art student's work?

The uproar hit the ceiling when the fellow students of the arrested Chandramohan organized an exhibition of Indian erotica. Vice-Chancellor Manoj Soni, living up to his reputation as an RSS stooge, took the decision to seal the department after BJP municipal councillors complained about the erotica exhibition. Oh really! Give me a break. Nudes are a staple of fine art education and study of anatomy. Good work elicts admiration, bad work elicts criticism, but arrests? Shutting down of a fine arts department?

I wouldn't be surprised if owning a copy of the Kama Sutra became illegal in Gujarat, or if Khajuraho itself got destroyed after this. What are we, the citizens doing, allowing such insanity to rule our country?

Nudity exists. Acting holier-than-thou doesn't change what the mirror shows us as we change clothes. It doesn't stop minimal clothing and erotic films from being best sellers. It doesn't stop people from seeing the beauty of the human form, and finding appeal in it. Where is the shame in erotica, a student's art, or Indian erotica? It is not like they are exhibiting these on the street. People walking into an exhibition are well aware of its theme and what to expect. If they don't like it, they can stay away. What is this with arresting artists?

What do we do about Indian artists who have already painted plenty of nudes in the history of India? What is this new overgrown morality being imposed on people?

So what's next? Will love matches and dating be banned and offenders arrested if they are seen together in a public place? Are we India of the Kama Sutra, or are we Saudi fucking Arabia?

In a country where watching films without vulgar dances is incomplete, we are quick to take offense at public figures. Richard Gere and Shilpa Shetty in the recent limelight are an example.

What happens to caring about the AIDS and HIV campaign they were pushing? Well, a kiss happened. Right on stage, in the middle of the public eye, Richard Gere did a move similar to one from his film "Shall we Dance"? Ok, so the Indian crowds may not have seen the film, and thought it was all real. They got offended - of course! Being offended comes easy to our public and its easy.

Its easier than spending brain time and effort about the subject of why Gere and Shetty were on stage in the first place. In a country threatened by HIV, where the government is coming out of its own modesty to encourage frankness and promoting condoms openly, the real sum total of this particular effort went down the drain with all focus shifted to one impulsive action.

They both apologized. Shilpa Shetty herself was taken aback. Gere went to the extent of saying that she was not to blame and he did it impulsively. An apology is an apology. He apologized to the public for exposing them to something that hurt their sentiments. What is the country still harping about?

Gere is not an Indian. What he did, to him was a simple impulsive action. It was on stage and it was a copy of an action he had done in a film of his. I can see our stars doing all sorts of things on stage, publicly, and so on in public shows. Does he have to take part in a Bollywood film for him to get away with this?

Suddenly all these righteous people whose most notable achievement seems to be criticism, forget the good he is doing. The man is a regular visitor to India for years. A follower of the Dalai Lama. He is interested not only in his enjoyment in our country as a tourist, but is taking part in initiatives to help our society for the better in many ways. He donates to charities working here. Even when he got this severe reaction for his action, he was working to create awareness about HIV and AIDS among the citizens of this very country that is yelling for him to be arrested.

The tolerance we Indians claim to be so proud of is just parrot talk. We yell at the Liz Hurley wedding, we make a noise about an inter-religious love marriage, we have an issue with Mandira Bedi having a religious symbol tatoo...... where is our tolerance for people simply living their lives and not harming another person? How does it matter to us what ceremony a person marries with, if that is what s/he wants? How does it matter to us if two people are in love and want to marry but are not from the same religion? How does it matter to us if someone finds a religious symbol beautiful and worthy of a place on her body? And how does it matter at all to a country bred on regular vulgarity in films, if one star kisses another on stage? What IS the harm coming to us or the society from this?

Where are the morality guys, when tiny kids regularly perform dances loaded with sexual innuendo (like the originals) on dance shows? Or is it ok if its kids doing it? Or is it just about kisses? Or is it just about a foreigner kissing an Indian woman publicly? I have no issue with those either. I only find it strange that we expect a foreigner to be aware of and follow our morality even in impulsive actions, when we are otherwise completely ok with it. This reminds me of the fatwa against Pakistani Tourism Minister for hugging her sky diving instructor. Is that the route we want to go as a country?

Both Shilpa Shetty and Gere are naturally upset with this turn of events. It is rather scary to stick your neck out hoping to create some useful awareness in the viewers, and another to get pulled to bits by the same people over some impulsive mistake.

In any case, it makes no sense to be more offended by displays of affection than violence - something the moral zealots usually are fine with.

10

Yesterday, an unknown, aged housewife in one of the many buildings in Mumbai died. Virtually unknown to many, and the love of a devastated few, this was the typical loving grandmother and charming Indian housewife - the stuff indian dreams are made of. She left behind an aged husband, a son and daughter (both married) and three grand daughters from them in terms of immediate family, and countless more who had been enriched by her cheerful and affectionate presence in their lives. She was my grandmother.

I dedicate this portrait to the countless of beloved grandparents everywhere, and hope that their loved ones manage to tell them how precious they are, before it is too late.

She had led a difficult life. Leading the perpetually nomadic life of an armyman's wife, and striving to care for her children, she would have settled afte her husband retired, only to be faced with a new adventure in life - her first granddaughter - me. With both parents working shifts, I grew up with my grandmother and was soon joined by my uncle's daughters and the three of us grew in a world that childhood memories are made of, when its a riot of three kids, being looked after by doting grandparents.

Memories flood our minds as we struggle to comprehend this loss. Her unending enthusiasm for cricket, delight over new clothes and matching accessories she painstakingly managed, "celebrations" in the local restaurant, where all she would eat was the ordinary idlis, an aunt orphaned at an early age she also played mother too, her group of friends in the building she stayed in (ranging from 10 to 70 years of age), evenings spent in the society park, bullying three nauthgy girls to study, ......

My granfather seems lost. His constant companion of over 60 years, mother of his children, grandchildren, devoted wife, and old-age companion is gone. He still hadn't understood it completely. He is silent most of the time, and when he speaks, he laughs and jokes like nothing has happened.

Yesterday, she was frail and still. Gone. our only satisfaction was that she had met all of her countless loved ones within her last month of life and was very happy.

I miss her, and wish that she had lived more, but that is my selfishness. I would never want her to leave me no matter how long she lived. It was time for her to go, and for us to face the terrible emptiness in the home with that one departure. I hope that the ones left behind find the strength to move on. I hope my grandfather survives this tremendous shock.

Mrs. Nalini Godbole, my beloved grandmother is no more, like the many other grandmothers who are missed desperately. I only hope that the grandmothers still with us know of our love for them and die as fulfilled as she was able to.