Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lives, media, society

Normally I don’t touch upon sensitive issues on this space. There’s no special reason for it, probably I am just not sensitive enough. The one sensitive issue that has created quite a stir of late is the enigma surrounding the murder of Delhi schoolgirl Arushi Talwar.

And then, there are the very active internet as well as light-a-candle campaigns which want the girl’s case to reach its right conclusion and pray for her soul to rest in peace. Very noble indeed, and it does show people do come together if there’s a reason for it; and doubts about neo-solidarity are only figments of a few pessimists’ prophesies. I pray for her peace, I join them in their campaign, I so wish it hadn’t happened.

Infact, what I want to write about is not how bad what occurred was – I don’t need to say what happened was very unfortunate; as for whodunit - I think I should better leave that to more able authorities the kind of which I believe there are many; and whether her Dad was or not the man who did it – I don’t know shit about it.

I don’t even remotely intend to take sides. ‘Papa, mummy ya Police ?’ is the kind of coverage that suits only the IndiaTV people. Nor am I the sophisticated NDTV who said they won’t cover this case until something concrete comes out of it. Their reasoning being the mental turmoil that the girl’s family has to cope with, due to this very public undressing of a very private affair.

The only point worth raising that occurs to me in fact is not one that stems from the murder, but one that stems from the hoopla that followed it. At the risk of sounding cynical, I want to put up a few questions. Have we forgotten that there was one Hemraj who also died that day? Why does it have to be called Arushi-murder-case across all TV channels? Why haven’t we prayed, at least as visibly, for the peace of Hemraj’s departed soul? How come Hemraj’s family, we never thought, is also equally capable be feeling turmoil?

After all, what determines the relative importance of one life against another? What does? Is it again – money?

My stance is evident from the questions themselves. Just in case.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Accurately Random

Rain Rain go away

Come again another day…

Isn't it raining like crazy? I mean, are we in Cherrapunji or what? An odd shower once in a while is great, but this! They haven't ceased falling for ages now! These days, when I leave my room for taking the exam, I press my last-minute notes close to my body even as I scroll through them restlessly. Some of these exams have been surprisingly tough and unexpected pattern per se. After so many years of routinely taking exams though, no surprise is surprising enough. A sort of mechanical urgency serves the purpose, and serving the purpose just about serves the purpose.

Quite unusually, I feel a little tired now. In what was behaviour highly uncharacteristic of me, two hours before today's exam I didn't feel like reading a word more for it. It obviously wasn't over-preparation. That I was under-prepared would be an understatement. How else, but then, can I put it? That I was thoroughly under-prepared would be an oxymoron. Anyhow, with two hours to spare and with ten hours worth of studying ideally still remaining to be done, how I could feel like setting it all aside is something beyond me. The exam, on top of it, wasn't much of a cakewalk - just to understate again. Though with the kind of pretext I just described, that's as much a surprise as the arrival of bhoots in Hindi horror films precisely at the opportune moment when the heroine hits the bathtub.

The fourth years are sticking it out here in the campus even after so many days having completed their exams. Perhaps it is nostalgia or one of its close kinfolk gripping them. I make no guarantee, but from how I feel, I think I'll run myself out of the campus at top speed the moment I write the last letter on the last test of my eighth semester exams. They, however, have taken much revived interest in having fun with their juniors. Though in this context, having fun refers to slapping obscenities at juniors. As a matter of chance, I have hitherto been out of this seemingly funny affair. I was never much in awe of any of my seniors, and this latest hobby of theirs just corroborates my stance. Having said that - one of the lines one of these seniors uses when a junior smiles uncomfortably while being 'interrogated' is a real gem: "saale hamare saamne daant mat dikha yaar, hamse toot jaate hain." Power Packed!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

For pressing keys

It’s a good long twelve hour sleep I’ve just woken up from. Sleeping just seven hours a day for the last seven days, this one was inevitable. And for no particular reason, I felt like putting fingers on keyboard. Perhaps only because it had been a while I had felt the pressing of keys on my fingertips. Still, I can’t be entirely sure of why I am here. A cluster of newspapers lies unattended in front of me. HT City, I see, has altered its layout. It’s a pleasant change from The Hindu that I get in my room, whose supplements are all filled with classical musicians when they talk of music, theatre stalwarts when they talk of acting, or P Sainath and the league when they talk of the media biggies. You read it for a few days, and you just might become oblivious to the imposing presence of Shakira, Shahrukh or Rakhi Sawant, all of whom are otherwise all but ubiquitous. In a way it’s good too, the ‘The Hindu’ style of doing things, for it’s no national secret that our traditional folks – those carrying the weight of Indian culture on their shoulders by means of cinema, music and the likes – hardly get any popular representation on newspapers or TV. But then poor me, not having HT for days on end I had almost forgotten there is one Paris Hilton in this world too, who must have had some seductive antic up her sleeve by now, while I was busy reading about a nightingale Meeta Pandit in a stuffy room on the outskirts of Delhi.

I’ve had my share of fun of the key-finger milan for now I guess.

Friday, May 9, 2008

It's that time of the year again

Endsems in 2 days. Midsems results pleasantly surprising. Practicals too. Lost my admit card. Got to go to Police station. Reason - To lodge FIR so that I may get a duplicate issued. Theory exams dreaded. Friends started early. As usual. Now am feeling the heat. Big big course. Lot of work. Am not used to much hardwork. However, no other option now. No pains, No Gains.

Chalooon phir, thodi jaldi hai.