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Tag: Long reads

Rules For Writing : A Compilation

Thirty-five finest writers from past and present share the secrets of storytelling. This is a compilation of rules, tips, suggestions, techniques, and commandments for writing as listed by the master storytellers. Read on!

Zadie Smith


(Source: Image, Text)

  1. When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.
  2. When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.
  3. Don’t romanticise your ‘vocation’. You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no ‘writer’s lifestyle’. All that matters is what you leave on the page.
  4. Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.
  5. Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.
  6. Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.
  7. Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.
  8. Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.
  9. Don’t confuse honours with achievement.
  10. Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand — but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.
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The most anticipated movies of 2013

A new year begins and so do a fresh movie calender. 2012 was relatively excellent year for movies – a refreshing mainstream, well flourishing indies, stalwarts with excellence, superheroes extravaganza, some disappointments, and of course the mediocre. 2013 will also have a fair share of all of the above. Despite that, if you look at the calender, it’s most likely that 2013 will be remembered for the science-fiction genre. Science fictions will be all around the year, either as pure sci-fi or clubbed with all sorts of genres, such as, action, adventure, drama, horror, thriller, and art-house.

So, here is my list of the most anticipated movies of 2013. First, 50 movies from around the world, well, mostly from Hollywood. And then, 20 movies from India. The lists come up with usual disclaimer: Chances are that this list doesn’t feature a few movies you expected and the reason behind that could be one of these – a). I haven’t heard about that movie so far, b). I have no interest (animation) or have lost interest in that particular genre (pure horror), c). I have no interest or least expectations from that movie at all (such as sequels of Hangover, GI Joe, Fast and Furious. Still, the suggestions are welcome, kindly leave the comments for the further debate. The details (plot and people) of the movies are taken from IMDb, Wikipedia, and other websites.

50 Most Anticipated Movies in English Language

50. Last Vegas
The old men’s hangover. The four old men are – De Niro, Douglas, Freeman, and Kevin Kline

49. August: Osage County
The Company Man director John Wells directs a Pulitzer winning tale about a family overcoming certain differences when their alcoholic patriarch goes missing. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and Ewan McGregor.

48. Untitled Terrence Malick Project
Musical drama of two intersecting love traingles. Now. drool over the star cast – Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Benecio Del Toro, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara.

47. The Place Beyond the Pines
Ryan Gosling is a stunt driver, motorcycle this time, once again and that welcomes interest and suspicion both.

46. Broken City
A crime drama involving Wahlberg and Russel Crowe.

45. The Rivals
John Madden directs Marion Cotillard and Nicole Kidman as two 19th century theatrical divas and real-life rivalry between them.

44. Gangster Squad
A crime-drama about a chronicle of the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s. Starring Sean Pean, Ryan Gosling, and Josh Brolin.

43. Now You See Me
The ensemble cast (Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Michael Caine) and the plot – FBI agents track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.

42. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Hope to carry on with the excellence shown in first part.

41. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Peter Jackson is back with the second part in which Benedict Cumberbatch voices Smaug.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

40. Midnight’s Children
A movie adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s much celebrated novel. Deepa Mehta directs it with a wide ensemble cast of Shabana Azmi, Rajat Kapoor, Shahana Goswami, Ronit Roy, Siddharth, Seema Biswas, Rahul Bose, and many others.

39. Kick Ass-2
Kick-ass and hit-girl are back. Anyone loved the first part will most certainly be looking for the sequel.

38. Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father
A real life story of the mob boss John Gotti and his sons. Stars Al Pacino, John Travolta, and Ben Foster.

37. Much Ado About Nothing
Josh Whedon (Avengers) adopting Shakespeare! Very intriguing.

36. Starbuck
A sperm donor’s 142 children out of total of 533 files a class action lawsuit against him and try to meet him just after his lover reveals she’s pregnant. Should be a laugh riot.

35. Rush
Ron Howard directs the real-life rivalry of F1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

34. Runner, Runner
Brad Furman directs Ben Affleck and Timberlake in a gambling thriller.

Saving Mr. Banks
Saving Mr. Banks

33. Saving Mr. Banks
Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.

32. Inside Llewyn Davis
The Coen brothers a drama where a singer-songwriter navigates New York’s folk music scene during the 1960s.

31. Trance
Danny Boyle’s crime/drama involving painting, auctioneer, mob, and hypnotherapist.

30. Anchorman: The Legend Continues
This should be a better laugh riot than the third installment of Hangover.

29. Thor: The Dark World
The Avengers initiative has made Thor more interesting and considering that all of these individual stories are in order to build up for The Avengers 2, this should be worth waiting for.

28. Only God Forgives
Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling are back together. This time in Bangkok where a policeman and a gangster fight their differences in boxing match.

27. Malavita
Luc Besson directs De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones in a crime/drama where a mafia clan is relocated under witness protection program and is trying to fit in there.

26. The ABCs of Death
IMDb says: A 26-chapter anthology that showcases death in all its vicious wonder and brutal beauty.

25. The Great Gatsby
Adaptation of a finest novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, DiCaprio as Mr Gatsby, gigantic stage, and an awesome looking trailer.

24. World War Z
A zombie movie on the hugest canavas ever for a zombie movie. Marc Forster directs Brad Pitt.

23. The Last Stand
Big guy Arnold Schwarzenegger gun-rotting on US-Mexico border with an interesting screenplay and an awesome director – Kim Ji Woon, known for ‘I Saw The Devil’.

22. Captain Phillips
A real life story of a ship captain where the ship is hijacked by the Somali pirates. Tom Hanks directed by Paul Greengrass.

21. Before Midnight
Richard Linklater makes Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy meet again.

Before Midnight
Before Midnight

20. The Monuments Men
George Clooney helms the director seat again, with a history thriller based on a real story from the WWII era. Stars Clooney himself along with Daniel Craig, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, and Jean Dujardin.

19. Man of Steel
First of this year’s superhero movies. Superman, that is. The trailer suggests it will show a very intriguing story, much more than a usual superhero movie, a bar set high for the superheroes by the Batman trilogy.

18. Silence
Martin Scorsese goes back to 17th century where, two priests go to a violently conservative Japan to spread Christianity.

17. The Counselor
Ridley Scott returns to thriller genre, which involves Fassbender, as a lawyer getting into drug trafficking. Remaining star cast: Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz and Penelop Cruz.

16. The Grandmasters
Celebrated Hongkong-based storyteller Kar Wai Wong directs the story of the martial-arts master Ip Man, the master of Bruce Lee.

15. Oblivion
Joseph Kosinski is back with a new science-fiction, starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman on post-apocalyptic earth. And, awesome teaser.

14. The Lone Ranger
A western, set in Native American land, unites Gore Verbinski and Johny Depp.

13. After Earth
M. Night Shyamalan directing someone else’s screenplay for the first time, in which, Will and Jaden Smith, as father and son, explore a planet that was evacuated by humans 1,000 years earlier, fighting for survival with monstrous creatures and dangerous landscape.

12. Prisoners
Incendies was one of the finest movies in 2010. Denis Villeneuve follows up with this crime/drama, which stars Jackman, Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, and Melissa Leo. The story revolves around a father who kidnaps the man he believes is responsible for the disappearance of his daughter and her best friend.

11. Star Trek Into Darkness
The rebooted sci-fi franchise with awesome Benedict Cumberbatch as a villain. Darker than the previous Star Trek movie.

Benedict Cumberbatch in the poster of Star Trek Into Darkness
Benedict Cumberbatch in the poster of Star Trek Into Darkness


10. The World’s End

A British sci-fi comedy, directed by Edgar Wright and featuring the super-awesome duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, along with Martin Freeman (Dr Watson), in which the friends have a reunion in a bar and become humankind’s only hope for survival.

9. A Good Day to Die Hard
Yippee ki yay mother Russia.

8. Iron Man 3
Robert Downey Jr. as and in Iron Man.

Zero Dark Thirty
Zero Dark Thirty

7. The Wolf of Wall Street
Martin Scorsese continues his bonhomie with Leonardo Dicaprio and visits Wall Street where the stock broking collides with corruption and mob. Features Jean Dujardin too.

6. Zero Dark Thirty
Kathryn Bigelow directs one of the biggest man-hunt ever, which ends with the death of Osama Bin Laden.

5. Stoker
Chan-wook Park’s first movie in English is, as expected, a combination of thriller, mystery, horror, and drama. It’s worth noting that the story was on the black list of the best unproduced scripts (a 2010 list).

4. Gravity
The ace director Alfonso Cuarón directs Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in this sci-fi where astronauts attempt to return to earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle, leaving them drifting alone in space.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

3. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
This MUST be on everyone’s list of the most anticipated movies of 2013. Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez are back with mostly the same cast.

2. Elysium
Can’t wait to see Neill Blomkamp’s next sci-fi feature starring Matt Damon as an ex-con fighting for human rights on the earth, which is about to burst with its population and extreme gap between rich and poor.

1. Pacific Rim
One of most awaited movies this year. Guillermo del Toro directs this science fiction where giant robots piloted by humans will fight with huge alien monsters. Those who have watched ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ know how beautiful the visuals and intriguing the narratives would be.

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim

 

9 Notable mentions: 1. Safe Haven (Nicholas Spark’s novel, directed by Lasse Hallström), 2. R.I.P.D. (The team of Robert Schwentke, Jeff Bridges, and Ryan Reynolds), 3. The Wolverine. 4. Walking with Dinosaurs (Co-directed by a BBC documentarian, it’s a story of two brothers looking to follow in their father’s footsteps leads to a showdown with dinosaurs in the Arctic North), 5. Machete Kills (Robert Rodriguez’s action flick), 6. Struck by Lightning (a fun story where the protagonist narrates the story from the grave), 7. Jack the Giant Slayer (A fairy-tale adventure by Bryan Singer), 8. Paranoia (Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford, and Hemsworth in a thriller set in the corporate world), and 9. Side Effects (A crime drama by Steven Soderbergh which is possibly his last feature film)

UPDATE

During last two weeks, came across a few more movies, which I’m certainly going to watch in 2013. (Thanks to Mihir Fadnavis and others) One of them, which is now no 1 on my list is this –

1. TPB-AFK
Short for “The Pirate Bay Away from Keyboard”, it’s a documentary on The Pirate Bay, its founders, the birth and life of it, and behind the scenes.  Check the trailer on its official website. I’m probably going to buy it.

2. Snowpiercer
Yet another maverick director is coming up with a sci-fi this year. Bong Joon-ho, of Memories of Murder and Mother, sets the film in 2031, where the passengers in a train are the only survivors on now snow-covered Earth. The film stars Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, and Song Kang-ho.

3. Room 237
A subjective documentary that explores the numerous theories about the hidden meanings within Stanley Kubrick’s film The Shining.  Five very different points of view are illuminated through voice over, film clips, animation and dramatic reenactments.

4. Upstream Color
A bizarre premise by Primer’s director Shane Carruth. The plot says – A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.

5. Her
A sci-fi comedy where a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly-purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need. Directed by Spike Jonze, better known for Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are, and Adaptation, the movie stars Joaquin Pheonix, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, and Amy Adams.

6. The Nymphomaniac
Awesome Lars von Trier directs Shia LeBeouf and Willem Dafoe.

More here.

20 Movies from Bollywood (and non-Bollywood)

 

Prague
Prague

20. Prague
An indie praised much in the festival circuits.

19. Shootout at Wadala
Sanjay Gupta’s follow up to Lokhandwala, based on a true story.

18. Miss Lovely
Ashim Ahluwalia’s indie feature set in the lower depths of Bombay’s “C” grade film industry and the devastating story of two brothers. Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead.

17. Vishwaroop
Kamal Haasan’s action thriller. Expect the extravaganza.

16. Satyagraha
Prakash Jha disappointed heavily with his last, yet he continues with his own type of materials. Ajay Devgan joins the camp along with Amitabh Bachchan, Manoj Vajpayee, and Arjun Rampal.

15. Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
Young Ayan Mukerji with his friend Ranbir Kapoor, along with Deepika and Kalki

14. Bullet Raja
Tigmanshu Dhulia goes to UP hinterland yet again with Irrfan, Saif and Sonakshi

13. Inkaar
Sudhir Mishra and Chitrangada Singh in a tale of a mentor and a trainee in a corporate setting.

12. Michael
A psychological thriller starring Naseeruddin Shah

11. Shahid
Hansal Mehta directs the talented Raj Kumar Yadav in a true-life account of slain Human Rights lawyer Shahid Azmi.

Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola
Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola

10. Besharam
Abhinav Kashyap directs Ranbir Kapoor.

9. Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 2
Tigmanshu Dhulia is back with the sequel of his excellent 2011 movie.

8. Kai Po Che
Never mind Chetan Bhagat. The trailer looks real good.

7. Ek Thi Daayan
Vishal Bhardwaj and Ekta Kapoor collaborate to produce this film, starring Emraan Hashmi, Huma GoW Qureshi, Kalki, and Konkana

6. Ghanchakkar
Rajkumar Gupta’s romantic comedy with Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan

5. Lootera
Vikramaditya Motwane’s next is a romantic flick

4. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
A biopic on Milkha Singh (Farhan Akhtar) directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

3. David
Bejoy ‘Shaitan’ Nambiar directs 3 Davids in 3 different locations in 3 different eras. This action-thriller movie is in both Hindi and Tamil. In spite of Nambiar and the plot, if you need to re-think, check the trailer and Tamil version’s soundtrack.

2. Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola
Vishal Bhardwaj will start 2013 with this fun movie. Featuring Pankaj Kapoor, Haryana, Gulzar, Imran Khan, and lot of fun.

1. Special 26
Neeraj Pandey’s second flick involves a real life gang and their exploits in late 80s.

Special Chabbis
Special Chhabbis

 

Hope there are more excellent ones to come which we don’t know about yet. Enjoy 2013 with the movies!

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My 50 most anticipated movies of 2012

2011, just like all the other things, wasn’t a great year for movies. 2012, on the other hand, promises a much greater year for movies. Here is a list of ‘my’ 50 most anticipated movies of 2012. Chances are that this list doesn’t feature a few movies you expected and the reason behind that could be one of these – a). I haven’t heard about that movie so far, b). I have no interest or have lost interest in that particular genre, c). I have no interest in that movie at all. Still, the suggestions are welcome, kindly leave the comments for the further debate. The details (plot and people) of the movies are taken from IMDb, Wikipedia, and other websites.

So, here goes my list, with my takes, arranged in a bottom-up manner. Cheers!

The 50 most anticipated movies of 2012

50. Wettest County
Why: A crime-drama which stars Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, and Shia LaBeouf. The movie is set in the Depression-era where a bootlegging gang is threatened by authorities wanting a cut of their profits.

49. The End
Why: Abbas Kiarostami directs one of another most awaited movies for festival circuits which follows the story of “the unusual relationship between a student, who works as prostitute on the side to pay for her studies, and a brilliant, elderly academic who is one of her clients.”

48. Michael
Why: The plot – “A drama focused on five months in the life of pedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement”. Intriguing, indeed! Hope the execution is not loud and in the face, and we are up for some real good cinema.

47. Total Recall
Why: Based on a Philip K. Dick’s short story (his stories have made many sci-fi movies before), this sci-fi/action movie talks about power struggle between two geographies And a normal guy (Farrell) begins to suspect that he’s a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he’s on.

46. Anna Karenina
Why: Movie adaptation of the novel of Leo Tolstoy. This one stars Jude Law and Keira Knightley in lead roles and is directed by Joe Wright, who has much experience in adapting novels into movies, such as, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, etc.

45. Chaalis Chauraasi (4084)
Why: Watched the trailer recently on TV and it was as hilarious as one can get. One police van, four Cops, one night, one job, one hell of a ride. This stars Naseeuddin Shah, KK Menon, Atul Kulkarni, Ravi Kishen, Zakir Hussain, Rajesh Sharma, and Manoj Pahwa. Being a comedy/crime movie, I am expecting an incredibly fun-filled roller-coaster ride for two hours.

44. Moonrise Kingdom
Why: I find the combination of cast and plot interesting enough to watch this movie. Starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, and Bill Murray, it is a story of a pair of lovers who flee their town causing a local search party to fan out and find them.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Courtesy: IMDb)

43. Agent Vinod
Why: A usual Bollywood star-cast of Saif, Kareena, Gulsan Grover, etc; but the movie is an international action thriller, appearing like a desi Bond movie. This could well be worth watching because it is directed by a very talented Indian thriller-movies director, Sriram Raghavan.

42. Gangster Squad
Why: A crime-drama about a chronicle of the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s. Starring Sean Pean, Ryan Gosling, and Josh Brolin.

41. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Why: The plot – “An introvert freshman, while coping with first love, the suicide of his best friend and his own mental illness, is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.”

40. Midnight’s Children
Why: A movie adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s much celebrated novel. Deepa Mehta directs it with a wide ensemble cast of Shabana Azmi, Rajat Kapoor, Shahana Goswami, Ronit Roy, Siddharth, Seema Biswas, Rahul Bose, and many others.

39. Ted
Why: Mark Wahlberg is the guy whose teddy bear comes to life as the result of a childhood wish. Besides, the young director, Seth MacFarlane, has a fine record of writing and directing TV comedies.

38. Coriolanus
Why: Based on Shakespear’s play about rise & fall of power, deceit, vangeance, and tragedy – set in modern day. This is enough to pick this flick.

37. Red Lights
Why: The plot. The story is about a psychologist (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant who study paranormal activity and that leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic (Robert DeNiro?).

36. The Raven
Why: Purely due to the plot – A fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life (John Cusack in lead role), in which the poet pursues a serial killer whose murders mirror those in the writer’s stories.

35. Paan Singh Tomar
Why: Much awaited real-life chronicles of a runner-turned-bandit, lead role played by Irrfan Khan and directed by talented Tigmanshu Dhulia. Hopefully, this movie sees the light this year.

34. Savages
Why: Oliver Stone’s crime drama about 2 guys’ face off with the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend. Starring Salma Hayek, Uma Thurman, Benicio Del Toro, and John Travolta. I genuinely believe we can forget his sequel of Wall Street before watching this one.

33. Amour
Why: A drama directed by Michael Haneke which is certainly going to feature, and receive awards too, at several film festivals. The plot revolves around a retired couple which deals with aftermath of the wife suffering from a debilitating stroke.

Haywire
Haywire (Courtesy: IMDb)

32. The Amazing Spider-Man
Why: Not a fan of Spidy franchise, but loved the director Mark Webb’s first and only other movie he directed (500 Days of Summer). Plus, the trailers looks like it deals much with teenager Peter Parker and how he evolves into Spiderman. Plus Plus, Irrfan Khan as the villain and seriously speaking, IK is only Bollywood actor who I believe can get a decent, nice-length Hollywood role.

31. Haywire
Why: A Steven Soderbergh directed action-thriller, which stars Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, and Antonio Banderas. The plot is about a super soldier’s revenge after she is betrayed and set up during a mission, which very much seems like that of Salt (except the director and the cast ensemble).

30. Men in Black III
Why: Because The Men are back. Leaving K (Tommy Lee Jones), J (Will Smith) time travels to 60s where an alien with its sights on the younger K (Josh Brolin) has gone rouge.

29. Seven Psychopaths
Why: Collin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, and Woody Harrelson form the cast of this comedy caper which is the second film of Martin McDonagh (In Bruges was the first). And this movie features a screenwriter, a dog, gangsters, and psychopaths!

28. Looper
Why: First, the plot – A sci-fi/action story in which a killer (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) finds out that his next target is his own future self (Bruce Willis). Second, the people at the helms – Rian Johnson (last movie – The Brothers Bloom) and the actors.

27. Life of Pi
Why: Yet another movie adaptation of a novel. This one is based on the awesome adventure-drama novel of Yann Martel and involves a kid and a lot of his animal companions. The story has a huge connection to India and fittingly it stars many Indian actors, Irrfan Khan and Tabu to name a few.

26. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Why: Well, the title itself sounds interesting. If not, then read the plot – “President Lincoln’s mother is killed by a supernatural creature, which fuels his passion to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers.” Interesting yet?

25. Being Flynn
Why: I somehow liked the story very much. Based on a true story, it’s about a guy who often intersects with his brilliant but troubled father and then wrestles with the idea of reconnecting with him. The father (Robert DeNiro) has had an erratic lifestyle and a self-proclaimed poet (An excerpt from the trailer -“America has produced only three classic writers – Mark Twain, J D Salinger, and Me.”).

24. The Hunger Games
Why: A futuristic story based on a novel, which feels like a combination of unusual sports (Battle Royale) and reality tv (Truman Show). Coincidentally, the director’s (Gary Ross) two other movies were related to one of these two themes – Seabiscuit involved drama revolving around an unusual sport and Pleasantville involved something like surrealistic sitcom.

23. Cogan’s Trade
Why: Third movie written and directed by talented Andrew Dominik and his second with Brad Pitt (‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’ was the first). This one is a crime thriller where Brad Pitt is a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game.

The Dictator
The Dictator (Courtesy: IMDb)

22. The Great Gatsby
Why: Movie adaptation of one of the most famous novels. Though I am not a fan of Buz Luhrmann (except, I really enjoyed watching Moulin Rouge), this stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan (loved her in Drive) in the lead roles and well…features our very own Amitabh Bachchan (AB’s maiden Hollywood movie).

21. The Dictator
Why: Yet another super satire by Sasha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles (the ‘Borat’ team) about a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. Watch the trailer!

20. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Why: Peter Jackson is back with the hobbits and the dwarfs – where a hobbit, with thirteen dwarves, begins a journey which will take him into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers…and Gollum.

19. The Grandmasters (Yut doi jung si)
Why: Celebrated Hongkong-based storyteller Kar Wai Wong directs the story of the martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.

18. John Carter
Why: Watch the trailer. Mars, a man somehow placed there, among 12-foot tall barbarians and several other kinds of creatures, with a lot of fights in the unknown terrain – looks like a Star Wars movie, with toppings of Planet of Apes and Avatar.

17. Gravity
Why: Lone survivor, Sandra Bullock (also starring George Clooney), of a space-mission-gone-wrong desperately looking to return to Earth and her daughter. Sounds like a purist Sci-fi movie with a backdrop of human’s desires and longings for relationship. Proven record of the director, Alfonso Cuaron, in both kind of themes – Children of Men and Y Tu Mama Tambien. And those who have seen CoM know what kind of Sci-fi movies Cuaron makes.

16. Argo
Why: Ben Affleck is one of those few actor-turned-directors whose directed movies are more awaited than the ones they act in. This is only his third movie, after Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Argo is about a political crisis with a pacy screenplay – “As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA ‘exfiltration’ specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador. ”

15. Talaash
Why: Aamir Khan produces and stars in Rima Kagti’s crime thriller where Aamir plays a cop.

14. The Bourne Legacy
Why: 1. Bourne. 2. Tony Gilroy (the first movie he directed was Michael Clayton). 3. Edward Norton as a villain. Interestingly, Jeremy Renner is enacting the lead role.

13. Gangs of Wasseypur
Why: The film is about the coal mafia in Dhanbad, said to be inspired from the story of Bihar politician Surajbhan Singh, and has turned out to be a two-part marathon, each two hours and 40 minutes in length. Directed by Anurag Kashyap. Manoj Vajpayee is in the lead role. Everyone in India knows what these people are capable of and if you are aware of the real-life stories of the coal mafia in Dhanbad, this is surely one must-watch for 2012.

The Expendables 2
The Expendables 2 (Courtesy: IMDb)

12. Untitled Terrence Malick Project
Why: Terrence Malick and a plot involving intricacies of human relationship. Surely the eyes are upon this, especially when the director has released ‘the tree of life’ last year. The plot says – “A romantic drama centered on a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage to a European woman falls apart.”

11. The Expendables 2
Why: This may not deserve a mention in a top-15 anticipation list, but this probably features on everyone’s watch-list. A perfect guilty pleasure starring – Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, and others – all in one purely hell of an action movie.

And the drum-rolls for the Top 10.

10. Dark Shadows
Why: Tim Burton, with his regular team members, joins Johny Depp again in a Gothic movie involving perhaps one of the most weird set of characters ever. The tale centers on the life of playboy vampire Barnabas Collins (Depp) and his run-ins with various monsters, witches, werewolves and ghosts.

9. Shanghai
Why: Arguably, one of the most talented Bollywood director of our times, Dibaakar Banerjee’s 4th movie is a political thriller. The movie is the official Hindi adaptation of a political thriller by Greek novelist Vassilis Vassilikos, who wrote about the real-life assassination of a dynamic politician.  As Dibakar said early this year – “Well this film is going to see him go right into the heat and dust of a hellish Indian small town and its deadly politics. No leather jackets, suave bars and foreign locales. Abhay was never seen like this before – in a negative, cold, almost vicious character. Imagine Abhay being the establishment instead of fighting it. He looks at you through his glasses, wearing his stiff shirt and you wonder what’s on his mind”. It also stars Emraan Hashmi (interesting casting!) and Kalki Koechin.

8. The Avengers
Why: Why? I mean, it features Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, HawkEye, Black Widow, and pirate-eye Nick Furry – it’s like a ‘comic book digest’ (a story involving multiple superheroes) we used to wait for months and buy/rent immediately in our childhood.

7. Cloud Atlas
Why: Wachowski brothers team up with Tom Tykwer to direct a sci-fi epic, a movie adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel. Can be termed as one of the most ambitious movie of the year which is about 6 stories set in a different time and place which become intricately related to each other. Expecting one of the best sci-fi sets of our times. On top of that, it stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant

6. Prometheus
Why: Ridley Scott and sci-fi genre. A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race. Said to be a prequel of his ’79 movie ‘Aliens’ (a long time since then) it brings back the thrill, horror, and action in the other part of universe. Needless to say, this also involves a huge budget (see the trailer) and interesting star cast of Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, and Guy Pearce.

5. The Master
Why: PTA. Paul Thomas Anderson is certainly our generation’s Stanley Kubrick (only 5 feature films over a career spanning more than 2 decades – all masterpieces). Number 2, the plot, which says, as per IMDb – “A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as ‘the Master’ whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man.” Philip Seymour Hoffman is the Master, Joaquin Phoenix is the right-hand man, and ‘Scientology’ is the religion in question. Beat that!

4. Lincoln
Why: Spielberg directing a biography of one of the most famous American President, Abraham Lincoln, role enacted by Daniel Day-Lewis (Yes!). Need say more?

Skyfall
(Courtesy: IMDb)

3. Skyfall
Why: A ‘lethal’ combination of 007 and Sam Mendes. Starring the blonde Bond, Javier Bardem, and Ralph Fiennes & the cameras at the helms of the legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins.

This is going to be EPIC and will, without any doubt, get the 007 on the top.

2. Django Unchained
Why: Tarantino, Tarantino, and Tarantino. Bonus is the plot with solid star cast – A slave-turned-bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx), with the help of his mentor (Christoph Waltz),  sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio as the villain!).

Also starring JGL, Samuel L Jackson, and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Django Unchained
Django Unchained (Courtesy: www.federicomancosu.com)

 

1. The Dark Knight Rises
Why: Everybody knows everything about this movie and this probably stays on top of everyone’s most anticipated movie of 2012. This epic grand finale of Nolan’s Batman trilogy will, I reckon, stay on top again in the lists of the best movies compiled at the end of 2012, well, if the world doesn’t end in 2012.

The Dark Night Rises

 

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Music: a journey of the man to the unknown

When words leave off, music begins. ~ Heinrich Heine

Prem Joshua

Every time my consciousness gets the hold of my ears, one of the five senses of mine, I hear a rhythm that fills my heart and soul with a random rainbow of sounds and silences. The rhythm is never recited by my consciousness, rather whenever my consciousness wakes up and the senses start working in a synchronized way, every wave entering into circumference of my existence becomes a song and music to my heart to propel it with much more acceleration and sync. I feel the beauty even more beautifully when the world around me appears to be synced with my inner being with a whatsoever sound. I hereby reckon that if there is only one way by which the human connects itself to the nature and the god, it is the music. The waves of music seem to work as the most efficient neuron systems that which exist into the universe. Music, in every form, is the connecting link, be in the form of strings, wind, beats, voice, monotonous, multi-dimensioned, mixed, solo, or even the silence. Music is a source of life and the way to celebrate the life. As Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche had once quoted about music that ‘without music life would be a mistake’, each element of the universe seems to understanding the importance of it and celebrating life without any mistake. I have never experienced any single moment so far when I didn’t dance and sing. And the music I hear using my ears just intensifies the passion of living with the most romantic and lively way.

Ever since the existence of the mankind has been historically registered, the music has been the life for the man. This is the prime medium of communication between the entities where the communication was supposed to be non-existent. Man used music to communicate with existent and non-existent entities both, man communicated the belief in the form of music. It, thus, can be said that if the man has ever be able to communicate with the God (if he ever existed), it was the music which functioned as the messenger, as the Baba Bulleh Shah dances to express his love with the god by singing ‘tere ishq ne nachaya’ or the Yaksha in Kaildasa’s Meghdootam sends the message to his beloved waiting for him at the other side of the country. And the supreme power seems to be appreciating this because the music has came out to us with better rhythms by the help of the several voices of the universe, like the thunderstorm, rivers, trees, wind blows, raindrops, mountains, waterfalls, seashores, and so on. Even the other living children of the world, like birds and animals, have entertained our senses with more beauty and diverse multifaceted sounds. The music has even been able to catch the voices and silence of the days, nights, and space. Thomas Carlyle says – “All deep things are song. It seems somehow the very central essence of us, song; as if all the rest were but wrap pages and hulls!” And this beauty lies everywhere, one only needs to listen and synchronize with all the beings. What other blessings a man could have received from the supreme? Indeed, music is what feelings sound like.

There’s music in the sighing of a reed;
There’s music in the gushing of a rill;
There’s music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.

~ Lord Byron

Ustad Shafqat Ali Khan

I recognized it pretty late that the most joyous moments of my life were spent with the companion of music when I intended to connect to the music and sound in an utterly lone silence. Whenever I felt that I am tired and frustrated from the chaos formed within the outside world, I didn’t go to meditation or recreation. I didn’t even feel any need of someone to get hold of this. Nor ignore, surpass, suppress or medicate it. I, however, felt a strong urge to feel it, by letting it get the hold of itself, just like watching oneself carefully and attentively. Watching me has always been a very beautiful experience and in those moments, I could really connect with everything that existed within me and that exists with me. So many strange and unknown things happened. The dullness and restlessness both merged into each other, the invisible elements seemed to be working in a synchronized way, the inside me appeared with the most peaceful, joyous, and romantic mood, and I could listen to only one thing that which was a music and a song which I could never recognize. That sound was something unknown, inexperienced, and unrecognized till the time I listened to that, and it happened every time I heard it. The process of reaching there was always the same but the music always seemed new and fresh to me. It was never the same, never. Outside that world, things appeared monotonous to me most of the times. Sometimes even I appeared the same, nothing new. But the soundtrack of my life was always playing a different track inside me. Or maybe, it has always been the same, but I have been unable to recognize this because the spectrum of the sound was changing the wavelength all the time or perhaps it was so magical that I forgot to examine its attributes. I got lost with it and it got lost with me. Just like an intense orgasm. And after that experience, I was not the same and the moments were so different that I always felt a new system inside me and a new world outside me. The outside world started tickling my senses in more rhythmic way such that everything sounded like music, a much organized and synchronized sound. Everything was music, a pretty and soothing one. I danced on the sound of fans, cycles, parrots, taps, horns, cool winds, leaves, rain, and whistles. I felt elated until I didn’t get tired with the world again. Then, again the same process and music was a cure all the time.

Music was the fellow traveler which traveled along with me, all the way, all the time. This is the case for not only my inner being, but also for my outer joy that which bridges the breezes from the both sides. Music, whatever it is, knows no boundaries. Music is beautiful, be it from any genre, language (or even absence of it), generator, raga, or cord. Whatever mood you carry with yourself, there is a song to intensify it. There is always a song which you can murmur or mumble in any kind of feeling and mood, be it sadness, happiness, silence, tired, celebration, freedom, speak out, speak in or even foot-trapping. I am a listener of the music from most of genres. I listen to each type of genres, generations, voices, instruments, and vocal cords. I love music without any voice and also music with the voices in the languages not understandable to me. Listening to various types of music is basically a journey to me, during which I got a chance to explore them individually. So, every time I listened to a new artist or genre, it was a new experience for me. I enjoyed most of them. It is not that I got hold of one particular genre or artist but yes, some of them got hold of me and kept pleasing my ears. The best experiences are mostly related with the moments I connected directly with them, with full of my emotions and inner self. It was when the chaos formed by my emotions and feelings needed to be synced. It was also when my inner joy and music received a companionship from a rhythm created by the other generators of joy from outside world. Some of the most beautiful experiences came to me also when I attended live concerts of some of the artists I mostly like and those moments were the time of innumerous orgasms. There are too many instances, when there existed only two things – the music and me. Nothing else! Everything else was unknown or non-existent to me. In those moments, I could become conscious to the music only. And when I was elated with the highest ecstasy, I wasn’t aware of anything, neither music nor me. It was one and I can’t really describe that how exactly those moments were. I am very helpless to define that experience, just like that I can’t tell you that how was I feeling like when I wrote any of my poems. I am afraid that I would ever be able to recite my poems in the most exact way. The situation is similar with the moments when I entered into the world of music. Those were the moments of the highest ecstasies.

This is the beauty of music. This is the power of music. And this is how it becomes when you enter into the unknown. Music takes you at the gate of the heaven and the land of the supreme. Music makes you feel that the most beautiful things reside within your self. It is the carrier for all your feelings and emotions that traverse through your senses. And I am glad that this carrier chooses to come to me and help me walk inside and outside me. It makes me dance, sing, run, feel, and understand. It makes me a poet and a warrior both. It makes me evaporate into myself. It makes me ejaculate most of me. It helps me find out that how something feels like. It is a dawn on me with which I can understand the unknown, real, and most importantly, the known. I don’t know that whether the god exists or not, but if there is a god and if there is a way by which the god and his people communicate, it certainly is the music. And it is not just a coincidence that the Siddhartha started traveling on the path of becoming Buddha after he got to know that how the music comes from the strings of Sitar. When you merge with the music, whether it sounds or it is a silence, you feel like that you can’t even be skeptic. You don’t just know that about what you need to be skeptic, logical, or analytical. Music says that whatever the man can manage to invent or explore, the music will always be there to be explored completely. Music will always be left fully unexplored by the mankind. As the world is full of entropy, the world is also full of music. Either we can go through it or we can only recite the part of it that is known to us. The greatest beauty of the music is that its unknown horizons don’t create boundaries for a man which could make a man feel like being in prison. All concepts can only confute themselves; they can never co-exist with the music. Music makes one fly, fly to anywhere, fly beyond all limitations. The poetry and sound and the music always flow with complete freedom, within our mind and heart and soul. This is a sky which sets us free. This is a prison which gives us hope. This is how it should be.

And just like Nietzsche, in music my passions enjoy themselves.

Image Credits: Prem Joshua: www.premjoshua.com & Shafqat Ali Khan - Google Images

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The Annual Autobiography: The Essence

Hence, continuing the tradition, some posts will exclusively be dedicated to the author and his endeavors in year 2007. Actually, there is a hidden strategy behind this tradition which I started few years before. These all annual audits will serve as authorized references to recall all the important things and events related to me in a particular year. And all of these will be flash-backed whenever I start writing the complete autobiography of mine (grin). Well, that’s another dimension, which is quite weird as it seems right away.

The baseline and the theme of last year was about being a true wanderer and being full of joy, happiness, celebration, and sense of satisfaction. The almost 24 years of life had given me too many regrets and the last year was quite destined to equate the imbalance. And I did it, enthusiastically and completely. It was indeed an awesome year, and I kept celebrating my silver jubilee year. The celebration went on and on. I enjoyed this. The endeavors, at first sight, seemed irrational but I found it quite rational, having its own reasons on its own terms. For the first time in my life, materialistic happiness helped me to get spiritual happiness. Or, the attainment of spiritual happiness led me to enjoy material happiness. Whatever! It was fun anyways. The beautiful thing was that I did what I wanted to do at that time. Every minuscule event occurred because I wanted to enjoy them. Random, unpredicted, and romantic. I liked that, beside the fact that it was no way concerned with any of the visionary thing. I liked it more because it was quite earthy and it made me close to myself. And of course, it is a year which I’ll always cherish.

Just like the coin which never exists with only one side, the year had the experiences from the other side also. This other side is not the wrong side, rather it can be correctly identified as a darker side where your quest to enlighten only grows. Mostly came in picture during the start of the year which ended soon, then there were occasionally occurrences of soar moments, and lastly some randomly generated celestial feelings. Though none of them could engulf me or overrule the realm of my mood. Something, nevertheless, kept hunting me. Throughout the year, I also continued feeling a void which, at the end, came out in a different form – a sense of restlessness. Sometimes, it was also like skepticism towards the essence of all the activities. As I make it out now, this is the point which was the child of the materialistic happiness and the mother of a spiritual journey. The journey of happiness and celebrating life. The signature tune of the realness. Something that keeps me going, learning, and finding, which further reverberates the tales of a true wanderer. At the end of each moment, I feel content yet thirsty. Knowings or the understanding of unknowings? Not sure. I come to learn more yet come to understand that I need to learn much more. A string of enchanting moments which further adjoin with each other to form a finely tuned rhythm, whereas unsure about the next moment and unknown to the preceding one. Being joyous in uncovering an answer which is a collection of several other questions yet the quest of wisdom never dies. Having pride being a traveler who halts at each milestone to take rest yet doesn’t consider it a wrongdoing or violation of the values of journey. A musician who can hum the beats anywhere be it a maternity home, love dale, or a deathbed yet wins over every foot which can catch the rhythm, reciprocate, and dance. A journey which is full of scattered, intertwined, zigzagged, endless, and landscaped paths and all of them are sacred and sanctimonious. A bookshelf which is full of fables and poetry. A quench which nurture the quest and a life which lives itself.

Quite an enlightening experience I had, indeed! And this was the year which taught me all this. There are few more things that I would like to uncover here. All of these are by-products of the experiments and experiences I went through last year. First, desires, whatever they are, can’t be fulfilled until they are not completely explored. Fulfillment of desires means you get or receive or accomplish them. These desires can be anything and so do the process of getting them. Fulfillment or attainment of them doesn’t mean that it ended the thirst to attain them. It means you got what you wanted to get but you haven’t yet enjoyed this. Until you don’t utilize or enjoy this attainment, derivatives or process, the thirst will still be on. It’s something like you desired for a palace and you bought it, but you haven’t been able to live inside it. A bud of rose is not beautiful till it grows up as a flower. Exploration is a step next to discovery. The same happened to me and my convictions helped me. Not only I explored my desires but also I nurtured the craving. The attaining process was amazing and the accomplishment made me content. I was no more longing for the same thing after that. It was also about understanding that the craving and desires had no vice, whatever desire it was. If you truly want something, that desire has to be sacred and the craving has to be a virtue. Yet the attainment can be a mirage where you had to take a bit rest and then continue the journey. It can also be a beautiful barrier which looks like a miracle in a desert and gives a feeling of being at the destination. This is a point where you could either enjoy and move on or be delighted and stay. Either none-ness to oneness or there will be synonymous moments appearing like continued forever. And what is needed here is the thorough exploration.

 

Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (Oil on canvas: Caspar David Friedrich)

Another important thing was that I enjoyed almost everything. The process and involvement were not singular, it was rather multi-dimensional. Not related or intertwined to each other, sometimes even opposite. But when you are in the mood, nothing does matter. I also explored everything and never proceeded with the formulas and theories. I made my own recipe, cooked, and tasted the cuisines first-handed. The suspicion and heterodoxy was over. At the same time, it also broke the convention and ideas.

Further, the quest and the passion only increased with this celebration. I even found myself too closed to them with joy and greater involvement and suchlike. It won’t be surprising if someday I feel oneness with them, being a part of them or making them a part of mine. Or rather showcasing a different, unique entity formed by them and me.

There are few more things but I am quite unable to pen them down. You know, there are some thoughts which can make you thought-less. You know what it is but you can’t tell or describe. Sometimes, you can only feel but can’t know what it is. And besides, the essences can also have a quintessence. Who knows, next year the quintessence itself will write its own stories. The mirage might be beautiful yet a cliché whereas the desert might have buried more amazing figurines and captivating fables underneath. There might also be a truth behind all the truths. Who knows! Who knows where the quintessence lies.

Hence, I wish the exploration gets continued and the quest and thirst only increases with each discovery and attainment. I wish the celebrations celebrate themselves and the joy enjoys itself. I wish the life continues living itself and the essences continues uncovering their quintessence themselves. I wish the journey never ends with the roads and the milestone comes after each mile of walking yet doesn’t appear as a destination. I wish that, during the journey, I take the path which I think is right and be able to choose the road which I want to. And I hope the wishes come true. I hope.

Image Sources: first, second

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Free Speech: The Great India Debate

Free speech, censorship, and the fanatical reactions – during last few years, these co-related issues have been spread quite aggressively by the interested junta over the entire country and even the whole word, in general. There are mainly three parties involved, to be precise, which have shown a great deal of enthusiasm. First, who gave the spark for this issue by the self-generated customized exaggerations, by the name of free speech, liberty, art, literature, awareness, objectivism, and so on. Second party broadly dealt with all such people and organizations who have supposedly (self-acclaimed) got the responsibility to preserve the purity, integrity, conservancy, and righteousness of some philosophy, belief, tradition, and religion which have never had given proprietorship and caretaking rights to anyone. Third party has always constituted significantly those people from elite, intellectual, laureate, and distinguished classes who show middle-fingered attitude for all other issues except those which coherently don’t need their intervention. The core stuff, which keep all three parties rotating on the virtual orbit fanatically one after another, nevertheless wonders and feels pity about its existence precisely because it doesn’t require involvement of any of them.

Calvin on Freedom of Eexpression

Nude paintings of Hindu goddesses by Madhuri Fida Hussein, Calling “Allah” names by Ms. Nasreen, exclusive comments of Karunanidhi over Lord Ram, and so on. These free expressions get followed by the so-called saviour authorities (read, morons) in no time and then, the game starts with several reactions, like violence, riots, fatwas, multidimensional shouting, banning, eliminations, exiles, moral policing, and so many other things. The great India debate, then, gets initiated by media, gurus, religious bigots, politically baptized intellectuals, elite class, and other socially charged people. Some support free speech, some religious interests. Some refutes some; others attack this, rest cry out for the sake of god-knows-what. “Aam junta” get irritated by this cliché and find nothing quite interesting in all this melodrama which further leads to the wastage of all the efforts put by all three parties. This is not the ignorance of general public, rather this is such obvious that even Manmohan Desaai would have discontinued iterating his formulas by this utter obviousness. The continuous cyclic process of sudden rise and sudden fall, however, don’t affect these bigots because the centuries of dependency has made India full of idle juntas, bigots, morons, and Karats. This is still okay, but boss why are you disturbing the life of common men and daily chores of the nation? Will they ever stop with this? Gibberish is gibberish just like “A is A”, doesn’t matter whatsoever way you use, duh!

I strongly support free speech, freedom of expression, right to speak as a fundamental right, and all such related stuffs. I would appreciate every step that is taken for the advancement of the liberty of the man and the mankind. What else a man can give to the mankind but the growth and to make the earth a better place to live? What is the essence of the existence of a living entity if it is not free? This has to make an axiom, a rule, and a fundamental right – a right of man to be free, beyond any boundaries and not captured by any limitations. A man is free to believe in anything and a man is free to refute to be controlled by any belief. A man is free without violating another man’s right to be free.

Friedrich Nietzsche has mockingly described man into his book Thus Spake Zarathustra and that sarcasm is very much relevant while understanding the essence of man’s existence. He writes:

Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman–a rope over an abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what is lovable in man is that he is an OVER-GOING and a DOWN-GOING.

Man is surely not a rope if a man celebrates its existence and the reasons behind it. A man celebrates it because the existence has a ration and its sheer joy explicitly ejaculates the joy to be free.

The right of freedom for a man also gives him a duty to make sure that this right is not being violated by his free acts and every man is celebrating with joy that he’s free. The natural law identifies the condition that a man has to be alive to get the privilege of being free and the social law identifies the condition in which an individual has the ability to act according to his or her own will. And this has to be rephrased every time the man synchronizes its existence with the nature and the society. The “liberty” will be a most accurate word here which perpetuates this right. Liberty is a rational approach to attain freedom for an individual yet retaining freedom for every individual.

When the individual freedom decides to connect to the collective freedom, it should be weighed with the fundamental rights of the (collective) liberty! And when it crosses the gate, it needs to be verified and that is not the censoring, rather the regulation and moderation. This regulation ensures that all individuals are attaining this right freely and equally. That is why a man is not a bridge – neither for a superman nor for a man himself.

We are individuals and we have attained some fundamental rights, one of them is the right of freedom. We live in a collective society and the society, as an entity, also holds some individual rights. Hence, we ought to take care of some duties and responsibilities. Social imaginaries and beliefs are deeply rooted in the society. If you say you don’t care about the collective entities, such as the society, then your imaginary and consequences of your free ideas also shouldn’t be reflected to the society. Keep the society unaffected! But if you don’t want this and you let your ideas be floated free in the environment for whosoever picks it, the social imaginaries get connected with your ideas at that very time. And at that time, you get plugged onto the duties and collective responsibilities. If you know about the freedom, you also know the ranges and limitations of your free ideas. Freedom is a concept and a concept always holds some fundamental ideas that are meant to serve the collective liberty. Ever heard of liberty, by the by? Bah!

I am no way supporting or defending, either, any of the three parties. But I get pissed off up and again, every time this nonsense screws up the common man’s right of freedom. And I feel like throwing out the first two parties from the earth sooner than later, even out of the gravitational circumference. These two parties constitute one, who inaugurates the free speech show and another, who cries out loud for the violation for its bleh freedom and henceforth celebrates its freedom by sucking out freedom of much many citizens. The irritation gets just increased when all three parties declare their leadership and authorizing responsibilities, whereas the matter of fact is that all of them are simply the morons-in-disguise.

I mean, who gave you freedom to keep abusing people and keeping the police busy with those who got abused? I mean, why we need law and order when somewhere we are the reason behind breaking the peace. Ideas of “liberty” should also be considered, for sake of itself. Freedom of speech is okay, but when that speech is not bringing any positive/progressive thing as a return and you already know that it will have adverse effects, then those speeches should be avoided and at least, should not be justified by the plea of freedom of speech. If you only need to get rid of the frustration inside you, please do it in isolation and bless everyone else. That’s why I prefer rationality, it bloody solves every problem. Take a rational approach and enjoy freedom of speech!

I am not defending those who are against this. And all of recent examples were not equal to those early transformers who had to go against traditional beliefs, ideologies, and societies. Suppose, I quoted “Allah” a moron, what difference did I bring to me or the surrounding or the society? What kind of significant change did I initiate by saying this? I don’t support this kind of free speech which is not based on rational values and which could be synonymous to irrational statement (sort of abuse which could have been avoided) just for the sake for personal bias, self-satisfaction, and free speech. Drawing nude paintings of goddesses or abusing gods – how rational is this? Didn’t they know that it can bring so much of conundrum and tension to the society? I am asking the same question here – Why do people speak, speak up or speak out?

What is more important – free to speak anything or social peace and harmony ? The freedom which can be irrational as well and when A knows that B will beat him up when abused. Its very much okay that Tasleema wants to put her experiences or stuffs about the part of her life when she suffered from Islam. She should, she must! But why abuse Prophet or Islam? Isn’t she generalizing the largest picture in consideration where she actually had to pick that part which was reason behind her suffering? Is this freedom is justified when it is already clear that it is destined to disturb the peace? Whether Ram or setu existed or not, it was the issue related to that bridge (setu). What was the need to comment on Ram and someone’s faith? Should freedom of speech come at the cost of the peace? Shouldn’t Karunadhi have proposed to investigate the truth behind the bridge et al by the help of archeology, history, or geology? Why did the mythology come in the picture, that too, from the person who had to be concerned with the justified solution, rather than being skeptic, biased, or so. Or MF Hussain is perfectly okay with the nude paintings of Hindu goddesses? Or is Mr Raj Thakarey justified by saying “there is a need to throw out north Indians from Maharashtra by pulling their ears”? These all are demonstration of the right to speech. The bottom line is – Speak anything or peace and harmony?

Free Speech

Okay, we accept that our society has mistakenly nurtured some retards. But who gave these moronic organizations and religious bigots the authority and responsibility to start mental asylum saloons and procurement centers! A philosophy, belief, tradition, or a religion decides its righteousness by its own existence and they are not fragile enough that they ever need to assign proprietorship and caretaking rights to anybody else. You gotta believe or believe not, but thy can never decide its range, righteousness, integrity, and all such things. And yes, ya all religious and political idiots, don’t poke your stiff heads for its conservancy and mind your own business, conservancy, and stuffs! Who the hell are you to decide that which thing offends me?

Religions are not so weak that they need somebody else to be assigned exclusively to protect it or whatsoever; rather they are tolerant enough to forgive all these idiotic stuffs. Neither Tasleema nor Bukhari is authority on Islam. Everybody knows that, including those who initiate such issues and transform them into a drama. Basically we all know that they are the politicians and all these drama is precisely politically baptized. There is one very important thing that Indian politicians learned from British Raj – Divide and rule. Politicians have divided the society on several things – religion, caste, region, culture, language, economy, and so on. And this is the only reason behind all the drama and violence happened in the country during last 6 decades. For the historical and contemporary references, refer to chapter#6 (Our culture, their culture) of The Argumentative Indian, Amartya Sen has elaborated it further here.

Why should Tasleema Nasrin exist? Why should Bukhari/Togadia and all these bloody politicians? Why this type of media? They all are the reason behind this fiery and warfare. Collective approach, which has got a root in general public and the public has always appreciated it, is not understandable by these social messiahs. And more than that, the high-time hypocrisy of Indian politicians take all the bites all the time.

That’s why my dear ignoranus and elite fellas, the authorities are recruited to moderate all such things and the laws have been built to enable moderation of irresponsible showdown of speeches and the pro-active reactions of bigots and morons. This is another topic that who will decide the limits and how rational it has to be. But, moral policing is a different thing and the authorities (which are somehow recruited by the public itself) are not supposed to decide it by their own will. Sometimes it happens, but well, there are some flaws of democracy and it also needs some change, but that is an off-topic. We all rational Indians know that who are irrationals, fanatics, and lunatics. We all will be agreeing that political, religious or regional fanatics need the maximum possible regulations. And this thing can be achieved by the people only, who recruit the right authority by using democracy, law, et al. Those people who are sitting in one chamber and deciding on behalf of us are chosen by us, they are given the authority by us. But here, every idle intellectual mind think that they are better intellect than those fellows, only that they chose not to become a Bureaucrat. And that’s what every fanatic and abuser of the right to freedom think and that’s why these kinds of drama occur in the society. Neither Tasleemas stop abusing Allah nor Imaams stop declaring Fatwas. Neither Hussains stop drawing nude paintings of goddesses nor BHPs stop creating warfare in the society. And each of them thinks that they are better than authorities and since authorities are moron and not taking the corrective actions so they are entitled to this. And this gets continues

I am a very big supporter of free speech and believe that no limitations exist for rational individuals, mind it – rational individual. But I am no way a supporter of these kinds of free speech. I believe that laws should exist and someone (maybe I if I become someday entitled) has to regulate this and make sure that it is being maintained and rest of the people help those who are taking care of laws, liberty, collective rights and peace, and so on. I have several ways to express myself and use my right to free speech and most of those ways will not be violating collective liberty and the peace. I also bloody know that what offends me, ain’t I? I have enough minds to think and decide that which thing hampers my beliefs and the symbols and I can no way let other decide it for me. I am a Hindu because of Vedas, Geeta, Hinduism ideologies, Hindu Gods, and my religious heritage; not because of the RSS, VHP, et al. Thy have no relation to validate, authorize, or protect my, or for that matter every Hindu, decision. My neighbor is Islam because of Prophet and philosophies of Islam and he just doesn’t care about all the Imams and Maulanas. We can take care of it, you stay away!

Democracy Is Better Without Free Speech

Images Courtesy: cooperativeindividualism.org, trosch.org, liberty-news.com

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Education for all, where is the goal?

Besides all the melodrama of business and engineering education and the quota for minority and backward classes, the current situation of primary education still doesn’t seem to be improved. The government and the HRD ministry just shrug off by giving excuses that they are spending a heck lot of money in primary education. But when it comes to the resultant, everybody starts playing blame game. I wonder why these politicians are worried about quota in elite institutes more than the primary education and educating the mass, especially those living in rural areas. The union government spends an overwhelming amount of Rs. 24, 115 crore every year for education. This is not a small amount of money and the goal can easily be achieved if it could be spent with a serious goal to increase literacy rate. But again, if we see other way round, this is not also adequate money and this sector should be allotted more money through different schemes and programs. It needs intensive care because education is the most important factor that can stop India becoming super-power by 2020 or so, considering the fact that by 2020-30, almost 75% of Indian population will be youth and this young India needs education now. And while the funds are inadequate for primary and higher education, what is the need of spending more than Rs. 40,000 crore to implement OBC quota in IITs and IIMs? It should surely be considered that which part of human resource is being developed by the HRD ministry and how should the overall goal of HRD be conceived by us. The government advocates the implementation of reservation in elite institutes by referring it as the empowerment of the impoverished and oppressed class of the nation. This gets strengthened by the plan of spending more than Rs 40,000 crore which is considerably much greater amount than the money being spent on primary education. I doubt if anybody can justify this policy of the government when the money spent on some 5000 people is more than the money spent on 48 crore children who needs or going through primary education and a approximately 65% of total population who are studying or needs the education. It is crystal clear, even to a layman, that who needs empowerment and special or just honest considerations from the leaders their parents have chosen with a hope to get justice and genuine benefits from the government. One can imagine that how much improvement could have been brought if the money going to be spent in implementing OBC quota would have been spent in improving primary education and revitalizing age-old education policy. If the reason behind this situation had been the failure of the government system, we would have been satisfied with it. But the most depressing point is the motive and intentions of the policies and our leaders.

As I perceive, there are primarily two main reasons behind the digressing rate of literacy and education in India. First, the policies and second, the way available resources get utilized. In my business life, I follow one simple formula – The difference between getting at least 2% profit and losing your shirt lies in the optimizing the efficiency of available resources. Ditto with the machinery of government and Indian education system. For a moment, we forget the policies of central government in quota system, reservation policies, education policies, least effective research to improve education, education framework, etc. Let the leaders work on their vote-bank policies instead of the education policies. But if they work on rectifying the system which spends the funds and implements the resources provided by the government to run educational programs, India will achieve much greater success in primary and higher education.

Kaushal,a friend of mine reminded me of a quote by Rajiv Gandhi today. Rajiv Gandhi has famously said “If we send a elephant from here, it will become a rat before it reaches to a ground level person“. Almost the same has happened with the case of primary education. The central tells the system to teach the kids “education” and the kids finally don’t even learn the “e” of education. If the government runs the machinery in a way that it could utilize all the available and already existing resources, it will receive at least 70% improvement in situations. The problem is not only the inefficient funds or resources to be spent. Actually, the most severe problem is “not utilization of the available resources” and the policy. For example, take any case of government scheme, for instance, JRY. The center releases Rs. 1 lakh and when it reaches at the bottom level (where it had to be spent) it gets reduced to Rs. 20000. Even in the cases where hierarchy is smallest, for example PMRY, the beneficiary receives no more than 60% of actual amount. You have enough resources but the machinery consumes most of this and there is absolutely nobody to take care of this. The common man has been kept in dark and distant and few are taking benefits of this. Besides the dirty politics and vote-bank agenda, still the government doesn’t spend less money. The main issue is that it doesn’t get spent, whatever the problem is and whoever is responsible behind this.

I agree with the fact that a larger chunk of illiterate, poor, and unaware parents don’t want to send their children to the schools and they rather opt to make them work for livelihood. Here, I second V Raghunathan (writer of Games Indian play) when he says that regulation comes from self-regulation. The government has made a roadmap for every common man who later becomes part of that system. The system tells them how to become crook. And when we talk about the self-regulation, we also need to talk about the regulation policies. A simple example is that when all the reports/data/surveys/census tell that the situation of primary education is digressing, then what is the need to spend almost 40,000 crore rupees in implementing OBC quota in IIM/IITs? Shouldn’t this money be spent for improving primary education? Then, why doesn’t the government try to regulate properly. Obviously, it doesn’t like self-regulation because in same manner, the government will also require to regulate itself.

V Raghunathan says:

For example, consider the Companies Act, which governs disclosure of financial information by publicly listed firms. Today, if a public company does not disclose its financial statements on time, the penalty is Rs. 1,000 a day. This implies that if a company is willing to spend $9,125 on fines, it can go a whole year without making financial information available in the public domain. To me, that almost sounds like an incentive for companies not to file their annual financial statements. How can we have self-regulation when the regulations themselves are so weak? The reality is that back when these regulations were formulated, a thousand bucks a day was a lot of money. Today, you would need to charge corporations a penalty of Rs. 10 million a day for it to be a deterrent. The trouble in India is that the chances or being caught are low, and the consequences of being caught are weak. As a result, we have forgotten what self regulation means.

Well, let me take the topic away from the well-known agenda of government and failure of government policies and most of all, the facts of our leaders and political parties. I move to the education system and the process now.

Let me give you an example from Jharkhand. The teachers (from primary, middle, and high schools) get the highest salary than anybody else. Almost every panchaayat has 4-5 schools, even more. Besides all these arrangements of teachers and schools, the government started “sarva shiksha abhiyaan” for rural areas. Local public got selected for this purpose and a committee of 10 persons from the village got appointed in every village. The job of that committee was to vigil and to ensure the attendance of teachers & students and the availability of midday meals in primary schools. Along with it, some more people got hired by the state government at lesser salary to ensure that the schools are not lacking the teachers. These people have been working on partly-volunteer basis and partly-employed basis. Above this bottom level, there has been a well-formed system of bureaucracy which is responsible behind the implementation of education policies, expenditure of funds, and making sure the system works and works well. The machinery is not much adequate or greatly resourced but it can be assumed that the arrangement is good enough to start achieving sustainable growth in literacy rate and basic education.

Then what happened after all those arrangements?

  • Teachers – They still demand for the increment in salary and they are no way inclined to educate the kids. The only good thing is that they at least appear in the schools more often now.
  • Vigilance – There is not any arrangement to ensure that the money is being spent correctly and the system is running well.
  • Attendance – Still the same. Forget the students, now there are the evidences of proxy attendance of teachers and SSA volunteers.
  • Village Committee – They think that they are given an authority by the government, but they don’t still understand the responsibility that why this committee got existence and privileges.

What is the current situation?

  • There is still unavailability of primary schools in every village.
  • Teachers appear in schools but there is no significant development in terms of teaching style and education patterns.
  • There are no private schools in village as well, so one has to go to the towns or compromise with the education.
  • Though the committee is made from the local people, they don’t do anything to persuade teachers to teach students or to convince the villagers to send their children to the schools. To be precise, they dont do anything at all except dealing with the money that comes from government to be spent on midday meals et al.
  • Villagers are either not aware or not convinced to educate their children and there is nobody available to make them aware about the education.
  • There is no such thing in the government machinery to vigil the functioning of the education department, schools, funds, and related bodies and people. I wonder whether DO and school inspectors exist or not.

To start a NGO or volunteer service for primary education is not a viable and efficient option. If the country has to achieve 100% literacy, there is only one way left that is to make the government system run properly. We can’t only blame the top political leadership because they are at least spending money in education sector. There is flaw in the entire system and everything needs a renovation – policy, government, system, teachers, infrastructure, people, students, everything. This will be hypocrisy if we don’t raise our eyes at the primary education, but only make a hullabaloo about the quota issues, entrepreneurship, higher education, research, and stuffs. Primary education is indeed the primary issue and everybody should understand the fact. Sustainable growth and a developed nation will only be a dream if we fail to provide primary education to each and every citizen of India.

If the term government is about the central government (ministers and all) then they are doing the job fairly well (in terms of providing funds for education system). They have allocated the funds for everything, vis-a-vis, infrastructure, teachers, midday meals, etc. Well, we may say that this expenditure is not enough for 100% literacy and HRD ministry should take care of primary education more than the quote et al, but it could at least be sufficient for 70% growth. But the problem is that even 70% is not literate, that means, the available resources are not even fairly utilized. The worst thing the situation didn’t improve after all these extra arrangements and also there is no sign of improvement considering the process remains still. So, why the resultant is cipher instead of that much expenditure? Definitely some people are responsible for that. And who are those people? Obviously, the people who are involved in this education system – the ministry, the teachers, the committee of local villages, AND the parents. This probably forms the entire system that serves the purpose of union government to provide primary education to each and every child regardless of the socio-economical status and all. Ignore the ministers (union and state). Reason: – Their job is to provide funds only and they are doing that (lets assume for a moment). But still, why to ignore anyone? Why to ignore the mistakes of anybody – even us?

Education for all, where is the goal?

The people involved and the “possible” things they should do and don’t.

1. Minister (union and state) : [political leaders]

  • Make policies(for the reason that the current education is not good enough because the results are depressing, so make new ones);
  • Provide enough fund to implement the policies and infrastructure;
  • Monitor the expenditure and results by taking reports in hierarchical manner (union ministers <- secretaries and state ministers <-the bureaucrats who are handling the education department in the particular state);
  • Ensure the functioning of the department by asking for regular reports from officials and providing extra resources that the system requires;
  • Spend some time on primary education improvement instead of wasting months for quota and related issues;
  • Spend some time on improving course of syllabus, education patters, innovation in system, policies making, study materials/etc.

2. Bureaucrats (all level):

  • Ensure working of the officials in hierarchical manner;
  • Employ reporting system;
  • Make proper channel of vigilance;
  • Initiate programs for making common people(villagers primarily) aware and convince them for education (this can be done by using the same people who are employed for part-time teaching or SSA volunteers at lesser amount of salary);
  • Each DO(of each district) should held a meeting at least once a month;
  • Each DO should manage the district vigilance officials and ensure that each school is being visited by them at least twice a month,
  • Take proper action against the teachers who are not attending schools or involved in proxies or not providing midday meals properly or even not teaching properly.

3. Teachers:

  • Should give reports to the district officials once a month,
  • Organize meetings with villagers,
  • Attend schools regularly,
  • Provide good teaching,
  • Create awareness,
  • Monitor the working of village committees and complain to the officials to dissolve and reelect the committee if the committee is failed to perform as it was supposed to do,
  • Coordinate with villagers;
  • Involve with the children closely despite of their social status,
  • Consult the parents if their children are not performing well or not attending the school.
  • Consult all villagers and take an indirect/unofficial survey to choose the right people for the committee.

4. Village Committee:

They first need to understand that all these arrangements are made for the welfare of themselves, their own children. They should :-

  • Coordinate with the teachers;
  • Monitor the attendance, teaching patterns, and performance of teachers, along with the midday meals;
  • Create awareness, convince, and persuade the villagers to ensure that all kids are attending the school (there are several ways to do it-by social pressures, personal pressure, threat to discard from society that they always do – and at least this can be done by the committee);
  • Initiate to involve educated people in the education process whenever and wherever possible.

5. Parents:

  • Monitor the attendance, teaching patterns, and performance of teacher and midday meals whenever possible;
  • Monitor the working effectiveness of committee and involve with them and persuade them if they are not working properly;
  • Ensure the 100% attendance of their children, Provide them study materials (if cant afford, then ask to the elite and educated people from village or even the teachers and officials);
  • Give them time to study at home;
  • Ensure that they are performing well.

6. Other Villagers:

  • Can do most of the things voluntarily that the committee and the parents are doing;
  • Make parents aware and convince them;
  • Educated people can also help the needy children with free tuition, books, and stuffs;
  • More educated people (who don’t live in villages but visit the village) help children with study materials and resources, guide them, and help whoever deserves to undertake higher education.

7. Kids:

  • Attend school, study well, and don’t waste the midday meals.  😆

Now, these are the possible things that the involved(or not involved) people can/should do. I am not blaming just because I have the only thing to do is to blame. But, if we don’t point out the errors, we can’t possible get the solutions. The errors are, for sure, caused by some bugs and talking about them is not blaming them, rather identifying them. As I think, only WE, the people of India, can’t enable the country to achieve the goal of 100% literacy. But also, the goal of 100% literacy can’t be achieved without the involvement of the people of India. One thing is sure that the government system MUST work properly to let the goal be realized because the government has a very large machinery and system and the public/private bodies can’t replicate that. And without having such machinery, 100% literacy is indeed very difficult, if not impossible. That’s why, perhaps, education, healthcare, and infrastructure are called the basic sectors of government. For 100% literacy, we need government. In fact, rather than “we need support of government”, “government needs our support”. It requires involvement of everyone – we, every citizen of India, the government, and the entire system.

The bottom line is to find a way to collaborate the common citizens (including us) with the government machinery and take bottom-up approach to make it work effectively.

This article was all about the current scenario and the problems associated with it. The left points are:- Citizen’s solution to this issue, the education policy, renovation required in the existing education system, and a roadmap to the 100% educated India. I’ll try to write about other dimensions and next steps very soon. Suggestions are welcome.

Image source: TEDxMumbai, Queen Rania of Jordon

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The Perception Point

It is a matter of fact, however conflicting, that your personality is identified by the number of people who are aware of your existence rather than the number of attributes attained by you. This leads to the subjective nature of your existence that which is ironic in nature at any particular given time. What I meant to say is all about the description of your existence in one person’s mind, how is it identified, how often does it transform, and what does it exactly mean. The core thing behind this entire dilemma is the perception and the inconsistency of mind. The inconsistency here refers to the tendency of the mind to reach at one solution by mean of the easier and the faster way to satisfy itself. More confusion occurs when the similar problem arrives at the different space-time combination where everything is eternally existent except that particular temporary idea or situation of the occurrence of the problem. In fact, the problem is also the same but the mind interprets it in different several ways in its different occurrences because of its inherent tendency. This tendency, henceforth, leads to more confusion and it corrupts the short-term effectiveness of one’s mind. Sometimes, these generic consequences and evidences get interpreted as the most effective way of analyzing things, however this is utter foolish in nature.

The perception is one thing that contributes heavily in this entire game plan. For example, a particular person knows you but that doesn’t mean that your existence will be identified by one particular absolute attribute or a group of consistent factors. You will be identified by the person by the several processes of the heuristics carried by the mind of that particular person and it is certainly not necessary that you always fall at any given point within the network of that heuristic knowledge. The person takes several references to satisfy the logic by using the vague understanding of fact and the knowledge gathered by the mean of heuristics. The point is that if the person tends to identify your absolute means, then, at the same time, why the person doesn’t want to identify your existence and get aware of the real facets and facts. Your existence is no way relative to any other idea or object. In similar ways, the identification of your existence by any functioning system is also not relative or referential. The real-time variables always intend to diminish the absolute nature of any truth and the human psychology plays a mystic role in capturing and elaborating those variables. Talking about the variables, they are not usually objective or self-descriptive in nature, rather they are some sort of mixture of representation of your instincts that shouldn’t be taken as the direct references of those instincts. These variables take form after combining the instinct or your inclusive factors, the immediate environment, and the object that acts as a mirror for those factors in that given environment. To be precise, that object is the person who puts the final remarks for that variable and grabs all the particulars of that variable. The variable is then analyzed as a direct instance of you being an object. After that the real-time variable is gathered by that person, the person’s mind starts the operation in its functional system by picking all its inherent direct and indirect knowledge that can be related with the attributes of that variable by any mean. Surprising enough, the system intends not to connect to any real-time factor that can contribute in reaching a perfect consequential result. It is very orthodox in nature and the proof and consistency of used knowledge can be put under a question. And after the system produces the result, though it satisfies the producer or the person who is performing this entire process, it puts a big-time confusion in your mind and you start wondering about your own personality and attributes.

There can be two, or maybe more, things that may occur in the second person’s mind. First, the mind has inhabited itself for that sort of operation and it can never emerge beyond its own comfort zone, as I said above. Second, the person’s whole system has generated an energy that persuades the person’s mind not to spend a bunch of required effort to produce dynamic processes and logical and far more real consequences. In laymen’s language, the second person doesn’t give a damn to understand you and never bother about your existence and your relation with that person’s existence. So, why does this process occur in the mind of that person? This is because the person is also conflicting in nature and when she doesn’t make any true effort to spend by your mean, at the same time, she also needs to satisfy her own logical needs. Therefore, she chooses the easier and faster way. As a result, what should you gather from whole process? As I think, you also should not bother about any consequences that are reached by someone else’s mind that all depends on the inconsistency of the mind and the perception of that person. You can’t help bringing consistency in her mind and can never capture the true nature of the perception and the related reaction. Well, this result can help producing a rather toxic reaction in your own mind where you repeat the previous operation with your own knowledge base. The second consequence can be that you also intend to get satisfied by that result provided that the result somehow meets your expectation or your own self perceptions. The second consequence may seems fruitful to you at times, but, truth be told, both reaction shouldn’t be carried away by you. It is something like perception of someone else is pushing its protocols to control your nature and originality and all of a sudden, your actions start denying your own existence. In case, if this action continues and repeat itself several times, you stop being referred as a truly living human by the protocols of the truth and the universe. It’s like squashing yourself in a tinier object or a instance that signifies a mockery.

The perception point, if used in accordance and coordination with the common senses and the consciousness, can be a very powerful theory to demystify the hidden truth of the universe and can immensely help to build a far more robust knowledge base. Well, I am talking about something very objective in character, but some associate tools used here are quite a bit collaborative in nature as well. Yes, I am referring to the use of common senses here. Again, this collaboration can be productive and destructive also, depending on the coordination between all the senses and objectivity of the usages. Common Sense is far beyond its defined range. What we call/see “common sense” is the outcome of our learning and experiences and the tendency of the nature to push us towards it. When we talk about common sense, we talk about intersecting the subsets of all our senses altogether. The optimum result occurs only when all of our senses function properly and consciously. And most of the times, when we seem to apply the common sense, we hardly employ all/even half of our senses, rather we take references from the data stored in our minds that is again referenced from several sources(mostly external). Total consciousness is a primitive prerequisite to produce and use common sense. I am afraid that we rarely use our common sense in our lives, forget the day-2-day activities. That’s why, perhaps, I usually prefer to refer common sense as a very uncommon thing in the living world. It has to be understood while regulating the application of the theory of the perception point. Alas, I sometimes realize that why the mystic forces of our existence, like the soul or the heart, plays significant roles in our lives. They somehow don’t satisfy the reasoning of our minds, but at the same time, our reasoning finds it too difficult to demystify these forces. So, perhaps, you shall better be proceeding with the reasoning and mysteries both until one of them starts controlling others existence. In the meanwhile, though you may not assure about the 100% functioning of you perception point, you should try your best to, or better say you must, not live according to others perceptions. In fact, how can one inconsistent operation help some other perception to become truly consistent? This is very simple and if it does satisfy someone’s mind, then the mind should also try to get rid of all those vague ideas and orthodox behaviors. Maybe, at one point of your life, you shall be able to control all the objects that are perceptive in nature.

Painting source: www.shubnamgill.com

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Objective Musings

Howard Roark & Objectivism

I strongly oppose people’s opinions and justifications that the ideas given by the Fountainhead don’t have the balls to do it so people appreciate it. One can never know that whether someone has to do something with it or not. It may be possible that one couldn’t get anything executable from the ideas and idols indicated in the book it doesn’t mean that any other person wouldn’t have received any good out of it. Plus, there is not a single thing exists in the world that can be proven as 100% hypocritical. It all depends on one’s mind and after all, the reasons and the attitudes.

It doesn’t matter that whether you get inspired by the book and the philosophies of AR the point is what you did/are doing in your life and what is the real soul behind all your actions for example, what do think about Steve Jobs? He might be totally unaware of everything said about objectivism, but I observe him as a Roark (for some extent..if u compare him with Roark from FH). Also, nothing is permanent in the universe..neither YOU nor I and nothing can be kept intact and untouched for ever. Everything get customized according to the person and the time if we talk about movement that’s why it’s life it is impossible to act as a virtue.

And in real terms (and as far as I conceived), objectivism has nothing to do with individualism, reason, motive, and self until they are driven by single soul and total consciousness (inability to understand/conceive/interpret (madness also) is not consciousness). You can’t generalize the opinion and the interpretation when it comes to individual’s thought upon a particular thing. The individual also can’t be proven wrong (including you and me) UNTIL the view reflects him/herself only. This is one thing where individualism implies its effect and it not only falls under the doctrine of rationalism, but also under the whole theory of existence.

My personal opinion is that FH has turned my life and I also like this character more than (most of) the real ones but, I have my own interpretation and way of customization and I live with my own philosophies may be, because I don’t like to act under any kind of virtue and, as I think, all those philosophies are wrong who can’t be completely related with the life and the actions of a life. The philosophy is one thing that is 100% practical it can’t just live in thoughts and dreams it is what we do, we live with, we die after anything else is not philosophy. People may not be agree but its true that somewhere in my life and at some extent, the theory of objectivism and reason has changed my life, its functions, and its behavior. I wasn’t the same after I started thinking from this angle. Well, we all carry an amount of individualism and rationalism from our birth but, in my life, it made the difference when I took care of it and started nourishing it. I don’t think that the use of these words have the potential to kick you.

Implementation vs. Representation

It’s all about the implementation we have been talking about. Even the Fountainhead and the story of Howard Roark were the implementations of the whole theory. I would have consulted Ayn Rand (sadly, the year of her death and the year of my birth were the same) about this confusion that given the birth to so many debates. As I think, The Fountainhead was never a representation of objectivism, individualism, and all the related theories. Howard Roark is just an implementation (one of the several possible ones) of those theories. Since it was a fiction, the comprehension of the character was quite fascinating and, for some people, hyper-representation, unreal, and hyper-heroic. That implementation can be falsified by one in the current scene and can’t look like possible one.but still, it is achievable not in the same manner, but it can be achieved. The representation of the character (not the theory) was heroic because AR worshiped the theory and she implemented the theories as the best she could do or she wanted to be happened in her times. If still someone quotes Roark as exact implementation of this philosophy then every worshiper will have to become architect and find Toohey/Gail to show his heroic abilities which looks like amusing. The hero lives reside in ourselves we need to find that person, worshiping one particular implementation and living under the virtue of Howard Roark are not like practicing the theories of objectivism. We can’t think from others mind, similarly, we can’t live according to others life following the behavior of Roark is not individualism, it’s altruism. So, the whole story and real facet is about the one’s own implementation of theories, rather than a complete representation.

The world has always been inhabited by Roarks and Galts they are still herewith you, without you, or within you.scientifically, it has been proved that we don’t represent just one person, rather we are a mixture of plenty of personalities and their traits one of them can be Roark, hidden or may be afraid or may be sick as soon as u find this trait called “Roark” in your several personalities and make a connection for this person to your soul you may get the real meaning of objectivism. objectivism and the reason is not just about the mind, the structure of neurons, and their logic it’s somehow deeply intertwined with the our inner self that provide the guidance to our nervous system to find and choose the real (in real terms),. and that we can call the truth or “the right way” yes, I’m agree that we don’t need the Foutainhead many people don’t know about it, but certainly knew their right way and they lived for it in their entire lives.that’s all.

The Greatness

There is one more thing. Why do we either hate or love Hoard Roark? Why don’t we make such debates about Superman, Batman, Vito Carleone, Adolf Hitler, or other more heroic person than Howard Roark? Why can’t someone ignore this immortal, impractical character? Should I say that there is always a Roark(as a trait, rather than just a person) hidden within our multiple layers of personalities? The one who loves Roark make this trait emerge from within and the one who hates Roark makes this trait suppressed because they don’t want to deal with this kind of revolutionary change within her/himself. The trait always want to emerge from within. Only few times, the story of Howard Roark or the fountainhead or the philosophy of Mrs Rand becomes stimulant for this reaction. What about those individualists and creators who lived before this story came to the world? Aren’t their characteristics and the lives heroic, considering they were also some sort of implementations of the theory of objectivism. What is rationality? The thing u are capable to do is rational and the thing Superman can do is irrational? Court’s way of giving justice is ethical and Vito’s way is unethical? Roark’s ability to struggle with the society is real and Superman’s ability to fly is unreal? Hitler was also loyal for his values (more loyal and dedicated than anyone) and he has had the reasons as well. Who decides the truth and the rationality? Who is right–Rand or Lenin? And why do we always need support or take references from history for our acts and logic?

Well, when Engels died, there were only few dozens people standing behind his coffin. Someone asked to Marx– “You always told Engels a great person. How can he be great when there are only 20-25 people came to assist him in his last journey? You must be mistaken.” Marx answered– ” Friend, I don’t say Engels great after counting number of his followers or admirers. I have a different reason behind my statement. People who know Engels have only two ways either they can be agree with him or they can’t be agree with him.One can never ignore Engels. And that’s why I call Engels a great person.” I think that this story has the potential to answer so many questions.

The practical implementation of any kind of philosophy and the theory again solely depends upon that particular person. As each person has different kind of traits and behaviors, similarly, each implementation of a theory also has different kind of behaviors and facets. For this consequence, the theory shouldn’t be blamed or be considered impractical/unrealistic. And again, it is immaterial that who said this or how did we get to know about this ideology and develop our concerns and thoughts to support this. One can never decide the right or the wrong for another person and s/he can’t judge it as well. If someone does this, it’ll go against the right of existence. Let the person decide for himself that what is right and what is wrong.

The Liberty

Liberty gives details of specific freedoms of action without obligations toward others, but recognizes that obligations may exist. Simply stated, it resembles “freedom from” and “freedom to”, but not the freedom as a whole. One’s liberty is a set of actions(not specified by that particular one) under a set of protocols which depict boundaries of one’s liberty. That means you can think of liberty as the absence of obstacles external to the agent as well as the presence of control on the part of the agent. As obvious, it is strongly connected with the socio-political system, so, it is about going through the right doors for the right reasons. Though you can think of the several possible doors and the reasons behind each way, the right door and the right reason will never be decided by you. As I think, liberty is neither similar to freedom(of someone) nor an instance of freedom(of someone). It may be an application of freedom for a defined society which pretends to resemble freedom of an individual in that society. It remains a liberty for the society until the concepts of the application are based upon free association and voluntary exchange. Afterward, it creates a pseudo-appearance of liberty for the people. On the individual level, you get the capability to make choices for your thoughts (that resembles your freedom), but when it comes to implement the suitable choice decided by you, the freedom converts into liberty under the anarchy.and you choose the second or third-best suited choice which won’t seem to cross the boundaries of protocols. As anarchists say that it is a conscientious decision to honor the freedom to choose without fear of trespass, the exact definition of liberty varies under different social (say political) system. This liberty stops more “bad” but it stops more “good” as well. Again, the “bad” and the “good” are not similar for each individual and then, it defeats the rationalism for an individual. And since, the definition of liberty resides under a political system, it denies any chance of furnishing and improving one’s freedom. Afterward, the liberty becomes a signature of collective-objectivism.

I’m against the social definition of liberty because it’s against the doctrine of freedom. I’ve some counter-points for those people that objectivism inherits the theories of liberty, in the context of The Fountainhead.

  1. Liberty gives details of specific freedoms of action without obligations toward others, but recognizes that obligations may exist. How often Roark tried to recognize the obligation?
  2. Though you can think of the several possible doors and the reasons behind each way, the right door and the right reason will never be decided by you. Do admirers of Roark believe in accepting this protocol that resembles liberty?

  3. One’s liberty is a set of actions under a set of protocols which depict boundaries of one’s liberty.

  4. It remains a liberty for the society until the concepts of the application are based upon free association and voluntary exchange.I think i don’t need to discuss on this, especially “free association and voluntary exchange”.

  5. Liberty resembles freedom, but what if freedom resembles liberty? Taking case of Fountainhead, in the terms of society, liberty resembles freedom and people were living in that pseudo-freedom. But, in the case of particular individuals, wasn’t freedom resembling liberty? If not completely, then a part of it.

And after all, suppose I’m a not an individualist and I exists with all Good and no Bad AND I don’t believe in pseudo-freedom but in TOTAL liberty, then isn’t the philosophy of Liberty infringing my liberty? If you are not agree to suppose anything, then didn’t Roark infringed liberty of the society and people who didn’t believe in things like objectivism? Remember, you can’t prove someone wrong/sinister just because he isn’t objectivist. Being objectivist or being like Roark is not always an ideal situation. There are/may be some exceptions, if looking at other way round.

The Psychology of Virtue

I’d like to state a generic kind of tragedy with all the philosophies including objectivism. I do never understand that why people always make equivalent relation between an object and its instance or, better say, a philosophy and its implementation in one man. Well, what is objectivism? Howard Roark? and what is Buddhism? Gautam Buddha? Absolutely Not. One more instance, who is referred as the most intelligent scientist of this century? May be, Albert Einstein! And everyone want to be an Einstein (remember, not as intelligent or talented as Einstein). So, what do you do? Write a theory about how to make nuclear bomb or e=mc2 in italic or strike through letters!! In 1940s, making nuclear bomb created a history, but in 2000s, destroying nuclear bombs can create a history. You can be an Einstein if you can destroy all the nuclear bombs. So, what makes one intelligent? Relating all the events(instances) from the history with your life isn’t the way of realizing a philosophy or a theory. We keep reading books and histories, making debates, and unconsciously we start living in a virtue, not even a virtue but a virtue made from several stories. All inexperienced and without any understanding. That’s where comes the difference – between intellect and wisdom, collection of thoughts and production of thoughts, awareness of truth and knowing the truth.

Now, I come at the theory of objectivism. As I think, each living person has a seed of objectivism and it can grow any time. And yes, objectivism has never been obsolete or something that has no use in practical life. Almost every achiever (philosopher, inventor, scientist, intellectual, revolutionary) has started his/her journey being an objectivist. I’m certainly not a follower, but I really admire it because I have a reason behind this admiration. And everyone has got a seed of individualism..this is just the matter of realization and nourishing it. That’s where Fountainhead works and that’s where it worked for youand that’s its uniqueness. The Fountainhead, most of the times, works as a catalyst for that trait. If you wouldn’t have a quest for this trait and behavior, it could have been possible that this philosophy wouldn’t have affected you.

I strongly reject the philosophy having no use in LIFE. As fas as Roark and objectivism are concerned, it is all about the relationship between Fountainhead (story of Roark) and objectivism. Roark is adored by words but rejected by life of people (the readers of FH). There are some reasons and contradictions as well. People admired life of Roark and worshiped him, but rejected his way of living his life by saying it impractical and too-much-hyped, and the philosophy of objectivism declared obsolete. I’m against this believe when people equalize Howard Roark and Fountainhead. When I said against making equivalent relation between a philosophy and its implementation in one particular man, I didn’t mean to say that there is no practical implication of one particular philosophy. This is a specialization and you can’t equalize an object and its instance. I again say that Roark is an implementation of Objectivism, not a representation of objectivism. In other words, Roark is a member of the set “objectivists”. I don’t think that it looks like “hypocritical”.

I try to see the other way round. Well, virtues guide people sometimes and help people live and see forward I’m not criticizing this but I criticize when people start living in virtue and they never overcome it. This is against every philosophy and a reason to destroy that. You also don’t need to laugh at “inexperienced and without any understanding” this is what followers do, this is where “living in virtue” leads, this is how “great philosophies” lose their meanings. Dear, innovation lies in questions, more than in answers. The journey(of wisdom/truth/innovation) starts when question arises and ends where solutions arrive. If you start your journey from answer, you’ll not be seeking truth, rather proving some theories based on prior axioms. The “virtue” has its own effects and counter-effects. As soon as u get it, u understand the value of the philosophy.

Story of Life

The word “Philosophy” is arrived from Greece, where it is called “Philosofia”. Philosofia = philo+sofia, that means, story of life. When we say philosophy, we refer to “story of life”. It means “story of my life” which immediately refers to one’s own life, experiences, events, learned things, sought truth, thoughts, actions, and all related stuffs. Why I’m writing it here because my philosophy is all about the things I experienced/learned/felt/discovered from my life. My life is not continued from anyone else’s life, so my philosophy is not followed by any other philosophy. And why I admire some of prior philosophies/people? Because, sometimes in my life, I seemed to be implementing that philosophy or part of it. This time again, the quest arrived earlier and answer came later. It’s not like that I read Fountainhead and when I finished I said that “yes, this thing/answer looks great and now I should implement it somewhere in my life”, without understanding the philosophy, more specifically, its implementation. I can’t stand with those theories/philosophies who can’t be implemented in a life. I found objectivism worthwhile from this point and that’s why I admire it. This is my reason.

Epilogue

You might have got my point that why I referred Roark “an implementation of objectivism”, rather than “a representation of objectivism” and withstand the believe to make equilibrium relation between Roark and Objectivism. Roark is a member of objectivism set, may be the most powerful, and since he was an implementation part, say example, of objectivism, there may exist something that doesn’t resemble like true/practically true objectivism.

I think that the whole idea of Mrs Rand must be conveying the philosophy of objectivism to the world, not the story of Howard Roark. If not, she would have written Fountainhead, part-I, II, III or Howard Roark and Goblet of Fire or something. In her fictions as well, lives/behaviors of Keira, Roark, and Galt may show contradictions, however, they all were objectivists. What does this mean? We got a contradictory philosophy, about which the author herself is confused or if not, the philosophy is all about the thoughts/mind/books rather than the philosophy of life/actions?? I think that she also imparted an idea to her readers that not all the things are absolute in terms of implementations, most of the things are relatives as well. Relative to whom??—the person who adores/implements the philosophy in either way. Remember, Atlas Shrugged has been referred as her greatest melodrama and in fact, she tried to make it so and after that she didn’t write any fiction.

I’ll advise people to stop digging the story of Roark too much, that’s a history (a fictitious history), and take care of the “objectivism”. It may have some use.


Images Courtesy: ishkur.com (1st) & iws.ccccd.edu (3rd)

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