Archive for October, 2011

October 24, 2011


We are taking a small holiday.  See you next week!


October 23, 2011

Thought Vs Action….Trappings of Pseudo Intellectualism….Binary Truths

A few nights earlier, we had a very long and passionate albeit circuitous and repetitive debate, which ended only because we were too drunk and tired to go on. Which is to say; that I’m pretty sure this has happened across ages and will continue to happen whenever a set of conscious people come together.

The great debate on thought vs action.

The question of whether action is greater or thought? itself is flawed. It inherently wants to put one over the other, so that it can be put on a pedestal and eulogized.

I believe this argument stems from the fact that humans have over the years lost the capacity to view the bigger picture and tend to treat issues/beliefs/views as binary objects. 0 or 1? Good or Bad? Black or White? Intellect or Emotion?

Well, life/nature/universe isn’t so simplistic. It is a complex jungle of ambiguity and interdependence and that is what makes it so intriguing, so beautiful, at least I think so.

Now, I am not going tell you something that you don’t already know, I only hope to bring to the surface few things that have been pushed under the eyeline by the trappings of the modern world.

Why is balancing thought and action a challenge for many people? Why don’t they see it as manifestations of the same need to fill a void? One is a mental action; the other is a physical one.

I believe that “pure thinkers” think that thinking is doing. They think that the act of thinking and “learning” is moving them closer to their end goal when in fact only thinking is blocking their “progress”. While thinkers know that they have to eventually “do” in order to reach their goals, they think that the act of thinking always precedes the act of doing.

Similarly “pure doers” give emphasis to the process rather than the plan/objective. An approach that is fraught with danger and can be best exemplified by governments and govt. style thinking, for instance the PDS.

In reality, the act of thinking and the act of doing are inter-related and share a symbiotic relationship. Thought and action are more similar than they are different. I think the feeling of imbalance between thought and action is itself a symptom of a greater internal in-congruence

How much time should you spend thinking vs. doing? Where’s the point of balance between analysis paralysis on the thinking side and excessive impulsiveness on the action side?

There are no set rules or measures. It should suffice to know that both are equally essential.

While I was trying to see what other people feel on this issue, I found these lines on a blog.

A professor once said to me that “thoughts” do not truly exist until they are articulated, through some form of expression.

Accordingly – if there is no action to express a thought through a medium of exchange, then there is no thought, and by extension, no actual thought.

So what does this mean for artists?

To answer this, I think it is important to examine the purpose of art and the role of an artist (an issue that I’m not entirely qualified to comment on and something that itself could lead a plethora of doctoral thesis, but for the purpose of this post, let me try and present a crisp answer)

Art critiques the society we live in, exposes the lacunae in our current social structures and systems, preserves a few moments in our history. It evolves. It also shapes the future.

Artists, observe, internalize, interpret, promote and essentially create.

So an artist cannot exist if he doesn’t think. His is ‘astitva’ is in creating i.e. doing. One isn’t greater than the other. One cannot exist if the other doesn’t

October 12, 2011


And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, ‘Speak to us of Children.’
And he said:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

-Khalil Gibran

October 8, 2011

Impressive Television!

Being completely sick of television is impossible. We return back to it. Maybe to kill time, maybe to watch a cricket match, maybe because we don’t want to watch a movie. Whatever the reason, its hard to get TV out of our lives.

Recently I found a couple of really good channels to watch…and they are national networks, we all get them on our set top boxes for free!

DD Bharati and Lok Sabha TV

While DD Bharati is a entertainment channel, Lok Sabha TV is an informative and current affairs network. True, the production quality is typically DD, but the content is what really matters.

The list of programming on Bharati includes Bharat Ek Khoj, Ghalib, shows on theatre, North-East, cultural events etc. Please be patient and watch some of the shows that match your interest. Its like watching a really good documentary.

On LS TV, there are debates on issues ranging from Anna to 2G. The speakers represent both sides of the coin and surprisingly it is not about the State’s propaganda. And to top it all, the weekend movies are great! (without ads too!) They showed Garam Hawa on independence day, that’s saying something.

Here’s a link to LS TV schedule.

If TV is for killing time, try seeing these networks and indulge in some ‘constructive’ killing.

October 3, 2011

Jaagte Raho!

Morning papers read a drop of 4 Degrees in the temperature (Exaggerating a little, 2 Degrees didn’t seem significant). Winters are about to set in the capital city. There are a lot things that this capital city is defined by; the architecture, the food, the people- segregated by the geographical landmarks such as the river that flows through the city and the man-made landmarks i.e. the roads and more recently the metro-rail that runs through the city, the high crime rates, the corrupt police and politicians, the recently concluded international sporting extravaganza, and a simple fact that this is the capital city that has the power to control and decide the fate of a whole lot of significant and insignificant citizens.

Mr. and Mrs. Rajput drive through the sub-road that branches out from the main road and leads to their kothi. The kothi is right in the middle of both the entrances of the sub-road, but luckily for the Rajputs, the road barriers aren’t dropped down from the in coming side yet, else they would have to drive all the way on the wrong side of the road and take a full turn to reach the kothi, very unlike Mr. Rajput who strictly abides by the traffic rules. Moreover, it was quite a task after an uninformed lazy day off from work and a delightful dinner at the new Mughlai restaurant near Mrs. Rajput sister’s house.

Approaching the kothi, Mrs. Rajput has a sigh of relief to see the chowkidaar sitting on the rickety bench just outside the house as now she need not get down the car and open the door of the parking space. The car swiftly takes a turn to the right and stops in front of the gate. A second or two pass by and seeing no movement, the Rajputs turn their heads to look at the chowkidaar. Their sights fall on the still hands of the chowkidaar that holds a worn out greyish black wallet in one hand and a half entered/ half pulled out 20 rupee note in the other. A look upwards discomforts Mrs. Rajput; the chowkidaar has his eyes closed and is napping again. She gets down the car and slowly snatches the half entered/half pulled out note from his hand. Alarmingly, the chowkidaar shakes his head, open his eyes, clutches his fingers and straight away reaches for the 50 rupee note that is fallen on the ground right beneath the bench.

Before Mrs. Rajput could say anything, the chowkidaar starts mumbling about the headaches and the stomach aches that he has been having for the past few days and how this has affected his health and sleep. Seeing Mrs. Rajput unfazed with some discomfort on her face, the chowkidaar runs for the gate and opens it. In doing so he glances at Mr. Rajput who has a lazy smile on his face. The car drives into the parkway and the chowkidaar looks inside the car window and greets Mr. Rajput, “Raam raam sahibji” and receives a nod from the sahib.

Mrs. Rajput follows the car inside the parkway and the chowkidaar while closing the gate tells the memsahib that he was counting his notes to see how much he has managed to save in the last few months and was calculating how much will be spent as Diwali is approaching and he has to buy clothes for his daughters. Maybe, this would change the facial expressions of the memsahib, but she keeps on walking and passes the chowkidaar and the car and unlocks the door of the living room of the kothi and disappears in the vast darkness. Mr. Rajput has just locked the car and stands next to it. A slight contact with the chowkidaar’s eyes makes the latter bow and repeat “Raam raam Sahibji”, and another affirmative nod along with the lazy smile follows.

Tomorrow Mr. Rajput has to go to office.

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