The Wall

Ever since I came across the article that said that the American administration in Iraq is building a wall to separate the various factions in the Anbar province, the various ‘walls’ that have sprung up in the world before came into my notice..Well before this banter gets off…Wikipedia tells that a wall is a

‘………is a usually solid structure that defines and sometimes protects an area. Most commonly, a wall delineates a building and supports its superstructure, separates space in buildings into rooms, or protects or delineates a space in the open air. There are three principal types of structural walls: building walls, exterior boundary walls, and retaining walls….’

World over we have seen different walls springing up in different parts of the world..some for protection purposes, some purely divisive and some general purpose…Nothing has fascinated me like the Great Wall of China too….but the walls that divide people are the ones that intrigue me and the basis for this article.!
The Berlin wall was conceived by the East German administration of Walter and approved by Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev it was built during the post-World war 2 period of divided Germany, in an effort to stop the drain of labour and economic output associated with the daily migration of huge numbers of professionals and skilled workers from East to West Berlin, and the attendant defections, which hurt the Communist bloc economically and politically. Well effectively it did was divide the people of Germany for one full generation till its fall in 1989. Germany has grown stupendously ever since.

Does walls work? The walls built by Israel separating the Palestinians from the Israelites long time back..Oops! it wasn’t a wall, fence..whatever….Well the purpose the fence was built was to make sure that the attacks on the Jewish settlers reduce…did it ? it hasn’t…! Americans building another wall in Anbar province…to protect whom ?

So far I have discussed about the physical walls that separate people..For a moment let’s go to the basics. Human beings anatomically are the same with each species both male and female with identical features neverthless to say…and human beings are born for inter-dependance. Has it been the case in today’s world? The mental walls between the people are too great..We live in a world of stereotypes…Either you are black/white, christian/muslim, sunni/shia, roman catholic/protestant, indian/arab/english… what cost…Look at Africa…We have been too busy stereotyping ourselves that, a continent of lost people inflicted with diseases and poverty…who is responsible ? A choking mother nature, broken families….humor seems to have lost its worth! We see people everywhere struggling to make a mark in life…Work and work..all the money we earn is just not enough to satisfy our needs…spiritually we are drained..going from one god to another..what’s the use…still we are inside newer walls?

It took East Germans a generation to understand their folly…Today the progress of Germany is astounding…Bring down the walls that bind us..We need a society of people minus stereotypes…Where man thinks alike, where each man learns to respect each other for what we are and not what we can become..

The Israelites went around the wall of Jericho for seven days, shouting praises to God…the seventh day, the wall fell…When will we go around our walls of despair ?

Image courtesy: Israeli-Palestinian wall.

The Will to Live!

It was months back in a desolate oil production facility that I first came across Jigsaw and his antics in the acclaimed movie franchise Saw. I saw the second version of the franchise then and this week took the third version too. Well the second version was cunningly brilliant, the third part was logically excellent!! Hey whats that…both sound well similar..No folks this is not another movie review and I am not going to play a game as Mr. Jigsaw does…..but I may be lying…Read on!
The will to live…the value of life has haunted people since time immemorial. Ever seen animals ? We see how foxes outfoxes lambs and gobbles them as food..lion, tigers after prey..vultures after the dead. Well the last one is an aberration, think about the other two. Preys to a cunning terminator higher than the animal in the food cycle. Well the food cycle has to go. Herbivorous, Carnivorous….Omnivorous!! the familiar terms from the Science classes. Still the prey never exhibits the slightest emotion. Slowly, steadily the food cycle continues!
Now human beings the last but one link in the food cycle..No one above him to devours him alive except under strange circumstances, still we know after man comes the vultures ( I forgot that term..yes I remember scavengers). Yet they too feed on the dead. Again too slowly and steadily!
Why does man value his life so much ? Think about this. We have a man on top of the Eiffel Tower ready to jump to his gory glorified end. Looks up and ready to jump. Let’s call him…Ben. I go there..
“Hello Ben…How are you?”
“I am not fine..Go..Don’t disturb me”
“Hey Ben I am not gonna disturb you. I know exactly what you are going to do”
“Oh yea! great…Now get the f**k outta here. Stop pissing around”
“Ben..Come on man…I will help you die. Why dont we play a game ?”
“What game ? I ain’t coming for any game..Just leave me alone”
“No Ben I am not gonna leave you’ I catch him by the arm, twist it and chains him, ties the key to his neck..pushes him to the rail with head out, tie the legs on to the railings, hanging him by the leg! with head viewing the awaiting glory beneath. “So Ben you want to die…Why don’t you experience it and die ?” Attaching a timed explosive to his waist..”Untie yourself before a minute and try getting out, else be doomed..” Does Ben come out in time ? Lets see…
Ben was the epitome of a failed life. For him life was a complete failure. Life dint mean anything to him. With his lover leaving for greener pastures, rising debts and joblessness, life was never ever better for Ben. So ending it was the easier way out..He never bothered with the hard way! Well does he make it now with the hard way to escape….or does he cherish the hard way to die himself ? The game continues….

The hardest part in life is living it…No doubt..The easiest part is leaving it also!! That’s how things work out. Jigsaw’s tests wanted to change their opinions with life and as we see his protege Amanda who survives his test in the first part….turns into a cold blooded murderer and ultimately failing the test of the master in the final part. Life still have to be experienced. My grandfather used to say ‘Its easier to swim in calm water than in rough waters!!’. Life is like that. We go ahead doing the hard things..Easier things bring us down no doubt..Well Ben did try the easy way out of life…But hey when given the hard option the man is yelling and crying for his life….! Why is that so ? Well that’s when the will to live begins to form…Ben dint survive the game…Are you ready to play the game ?
Jigsaw din’t like people who murder for the sake of it…He just tests the will of the people to live….So where is the wil to live ?

Sachin Tendulkar: Stubborn Sunset

Sachin: The name invokes passion, anger, madness, any emotion and it is there. Sachin is there exhibiting. There was a time when the very mention of the name used to inspire an Indian with the willow!! Tendulkar had the nation with him. He took us through an odyssey, unforgettable one..Whenever India wins he got the credit, lost still he was not there in the picture. Even 2007 World Cup wont be any different. How much Chappel tries, the master blaster gets away unhurt!! That’s the way our country is..We have the Mumbai lobby who can scuttle anything and everything. So what if Gavaskar bats days and days for 60 runs!! Are you bothered ? Tendulkar performs well against minnows and against when it matters he can get away with all the time. This man should have receded long time back and now as a cancer is still there!! What to do ? Cancer sometimes never goes…It takes you with it.
I am not a cricket analyst nor a commentator of the gentleman’s game. But, I certainly do know one thing. Its that the miserable state of affairs in our eam can be singularly attributed to many factors and one of the main ones in Tendulkar/ the inertia caused by his actions in the team. An year back when Ganguly was kicked around in the team nobody noticed the master political game that was being played in the background by Tendulkar. I have always believed that Tendulkar was never an unifying force in the team. He was uninspiring in his two stints as the captain. He was also weak in many ways…As he was plagued by injuries is greed for money was paramount. One incident that lost my opinion about him was the Ferrari incident. For him the customs duty was a small amount and was easil payable. When he asked for a rebate, the NDA government did not want to antagonise an cricket crazy India during election year, yielded.
In the present scenario this man will escape unscathed. We have lambs in the form of Chappel and Dravid!!

Barack Obama and the Law of Infinite Growth and Hope

“We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don’t want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential”

Well it was recently while I was glancing through the channels on my telly that I came upon this segment on Oprah Winfrey where for the first time in my life that I heard Barack Obama speak and boy he did blow me off royally.
Seldom, very seldom in one’s life span that you come across visionaries, nevertheless people with idea, hope for the future. I have seen people who do a lot of yak-yak in their life….too many but when it comes to practice never makes it. Well I pray Obama don’t belong to that category but of a different mould.
It was in the year 2000 that there was this election between the present incumbent George Bush and Al Gore. Well to be honest I was pretty much distressed with the way Clinton was functioning. Silly putting himself with a sex scandal, not solving the problems of Middle East, he seemed a strong president minus direction. Bush, I went through his profile while he served as the governor and I was sure he was the man (I still believe him to the man for the purpose) to solve the problems of the world and of America.
I dont subscribe to the people who believe that America should be bothered with its own business and not meddle where it is not called for. I believe America has a serious and most important role to play in our times as the reigning super power of the world to create a change and a huge change. When we look at old civilisations like Roman, Greek, British etc, I believe America has never ever behaved like any of them but the scrutiny it faces today shows that the country of infinite possibilities is on the right track. Bush fitted the bill and I know that in this world I will be among the few people who still believe in that man and his vision.
One cannot deny the fact that Bush’s agenda for change was altered by the events of 9/11. Today as many do question 9/11 events whether they happened so or by chance, I still believe that they had to happen…..period!!
Clinton never understood the way thing changed. In the early centuries specially towards the Renaissance period, Christian faith had to endure a lot of problems along with the emergence of Protestantism, Reformation and subsequent industrialisation. With due respect to the Muslim faith I believe that the Muslim world is also facing the same problem as you have educated people in the form of reformists questioning the faith and the conservationists trying to hold their sway. It’s a win-win situation as it helps the religion to grow and promotes better understanding as it did with Christianity.
I was one of the many people who were upset with what Pope Benedict XVI told about Prophet Muhammed (P.B.U.H). One of my colleagues as I worked in Zirku Island came to me complaining the naive reasoning of a person so reputed as the Pope. Well it was like shooting yourself in the leg. Today is the time where we need reasoning that comes with patience and in this fast moving world that is seldom the case. Obama with parents having distinct religions promises to infuse the right spirit that is needed at this time. We need is an understanding of the faiths in a better way. What we need is people of education, sense of knowledge running the affairs of the place. Obama well through his words pin-point to the right direction no doubt.
Analysing Bush’s presidency, I feel that man in-spite of having advisers like Cheney who had to shoot his best pal during hunting! has done a great deal through his endeavors. Today understanding among people regarding Islam is at an all time high. Previously closed societies of Arabia are growing at a staggering pace. It amused me to hear about elections in Arab countries, cartoon exhibitions in Saudi Arabia. Times are changing. We need is judicious change with customs intact…Growth will come naturally!! No doubt.
Mr Obama I am waiting for 2008. Maybe in this Age of Aquarius you are our man for the job!!