No Offence

No Offence

 

The basic conspicuous disparity that contrasts humans from other species is their ability to have diverse forms of momentary feelings and emotions. A dog loves its master and shall continue to do so till the end of its life. But we, as humans, keep developing on our latent and existing emotions every second. We might hate someone. But we might end up loving him if he miraculously transforms and successfully impresses us. This is because of our intelligent conscience. Something which, as of yet, has merely been observed amongst humans and species of folklore and myths. The unique competitiveness of humans has had them develop a strange emotion… that is to be personally and non-physically ‘offended’.

Offence-Initially described as to strike or take the first step against competition or opposition. But nowadays it has become an object of self-esteem and pride… “Wrong as per my judgement” we say. “I am OFFENDED…” we conclude. Offence is one of many universal traits amongst us which in the third person we perceive as immature, and in the first, it becomes morally the most ethical thing. It is anything but immature. Immature behaviour is always correlated to our primal instincts. Maturity is subjectively increasing every decade. Hence, our primal or animal or basic instincts can be logically termed as immature. Offence is an advanced and contemporary emotion. It is increasing by the day. Hence we can rightly and euphemistically call it super-maturity…and the offended… the super-mature.

The primary reason for getting offended, contrary to what most believe, is not dislike. We LIKE getting offended. The need to be contradicted and get the sole opportunity to refute and display our red-faced so-called distress, it is what ‘offends’ us. We want someone to question our veracity. Every Theist wants to tell them all the address of God. And every atheist looks for the one opportunity to throw in the pragmatism. To be more than the surroundings is the nature of us beings. We are so afraid of being lesser than the other that we latently sediment whatever they perceive. Every religion originally had better things to do than just surface up when somebody questions it. How often do you hear Temples and Mosques doing donations or uplifting the poor? But every now and then you hear Arnab shouting on the ‘Sanctum-Sanctorum’ and the ‘Fatwas’. Maybe the media shows us only the wrong. But that proves it further. We want to be offended. We love to notice the wrong and totally judge it. It helps make us feel important. Yes… it does. (For all those who are going to be OFFENDED after reading this paragraph and are going to come up with the ‘Rapists offend us’ argument… That argument is all genuine worry. And worry requires for action. Not being offended.)

Being offended gets a boost from Bollywood as well. Salman Khan bashing a guy for touching his collar, the famous “Jaykant Shikhre ka Ego”, Etcetera. These all sound so cool, don’t they? Let me tell you what I experienced in college a few days ago. I was casually walking with my friends in the canteen when a few mistaken backward steps caused a guy’s foot to almost be squashed by my shoes. It is always painful. But from his reaction, it seemed like he had a near death experience. I immediately apologised. He turned and retorted “I said once to be careful… you repeated it twice… you blind fellow…”. He said it in such a confident and programmed dialect as if he had been waiting there at that spot for me to come and step on his foot. I apologised again, as was implied by my friends’ expressions but also honestly remarked “I just stepped once… not twice”. This time, he turned around furious. At that time, I hadn’t realized that I had inadvertently called a random person ‘Wrong’. He was now OFFENDED. He looked eager to have a go at me. I gave a smile, apologised and shook his hand. His expressions changed. I said “It was unintentional… Don’t be offended…” He then, for the first time that day, started looking non-villainous to me. I there and then realized. He was not a bad guy or a bully or whatever people might think. He had just not been offended as much in a long time. Yes… this a true story.

So, we come to a short and cute conclusion. Offence is something you cannot avoid. Yoga brings in Tantra, Medicine brings in hormones and religion brings in mantra. Yet, there has been no definite speculation of human behaviour. We are all different… but still the same. We are building perspectives every second and even destroying the old ones. So… after reading this I am sure you must have understood what I wanted to tell you. If you haven’t then let me tell you I don’t like alternate opinions. Nah… just kidding. Say whatever you want to. I am open to opinions. But yes… Try… not to get offended.

God: History and Mystery.

God: History and Mystery.

God? What….Who…..Why…. Oh!!! The ‘Why’s… The stingy endless interrogatives. There are infinite answers to them… We all know the typical “Ultimate Power” and the “Holy Creator”. More like excuses put forward in hasty ignorance than actual answers. Why don’t we have answers? It’s not like we can’t find answers. We always choose not to. Some may now say that “Denial of the heavenly is Denial of your existence”… Yes… I have had those too. We have become so afraid of going into the depth of this subject that we have even drafted those ‘holy’ manuscripts which ban us from even thinking about the requisites of such a subject. All we ever see is blind-followers who justify their stand by saying “Questioning him is his utmost humiliation”. Humiliation they say? Why can’t we know about him? Why are we just told to read and follow a set of principles and ideals boasted to have been said by him? There is a simple and easy answer to it. We all know of it very well… but we choose to ignore it to avoid damnation for being a skeptic… But before I tell you more about it, let us first understand the answer in its entirety. Let’s roll back a few centuries.

Musallam Imam or ‘The Absolute Faith’… Also known as Islam … it is one of the youngest and most prevalent faiths on the planet. To a common observer… Islam seems a very complicated religion. Seeing traditions of self-abnegation as well as a scheduled life of pestilence and meditation… leaves the observer more confounded than flabbergasted. All is done in the name of the God or ‘Allah’. But does one understand why is it being done? Does even the most dedicated Muslim understand why is he living such a life? Why are people being made to blindly follow certain principles in the name of Allah? Islam being the ripest faith gives us very vivid answers to such a question. The answers can be very well derived from the life of Prophet Muhammad. Being born and raised in Mecca… a city inhabited by the barbaric Arab Tribes… Muhammad only saw possibility for a change in every aspect of the society. A change directed towards betterment. But when he came to the forefront to illuminate the people about the prevalent wrongs… the ignorant mass outrageously denied his claims and banished him from the city. Recollecting lost hope, Muhammad reached another city haunted by the trivial barbarous Arabs that is Medina. After foreseeing no possibility of forging the Arabs into living the idealistic life he sought… Muhammad made one of the most advantageous uses of the ‘Fear of the Unknown’ latent within every human being. He collaborated all the principles into a single stream of thought and compiled a common ground of belief.  Thus the concept of ‘Allah’ was founded. (Don’t take me wrong? ‘Concept’ has been used to explain the general concept of God and not as an insult to believers. I am a Theist myself.) Prophet Muhammad simply thought a few things- How to remove illiteracy from the ignorant Tribes? How to bring them peace of mind? How to root out the sinner inside of them? And much more… The answer was ‘Allah’. If people won’t understand simple logic of righteousness then you use fear of the divine to compel them to be extrinsically righteous.  The “No Questions Asked” comes to the aid now. The Arabs, now consumed by this new and amusing path of God, followed the principles without question. The mandatory reading of the Quran spread Literacy and the timely reading of Namaz some five times a day meditated their mind. The restrictions imposed on them such as ‘No Intoxication’ preserved their health and the observation of fast during the months of Ramadan increased their tolerance. The motive was clear… to instill the path of righteousness amongst the degraded humans… and the path chosen was called ‘The Path of Allah’ or ‘Islam’.

Similarly every religion and conception of God has similar roots… Every religion was founded as a path to correct ourselves. But after the disruptions and distortions caused through time… the concept of the “Righteous-Path” has slowly disintegrated and the only aspect remaining is the “Blind-Faith” which should have been merely used as a primary temporary initiative to teach us the impact of the Faith. We have hardly learned what we should’ve learned some centuries ago. When that Blind-Faith meets the now prevalent Misinterpretations and Over-interpretations then it forms a vigorous exothermic reaction and we end up reverting whatever we worked for all these centuries.

Therefore Time and Again we must question God… What is he? Who is he? Why is he? Yes… Why… the most important question of all… It is impossible to know the true purpose behind our very own creation… but it is very easy to know the reason behind the existence of a God… and if we can do that then we can at least strengthen our power of reason. The power of reason which provides an eternal trust on one own self… and once that trust is built… only then can a man be ‘Self-Righteous’. Self-Righteousness… the greatest virtue of all… When every iota of your body supports your decision only then are you self-righteous… and such a self-righteous person will always be righteous. This is the path of ‘God’. Many might claim that God is the Creator/Destroyer/Preserver/Epitome of Knowledge/ etc… Such a God is just a misnomer. Theists and Atheists waste a lot of time justifying or denying these claims. We needn’t even know all of this…  The concept of God was introduced just to make us grasp a better way of life. But we have hammered that concept to grease our own ends. Although we have every means to learn the truth… but that age-old Ignorance still lives amongst us… We continue to do those evil-deeds… just the difference is that now we justify them through the concept of God which was made to quash them.

Human life is very short… sometimes being overly curious can waste a lot of our time. But that cannot justify ignorance… we need to know the basic difference between right and wrong… A man who might have read the Bhagvad Gita multiple times gets sentenced for Rape… one who recites Namaz five times a day is hung-to-death for killing hundreds of innocents. All of it is the aftermath of Ignorance and nothing else… If we don’t ignore the wrongs around us then we can easily understand this path of God… GOD… THE MYSTERY…. HUH? God is no Mystery… if we just learn from History….

Modern Education: Hollow Diligence.

Modern Education: Hollow Diligence.

‘Study’…. The phrase that forms the common iteration throughout the time-tables of the Indian Student. “To have a better Life”….”To secure a better future”… Study… for the time is ripe as ever. I used to open books day and night… I used to study believing in the principles of the regular Indian Student. That one day I was studying… as usual… reading across the page… learning whatever was put forward… and there came the ‘Will to Know’ just like it strikes everybody and anybody. Will to know that what and why am I studying? The only aim that fell in front of my approachable horizon was to score in some examination.  And the spark was in the fact that this particular aim formed the centrifuge of all other aims in my life. ‘To get a better future I need a job… To get a job I need good marks and to get good marks I need to Study’… Nobody said this… but somehow they were able to sneak this code into the general programming of our brains… Us… We the Indian Students… We never really thought that why are we studying what we are studying? Why are aspiring doctors studying the plays of William Shakespeare and the poems of Robert Frost? Why is an aspiring musician studying the Laws of Newton and the theories of Darwin? We never really thought, did we? All we ever did was study? And study what… Those books we got in that haggard brownish packet from our nearest stationery before the beginning of our school session.  Whatever we received in that packet… we opened and tagged them as ‘The Books I need to study for a better future’. At least this reflects the technical superiority of India over the west… they spend millions of dollars to create or depict Machines… we simply give birth to them.

But this is not the only excruciatingly pitiable trait of the modern Indian student. This misconception of the word ‘Study’ is commonly justified by its selective or rather figuratively racist visage. People claim that they don’t study ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING and they study to be an Engineer OR Doctor, etc. Science… Oh yes! The language of nature… How can I forget? Having experienced nothing but the top of the food chain… the subject scorns down at the mediocre Arts and the menial Commerce. Oh!!!! Commerce… The Untouchable in this Educational Caste System… The Punitive subject. And this infernal snobbery is fueled by the institutions themselves by dividing the students on the basis of their merit… where Commerce is presumed to be meritless and is forced on the academically-weak student. What is their meaning of Academics even? A student getting the best marks in all subjects might want to choose Commerce or Arts… but usually he doesn’t do so to escape humiliation. There is no choice, is there? Follow the crowd and bend through the stereotypes.

‘What do you want to do in life?” is not a singular question contrary to common perception. You cannot just be an Engineer/Doctor/Lawyer. There are many other aspects of life to be kept in mind. Like keeping good health, good relations with family, etc. But again… the misconceptions are usually justified by people’s hollow claims. They say that not only did they do engineering from a top notch college but also management from another top notch University… and that’s how they gained diversity of Fields. Why does a person who would be a Manager in the future waste so many years of his life doing engineering? According to Indian mortality rate, four years are a little more than 13% of our lives. We could have done so many other constructive things in those four years… We could have learnt to become a better manager even. I know the future is uncertain, but to be so uncertain about one’s own self is a sorrowful sight to bear with. As such… degrees don’t just make us capable of a job… we aren’t an engineer/doctor/lawyer/etc. simply because we have the respective degree. Unless and until we start practicing what we learned… we cannot be called an engineer/doctor/lawyer/etc…

So why don’t we study just what we want to or like to study? After the basic communication skills are developed, the option of choice should always be there for a student. But the paranoia of the Indian Student is bolstered by the so-called ‘guidance’ of the adults he generally looks up to. Everybody from our parents to teachers do their level best to mold us into the robots we become. The passive expectations and compulsions of the elders sows the seed of doubt within the student. The doubt on himself… on his choice… And it is not only the paranoia of the student but the parents themselves… Indian adults can’t seem to build a firm trust on their sons and daughters. They just can’t tolerate their kids building castles in the air. The word ‘Aspiration’ has been erased from our dictionary. It’s very late in their lives that the parents realize that their children are just mimicking their own lives. Something like “Job at 24… Get married at 26… have two kids … and raise them just like you were raised.” The phrase “In our times… (Add any tragic event of your choice)” must have been heard by all Indian Students at least once. It all forms an endless chain. So directly or indirectly they are raising robotic children who’d continue their bloodline as the future INDIAN Parent. If the surviving Jews of the Holocaust raised their children in accordance to the phrase “In our times…” then imagine what would’ve become of the poor lads. Such robotic humans live a life full of regrets and never achieve even the slightest bit of Bliss or Serenity of self-satisfaction which is the ONLY sign of success in one’s life.

So what can we do otherwise? I mean you all must be thinking that there is a constitutionally accepted pattern of education running in the country, right? So what can we actually do to change that? Well first… let us change ourselves… let us be a little informally and infernally honest about what we like and what we don’t… Why be a hypocrite? Let’s start thinking… and thinking a lot… and let’s make a list (that always helps). Small to Big… silly to sensible… anything we can think of… let us add to that list. We can always strike off the impossible occurrences. Most of the things will be very well possible… like even travelling to Mars is possible… just a little less probable. Maybe this shall change our parents too… some of them at the least. And in this way the whole system shall one day evolve with us. Every occupation from picking up garbage to cleaning houses to driving auto-rickshaws to flying aeroplanes to starring in movies… everything will be seen as a skill and not a job. The schools will also impart only the education we demand. Only languages shall be made compulsory for communication is the only basic skill a person ‘needs’ to develop. Rest all are a complete matter of his choice and ‘want’.

The current pattern of Indian Education, if globalized, shall convert the workforce of the world into desktop engineers and doctors. The engineering colleges as well as the number of applicants, both increasing in geometric progression every year, are a clear testimony to the fact that respect and attention towards other occupations is dying in our country. People talk about providing education to every kid in India… no offence… but I am thankful that there are farmers in India who cannot afford to educate their kids. All that those kids can ever learn from schools is to why and how NOT to be a farmer… Soon we’d realize what mistakes we have made. Mistakes by following this hidden code within us. When the world will be full of us royalists… where leave it be menial but even clerical jobs become a massive-rarity. The system we followed and the system we worked for… that system will self-destruct. No peace-of-mind. No self-acceptance. All for what… This better future? This future might be better… but is it good enough? Is it all we want from the small life we have…? Is it all we seek…? Well if the answer is still ‘YES’… Then I have just two words for you… GO… STUDY….

Pandemonium Ferrate :The Moods of Man.

Pandemonium Ferrate :The Moods of Man.

The history of man has been a rather ironical discourse. Our past sardonically gazes back at us just when we strive to further towards the future. Nuance and Novelty are arts subject to idiosyncrasy. If we observe history, we shall find that eras have been usually named after incredible inventions and discoveries specifically those whose mere conception and initiation was perceived as fallacious publicity. Whenever the seemingly impossible has been presented as reality, new boundaries of scepticism have been defined. There are, thus, striking contrasts between the man of today and the man of old pertaining to this chronological evolution of pragmatism. Let’s glance them simultaneously and rather erratically.

Man ate raw meat and plants. Then someone inadvertently rubbed stones and created fire. Fire became the basis of survival of the Human race. If someone from today’s world went back then and displayed the current mastery over this essential element, he shall be a sorcerer of that time. But, the necessity that was creating fire out of nothing back then, has been a rare talent now giving to the readily available lighters and matchsticks. Man built weapons to hunt animals for clothing and feeding his family. Today, we have poultries and butcher-houses where these activities are carried out methodologically. Weapons have advanced to a level which if displayed to the ancient man, he’d bow down and chant away in reverence for this Godly power we hold. Sadly, weapons saw evolution from killing animals for need, to killing humans for domination, to killing animals for leisure, Etcetera. Hunting has become a sport rather than the mandatory occupation it was. And that too with a plethora of imposed restrictions for now we care about extinction of species. The era of man can also be divided into two halves. The more-superstitious age before the Industrial Revolution and the less-superstitious age after it. There was a time when saying Earth is round was considered an irrational and idiotic statement. We live in an era completely opposite. The world has had a cycle of rediscoveries. A patriotic sub-thought, Aryabhata speculated the ‘circumference’ of Earth before Vasco da Gama travelled to the opposite side of the ‘Flat’ Earth and discovered India. And ironically, that happened before Galileo faced death-penalty for propounding the Earth as round. No point, just trying to have a deeper insight into the weird history of man. Not only different times but different time-zones also affected the activities of man.

Over the course of History, the change of man’s attitude has been marginal. Sometimes it oscillates to and fro depending upon the prevailing principles and age-specific gullibility and fancies of man. When man was not on top of the food chain, he united with others and struggled hard to rise on top. Weirdly, now when we are on top, we are nicer to other species than we are to humans of other castes, religions, races and various other documented disparities. There was a time when having kids for the diligent families was a news to celebrate. The natural infections, diseases and difficulties of wilderness kept a natural check on population. Loss of loved ones urged man to keep advancing in medical technology to prolong life-span and reduce mortality resulting in the era of today. We are now advertising contraceptives and promoting lesser children in family for the world is overcrowded. Man worked hard over millenniums to convert his rough and tiresome lifestyle to a much easier and sedentary one. We constructed houses and furniture and enhanced comfort. Running and Jumping, which was an unforced, regular and round-the-day survival activity, has now become an ‘exercise’ to keep healthy. We have defined ‘aerobic’ hours for cardiovascular workouts and a necessity has transformed into a specific-capability. There was a time everywhere it was aerobic. In today’s time, the poor don’t have money enough to feed themselves and are extremely thin whereas the rich have so much surplus that they spend it to be thin. The NGOs for forest preservation collect donations in paper-currencies, those vouching for fossil fuel deregulation carry out their activities using petroleum powered vehicles. When India finally got freedom from two hundred years of English rule, then the first monologue of declaration of this extremely crucial and wonderful news was made in English (“At the stroke of the Midnight Hour….”). The amazement we receive from the very thought of something uncommon and impossible being true, compels and lures us to conspiracy theories. I mean, it is more awesome to have the ill-sourced and shady facts against Lunar-Landings and Mahatma Gandhi’s character than actually believing the documentations OR the certified eye-witness accounts. Farmers see aliens fly-by just because they want to. A monotonous and calculated life bores everybody and genetically following the pattern, people seek to be unique. In the midst of achieving distinction from others, the wisest of men utter the most idiotic of words and do the stupidest of activities. Sometimes, entire generations fall prey to the grasps of this idiosyncrasy. A man who was yesterday praising India’s advancement in Space-Tech due to Mangalyaan, doesn’t marry his daughter to a guy for being ‘Manglik’. A Christian archaeologist discovers dinosaur fossils and then the Pope gives a statement that they are diversions placed by God since Earth is not more than a few thousand years old. We move and settle around the world to find isolation and then want to connect each other through the internet since we are now too far away; we build virtual technologies for keeping us social and then call the users unsocial; there are so many examples like these. There is no end to finding ironies in a man’s very life, leave it be the lives of different generations combined.

The power of intelligence that distinguishes us from other species has us at a very confused state every now and then. The more we think the better the solutions we get but strangely, after rigorous hard work over a span of time, the ‘better’ cycles back to square one. The greatest victim to this is our Indian Judicial system. There are always some flaws to every law specific to vivid cases and there is always some need of amendment to achieve absolute justice.

Hence, we can say that human history is an idiosyncratic amalgamation of idiosyncrasies. We can keep talking about this on and on and still won’t get it all within one article. This amalgamation of the moods of man forms a compound called Pandemonium Ferrate… which is Complex… Confusing… and Ironical.