Categories
Covid19 life

Accidents

18/10/2020
A lot of things happened in the past few months. First, my father broke two of his toes in succession. The first time, he slipped on brick crumbs, and had to get to the hospital. When that toe got better, he slipped again. My mother called a pundit who did a yajna to ward off evil spirits, however, she could have simply purchased him another pair of slippers if you ask me.

Second, my Naniji developed clots in her brain. No, it was not fatal, only that she forgot how to pronounce multi syllable words, which was okay, since she was not pronouncing those anyway. I was more concerned about my own mother, she being a diabetic, still had to go to the local hospital amid Covid19 community transition phase, which would have been serious, provided nobody gives a fuck about wearing mask, which the supreme leader has commanded right from the pulpit of man ki baat. People are selective while listening to the supreme leader: they ignore all the responsibilities assigned to them while inhaling Islamophobia through every hole in their body. Talking about inhaling, the Indian media is inhaling some rare shit these days. Republic and co. have moved to another stage of project radio Rawanda, and they have been slapped with a civil case.

Then recently, my mother fell from the stairs and her knee swelled to the size of a tortoise shell. Since she is diabetic, it will take eons to heal. At present, she is stuck with crepe bandage and homeopathy. And I am stuck in the kitchen because my brother, pretty much like, John Snow, knows nothing, except for one thing, coding. But it’s not all bad. I am getting better at cooking.

In the middle of this tragic eternity, I also had to appear for UGC NET. I only knew 10 out of 100 questions, so I used guesswork for the rest. I don’t think I will be pursuing PhD. I have also developed back problem because of sitting in the chair for so long, and my eyes are worse then ever. I can’t risk another 4 years. At most, I’ll try for NET, join a college and prepare for general competition.

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art

Artwork: Anne Frank

Pencils: 5B and 8B

Categories
Covid19 humor

19/07/2020

Had to scream at my mother as she had locked us from outside with a burning vessel in the kitchen. She said she forgot she had put something on stove, and then started to cry because she hadn’t raised me to receive my reprimand. Now, let me put this straight: I hate manipulations. So I didn’t say much and let her sulk for a while. She put a matinee in front of my father, and he, like the loyal Supreme Court, asked me to amend things.

Corona numbers have broken through the stratosphere now, and India is racing for the first spot. The courts are quite preoccupied wih putting activists behind bars and denying them bail, rather than banning religious gatherings. Assam is hit with flood. Delhi is waterlogged. Bihar is on the brink of another catastrophe, days after over 80 people were killed by thunderstorms in a single day. Government is busy campaigning, as always.

Meanwhile China has already moved to hantavirus, followed by G4 swine flu virus. The last time I checked, they were talking about the symptoms of Black Death plague. Spain has ordered the culling of mink after they started testing positive for coronavirus. Beatrice was quite upset because she thinks it’s something Kim Jong-un would do. Apparently he had ordered his people to shoot dead covid patients. The tutorial deadlines have rankled Beatrice.

We are adding another floor to our house. My mother has started offering Rasna to labourers, so that’s something positive. At the end of their shift, we have to do the leftover work like removing sand and soil, cleaning up, and watering the walls, which is way more exhausting than it sounds. It could offset my record calorie intakes though.

I have started reading this book called The Prehistory of Mind by Steven Mithen. Barely finished the first 64 pages and I am already mind blown. I have also started studying about the origin of food production, which was nothing less than a revolution. I have also started watching movies. Finished The Artist, Snowpiercer, Avengers: Endgame, and have begun watching Platoon, which is about Vietnam war.

That apart, a really bad phase has begun for India. We are passing through a tunnel, at the end of which I see no light, only unemployed people with heaps of degrees, eating each other like zombies. I might sit for bank exams. Need financial independence asap.

Categories
art

Artwork

color pencil.

Categories
humor Quarantine Literature

Ludo and Muhammed

20/06/2020

After her YouTube venture, my mother has contracted a novel addiction: Online Ludo. Ludo and Ramayana have impugned the hegemony of PubG and Netflix in this lockdown. A few days ago, my mother’s village WhatsApp group witnessed a historic event: mass download of this online ludo game; and now, there is a midnight ludo session seven days a week. My mother has been tech savvy from the start. She used to own a kodak when it was cool. She created her facebook account in 2011, and by the time I plunged into this social media frenzy, she already had three fake accounts to spy on people around her. Right now, she owns a laptop, five phones, nine sim cards, and a pair of binoculars.

My father recently discovered the magic of whatsapp and decided to connect with his college friends. He kept texting people other people’s numbers so that they could talk to each other. He intended to create a sort of reunion network. I made a whatsapp group for him, and that filled him with delight. But now all his friends do is keep sharing moral science quotes in the group.

Talking of friends, I went out to meet my friends. We all were masked, so it was weird. It was also nice seeing each other, though not as exhilarating as it used to be when we were younger. Doctor’s house has people. I think she’s there too.

Border tensions have escalated between India and China. Twenty of our armed personnel lost their lives. We have sent satellites to space but we can’t fix squabbles using technology. Governments spend a fortune on taking lives, while saving lives is left to God.

As for Covid, I think it’s here to stay. Our professors have thrust assignments upon us. One of those is regarding gender in Islamic history. For that, I was reading Fatima Mernissi, who I find to be a bit too defensive of Muhammed while castigating everyone else. Now things cannot be that black and white. People keep eulogizing certain people. Muslims eulogize Muhammed, nationalists eulogize the army, Muhammed eulogized women.

For Mohammed and the army, eulogy brings glory, while for women, it brings hijāb.

Categories
depression life

On Depression

14/06/2020

Depression is a disease of the mood. It is marked by anhedonia, which means a loss of interest in activity. In short, a depressed person is unhappy, bored and suicidal. Depression can be temporary as well as can stretch for a long time. If not treated, it leads to serious psychological issues. According to WHO, over 264 million people suffer from depression globally, out of which more than 75% in low and middle income countries do not receive treatment. This is generally due to the social stigma attached to this disease.

I was depressed for a substantial part of my Late teenage years. Lessons that I learnt are:

(i) Don’t go after “talk to people” bullshit without analyzing your situation. Even though talking to people can be therapeutic, in a society where depression is either stigmatized or unknown, if you rely solely or even majorly on talking, you will end up dead. Chances are low that you will find people who are ready to listen. That you shall be able to communicate and draw positive response is even a dimmer possibility. Most of the time, the listener is not equipped to deal with such situations. This is not to reject the idea of finding supportive people who can actually help, this is just to say that tread carefully if and when you involve others. I did talk to some people. Most of them got bored or made jokes out of my situation. Some of the people posting promises on their wall like “I am one call away. Talk to me.” are hypocrite attention seekers.

(ii) Help yourself. Yes, please do. I know what you are thinking. That maybe I don’t understand the gravity of your illness. But guess what, nobody gives a damn about the gravity of your illness. People die on road and vehicles don’t stop. So help yourself. Fight depression like a champ. Don’t go for medication unless absolutely necessary. Keep yourself busy. Learn new things. Play a sport. Easier said than done? Get your lazy ass out of the bed. Give yourself multiple purposes. Explore your potential. Try it for some time, if you’re still not feeling joy in life,

(iii) Consult a professional. Please do. Because this world alienates people, and suicide has become convenient. So time to go see a doctor. Don’t sit idle. Seek help from people who know stuffs. And seek it immediately if you are an addict.

The only thing that will save you is yourself. The quicker you realize, the better for you. The bomb is ticking..

Categories
humor Quarantine Literature

Youtube: comments and commodification

03/06/2020

My mother started her own YouTube channel, after I told her how people are quitting IAS to become full time youtubers.

“If you manage enough views on your videos, you can earn a few lakhs sitting at home. “I said, recalling how reaction channels are hitting millions in views and funding foreign travels with youtube earnings, which they vlog to create more earnings to fund further foreign travels and create a perpetual mechanism.

Since then, she’s been cooking something fancy everyday. I crave that tasteless runny dal of hers which teleported me to government schools. It’s simple algorithm: the taste in my mother’s food depends on her mood, nothing else.

Apart from that, she calls scores of people everyday, asking them to subscribe to her channel, to which, they ask her to subscribe to their channels first. Everybody from my ancestral village – from insurance agent uncle to singer aunty – has a youtube channel. My people are quite tech savvy. I remember my Mamaji owning a telephone booth when not many people had phone. It was in 2004 I guess. He used to dial numbers for people. Today, he has lost that hand.

A few people have taken the pain to comment on her video. When she shared the link in her Facebook feed, a few uncles commented that they wanted to do friendship with her. When I got pissed off, my mother told me to calm down and learn how to use them. Alright. That’s new.

A week ago, she asked me to click her pictures for some local magazine cover. If my mother was not nearing her 50s, she would be running three tinder accounts, I tell you.

My father is leaving tomorrow. He is posted 68 kms from here, so he has shifted to the teachers’ quarter near his school, from where he comes back every weekend. When there were a total of 618 cases, government locked everything down. And now when there are over 8000 Covid cases per day, the government has lifted the lockdown. Koi sense hai iss baat ki? Yeah, the apologists argue that the lockdown was to prepare the health sector for the virus. Well, the first case in India was reported in January. Lockdown began in March end. The government could have thought about this instead of inciting riots in Delhi. Consciousness in India is nonexistent. Entire America is protesting against police brutality. India is that country where people celebrate Police brutality. And then we preach humanity to everyone else. Koi sense hai iss baat ki?

Anyways, my father is in his mid 50s. This old man has to live alone, cook by himself and manage his sarkari job, of which teaching is a small part. It’s pathetic. Today, only money possesses value, and the working class has to sell himself entirely to earn bits and pieces of it. The system has constructed this mechanism of double exploitation: first, the cost of education is raised exponentially, then it is financed through debt, which renders the youth completely thoughtless. [See Chomsky]

As life becomes worse in 2020, maybe YouTube is the only hope left. After all, all it requires is a camera and billions of dumb consumers with an internet connection, and with these simplest raw materials, it commodifies every single aspect of human existence, even reactions.

Categories
Covid19 India

मोमबत्ती और क्रांति



कुछ समय पहले तक मोमबत्ती क्रांतिकारियों का सैलाब और जोश देखने लायक था । IPL में सोफे से उछल कर दहाड़ मारने और बाहर निकल कर पटाखे जलाने का जो मलाल इस सीजन रह गया था, वो यंग इंडिया ने एक शाही फरमान पर थाली और मोमबत्ती के साथ सेलिब्रेट कर काॅम्पनसेट कर लिया। एक से एक एपोलोजिस्ट आए । कुछ ने कहा रेप विक्टिम्स के सपोर्ट में कैंडल जला सकते हो तो देश के लिए क्यों नहीं । UPSC वाले बोले अवेयरनेस के लिए अच्छा है, क्योंकि उन्हें एथिक्स का पेपर देना है । सब खोखले और दोगले हैं ।

अब तक 80 से ज्यादा मजदूर मर चुके हैं सिर्फ श्रमिक स्पेशल ट्रेनों में । उन्हें ना खाना मिलता है ना पानी। ट्रेन चलते चलते रास्ता भूल जाती है । पीयूष गोयल रेलवे मिनिस्टर हैं । डाॅन बाॅस्को से पढे हैं । पिता यूनियन मिनिस्टर रह चुके हैं और माता जी MLA, लेकिन इसे नेपोटिज्म नहीं कहेंगे क्योंकि उसके लिए पहले काँग्रेसी होना पड़ता है । किसी को इन मौतों से फर्क नहीं पड़ता। पिछले महीने तक सबको देश की चिंता थी जब ठीकरा मर्कज पर फोड़ा जा रहा था । आज कोई पंचिंग बैग नहीं बचा तो सब दुबक गए । इन मोमबत्ती क्रांतिकारियों और अर्नब गोस्वामी में ज्यादा फर्क नहीं है । इसे इनकी भाषा में समझाया जाए तो अर्नब यूट्यूब है और मोमबत्ती क्रांतिकारी टिकटाॅक । देशभक्ति के नाम पर इन्होंने आरोग्य सेतु ऐप डाउनलोड कर लिया और PM-CARES में 2 बर्गर्स की कीमत डोनेट कर दी। अब सब टीवी के सामने बैठ कर भीष्म पितामह के मरने का शोक मना रहे हैं । कुछ लोग पाताल लोक देख रहे हैं और सोच रहे हैं कि शाहदरा कितना डरावना है। कभी पाताल लोक वालों ने इनकी आत्मा देख ली तो डर के मारे कांप जाएंगे । कुछ लोगों को अचानक से ब्लैक लाइव्स की फिक्र होने लगी क्योंकि ये ट्रेंडींग आ रहा था । कश्मीर में इन्टरनेट नहीं है इसलिए वहाँ के लोग अपनी तकलीफ ट्रेंड नहीं करा पा रहे । कितनी शर्म की बात है कि आज आपको दुख बेचना पड़ता है लोगों के व्हाटसैप स्टेटस तक पहुंचने के लिए । कैपिटल ने इंसान ही नहीं इंसानियत को भी प्राइवेटाइज कर दिया है ।

27 जुलाई को कलाम साहब की पांचवीं बरसी होगी । अब इससे आगे क्या ही कहा जाए । जो मां मुजफ्फरपुर स्टेशन पर भूख और प्यास से मर गई उसका नाम अरबीना था । जो बच्चा उसे उठाने की कोशिश कर रहा था उसका नाम रहमत है । सरकार कह रही है वीडियो शेयर कर निगेटिविटी न फैलाइ जाए । बात तो सही है । वैसे भी रहमत के पास काग़ज़ नहीं होंगे । क्या फर्क पड़ता है । रहमत मिनेसोटा का नहीं है, उसकी ट्रेजेडी में टीआरपी नहीं है ।

Categories
India

देश

देश, जिसने आज के युग में “धर्म” की जगह ले ली है, पढे-लिखे लोगों का अंधविश्वास बन कर रह गया है । देश वह नहीं जो युग-पुरुषों ने सोचा था, देश वह है जो व्हाटसैप पर आपको फाॅरवर्ड किया जाता है । देशभक्ति मोहब्बत से नहीं, नफरत से चलती है । इस देश में लोगों के लिए जगह नहीं सिर्फ शर्तें हैं, हक़ नहीं सिर्फ भक्ति है । आप अपना दिमाग अपने ISI मार्क वाले फ्रिज में रख कर बाहर निकलें क्योंकि यह देश दिमाग से नहीं मनुस्मृति से चलेगा । सवाल की सजा तय है: छोटे सवालों के लिए ट्रोलिंग और बड़े सवालों के लिए लिंचिंग । अगर समस्या है तो चुप रहें क्योंकि सीमा पर हमारे जवान ज़ीरो डीग्री से नीचे की ठंढ में खड़े हैं । वैसे भी सारी समस्याएं पाकिस्तान, नेहरू और मुग़लों की वजह से हैं । वैदिक काल में देश और गाय ने बड़ी तरक्की की थी । गोबर से लेकर विमान तक, सबमें साइंस था। यही देश है। मिथ, लोकतंत्र और राजनीति- ये तीन यार जब मिलते हैं तब देश बनता है ।

इस देश में एक भगवान है, जिसके भक्त हैं । अगर आप भक्त नहीं तो अधर्मी हैं । अधर्मी सजा के भागीदार हैं। यह देश डिसीप्लीन और दंड से चलेगा । यह देश व्हाटसैप से चलेगा ।

Categories
India teenage

Boys Locker Room

04/05/2020

 

Instagram is full of screenshots. Those are from a group called Bois Locker Room, a community of juvenile perverts who exchange photos of underage girls and converse about raping them. Somebody from the group shared the vile chats and it spread like wildfire.

 

 

What’s phenomenal about this campaign against the Locker Room is it is addressing the right problem: the rape culture.

 

To understand rape culture in India, you can take a walk through its lanes. It is an all pervading, omnipresent aspect of our society, and is nourished by men and women alike. It is normalized to such an extent that calling out misogyny is a taboo, even in civil circles. Critics and nationalists would question the women-safety survey, retort with whataboutery, call you impotent and so on.

 

Now, I am not going to comment on the movement, for you can Google about it. I will talk about this incident that happened about four years ago, when I was added into this class WhatsApp group, which was a ‘boys-only group.’ We had another group with girls, but everyone acted polite out there, so maybe boys needed some breathing space. Initially, the group was about regular rants and fixing up cricket matches. However, a few days later, people started sending porn. I was an eager kid, quite sexually active, and I liked porn, so there was no chance of me objecting to that. Also, it was the time when talks about government banning porn were in the air. So porn sharing was like a mini resistance against this suppression. I never shared anything simply because it cost too much data.

 

One day, someone I knew well sent rape porn to the group. That shook me.

 

I protested and condemned the act, but apart from a few of my friends, nobody batted an eyebrow. Then I left the group. They often try to add me to new groups and most of them have grown up now, but I don’t entertain them.

 

Of course, the boy who sent it is still the same insensitive asshole. A few months back he updated his status calling for assault on protesting JNU students, asking people to beat them till ‘blood starts oozing out of their asses.’ The graphic violence in his thoughts, against a bunch of humans he has never met before, was disturbing.

 

I remember another instance when another of my friends called a girl a slut simply because she was riding a bike.Now, I am not saying I am the noblest of men out there, for I have committed much misogyny myself. That is why I am not judging most of my friends who were brought up in a rape culture and might have indulged in such sleazy acts.

 

What I am trying to say is that, often, we are not aware of our unintentional contributions to the sustenance of this culture. I am not justifying the Boys Locker Room, nor am I giving them the benefit of ignorance. It’s not about that.

 

It is sort of personal repentance for the mistreatment I may have caused to girls around me. Women should talk to men around them and be clear on this, on where they stand. I and Beatrice had a long conversation on this, and we agreed upon many things. An open discussion is required. So what you can do is send the screenshot to every boy you know and have a talk about it with them. Here, I think the initiative should be taken by women because we have seen enough movements led by men.