Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Failed Actors in a Flat Stage (World)

The perfume lurking in the air
waiting for none
proud of itself
barged into me.

Blown back, by weeks and months,
it told me the names of
actors and acts
never forgotten,
but rarely remembered.

Two years ago...

Father was starting his scooter. He was going out to pay some bills. Hearing the sound I went to the gates to close them, after he leaves. As I was closing them, an aged man appeared. Frail, grey hair, wrinkled skin and a large thick plastic bag in hand.

Flashing a polite smile, he moved towards me. With an apologetic expression he asked, "Nanaakaan chooral kaserakal vallathum undo (Are there any bamboo chairs to repair)?" Even before I answered, he knew the answer and his expression didn't hide it. "Ivide chooral kaserakal onnum illa (There are no bamboo chairs here)", I told him, waving my hands in the direction of a couple of plastic chairs lying in the front veranda.

I had expected him to be disappointed. But to my surprise, his eyes remained silent and with a steady soft voice he said, "Enikku ariyaam... ippol chooral kaserakal kuravaanu (I know.... bamboo chairs are few now-a-days)". Except the tools sleeping in his plastic bag, he didn't seem sad. There was instead, a glint of triumph; he had been correct in his guess once again.

Thinking the conversation was over, I moved forward to close the gate. Suddenly, the phlegmatic strength on his face cracked open; painfully. The wrinkles on his skin huddled together for strength and eyes squinted, in embarrassment of what was to come. "Oru chayakulla kaashu tharaamo (Can you give me money for a cup of tea)?", he asked. It was a voice too proud to beg, embarrassed about the words he spoke and desperate in need.

I stood there stunned. Standing before me was a professional; an expert in his trade and tools. Yet for survival he had to beg!!!

I went inside and returned with a 2 rupee coin and gave it into his eager hands. Thanking me with a small smile, he moved on.


Two weeks ago...

Excerpt from a net conversation. Character, place and company names have been changed to prevent future trouble.
8:24:40 PM Sreejith >> I know this is a late question still, Keat, how were you contracted for this project? I understand you belong to a different company and that you are here on contract. Where do you actually work and what is the kind of projects you have handled before?
8:27:08 PM Keat Pecking >> Brief history...
Started my career with MultiTech (an MNC) in 1979. Came to this company, SkyMach (an even bigger MNC), in 1984 and worked here (in this building) until 2000 when I got an offer from a start-up telecommunications company. Big salary, stock options, bonuses, the works. I got laid off 8 months later. Tried to get back to SkyMach, but 2 months later the 9/11 attacks occurred and I was out of work for 2 years. They don't have the ability in this group to get a requisition for somebody of my experience level, but hired me as a direct contract for 3 years. Then laid off again. Now hired as 3rd party contract. Been back for about 3 months.
8:31:15 PM Keat Pecking >> That's the problem with contracts. It's an up and down type of business.
8:31:45 PM Keat Pecking >> I work for a company called GTC.
It took me a few seconds to digest Keat’s history. It was shocking to know that a person of Keat’s experience and knowledge had been out of work for two years.
8:32:43 PM Sreejith >> Ok. But why doesn't SkyMach hire you directly if they need a person of your calibre? Is it economics or something else that i don't understand?
8:34:22 PM Keat Pecking >> It's economics mostly. At my experience level, they would have to hire me at a certain salary. They won't do that when they could get 3 college hires for that price. Personally, I think they are mistaken in their assumptions, but that's the way it is. I kind of like working 3rd party contract now.
8:34:52 PM Keat Pecking >> There's a company in Calsys, US that hires very experienced people only. I heard they're doing very well and intend to look into it.
8:35:22 PM Keat Pecking >> I'm having too much fun right now to go looking very seriously, but also need to keep in mind that this won't last forever.
8:35:48 PM Sreejith >> I sincerely hope you won't leave.
8:36:00 PM Keat Pecking >> Not anytime soon.
8:36:42 PM Keat Pecking >> I enjoy this work. My contract is for 1.5 years. The problem is that with a bad economic downturn, I would be one of the first to get walked out the door.

Two actors trying to play out their lives to a changed script they had no clue of. Two years have passed since the first episode. Ever since, I have been keen to post it in the blog. So when I decided to revive the blog, I didn't have to search deep for a topic.

All of us have come across beggars; people who survive on the alms and kindness of other people. I had always thought of them as people who were weak or old to do a job or who were plain lazy to find one. The aged bamboo worker gave me a third kind - professionals forced to beg, though only too willing to work.

Keat and the bamboo worker maybe in different geographic locations. But the force that changed their fates is the same - Globalisation. The bamboo worker's case is a classic example of the millions of farmers and traditional artisans who were hit hard by an economy that opened up quicker than they could scamper for shelter. The influx of cheap imports and substitutes from neighbouring and developed countries, and the introduction of new technologies in all spheres that effectively killed complacency and inefficiency was a jolt in the dark for many who hadn't even heard of terms like "open economy" and "free trade". R Venkatesh in his article, 'Why Jet Air is a success and ICAI a failure' (available at http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/dec/03mrv.htm) writes thus, "The lessons behind the calibrated opening of the civil aviation sector are instructive and remain, in my view, an appropriate lesson in our process of globalisation. If civil aviation is a lesson to emulate, the opening up of the Indian accounting sector is in contrast an abject lesson in mishandling the globalisation process. The Indian accounting sector too has extraordinary potential (because of its substantial numbers, knowledge of accounting and of course the English language) to be a global player but has been subjected to premature external liberalization and without adequate preparation.
Consequently it is becoming an endangered species even within India.
In conclusion, globalisation is the war of entrepreneurs, who are a rare breed and require nurturing by the State. It is the profound duty of the government to ensure that the entrepreneurs succeed by its appropriate choice of policy and programmes......"

The government and the society failed to warn its citizens of the effects of a globalised economy. While opening up the economy was a brilliant move, the economists and politicians who masterminded it, never foresaw the need for educating the concerned people. As is evident from the booming IT, telecom and high-end manufacturing sectors, an enlightened society would have reaped better all-round results. AV Birla group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla defined globalisation as the most powerful and defining current underlying a multiplicity of challenges. "We must recognise that not all countries benefit uniformly from globalisation. The benefits tend to percolate to the advantaged and to those with the right education and training," he had said once. Keat's predicament forces me to add geographic location to the list of factors that determine the quantum of advantage.

The world has flattened as far as economy is concerned (and I guess that is more important than geography for most). It is our duty as much as the government's to help a generation caught in the turbulence of global economic transitions, act out their final scenes with dignity.

The Last Ink-Drop : This blog had been unattended for the past few months. Few of my friends had asked me about this. It was never intentional. To repeat a cliché, "I was too busy with work". Thank you all, who kept checking the blog for new posts. It feels nice when I write something and I hope I'll be able to do so more frequently.....

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Shadows of Dusk

At the shadows of Dusk,

the rider slowed.

A solitary sparrow streaked home,

mindless of the tepid wind,

blowing to the setting sun.

Orange crimson shades of glow

danced in the wind,

delightfully painting the earth and leaves.

Behind a crimson veil,

a shy-moon waited

for the weary sun to sleep.

“O ye Dusk,

sweet lass of sun and moon;

a virgin you will always awake as

for, for my senses to satiate

you never linger till I sleep”.


Ere you

feel the quiver in my breath,

see the plea in my eyes, or

hear the hints in my voice;

you run

to hide behind your mother,

the moon, in her darkness cloak.

W'ere you afraid

I'll ever see you not

worthy of the sighs I made?

Thy beauty, thy etherealness,

was it my making;

thy exclusivity

guiding a wanton desire.


The crimson clouds,

with hidden tears in frozen veils,

never showed their colour.

Before I could touch,

tell you the name in my heart, and

smile a tearless farewell,

they came down

pouring, and pouring,

soaking my gaze.

Lashing my brows, my eye-

lashes they fall,

making her naught...

making her noth .....

Knew these were, my

last moments dear;

would you have shown me

those moments lost?


The shadows have darkened

and outlines forgotten.

Alone into this night

I ride on...

The Last Ink-Drop : This post, in many ways, is the epilogue of a few plays in my life. It is as much fiction as it isn't. Don't bother searching for the prints on the sand. You would be confused.

Tomorrow, when I leave Trivandrum for Bangalore, an important phase in my life will be coming to an end. Happy and Satisfied - two words to describe my life till now. Everything and everyone has been kind to me. And now future is calling... baby steps for the moment...

I don't know whether the corporate world will give me enough time to put up another post here. Hopefully this won't be the last ink drop from my pen.. Ciao for the time being

Thursday, 12 July 2007

A Graduate's Essay on "My School"

My School - This mosaic image is made from a collection of 338 pictures. All the tiles used in this mosaic are pics from my 13 years of school life. Click and zoom into the mosaic and each individual tile will be decipherable; revealing a page of my life.

Jon Stock in his fortnightly column in The WEEK magazine wrote thus, "Never before has society had the means to travel back in time like this and try again. The internet may have made the world seem a smaller place, but it's also managing to concertina our private lives, allowing us to revisit parts of our past that should, perhaps, remain undisturbed. After all, if you're really happy, is there really a need to go back?"

Stock was concluding his article on the opportunity internet provided to make contact with our long lost crush(es). I too had one.. my school - Loyola School, Thiruvananthapuram. Never have had enough of it; and so still remains one.

This seems to be the season of blogging about Loyola. I have lost count on the number of blogs I came across on Loyola in the past few months. So why one more? The answer - each Loyolite saw a different Loyola. And before my memory falls to Alzheimer or some other such disease, let me put down my memories.

I wish to follow a different style here. The sentences or incidents will never be complete. This is more like a jig-saw puzzle. I'll describe a little, some pieces of the puzzle. Each piece will be complete in itself if you can colour it with visuals and sounds. Strain a bit more, exercise your memory cells a tad more, and you can be in it. Each piece also forms part of a bigger picture. Arrange them the way you want and see it the way you saw.

<||>"O God, our Lord and Creator; Help us to be good and to learn our lessons well; Teach us to know you and ourselves rightly".. twice a day - before morn and noon sessions

<||>A couple of steps and a small concrete platform in the middle of old junior school for making assembly speeches .. and in senior school had to give then addressing packed steps.. one of those moments for which I thank my parents for naming me with 'S' - rarely had I to give them as the list never reached 'S'

<||>The horse shoe shaped old junior school building.. old junior school staff room... Rajappan uncle's room.. Fr M.M. Thomas' Vice Principal office.. the two-door IVth standard class rooms.. running into them from the football ground after games periods.. <||>Sprinting to buses the moment the bell rings for end of day.. seats were scarce and the winner-takes-it-all only made the sprint faster.. cleaning the classroom after classes.. never really liked it coz my end-seat would have been usurped by the time I finish.. hurried through them fearing the buses might leave without me.. never bothered to do them in the senior school as no teacher kept tab

<||>12th std lunch break football games in the PT shed with a half-football size bladder

<||>Special assemblies.. readings from the Bible, Gita.. "Your response is, Lord hear our prayers".. Diwali crackers - the long chain of crackers tied between two trees.. blessing of the buses and classrooms at the start of each year

<||>Adrenaline pumping slogans during basketball matches.. "Are you ready for the magic.. YESSS... Then let the match begin".. "V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.. that's Loyola's battle cry".. Loyola-St Joseph matches.. "whisky brandy soda cup, we will win the BB cup"

<||>Fr Tayil, Fr. Mani Manimala, Fr. Kuruvilla Cherian, dear former Rector and his unique style of speaking

<||>"You are the worst batch I have come across in my 25 yrs of teaching"-Ponnama Ma'm in 7th standard

<||>Old UKG park where I played.. the concrete tubes acting as tunnels.. the merry-go-round, swings, slides, see-saws... white sand.. each day I used to come home with a load full of that sand in my shoes..

<||>Graduating to junior school park.. now swinging by standing on them.. the see-saws aren’t that smooth now.. but who cares

<||>"Is your father a carpenter?"..Titus sir used to ask us whenever we drummed our fingers on the old wooden desks

<||>UKG class rooms.. by the side of school day stage.. shifted to junior school and now back here again

<||>Science Exhibitions in the (undivided) Berchmans hall

This collage contains pics from my own collection plus a few unacknowledged pics from other Loyolites's Orkut albums. The center pic is taken from this year's school magazine - The Loyolite 2007. Click on collage to view in full size and quality

<||>All the excursions.. especially the 11th trip to Bangalore, Mysore, Ooty and Black Thunder.. and the 12th trip to Goa with Edassery father and Prabhu sir.. none in my batch can forget the train reservation fiasco and the platforms of Madgaon Rly. Station.. the bus breakdown during the 10th trip gave me my first Harry Potter book..

<||>TCS Quizzes.. shouting down other schools.. largest contingent always

<||>The old forest.. Dracula house.. interpreting and mystifying the writings and pictures on the walls inside it

<||>College hostel corridors and terrace.. has spent a few assembly periods there.. and got caught too, once

<||>The rare football/cricket matches in the hockey ground (where none have ever played hockey) when exams/classes happen for the remaining students

<||>Cardboard & paper-ball cricket matches in the tennis court (another misnomer ground) before terminal exams.. the very short boundaries and its own set of rules

<||>Shouts of "Happy Holidays" while leaving by bus on the last day of exams each term

<||>The python.. never knew its name was "Kaa" until Krishnachandran B wrote it in an obituary in the school mag (saw it again at http://isc98-loyola.tripod.com/wall1.jpg http://isc98-loyola.tripod.com/wall2.jpg).. then the love birds.. rabbits later.. (sources say there were monkeys in our school, once upon a time.. after reading the article on Abdul Uncle in this year’s school mag I think it must be true after all!!!)

<||>St Ignatius Day.. one of those days when our school alone gets a holiday..

<||>School Days.. hustle and bustle before the start.. students running around in make up.. tensed looking teachers checking whether everything is in place.. the school day drama.. "our" drama - "Silence of the Dead"

<||>Youth festivals.. 3 days of absolute fun and enjoyment.. really had enjoyed the competition and programmes.. still remember the recitations "O Captain, My Captain...".. "... into the valley of death, rode the six hundred..". and declamations. ".. I know not what bothers me.."..".. Friends, Romans, countrymen.." ..and house dances.. earlier there was a dance master who used to choreograph for all the houses.. the set of songs remained the same year after year.. only the house dancing to it changed

<||>The old sack-thick sleeveless house banyans.. they used to last pretty long..

<||>Numerous sip-ups while in my first years at school and the countless Fun-Oranges in my last years

<||>Sports day.. march pasts.. "this is the last and final call for the 100 metre dash.." PT, acrobatics and karate display.. tug-of-wars..

<||>"Demonstration for you, Command for me".. do i need to say who said this?

<||>Christmas celebrations.. decorating school buses and classrooms with balloons, colour papers and cards.. lucky dips and gift exchanges.. christmas party - initially they were in classrooms itself; later shifted to the open grounds and steps

<||>Farewell ceremony.. the whole class in "mundu".. group song by the class.. handing over of flags.. candle light ceremony.. in the evening playing the "last" football match only to come back few days later and play another one

<||>"Games" periods each week.. was the first thing I used to check when a new timetable is given each year.. loved the days that had these periods

<||>LaFest.. our LaFest- LaFest 2k2 with the tag line "just when you thought you had seen it all"..

Our LaFest budget - Rs 19, 990/-

15 schools, 1000+ students and 1 full day of fun - Priceless

<||>LaFest, School day, Sports Day, excursions, Youth Festivals - all these need pages of their own.. this post will just remind you that there was one.. fill it the way you saw

<||>School buses were notorious for their "noise".. many have told me, "You can say when a Loyola bus is coming, even from 1km away".. such was (and I hope it still is) the chatter we used to have.. always jam-packed.. when I joined there were 4 and when I left 6.. anyone remembers the colour-style of our old buses? white with a wavy stroke of sky-blue through the middle.. was really disappointed to see the buses painted in mute dark yellows one sudden morning

<||>The Chapel.. beautiful... the enchanting silence there, I really enjoy it.. our chapel is famous outside the school too, especially in CET (Coll of Engg, Tvm).. the First Friday Holy Masses... loved them simply because you get a period free if "sufficient" number of Catholics went

<||>Senior School Library.. hasn't really taken any books from there.. but can never forget the long chat sessions we had there.. Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys rarely stayed on the shelves.. towards my final years it was Tintin and Asterix..

The picture is too large for me to complete alone. I have left out many of the obvious pieces and have tried to describe some of the obscure ones. Complete the jig-saw with your comments.

The Last Ink-Drop : As for Jon Stock's question, if I was really happy about my present situ, would I have gone back? I am not and no Loyolite will ever be. This post is a testimony to that.

Cheer Loyola Sons

Monday, 25 June 2007

“OK”, said I…

I was born years back.
Much before that,
My parents planned my future.

When time came for me, to go
To a kindergarten, my parents said,
“Son, your Education cycle starts now”
A toy and an ice-cream will we give you,
if you get an admission”.
“OK”, said I, “After all,
A toy and an ice-cream are
the best things in life”.

Little did I know,
Learning has no ending.

Study, Study, Study.
4 years later, and 4 toys richer,
I became the senior most of the juniors.
My parents said, “Son, you are
graduating to next level”
“Do well this year, And
we will give you a cycle”.
“OK”, said I, “After all,
A cycle is the best thing my friend has”.

Study, Study, Study.
3 years later, as I reached the doorsteps of high school,
an Oracle was heard again,
“Son, harder you have to study this year”
“Get admission for ICSE, And
you will get a 100 rupee note”.
“OK”, said I, “After all,
Hundred rupees is a very large sum”.

Study, Study, Study.
3 more years, and the dreaded voice spoke again,
“Son, your first board exams are here”
“Ninety or
more – computer;
less – scoldings and nightmares”.
“OK”, said the fool (that is me), “After all,
Shooting an alien is better than
A scolding from father”.

Study, Study, Study.
2 years later, my parents said,
“Son, your school life is coming to an end”
“Your future is being decided;
Get a good rank in entrance exam”.
“OK”, said I, “After all,
College life must be easier than school”.

Study, Study, Study.
4 years later, the voice spoke again,
“Son, your formal Education is coming to an end”
“Secure a good job. Else
no money and no wife”.
“OK”, said the fool, “After all,
What good is life without a wife?”

Study, Study, Study.
Now I have 4 toys, a cycle, a computer,
A wife and a fat purse.

The end of the Education cycle, I have reached.
So thought I, till one day my employer said,
“Mister, you are living in a competitive world”
If you want to keep your job;
Do MBA, M.Tech, PhD,…. and be up-to-date”.
“OK”, said I, “After all,
What good is life, if you can’t live it?”

Now I have realized,
Learning has no ending.

So for me, it’s still
Study, Study, Study.

I won't call this a poem; just garbled bits of truth which may appear to be nonsense written in the garb of a prosaic poem. I had written this in my 3rd semester and now as I wait for my joining date to come, what better theme than being "study-less" for a new post.

I had promised myself, that once I finish all my exams, I would write on how it feels to be not studying anymore. Yes, all my exams are over. Not one stupid exam more will I have to write. Surprisingly, I don’t feel any difference. Maybe this is because four years of engineering has progressively reduced my learning hours and improved my ability to study at the last moment (now that is debatable). This isn't anything unique to me and each and every Kerala University (KU) student must be feeling so.

Things had come to such a situation that even for university exams I start my first glance only the day before. And leaving module(s) isn't taboo. In short, each day of my last few years has been a continuous vacation; occasionally interrupted by an odd exam. In contrast my brother is slogging. He is in his 12th standard. Needless to say, he has got as many tuitions as the number of papers I had in my final sem. He wakes up to go for them when I would have only finished half my sleep.

Coming back to my post-B.Tech life, there has been no change in daily routine yet. Still wakes up at 7:30.. newspapers.. breakfast.. orkut.. lunch.. TV.. noon nap.. orkut again.. supper.. orkut again.. any book till I fall asleep. But all this, without having to worry anymore of a looming university exam. And that is the ONLY silver lining.

It wasn't just my B.Tech life that ended on June 18th, 2007. My 17-year association with Mathew George came to an end. We have been classmates since UKG. Ok, he's here in Orkut and we'll be meeting each other occasionally; but I'll miss him. So will I, some of my other classmates. A post had been dedicated to that (Misunderstanding Missing) and so nothing more now. I already fear I won’t be seeing a very close friend of mine in the near future. If that happens, God, I’ll never forgive you.

Few more weeks and I'll be off to Bangalore. Till then I need to find some good time-killers. hmm..

The Last Ink-Drop : I don’t know whether I'll ever sit in a classroom again. Anyway not for the next couple of years, at least. So for now it's no study, no study, no study!!!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Globalising Religions

I am taking the liberty of assuming that you are well aware of the details of the recent punyaham controversy at Guruvayur temple, following the visit of Vayalar Ravi, his son and family for choroonu ceremony. If not, please go through the following link at rediff for details.


I happened to come across the above news link during one of my browsing sessions and I felt I had to give a reply to it. The next few paragraphs below are extracted from the rediff Message Board (without permission) for your convenience. The message under the title “Change the rules” was posted by me while the subsequent messages were replies to my post, given by various other netizens in rediff. I’ll meet you again, below, after you finish reading this.

Change the rules..
by Sreejith Unnikrishnan on May 20, 2007 06:59 PM |
Hide replies

Hinduism has rules???
Yes and No..

The rituals and so called rules are a product of a particular time and the people living in that time period. Period.

Most of the rules and rituals we follow today were made by our forefathers. Plenty of water has flowed through the Ganges since then.

Hinduism is a way of living. And ANY religion needs to change and adapt with the changing times for it to survive peacefully without conflicts.

I strongly believe all places of worship in India should be made open to all believers. Each temple/church/mosque can have its own unique rituals. But that should never be to deny a true believer his rendezvous with God.

Forward | Report abuse

RE:Change the rules..
by Sai on May 20, 2007 07:08 PM
We can even open Pubs and allows Mac/KFC to sell Chicken instead of Prasadam ..

There are already people trying to do something similar in Tirupati. Looks like your dreams are coming true.

On serious note, temples & religion are meant to show the path to realise the ultimate. So as a tradition there are some specific rules laid down to discipline the individuals. For ex., the 40 day Deekha for reaching Sabarimalai brought about a transformation in many people. This I am sure would have happened even otherwise if people had observed those rules. If you insist on going to this temple without that "Deekha" aspect you may get some momentary satisfaction but there will be no lasting effect.

So cutting it short, first follow the rules. DO not question everything that is happening around.

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This post has been permanently removed following an abuse alert.

RE:Change the rules..
by Kumar on May 20, 2007 07:20 PM
Sai by your logic India should have remained slave to the British forever! When rules are unfair and bigoted they need to change. This is how humans have evolved out of the cave to the present day society.

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RE:Change the rules..
by Sai on May 20, 2007 07:31 PM
You are right. I did not mean to say that become a zombie and don't question anything. But don't go around putting finger in everyone elses house.
But thinking about it, the British rule itself was probably because some one did not follow the "rules" before?

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RE:RE:Change the rules..
by Girish Nair on May 20, 2007 08:47 PM
Sai, then we should not be crying hoarse when missionaries exploit such practices and start converting people. If he and his family believes in Lord Krishna, why can\'t they worship him. If his family were not believers why would they even conduct the ceremony in Guruvayoor. Looks like we Hindus try to keep others away from our religion, even if they are interested in following it (just because by his birth he/she belonged to a different community0

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RE:RE:Change the rules..
by srinivas swedaranyam on May 20, 2007 07:53 PM
talkabt malayalis being broadminded, a class apart from the rest unique etc. as is propagated by them. They are narrow minded fanatics who cannot think beyond their language and country. It is not gods own country. It is devils own country. A country full of poison. Every malayali is poison. A fanatic to the core, who does not know how to respect others
They are all criminals. so why should we bother abt what these narrow minded dogs think of or do

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RE:Change the rules..
by Sreejith Unnikrishnan on May 20, 2007 09:31 PM
sorry.. but u dont deserve an answer

you have highlighted DO in "DO not question".. i am leaving out tht "not".. questioning and rational thinking.. God gave us that.. to use it is my discretion and to keep it under wraps is your foolishness

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RE:RE:RE:Change the rules..
by rnambiar on May 20, 2007 10:18 PM
Looks like Srinivas is a Typical Chennai Tamil..with full of hatred against Smart Mallu's

Finished reading the messages? Ok, before you start calling me a pseudo-secularist or anti-Hindu, let me remind you what the whole article is about; it’s about the need for ALL religions to change and adapt to the new world.

Just in case you missed the important points in the article, let me re-state it here.

  • The rituals, beliefs and so called rules are products of a particular time and the people living in that time period.
  • All religions need to change and adapt with the changing times for them to survive peacefully without conflicts.
  • All places of worship should be made open to all believers. Each temple/church/mosque can have its own unique rituals/rules. But that should never be to deny a true believer his rendezvous with God.

There is nothing unique or new in the things I have mentioned above. Similar opinions have been voiced before, and still are being. What I would like to point out, is the need for such a change now.

Almost all religions grew up independent of each other. They started among a group of people who shared similar culture and backgrounds. From there, they spread by word or in some cases by the sword. The problem of how to deal with a non-believer or a person from another faith never arose. Times have changed.

Globalization has resulted in people of all “kinds” coming to live in one small region. Today it isn’t taboo for a person to be practicing one religion while still believing in another one. While trying to retain one’s identity and culture, care should be taken to not hide oneself in a cocoon – a cocoon of mistrust and chauvinism. By over-protectionism and trying to hide your God, you are only demeaning His stature. As God himself hasn’t laid out any cut-offs for entry to his abode, why should we? (provided a believer is willing to follow the other rules).

Opening up places of worship for people of other faiths will help in giving a better understanding of our culture and the rich heritage each religion has. This is even more necessary in today’s world where conflicts often stem up from prejudiced beliefs about other religions and a foolish sense of supremacy about ones own faith.

For true-reform to happen, all people need to change and accept willingly. I fear this is near impossible in today’s scenario. History has shown us that when a law is enforced by a competent authority, it will be followed in letter and spirit. I am referring to the Temple Entry Proclamation Act of 1936. That was the time of kings while today we are the rulers. If the Government can bring about another such law for all places of worship, after taking into confidence all concerned parties, I am sure the succeeding generations will enforce it vigorously.

There is nothing more wonderful than living in a society where religion is only for self-guidance and not for filling in admission forms.

I rest my case. Tell me what u feel by posting a comment.

The Last Ink-Drop : The reasons why I included the replies to my post in rediff, here, are two. Firstly, to show how total strangers reacted to my idea. Secondly, to remind you that internet too isn’t free from racial abuse (or any kind of abuse). The message saying, “This post has been permanently removed following an abuse alert”, had some choice expletives. The north-south divide, mallu-tamilian egos, male chauvinists-feminists bickering, fundamentalists-liberalists clash ... aah .. fodder for another article some other day.