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.

Forward | Report abuse

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.

Forward | Report abuse

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?

Forward | Report abuse

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

Forward | Report abuse

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

Forward | Report abuse

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

Forward | Report abuse

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.