Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Musings

I wish for the days when you had to wait for the mail to arrive (delivered by the postman/woman) to receive any kind of news. It took a few days and until then you waited, patiently. The key being, you were patient- a calm patience, where you don't think about it until the news reaches you, taking its time. Instead, now, with the possibility of instantaneous communication, you would think how convenient it makes everything - no waiting and no worrying. Well, I am not so sure. I feel the reverse. The fact that communication has become so quick and convenient has made me more impatient and to some extent neurotic or obsessive compulsive, where every five minutes I am tempted to check my email or incoming messages, especially if I am expecting something. It makes me restless and worry unnecessarily and sometimes even imagine the worst possible scenarios when I do not receive a response or a message sooner than later. Simultaneously, I also feel pressured to respond immediately assuming the person at the other end is going through exactly the same emotions as I was (neurotic/obsessive compulsiveness). And for what ever reasons beyond my control, if I am unable to respond immediately I tend to be over apologetic for the "delay", feeling guilty to have put the other person through such an emotional ordeal. In retrospect all of it always feel utterly ridiculous and exhausting.

Hmm...just some musings.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Wishful Thinking of a Secular, Fairly Informed, Politically Engaged Citizen

The major threats to democracy are

(1) Pseudo seculars
(2) gullible tards, who blindly believe any propaganda without bothering to find the truth, and
(3) politically indifferent citizens.

These are not my lines but lines posted by an fb "friend" who is a hard core right wing supporter, an ardent Modi fan and a dedicated  campaign volunteer for the saffron colored Party who takes his task very seriously and therefore keeps updating his fb timeline with propaganda material issued by the Party, either glorifying the saffron clad saviour, all set to "transform" the world's largest democracy or trashing "the family" and its scion (who obviously bunked career counselling in  school and is now stuck in the wrong profession) or nitpicking on every move made or word uttered by the maverick activist turned politician.

Given this context, when I found his recent post on his fb timeline I was left a bit dumbfounded! Did he not realize that the three points he listed reflected no one but himself and his like minded pals? I mean, when you think about it -is there anyone more pseudo secular than these saffron flag swaying groupies of a party based on Hindutva ideology who are preparing to govern a secular and pluralistic nation? can there be anyone more gullible than these tards/ party followers who devour the Party's propaganda material and out of sheer ignorance label anyone who comes out with a decent informed piece of writing as pseudo intellectuals (this is writers like Ramachandra Guha, Arundhathi Roy! )? and can there be anyone more politically indifferent than these citizens who claim to be "upto date in Indian politics" but clueless on the policies or how skewed its outcomes are or going to be?

On a more serious note- I don't know what the fate of this "Democracy" is going to be but I really wish people made more informed decisions and those literate enough to read, read works of genuine scholars, whose scholarship is based on facts and reflective thinking and inclusivity and not doctored, propaganda material.

Hmm..I wonder if all this is wishful thinking on my part?


PS: Post written out of sheer anger and feeling of utter hopelessness. 

Monday, April 07, 2014

My Architect On a Friday Evening

Poignant, inspiring, spiritual, emotional, artistic, romantic and an extraordinary journey undertaken by a son. I am talking about My Architect, a documentary on Louis Kahn- the greatest American architect, directed by his son Nathaniel Kahn. Last Friday evening there was a free screening of the movie at the campus, organized by the School of Architecture and I decided to go.


I was touched by  how emotionally invested the interviewer/director (Nathaniel Khan) was, to bring to life this intriguing artist/architect who is his father and in the process try and understand him and the person he was. The people he interviewed-his family, his friends and colleagues and all the interesting memories they had of him and their candid thoughts and insights about the man were brought out beautifully and were truly revealing. The movie is beautifully presented, with touching conversations with people who loved him(especially the one with the director's mother, one of the three women Louis Kahn had a relationship with) and stunning visuals of his architectural creations (The Salk Institute for e.g.). In the end you cannot but admire the man for his genius and convictions and forgive him for all his shortcomings. This clip below, from the movie, best articulates and sums up the man for you.



Below is another clip from the movie- a testimony by a fellow architect I.M Pei and the incredible architecture of the Salk Institute designed by Louis Kahn!




A fantastic movie and a must watch for anyone who loves, enjoys and is passionate about what they do. Louis Kahn- A truly inspiring personality well captured and presented by Nathaniel Kahn in My Architect. Also for me, a wonderful Friday evening well spent!