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A compodium of my published aritcles, features, etc. on technology, IT and everything else; sourced from CyberMedia publications, Financial Express, Free Press Journal, Nazara.com, etc……

Archive for July 2009

How does it feel to be a Father?

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For the past two months, there is this one question that am constantly dogged me as friends, colleagues and even strangers keeping jabbing the same at me ever since I became a father. Any conversation these days starts with the cursory exchange of pleasantries, the talk of the birds, the bees, the recession and so on till the query is lobbed at me like a stun grenade, “Ohh..Leave all that. So how does it feel to be a father?”

Stumped, is how I feel. Believe you me, it is not everyday that I am at loss of words or unable to articulate my thoughts; but as much as I have thought over the issue, I am still hard pressed to give a honest, coherent and simple answer to the same.

Tutul in Lala Land!!!
Tutul in Lala Land!!

Looking into the person’s eye asking me the question, I feel the burden of expectation on me. The person, apparently, wants me to break into raptures using esoteric terms and inane adjectives like ‘heavenly’, ‘wondrous’, ‘out of this world’, etc. to describe the whole gamut of emotions. And yet, there I stand trying to figure out what exactly to say, and then finally after some 30 seconds of awkward silence, I do oblige, and mumble something like, “On top of the world, the greatest I have felt, etc. etc.”

Profundity is the issue out here, being a father is not like winning a race or netting a babe, which evoke a single-dimensional happiness based on a sense of achievement. There are so many emotions that sweep over you in a matter of minutes and days, that it is impossible not to get numb. In fact, right after Idhant’s birth I was beset by numbness and really did not know what to feel. In fact, every time I saw the little guy, it was hard to believe that this fragile, delicate, pinkish tiny tot possessed 23 of my chromosomes in his DNA. Right from the hospital to the in-laws place and finally to mine, there were just so many thoughts running through my mind that it was hard for me to pick one out, package it with words and then dish it out as what I was feeling.

Even now, when I sit back and reflect on the days gone by and the ones that lie ahead, I feel flustered, thankful, happy, concerned, confident, worried, proud, scared, superstitious, etc. all at the same time. Hence, whenever someone poses the “how does it feel to be a father” query at me, I honestly wish I could make him/her understand how the feeling is.

Jai ho!! (even in sleep)

Jai ho!! (even in sleep)

My Eureka! moment happened some days back, when a method popped up in my head. The answer lay with Socrates. Using Socratian  counter-argumentative approach, I have structured a brief “How does it feel” questionnaire, that needs to be answered by the curious subject. Once that is candidly done, the subject needs to now amalgamate all the different views and that should more or less correlate to my own feelings. So, in case you want to know how it feels, why don’t you simply answer the following ‘How does it feel’ quiz below:

I) How does it feel – to suddenly realize that you are merely a penny-earner who can’t really afford anything? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shashwat D.C.

July 24, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Posted in Lonely Monkey

Tagged with ,

A HOMO-sapienic ruling

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People who belabour homosexuality in the society, terming it to be a disease (of the mind & soul) suffer themselves from an affliction: Homophobia. Homophobia, described as fear and contempt of gay and lesbians, is pretty much prevalent in our society. Through our literature, films and religious sermons, the caretakers of morality have repeatedly emphasised that homosexuals were different and dangerous; labelled as queer.
Indeed that stereotype built up over the ages still enshrouds our mind, so much so that if we were to know a friend or a colleague is a gay, snide comments will be passed and in all probability he or she would be socially segregated. Till sometime back it was believed that AIDs was borne out of same-sex relations. And the biggest opposition to same-sex relations came from organized religion be it Catholic, Hindu or Islamic.
The prejudice is so strong that if a man accidently brushes his hand against our crotch even in a crowded train; we immediately react with alacrity and would stare down at the man as if he is infested with worms and maggots. In fact, consider the terms that are used to refer to a gay or a lesbian; terms like faggots, queer, etc. In Mumbai we refer to them as ‘Gud’ (adding ‘Saala’ as an appendage) or Bombay Dost (based on the gay magazine published by Ashok Row Kavi).
Ironically, Homosexuality or the rather scientific term LGBT has been pretty common in the ancient times. Even the gods of yore frequently tipped the scale on both the ends, Zeus could not resist Ganymede or even rather strange inference by many of how Ganesha was born(e) by Parvati and Malini. I suggest that you do a Google on “god and homosexuality” and you will be surprised by the results thrown up.
And yet, for all the broadmindedness of the ancients like Greek pederasty, we the modern Homosapiens have been much intolerant of the sexual orientation of individuals. The worst instance of discrimination that I can think about was the incarceration of Oscar Wilde for his alleged affair with Lord Alfred Douglas. Wilde was made to suffer for “the love that dare not speak its name”.
Sadly, the same provisions that were applied and used against Wilde in 1895 continued to be used in India thanks to the colonial legacy. But thankfully, that changed today as the Delhi High Court came out with a landmark judgement by quashing the provisions of IPC 377 that applied to consensual sex between gays and lesbians. With one swipe, the court removed an unjust and unfair act that compelled individuals to hide behind curtains and be ashamed of their sexuality.
Nonetheless, the brouhaha around the issue as hyped up by the media is fairly disconcerting, since the term “legalizing homosexuality” is quite confusing, it almost seems like “legalizing rape” or “legalizing burglary”. Semantically speaking, it is more like “decriminalizing homosexuality” than anything else. The other day, my dad was watching all those gay parades on the news channels and the argument on “legalizing homosexuality”; and there was shock, anguish and anger writ on his face. As if now, we all will be forced by law to make out with gays and lesbians. The frown on his upper-story disappeared only when I explained to him the real picture, and what legalizing actually meant. I firmly believe that the media right now doing a grave disservice by improper usage of terminology and thus in a way promoting homophobia.
Meanwhile, let’s all hail the modern or as I termed Homo-sapienic ruling by the Delhi HC. And let’s hope that revulsion and fear associated with same sex love will vanish with time as more and more couples step out from the closet. Wonder, when will Shahrukh Khan (SRK) and Karan Johar admit it all over Koffee? Or are they really just ‘good buddies’?

People who belabour homosexuality in the society, terming it to be a disease (of the mind & soul) suffer themselves from a serious and dangerous affliction; namely, homophobia. By the way, homophobia described as fear and contempt of gay and lesbians, is pretty much prevalent in our society. Through our literature, films and religious sermons, the caretakers of morality have repeatedly emphasised that homosexuals were different and dangerous; labelled as queer.

Indeed that stereotype built up over the ages still enshrouds our mind, so much so that if we were to know a friend or a colleague is a gay, snide comments will be passed and in all probability he or she would be socially segregated. Till sometime back it was believed that AIDs was borne out of same-sex relations. And the biggest opposition to same-sex relations came from organized religion be it Catholic, Hindu or Islamic.

The prejudice is so strong that if a man accidently brushes his hand against our crotch even in a crowded train; we immediately react with alacrity and would stare down at the man as if he is infested with worms and maggots. In fact, consider the terms that are used to refer to a gay or a lesbian; terms like faggots, queer, etc. In Mumbai we refer to them as ‘Gud’ (adding ‘Saala’ as an appendage) or Bombay Dost (based on the gay magazine published by Ashok Row Kavi).

Ironically, Homosexuality or the rather scientific term LGBT has been pretty common in the ancient times. Even the gods of yore frequently tipped the scale on both the ends, Zeus could not resist Ganymede or even rather strange inference by many of how Ganesha was born(e) by Parvati and Malini. I suggest that you do a Google on “god and homosexuality” and you will be surprised by the results thrown up.

And yet, for all the broadmindedness of the ancients like Greek pederasty, we the modern Homosapiens have been much intolerant of the sexual orientation of individuals. The worst instance of discrimination that I can think about was the incarceration of Oscar Wilde for his alleged affair with Lord Alfred Douglas. Wilde was made to suffer for “the love that dare not speak its name”. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shashwat D.C.

July 2, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Mumbai Sea-Link: For Townies & Lal-battiwallahs

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Yesterday, the first lady of India, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the 5.6 kilometre long sea bridge that connects Bandra and Worli amidst much fanfare and celebration. Dubbed as Rajiv Setu, the sea link —  the longest one in India — is touted as an engineering marvel that promises to cut down travel time between two distant suburbs of Mumbai from some 45 mins to 7 mins. The media guys, who have gone wonkers on the bridge, would have us believe that because of the sea-link gazillion gallons of petrol will be saved, atmospheric pollution will come down, global warming will be solved, India will become a super power, humanity will live in peace, etc. etc.

And yet, speaking for the average Mumbaikar or the Bombaywallah, there is something about this bridge that just doesn’t seem right; and it has nothing to do with its splendid architecture. The trouble to be honest is very existential in nature and can be stated as following:

DID MUMBAI REALLY NEED THIS SEA-LINK?

Mumbai, for the uninitiated, is a longitudinally spread city, i.e. unlike other cities that usually take a circular sort of shape spreading out from all directions, Mumbai does not.  Thus when the Britishers came here in the 17th century and settled down in what is now Colaba, the city has been stretched like a rubber band to the northern side.  In fact, till around 1950s, places beyond Bandra (or as Salcette Island as the Portuguese referred to it) were not considered to be Bombay at all. People would loathe to live in places like Goregaon, Kandivali, Joegeshwari, etc. In fact, most of the city denizens would not deem the suburbanites to be second class citizens, much like the compartments in the local trains.

But in the past few decades that has changed drastically. Driven by commercial needs the city has expanded frantically and what was despised in the 1950s is now much desired. While Churchgate, Colaba, and Dadar were the centers of the olden days; Andheri, Ghatkopar and Kurla are the new hubs of a modern and vastly overcrowded city. In fact, the change has been so drastic that it is almost as if there are two different cities that stare at each other over the Mahim creek. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shashwat D.C.

July 1, 2009 at 8:11 pm