As some of you might know, towards of the end of 2015 I moved out of Kuwait to pursue my career elsewhere. With the moving and setting up base in a different country its been a while since I’ve given any thought to the blog.
Now that I’ve blown off the cobwebs on the site you can expect to see updates on a periodic (or at least random) basis.
It’s been tough the past month keeping up with work and trying to maintain my sanity in the sea of madness around me. Thanks to the long working hours, sometimes as much as 14 hours a day, my photography and other hobbies have taken a backseat and will probably be that way till the end of the month. I’ll probably manage to fit in the odd post or so but nothing on a regular basis.
I just noticed that it’s been more than a week since I’ve updated the blog. My photography and blogging have taken a backseat for now but I’m hoping to bang out a couple of posts in the next few days or so.
The title of my post may seem random but Valentine’s day, pink chaddies* (*Hindi word for underwear) and India are linked in more ways can you can imagine. There are various groups in India that prowl on unsuspecting people trying to impose their own formulated versions of morality and decency. Some of these groups oppose foreign languages and foreign goods while others are more concerned with curbing freedom of choice. For many years now there has been strong and often violent opposition to the celebration of Western holidays (well not necessarily a holiday but you know what I mean) like Valentine’s day, Friendship day and godknowswhatelse day. I for one am not a big fan of these Hallmark holidays but as a citizen in a so-called free country I don’t mind my fellow countrymen enjoying themselves on a day that they think is important to them.
Although it may not seem like a big deal now, this ‘Talibanization’ of certain locations in India is a fact and sooner or later other regions are bound to follow. I remember reading news reports while I was in India during the late 90s and early 2000s of couples being beaten up and harassed for being together in public places like parks and hotels. If I remember correctly, some of these places were Madras, Chandigargh, Meerut and Bangalore, to name a few. Things reached a critical (and nasty) level in 2009 when a group of about 40 goons attacked female customers at a pub in Mangalore on Valentine’s day. Although many women were hurt and sent to hospital the assailants were not punished and the mastermind behind the attacks even went so far as to justify the assault.
At what point of time did we lose our freedom to choose what to celebrate and whom to celebrate it with? Do we lose our identity or culture when we celebrate a custom that originated in a foreign country? Check out the videos and links below and tell me you’re not disgusted at this ‘moral policing’ done by individuals with vested interests.
Recently a colleague of mine asked me why don’t all Indians speak Hindi since its a national language. The answer is that there’s no ‘National Language’ in India! This might come as a shock to you but nowhere in the Indian constitution does it say that Hindi is to be used as the national language.
High court verdict on Hindi as National language [link]
In case you didn’t know India is almost the size of a continent and is a Federal Union that consists of 28 states and 7 Union Territories. Now each state has their own unique culture and language and in most states the official languages are; Regional language and English. Hindi is taught in almost all schools in India except for Tamil Nadu, I’d love to elaborate on that but it might be the subject of another post later on.
Now since primary school we’ve all been taught about our ‘National symbols’ like National Bird, National Animal, National Song etc which is all good and dandy but in the process they’ve also sneaked in the idea that Hindi is the ‘National Language’ and one of the elements of being a patriotic Indian would be to speak the ‘Rashtra Bhasha’ Hindi. Now you may ask; “Why do you have a problem with Hindi?”, Oh I don’t have a problem with Hindi but I do have a problem if its enforced as the Official/National language of India since I don’t speak or use Hindi in any communication.
Lets take a look at some numbers shall we? The total number of Hindi speakers is not known but look at the millions of other language speakers. If you’re argument is that Hindi should be the national language since majority of people speak it then in my opinion it should be Telugu since Telugu has the most number of users.[/sarcasm]
Now coming to regions that speak Hindi you’ll notice that it covers only about 30% of the whole country so the argument that Hindi is spoken over majority of India also doesn’t hold much water.
What is the need for a National Language?
One of the reasons I’ve heard is that “its spoken in New Delhi so we all should speak it”.
This is probably one of the lamest reasons I’ve heard so far.
“Hindi is spoken by all national leaders so we too much speak Hindi”
I don’t think that’s true, there are many leaders and members of the parliament that don’t speak Hindi. I’m sure our ex-President APJ Abdul Kalam didn’t speak Hindi but that didn’t prevent him being the President of India
“We need a National Language”
No we do not, we already have enough ‘National’ symbols and the addition of a ‘National Language’ does not benefit our country in any way.
“Hindi unites us”
That’s total bullshit. This is often the argument of people who don’t give a damn about the multicultural heritage of our country. India is home to people of many races, cultures and languages and trying to unite them all with a single language is a joke. We already have the oath of allegiance to unite us and in my opinion that’s enough. When many people put forward this ‘Unity thru Hindi’ crap I like to remind them that we also were taught in school that we strive for “Unity in Diversity”
We don’t need a common language to unite us. I’m proud of the fact that we exist as a nation despite the huge differences in culture, ethnicity and language and this is what makes our country strong.
I’ve got this little quirk about counting the days of the week. I don’t have to look at the calendar to know which day it is, I just take a look at my wardrobe and see how many shirts are left. Oh yeah before you say it, let me tell you that corporate life has turned my office wear into an endless stream of Whites and Blues 🙁 Well anyway you can imagine the smile on my face when there’s only one more shirt left on the hanger 😀
Do you guys have any special methods to keep track of the days?
Recently the Government of India legalized Gay Sex and the amount of media buzz it generated was huge ! There were press comments from religious leaders, political leaders and other prominent members of society about how Indian culture and society was about to do down the toilet coz now two members of the same sex can have some quality time without getting a bum rap (is that even a pun ? I dont know!)
Anyway, the comments from our country’s ignorant millions were fun to read.. let me print a few here as I recollect them from memory. My comments are in brackets.
1. This is against our culture ( where does it say so ? is there a rule book ?)
2. Homosexual relations is a western thing (tell that to the millions of desi bhais who don’t give a damn about the west)
3. Now that its legal everyone will start doing it ! (I was in India last month on vacation and I still had straight sex, so who are these people who will ‘start doing it’ just coz its legal ??)
4. If you spend time with ‘them’ you’ll become one yourself (c’mon, its not a virus)
5. Now all the young fashionable people will do ‘it’ coz its the trend (really ? I wouldn’t have gay sex no matter how ‘trendy’ it is)
6. Homosexuals cannot donate blood or organs ( WTF ?? neither can a straight person if he has some communicable disease)
I’ve had enough of of this hype.. all this anti-gay propaganda is another form of racism. Why the hell should someone be bothered about his neighbor’s sexual preference ? Then there are a lot of people who say gay people hit on everyone, well.. so do straight horny guys. I’ve known a few gay people and even worked with a gay European designer on a project here in Kuwait and I’m still straight ! (see ? its not contagious!)
The thing that got me writing this post is the picture that you see at the top of this page ! This is outrageous ! How does Gay Sex become a threat to national security ? I think its a picture from a protest that took place in the United States.
update: I found a better picture of the same poster on Flickr [link]
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Have you noticed the increase in young road accident victims lately ? Most everyday I see news items with the heading ; “19 year old critical”, or “youths in fatal crash”, “young lady flips car on Gulf street”.
If you notice the crashed cars the majority of them are either luxury german cars or premium Japanese sedans and the victims are in their teens or early twenties. What does that say ? reckless driving ? If you’ve seen the way some maniacs weave in and out of traffic endangering themselves and other motorists you may understand why I have no sympathy for those unlucky bastards.
A person who can kill/injure another human being or himself with an automobile is no different than a person with a gun. If you look at it this way its a good thing if a suicidal driver kills himself without causing harm to others but my heart goes out to the ones injured/dead for no fault of theirs.
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Damn, reckless behavior in traffic seems to be getting worse by the day. According to the report on Intlxpatr’s blog there were more than 50,000 (no extra zeroes, I counted) accidents in Kuwait in 2008. Add to that the number of people driving on the sidewalk to avoid morning rush hour !
Earlier you could get run over by jaywalking or crossing where theres no Zebra crossing. Now morning joggers, people walking their dogs and road cleaning crew all stand the chance of being run over by a mindless moron in a huge SUV who takes the sidewalk as a shortcut. And want to hear the best part ? Officers of the law are happily doing it as well ! And no.. he was not in an emergency to get to a crime scene, he was on a school run. Thanks for being a role model Mr. Officer.
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