Tuesday, December 19, 2006

CPI(M), Singur, Coal Mining in India & Marquez

In One Hundred Years of Solitude, which, thanks to some Professors of Comparative Lit at Jadavpur University, where my wife was reading for her graduation, I read a year before that greatest genius of novel wrting so far, Marquez, got the Nobel prize, says at one place that the people of Macondo began forgetting everything. And they started labelling everything, like CHAIR, TABLE, etc.

I am brought to this analogy time and again. In the current state of coal mining in India, we have forgotten the common efficiency that was taken for granted in the industry as it existed then, till Madam Gandhi nationalized the coal industry of India. And 35 years after the first round of nationalisation we are moving further and further away from normal simple things that are a matter of course in any industry. The Deputy Chief Personnel Manager in charge of administration of the largest coal mining company of India does no work at all and senior national level TU leaders scream before a coprorate meeting that they have been put up in guest houses, two to a room, that have become shabby because of apathy of the Admin Deptt staffed by blokes with just a graduation degree from unheard of places called Muzffarpur or Bhagalpur, (no HR degree, mind you, may be just a dimploma that can be had in Ranchi or even Kolkata for a pittance). Why ? Because the Director(Pers) is a very rough, very corrupt person whom no one approaches to complain because the complainant would be packed off before he can bat an eyelid to a jungle beyond Dibrugarh in Assam.

I hope, with all the faith in the progress of humanity that my father instilled in me that may be one day we shall recover and reach the state of managerial excellence of the IT industry sometime within the next 15 yrs ( I cant see it happening in a decade).

The same analogy is true of the state of WB. First the CPI(M) destroys all industry existing in the state through virulent Trade Unionism, which though it has admitted, but is yet to come out with a clear apology before the people, not to talk of compensation, not to the capitalists who lost their property, but to the people whose fathers and brothers committed suicide out of poverty because their factory was closed and there was no hope of its reopening.

And then it takes over rich agricultural land to lure capitalists back to open factories so that the voters of CPI(M) must now be provided with jobs and this cannot be delayed much longer.

We have to rediscover things. Time and again. Because some hot-headed people who remained adolescents all their lives and created a very efficient party called the CPI(M) which grabbed power, mislead the people, coerced and corrupted the Government servants and even the Police and continued to mislead the people through their total control of everything, now even the principal opposition news-media house called Ananda Bazar, through their street corner propaganda machinery more efficient than that created by Goebbels and destruction of all opposition through a spy system more efficient and more ruthless than that of Saddam Hussein, so that no voter of rural Bengal can dare to vote for the opposition.

Marquez, a communist, is a genius. The above is another proof that One Hundred Years of Solitude is a classic that will stand the test of time.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Being Grown Up

Bloggerhead said something about nothing having changed despite her grown up status. I said 'What is being a grown up ? Grown ups are so ugly.'

Their faces dont show anything. Grown ups are people who feel the same things that we feel but hide their feelings. Grown ups would also dip their toes in the stream. Only its not a done thing and they only do things that are done. Grown ups dont do the things we do because when they did those things they were laughed at or lost money or status.

Basically grown ups are insecure people who dont do things that are not accepted by society. They have accepted the dictat of society and like society watch Hema-Dharam/ Shahrukh Khan movies, speak Hinglish/American. A male is expected to have a big job, be an MBA/Software CEO/Doctor/Lawyer/industrialist/enterprenuer, have a big car, a big house, a big bank balance and the female is expected to maintain the bungalow/apartment ship-shape, be a good host for parties thrown for office/business contacts besides taking care of the kids and in-laws.

A grown up would rather get into analytical discussions instead of enjoying a discourse on the many meanings of the word 'fuck'. A grown up would use his time reading ET than watching porn. Poetry was for wierdos in college and now it doesnt exist. Art ? How much did you pay ? What is its value today ? He has read Camus when he was a college student at IIT/IIM because some guy was discussing it and he didnt want to be left out. He forgives himself for having wasted that time becasue he was so young. The last book he read was the Alchemist / the Monk who sold his Ferari because someone's wife mentioned it in a party.

His only preoccupation is getting up the ladder or becoming an Ambani, and when he has time left over, he worries about the kids careers. Adultery is disgusting and is indulged in by losers. If his eyes light up when he sees a woman he checks himself right away, bad boy he tells himself, you have a wife and kids, and is soon lost in his job related worries and when he is done with the day he wants to come home, eat and have sex if she insists and he cant avoid it and knock off.

Grown ups are ugly people.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Casino Royale & love

Its truly the best Bond film ever. And of course a sensitive Bond and a brilliant intellect in a girl's body as Vesper goes a long way to make it that apart from the extra-terestrial action sequences at Madasgacar.

Besides. It has a wonderful new take on romance. I wish I had been able to keep it all under control when I was in love, like he does here. I would have WON IN LOVE ! Hands/pants down. But then theres nothing like surrendering to love. Completely. You lose the game, though. Because the no woman you love is a poet/artist, and she expects you to be a man not a Devdas. But what you gain is the EXPERIENCE, which you can never have if you havent surrendered. Just as Kahlil GIbran says.

Secondly, both the protagonists are aware that they are going to make love and its out there in the open in their conversation ! For me its always been the language of touch.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Mad people

I was talking to C who all call mad. He avoided the word mad. I asked why ? He said it didnt exist in his dictionary. I saw it. The page. There were other words with ma.. When it came to 'mad' the letters had faded as if washed away by the rains of life.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Free sex in India ?

Was going through 'Girl with a one Track Mind' and then searched for some Indian sites on free sex, whatever that means, and came up with some interesting finds. There's practically nothing. Sites show that even the so called liberal people in India are very, very Victorian in their morals and approach in so far as sex is mentioned only in passing. It should not be so. Sex is one of the foremost forces of life and should be reflected in the culture, behavour and all the doings of a society.

The basic needs of a human are food, shelter and SEX. In India now, though it is and will continued to remain a vast melting pot in all spheres, with simultaneous existene of the bullockj cart and the rocket, for most urban people the basic needs are more or less taken care of. The need for sex continues to remain chained in so called 'traditional values', which are in fact distortions brought in by Muslim invaders followed by the Victorian British. I am sure Indians were far more liberal in the Gupta period and before the advent of the Muslims. I am open to correction if backed by historical evidence.

When I was much younger, in the seventies and eighties, I could not accept the total absence of avenues for sexual expression for young unmarried ones. I still cant. Though, I think, the young ones today, especially and because of the liberal attitudes of young females, the scene is much better. I am of course eager for feedback from young ladies and gentlemen (Victorian myself ?).

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Between what I write and what I mean

I said 'Poetry is the attempt to capture in words what exists between words'. A Norwegian poet loved that. I would love to have your views on the above as well as my poems. On to poetry.

Commemoration / Post script

A final phone call.

To clear up things
To put on record
my ending of the story.

A date changes character
and refuses to be recognized.
Lines of confirmation

The calendar suggests other figures.
A twelve says, ‘Not me.
It was eight.’
Usually eight is the culprit
Earlier it was four.
My numbers.

But the fact remains
An execution took place.
And my severed head
Was abandoned to cry for itself.

Spring returns

A cocky orange streetlight rudely interrupts
My affair with the early evening sky
Of an ambiguous white or fading blue
With pink fleeced lambs turning dirty grey
A frolicking kite soars wild.

The dry cold north wind turns around
Humid and warm
And whispers in my ear,
‘Its time
for the green buds to unfold their wings.
Is it time for me
To float your dreams

Again ?’

If you go away

If you go away
take my sense of smell
or take the scent of the first rains after summer
that I may never remember
the fragrance of your skin.

If you go away
take my sense of hearing
or take the sound of sparrows
lifting the dawn
to another joyous day of expectation
of seeing you.

If you go away
take my sight
or take November sunlight
lazing on my home street walls.
I’ll need no more winters
in Calcutta.

If you go away give me extinction.