Humans are the only species on the planet who rape though ironically we often call the rapists animals. No animal rapes. No animal has sexual perversions or depravities. It is, as with most things, a peculiar human trait.
The liberals (so called ) suppress any thoughts or research that could brand them one of these terms : sexist, racist, communal and in the case of India castist. Liberals will do anything to be seen as liberals. Which paradoxically often leads them to voicing illiberal ideas.
I believe, one of the main reasons why we don’t read in India is because historically in the East the exploration has always been within. If you want any answers you look within rather than without.
The Kumbh Mela does no service to Hinduism. Rather it presents a very narrow, clichéd and archaic picture of this versatile religion. Thanks to events like the Kumbh, Hinduism has become a mere Brahaminical ritualistic mumbo jumbo. Hinduism of the Upanishads that expounds on existentialism, and a deep personal inquiry is virtually unknown to the Hindus or is completely lost to them.
Only a sustained public discourse on the subject can restore Hinduism to the heights of wisdom the great Upanishadic mystics had elevated it to. Otherwise Gurus like Assaram will continue to emerge from the woodwork and try and define it for us.
The main dome itself seems a bit out of place compared to the domes of other Mughal Mosoleums. The domb here is somewhat extended at the top giving it the ‘onion’ look. The dome and other places where marble is used has a rough patchwork look to it. Thats because most of the marble used in Safdarjung Tomb was marble plundered from other tombs-most notable the tomb in Nizamuddin of Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana, Akbar’s protege,
Those who have read my articles or posts will know that I consider all religions absolute humbugs and a major bane of mankind. But it is possible even for non believers like me to appreciate the rare flashes of coexistence, harmony and respect some of the faithfuls have for one another. On assignments across India, [...]
The fact is there is little to put the person who genuflects before a God in Heaven apart from the one who bows before a country. Both are worshipper of an abstract idea. In one case the idea is enforced by the priests and in the other its promulgated by the politicians.
Prayer as practiced by all organized religions of the world is a sort of begging. The believers worship a certain God, either out of fear or to fulfill their needs (material, emotional or spiritual). Shiva the Destroyer, is very much like the angry Old Testament God. He has to be kept happy, lest he wreck havoc on the world and our lives. Vishnu the Preserver has the power to fulfill our dreams. His various avatars from Krishna to Rama are worshipped by Hindu’s for a better salary, better grads in school, good husband, safe air journey etc.
But Brahma? What is the point of worshipping him? He is the creator and he has done his job. He has no power to either destroy our dreams or fulfill them. So why worship him? That’s why Brahma has been completely ignored by the Hindus.
The problem is that in India, exercise is seen as an unusual or as an elitist activity. Here film and sport-stars exercise not the regular Johnnies. If you workout, people comment, ‘’ Aree way! so you are a fitness freak?’’. For example an article about Robert Vadra is seldom written without mentioning his fitness-regime. Its as if he is doing something extraordinary. Magazines and papers love to use photos of him pumping iron in the gym. What is obviously unusual is people not exercising. Homo Sapiens were essentially hunters and gatherers. We trekked for days in search of food. We may have changed the world around us (read screwed up) but our bodies haven’t suddenly metamorphosed in the short span we have been on this planet.
Though the younger generation of orchardist are all well educated , deep rooted tradition beliefs prevail over commonsensical environmental awareness. They would rather slaughter a goat to the local Gods for good weather than plant trees in their depleting forests.
It is touted that the Umaid Bhawan Palace was built as a drought relief measure by Maharaja of Jodhpur Umaid Singh. The idea was to make a luxurious private residence for the Maharaha in order to create employment for the starving people of Jodhpur. I find it ironic. Imagine a man thinking of making a 347 room luxurious villa for himself out of the misery of the people is he supposed to serve. Surprisingly the Maharaja is glorified till this day as a philanthropist for his `noble gesture’. The moment you enter the Umaid Bhawan a large plaque informs you about this `generosity’.
In my grandfather’s time, ‘good old days’ were indeed the good old days. There were no rules for love and marriage and sex was free. You met a girl at the village fair and if she was willing, you could have a roll in the hay. If you wanted something more serious you brought her home as a bride . If you didn’t get along you simply broke off because divorce was not a stigma. Not even for women. My grandfather boasted of having married 13 times in this fashion and my grandmother thrice.
Banned books are fantastic for the obvious reasons. They question the status quo, challenge existing paradigms, question idiotic beliefs no matter how sacred, and provoke you to think anew. The very reasons the politicians and the clergy would not want you to touch them. But what is good writing if it won’t give you a fresh perspective. And what is freedom of expression without the freedom to offend. Because for how long can you read Paulo Choelho or Chetan Bhagat
Its interesting that almost all the religions of the world decided that the best way to appease their Gods was to butcher hapless animals to them. Apart from reasons of piety, I suspect it had something to do with guilt. Taking another animals life for food may have looked a bit selfish. Therefore as in most things, men decided why not do it in the name of God? You get to eat the meat and God takes all the blame for the blood and gore.
Is it really possible to go without food for 13 long days? Anna Hazare demonstrated this amply by his indefinite fast at the Ramlila Grounds in New Delhi fighting for the tabling of the Jan Lokpal Bill. What amazed everyone was how this 74 year old man managed to fast for that long when Yoga Guru Ramdev had to be admitted to a hospital after barely seven days without food. Ramdev for all his `yoga- cures- all’ posturing was diagnosed with bad liver and blood pressure and was quickly put on a drip.
When my father said he wanted to build a house in the orchards, I was surprised. What’s wrong with this one I said? We already had an orchard house. Though the house was a bit unplanned- with no attached toilets or modular kitchen, it was still beautiful. It was in the middle of our apple orchards . It was glazed on three sides and had a spacious lounging area around it. The kitchen was the old pahari-style, complete with a chulla where we burnt firewood to warm our hands and sometimes cook. The house had a huge gable with a spacious living room below it and an attic with splendid views of the apple orchard valley.
I am amused by the irony of a man who claims to own nothing, zipping by in a gleaming Mercedes while those who can actually afford one, bumping along the Delhi – Agra highway in the less than comfortable bus. I try to ask the followers about this but I am scoffed at for my `ignorance’. ” You will never understand the ways of our Guru”, they concluded.
Nizamuddin’s shrine like most sufi shrines attracts not only muslims but a fair share of christians, hindus and sikhs as well. Coupled with its tradition of music Sufi shrines such as Nizamuddin are also on the radar of fanatics who feel music is against Islam.
Anglo Arabic School is the oldest educational intuitions in Delhi and one of the oldest in India. It was established in the 1690’s by Ghaziuddin Khan the deccan commander and general of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. It opened as a madrasa and took the name of its founder. Despite it ancient pedigree , it was as recent as 2002 when the very bureaucratic Archeological Survey of India declared it as a heritage monument.
But the girls did not oblige. The organisers of Slut Walk Delhi- a motley group of college students, had made it clear. This was India so no revealing outfits. The Slut Walk Delhi was christened Besharmi Morcha and the organisers were at pains to explain that the walk was not just about women’s right to wear skimpy clothes. The only skimpily clad person for miles around was a resting ascetic who sat topless bang in the middle of the Slut Walk route.
I love Mughal Emperor Akbar. I think he was perhaps the first and the last great secular ruler in India. However like most powerful people, he was also given to superstitions. He believed that his wife bore a son because of Sufi Saint Shaikh Salim Chisti’s prophecy. Akbar built his palace in Sikri in gratitude to the saint. He lived in Sikri for 15 long years before realizing it had a chronic water- shortage problem and moved bag and baggage to Lahore.
What is it about the female’s hair that makes the male of the human species get so wild and crazy? Going by the Islamic culture that is one of the main reasons why girls are enjoined to cover their head. But its not just a phenomenon of Islamic societies alone. When the debate first erupted after France banned the burka in public places, I realized it was a belief more closer home than I ever realized.