26 Mar 2015

Will You Be A Slave All Your Life?

Question for you: Why do you want to be a millionaire? Is it because you want a million dollars (or rupees) in your account? Or is it because you crave for the lifestyle that comes with it? Driving fancy cars, living in a lavish house, going on exotic vacations, attending crazy parties… Aaaaaah! The life!

I’m guessing it’s the latter, right? And that’s why you slog your butt off! You work like a maniac to be productive. This productivity, you are told, will help you progress and earn more. But here’s the thing. Productivity, real productivity, isn’t measured in quantity. It’s measured in quality.

I had written about one lie that society wants us to live in. Well, here’s another: doing more means you are productive. Doing less means you’re not doing enough. And if you don’t do enough, you won’t get anywhere in life. You will languish at the bottom while your peers get promoted, earn more, and enjoy more of life’s offerings. But, in reality you’ll work 10 hours a day, only to get promoted to eventually start working 14 hours! And that ‘relaxing weekend’ you so looked forward to will become a myth. If you are lucky, you’ll occasionally get to enjoy the spoils of your earnings by spending on gadgets that you barely use or indulge in a “short-or-get-fired vacation”, as Tim Ferris terms it. You will become a slave to money all your life.

But how can this be a lie? After all, doesn’t packing more activities in 24 hours give us a rush? True, it makes you feel great, but what do you accomplish? You tick a lot of items off your to-do list each day, but in the end, how did it help you to be productive? You worked your ass off only to have to do the same thing, in the same way, again tomorrow.

Doing more’ was a concept introduced by organizations to wring us, to suck out our blood, and then do it again. The more man did what he was told, the harder he labored, the better his chances were of being promoted. And as long as he believed this truth, the corporate world could make him work more and keep him bound.

slave to money

Dalai Lama was once asked what surprised him most about humanity. “Man”, he said. “Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present. The result being that he does not live in the present or in the future. He lives as if he is never going to die and then he dies having never really lived.”

Poignant, isn’t it? We are all living that life. Well, at least most of us are. If you are one of the few who is genuinely happy with their lives, I salute you. 

So what should we do to get out of this trap? Bruce Lee opined, “It’s not the daily increase, but the daily decrease that matters. Hack away at the unessential." So take stock of each daily activity. If that is helping you move closer to your ultimate goal, pursue it. If not, either delegate or stop it. However, dear reader, this does NOT apply to household chores. Please don’t quote this to your husband, wife or mother and declare that you will stop (or worse, delegate) household chores. It won’t be pleasant for me to see them chase me with knives and daggers.

So if you have a goal, do what helps you to pursue it. If you don’t, spend time with people who matter - spouse, parents, children, good friends. How will you find time? Simple. Eliminate activities and things that add to your daily burden instead of reducing it. Quit going to places where you are not needed. It’s better to quit when people are asking “why” instead of “when”. A “why” question means they are applauding your contribution, rather than wondering “when” your exit will come. So it’s best to free up time to pursue a more constructive and fulfilling life. You are the master of your fate. The key to your life is yours. It’s time you took it back from people who never should have had it to begin with.

12 Mar 2015

What the 'India's Daughter' Documentary Will Achieve

By the time you read this post, the Delhi High Court may have taken a decision on whether to lift the ban on the India’s Daughter documentary or not. We will now know whether the documentary will freely be circulated on YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter and WhatsApp or continue to be circulated mutedly WhatsApp circles with the demand to make it go viral.

This is the second outrage in India on social media in as many months demanding freedom of speech and from imposition of ‘unwarranted’ bans after the AIB Roast video take down.

The India’s Daughter documentary has done more harm than it can ever do good. Here’s how:

One, it is against the Indian Constitution. The final verdict of the 2012 Delhi Gang Rape case is pending with the Supreme Court and publication of any material that may influence a pending case is prohibited by the Contempt of Court Act. The courts can take legal action against the BBC if they wish. I’m sure the BBC knows this - they just don’t give a fuck. By demanding the ban be lifted and watching the BBC Documentary, you will abet a media house that deliberately has broken a clause in the Indian law - the law which you so badly want upheld in our country. 

Two, the 'India's Daughter' documentary has harmed the image of the Indian male worldwide. We are now looked at as a demographic of rapists who do not respect the fairer sex. Don’t believe me? Here’s an e-mail from a German professor who rejected an Indian candidate’s application for internship because India was a country with ‘rape’ problems: “Unfortunately, I do no longer [sic] accept any male Indian guests, trainees, doctoral students, or post docs due to the severe rape problem in India. I cannot support a society which is not able to respect females in any aspect…….. Many female professors in Germany decided no longer to accept male Indian students for these reasons, and currently other European female association [sic] are joining.” Happy? Can you also imagine the number of Indian males abroad who will be ridiculed and physically assaulted because of the image of our’s that this documentary portrays of us? Just because the media won’t report them doesn't mean it won’t happen. This is going to lead to round two of ‘curry bashing’ in developed countries. Thank you BBC!

Three, a lot of wrong has been done during the filming and production of ‘India’s Daughter’. For the documentary, the accused, Mukesh Singh, demanded ₹2 lakhs from the BBC. The latter paid him 40,000 rupees. Wow! 40k for violating a girl and becoming the star in a BBC documentary! Sounds terrific, doesn't it? Plus the boy who was with Jyoti Singh (I will call her by her real name, not Nirbhaya) on that fateful night has stated that the documentary is a fake. It also shows that anyone can walk into a jail and interview a criminal.

indias daughter documentary ban
Do you really want to watch it?

Which brings me to the following questions: Will you readily justify all this so that you can watch the documentary? Why do you want ‘India’s Daughter’ to be aired? It has been shot by a media house which is definitely not Indian. Were we not living until now without seeing something as disturbing as this? And if we really were keen on knowing the mindset of a rapist, why wasn't this shot by an Indian? We had 2 1/2 years to do it, didn't we?

Here's what you will do if the ban is lifted from the BBC documentary: Plaster social media platforms with the video, chastise derogatory comments made shamelessly in it and demand justice for Jyoti. Time that should be spent by parents in embedding values in their children will be spent on writing blog posts about how horrible our culture is, how lax the law is and how spoilt we men are. And it will all be forgotten in a few days. Remember the Sarita Devi episode? The internet broke with support for her when she refused to accept the medal. And what did we do when the International Boxing Association banned her for a year? Thenga! Sachin Tendulkar was the only person who came forward and encouraged the Indian Boxing Federation to support her.

Are your videos and blog posts going to reduce the number of cases? Each 'Like' or share brings down the number of violations by 1? If yes, please go ahead… by all means. But if not, get over this hypocrisy demanding freedom of speech and from censorship.

You don’t need to watch a fucking documentary if you want to make a difference. Most criminals (not just rapists) come from poor and broken homes. They have never known values, responsibility or respect. Their crimes stem from frustrations of poverty and the craving for recognition. The government is working hard towards the former. Why don’t you help with the latter? Teach lesser privileged children about morals and respect. Help them stand on their feet. You will be surprised at the number of stories of underprivileged people who have turned over a new leaf because someone rescued them from the dumps. That will really contribute towards the improvement of society, towards respect for women and their safety, and towards a better tomorrow.

This is my second rant in as many months. Looks like I'm growing old and grumpy like 40-year-old men. But I hope that this post convinces you that the need of the hour is not action on social media, but action in real life. I'm laying the groundwork and am ready to walk this path. Are you?

image Courtesy: Google Images
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