Why don’t we break up with friends?

Friendships that last as long as the call and that are assumed to remain unchanged by the passage of time, are stupid in most cases and downright painful in others.


No amount of phone calls and letters and emails can forge a connection where shared space was the only connection. So, please, just let it go. I don’t wanna pretend to like you, Rick. I didn’t ever like you but it would have been unnecessarily cruel to say so. You have a happy life now, so go be happy. Just go.





Kevin, on the other hand, is the first real friend I ever had. He is terribly busy nowadays and he calls to say so over the background noises of lot of chatter. I am obliged to say I’ll call you later. Wouldn’t it be easier to say goodbyes instead of waiting for an opportunity to talk that may or may not  come in this year?




Would it be easier if there way a way, a like-closed-locked-bolted-door-finality way, to say goodbye to friends? That wouldn’t make you nostalgic and weary for the future, wouldn’t make you feel sorry for your self for you know the uphill work you have to do to make friends, that-good friends, again and that too for a couple of years at best. 



                   Need for permanence is suddenly starting to make sense.




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All that is great about Pip’s sheltered existence is Joe – his love, his protection and the dream of eventually growing into him, independent, strong and his own man with the touch of blacksmith and an angel! There is a period of immense grief and dissatisfaction and hatred towards everything that follows his introduction to the world a few miles outside his home, to love.




Yes, his dreams change to bigger and brighter and slightly shallower. Yes, he hurt a lot of people and got hurt; competed in the wrong races of showy grandeur and expenditure. But he met a few good men, did a few good things and come home whole, without the need to stay to belong. So it didn’t turn out that bad did it?



My point is that now everyone is held to a greater standard even when it’s unrealistic, surreal and counter-productive. Like expect every grad student to get admitted into a fancy university far away, in Harvard or Max-Planck International school. Why extend dreams beyond ability and reason? Someone said that unfettered by foolish dreams is when you can be happy.



Because we hope that like Pip we will come out the other end, disillusioned but in love, hurt but unbroken yet. And that there will be other people, new people to find and cherish and that there is an unique place for us in this world, even if it is near the bottom than near the top.


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The silver bullet

Education has been feared across the ages; the potential of revolution inspired by words, of names attached to feelings and hence a consensus reached among a group of people about dissent, of reaching out and asking for help: a few of the many things which can be considered dangerous. But the most dangerous offspring of any education is hope.




Free exchange of ideas often has one significant drawback: it doesn’t account for geography or time.Citizens from different countries,with different cultures and economic background, often end up with same dreams. But the reason for it’s implementation is simple: nothing else works!




There is one other group for which secular education, to read and write freely, is of paramount importance: women and kids in Islamic fundamentalist countries. Women so that they know that the “natural” state of them is not subject to anyone at all and people saying that are no more sane that people defending slavery in America in the nineteenth century; kids so that they know the beauty and diversity of knowledge and learn to respect the human undertakings of more than two thousand years. Point is, maybe in another hundred year or so, they will not need  advocacy of secular education anywhere any more and would have access to higher, humane standards of living. But the ‘smallness’ of the world has manifested itself more in access to arms than in striking fear in the heart of oppressors; that they will be bought to judgment and often violently doesn’t seem to be sufficient reason to change their ways.


So how do we go about it?

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So my first football memory is that of a guy in blue, long hair standing in front of an empty goalpost.

Of course it went against my manliness (at 3 or something) to admit that I fell asleep during the match. Since then I have been on and off a faithful Brazilian supporter in all matters football.I have taken part in Pele-Maradona, Pele-Garrincha debates, bunked tuition classes and cut summer projects to come home and see the world cup and wondered about the possibility of going to Brazil for a Ph.D so that I can see the coming world cup in person.


’94 was on the edge of my consciousness. I wasn’t ‘in’ it yet. ’94 was more like it. It was a sort of passage ritual, battling sleep during the class next morning in school. And then there was Ronaldo. Agreed there was Owen’s goal and there was Argentina and Italy and France. And the majestic, understated, deft Bergkamp. But it was Brazil all the way! I cried my eyes out, tore all posters and didn’t talk to anyone for a couple of days when Brazil lost in the final. Their performance was incoherent and lackluster.

In four years, however, the tables were turned and Brazil seemed ready to go all the way: to be fair, there has hardly been a world cup when they didn’t seem like that. I guess Brazilian team is like Lionel Messi in that respect: no matter how many goals he has scored in a match, there were at least a couple more possible that he missed! Anyways, Brazil vs Turkey matches (both of them) were great to match. Aggressive football at it’s best: you have it to hand it to Turkey, they weren’t intimidated into 11 in penalty area formation. England vs Brazil produced three magic moments ( 2 great and 1 heart breaking) but for most part was a deadlock. Germany wasn’t upto serious Brazil standard: the question was far long can they hold us up. Turned out, not that long, not that much.

2006 saw a star-studded Brazil get beat by a genius-at-his-best Zidane led France. Frankly, Brazil vs Japan was their best game. I hate Zidane btw. That’s the second time, he put brakes on the Brazilian dream.

2010 was plain stupid; they played like their heart wasn’t in it and Ronaldinho was missing from action.


Which brings us upto date: What the hell are they doing? Getting beaten by England is unacceptable on any day but 2:1 is insulting. Just last year, they played a fabulous match against Argentina. First of all, 7 goals and that to 4-3 distribution of it is pretty amazing in itself. Then, it was Brazil and Argentina. And lastly, Messi scored a hatrick.

What happened? A missed penalty? England, Good God?! There is a little over an year to go and with Scolari and Ronaldinho back, I was hoping for a fueling of my and a lot of their’s, dreams. It already been too long!

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Girls and words

Women are a lot more open to the beauty of words, reading poems or at least messages on greeting cards before buying them, actually listening to words when someone is talking and talking a lot too.

I read this interview saying that men buy the bigger, brighter and generally showy cards and women buy thoughtful, choice words cards. You wanna bet that that doesn’t work out at all. They are buying cards that they themselves like. The girls would turn over the page and look at the words, look for any indication of a personal touch, if she is in it for real. Of course, it makes for great show to have shiny cards.

Boys on the other hand will look at the cover, a lot.

The readership of writers like say Neruda (inspite of the insistence of that postmaster in Il Postino) is mostly women. I guess it’s their need to remember things that makes it like that. Words are portable, you can carry them around without wear and tear, and play it over and over in your head without change.

And if they mean something more than just their meaning, then they make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Seriously.

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Too much religious freedom

I would say that this is an instance of that:http://dawn.com/2013/02/05/kashmir-girl-band-quits-after-fatwa

I think any case, any situation and in any place, if you can be threatened to do what you don’t want to do on religious grounds (and not law) then somebody somewhere has more religious freedom than they should have.

If by just being in majority in a state, this kind of religious oppression can be applied in a secular country like India, then maybe association of Islam with fundamentalism isn’t totally uncalled for.


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Meaning in Beauty

Meaning in Beauty

A glorification of beauty, inspiring poetry, inspiring wars, has been a part of the heritage of the world. The point is beauty has its own language, has its own meaning that touches the core of our heart and renders our intellect momentarily at loss for words. The more robust of us come back with a struggle, a hesitation to trust what we can’t understand and have often despised. At least, thought less of. So why does a quest for beauty and conquest of the beautiful have such a significance? Does it have a meaning that I don’t know about?

Sorry about that. I was still figuring out what I was trying to say so all I managed was to talk about the confusion in mind.

What I wanted to say is this: why is it that it makes us feel good to look at something beautiful ? It does. Except when it threatens us, it makes us sigh. Painters, poets, photographers wanting to capture one thing in so many different ways. And the geography of artists has a direct line to beauty: in people, in places. Day to day things of beauty comfort us: a piece of handwriting, a shade of color; tastes may differ but everyone finds something or the other beautiful and we need that feeling to stick around.

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