Saturday, 29 March 2014

Dare you become a politician? : Blog # 169

Dare you become a Politician?

Politicians are one class of people who get abused by one and all. Those among us who shy away from speaking ill of others also don’t stop throwing dirt at them unabashedly. Let me try and play a devil’s advocate for once in favor of the politicians.

Indian Politics, Indian Parliament, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Indian Presidential palaceTo begin with, the allegations of corruption against them! How many of us can vouch with utmost conviction that given that kind of an opportunity and access as given to politicians, you won’t get corrupted? Many a theory surrounding human behavior has proved time and again that in an unsupervised environment, we humans tend to behave in a way that benefits self often at the cost of the welfare of others. We must accept the fact that politicians are nothing but a slice of the demography that we are. If many of them are corrupt, it speaks volumes about us as a society. What should be done is to make changes in the system – make it less susceptible to corruption. For instance, what IT has done to many government projects. Red tape has come down and bribery is almost gone, thanks to the transparency and empowerment that IT lends to the system. Another solution is to increase the remuneration of our politicians. Come to think of it, a high ranking politician in the system earns just about the same as an MBA with 5 years of experience. And this designation comes to the politician, after a lifetime of toil.

Many a time, we ridicule politicians as a bunch of fools. Here, we are forgetting two facts. One, the number of politicians around you is countable. There is some merit to this exclusive lot of people. It is not easy getting to the elected positions where they have reached. Getting 100 followers on twitter is a challenge. Imagine getting lakhs of people to believe in your ideals and to vote for you! The second fact is that there are people who are high achievers in the political spectrum too. There are people who are extremely driven and hardworking. There are politicians who really care about the well being of people. It is unreasonable on our part to expect the same kind of dedication from every single politician. Again, being a politician is a job, it is a career choice. Don’t you have both kinds of colleagues – those who are extremely talented and those who has just as much intellect as a tadpole? Same is the case with the fraternity of politicians. There are good and bad people. We shouldn't pass a blanked judgment on the class of politicians.

The third and last argument in favor of politicians is the sacrifices they make. You can go on and on about the privileges that they enjoy. But let’s face it. Being accountable to a large constituency of people is no easy job. It is a 24*7*365 job, add to that the constant media scrutiny. Imagine yourself working under such an environment. Most of us can barely put up with being glared down by a manager and some of us can’t even be responsible towards our own family. Don’t you think we should cut some slack to the political beings?

Let me conclude my case by asking you a question. Given a chance, how many of you will wholeheartedly give up a peaceful Life which allows you the freedom to crib and become a politician? If you find yourself thinking even after a couple of minutes, it is time you started giving some much deserved respect to political class.

Arun Babu. 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Humility @ 10,000 feet ~ Joy of Flying: Blog # 168

Humility @ 10,000 Feet ~ Joy of Flying 

           Flying is a great feeling, isn’t it? It gives you a high, quite literally ;). These days, it is one of those rare times when you are devoid of the clutter and chatter of internet. Unless you choose the windows of your laptop over the ones on your side, you can gift yourself with a much needed solitude and thus a bit of introspection.

pic taken from aeroplane, pic taken from flight, view from the top            Looking down the window, the first thought that occupies you is how puny and immaterial one is as far as the world is concerned. One realizes how small even the biggest of mansions look from up above the world. The high rising compound walls which gives a false sense of security on the ground looks like a thin line from the top. The boundaries of states that we so grudgingly fight for, begin to blur and ceases to matter. It is true that when people say, you need to see it to believe it. At that altitude, the idea of oneness finds much more acceptance than any preaching will ever get.

            Nature is at its magnificent best when seen from above. Much of it goes unseen at our dwarfed line of sight. The mighty rivers and the Ocean, the extent of which refuses to relent to our eyeballs from the ground manifests in their entirety and add to the picturesque canvas. One comes to realize how ugly a barren land looks without trees. The mountains which intimidate us by their size and scale are reduced to humble rocks if not pebbles.But none of it comes even close in comparison to the beauty of night. It’s like diamonds strewn over; sparkling and radiant.

            I envy the artist who dictate the clouds their form and shape day after day. From the ground, one feels clouds are the highest one can aspire for. On flight, one realizes there is a world above clouds. I felt it is much like the goals we set for ourselves. We think those goals are the highest we will ever reach. Once we attain them, we realize there is miles more to soar. All one needs to do is to let the imagination and will wander freely and discover the higher strata.

            The aircraft itself which soars so high, above and beyond all of the earthly beings leaves only a small shadow on the ground. Little wonder, people who have attained pinnacles of excellence in their lives remain so humble and grounded for they know the footprint they leave behind is too small in the scheme of things of this mighty universe.

Arun Babu.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Sound of Music : Blog # 167

Sound of Music

        I am not a music aficionado in the real sense of the word. I cannot identify which raga a song belongs to. I can’t even tell which singer has sung a particular song. Yet I am so in love with music that I can’t think of a world without its presence!

            Can you imagine a life where you don’t have melodies to hum along with; a rock number to tap your foot to; a melancholy filled duet to shed a tear for? How bland life can become! Our life will become similar to an enduring commute with nothing but deafening silence to keep company.

            Listen to ‘O Fortuna’ from ‘Carmina Burana’. You would be left with no choice but to agree that there isn't an easier motivational tool than music. Music can uplift our spirits and senses to stratospherically high levels in almost no time at all.

            In our country, music has a very strong cultural influence too. We have music to wake us up to a great day. There is soothing music which ensures sound sleep too.  Music is omnipresent in every moment in between a dawn and dusk. Our prayers are strongly influenced by music. All of life’s important functions are dictated by music. What will a wedding without music will feel like? For that matter, each of our festivals has their own music. If not for those folk songs, how would have our tales from yore and thereby the ethos of our culture traversed across generations?

            Come to think of it, music is one of those entities that have the ability to transcend boundaries and connect the mankind beyond all synthetic divisions. What else could explain the pan – Global appeal of Gangnam style? If you think it is those horse riding steps and the jumping around that alone did the trick, I refuse to agree. There was something in that music which people found quite interesting and thus lead to it becoming a global rage.

All of us have a favourite film, don’t we? Try watching it minus the songs or even on mute for that matter. There will be a visible drop in the whole experience. The background score plays a huge role in lending life to the voices uttered on screen. Even there are some Ads which don’t have any dialogues at all yet leaves us with a lasting memory. It’s just music from beginning to end. Remember the Titan Ad?           

            There is something about music which touches the human soul. How else would you explain a rebellious kid crying out its lungs going to blissful sleep at the hint of a lullaby?

Arun Babu.