Sunday, June 20, 2010

Amazing Americas at FIFA 2010 Creating History

Another 10 minutes to go for Paraguay to make history of sorts. It is 18:40 IST, 20th of June 2010, the 27th match of this world cup edition is being played. Paraguay is leading Slovakia by a solitary goal.

Its nothing surprising. It is not an upset result. But do you realise that this result with all the other results by the South American, North American and Central American teams in this world cup create a hostory of sorts.

None of the American teams have lost a match till now. If we take the carribeans into account, Honduras has lost one game, that too, to a South American team - Chile. No European team has beaten an American team in this world cup 2010....

As we speak, Paraguay is 2 goals up in the match against Slovakia.

The European powerhouses except for Netherlands are displaying a rather lacklustre play of the ball given the stars that they have, and given the popularity of club football in Europe. Spain losing to Switzerland, Germany losing to Serbia, France losing to Mexico, England drawing with Algeria, Portugal drawing with Ivory Coast leaves the ground completely to the American teams.
So that brings the Americans into the top two slots of every group that they are in:
Group A: Uruguay, Mexico (France is third)
Group B: Argentina, South Korea
Group C: Slovenia, USA, (England is third)
Group D: Ghana, Germany (No American team)
Group E: Netherlands, Japan (No American team)
Group F: Paraguay, Italy
Group G: Brazil, Ivory Coast (Portugal is third)
Group H: Chile, Switzerland (Spain is last)

Is this a beginning of a paradigm shift in the game of football, in the marketing of football, in the merchandising of football, in the hooliganism of football?

We will have to wait and watch. Things have changed for sure.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Women are not in the receiving end, our culture is!

I am having a bad time with some of my female bloggers. If I show up to them, they will probably kill me. Anyways let me shoo my embarassment aside and let you know the interesting discussion.

I found this interesting and very well written blog by someone who calls herself 'Desi Girl'. You should definitely read the comments... berrate me or support me.

Attaching my last comment, which kind of defined my objective in all this mess.

OK peace! Throwing my white sqeaky clean towel into the ring! I washed it myself.

You know, the day I returned from my engagement, what was the first comment I got after a few formal congratulations. “Dude, thats not a engagement ring, that suffer-ing” With that statement and by being engaged, I entered into this cycle of wife bashing. I was completely taken aback and in a few days began seriously wondering, why these people have got married in the first place?

The reason I quoted this experience was to just prove that there are enough guys (looks almost like a majority) who think things are bad for a man in a marriage as well. This is sort of an answer to Malabika’s statement about “why are things bad for women at all?”

Life is unfair and things are bad for everyone, if you look at it that way.

Today if I start a blog dealing with ‘Man’s suffering because of his marriage’, and provided I am writer of IHM or Desi Girl’s callibre, believe me, I can have a good follower base… with all kinds of jingoist comments against wives, ..

We all know that relationships are difficult. Why do we say, “Shaadi ka laddoo jo khaye… “, “Shaadi Barbadi” etc etc along with the hazaar jokes about marriage? Similarly we have thousands of jokes around Saas, Bahu? Also, I had this “one room philosophy” which basically meant that the best of friends will also fight the moment they stay under one roof, irrespective of gender.

The point what I feel very strongly is that we should not fan this fire by giving one sided point of views. We are educated resourceful guys having a balanced view on life. Can we survive by rebelling against the other gender or our mothers (own or in-law) from a norm point of view?
These kinds of propagation is delaying marriagable age, breaking families, increasing divorces, confusing kids, and leaving our parents support-less. Today relationships are becoming more & more difficult… Our patience and perseverance are at an all time low. I feel, we are not propagating the right attitude and spirit by such venom-filled posts against a custom without giving an alternative worth the salt.

And nuclear individualistic lifestyle is definitely not the alternative. Even economically, nuclear family is disastrous. It eats away national savings without the motivation to save for the family.

Do we want to have homes for elders like we have in US, or like we have creche today in Mumbai? I do not want to leave my kid in a creche even it means reducing my income to half. Do you want the abortion rates that we have in US? Do you want ‘Juno’s’ to be omni-present in our society?

Have you read ‘its not about the bike’ by Armstrong? He didnt know his father and his mother was 18 years old when he was born.. Imagine why he cycled everyday for hours… Impressively, he used his frustrations in a productive way.

We may not. Our sons may not.

Have you guys read, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray and Love and then Commitment? She is the apostle of individualism and nuclear family. Just read how confused she was from the age of 17. How she was handling relationships? How she had to resort to medications? Luckily, she is a gifted writer and had the intelligence and the money to live through her crisis (and earn from it also).

We may not. Our daughters may not.

We have to devise a way to live with our families in a constructive way. We have to be team players, family men and women.

Cheers everyone. Peace.
We are in the same boat, brothers and sisters.
May God bless.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Are we in the right frame of mind to deny ourselves a joint family?

I was completely against joint family but today i cant figure why? I professed 'girls be careful marrying a boy living with his parents'.. now I cant fathom why I thought like that.

To each, its own! Now I would say!

During one of those days feeling the blues of being out of home (away from parents) from class VI till today, when I should be taking care of my parents, something someone said startled me.

One of my friends (much younger to me) made a hardcore comment that "I want to get married to a joint family."

WHAT? I thought. She continued, "We need someone to guide us on how to run a home and how to become a successful home-maker. I just hope I get a good mother-in-law"

Till then, I was so surrounded by thoughts of today's modern women being independent, knowing how to balance personal & professional life (in Mumbai you would hardly find a husband who wont want his wife to contribute to the kitty), that I never thought this aspect of a woman's perspective to a joint family.

It was a time when I always felt guilty about seriously wanting to give the comforts of a young intelligent bahu to my aging parents. In my heart I was convinced that they deserved to relax now. My mom and dad worked, borrowed and foregone every luxury to make their 3 sons have the best of education. Today we are all migrant labourers earning very well and they are alone.

I felt that I should be with them but how do I say that to my wife who is not going through these dilemna and who cant understand my need for a joint family with her supporting me. So I felt guilt both ways...

Now armed with what my friend said, I started questionning my guilt, my guilt for thinking about a bahu for my parents... It is ultimately a mutually beneficial relationship corrupted by hyped up saas-bahu serials. Its not that bad when I see my life and my growing up years.

I started talking to many of my other friends about their concept of joint family. I clearly see a particular pschylogical profile opting for joint family. Its primarily the perceived (or real) lack of independent will in a joint family that a girl is scared of. Almost all wives of love marriages opted clearly for nuclear families.

I understand that with a culture of individual choices engulfing India, everyone wants to lead an independent life without interference. We seek independence in terms of our actions - what we wear, what time we sleep, what do we eat, drink etc. That is understandably not possible in a joint family. A tinge of conventionalism do creep in a joint family, the degree of which, again depends on the education and awareness levels of the family. Independence of thought is however possible. I have led a very independent life from class X and today I discover that independence of thought rather than independence of action is what I should crave for.

So I started observing joint families closely.

I found that joint family has critical economic significance too. As an effective support system, joint families can resolve the problems of modern-day housing, domestic labor (how many murders in Mumbai !!), baby-sitters (I remember seeing one video where the baby sitter was slapping the baby because she was crying) and destitute homes for women and children. China, for instance, encourages joint famies to solve the problem of housing.

Quite interestingly, one of the reason why our Indian economy could survive the economic crisis was ample domestic savings. Domestic savings is led by the concept of joint family. In the west, there is no motivation to save and individualistic consumerism has lead to national debt like that of what the US is facing today.

On a personal level, my quest took me to my childhood. I used to love going to my mama's house. A joint family with 3 mamas, mamis, kids and koka-aita (grandfather-mother). It was so much fun with the VCD player, story sessions, games, food, hide & seek and so much more... Kids surely love joint families and learn so much.

I remembered my grandfather and grandmother getting sicker by the day and the way the joint family tackled those times. My grand father and mother were a lucky couple. I miss them a lot.

What a support system! It supports everyone. No one's lonely and no one's overworked. I have heard of wives being loaded with work (unfairly) but I have not seen unreasonable expectations. Saas is older and so may get to relax a bit more. I have seen my grandmother going hand-in-hand with my mamis, and my mami used to tell her to take some rest.

When a couple can fight, how do you expect a saas & bahu not to... But i realised that all the fights stay in check in a joint family. First of all there is an authority, secondly there are enough distractions for a fighting pair - be it a couple or saas-bahu. And there are kids that bring the best out of everyone.

There was privacy too. I remember having this unsaid rule (don't remember who gave it to my head) that we were not supposed to get into any of the bedrooms (Ya, we had the luxury of quite a few bedrooms) while playing hide & seek.

Joint family is also a very potent bed of learning your roots. You get to know the relations and culturally you are given a good foundation. I would have hated to have a situation to learn only from my parents. Perspectives are many and strengths are multiple. You just absorb all. I am sure, weaknesses will also be many. Luckily I was, and am always a positive child, boy and man. It is anyway not a good thing to think bad about elders - again a learning from being with all of us.

Joint family as a concept has been our tradition and is the reason of our Indian-ness. It is the symbol of 'unity in diversity' and acts as a classroom for team spirit.

Today as I understand more about life, I am getting converted. Although I won't impose my thoughts, yet I wanted to lay down my thoughts for everyone to read, introspect and decide for themselves.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

CD/DVDs - Half baked inventions !!

Always had a grudge against CDs & DVDs.

Initially because I had a cool stereo tape recorder bought with my own money... and then because those damn saucer like discs were painstakenly costly.

Now I hate them because of their lack of immunity to dust (India is perennialy under construction) and rough weather. You cant expect me to always hold them by the edge and treat them with a 'handle with care' sign all the time. Once you keep it in the open, it will sneeze the next time when you play it. It beats (skips) the shit out of the music. And to top it, its not curable.
Once it sneezes, its cremation time, dude.

I always wonder why the intelligent morons who invented them didn't think of giving it a shelter from scratches, dust and other electro-magnetic fields.

It definitely has its pluses. Has a great apetite for storage, that too, good quality storage. Looks sleek, modern and high-end. Output is of hi-fi quality. But it has to be all that and more, when the aim was to make the good'ol tapes extinct.

However, the morons were so engrossed on the look and the shine of it that they forgot to cover it (give it a shelter). It is worse because the predecessors had a shelter to make it work for years. Its even (more) worse because the head that reads the CD/DVD is much smaller than the head of the tape recorder that used to read magnetic tapes. It was an easy kill. Morons.

They could have thought of lasers to read the disc (Isnt that an idea?). You dont even need a peep-hole to read the disc with laser. Laser as a technology surely existed then.

By the way, this blog is a patented thought. You jerks, dont even think.

You guys must now realise how pissed I am, with one of my favourite CDs refusing to play without sneazing. You know what, it is in my trash bin now.