Thursday, February 22, 2018

Life and alcohol have the same effect on me. Nothing, nothing, nothing. And then suddenly, am knocked out!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Sanskrit lokokti / Muhawara

विनाशकाले विपरीत बुद्धि


When the time is bad, even the intellect fails and does the opposite of what is good.

Item Song

प्रेम गीतों पर
आरोप है
वरगलाने का
एक पूरी पीढ़ी को
झूठे सपने दिखाने का


आइटम सांग
अच्छे नहीं
सच्चे होते हैं
व्यक्ति का वस्तु बन जाना ही
हमारा यथार्थ है


Love songs
are guilty
of fraud
and misrepresentation.


Item songs
of objectification
while not pretty
are nonetheless,
sincere.



Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Right to Self Determination

So, this is a post that has been in the making for a long time.
Suppose this is how things happened:


If you did not want to go on living, you could make a formal application to that effect. If you have a reason like terminal illness or untreated depression et al, you can state that. Otherwise, you just mention that you want to go. To give this application, you must be above 18 years of age and should be of sound mind.


You have a waiting period of 6 months. For at least 2 consecutive months in these 6, you have to be in therapy actively.


IF, at the end of 6 months, your decision is unchanged, you make a living will to indicate what happens to your mortal remains and also a formal will to put your affairs in order.


Then, in a dignified and legal manner, you go. There is no need to attempt violent methods, no need to hide like a criminal and no need to feel guilty or isolated. If your family and friends are able to, they can be there to share the moment with you.


These are the risks with this approach:


A. The universal issue with self determination - when is it coercion or persuasion? Esp in matters of property etc?
To that, my response is, that such people are already put through enough mental and physical torture. Just giving them that provision is not going to increase the greed of the people around them. Today, such people are subject to unspeakable abuse. Elderly abuse is a separate issue. It continues to find avenues of expression. Some of them take away even this rightful self determination right.


B. What if someone changes their mind mid way?
In this case, it is far more possible for them to indicate this last minute change than in the other, secret, violent ways.


And here is what I think this will do:
1. End all those emotional blackmail episodes of "I will kill myself."
- I personally know of so many people who live under this threat of someone committing suicide and blaming them. I know it is a bluff, a weak emotional blackmail that is never going to be executed.  The minute it becomes possible to put an application, half that bluff will be called.


2. Make it possible for people to talk about depression, end of life thoughts and other things that need help, not censure.
There is no spur of the moment decision. You are promised non criminal passage. SO you are likely to put an application and wait. You are free to talk about it.  You can avoid stupid, violent, and potentially maiming accidents that come from spur of the moment or ill informed decisions related to "methods."
No one censures you. We are able to have conversations that listen, not just preach. We are able to train ourselves to listen and understand, rather than preach and blame and worst of all, patronise.These are conversations that need to happen from one adult to another.


3. End the violence in secret suicide "methods"


4. If you are a child under 18, and you know that you can put in an application and not be treated like a criminal, you are more likely to wait it out. 


5. Most importantly, we have to understand one thing. In the Western tradition, the concept of time is linear. Once you die, you are gone. In the Indian tradition, death is not a dirty word. It is merely the opening of a door. Our concept of time is cyclical. Even 2 generations ago, people spoke about passing on with their family as their time drew near. The families understood and supported this passage. Today, that vital understanding is rubbished by doctors who convince us to use medicines, drugs and other methods simply to prolong life - as if prolonging life was an end unto itself. It is not. Even today, the passing of a person who has seen extended family is celebrated, not mourned. If you go to rural India, you will see a much more accepting view of death. That view makes it possible for people to treat dying as a natural consequence of living, and not a traumatic experience that must be avoided at all costs.


Disclaimer: Yes, I have been a part of the people who are left behind after a suicide. I have gone through the guilt and the constant wondering and the non stop "Why?". I KNOW what its like to be in the immediate circle. But I also know what happens when we change the conversations. When we focus on the will of the person and not on the will of other people around them. When we talk of passing as a loving moment and not a tragic moment. It happened with my father - one week before he actually did pass. It meant a lot to him that I just UNDERSTOOD that he wanted to go. It meant a lot to me to give him that understanding.


The right to live includes the right to die. And no one should be made to feel like a criminal for that. Self determination is an important thing for a civil, free society.

Pahaad/ Mountain

 


मैं, पहाड़...
मैं बड़ा हूँ 
तुम्हारे घर, गाँव, और शहरों से भी 
तुम्हारी पत्थर तोड़ने 
और खुदाई की मशीनों से.
तुम्हारी महत्वाकांक्षा से भी 
बहुत, बहुत बड़ा हूँ 
मैं पहाड़।

नदी / River - Thoughts from the chopper ride at Sikkim


The river Teesta descends from the mountains into the plains


नदी 
लाती है 
रेत , छोटे छोटे गोल पत्थर
और पानी 


रेत 
बड़े बड़े ट्रकों में भर कर 
ले जाई जाती है 
उस से बनते हैं 
उसी नदी पर 
बड़े बड़े डैम 
छोटे छोटे गोल पत्थर भी 
कंस्ट्रक्शन वाले ले जाते हैं 
और पानी 
तो हर कोई ही लूटता है.


नदी 
लाती है सब 
और पोस्टमैन सी 
लौटा दी जाती है 
दरवाज़े पर से ही .
नदी की खैर खबर 
कोई नहीं पूछता 


The river
brings
sand, rounded pebbles
and water.
The sand
is filled in big, big trucks
and taken away
to make dams
on the same river.
The construction people
take away
the pebbles
and everyone
steals
the water.


No one asks
the river,
"How are you?"



Monday, February 12, 2018

Logic Puzzles, Riddles and other assorted stuff - II

The second instalment of logic puzzles and riddles that we created for the children's daily paper:


Certainty
In Country A, all the boys love painting and all the girls drink milk.
In Country B, all the boys drink tea and all the girls love painting.
Based on the above 2 statements, which of these can you be sure of:
A. In country A, none of the girls love painting.
B. In Country B, none of the boys drinks milk. ...
C. In Country A, all the girls love science.
D. In Country B, all the boys hate painting.



****************
Detective


Raman had a theft in his office. The witnesses were interviewed. The 4 people in office at the time were:
Raman: He runs the office.
Shambhu: He is an administrative assistant.
Rama is a manager.
Krishna is an associate. ...
Pratap is also an associate.

Here are the notes:
Pratap: Shambhu didn’t do it.
Rama: I was not in the office when this happened.
Shambhu: Neither Krishna nor Rama could have done it.
Krishna: Either Pratap did it or Shambhu did it.
After you have read the 4 statements, you go over and arrest the thief forthwith.
Who do you arrest, and why?


*************
In-code


In a certain code, 11 is written as 121 and 12 is written as 144. What are the following numbers written as in that code?
a. 6
b. 17
c. 15
d. 9...
e. 4

*****************

Logic Puzzles, Riddles and other assorted stuff

These are from the daily paper we make for our children.


Class-ifying
Your school allows students to choose from among 3 languages – German, Spanish and French. There are 75 children in the batch.
You want to know who is taking which language. These are your clues:
A. 40 children chose French but not German.
B. 10 children chose all 3 languages.
C. 20 children chose only Spanish and 10 children chose only German. ...
D. 40 children chose German and 65 children chose Spanish.
E. 15 children chose German and Spanish but not French.



*****************
Find the Odd One Out in each set:
1. Foxtrot, Tango, Jive, Katha
2. Yangtse, Danube, Amazon, Ganga, Meru
3. Paris, London, Lucknow, Brasilia
4. Caspian, Dead, Red, Brown...
5. Jatra, Nautanki, Chhau, Odissi



***********************
How Many Cakes?
On a given day, Savita sells between 10 and 20 cakes in her bakery.
For this week, however, she forgot to keep track of day wise sales. Here is what she does remember though:
Tuesday was twice as much as Monday, but half of that of Wednesday. ...
Thursday was when 18 cakes got sold, but Friday sold only half of that.
The number of cakes sold on Wednesday was a 2 digit number that was also a square.
Can you help Savita figure out how many cakes she sold on each day?

*****************
Ages Ago
5 friends challenge you to guess their ages. The sum of their ages is 45. The eldest is 4 years older than the youngest, and 3 of them are the same age. The age of the youngest is also the highest prime number under 10.
Now, can you guess the ages of the children?

*****************
Who was she talking to?
At a party, I found my friend speaking with a young lady. I asked her who it was that she was speaking with, and she said, “My mother’s younger sister has a brother. The brother has a wife. The wife has only one son. The son’s father has 2 sisters. The elder of the 2 sisters has only one daughter. This young girl is the first born of that daughter.”
****************
Aha!


A standard deck of playing cards has 52 cards of 4 suits.
While playing a certain game, we have to say “Aha” every time we get a card that is a multiple of 4.
How many “Aha”s will we hear before the game is over, if all the cards are played exactly once in the game? (Numeric Value of picture cards: J:11; Q:12; K:13)

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Sanskrit Shlok on Vidya and Dhan (welath and wisdom)

धनहीनो न हीनश्च धनिक: स: सुनिश्चय:
विद्यारत्नेन हीनो य: स: हीन: सर्व वस्तुषु


He who is without money may not be called lowly, for he is certainly rich.
But the one who is without the jewel of vidya (learning),
He, for sure,
is the lowest of all (for he has nothing)