Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Idea of Romance!

By Sadho Ram

Author's note: It was written back in 2010-11, as a result of a very lengthy discussion on my Facebook profile about how when we associate ourselves with a cause, IT IS our moral obligation to fight for it till the end. No matter what. To be honest, this is an incomplete write-up of the whole idea of romance that I have, but sadly haven't been able to get down to it and complete it. Maybe, someday I will, let's hope! For now, this is what it is..

The word – Romance, regardless of the magnitude it carries in its meaning, is but a much underrated word. It though continues to flourish today, but its reach as well as its breeding is limited. Its usage in terms of the way people use it, is barricaded to emotional love between the two human species – male and female. But Romance is not limited to just between these two flesh and bone subjects. As such, as it never should have been, but shockingly it has, either forcibly or deceptively. Today, when I look around, I see no Romance. Oh, leave romance; I see not even a tint of it.

There is this other thing called self gratification prevailing all around the Globe in a manner and speed, which is beyond any earthly comparisons. People, in their desire (which too, get born by /from observing the activity of other people) to be different in a manner they think that will make them attain uniqueness, are but becoming impostors.

To explain my above statement, I will request you to consider, for instance, the “Save Tiger Campaign” (in India) by several media houses and corporate organizations. Whatever has been done has only been done on papers and screens only. That too, without any, and I can say this much that with Zero concrete outcome. TEHELKA’s Chilling Exposé is the blatant proof!
As “Save something campaigns” have become fashion statements these days, people pick one depending on their choice/life-style, as they pick clothes, and then make some noise. What happens after that, no one gives a damn! Whether that “something” lived, died or whatever is of no concern for anyone. Because what matters for them is the visibility of their campaign, the self gratifying pleasure that they squeeze from it. Not the authenticity or the purpose for which that particular campaign was initiated.
And I’m not generalizing everyone in this generalized statement. I understand what certain people – the artistic kinds and few other tribes; feel or might feel about issues and factors affecting and plaguing our society, and I’m in very much in awe towards this nature of theirs and carry tremendous amount of respect for them in my heart. But that is not the point here, the point is, people today are applying the “herd mentality”everywhere they can or want to, and in everything. And this is very dangerous, because, while they are at it, they are at the same time also not aware of their selves being at it. It’s like sleep-walking. You are walking, but you do not know you are indeed walking, because you are not awake, therefore, not aware.
You don’t start or initiate a campaign just because your neighbor did and got famous. You ought to have something concrete to do so, something valid. Something which gives you not just the self gratification, but the purpose of fulfillment because of the initiative and the steps taken in regards of it. You ought to have the gut to fight it out, even if it demands your blood. Yes, blood!
I know all this sounds too ridiculously romantic but then that is the purpose of it, that you make love – Romance – to it. As this is the way you make love to something or someone. To speak in the tone you would understand – it is something that when you feel about someone in a very emotional manner. Say, for the most simple example, if you are a man and feel for a woman, and are willing or are determined to do anything that circumstances or in circumstances she might demand you to do, and you will do it, without much consideration of the outcome that your action might have on you or on your life personally. Because you know, if not for her, your life has no other purpose or meaning. Because you have given away yourself to that cause which is her. Because you realize she is your purpose or campaign, which you must save, because you initiated it, and now she is your duty above everything and everyone else.
So, when you feel about some issue affecting a certain section of society, you ought to have that romantic attitude you are supposed to have when you are in love with a woman as a man or towards a man as a woman or in similar sex and are willing to do absolutely anything for your partner’s sake.
And this is my idea of romance, where I attain ultimate freedom only when I give myself completely to the cause which I have chosen. And it does not necessarily need to be a social one, nor does it need to be for the betterment of humanity or any such kind. My cause can perfectly be me. I can be my cause and dedicate myself towards it. As for me, life is too small to live for others, I live it for myself. I do not help anyone. I do not intend to do so. Although certain people, at certain time, may have or might benefit from my actions. But that’s purely non-intentional and also completely coincidental.
When speaking about the ‘whole’, I understand the limitations that a certain major section of it has, carries, or builds. But that’s precisely what’s it’s all about that all those limitations are but the creation of their mind, their own self. As my friend, Mrinal, phrased it up perfectly – “The defined capacity, the sphere of life beyond which they can’t tread.
So, WHO defines the capacity but, the sphere of life beyond which they can’t tread?
Well, it’s the same person, who wants to support the cause or dedicate his or her life towards it. And if that person starts freeing himself or herself rather than restricting or limiting himself or herself with preconceived notions, conventional rules and regulations and boundaries then there would actually be no “defined capacity, the sphere of life beyond which he or she can’t tread“.
Consider this little analogy; a man is like a lion. A wild one. Angry yet calm! But at the same time restless too. He walks as if he rules the land beneath and he looks at the sky as if he is acknowledging the fact. As he should, indeed! The entire earth is his forest; he roars and with it thunders the entire vicinity, he hunts and hunts like a king ought to do – with ferocious wildness! But he does all this, while he is free. Once he is caged, behind the iron bars, for the entertainment of mass, in the name of hypocrisy born from the mass’s own greed, he is no more than a motor-operated toy. He is not there, inside that cage with his own wish or choice, but is there, forced, by outer forces. And so, he now awaits the two moments, the first of his approaching last breath and the second of reproaching hope of his freedom before his death, because he is unable to do anything else. But man isn't  he though resembles the lion, but is above him in something a lion can never have – mental superiority and the ability of rational clarity which comes from within but is realized by endurance of years and years of desire to have what he wants, what he deserves and what belongs to him – his self. His own self, or to say in simple manner – freedom. Because, no life, without a cause or purpose, irrespective of its nature, can ever attain the freedom which belongs to it and for which it longs.
Life, without it – cause or purpose, is exactly like that caged lion, who knows that freedom of wild is what he deserves but he will never have it, until he frees himself from the cage. In the similar manner, you might know what you want or deserve, but will never have it, till you make yourself wholly committed to it.
So, in my idea of Romance, if someone is voicing his or her opinion on a certain issue, say for example, the disgusting whiff coming from the gutter, it does not necessarily mean that he or she have to go literally down under the gutter to clean it. He or she can implement/execute means via his or her opinion to do so. But he or she has to be completely romantic towards it i.e. truly committed at voicing it out till it’s finally heard and done by the concerned parties/agencies/department undertaking the particular job.
In romance, what matters is that when you feel about it or for it, you be true to it, in whatever form that you find yourself drawn to it. Like for some men, when they are in love with the woman they dream about, all that matters to them is that they keep looking in her eyes. Nothing else matters. In the similar manner, if one is romantic about voicing just his or her opinion, one should just do it. And keep doing it. Continually. Voice it out. Simple. Straight. Voice. Voice. Voice and voice. Because for that person, voicing out his or her opinion, in the idea of romance, this is what will define it and the true purpose of it. That he or she be true to himself or herself and the path that he or she chose. And did not just pick it up, because the passerby was doing it or for better excuse, oh, my neighbor or the person I admire is speaking for it.
And it doesn't matter that people or organisation and governments will listen to you or there will be some concrete actions be taken upon your voicing out your opinion on the issue, however valid. But what matters and what actually should only matter is that no person, organisation or government can tell you to shut up and sit down. Because you know what you are doing and why you are doing. Because you know you are right and you have a right to voice your ‘voice’ till the time you are being true to your purpose. But, whatever you do, whatever you may oppose or support, whatever means you may take for the cause, the purpose, or your romance, should never be at the expense of other people’s life.
And that is My Idea Of Romance!

First published on Youth Ki Awaaz

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We Are The System!

By Sadho Ram

If the system is represented by the criminals or people who are charged under criminal offences, who therefore are elected by the society, which therefore is a result of who and what we are, than are we not the biggest of all criminals? We blame the politiciansthose who come to power courtesy our votesfor everything that is wrong with the country today, but we fail to see that we are the root cause of everything. We're the most corrupt. Hiding in plain sight, not letting go of even one opportunity where we get to put the blame on the politicians and how this system is being run.

For example, consider this:
If the system is a tree, the politicians its leafs and fruits, then we are indeed its root, and it is because of us, our apathy, ignorance and arrogance coupled with insane amount of regionalism, casteism, religious-favouritism that has resulted in the tree being forever shaken, leafs being perpetually dry and its fruits being horribly rotten.

What am I trying to say?

Don't blame. Period.

Want to do something? Then embrace the very blame and before stepping out to change the world, change yourself!

Even the Gandhi said something similar, didn't he?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I Come From Far Away Lands..

By Sadho Ram

...where the fields were green and mountains stood tall, where the winds blew like a virgin's shawl, where loneliness never crossed a rambler's path, where the sun played hide & seek with silvery clouds, where stars shone bright and moon never missed its 'stride', where people had a penchant for the 'lives of others', where the doors stayed open, and where someone always waited on the windows, where at times fathers stayed in and mothers went out, where Bhabhis 'played' with their Devars before they were 'touched' by their husbands, where it wasn't taboo to talk about sex, where no child was trafficked, where no women was raped, where murders didn't happen, where riots never took place because religion didn't exist, where love had a fountain and hate had a grave of its own, where people were people and not walking zombies, where culture was celebrated instead of egos, where friends existed, where life mattered, where relationships were build instead of buildings, in the mornings where birds sang and light danced to its tune, where a Kabuliwala always roamed the lanes and kids ran after him, where evenings were spent listening to Nani's tales, and the darkness of nights brought long-lost friends together, where warmth was shared under the open sky and palms rubbed in quick motion to whisk away the cold...

..and which makes me wish if only there existed a place like this, if only!

Monday, April 8, 2013

I'm a Sucker for a lot of things..

By Sadho Ram

...and cinema happens to be on top of the list! Good, bad, it doesn't matter how a particular film is, I've got to watch it. And not just Hindi or English films, I watch films in language I don't understand a shit about and that too without the subtitles (in case I have to when I don't find subtitles for them)!

Back in village, about 15-16 years ago, I would steal money from my father's pocket to go watch films in the only theater my village had. It would cost 5 rupees per ticket, I would get caught, get thrashed by him but couldn't let go of the habit.

I don't know why, but the emotions that run through me while watching filmsfills me up with immense joy, a kind of satisfaction I can't really describe!

I laugh, I cry, I rejoice, I clapat times I jump from my seat, I whistle, I shoutI make noises that annoy other viewers (although none of it is intentional, I guess I just lose myself while watching a film)in sort, I celebrate cinema the way it should be celebrated (according to me).

Although I try to contain myself when I'm inside the theater as much as I can, but I forget everything when I'm watching a film inside my house. And maybe that's the reason I like to go to movies aloneall by myself!

This world, my life wouldn't be the same for me had it not been for films!