Sunday, April 22, 2007

Scary thoughts

What would make a person want to walk into a room and shoot everyone around him?

It is all well and good to talk about gun laws and I whole heartedly agree that being able to so easily acquire a gun and walk around with it has a lot to do with such killings. I mean even if someone went mad like that, if he had no gun, it would be logistically very difficult for him to kill that many people.

But what I cant understand is what must go through a person's head before he or she decides to take such drastic measures. And what is the person trying to prove to the world?

I saw the video clippings that the killer in the virginia tech shootings recorded of himself. And while I heard mumbling about 'all you rich kids', I really have no idea what he was talking about. What must he have gone through for him to have done this? It isn't something that naturally comes to people is it? Was he being vindictive? It sounded like it. According to 'reports' that a whole bunch of people from the university are giving now, he was a disturbed person who had shown a liking for violence. But there are millions of people who like violence. What makes that one person step beyond the line and actually act upon it?

If someone ('rich kids'??) had hurt him or insulted him in any way, why did he choose to take that out on random people around him? I guess noone will ever know what really made him do it. I heard someone on talk back radio the other day say 'If people around him thought he was mentally disturbed, why didn’t they act upon it?'. But they did. His teacher apparently even went to the authorities. But can you really blame the authorities? What were they meant to do? Lock him up just because he wrote a violent play. If that was the only criteria for declaring someone criminally insane, what would you do to someone like Stephen King? It's impossible to know isnt it?

And if it is impossible to know, is it really possible to stop further such killings?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Yay! Its over!!

Praise the Lord! What am I talking about? The circus that the media has named 'wedding of the year' (or was it century?). In the last two weeks I have heard or read every detail about the abhishek and aishwarya (or abhiwarya as people suddenly seem to call them...must we copy everything from hollywood??) wedding. And I dont even care! Everytime I open an indian newspaper online I see headlines like 'Mehendi ordered from Rajasthan for Aishwarya' (Are you freaking kidding me??! Do people REALLY want to know that?) and every time I turn on an indian news channel I see scrolling headlines on the bottom of the screen.

The last three days in particular, there has been running commentary on NDTV. It just got so bad that I decided not to watch the news at all! There were news people actually stationed outside each of the Bachhans' residences and Aishwarya's apartment talking about who had just gone in and what was going on at that time. I dont think that even the world cup final, even if the indian team had made it there, would have warranted so many constant updates.

They're getting married, and I wish them all the best, but do I really need to know so much about it? And do the public actually want to know about it or is it just media created hype? I cant imagine that there are sane people out there with jobs and lives who care about which temple Abhishek and Aishwarya are visiting next and which laddoo shop that they ordered their wedding sweets from!! I refuse to believe it.

One thing I do wonder about is whether these so-called journalists who are posted there actually WANT to be there?

Anyway, though there was a lot of nonsense regarding the wedding on the news, the funniest thing that NDTV had was bullet point list of those invited...and a bullet point list of those NOT invited!! I'm not joking! The newsreader in her most serious voice goes 'Invited: X, Y, Z...'. 'Not Invited: A, B, C...'!!! It was like she was reading some sort of a hitlist!!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Some people need to get a life!

Richard Gere kissed Shilpa Shetty in public. So what?!? I don’t even care about why he did (apparently it was after he said that AIDS does not spread by hugging or kissing). But that really isn't the point. Even if he had kissed her just because he wanted to, what right does any idiot have to protest. Isn't India a democratic country? Sometimes it doesn’t seem that way! Such small things are blown up into such huge issues. Sachin Tendulkar cut a cake that was iced with the Indian flag. So WHAT? Did he do it to deliberately insult the country? It was just a cake! And then all this crap about not playing the national anthem with words and something that was said after being misinterpreted. Must everything be made into a big deal and a national issue? Do people really have nothing better to do or talk about?!

How is a kiss an insult on our country and culture??! Please! I'd like to see what the bloody Shiv Sena gets up to behind closed doors! Poor Richard Gere is caught up in all this and apparently apologised. What kind of an image of India does he take back with him though? One of a regressive society dominated by religious extremists. And he was in the country to support a good cause! But again, that’s not the main issue here. I was so so glad that Shilpa Shetty in a press conference said that she refused to apologise. What is there to apologise for? A kiss is against indian culture!!? And I hear students in Kanpur are burning effigies of Shilpa Shetty and Richard Gere (what it is with indians and burning effigies I will never understand…Why not just take all that pyromaniac tendencies out on dushera and burn Ravan again and again). But anyway, students!! People in their teens and early twenties. I find it hard to imagine.

Stuff like this makes my blood boil. On one had we have people trying to prove that India is ready to be a developed nation. I love india with all my heart. But with people like the Shiv Sena, the country can only go backwards. And we yell to all and sundry about being the biggest democracy in the world. And Is this democracy? Where you can do what you want…just be ready for public humiliation!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Decisions can be stressful

A while ago someone I knew who was going through a phase where they couldn’t decide between two paths that life had put in front of them. They were both amazing opportunities and I couldn’t understand why it would be so difficult because either way, you win. Now I understand. Sometimes, choosing between two great options can be the hardest thing to do. The past few days I've been stressing over two absolutely amazing schools, either of which I would have accepted in a flash. But what do I do now? Its so funny. A few months ago if someone had told me I would be worrying about this, I would have laughed in their face. But when you start to think about which is better it can be scary. Someone says A will be good for me, and another says B will be good for me. And these are all people whose opinions I trust and value. I know what I wanted. I know where my heart lies. But here I am being given a 100 reasons why something else is better.

Which makes me wonder...Do I really know what's good for me? Do I know more than all these other people with more experience and knowledge? Cant say how worried I have been inside (though I've managed to maintain a fairly calm exterior). Wondering whether I should trust my own judgement. And my gut feel. Was I being too sentimental? Was I not taking more important issues into consideration? Started to wonder about my reasons for picking what I did in the first place. The idea of turning down the other school was tearing me, but how would I feel if I had to turn down the first place? Definitely worse! That I know. But still…why were all these people telling me that the other option was better for me. There has to be some truth.

But then, I read a quote somewhere that there are no bad decisions except those that are influenced by others. Perhaps that was a sign of some sort? And so it is. I have decided to follow my heart and my instinct. And I hope and pray that it is the right decision for me. Actually no. I believe it is. Because I have decided to believe in myself!

As an aside…someone told me today, that I've decided to take on a very demanding a very competitive school…and maybe this was a little preview into the next 2 years of my life! :)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Is it ok that a man died?

I've realised that noone seems to talk about Bob Woolmer's murder any more. MURDER! Doesn’t that word just scream out at you? Yet its off the radar…or so it seems. Does that mean it was ok? Does it mean it wasn’t a big deal? Till a week after the incident there was some news or the other about it…though all very haphazard…making you wonder how such crappy investigation was going on for such a high profile case. But now there's nothing! I watch an Indian news channel fairly regularly and it seems like every 3rd program on it has some discussion regarding where Indian cricket will head next. Yet, not once is the tragedy of Bob Woolmer mentioned. How can something like that be forgotten? Shouldn’t people try to find the reason behind it? It was MURDER! In the name of a game! And yet all people are back to talking about is how Bangladesh managed to beat South Africa. I'm not trying to take anything away from them here (well done to them of course!). Was just using it as an example. Why is noone even giving out news about whats happening with the investigation? He was strangled they said. We were shocked. Then they said 'wait. Maybe he was poisoned'…and then what? NOTHING! Should I join the conspiracy theorists and say the police is being manipulated by the ICC. I choose not to so far. But it saddens me to think that people have forgotten that a man lost his life…and just continue to watch the tournament pretending nothing ever happened.