Going to vote baby!

I can’t promise to not put up a candid <a href=’https://twitter.com/search?q=%23InkedSelfie’>inked selfie</a> of my index finger after I vote tomorrow. It has been such a long time I last voted, in 2009 twice and both the times, the people for whom I voted, lost. Well, voting is the least I can do to contribute something to the country, if not pollution, population and generally dissing the system. And I am excited about voting. (baby!)

Everyone wants to believe that they’re important. Everyone wants to express and believe that people listen to them. That’s why we post status messages on Facebook and Tweet about what are eating for dinner. But when it comes to expressing about who they want to see as their political leader, you are bombarded with aggressive replies, showered with cynicism and painted some-tard by the others and occasional shoe hurlings DUCK!. I will try with this post to ruffle your hair with love and affection and ask you to please vote this time to make you feel important. If you want, I will accompany you to a pub too, if that helps (but I won’t drink and you will pay for my nachos at least).

People need to understand how important is it to vote, and donate blood and I want to push you to do both. If you are anaemic then just vote. I know that you’re thinking that voting and blood donation is almost the same thing although the latter is voluntary. Personally speaking from my life experience, I never forced anyone to do anything but I suggest you to try voting. I don’t even request anyone to do anything but doing small bits for the society can give you more happiness than eating Mangoes if you’re diabetic. No seriously, the contestants will always be dubious criminal minded shady people but we have to choose the least shady from them. This has been the trend always and will continue to be in future till Robots take over. Not only you can feel pride and sense of importance, but you can at least have a say in some way rather than sitting at home and cribbing about system. I don’t think I have convinced you but let’s say, do it for showing off to people that you voted. That should convince you.

Now the question is whom to vote. Good that you asked because this is very important. See, this is India’s General Election (special actually) to select National Government. You’re going to select the people who are going to formulate national and international level policies. Please note that they are not going to fix the road outside your home, no. That’s state government’s job. Union govt. deals with bigger problems. Like taxes and major economic policies which can impact your wallet directly, railways, defence, deciding on next India Pakistan cricket matches, issue of that nonsense 15 kg baggage limit in domestic flights, etc. Now do you want people who ruled us for more than 60 years and gave us ‘Babaji’s Thullu’ by doing less than what they could or those who look more decisive, (better orators?), less family oriented and mildly less corrupt (but surrounded by idiots who want to decide which colour you should wear while going to cinema) or you want people who appeared very honest and refreshing change but totally TRP hungry which means they could have been a great alternative to first two but they turned out to be only couch potato freaks who just make noise and do nothing. The last sentence turned out to be pretty long but you cannot get goodies unless you spend little energy in choosing your leaders who are going to represent your country.

So go out with your voter ID card (or any other valid document), don’t take your phone with you, reach the polling booth, do the formalities and press the bloody EVM hard so that it beeps and registers your vote like anything.

I would still go out with you if you at least tried to vote but couldn’t get your name listed in the electoral list. If you don’t want to vote just because everyone is an idiot, just remember that the fight will always between a Giant Douche and Turd Sandwich (South Park reference) so you have to choose one to be counted.

P.S.: Well, this selfie is a stupid word IMHO. Suicide is also a kind of selfie, right? (5 years ago I had written <a href = ‘http://abhinavbhatt.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/idemand/&#8217; target = “blank”> something</a> and I don’t know what I was thinking but now I have matured a bit.)

 

 

Already published on http://blog.abhinavbhatt.com/going-to-vote-baby

Confusionism

It is slightly difficult being an Atheist, I feel. Without enraging a lot of people, one cannot follow/unfollow what one wants, when one wants, religion-wise. Personally, I do think there’s a higher (or lower but what is up and down) power which somehow controls things to avoid falling into one another but I also think that for the higher power, I am equally important as the electric poles which are used by dogs. So I am confused about the category of my religious inclination towards something I don’t understand.

In few years I will be reaching 30. Sigh. (And you’re not getting any younger either by the way, so don’t smirk). And since I can conclude that I have lived at least 1/3rd of my life already, I have become more confused than clear about the concept of religion. Too much Breaking Bad, South Park, Game of Thrones and real life examples of dwindling morals seen in the trailing part of 20s did me in. I decided that I am now going to question my beliefs and ask questions, wherever possible. Except Quora as I mostly see joke answers there now.

It was observed that most of the beliefs I had (as a Hindu) are just because of traditions. Since it is traditionally been followed since years, we have to follow it. May be they started as suggestions to keep people disciplined and that was that. But now people follow them just following the herd mentality. Don’t get haircut on Tuesday. Why? May be in the Vedas, it was mentioned that barbers had an off day on Tuesday which turned to a superstition eventually. Don’t eat certain things in Navratra and other times, it is alright to do anything. Moreover, I don’t feel like pleasing Gods to get things done for myself. What is the need to bribe God through praying? God is like your traffic police, is it? Going to temples is anyways not a necessity in my religion (yes seriously) because if God is omnipresent, he/she can directly understand what you’re thinking anyways. And how selfish are you to ask things from God again and again? Not a good habit. Religions have mostly led to hatred and illogical debates which pleased nobody except the politicians. It has always created divide and disharmony among humans, isn’t it? Morality and religion need not coincide and as Rust Cohle says ‘If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward then, brother, that person is a piece of shit.’.

But then important question is that what is the need of religion. Why do we need to be tethered to a religion to keep ourselves grounded?

There are so many advantages of Religion as well, aren’t there? The advantages outnumber the disadvantages? Let me try to list them and see.

1. Stress Buster 
When one is down and out (because of traffic and life in general) and have nobody around to share, a shoulder to care (for the rhymes), a temple be it of any religion can be a great place for solace. The silence there can cure stress better than paying loads of cash at some Ashram++ to detox yourself. Oh, Internet works in that case too by the way. (I should mention that I don’t support the culture of preaching and loud speakers reciting parody songs at religious places.)

2. Underground Bunkers 
When wars happen, places of worship are spared for sometime (I may be wrong) because most of the non-atheists fears God. So that place can be safer than the rest. Unless of course the war is itself religion based. In that case, build an underground bunker and stay there for minimum 18 days and don’t come out even if I say it is safe to come out.

3. Holiday Planning 
But the best part about religion are the Holidays and the Festivals. We get at max 10 official holidays, 3 of which happened to be Secular (read Indian National) holidays. Now as an atheist, what right do I have to ask for such Holidays. I once wished someone Happy Diwali on Whatsapp and the reply I got was ‘Happy Holiday’. Anyways, if we followed more than one religion, we would enjoy a lot more. With religious holidays comes great sweets and other eatables. And the purpose of life is to relish those sweets, isn’t it? The buildup to these festivals is exciting in itself. Who cares that why the festival is celebrated. Important is that it is celebrated and we get a chance pollute environment and waste water! If Crime is done as a religious belief, everything is spared, right? But getting holidays is always welcome, isn’t it?

We have to decide ourselves whether we want long weekends or unnecessary stress because we didn’t fast on Karwachauth.

P.S.: Don’t confuse the title with Confucianism but may be they’re confused too. Ooh.

 

Already posted on http://blog.abhinavbhatt.com/confusionism

When Nature Wants, It Takes It Back

There’s a garden near my apartment which ‘was’ used by the people for jogging, playing milder outdoor games and good old sitting and chatting (and romancing). Since last month, it has been taken over by birds from far and wide and humans have been ousted. Cool, I say!

Those birds are probably migratory, as there’s a lake nearby but isn’t this in itself a feat! The whole place is now white in color thanks to the bird’s shit and it smells like a chicken cage. But people cannot go there anymore. A lock has been installed outside the gate and place is now indefinitely inaccessible for humans. Isn’t this a rare occasion? A garden 500 square meter right between the city surrounded by houses from all sides has now been taken away from people.

I guess this is a very minute example of the fact that we humans take our self too seriously. We plan, build and live considering that everything is permanent while it is far from being even temporary. Whenever nature decides to take it back it does and we can just be mere spectators.

Probably soon, the municipal corporation will shoo away the birds by hook or crook as the neighbors have complained about the dangerous of diseases. What about the diseases we’ve given to these birds?

 

(Also published on http://blog.abhinavbhatt.com/when-nature-wants-it-takes-it-back)

The Art vs The Artist

Music is pretty much like religion. If you force it on to someone, it leaves a very peculiar taste in mouth. And so goes with any other kind of art form as well but you can’t close your ears to the music around.

Mostly people don’t distinguish between the two. If an artist has created something genius, the artist is considered to be a genius as well. Fandom of theirs starts considering them Godlike. All their moves, gestures, antics and styles are imitated. And then a certain point comes when even if the artist creates lowest grade of work by their own and general standard, no fan can ought to take it like a good loser. Although it is perfectly okay to be a non-genius sometimes but who will tell this to the fan!

There are certain songs which are easy to listen. Listen to it once, you will like or dislike it. Like ‘Get Lucky’ of Daft Punk. Listen to it once, and automatically your foot starts tapping. Then there are certain songs which take their time to ‘grow’ on you. I remember, it was 1999 when the movie ‘Taal’ was released and it was the first time when Subhash Ghai was collaborating with the genius AR Rahman. Rahman hadn’t won any Oscar then and had composed music for only a handful of Hindi films. Although, his genius was proven already thanks to the still his best work till date ‘Bombay’ and ‘Roja’. When I first heard the CD of Taal, I wasn’t particularly amused by it. It felt like weird experiments of uncommon instruments and usage of sounds of rain which were a rarity in Hindi Music. Though, after repeated listenings, I started liking the songs. Since then, I can relate to someone when they say they’re giving Rahman repeated plays to let the songs grow on them. This has gone a bit far now as there are a number of ‘Rahmaniacs’ who cannot believe that there could be some people who might have not liked the music of ‘Rockstar’, etc.

Eminem’s ‘Stan’ (and now ‘Bad Guy’) tell the story of fans who went berserk over the artist and took their works literally word by word. Well, majority of Eminem’s songs are referring to himself and he insists on telling his fans that love his music but leave him alone. Respect the artwork he has created but let him live the life he wants. Enjoy the songs but let him enjoy a peaceful supper with his family if he goes out in the evening to some restaurant. Usually, as it goes with any ‘star’, if they’re seen in public, people barge in on them and at times, the ‘star’ obliges to give auto & photographs. Though sometimes, given the pressure of looking good, carrying the ego of a public figure and amount of public going gaga over them, they lose their temper and misbehave. That’s why thinking of meeting your favourite artist is like trying to meet the president of some nation.

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter rock. And they just don’t rock like any other rockstar, they rock like no one does. I am talking about the guys behind Daft Punk. ‘Around the World’ hit me a long time ago and then I heard ‘Aerodynamic’, ‘Da Funk’, ‘Crescendolls’, etc and ‘Random Access Memories’ has made me their permanent fan. And this is where they (and Eminem too for a bit) hold me from becoming a fanatic. They don’t appear much on TV, don’t give many interviews, and when they do, they are always in their super brilliant disguise with those amazing Helmets. Their point of view is that they want their music to take the front stage and let their personal details stay hidden underneath those lovely Robotic Helmets (which go by the kind of music they create).

To put it simply, the art will surely outlive the artist. I am going to cherish the art more and worry less about the artist. I am going to give full respect to the artist for creating that art which moved me but I am also going to show my discomfort with the art by the same artist which failed to impress me.

Published on http://blog.abhinavbhatt.com/loving-the-art-and-not-the-artist first.