Monthly Archives: September 2011

3 links

Apart from blathering aimlessly about my pal Suppandi, I also occasionally manage to read some interesting stuff such as:

(all links and some text via the Nanopolitan blog of T A Abinandanan, thanks!)

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suppandi IS anna(thar) hazard!

… or the dangers of the original ‘anna’ hazare and the copycat wannabe ‘anna’ hazares of the world…

Have you read the previous insltalment?

Okay. Some sloppy background here. These friendly folks had been sending their children to nammashaale a few years back – and there were always problems in collecting even the meagre fees (subsidized heavily by the Trustees of nammashaale) that nammashaale used to levy. They also could not pay for the transport.

Now, this is all understandable, we all undergo troubled times, financially lean & uncertain periods and mostly we are able to bounce back – and if and when we do, we do pay back all our debts.

It is also true in some cases that, in spite of our fundamentally good  intentions, we cannot or do not repay, but we do express our regrets, we are ashamed of ourselves, we squirm in our seats, carry tonne loads of guilt and develop all kinds of illnesses including cancer – when we do not. Oh the human condition

However, these folks had made a habit of not paying the fees at all for a significant period – mostly it was managed by repeatedly giving the school their personal cheques that cannot be honoured. And I think, a couple of years back or so, on the day #1 of one ‘next’ academic year, they came, without any regret whatsoever and took out their children.

That they gave a cheque again for ‘all the dues’ and that it promptly bounced for the millionth time is another story.

Of course there was not even any indication of an expression of regret from the parents – the children are now going to another school. We all are happily dying everafter…

At that time, I knew about the slender financials of the school and I was aghast at this final replay of the nonpay-event. I mean, how can one do all these things with a straight face? What is the meaning of all this? Is it wrong to expect the parents to pay a little when all the fruits (and more) are being enjoyed by them, their children? Can’t the fee be paid in instalments? Can’t one do *something?*  Don’t we all know that issuing cheques fully aware that they would bounce is a cognizable crime – it is an immediately jaileable offence usually? Forget about the legal systems – is this even a fundamentally correct and moral attitude?

Having ranted as above, I am sure these parents must have had some reason or their own logic for having behaved in this bizarre manner –  but I have no way of knowing it. May be there is some rational expression that is lurking somewhere that a rabid guy like me is unable to understand.

… But, the Trustees of nammashaale were really sweet, after some discussions, they did not want to proceed against the errant parents and the issue was closed. I tried to push for discussions at least – but I suppose fundamental sanity and grace prevailed on the Trustees, in spite of my best efforts.

Now, as is usual, lots of water flows under every bridge all over the world for the next one year or so…

So, after very many months of silence etc, these folks suddenly & startlingly, send me the ‘anna’ hazare (sorry, SaviourRaj!!) ‘fwd:’ asking me to ‘please forward’ – oh the ammunition – I grit my teeth for a few days but I could not take it any more and wrote to them the following:

From: Ramjee Swaminathan <…@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 12:25 AM

name1, name2 – thanks for the mail forward exhorting me to act against corruption. Sorry about responding so late.

But, I do not think I am competent enough to talk about corruption. You would know the story about ‘people living in glass houses… etc etc.’ And, I do not believe in ‘mail forwarded – task accomplished’ kind of simple solutions either, to everyday issues of moral and financial corruption. I admire(!) Anna, though!

I sincerely believe that – if I am not morally & ethically bankrupt, if I have not cheated anyone wantonly, If I have not hurt anyone wantonly, that’s more than sufficient for me and the world. I do not need to preach anyone anything. I need to live it. And, it is a major personal struggle for me.

I hope your family is doing fine.”

(I have snipped out the other parts)

To which, I received a prompt reply:

From: name1@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 8:19 AM
Subject: Re: The decisive battle against corruption in India has begun… Please read, and circulate
To: Ramjee Swaminathan <… @gmail.com>

hey Ramji,

I agree with your sentiment.  To each his own. ”

(I have snipped out the other parts)

Actually, I am okay with double standards. I have been on both ends of this double-standards businesses and gray areas. There are many reasons and no reasons for all these.

But I am NOT okay with folks who easily have triple standards and more.

I am not standing from a higher pedestal and lecturing down to the hoi polloi. I have waged long and bitter wars against financial corruption and have lost tens of lakhs of rupees, when I was a young & seriously serial entrepreneur. I have dealt with desperate situations, with irate creditors knocking at the doors and have been completely broke a couple of times because of my ‘wet behind the year’ perceptions – or call it idiocy. Honestly, I probably felt like a hero, bah! – and of course, there were financial / physical prices to be paid for all these misdemeanors of mine – I did pay dearly too – no complaints though!

Later, as a tired old man, I have also paid bribes directly / indirectly – for some specific reasons and no reasons again.

Mea Culpa – O Ramjee, what a let down!

Hmmm…

I still would like to like these friendly folks, they have been by and large gentle and *otherwise* perhaps fine folks. I even try to understand them. But I am sure, even if I understand them after much difficulty, I actually would not agree with them.

It is really sad.

I am not bitter about this. I don’t think the Trustees are either. But sometimes one really wonders

As the Time ‘Pink Floyd’ lyric says:

And then one day you find
ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run,
you missed the starting gun.


The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say. “

=-=-=-=

What do you think?

suppandi does a ‘anna’ hazare! (AyeAyeYo!!)

Silly…

It is very easy-peasy to become an activist (of social or anti-social issues) these days. Hallelujah, hallelujah!! All of us wannabe social activists never had it oh so good!

In fact, this post is about ‘social activism’ that I actually learnt from an illustrious parent (believe me!  I am telling you the unvarnished truth) – and unfortunately, for various reasons this parent (or parents) shall remain unnamed, sorry.

Well…

To help you lazy fellows (I mean you – the unfortunate reader of this pathetic weblog), I have presented four levels of social activism, after a whole lot of painstaking research and lucubration. (and I sincerely hope that you would profusely thank me and flood my mailbox & the comments area with a zillion thankyou, thankyou kind of mushy notes, oh the hope!)

Okay – onto the details:

Level I: One simple way of ‘Activism’ is to watch various TV channels dishing out instant solutions for societalrelated issues (including corruption), while munching on Lay’s chips and sipping Coca-Cola or some such product of a bladder.

Level II: A slightly tougher way of activism is explained in the following process: We hear of some social activism, some tussle, some skirmish, some fight – somewhere via, some darn & despicable source like a Friend, TV, Radio, Newspaper, Internet etc etc. The gravity of this situation demands some resolute, urgent and decisive action from us. We try to get up, we can’t, our arse has become too big for our seats, we have been sitting for a considerable time now – so instead, we slightly tilt our bodies sideways so that one of our posterior hemispheres (technically known as ‘buttocks’) just makes an angle of some 15 degrees (no more, mind you!) to the horizontal. Now what? This is our way of delicately commenting on the issue by breaking a suitably well-informed and aromatic gust of wind from our anus (complicated technical jargons for this tiresome activity are many: blogging, mailing list conversations, random facebook entries etc). Please note that, sometimes, depending on the pressure of the event, some sound effects may also accompany the noxious comment – in which case, we can happily upload a truly multimedia file ‘to the Internet!’ Moral: Everyone can happily die ever-after.

Level III: A slightly more harder way is to laboriously read ‘The Hindu’ and then to write longish ‘letters to the editor’ – but the problem here is that one should start off with ‘apropos of xyz’s artlcle…‘ and end with ‘to be concluded‘ or ‘to be continued‘ etc etc. It is all very messy hifalutin’ English and so, one is not advised to try that. Again, there are many people waiting out there with drawn pens and drying ink-nibs to give you suitable rejoinders! More of those blistering appropos-ofs! Mommeeeeee!

There is a much, much harder way though. It is also technology enabled.

Level IV: Open your mailbox with much trepidation, lo and behold, invariably you would have a slew of gory mail forwards (in fact, fwd: fwd: fwd:…fwd:s from one of your ‘following’ friends and ‘followed’ friends) in which, you would be asked to take to the battlefront of the great fight against corruption – simply by doing the daunting task of forwarding the offending ‘fwd:’ to another zillion folks in your hitlist.

Indeed it requires so much courage, conviction and commitment to religiously forward such mails – my eyes become glassy when I think of these brave email-forward-warriors. My heart goes out to them. I wish them all the best. *sniff*

Apparently, lately, a critter called ‘SaviourRaj’ (hic) – Saviour Raj <saviourraj @ gmail.com> – has been hyperactive on this ‘fwd:’ mafia business – and it so happened that, among many others, a few nammashaale parents also received this spam. The spam was about the current darling cheer leader of the unnecessarily noisy and boisterous muddle classes – Srimaan ‘Anna’ Hazare PBUH – and was titled ‘Anna Hazare fasts unto death against corruption – A mahatma announces fast unto death‘ – and oh, won’t my troubles ever end…This forward had the following (dis)content.:

  • 54 exclamation marks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 9 fwd: fwd: fwd: s
  • 6 different font styles
  • 4 different font sizes
  • 4 colours
  • 3 requests  forward the mail to as many people as possible and as ‘widely’ as one can
  • 13 mistakes in the English used
  • etc, etc, etc  grrrrr

All very, and bloody jarring to the eyes and to the brain… (Honestly, the moment I receive a forward like this, immediately I want to murder the spammer who meaninglessly and methodically forwards these thingies – but mor on these morons later…)

Sheesh! *&^#!#$%@

Well, perhaps, many parents kept quiet and did not send it to me, because either they were too busy forwarding it to other people or they were also tired of this frenetic email-activism or they were afraid of my silly temper. But not my friends – they sent it to me. grrr

ME!!!! (pardon my exuberant exclamation marks – at this point I was really hyper-super excited and ultra angry!!!)

Believe me, actually these friends are fundamentally very good people, very sensitive folks with a heart, or so I thought – not that my thoughts really matter…

But… there is a hidden side to the story.

Rest in the next installment please! (so stay tuned, if you must).

In the meantime, I am off to my  Level II social activism (as above).

You can also join me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pLEaSE CIRCULATE this emil wildly!!!!!!!!!!!!

It ish a warr agunst corption.!!!!!!! Jai

Hind!   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! shud reech ass many peeppil plz

(really, really, really sorry for all the exuberance)