Saturday, 29 December 2012

True tribute to the India's daughter

Leave girls and women, no brother, leave brother, no HUMAN Indian wouldn't have not felt a piercing sting in the heart over this tragic - what do I call - incident? rape? murder? moral demolition? beginning of an end of conscience? Whatever it is, it points a finger at us in the face and says - "You can do nothing about me. Can you? Can you?"


This morning my friend told me about her death. Emotions soared high. Feet wanted to move. Palms clutched air. And that's it.

Arnab Goswami on Times Now is asking to maintain calmed demeanor and rightly so "as it will be a great disservice to the martyr to take a violent form on this occasion". We need to introspect. What will happen by protesting at India Gate? Only some visual images would stimulate those on the other side of the camera to give them this (non)sense of something is happening. Like people standing up and calling quotes and displaying posters will change us for the better. Nope, I'm afraid, not. If it were to happen, it would have happened. Aaye din TV pe ye cases aate rahte hain. Nothing taking away from "probably the greatest tragic incident in India" (as quoted by Mr. Jethmalani), I strongly feel such violent upheaval wouldn't prove much benefit to the society. A good example is Mr. Anna Hazare's demeanor against that of Baba Ramdev in the anti-corruption movement and their respective effects on public mood.

Mr. Manmohan Singh is asking us to "channelize our emotions in a constructive way" which means - keep mum like him and see the next parliament session on DD National. We'll do that. Is it? Or is it not? The shame in this "shameful incident" is on us.

Us - The watchful spectator, the silent Indian.

No. Not this moment. Just not this moment. Let's not forget the bravery.

The Braveheart- The very next day the news of gang rape was aired, three of us friends were discussing over the interplay of emotions that that girl would have been facing in case she were conscious. "Should I live? Or should I better die? How can I live with so much trauma for the rest of my life?" Ms. Jaya Bacchhan wept in the parliament empathizing with the girl. And, the fact is that she wanted to live. In such serious condition she battled for 13 days. For life. For dignity. For cause.

"A girl on death bed may have changed the course of young India" said a reporter.

I 'd be happy to think of the positive. So, what is that course? It is not being violent and definitely not being silent. To list few common formulations:
Nationwide violent protests (leads to nowhere, only agitates what is in the bowl)
Talking to friends and colleagues (time pass?)
Candle light marches (temporary arousal of emotions)
Better voting decisions in next Lok Sabha elections (this is a lazy excuse)

Those listed above aren't proper measures in regards to the rape cases. Plus, we as a general public aren't participating in the removal of this social malice. Let me list a few measures whose effectiveness can be discussed over.

1) Every girl over a certain age (may be 15) should be provided with free rechargeable electric stunners, which they may carry in their handbag. Just as the TB patients are being provided free medicines from medical shops. If government doesn't provide free, buy it.

2) Value education - Insert moral builders in the morning pledges of schools such as what Prince Hector says in the movie Troy "All my life I've lived by one code. And that is simple. Love your country. And respect your woman". If the day comes when India registers zero cases of rape, it will only be through value education.

3) This is for the social entrepreneurs. Invent small GPS enabled gadgets like pagers and link it to local police systems. On press of a button from a would-be victim a red alert will be sent to nearby policeman who will be having the receiving pagers. (Policemen are also humans. they are just not inspired enough. If they know of such an imminent incident in the vicinity they will surely run to help.)

4) Compulsory martial arts for girls from class 5th to 12th. In incidents like this one where attackers were a group of men, it may not be useful but in other cases it may be life saving.

5) Make being silent witness to such an incident a crime officially. Indian girl is lot more vulnerable since independence and there must be some necessary changes in law. If such an incident is happening in front of someone, he must try to stop it no matter what.

6) Stop guarding and start arming - Tell your sisters and daughters that they can take care of themselves. Truth is you cannot always protect them. It's about mental strength too. They will act smarter if god-forbid they are cornered.

7) Capital punishment - This is a nuclear weapon. There are problems applying it in the legal system. But again drastic situations calls for drastic measures. Problem is that there may be cases in which innocents can be tricked into a forged rape case. Supreme court stuff.

There can be lot of other improvements and most of us know them. Let us give ourselves a day to think about it and do whatever we can. If we really want something, it will happen.

Condolences to the girl's family and salute to the girl who after the heinous incident faced multiple organ failures, a heart attack and finally cerebral edema, today un-clutched her fist forever.

Time to pay true tribute to the India's daughter through actions.

I'll leave you with following quotes in air related to the incident.

"Abnormal people. Human beings don't do such kind of thing"
"Respect is still so entrenched in the society that the public's anger became evident at India Gate"
"Time bound justice required"
"Must have at least traffic lights on all the roads"
"They must be tried in Saudi Arab style"
"Occasion of speechlessness and grief'
"Not to be taken just as an incident but as an awakening and constant battle"
"We should make sure that we introspect over this loss"

---- Thanks to Shalabh Kumar and Ankur Kalia for their thoughts.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The ideal self

Running across an empty track,
during an afternoon when i was ten,
i had this figure of my ideal self
conquering the seventh heaven. 
A marksman of unknown territories
the protagonist of splendid stories
refracting incoming rays into 
infinite sparkles and opportunities
for them to collect and 
spread across my motherland.
A launchpad of progress,
an inflection point nevertheless,
whose time history will address
and write poetry with finesse. 
I am faster now, I drive
overtaking the crowd
in overdrive 
but can't hear myself aloud;
can't find the one 
with whom I used to run.
An endeavor of restlessness
ate up by the pleasantness
and the constant 
returns to the society's niceness.
Silence silence silence
hold your allegations
answer your own questions
before crossing over my fence
Lit your torches and
journey inwards with patience
Talk to that child first
before reading the next sentence. 
Sparks die if preserved
path to freedom is curved
so don't be reserved 
to the straight horse you served. 
Be a rabbit and 
nibble on the unique berries
chase the past, the dream,
the future of meaningful glories.
Need to fight against
the hesitation, my friend
Sense the action commenced
and determination dispensed.
Head down, back bent. 
jump with force 
and leave a dent.
Take my hand and set forth
if every word I meant
reassures your ideal self
that you'll never repent.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

A message

A faint breeze held me
from shoulder.
Said- "Redeem your direction,
find yourself a shelter.
My source is
on the chosen path
but consoles heart
over that aftermath
of the moments that
fuelled your heartbeats
for ever and ever,
through remorses and feats.
Yes, you were unfortunate,
yet fortunate
to warp a bit of time,
out of incompatible fate." 

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Unsaid

Sliding on the violin strings
it pesters the soul
for what is left
without the goal 
which was one 
who enchanted with sparkles
and brought eddy currents
across a plain monotone.
The unrealized proximity 
before the formed touch
innocently gazes for serenity,
if not much.
Keep it hazy baby
let it sing more.
let it find the meaning
and stray ashore.
Criminal it is to be 
mused of the facade
that was ephemeral 
and kept us in shade.
As we move forward
for an unknown voyage
those words may come of use
which remained unsaid.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Connecticut Analyzed - Why did it happen

Ok, it's been long since I've published any article or story. And I probably wouldn't have done that for another month if the unfortunate event at Connecticut hadn't happened.

This is not another story on the web to report that, but an attempt to analyze what pushed Adam Lanza, the gunman, over the threshold of holding oneself back from executing such heinous crime.

What happened in a line - An odd, 20 year old student open fired at an elementary school classroom with a stolen gun from his mother, whom he killed first the same day while she slept, and thereby killed 28, mostly  6-7 year old children, teachers, a principal and at last, himself.

The officials are still identifying "his purpose" of killing schoolchildren and adding mental disease like aspergers to his portfolio just to give "meanwhile" answers to the demanding media, to the heartbroken parents and to the global community. They probably will never be able to identify the real motive. However, investigation will happen and in the end they will produce a report summary with "some" motive. So, I said, let us help them.

Before I go ahead, let me put in lucid terms, the debate of possession of guns wouldn't help much in this case. It's the doer, his ideas, his actions that produce such results. Guns are just "first option" to achieve them. And Adam, didn't even possess them. He stole them from his mother. If not from mother, then from someone else. If not semi-automatic guns, then simple rifles and use conversion kits to make them semi-automatic. If no conversion kits, then probably bombs. If not bombs, then a masterplan of car-bombs. There are so many ways of achieving mass murder that we'd need wikipedia to chronicle it. We can only stop such incidents by stopping the motives, not identifying and stopping the means of achieving them.

That said, since guns ARE the first option, proper administering the gun possession licensing would certainly reduce the frequency of such incidents. Maybe Lanza would have not even thought of killing if he didn't know that his mother had stored guns in the closet.

Anyway, let's shift the gaze to the main point which is similar to the subject I covered in the post Colorado and Manesar - Signs of 2012

Adam Lanza is characterized as a loner, odd individual, a computer geek, one of those of your acquaintances whom you'd not see for days and on re-appearing they wouldn't even see hello. They are calling him retarded or mentally ill, but he may be just all right technically. May be, just a series of events in his life guided his thoughts, overwhelmed him, to balance his low social activity graph.

I researched about him a bit. He was born on May 26, 1992 that categorize him as a pure Gemini (not on a cusp). And most important characteristics of a gemini are
a) They are dual natured, complex and inconsistent.
b) They demand attention and admiration from people around them.
c) They are high spirited, creative and capable of surprising anyone with their breathtaking ideas.

.............which Adam certainly did.

According to sources, his mother was fond of guns. She would take young Adam to shooting ranges. Now Adam was a high IQ, bright kid. He didn't have friends but a laptop to share feelings with. Probably, everyday he faced social neglect from probable relatively lower IQ kids whom he attests as misunderstanding fools. He played first person shooter games to extract the anger built up from the constant social neglect. He would get double kills, triple kills, ultra kills in Quake or Counter Strike. But he would eventually realize that he was just wasting his time on the stupid games. He had done nothing to demand attention and admiration from his surrounding people. He had done nothing to show those finger-pointers that he isn't a loser, stupid kid. He would turn into a computer geek, learn hacking and become a system destroyer. Will he achieve his aim then? No. He probably would funnel out his anger by disrupting systems but even then he wouldn't teach those early life school acquaintances a lesson. Amidst all these accumulated grievances and self questioning that tortured him night and day, he still had one fascination in his life which seemed to fit him, which he really, really enjoyed a lot. Guns. Every night he would plot, plan and replay the array of events he would perform using this fascination. And when he is convinced of the foolproof planning, he would get a sound sleep.

Grievance and fascination.

But why kill such little school children? There are two possibilities. One. He didn't think of which age group to kill. Just went in to wreck havoc upon the nearest school which had minimum event-barriers. Two. He spent the ugliest years in that age group and was jealous of these school children. Since, he hadn't matured by mind, may be he didn't feel the psychological barrier of those children's innocence.

The police investigated and interrogated the gun sellers, the near shooting range dwellers and whomever they could, if anyone had practiced with guns in the vicinity. Since, to carry out a massacre in even a school, one would need some amount of training. According to the report, no one witnessed such a thing. And probably Adam wouldn't have trained himself physically. Somewhere the time wasted in Counter Strike had to come of use. There are many who learned 90 percent of driving just by playing NFS.

All he needed was a detailed description of the school, classrooms, number of watchmen, teacher staff's sex ratio, number of guns and bullets. So he went to nearby schools for survey and chose a school. With that mental imagery he planned it all, nights after nights. And one night he watched Nike's commercial. So, he quietly stole the guns after his mother slept off and felt them physically. He felt powerful. Adrenaline pumped and right then he had decided to carry out the plan the next morning. But, again, why would he kill his mother. Again two possibilities. One, he held her partly responsible for his "condition". Two. he didn't want her to read the news. So before she woke up, he shot her in the face so that she dies without pain. Next, he stuffed all those guns in a school bag and stepped out of the house to play a real game in 3D.

And he played with his developed instinct. Reportedly, the school principal, a 51 year old lady pounced on him to save the schoolchildren. But was caught in air by the bullets. The teachers ran astray as he caught them in terror. And the tiny children. They wouldn't even have known what they are facing. This single image of those cute little children staring at a gunman in utter ignorance and innocence only to be shot the next second had me in tears when I read the news as it had many others. "My heart goes out to those children" was the most typed tweet in the following day. Add to that the image of those lucky children who were later escorted out of the school with their eyes closed so that they don't witness a lifelong depressing and horrific aftermath. Yes, the heart does go out.

After he had accomplished the mission, either out of quirk of whim or sudden realization of shame, he killed himself.

I wrote reasons for an unreasonable act. One may deem it foolish do. But that doesn't wipe them away. World's population is near 7 billion. Twenty percent of them are children. A percent of them may be are currently living under social neglect which CAN be suppressed. That number can be pretty huge. Putting the age where social media is the most happening thing the effect will only be compounded. Our children can be taught to discourage bullying or laughing upon someone just as ragging is banned from colleges. Every personality which is not in disorder should get the necessary respect.

The solution is not just banning the semi-automatic guns but also providing these easily identifiable neglected children the admiration and attention they seek.

Nobody chooses to be alone.