Justice

Hindu Gods are invariably shown enjoying a Luxurious Life. Check Vishnu or Krishna and also their several incarnations. They are all attributed with Wealth and Power. Hinduism recognises that Human life is meant for acquisitions and enjoyments of wealth. There are no promises of “Virgins in Haven” or “Judgement Day”. As per Hinduism – Virgins, Heaven, Judgements and your day, are all here. Life, ultimately, depends on the “Animal” which “you” ride. Some get a fast-horse and some contend with a lame-donkey.

The Bible also recognised vagaries of destiny. In the Book of Ecclesiastes 9.11 (Old Testament), there is a wonderful wisdom:
TIME AND CHANCE
The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Neither yet bread to the wise,
Nor yet riches to men of understanding,
Nor yet favour to men of skill;
But time and chance happeneth to them all.

 

The Universe is Naturally Unbalanced. Hindu concepts or the Bible, both mirrors its “Unbalanced Human Propensities”. The “Great Books” attempts to preach the Perimeter of Right and Wrong. “Life is subject to Earthly risks. Please Read the “Offer Document” daily while living”. Besides that, it’s a free run. To Each as much as he can Reap! Charity is optional. We all tend towards Money, Power or both. Given a choice, many would choose Money. I would.

Money gives you the power of selection. If you have money, you get good lawyers and “favourable” justice. For the same crime, an impoverished will suffer both, fleecing lawyers and jail food. The more bucks you have, the less you shall be banged.

Let me recount an incident. It goes back to pre-cable TV days when every roof-top had jungle of TV antennas. My study table overlooked a window and I spent most of my time gazing towards the sky in the name of “studying”. So, one day, I spotted a boy, probably around 15 or 17, moving tentatively on the terrace of the building facing our house. At intervals, he reached up, grabbed a TV antenna bar and twisted it up and down. After a few tries, the bar gave way. Then he reached for the next.

Sherlock Holmes awoke in me. I left my house, “walked” across to the other building and alerted my friends. We stealthily went up the stair-case. The culprit was quickly located and caught. He appeared like those young boys who you see working in tea-shops. What happened next makes me cringe to this day – A frightful beating. He was collecting aluminium to buy few biscuits.

Then we put the “culprit” in the auto-rickshaw and took him to Santa Cruz Domestic Airport Police station. There I saw more justice first hand. The hawaldar’s first reaction was to pick up a belt – thick black rubberized material, a size of two-foot ruler. He used the “tool” to repeatedly rap the boy’s naked and frail body. The accumulated neighbours wanted more justice to be done. I felt revulsion – on what I had done. Even today, whenever I cross that Police Station while on my way home, my thoughts go back to that “fateful” day. Trust me, I will never report a theft.

Cut to Kolkata. A Friend had swindled good amount of money from company contracts. He was reported. The police called him for “questioning”, and after all the “questions” were “answered” (read Shared), he was free.

Take for example, one famous thief – Bunty. You saw him, temporarily on Big Boss 4. There is one movie made on his life – Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!. This person is said to have robbed Hundreds of Show-rooms and Homes. Delhi police recognizes him as lovable Thief. Yeah, “Lovable Sharing Thief”!

Justice comes in service packages – Platinum, Gold, Basic – Economy, Business and First Class. In fact, the Judiciary of India should have a portal where we can subscribe to these services. If convicted or filing law suits, Register->Choose your Justice Package->Pay. If arrested, click on tab “Book Your Cell”. High value Cells will have attached sauna/Jacuzzi and five-star menu. Higher your subscription value the more the scale of justice will tilt in your favour.

There will always be selective justice. The more money you have, the more you can push the law. Law is the Girl-Friend of the Loaded. It hates empty pockets. If they don’t find anything there it will reach deeper and squeeze your balls. Why be shy? Accept it and be clear.

Idealists should immigrate to the Galaxy of Utopia. Virgin Galactic is starting this sector from April 1st. For the rest – Reconcile with Unbalance. In a Democracy, Parliament is at par with Judiciary. So, expect our law to be like politics, which is nothing but the reflection of Life – The Unbalance.

Let There Be…Corruption!

Scams seem to thrive everywhere. It runs like TV-soaps. One episode ends another starts. Contents are same. Only “weeping actors” differ. But in soaps we empathise with our actors. In Scams, we are tutored by the media to deride the perpetrators. The Media is the hero, scams-ters are the villain and “Politics and Public” are the mute spectators. That’s the star-cast. The Screen-play remains the same. Settings and actors change. Multiple Scams are already running in our “Multiplex” country. In fact, there is always a “Friday”, awaiting a new show.

Then suddenly, “all hell breaks loose”, so to say. The media runs wild, and we run with it. It has become entertainment of sorts. I wonder what will happen if there are no fresh scams, say, every 4 to 6 months. It would be a stale life. Many would die of boredom. Like God, if we do not have scams, we would be compelled to invent it.

Remember Pac-Man. Yeah, our scams are just like that. It’s Pac-man running helter-skelter eating Pac-dots. Compare that with the CBI. Daily, on TV, you see “Pac-Man-CBI” holding some “Pac-Dot-Scamster” and driving through the “Media-Maze”. Twists and turns follow. After a while, you lose track as to who is avoiding the “ghost” and who is eating the “enemy”. Well, like Pac-Man, this game can be played indefinitely.

It’s time we should accept Corruption – like Prostitution, Gambling or Smoking. That would solve lots of problem and better, will end the drama which accompanies the Scam News. Everyone involved had had their fill during the climax. What actually goes on, on TV or media, are show-endings – and they don’t even share the crumbs!

Take for example, Prostitution. It’s legal or illegal depending on the country. Even in our country, there is always this talk of making it legal. Anyway, the attitude of the government shows that it’s “tacitly” legal. Either way, it’s considered as necessary evil. In every city, there will be a Grant or a G.B.Road. Red Light area is a Social Necessity Area. Legalese are powerless against God-given emotions.

Also Smoking! You will know people taking leaps on philosophy and tell you big ways to quit, only succumb themselves. Only one day, you will find them stealing a drag in some secluded corner. When caught, they have a sheepish expression on their face. Don’t confront them. Or you would be inundated with reasons which you won’t care to listen.

Corruption is also somewhat like smoking. You will be talked-out by those who will be “minting” themselves. You can have statutory warning or placards displaying “no smoking” or show pictures of those unfortunate sufferers with “rotten gums and missing cheeks”, yet finally the “Butt is King”. Smoking is banned at public places, still public will discover places.

Take Gambling or Betting – both close cousins of Investing. Like prostitution, Gambling is also a favourite “government gossip”. Our Authorities dream of making it Legal. They claim that’s the best way to control the trade. In other words, they want to share the loot-legally. In both investing and gambling, you would require skill and sheer luck. If gambling is made legal, at least we will have the data, learn it, and participate.

So goes with corruption. Accept it and make it legal. Everyone knows when and where we have to give money “illegally”. Once Legalised, we all will know where “fast money can be made” “Legally”. Just imagine, 6G is to be launched and there is a website where we all can place our hand. Then people like Raja will be like our Gods. Think!

I had a friend in Kolkata who now lives in US with a big house, a swimming pool, 7 Dogs and “Bars & Babes”. He once told me about Corruption which I find so very true. He said, “Make all the money you can and if your cover is blown, don’t resist arrest. Go to jail. That’s best place to negotiate. Share your wealth and then live happily ever after…..”

Movies on TV

Channel Surfing is a much loved activity. This sport is easy, fast and informative. There is no other exercise which enlightens us on such a range of subjects at a single go. News, sports, soaps, animals and movies and also don’t forget the Spirituality, all can be scanned at a glance.

It is our inner state “at-the-moment” which is the decider. You hold the remote and press through. On every channel, your inner-string strains to tune itself to the happenings on the show-box. Sometimes you hit a jackpot and settle down for good. But, mostly you go round and round in circles.

Everyone has a “corner”. A “corner” is supposed to be located somewhere in or near the heart – some nerve-endings which stores our special affinities. All it requires is a trigger, some sight, sound, smell which fires off some spasmodic bursts of “pang” which we recognise as nostalgia.

If you actually check, all our memories are stored in some sort of vibrations. That’s why, things which affects us are also known to resonate. We know it, when we get tuned to it. There is something which “releases” us and we celebrate it by giving the TV remote a much-needed breather. After all, we are henpecked to concede to the wills of our “corner”.

I will recount few movies, which makes me stop the surf, put down the remote for good and enjoy the view. There are many “whys” in “what” we like. But even though beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder – still, there are always something common in all beholders. What you find good, others might feel the same too. 

Pretty Women

It’s a story of unattached, un-inhibited love. There is a kind of freshness in the movie. I never tire of viewing this nostalgia laden story. Sometimes you search your entire life for that ethereal woman. Consider yourself lucky if you get one. I also love that last shot, a man crossing the Hollywood street singing –
What’s your dream?
Everybody comes here;
this is Hollywood,
land of dreams….

A Few Good Men

The crispiest dialogues I have ever heard in any English movies. And again, it is the absence of dialogue at a crucial moment which “caught-the-criminal”, so to say. This movie shows some examples of logical-entrapment – on how, through proper planning and words, one can guide the course of events.

The Remains of the Day

I find this movie painfully captivating. It’s a story of a man who loves being a butler to the point of obsession. It shows the life of a perfectionist who loses his love and life, but is more than happy to remain in his groove. The story does not single out any particular life. But it is a piercing sarcasm on all our lives.

Quills

Set during the French revolution as a backdrop, this is the story of Marquis-de-Sade, the noble who escaped the guillotine, but lived to tell the tale of sex. The movie is on Orgies Nonpareil. The story is of a man who has an obsessive-compulsive desire to write – to pen tales of coitus and copulation. He does this at all cost and under any circumstances. It’s a heady movie which rips you every time you see it.

Downfall

It seems that Hitler was reborn to act in this movie. A period drama depicting the times. We do not possess any yardstick to sense the wantonness of the Second World War. All we can resort to is Imagination. In Downfall, the picture and the story illustrates Hitler’s final days. And off-course, Hitler, played by Bruno Ganz has lived the character.

Priceless (French)

Well, with English sub-titles off-course. A story of a Sweet-Cheat who initiates the other into the trade. It’s a story of a Hotel Butler who falls for a free-loading woman. The baseline is – Love Hypnotizes. You can loot or get looted, all for a few moments of tenderness. The shot which stands out is :- The guy spends all his money on the girl and is finally down to the last dime. Realising this, the fair-weather girl prepares to bid adieu. The guy then takes out his “last dime” and gives to the girl, asking for a few more moments for an eye-full. Oh..I could never watch this shot without emotions!

Pattern

In a way, we are all sold to Pattern. There is a pattern in our life and living, in our thoughts and actions. There is a pattern in our existence. It’s the way we go about, react to things, choose or reject. There is a pattern in how we ‘permit’ the elements from our environment, to form us. Our mind, body and soul have adapted selective assimilation. It’s, finally, our Pattern which defines us. Some elements we let in, others we let go.

It’s some of what we ‘Let Go’ invades our imagination. It is the absent which attracts the foci of our thoughts. Now, there are several remarks and sayings by great men with craps like ‘we should count our blessings’, etc. but, you know, nothing of this matters.

Our void acts like a psychological – black-hole, gaping greedily on aspects which we miss. They say- Opposites Attract. I don’t agree. I feel, many have fallen prey to this fallacy. Actually, it’s the – Absent which Attracts!

There are things which constitute us. And there are things which don’t constitute us, but we wish it were. It is not like a talkative blabber falling in love with a mute idiot. The talkative will fall in love with what he finds he misses in his life. He might not vie for any mute but would probably fall in love with a Spit-Fire whose nose gives him a high. Afterall, in his pattern – that’s the missing colour!

We live as neighbours with our wants. We all carry placards signifying “Something’s Missing”. We are in perpetual search of Lost-and-Found stations. Religions have arisen, great thoughts have been expounded, and probably multi-billion dollar industries are created to cure us. Yet, the fabric of human nature discovers ways to offset it. The moment you hold a pattern, the kaleidoscope gives a wink.

Now, I understand, you would wonder where I am heading. Actually, I am trying to unearth the root of what actually “enthrals” us. I am aiming for that “Spellbinding Trait” which drives us all. The Big Question is – ‘What is that Missing, which makes us all go Fishing’.

Just a while back, I saw Roman Polanski’s ‘Bitter Moon’ on Sony Pix. The storyline runs on narratives, a la ‘Dhobi Ghat’. The chief protagonist speaks about his life and exploits to another member. It’s a sort of flash-back story but it’s the narrative which brings out the crux of characters. And the English sub-titles help a lot to catch the depth of the writings.

This is my second Polanski movie, the other being the mind-blowing “The Pianist”. If you haven’t seen “The Pianist”, well, get it and see it. However, you can mark another one on your viewing list. “Bitter Moon” depicts great insights into inevitableness of quirky characters.

I had written in one of my earlier article that it’s the addiction – not the liking- which compels a freak to espouse a particular living. ‘Bitter Moon’ shows just how “Bitter” that choice can be. It’s not easy to quit smoking. And even if you quit, the butt seems to linger at the back of your head. There are some, who would rather choose the butt and kick-life for momentary living. Well, there is no cure for conceptual illness – after all, it’s a Pattern.

House

‘Dhobi Ghat’ will affect audiences in different ways. There are so many facets which are suggestive. The script captures mundane events and then creates impact by using third to fourth person narratives. That’s amazing conception and writing. It’s a very cerebral movie.

One aspect is the use of Home. Munna, Shai and Arun stay in different dwellings and their home defines their characters. What is depicted brilliantly is – how the same house is used by two different people – Arun and Yasmin. Whatever happens in the same house, at different moments is playing out at the same time. I find this very fertile.

Arun settles down in the house with a particular layout. But when he sees Yasmin in the video, he sees the same house in a different backdrop. Many times he tries to reference back as to ‘how things might have been’ during Yasmin’s time. Doing this exercise, he actually ‘steps back’ and enters into her world. This is a very novel and unique way to show building of a relationship.

It happens. When you see old pictures of your school days, or some relative or your ‘lost’ love, it is the background which affects you more than the protagonists in the photo. If you have a picture of your friends and yourself in front your old school, you will invariable enter the school in essence.

It’s noteworthy that the movie-writer of ‘Dhobi Ghat’ could tap into the emotions related with a backdrop. Arun, though he is living in his own house is actually living in Yasmin’s world. 

I have an obsession with Houses. I love tastily decorated houses. I can recount three friends, two in school and one in college, whose houses were fabulous. No, they were not super-rich. Actually, their mothers were prime contributors who projected their personalities with lots of colour and warmth.

This extremism is the product of my own self. I have always hated my house. During my college days, I went to my friends places on Birthday Parties or other occasions. The moment I entered their houses I was greeted by their fathers, mothers etc. Their hospitality impressed me. But I could never offer back the same to my friends. When rarely they happened to come, my parents disappeared in the inner sanctum. I was left alone to offer them comfort which was shameful to me and bewildering to my guests.

When I visit someone’s place, I look at every detail in their house. I do that even in their photos, if taken inside the room. Then I base my opinion on what good or bad I see. I believe, a house is a projection of a person’s individuality. A House speaks a lot about the personality of the inhabitants. I have changed my opinions on my friends upon seeing their houses the first time.

Conversely, I don’t invite or expect any of my friends at my place. I would rather call them to a bar or some hotel room. I have myself broke friendship or made it cold if I didn’t like their houses. I stop interacting with my friends if I fear that someday they might find my place and drop in. It’s a fear of rejection in reverse. Just like I have rejected or avoided some of them, I fear they might do the same to me.

Yeah, I know, it’s all in the mind. Unfortunately, it’s inside ‘My Mind’. Movies like “Dhobi Ghat” gives people like me a chance to lay bare and wash the inner-ills. Just like Ringing of a Worship-Bell reverberates to cleanse the Inner Being, movies like ‘Dhobi Ghat’ resonates with the soul similarly. And you always notice what you yourself are!