Friday, July 29, 2016

Wi-Fi Relationships

The three girls grew up together right from primary school.  They studied in the same school and lived in the same premises.  When schooling was completed, they went to different colleges.  But they met every evening for some time in an open area near their homes.  They would sit together and chat while their fingers moved dexterously on the keypad of their smartphone.  The occasional giggle or  peel of laughter that was let out did not considerably affect their engagement with the phone.  Now that they live in different places, the relationships must have turned entirely virtual, I guess. 

In the same city, I have noticed people, especially those not old enough to dye their hair, engrossed totally with their mobile phones while travelling in the metro trains or buses, while talking to people in various places, or even while looking after a patient in a hospital.  

I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone posing for a selfie with the dead body of his/her grandfather or an aunt and then posting it at Facebook or Instagram. 

Relationships have gone wi-fi.  The people far away seem to be a lot more important, or at least interesting, than those nearby.  Distance lends enchantment to relationships, perhaps.  The ‘likes’ in the virtual world are much more articulated than in the real world.  And people are far more generous with ‘likes’ in that world rather than in this.  That world!  That’s a Paradise, Heaven on earth!  People there ‘like’ whatever you do, whatever you write, whatever pictures of yourself you pass on.  How nice to be liked so much!

Is that an escape into a world of soothing illusions?

Is genuine love an emotion which binds people together more in bad times than in good ones?  Wouldn’t I rather be with my beloved one in the storm rather than be safe by myself?  Are there real seas without those storms?

If the person who makes you the happiest does not also occasionally make you the saddest, the love that binds the two of you may not last very long.  Still more, things not said matter much more than those said in a genuine relationship.  What is not said cannot be expressed in that virtual Paradise.  The gaze in the eyes and pulse of the heart are too real for the virtual sites.  Emoticons are too mechanical to carry emotions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What do people want?

Conduct a survey on what people want and you may be surprised to find that god(s) don’t figure in the list of choices.  People don’t want god(s). They want:

1.     Happiness
2.     Money
3.     Freedom
4.     Peace
5.     Joy
6.     Balance
7.     Fulfilment
8.     Confidence
9.     Stability
10.            Passion

This is a list of things that people want, in that order of priorities, according to a survey conducted by Kathy Caprino, a leadership trainer and apparently a feminist, and whose results have been published here. The choices may change if a similar survey is conducted in India.  Food, house, clothes, and other basic necessities like toilets may figure in the list in Indian surveys.  I’m sure god(s) won’t. 

Conduct the survey in China (most populated country) or Pakistan (apparently most religious country) or Qatar (the wealthiest country currently) and you will still get similar results. God(s) won’t figure in people’s choices.

My question is: Why do we have so many people fighting for god(s) in spite of the fact that people don’t want them (gods)?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A brief history of gods

In the beginning were bacteria. They were bored. Millions of years of life will bore anyone. Even bacteria. They wanted escape from boredom. In spite of volcanic eruptions and other entertainments. In spite tectonic plates shifting whimsically. In spite of falling comets and asteroids.

Boredom is the most powerful agent of change. It can kill you. Or it can make you create new life. New life came. In various forms. Plants. They were bored soon. They longed to meet mate. And the mate was born.

Dinosaurs. They found it difficult to mate. Snakes crawled around and cockroaches flew around.  Some mated. Some devoured some others. The lion came claiming kingship. The lion was soon bored. The ape came mocking his boredom and running around on trees that the lion could not climb after mating and eating or eating and mating. When the lion was insulted enough into genetic humiliation, the ape descended from the tree and became man.

Man was bored sooner than all others. In spite of condoms. And other entertainments. So he sat down to meet and discuss. Brainstorming led by a CEO. “Let us create a god,” the most creative brain suggested. And they created a god in their own image.

Xerox copies of the god soon gained popularity. And they assumed new shapes. Avatars, the creators called them just for the sake of authority. Authority comes from the author of the new story.

New stories. New gods. New authors.

Somebody wanted to be the leader. He said, “We shall have only one god. All other gods are false.” A lot of blood flowed. Down many a stream.

History continues.  Gods rule.