If we look carefully at our world, we find that where there is unfair
distribution of resources, there is unrest. When people cannot enjoy the fruits
of their labours fairly, when they are forced off their land and homestead and
forest, we have the basis of an unjust society. Where there is violence and
conflict, we invariably find poverty. And where there is poverty, we find anger
and acute struggles for justice and equity. And, we see Governments resorting
to repression for ensuring ‘law and order’.
I have often stated that Poverty is violence. This violence is by consensus of
society that lets other human beings go without roti and kapada and makan.
Poverty is not God given. It is a moral collapse of our society. Poverty strips a
person of his or her humanity, and takes away freedom. Poverty is day-to-day
violence, no less destructive than war. Poverty is lack of peace and freedom. In
fact, removing poverty is essentially building peace. I know I am not saying
anything new. Garibi Hatao to me also meant, indeed, Shanti Banao. Garibi
Hatao is a peace song.
And where do we start? I have faith in women. Women have shown, if we care
to observe, that disarmament in the end is not a treaty by two nations to
render arms useless, though such a treaty is much needed in this world. In my
experience, and I have seen within India and in other countries, women are
the key to rebuilding a community. Why? Focus on women, and you will find
an ally who wants a stable community. She wants roots for her family. You get
a worker, a provider, a caretaker, an educator, a networker, a forger of bonds.
I consider thousands of poor working women’s participation and
representation an integral part of the peace and development process.
Women bring constructive, creative and sustainable solutions to the table.
Also, in my experience, productive work is the thread that weaves a society
together. When you have work, you have an incentive to maintain a stable
society. You can not only see the future, but you can plan for the future. You
can build assets, and invest in the next generation. Life is no longer just about
survival. Work builds peace, because work gives people roots as well as allows
them to flower; it builds communities and it gives meaning and dignity to
one’s life. Work restores man’s relationships with himself, with fellow human
beings, with the earth and the environment and with the great spirit that
created us all.
A few years ago, there used to be this hilarious ad for Voltas A/C
The tagline is: Whatever the weather outside, you stay comfortable inside.
Might this be a metaphor for life?
I was inspired by the Indian science magazine, Resonance, to further deepen my interest in math and physics. It is such a beautiful science journal for under graduate students. This month’s issue,
contains a beautiful tribute to one of the best loved mathematicians of the 20th century, George Polya
One day, I will live my life with as much abandon as the singer in this video. Until then, until then.
There is something mystical, something magical, something innocent and something peaceful about rain. The dark clouds, damp earth, water droplets on the tree leafs, the sense of calm after the rain, the sense of freshness. A sense of serenity envelopes you. It is almost as if nature is trying to reach out to us, tell us something. What is it? What is it?
Sometimes in life, you are up against forces far beyond your power. You know, it is known, that you are going to be vanquished eventually. You try your damnedest, everything, but eventually you are up against a wall, so to speak. You end up being utterly vanquished. It is simply beyond you. The resistance is finite before it gets smashed.
Out in the middle a terrific battle was on. The two chief protagonists were the bespectacled off-spinner B. Ramprakash and the local left-handed all-rounder K. Jeshwant. “Jeshu” would place a large leg down the pitch and hit away against the spin over mid-on and mid-wicket. But Ramprakash got rid of others in the middle order, including the up-and-coming youngster Rahul Dravid. Karnataka were 120 for five, 140 for six, 190 for seven. Jeshwant skilfully farmed the strike, pounding huge boundaries in between. Dodda Ganesh and then David Johnson edged a single here and there. Eventually Jeshu got 100, and Karnataka won by two wickets. B. Ramprakash had bowled unchanged since the morning, taking six for 80 in about 40 overs. At the end, as the other players went off, he stood in a daze on the pitch, mutely acknowledging the “well bowled” from the fans who had strolled onto the middle.
For about two years, I went to the net sessions of MAC Spin foundation led by the great leg break bowler VV Kumar. It was my good fortune to play with some of the leading players of Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Kerala. I saw the likes of Sritharan Sriram, Sadagopan Ramesh, S Mahesh, B Ramprakash amongst others. Reading this Guha piece, I can almost imagine him at the centre of the wicket, standing in a daze after his bowling feats.
Here is the scorecard from that game for the really crazy cricket fan.
A fine example of this sentiment is this picture of Sachin walking back after his futile century at the MCG with seagulls for company.
Sunday night in the house.
The blinds drawn, the phone dead.
The sound of the kettle, the rain.
Supper: cheese, celery, bread.
For company, old letters
In the same disjointed script.
Old love wells up again,
All that I thought had slipped
Through the sieve of long absence
Is here with me again:
The long stone walls, the green
Hillsides renewed with rain.
The way you would lick your finger
And touch your forehead, the way
You hummed a phrase from the flute
Sonatas, or turned to say,
“Larches–the only conifers
That honestly blend with Wales.”
I walk with you again
Along these settled trails.
It seems I started this poem
So many years ago
I cannt follow its ending
And must begin anew.
Blame, some bitterness,
I recall there were these.
Yet what survives is Bach
And a few blackberries
Something of the “falling starlight”,
In the phrase of Wang Wei,
Falls on my shadowed self.
I thank you that today
His words are open to me.
How much you have inspired
You cannot know. The end
Left much to be desired.
“There is a comfort in
The strength of love.” I quote
You vouchsafed me. Please note
The lack of hope or faith:
Neither is justified.
I have closed out the night.
The random rain outside
Rejuvenates the parched
Foothills along the Bay.
Anaesthetised by years
I think of you today
Not with impassionedness
So much as half a smile
To see the weathered past
Still worth my present while.