Transition of Thoughts

Weaving thoughts into words

Month: April 2012

Do we ever live for ourselves?

We live to please our parents. We live to please our extended families. We live to please our partners. We live to please our bosses. We live to please our friends and colleagues. But do we ever really live to please ourselves? Do we try to do what makes us feel good? Do we try to keep ourselves happy? Do we try to actually LIVE a life?

From the time we are small, we are taught to listen to our parents. We eat what they say. We go to the school which they select for us. We go to the tuitions which they consider as best. Obviously we listen to them like obedient children because they would know the best considering their age and experience. But then, slowly but surely we start doing things just to keep them happy. We avoid any situation which would give them a bad impression about us. We also avoid doing anything which may give them a bad name in the society. Obviously there are many of us who start living dual lives where on one side we please our parents but on the other we fool them by partying hard and enjoying as if there is no tomorrow. But that’s beyond the point of this post.

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Anders Behring Breivik – Is this how trials of terrorists are done?

For the uninitiated, Anders Behring Breivik is the confessed perpetrator of the July 22nd attacks in Norway. These attacks (A bomb blast outside a government building in Oslo which killed 8 along with the 69 he killed indiscriminately on the island of Utoya plus the 151 injured) were the worst in Norway’s history since World War II. Initially he was labelled as another Muslim terrorist who is a part of the Al Qaeda network intent on taking terror to new places in Europe. But with time it was realized that he was one of their own – White, Christian and Norwegian.

The initial reactions from countries to such acts includes increasing safety measures, having regular police presence, increasing screening of people in big gatherings and functions etc. But the Prime Minister of Norway made a statement which said – “We are going to tackle these attacks with more openness, democracy and participation.” And so Breivik went on trial like a regular defendant in the court of law.

So what actually is Norway all about? Norway has been a peace loving country since one can remember. They have had a steady flow of tourists because of its majestic fjords, greenery, the midnight sun etc. It is also regarded as one of the least corrupt and most developed countries on the planet. And so this reaction of theirs is due to many reasons:-

– By increasing excessive security, policing etc, the government doesn’t want to make people feel there is a constant threat. They want to believe that this
was just a one – off incident.

– According to the Norwegian law, every guilty person can be given a fair trial in court as a defendant. And that’s why Breivik has got his 5 days to give his
side of the story as the trial goes on.

– There’s no death penalty in Norway. According to the Norwegian rules, one can be sentenced to a maximum of 21 years in prison. Though if its proved that the
guilty is a danger to society, he / she can remain in custody for as long as deemed fit. And Norway is not willing to change this.

Though the live telecast for the proceedings is banned across the world, live reports are going around the planet through Twitter and other news media. A large contingent of journalists have arrived in Norway to cover this landmark case. But therein lies the main problem.

Bin Laden, Tim Mcveigh and many other dreaded terrorists have never got their share of 5 days of glory to give a testimony. They have never been able to share their ideology with the world other than through some audio recordings in Laden’s case. But Breivik got this platform and he seems to be using it to the best possible way. A lot many people are coming out openly in support for his views against multiculturalism and Muslims. Though they don’t support his actions, they agree to quite an extent with his views on how multiculturalist societies are destroying the core of Europe and the rest of the world.

Secondly, seeing Breivik being given such a free trial, others with similar views and thoughts could also be emboldened to conduct such high intensity spectacular attacks. At the moment, I have a feeling that many people see Breivik as a rebel who had a right cause but wrong actions.

On the other hand, not putting them to trial at all or being all secretive from the world like US does in case of the terrorists it captures is not the right thing to do as well. US has used increasing security, force, attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq etc. to keep itself safe. And despite the fact that I don’t agree to their policies one bit, they have managed to avoid any terrorist attack on their soil since September 2001.

Norway’s views on treating terrorists are at one end of the spectrum while US / UK views are totally on the other end. They say that they won’t change their policies. But wasn’t this an unheard of event? Wasn’t this event something never seen before? Considering this they ought to have treated Breivik differently. Yes they shouldn’t have conducted a trial secretively or killed him straightaway by hanging him. But instead, giving him a platform to voice his views is sure to lead to disaster. Every day judges are shaking hands with him, he’s smiling off and on, giving a long and detailed speech about the Knights Templar or the 2083 Europe manifesto – is he criminal or some famous personality?

A terrorist needs to be treated as one! Otherwise, the day isn’t far when many more Breivik’s will be born!!

Short Story 7 – The dark secret of the grasslands!

“Is this the same country which people routinely trash when discussing about tourism?” Sam seemed awestruck by the beauty all around.

“Yeah that’s the question running through my head as well.” Ginny had heard the same from her friends back in Auckland.

“From the greenery to the valley, from the wildlife safaris to the unspoilt beaches, this place is paradise rediscovered.”

“Yes it truly feels like. God! They scared us to death while departing. Thankfully we kept our foot down.” Over the last few days, they had realized that this place was nothing like what had been described by their friends.

“Who knows; maybe they assumed that we were going to a concentration camp rather than an adventure trip.” Both of them had a hearty laugh.

Sam and Ginny were not your regular couple who meet in a college and fall in love. They actually never worked in an office at all. Whether it was rock climbing, rappelling, bungee jumping, paragliding or any other adventure sport – both of them were always game for challenges. And it was during one of these adventures that they happened to meet.

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In conversation with Parimal Kalikar: Author of The Godly Blunder

Parimal Kalikar graduated in Hotel Management and earned his first buck as a bell boy at a five star resort in Goa. Even though he pursued his master’s in Human Resource Management, he worked as a credit cards salesman in a multinational company. After leaving his lucrative job in 2009, he decided to pursue his dream of writing and owning a business. His hobbies include photography and listening to music.

You can read my review here – “A Godly Blunder”.

1. What drove you to write?

I always liked writing essays and penned random thoughts. I dreamed of publishing my novel one day, but never did I imagine that it would happen so early in my life.

Penning down my thoughts excites me and I enjoy it immensely. And so the move was made to give this career a try.

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Tehelka Sting: Rapes have become a way of life in NCR!

She asked for it!

It was consensual between the boy and the girl!

It was just ‘sex for money’ and not rape!

The girl’s mother is a slut who sleeps with a 28 year old man!

When the girl roams around with such clothes, why wouldn’t a man get aroused?

The girl is doing this just for money!

These aren’t any dialogues from a movie script. Neither are they comments by some random friends sitting in a pub and talking about the rapes in the society. They are the comments of some of the top police officers in and around NCR (Noida, Gurgaon etc.) recorded by the Tehelka Newspaper during a sting operation sometime last month. Does it come as a shock? Or is it a surprise? Or are you disgusted? But then there are some who really feel that this is totally expected from the guardians of our laws.

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Guest Post: The Hunger Games makes You Hungry for More

Late in March, the first installment of the much anticipated ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy finally made its way to the big screen, earning a whopping $364.9 million dollars globally to date.

As an avid fan of the books, I was a bit hesitant about going to see the flick during the opening weekend, partly because I was scared I would get smashed by a swarm of teens but mostly because I thought I’d be disappointed in the movie adaptation. So I waited. I didn’t read other reviews because I didn’t want another critic’s opinion swaying my own.

This weekend I finally made my way to the theater and I am more than delighted to say that it wasn’t disappointing at all, although I feel I would’ve enjoyed much more if I hadn’t read the books first.

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Book Review – Zero Percentile 2.0

Note: Read this review with the knowledge that I haven’t read ‘Zero Percentile (ZP)’

‘Zero Percentile 2.0’ is Neeraj Chhibba’s sequel to ‘Zero Percentile’ which was a bestseller when it released a couple of years back. Frankly speaking when I got the book from the author, I presumed that it was going to be another college love story, something which has become too common these days in the contemporary Indian literary world. Does it live up to those expectations or traverses a completely different path? Let’s see.

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Movie Review – Paan Singh Tomar

With movies like ‘Haasil’, ‘Shagird’, ‘Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster’ among his works, director Tigmanshu Dhulia has created quite a space for himself in Bollywood. With ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ he takes his legacy forward. Long in the works, this is the story of the forgotten steeplechase runner who became a dreaded dacoit in Chambal after the authorities betrayed him.

Being a biopic, the story begins from the time ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ (Irrfan Khan) joins the armed forces. Coming from Madhya Pradesh, where he had seen his uncles turn into rebels, he himself has brushes with his seniors. When they realize that he would be more adept at concentrating his energies in athletics they send him to the Army Sports Center. From there his journey begins to stardom. Winning medal after medal in steeplechase at national and international levels, he becomes a hero. But closer at home, problems like land grabbing by his cousins force him to leave the army. With no help from the police as well as the government, he finally takes up arms and builds up his own gang in Chambal.

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