Human facets!

You may be postponing that one call, that one message, that one tinkle. Then you get used to it!

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One of the meanings of the word facet is one side of something many-sided, especially of a cut gem. Whenever I think about the human mind and body, I always find new facets in different persons and even in the same person. These facets are after all are HIS creations. Human facets make a fascinating study. Recently, I heard an old song titli udi from the Hindi movie Suraj (1966) . I had never heard this song for its meaning but when I read the lyrics, I found them fascinating. I interpreted the song my way.

The word Titli in Hindi means Butterfly. The butterfly comes near a beautiful flower and the flower whispers, “please come to me for the nectar”! The butterfly says, “I am flying up in the sky! Beyond the clouds, there are flowers which to you are stars! I want to go beyond everything and reach them, as I want to cross the limits of what I can do. There will be none to tell me you do this and you do that because there will be no boundaries and limits!” The flower says, “Don’t go beyond because you will be waiting and waiting till infinity for your desires to be fulfilled.” The butterfly says, “Only when I spread my wings and go beyond, I will meet my Prince charming”! When butterfly flew beyond, she met new people and found her new persona! She met her Prince charming and love of her life! Wow! Such a simple song but such a deep meaning.

While listening to the song,  a kaleidoscope of different human facets came in mind. I went into a trance and started wondering about how this happens. The song reminded me of someone who was always passionate about doing things and always wanted to cross the limits that all of us face. Recently I read about a naval officer who wanted to circumnavigate the earth, alone, in a boat. He almost did it but for an accident. He got hurt in the accident and it took three days to pick him up. But he held on. I am sure once he overcomes his health issues, he will again attempt the same thing. Testing limits of own endurance both physically and mentally is  a facet of human beings, that I admire the most.

Knowing others is a trait which only humans have. Some people have the ability to get along with new people very quickly. I know someone who used to go on first name basis in the first meeting itself when calling each other by the first name was not so popular. He had a knack of doing it, he had that charm! But at the same time, he had the ability to keep the same affinity with people with whom he would lose touch due to circumstances. I once asked him how he did it? He said, “Pramod, look at any relationship. It may be love, it may be friendship, it may be a business relationship. Getting into a relationship is very simple but keeping it going is hard. You need to cultivate any and every relationship. Unless this is done, falling out of a relationship is quite simple. You just fall out. But that’s the hardest. I simply cannot handle falling out, so I would rather cultivate and keep the relationships going. In love, you have your moments like the butterfly had its moments, only the sky was her limit; two persons are the closest in this relationship!  In friendship, the relationship simply cannot be explained. In a business relationship, you have many good and bad memories of successful and failed projects. Falling out in a business relationship can affect your professional work too! He said, “Pramod, mind you. No matter how much you convince yourself otherwise, reciprocation is important. Without it, the relationship simply dies. You may be postponing that one call, that one message, that one tinkle. Then you get used to not communicating. But mind you, falling out of the relationship is the toughest!”

Another facet that I simply admire is the valour. We have read so many stories of going into battles with knowledge of sure death! We have all read of late Vikram Batra during Kargil war. He and his team had a target and he achieved it, though it was a very tough task and death was almost imminent. It is difficult to imagine such an act from a 22-year old officer. What drives these men? What must be going on in their mind at that juncture? I am sure these are not reckless men but men with a specific aim and great love for their motherland! We all of us know the story of Shelar mama in the battle of Sinhgad fort near Pune. When the going was adverse, he simply cut the ropes which were used to climb the Sinhgad fort, which is on a hill. He told his soldiers that they can’t go back and that one action brought out the courage in them and they won the battle. Baji Prabhu Deshpande, Shivaji’s general had promised Shivaji that he would make sure that Shivaji reached his destination safely. Till that time, he and his soldiers kept on fighting the moguls. When they heard the signal of Shivaji’s safe arrival, he plunged into the final battle and died.

I have talked of good aspects of humans but there are equally bad facets in humans. The Sabarimala case and “Me Too” are classic recent cases of the worst aspect of humans. What brings out superstitious side of humans, I am not sure. The Me Too is a classic case of male chauvinism where males try to throw their weight around to suppress, suffocate females and try to look for sexual benefits.

In case of Sabarimala, Supreme Court gave a ruling saying that the so-called religious tradition of not allowing the females whose menstrual cycles are active. This is because the God at Sabarimala is a bachelor and a celibate! Oh, come on! What is God? Who decides the marital status of Him? Who gave right to priests to decide this rule? Who gave them the right to decide this? This is a bad form of superstition! If these same ladies go to Ram temple, it is ok because Ram is married to Sita! Sounds logical? Says who? On one side we are talking of Industry 4.0 and in which a large number of ladies are actively involved, but on the other side we are trying to prevent 50% population from freedom! The ladies can take part in development, they can give birth to our children but they cannot enter the Mandir, what nonsense are we talking.

“Me Too” is also a similar bad facet of humans and males are creating this problem. I am not going into why this has been happening. But I see some different viewpoints expressed on the subject. A couple of ladies have a different opinion on this than the majority opinion, excepting of course those who are caught in Me Too! One is trying to shame Tanushree Datta and another one is claiming that sex in the film industry is always with consent! Wow! I did not know that the film industry was a secret branch of brothels! Have sex get a song, have sex get a role and so on. Take bribe in kind so that there are no issues with the IT department, later! Forget about your life’s balance sheet when you finally meet HIM!

Superstitions, Male chauvinism is a result of insecurities, being scared of going away from so-called traditions. In olden days, mandir’s were nearby, wearing footwear was not very common. If worn, they would be made of animal hide. So, priests must have formed the rules, no footwear. There were no concrete roads, no pucca roads so walking barefoot was manageable. The black colour is supposedly inauspicious; so, what is the logic that Ayyappa bhakts must wear black clothes! We are a tropical country, the people who go there to pay their obeisance are not professional climbers or trekkers. The black dress would add to their difficulties with heat and humidity! Oh, but this is the tradition and the bachelor God said that all must wear black!

I can go on and on but I will write more at a later stage! There are so many human traits some good and some bad. It’s really a fascinating aspect of our lives. I will slowly delve in them. CIAO!

Meandering!

It feels nice to meander once in a while!

 

Meandering means following a winding course. This adjective is used for rivers. I saw some beautiful pictures of meandering rivers, on the net and felt like sharing with you! The river water just takes its course following the path of least resistance. Today my thoughts are meandering like the river and jump from one thought to another, just meandering along. In my city Pune, we have two rivers called Mutha and Mula. Their confluence is within the city. Mutha river has a path which hardly meanders, in fact, the river hardly has any water around the year. I am generous in this description. In any year, there are only 3 to 4 days when it can be called a river otherwise it is a stream! This is during monsoons when the upstream dams get full!

Yesterday my day started with a phone call from my friend Shrikant who is holidaying in Spain and Portugal. A rumour had reached him that a dam upstream of the river Mutha had broken and water was flowing above one of the bridges. Thanks to social media! I told him that there was a breach in the canal which draws water from the dam. The breach had caused a bit of flooding in the shanties along the canal, causing damage to homes of many families. As the water kept on coming on an extremely busy major road, there was a traffic jam in large part of the city. In the social media, the breach in canal got converted into a dam breakage!

Another friend who is currently in the US, sent me a message that I have become old, after reading my blog “What really is Romance?” I sent him 🤣🤣 as a reply! Dilip and I were classmates and both are around 70. I was wondering how I suddenly became old with one blog? My definition of romance was being together, sharing everything with each other, face life’s tough situations with a smile, together. Just a touch of hand and caress is romance. These are practicalities of life and has nothing to with age Dilip! Personally, I feel that I am around 45, age-wise, when I am in the gym I feel as if I am 55! Never in my life yet I have felt my real age around 70. Five years back I underwent cancer treatment. My health was down for about six months but even during the treatment my zest for the life never went down.

Our Supreme Court has taken five major decision a short span of last ten days. The interesting part is that 3 of them involved something related to sex. First one was about the gays. Now gays can openly move around in the society, maybe with their heads high. But I always used to wonder what is normal? A man and woman have liking for each other, have sex and make babies. As against that two men or women have liking for each other, have sex and obviously can’t make babies. What is abnormal in that? What was illegal in that? Why their heads had to be down? The gays are made such by nature. Do we mean to say that in “normal” people there are no freaks, there are no perverts, there is no rapist? In fact, rapists are the worst normal persons who go and rape kids, they go and rape even old women of the age of 70 plus.

Next one is about adultery. Finally, the Victorian era seems to be coming to an end – the judgment on Section 497 is progressive in many ways. In the context of changing social realities of our times, especially the transforming gender equations. Justice Chandrachud has cited the violation of Articles 14 and 21, saying that Section 49 perpetuates the subordinate status of women, denies them dignity and sexual autonomy, and is based on gender stereotypes. Previous law said that in the case of adultery if a man had consensual sex with a woman without permission from her husband, he could be arrested. The judgement has removed the criminality from the law. It is allowing women sexual autonomy! We are moving with times!

The latest one is about Sabarimala Devasthanam. They did not permit ladies between the age of 10 and 50 to pay their obeisance at the Devasthanam. They declared that women in this age group have their menstrual cycles active hence they are impure! Hence, they should not visit! Men who had taken this decision seem to forget that they came into this world because their mother had an active menstrual cycle and had sex with someone. They are the result of these two so-called impure acts! This is the tact used by men in patriarchal society to control things the way they wanted it. The court has said that in the democratic nation, rights of individuals are above the so-called traditions which have formed in a society and the thought process, which is totally irrelevant today. Some years back there was an incident. There was a case of theft at Sabarimala and 35-year DCP came to investigate. To the horror of the priests, the officer was a lady! Of course, she went inside and did her job!

Then there was the famous case of Babri Masjid. Supreme Court has given a decision that the case has nothing to do with religion and should be treated as a civil suit. According to the verdict, it is simply a land dispute case and will be decided based on the evidence available.

The last case is about the so-called intellectuals arrested by Pune police. A big noise was made by intellectuals about freedom of speech and freedom of expression. They claimed that it is a politically motivated case and should be summarily dismissed. Supreme Court has said that there is evidence to prove that these intellectuals were connected with a disbanded Maoist organization who have various plans, including bringing down the Indian Government by using force! What is it with these intellectuals? They do not say a word when Maoists kill people, last week two MLA’s in Telangana were murdered. Sometimes back 71 security forces were killed in an IED attack. Not a word of protest. These people have been praising terrorists as if they are freedom fighters fighting for India. Under the garb of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, these folks and their followers make statements which an enemy would generally make. When terrorists are killed, these guys write to the Human Rights Commission. But when security forces are brutally kidnapped and murdered, they are away on a holiday to cold climes! They are strong followers of communism at its worse, though all over the world communism has died.

Ignorance is bliss they say but is not treating your medical issues on time the right thing to do? Heard this one from a neurologist. The patient was diagnosed for MS, multiple sclerosis. This condition is tough on your body. The doctor further said that this has been going on for five years! Why do people delay going to doctors? The person accompanying the patient mentioned that he also suffered from diabetes, which currently was well controlled. Only thing is that the he needs dialysis twice a week, side effect of “controlled diabetes!” Amen!

On a lighter note, thank Mr Trump for starting a trade war with China. Mercedes Benz is now exporting their cars to the USA, from India instead of China! So long….

Gay Abandon!

It is none of anybody’s business what people do inside their bedrooms as long as both parties agree to whatever they do.

Aarticle-377-2

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is a section of the Indian Penal Code introduced in 1861 during the British rule of India. Modelled on the Buggery Act of 1533, it criminalizes sexual activities “against the order of nature”. Its application to consensual homosexual sex between adults was found unconstitutional in 2018.  

6th September 2018 was the D day in the lives of gay people in India. If you read the statement above, you will realize that this section of penal code was based on buggery act of 1533 (anal sex)  and introduced in the Indian penal code in 1861! Wow, this is called following the old traditions! Where was the world in 1533, then in 1861! We have been following the very old thought process without changing anything, we have been following it simply because someone said so. How is anyone concerned with private things in the lives of others? How can such a relationship become a criminal act? What is the crime?  

In most species in the world, we have males and females! This is created by nature for a natural process of procreation. I will not talk about other species as their brains are not as developed as human brains. With the improved and knowledgeable brain, the “feelings” started to come into the picture. To procreate, an intimate closeness gets created between the male and female involved due to the sexual act they perform, or at least I presume so! What I have read in old literature and history is that discussions were not as open as the love and closeness discussions, in today’s world.  

Even till the first 50 years of the last century, marriage was an event as routine as any other life process. In those times life expectancy was quite low. At the time of marriage, a male could be easily elder to the female by 8 to 10 years. Average female age at the time of marriage in those times was between 12 to 16 years. My mother was 16 and my friend’s mother was 13 when they were married. Knowledge about the birds and the bees in those days, at that tender age, must have been low.  About the “feelings”, the adage was you get married love will happen; but in most cases, children first happened. How much love was involved later is difficult to judge. With low life expectancy, the husbands simply died by the time women got into the age of feeling love. The birth of children at a young age did not give female enough time to think of love. It probably remained in closets or in mind. 

In olden times it was discussed that love and sex should be between a male and a female. Male/Male and female/female pairing were naturally considered taboo. This relationship was a given religious angle, like everything else in olden days. “God has created Males & Females to create their progeny.” Period! Do we mean to say that these so-called queer relationships never existed before? Remember Shikhandi in Mahabharat? Krishna advised Arjuna to fight Bhishma with the help of Shikhandi’s, as she was born a male and then had a sex change or maybe she was a eunuch. There is an open discussion on this subject in Mahabharata. While this subject of complex sexual identities was discussed openly in Mahabharata, different relationships between Male/Male and female/female were not discussed. Pre-marital sex was discussed differently; Kunti got “boon” from Bhagwan Surya and Karna was born! Oh, come on!

I think, as usual, the priests made this subject taboo to take advantages, to keep control on society. I am sure there must be a hidden ritual somewhere, where priests would “cure” female gay relationship problem my forcing the females to “stay” with them and perform “pooja”, the natural way. 

My thinking on such subjects is quite blunt! How is it the concern of others what a pair does in privacy? It is none of anybody’s business what people do inside their bedrooms as long as both parties agree to whatever they do. It is like eating food or having a drink or smoking cigarettes. Is someone a vegetarian or a nonvegetarian? Is someone a teetotaler or drinks alcohol regularly? It is simply no one else’s business. 

Similarly, two males or two females may like or love each other. They may have sex with each other. This is even today called unnatural sex. What is the definition of natural sex? Is sex natural when it happens between a male and a female? Is there no so-called unnatural sex between a male and a female?  Does it become natural only when sex is performed in a certain way? Sex is an act between a couple of any sex. Because someone in the government had slept over, pun not intended, such acts were called criminal due to an old law. What is criminal about a sexual act between two consenting adults? Many times, such acts are also described as amoral? What is moral? What is right and what is wrong? In sexual behaviour the operative word is adult; even if one of the two is not an adult then the act becomes amoral and I totally agree there. Before becoming adults, humans do not have the capability of deciding things on their own, because of immaturity.  

Somebody made a comment on the Supreme Court ruling that now the gays will openly show their affection in public. I totally disagree. Currently, there are so-called normal couples who show the PDA (Public Display of Affection) but not all do it. The number of couples showing PDA is comparatively quite low. I think the same % will apply to gay couples too! The gay people are also like anybody else. They do their jobs, they have parents, they have relatives. They are like you and me. The only thing different will be that they will not be able to procreate, for obvious reasons! But in the world, around 8 to 10%  of the so-called “normal” couples are also not able to procreate due to various reasons.  

Societies have certain rules and regulations. These keep on changing, sometimes an old thought process comes back to the society. But just because someone has a different sexual inclination, society should not make them criminals. The different sexual inclination is nature’s doing. Some minor tweaking in chromosomes must be happening at the time of birth which changes the behaviour of humans including their sexual behaviour. Such humans cannot be treated as criminals for the way they are naturally born!  

Next law I am told on the hit list of Supreme Court is adultery law! It is about time we repealed the old thought process from the modern society. But this is another subject of discussion.

Women Power!

Let human race benefit by tapping female power!

Important news being discussed today is that Jacinda Arden, New Zealand Prime Minister, gave birth to a child, while in office. She is the second prime minister of a nation to give birth to a child, while in office. First was Benazir Bhutto! Women in Saudi Arabia are allowed to drive cars now, is another news which is trending today. What is the big deal, skeptics will say? Hundreds of ladies give birth to a child, millions of lady’s drive cars, world over! But these news items are very significant looking at the history of suppression of women.  

All species world over, have males and females for continuity of their progeny! World history is always divided as before and after of some events. Classic definition is BC (before Christ) & AD (anno Domini). There can be another definition like before Wheel and after Wheel. To me this means that human life became much easier after the invention of Wheel!  

Another definition which is essential is Pre-Ownership and Post-Ownership. This to me is the most important landmark in human history. Let me explain. When humans learnt the farming, they started to live at preferred locations. As the humans were nomads before, they would move from place to place looking for food and shelter. Farming created a somewhat less nomadic, more organized stable society. The major social change that came about, was  people started to cultivate and produce things which were in surplus of what they needed; this was stored for the next season. With this change, the concept of ownership took birth. Ownership included farm, the land, females and everything within that ecosystem! This started a concept of same pair of male and female partners living at one location, for longer period. Before that, humans also moved around like other species. There were groups of humans, who would move from place to place. Weather, hunger, safety and sex were the main things that were required to be handled. With the nomadic behavior and no ownership, there was no concept of constant family. In due course of time women would procreate, I do not think that every time they knew the real father of the child.  

Because of their pregnancy and allied difficulties women would look after children and men folk would go out for collecting food. Monthly menstruation, even in those days added to general difficulties of women and their movement. I could not find how the society helped them during this tricky phase every month. In my grandfather’s time, I remember that women had to face humiliating stigma during this time, every month. I am really not sure how this was handled before agriculture. I am assuming that they were better off in those days as it was treated as a normal human body function. The organized society brought some etiquette’s about modesty, nudity and others. This may have brought more difficulties post agriculture. Though 21st century is more supporting, still in smaller cities and villages not much has changed.  

The concept of male being bread winner has continued right to the current times. Some major changes have taken place in recent 30 to 50 years, where women are taking important part in family income and financial well-being. They are taking up important positions in many places including industries and government. The important positions need them to be busy and travel all over. But society has slowly started accepting this need and accepting the biological difference that exist! To me it is alright if the Prime Minister takes six to eight weeks of leave after child bearing! On top of that New Zealand Prime minister is not married to her partner! This is also setting a trend. Live-in, anyone? I feel that live-in concept did exist before farming phase as there were no marriages, anyway!  Even today, pregnancies do come in the way of women’s careers. Latest example is of Serena Williams, the super athlete! When she decided to take part in French Open tennis tournament, several hundred points were deducted from her career points, while considering her ranking, as she was joining post pregnancy!

World over, voting rights for women was anathema! Women in Switzerland gained the right to vote in federal elections after a referendum in February 1971. In 1991 following a decision by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, Appenzell Innerrhoden became the last Swiss canton to grant women the vote on local issues. Modern and developed country? So-called patriarchal society has been suppressing the rights of women. This has kept 50% population of the world in the form of women away from many things. There are some professions which are performed better by females yet  these were performed by men! 

Women are trying to change this, but bra burning is not the solution. What will be the advantages of bringing more and more women in main stream? One thing is sure that the working atmosphere will become softer. I am sure a woman boss will never say, “I don’t care” or Go to hell” or some such statements. One more thing men can learn from women is multi-tasking. They are masters of multi-taking managing kids, kitchen and jobs. On top of that managing family and relatives; it’s not an easy thing but women do it. They not only do it but they are masters of multi-tasking.  

Humans under the garb of patriarchy, are losing the benefits of this talent. They don’t want to do it because they will lose control of the situation. Society has taken advantage of traditions of thousands of years, to keep females away from mainstream. Jacinda Arden, Serena Williams, Kalpana Chawala are great role models for humans in general and females specifically! In my family this change has happened big way! Let us all support our wives, sisters, daughter in laws as much as possible to take up the career they like! Don’t forget that we have children, nephews and grandchildren because of these women! This is one area where males can never compete with females! So don’t forget that to reproduce, a complex system in female body is needed, we just need to support that!

 

  

 

Supreme Rubble!

My take on Supreme Court situation!

Last two days saw tremendous churning in India’s democracy. We are proud to be the largest democratic nation in the world. India is also described as a functioning anarchy. Our friends from different countries are simply amazed to see how our country works both in good and bad way. In am sure, that some of them will be worried that if India were to become a more disciplined country with disciplined people, we will overtake most of the other countries in everything as we have large population which is hoping to get more educated. We are doing it anyway in our current chaotic status. Judges did not need to add to it!

Before writing anything further I am sharing with you the Oath taken by judges during swearing in and the Procedure to Impeach Supreme Court Judges. All rights are with the Collegium. This is important because then we will understand that this institution of judges is independent of the Executive functions i.e. the Government.

OATH TAKEN BY JUDGES

will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, that I will duly and faithfully and to the best of my ability, knowledge and judgement perform the duties of my office without fear or favour, affection or ill-will and that I will uphold the Constitution and the laws.

IMPEACHMENT PROCESS FOR JUDGES

As Per Article 124(4) of the constitution, President can remove a judge on proved misbehaviour or incapacity when Parliament approves with a majority of the total membership of each house in favour of impeachment and not less than two thirds of the members of each house present. For initiating impeachment proceedings against a judge, at least 50 members of Rajya Sabha or 100 members of Lok Sabha shall issue the notice as per judges (inquiry) act,1968. Then a judicial committee would be formed to frame charges against the judge, to conduct the fair trail and to submit its report to Parliament. When the judicial committee report finds the judge guilty of misbehaviour or incapacity, further impeachment proceedings would be taken up by the Parliament if the Judge is not resigning himself.

The Supreme Court of India is totally independent of the executive and can take up certain cases under its aegis Suo Moto (on their own). This is a great counter balance to governments which many times behave in a manner which are guided by personal thoughts or political thoughts. The improvement of the people and state of the nation are their objectives but governments tend to slip! Classic example is emergency declared by Indira Gandhi’s government in 1976. Government had taken away Habeas Corpus.

Habeas corpus (/ˈheɪbiəsˈkɔːrpəs/; Medieval Latin meaning literally “You may have the body”) is a recourse in law whereby a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment before a court, usually through a prison official.

Supreme Courts are expected to act against such events. Discussion about emergency will be another matter, hence I am sticking to the current events. When such an august body like Supreme Court is in upheaval, nation is bound to sit up and notice. We cannot go against this act to any court. Everybody has to say things very cautiously, so that basic laws are not broken. There is no authority in our country which can resolve this issue; it needs to be resolved by itself. It’s like asking cancer cells to cure the disease.

I was trying to understand the situation with my limited knowledge on the subject. But I find the following.

  1. I felt that there is some conflict of interest
  2. I am surprised that out of 25 judges, four senior most judges have rebelled, if I may use the word. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sitting_judges_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_India
  3. Out of four three may never get the opportunity to become Numero Uno as their retirement dates are before or very similar to that of current Chief Justice.
  4. It is already a known fact that even President of India has no say in this matter.
  5. It is expected that the judges do not take press conferences, have direct connect with people; you and me can be friends with anybody and everybody, but judges can’t do that!
  6. This unprecedented act was according most analysts, uncalled for because the solution for this issue has be found from within, there are no other options. When a reporter asked one of the judges if you are looking to impeach chief justice, he said that it is for public to decide! How does public decide, when this out of gambit of everybody else including government?
  7. There is a story today, that government is now trying to change the method of selection of judges. Currently judges select judges. Why open a gate for outside interference?

What did these four judges achieve with this act that created a situation where the rubble is created out a strong judicial building? What made these wise old men to act this way? I am not sure if the story will ever come out. What are the results of this act? Rumour mongering has started. People have already started making this a political issue. An item on the net says, that these four judges are congress supporters; since CJI allowed 1984 cases of Sikh killings to open up these four revolted. He is supposedly pushing faster resolution of cases against Lalu. Come on, suddenly honest judges don’t become partial. In fact, in last few years many politicians have gone to jail, and many were released due to lack of evidence! This clearly indicates that things are hale and hearty in the judicial system.

By this press conference, they have opened a Can of worms, but Can is with them and with no one else. They themselves have to put the worms back. Media will have a great material to improve their TRP. There will be media circus going on for some time! So, my usual question is Why? Why and Why? Honestly, I have no answer and I hope that the issue will be resolved as soon as possible but I know that it will an outwardly resolution and not a real solution.

The main contention of these wise men was that institutional traditions were broken. These traditions have started more than 100 years, do they not need change? Currently government is repealing laws that exist in our constitution that have absolutely no relevance in today’s time. About 20 years back, they found out in district of Solapur, a report was being generated and obviously filed. I will tell you why. This report was giving a list of somethings done during the month and was needed to be sent to, of all the people “Queen of England”! This was in year 1995. Can you believe it? This was stopped right away. We have switched from messengers, to postal letters, couriers, to e mail, to SMS, to WhatsApp messages. Government departments have also started legally accepting the new methods of communication. Convicts have been taken to courts for cases going against them. Now the courts have allowed Video Conferencing for this, in cases against certain dangerous criminals? Traditions? Does this Video questioning become wrong? Illegal?

This whole circus has become  like a case where your parents openly have big shouting match in public. Only they can resolve it then why had it in public. I just remembered my blog who will guard the guards? Tell me your opinion on this matter.

https://panvalkarpramod.wordpress.com/2018/01/06/quis-custodiet-ipsos-custodes-who-will-guard-the-guards/

Traditionally speaking…

Follow the traditions the right way!

Tradition means a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on from one generation to another. This is a great thing that we humans do. Traditions have been formed and continued based on what we have been doing year after year. But what has now happened is that traditions and their real meaning, and their relevance getting is lost in translation. Many of the traditions started in olden times with a specific thought process which was relevant at that time, within the knowledge level of those times but we want to continue using them without thinking! We also know that technology is the boon given to human race by intelligence and hard work of various people. But in case of tradition sometimes technology is becoming a  bane, a cause of great distress or annoyance:

What I feel is that instead of using technology in the right way, it is being used in such a way that it is causing harm. Take the case of crackers. Supreme Court has recently come up with a directive not to burst crackers in Delhi region due to serious pollution issues. There is a big discussion and people are upset about “heavy handed” action against traditions. But a close look at the situation in that area will tell us that traditionally farmers burn their chaff, people burst crackers of Diwali and the air purity goes to an absolute toss! Chaff can be disposed off by using different methods but we don’t want to change the tradition! Instead of being adamant about traditions, people should come together find out ways and means to enhance the joy of traditions, by lighting lovely wick lamps or diyas! Light thousands of them and enjoy the beauty and serenity!

delhi_smog_1478513562325diyas

Bursting crackers and enjoying decorative lighting is part of celebration but crackers without much smoke and cacophony is the order of the day. In olden days what was the population size? How many people burst the crackers? There was no car pollution, there was no coal power plants pollution. With all these modern changes if millions start bursting crackers we have seen what has happened. On top of that people buy crackers which are tied up as 10000 fire cracker garland. With technology the bursting strength and sound has gone up by many decibels. On top of that smoke generated by 10000 crackers is enormous! In my childhood 60 years back I remember about 7/8 of us kids would burst about 80 crackers in one hour, one at a time! These garlands were never our tradition because they never existed. We are making wrong innovations in the right tradition.

10000crackers1

Take the case of Dassara festival. It is naturally celebrated with big fanfare with a lot of flowers, garlands new clothes, it is a total celebration. This is celebrated for nine days with gusto. People dance with gay abandon to celebrate different form of the Goddess on each day! They take out processions, all fine! Now comes the misuse of technology. Since last 20 years or so procession also has big bank of huge speakers generating god knows how many decibels. During such procession which used to pass by our home, we would close the windows tightly shut, even with the windows tightly shut we could not hear a single word on TV at full volume. Only option left to us was to call police. Then the speakers would be toned down to normal volume for 200 feet and then… of course they would go full blast!

Speakers

Sabarimala devasthanam in Kerala is a temple existing from 12th century. It is in a very remote area in hills of Kerala. From olden times due to remoteness and difficult terrain,  and no roads women have avoided to go there. This practice somehow turned into tradition and was surprisingly ratified by High Court in 1991 saying that women within age group of 15 & 50 i.e. their menstruating age should not enter the Mandir as they will desecrate it. Even today in the year 2017 this practice is followed. It is a great mercy on people that Supreme Court has taken up this issue and is reviewing it. Tradition! What tradition? It is well proven beyond doubt that women are equal to men in ALL fields in spite of their monthly difficulties and difficult times during child bearing. The official spokes person of the devsthananam had the gumption to say that, “If women mentioned in above age group were  allowed to enter, then it will turn into Thailand, the Sex Tourism spot!” It is really stretching things too far!  If there is a law that says that this practice be allowed, change the damn law!

sabarimala

High profile and fearless persons, especially ladies, have to face smear campaign if they speak something about overcoming wrong practices followed under the garb of tradition. Why not let the ladies join the funeral pyre as Sati? Why not make her sit away from everybody during that time? Thank god such stupid things are done away with. Traditional thinking still has not changed as can be seen from looking at the sex ratio many states in India, females are between 85 to 92% of male population. Illegal sex tests and abortion are still rampant though governments are trying to do their best. Why? Traditionally one must have at least one son! 

Let us take a vow that we all will break the so called traditions which were practices that are existing but cannot withstand today’s scrutiny of science, knowledge and analysis. It’s fine to write “Happy Diwali” instead of “शुभ दीपावली”. We learnt English in last 100 years but it’s blatantly ok to break such an old tradition. Of course I am joking, these are not traditions but a way of communicating with each other.

Let me tell a story how traditions start. In a place of worship, a priest used to take discourse once in week. Over a period the priest developed breathing difficulties. Then just before one discourse a cat came and sat near the place where the priest sat for his discourse. The priest used to love cats but once the crowd started arriving it would run away. Priest would request someone to get the cat back out of sheer love for the animal. A tradition started that if the cat is not there, no discourse. Later the priest was transferred to be replaced by another priest.

The new Priest started coughing and sneezing when the cat was brought but somehow managed to complete his discourse. He went to a doctor and was told that these bouts were probably because of the furry friend. From next time onwards, before the discourse could start the people thought that the cat needs to be shooed away but it was breaking tradition, so cat was allowed to hang in, with same results to the priest. Over a period tradition continued that discourse would not start without the cat and the priest suffered. Finally people realized that the cat had to go away and priests’ health improved. This priest was transferred and old priest came back…. Tradition?

 

Prepare for Golden period!

Mental preparation is the key to lovely Golden Period in our lives.

Humans retire from their formal work between age 58 in some countries to no age limit in other countries. (This indicates till you can perform efficiently.) We have seen in country like Japan where people in their 70’s are advising many business teams.  In fact they are expected to do that. There will be some percentage of people who will be exceptionally fit both mentally as well as physically even after 70. But the general law of the nature is that age starts playing its role. But at some stage, you do retire and then your day to day activities pattern changes drastically.

Life style change in human beings on retirement can be pretty humbling! No, I am not talking about the money but the change in mental set-up needed is pretty drastic. It can be equivalent to some people, who are pilots for Boeing 787, to switch to flying single seated Cessna to sprinkle pesticides! During working phase, humans are so busy that they don’t find time to do many things. It is as good as putting away your time, in a bank recurring deposit. While in working phase, every month or every year, everybody must have felt that he should have had 15 days more to take his holidays, play with children, or spend time with spouse. This negative time balance accumulated and its volume, depends on each individual. Some of us were exceptionally busy and some moderately busy but I am sure there always has been a deficit of time. As and when you retire, this recurring deposit of time is automatically returned back to your account with interest.

Similarly your responsibilities, your capabilities start going down, over a period, on retirement. How do you handle this?  Our old age stage is like that of big organization which over a period has reached a stage where it is no more a dominant force. Its resources and abilities have reduced substantially. Retired human beings are like such organizations. In retirement phase it is not what you do in that phase but how you react to circumstances around you is important. Circumstances keep on changing rapidly, and you may not have control on most of them. 

In retirement phase try to look at the rivers to guide us. Rivers keep on moving at their own speed defined by geography. They flood when there is too much water and are not afraid to come out of their confines, the banks. People throw junk in them but they keep on flowing. When there is rain deficit or shortfall they simply dry up, they always change to suit the circumstances. Most important is the river always goes forward! No regrets!

Perceptions shape emotional well-being. Previously when I used to go for my walks, I would be upset if someone overtook me that is how I am made up. But now even if person 10 years senior overtakes me, I simply don’t bother and keep on walking at my own pace, smiling. You might see a senior person fitter, smiling and less wrinkled. Don’t get worried, everyone is made differently. In such cases go and talk to that person and discuss how he manages these things. The main mantra is health is wealth!

Look for authentic happiness in retirement. A bit of planning before retirement might help. What is authentic happiness? Your grandchildren can really give you a high and to every individual they are authentic happiness. But there is big trap there! They don’t remain four year old all the time! They grow and they may move to other cities or countries depending on their parent’s decisions. So this can’t be life time solution. Try to be with nature as much as possible. Try to spend as much time with spouse as possible. Try with to be with friends.

This new phase of your life is no different from previous phases of your life. You bring to the table your strengths and weaknesses; you face challenges and have opportunities. Now as you have before, plan accordingly. I encourage you to be forward thinking and realistic about what retirement means for you. For millions of us the new retirement means re-thinking and re-shaping our retirement plans. Work on it, it’s in your hands! Always be positive, and be active as long as possible!

I had created a list of points from practical point of view, for my friends. I am using the same as I felt that this will be useful to all. If you think of any other important point which I may have missed please let me know, I will add to the list. Happy golden period!

 1.       Self-Analysis: It was felt that our understanding about ourselves in working phase is based on opinion of other people around you. In work environment people may say very good things about you on face, for their benefit, and we start believing it. It is possible that same great boss may be a very different person in home environments. So we should self-analyze ourselves in a detached way. All warts and kinks could be displayed in the mirror when you decide to have a close look at yourself.

2.       Time on hand: After one fully retires from professional work the same 24 hours stretch really long; these same 24 hours were never enough during working phase. It is fine to say you can start hobbies, and will try to finish your bucket list and so on. But 24 hours and 365 days is real large time when retired. Plan your day, days or weeks in such a way that you have something to look forward to, daily! A friend has taken housing society work full time so has always looking forward to something. Another friend has bought a train pass from Thane to VT. As and when he finds it suitable, he travels by train at off peak hours. He just observes as life passes by and sees very interesting things especially the way young folks handle their lives. A friend has taken up to compering  musical programs but as an amateur!Don’t forget that in this phase you are going spend maximum time with your spouse! How about going with wife to buy grocery? How about going with her to buy a dress once in a while? How about learning to say sorry! Good to see smile on your face but these things will now become very important. You and your wife have never spent so much time together lately!

3.       Hobbies: Try and cultivate hobbies. You may already have them and there can many new ones. Discuss with your friends about what they are doing. Collect information about family and try to compile history as a hobby. Cultivate hobby of talking to friends who stay far from you, these days communication is almost free. Believe me when you talk to your long lost friend both will definitely feel happy. Sometime back I was looking for contact of a very dear friend from school days. The person who could finally give the details suggested to me that our friend has become a bit of a recluse so don’t get disappointed if he doesn’t talk for long. We ended up talking for one hour to start with! 

4.       Don’t be in denial: Think positively is the mantra for everything these days. You want to enjoy your golden period to the fullest but lack of planning can really disturb the bandwagon!  Thinking of ten years hence is also a very positive way of looking at life. How will our health condition be at the age of 80? No point in saying we will take it as it comes. Add to positivity by not going into denial! Things are going to change and it can be a good idea to be prepared for it. You may physically act at a later date but planning will always help. You will be able to enjoy your remaining life in peace if you have planned things. We always say, “I don’t want to be on ventilator, ever”! How will you achieve it if you are in denial, and don’t accept that this can happen to you too, so plan it! Supreme Court is strongly discussing about “Living Will” currently.

5.       General Health: It is important to keep general health as good as practical. If you are regular traveler make sure that you can lift and keep your bags in the upper bins. At airports, train stations a lot of walking is needed, so make sure you walk daily at some distance. At the same time just because distance is large, don’t opt for wheel chair at the airports unless you have a specific health issue. This act will allow negativity to creep in. Eat correctly and only as per your body needs. Each individual has a need for different diet as per conditions, follow them to keep healthy! Body, Mind and Intellect is what forms our body. With age, body is going to have difficulties but keeping mind and intellect intact is in our hands. (All my statements are subject to no health issues!)

6.       Desensitize yourself: By no means am I suggesting that you go away from emotions. What I mean by desensitize yourself is to try to stop worrying about your children, grand-children. We have hopefully done a good job of raising our children and they in turn will do the same! At our current age our children are old enough to manage the ups and downs in life and their children’s lives! I have read of a theory where you, your siblings and parents were in the inner most circle, to start with. As you grew, started your career, got married, you and spouse came in the innermost circle. The cycle goes on, so when your children get married they have their inner circle and you are in the outer circle. Get sensitized to this concept. 8 to 10 % of the couple’s world over are childless. They have their own issues as they grow old. They need to have their own “family”. I am not an expert in this subject but my thinking would be “family” should be of people much younger to us. Everything comes down to have having a close inner circle!

7.       Financial Matters: Make sure that there are no complex investments because we want to make life simpler. Make arrangements such that life is easy for next generation after you and your spouse.

8.       Take safety precautions: As we grow older possibility of slipping and falling down increase. Chances of our tripping while doing mundane things like changing trousers increase. Once we go into the bone related spin, life can become pretty complex. Regular exercise will assist in reaching this aim of not falling down.

To summarize growing older is inevitable, but there are many things we can do to avoid feeling older. Medical breakthroughs have and will extend our longevity, but how we decide to live as we age is crucial. Downsize your life in whatever possible way. Managing our physical health, maintaining relationships, being productive, taking safety precautions, visiting our health care providers often, and making adequate preparations to fund our retirement and long term care can help us make the most of our senior years.