Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dear stranger,

Here's what I think.

If you're doing drugs, you're probably doing it hidden away in some corner of some place I never ever go to. So while I think it's stoopid of you to ruin your life that way, it's not really my problem if you choose to do so.

If you're in the habit of getting drunk regularly (yes, I know - alcoholism is a serious problem, and I should be more empathising; I try, believe me), again, it's not really my concern what you do to your liver. Unless, of course, you are married to and are making life miserable for me or my near and dear ones.

But when you smoke, dear stranger, it's not just your lungs you're filling with God-knows-what. It's my lungs too. You smoke out in the open, just anywhere you please. And you think it's cool. But I have to inhale that same air. Smell that hideous smell which makes me feel queasy without fail. See those ashes fall to wherever you choose to flick them. Why the devil should I have to put up with that?

For a more - how shall I say this? - eloquent opinion on smoking, you may read this. Thank you.

NB: Yes, I do seem to be on a roll after a month of silence, don't I? Ironic, considering I had two weeks of vacation earlier this month. But apparently inspiration strikes only when I am neck-deep in work and really shouldn't be taking the time out to blog.

Friday, October 26, 2007

"Usko humne chir diya..."

In my first year of college, I had joined one of those compulsory societies where you have to complete a certain number of hours of social service over the year in order to get your clearance to give your final exams. Some time in September, the society organized a documentary screening, for which we would all get 5 hours' credit.

The documentary screened that day was about the Godhra riots. It had interviews with victims, talking about what they went through. There was a young boy interviewed, not more than 9 or 10 years old, who spoke in a dull voice about seeing his pregnant aunt's womb slit open with a sword. I came home that night and howled in front of my father.

Today, I read a transcript of Babu Bajrangi's description of how he did exactly what I had heard about all those years ago.

Five days ago, I started a blog entry about Durga Puja. Today, I feel almost ashamed to call myself a Hindu. The first thing almost any religion in the world teaches is peace and tolerance and love. Not this. Never this.

If you haven't read the current issue of Tehelka yet, do so here.