The Never Ending Circus

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Sundays are meant to be relaxing & free your mind from a flux of thoughts. But instead, I hesitantly decide to go through the news & I notice that the news agencies are making a big deal of the 12th CBSE results. I’m confounded by this whole circus & I find it hard to believe no one gives it thought that it actually is a wrong process. I thought India will be more matured as the time goes by & understands that we need most of the 1.3 billion and not just the few elite ones.

India is not a small country & there are reports that we might have surpassed China as the most populated nation in the world. It’s a no brainer that we need most of the youngsters to develop India into a successful infrastructure with improvements in various fields. For that to happen, we surely can’t be segregating people & creating doubts in their abilities at such a young age. The 10th & 12th results are actually not about celebrating the elite few, it’s more about telling the 90% of the rest – You are not good enough loser. That’s blasphemous & not a sign of a good system.

It’s great that we see the scenes of a few well scored celebrating with grace & clamor (taking nothing away from them) but I can say you with a guarantee that the rest of them, the majority of them will be filled with doubts, tension & rise of the stress that’s going to stay with them for the rest of their lives. A few of them might end their lives. There in lies the failure, no system can justify that. It’s that kind of a age. Everything that begins is going to rise like a tsunami & the impact will be for the lifetime. Instead we needs to be building a new wall (not the trump one) that stands in their minds for the rest of their lives – ‘CONFIDENCE’. Confidence of succeeding in all the fields in what they are good at & I’m not sure that a 10th & a 12th marks sheet depicts the whole story, at least not in the present system. The whole circus makes no sense to me I’m afraid.

I’ll tell you the reason why. The whole world criticizes China but I don’t think they care, they are effective & successful because they involve most of them. Of course, We can’t be a China, we are far far better than them and we still would want to be more democratic. We are far better than the rest of the world. If you don’t believe, watch Scripps National Spelling Bee in states. Tells you an untold story every year.

Hence the fact that we are better than the rest of the world irritates me more that we don’t show it in facts. If you ask me the root of the problem? My answer has always been that – The never ending circus of 10th & 12th results. We are dividing people right there right then. We are dividing the nation right there right then​ telling a few – ” You are awesome”, & telling the rest – “You are no good, go find a place to hide idiot”. Where’s the sense prevailing?

If India has to be developed nation, for me it is evident that we need to involve most of them & this system hardly provides that platform. An atmosphere where we create equality in all the fields, respect & pay in all the fields will give that confidence in youngsters that all have the potential to be something substantial in any field that they desire. Be it a doctor or be it a chef, then there’ll hardly be any desire for people to be moving to a United States or a Germany. Because India will be better than them. You know why? A United States or a Germany excel in all the fields, not just few selected ones that Indian minds have inscribed to. A 10th or 12th result won’t let you do that, it divides you telling that you are good in general or you are not good enough in general. That’s dangerous for a society or for an individual. Don’t Make a mark sheet a big deal India, they are still under 20, you can still get a lot out of them, don’t push them into a corner & make it a ‘survival of the fittest war, it doesn’t work. Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas is the right way to go for India. Realize it before it’s too late.

– Nithin Lokesh

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Murder of the Innocent by the Blindsided

It’s been a while since I have been here, 13 months to be exact but I can’t hide behind my urge to write and this time, it’s more than that. I have been compelled to write and I’m not going to lie that I was shattered to see those 25 bodies draped with the national flags. What happened in Sukma is mind numbing and I can’t get my head around it. It’s plain injustice to those CRPF Jawans, their families and humanity in general.

                                             I am old enough to elucidate this by following several naxal attacks in the past too that there has never been a constructive solution to this epidemic. I will go a step ahead and say that naxals have been a bigger problem to India’s democracy and safety more than the terrorists. I know it’s a big statement to make but that has been the case, Governments have been proficient enough to tackle the terrorism much more efficiently than they have been with the case of naxals.

                                 I want to dive into a larger picture here and go to the root of the problem and my message to the rebels is – WHY? WHAT FOR?

                                   CRPF jawans are your real target? What have they done? You are killing yourselves and you are killing the very basic objective of why you are fighting the system in the first place. Reasons? you are going to hurt the families and you are going to leave those small children in extreme pain and distress at such young age. You are accountable for that, no one else. Yes, you might have faced such torturous phases in the past but by putting more such families into the same train won’t solve anything. 2 negatives can be multiplied into a positive only in Mathematics.

                              It’s reported that there were a lot of women out of those 300 naxals who attacked those jawans. I have a question, if we are going to divide and talk in your language. Firstly, whom do you belong to? To the category of women right? Then comes Jawans, naxals etc etc. Whom did you target by killing those innocents? Government? you must be living in a world that we don’t know of. You killed the families and that curse is going to live with you forever, solution isn’t found like that, ask chemistry. You broke the spirit of those women who were waiting for their husbands in the hope of regaining that same spirit? Did it serve its purpose? I don’t think so.

                           This news has followed my shadow since it happened and as a common citizen, I’m not happy with either the system or the tribe of rebels. It has hurt me to the core and I’m sure it has hurt anyone who would want to see progressive developments and not something which would take us back to the bronze age. As i said, there has never been a tactful solution, constructive process to convince the naxals that it’s not the way and more importantly, I feel sorry for the naxals, I feel deeply sorry for them because violence is never going to solve anything, history has proven that and any conscious person would try to get out of it and if you find anyone going through such thoughts, show them the right path. Helping a lost soul is as big a help as giving blood or donating eyes. Otherwise, there’s going to be very little difference between terrorism and you know what.

– Nithin Lokesh

Game Changer

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My friends say that I like heck of a lot of movies & I seldom criticize. Yes, true. I try to find something good in a movie because I imagine how difficult film making can be but I struck a liking for Kapoor & Sons more than the usual. My reason for that is it’s been a long long time since Hindi cinema produced an engaging family drama like this one. For a decade now that Bollywood has been struggling to tell good stories, screenplay especially in most of the movies has been shambolic & there have hardly been movies on families. I can sense the fear in filmmakers. If the screenplay goes wrong in a family drama, they’ll be scrutinized to bits and the new generation audience can find it too cheesy. They are reluctant to make movies on certain genres & one of those is ‘Family Drama’. Well, we live in India & how can there not be good movies about family drama. Right? Family drama is about 80 % of our lives 😛

Kapoor & Sons shows the way that if you get the screenplay & the directing part right, there can still be good movies based on dis functional Indian families. No family is perfect & they are so many stories to tell if you want to. Coming to the movie itself, it has its ebbs & flows, has potential to hold the audience tightly on to their seats, the pace is set moderate & probably the right way to go about it in a movie like this, there’s a scene in the beginning where the family is having an argument with a plumber repairing a line which is leaking, the irony of it & the scene sets the tone for the entire movie, the movie can be termed as beautifully chaotic in which the pretty people can act too. The younger lead of Fawad Khan, Alia Bhatt & Siddharth Malhotra show they can make a movie where people will talk about their performances & not about their glamour. Siddharth Malhotra produces a deceptively good performance & has his moments, there’s a vulnerability to his role that a lot of people in their 20s can relate to. Easily the best of his short career. 23 year old pocket rocket named Alia Bhatt can act on so many levels trust me, her acting skills are so raw & so matured for her age, people joke a lot about her general knowledge skills but she is an A+ when it comes to delivering a performance, there can be little joking about that fact. She has limited screen space in the movie yet she stays with the audience larger than you realize. The performance that impressed me the most was of Fawad Khan’s. He’s excellent, gets into the skin of the role & nails it, faultless, it’s a clap worthy performance. The man of the match in general is Rishi Kapoor, he’s hilarious in most of the scenes & can make u cry in certain other scenes. You expect Rajat Kapoor & Ratna Pathak to be good, they deliver that & how, the best part of the movie lies in those conversations between Fawad Khan & Ratna Pathak. Intense & gripping. Direction in these kind of movies is vital, one has to concentrate on bringing the quality of actors out & Shakun Batra does it on a range that is appreciable.

Kapoor & Sons is hard hitting, brutal & so real. ‘Real’is the word, not often that we use the word in describing a movie these days. I’m not saying Kapoor & Sons is a great movie, it has it’s negatives but I’m not going to dwell on that as the focus of the blog is not about that. But it sure is a very good movie and much needed one for Bollywood. It can show a new path for Hindi movies where a screenplay should take the center stage, it is the writing that surprises you frankly isn’t it, I didn’t expect it to be good in the first case honestly. We have thrown a lot of flak at Bollywood over the years but let us give credit where there is due. It surprised me & I guess it will with a fair share of audience. In the end, I just want to say that it’s not a movie review & it’s about why this particular movie should be a game changer.

– Nithin Lokesh

” What Will People Say ? “

India is one of the fastest growing economies, We have a prime minister who is full of energy to see the nation develop, We are excited too see majority of the country to be bitten by technology. Great, I’m in for all that but have we overcome a age old drawback in our minds that keep saying ” What will people say ? “, ” Log kya kahenge ? ” or in my native language kannada ” jana en maathadthare ? ” ! Exclamation mark is what comes to my mind after that one simple question. If we overcome that one simple mental barrier as individuals and as a nation on a whole, we’d work wonders globally.

Acceptance is conditional these days, right ? Yet, We go in search of that acceptance from people elsewhere & forget the main thing in the process of that, that is to accept ourselves unconditionally. Okay, Let me take a simple example. There’s a piece of stone in front of me, What do I do with it ? A) If I put it on the left, People will talk. B) If I Put it on the right, People will talk. C) If I throw the stone, People will talk. D) If I choose not to do anything with it, People will talk even then. So, What we don’t often realize is that people will have an opinion ( be it positive or negative ) no matter what we decide to do. It is a very natural thing, very little that we can do anything about it, We can’t blame the ‘ people ‘ either. We just have to understand that simple fact. Seems simple but I’m sure it is very difficult to realize, I can say it on the evidences of my own personal experiences.

We as a country like cricket, right ? Is that even a question ? Okay, let me come to the point, I’ll take an example from this field to go through the point in a broader way. A) Dhoni leads his team to the World Cup triumph. Section of people : Okay, But he is no Ganguly, Sourav was much more passionate as a captain, he’ll remain the best Indian captain. B) Tendulkar scores 100 international centuries, breaks most of the records in history. Section of people : Well okay, But he is no Dravid, Sachin always played selfish cricket. C) Dravid scores more than 10k runs in both forms of the game, greatest no.3 that India ever produced. Section of people : Oh !! But he is no Tendulkar, Rahul always played boring cricket. D) Ganguly revived Indian cricket from it’s darkest era, Was instrumental in India playing overseas well. Section of people : Is it ? But he is no Dhoni, He never won us a World Cup, Dhoni will be known as the best Indian captain.

What I infer from that above para is that no matter if you are a Dhoni, Tendulkar, Dravid or a Ganguly – People will always have an opinion. It’s up to individuals to create a strong inner base in which ” What will people say ? ” shouldn’t actually matter. That also doesn’t mean that you will go all rude & be not sensitive about anything that people will say, Appreciate it, Respect their opinions but when it comes to ‘ Decision Making ‘ – It’s going to be all ‘ You ‘. Be it individually or as a gang or as a team or as an organization. After that decision, Whatever the result is going to be – Be it a success or a failure, You will accept it – It is way better to handle that than to be thinking ” What ‘Did’ People Say ? ” 😉

Nithin Lokesh

Theory of Concentric Circles

Theory of Concentric Circles ! well ! don’t worry, i’m not going to give any math lesson. Here is a theory of life i was contemplating upon while having an usual bike ride on my way to the place where i work. Let me try to decipher it for you in brief, hopefully i’m not going to make it complicated.

Life the way i see it is a set of concentric circles. You know concentric circles right? set of circles in a loop, yeah ! i know you know 😀 . I believe that you keep creating these new little circles or an occasional big one ( If you’re lucky, lot of big ones ! ) right from the time you are thrown to this world to play. Sometimes you go back to a circle you already created or you lived in or you very well know – either you wish to or you are forced to. Sometimes you create a new circle altogether – again, you wish to or you are forced to. Sometimes you go to a circle even without realizing – you kind of like it and you may not know why you like it or you hate it and you simply don’t know how to get out of it. Sometimes you jump from one circle to another frequently – you might want to be versatile or you might want to make everyone happy or you just like to play around.

I can assure you that i’m not trying to be judgemental here, i’m just trying see a new line of theory. In whichever circle that you exist, you just keep revolving – fight hard and fair. End of the day, what matters is whether you are happy in that circle or not? Or a bigger picture is whether you are happy in life or not? Life is a circle they say ! Life is set of concentric circles i say !! ( modified version may be 😛 )

FIND A RIGHT CIRCLE FOR YOU !

– Nithin Lokesh

Would The Spirit Of Freedom Remain If It Is Censored ?

 The recent debate over AIB Roast video has once again put the spot light on our Fundamental Right to freedom of speech and expression. I’m neither advocating  nor rebutting in pertinence of the video’s conent. I have just paused to have a reflective monologue.

 Would The Spirit Of Freedom Remain If It Is Censored ?

A Reflective Monologue.

Call me a leftist, liberalist, pretentious or even a simpleton. But I profoundly believe in the spirit of absolute freedom of speech and expression. As species, we have come a very long way to survive. From stone age to an age of technology and revolution, It hasn’t been an easy road to freedom.An era marked by Gaza outrage, Middle East crisis and terrorist attacks scornfully smirking at Human Rights, we are indeed struggling to survive. Let alone the fact that we are slowly moving backwards to an anti-liberal existence.

Today, we rationalize curtailing freedom of speech and expression by colourable words like reasonable restriction. But is it really so? Who are we trying to convince? We see more of censorship issues making rattling noise in media than sanitation problem in our villages. Be it the “religious attack” angle, “moral policing” tactic or allegations of “obscene content”, at every step our freedom of speech and expression is being screened. To call it irony will be an understatement.

It doesn’t mean I support people who make personal attacks on public platform, make obscene videos, hurt religious sentiment, provoke and instigate laymen with an intention to gain publicity. These people lack moral fibre and are jeopardising our freedom of speech and expression by parodying it.

Does it mean that there is no solution ?

It won’t be absurd to suggest TOLERANCE.Tolerance which can act as a key to resolve many current crisis of the world. Instead of muting our freedom of speech and expression. Be it the PK poster debate or more recent AIB roast viral video fiasco, we need to pause and think before reacting instinctively and kickstarting a blamegame which  evidently has no positive outcome.

Absolute Right to freedom of speech and expression can bring a paradigm shift to the concept of Democracy in itself if people exercising it have bonafide intention.

Paraphrasing the famous speech by Martin Luther King Jr to suffice for this instance:

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today my friends. And even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I STILL HAVE A DREAM. It is a dream deeply rooted in every responsible Indian Youth’s dream.I have a dream to be allowed to express my thoughts without being screened under the name of censorship.I have a dream where my country embraces liberalism and secularism not only in the Preamble of its Constitution but for real too.I have a dream to reach out to Individuals who will choose greater good over blindly following the footsteps of bigotry and blind policing.

Let us not treat our Fundamental Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression like Cigarettes.We sell it. We issue statutory warning that it is harmful. Ban advertising it. Still, we manufacture and sell it.

That my friends is irony personified.

by Artha

A Fruitful Visit !

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I guess everyone had some sort of idea when Narendra Modi broke the protocol to receive Barack Obama when he landed in India that this visit is going to be special. For record books, Obama becomes the first United States president to visit India twice during the tenure of his office and first president to be the guest of honor on Republic Day. This visit was hyped right since Modi last visited US in September and it sure didn’t disappoint.

The president of United States then took the guard of honor and it was sensationally delivered by Wing Commander Pooja Thakur , the first woman to have been given that opportunity in history and she did it with pride. She looked assured , gladly media and the people of India noticed it with appreciation. The two leaders straight away got on to the business side of things and there were several important things that got due attention. The highlight of the meet was i believe to find a solution for Indo-US nuclear logjam. The other noticeable things during three days of the meet were :

1) US announces $4 billion of new initiatives on missions of trade

2) Cutting red-tape, holding bureaucracy accountable

3) Focus on Renewable energy

4) Asia-Pacific policy gets a new thrust

5) Joint production on 4 defence projects

6) Social security pact

These were the business and political side of things but there were so much more to this. The chemistry between both the leaders were evident. CNN went on to call that “Obama and Modi are pals now” and few agencies have called it a ‘bromance’. ‘Chai pe charcha’ was a headline, that image was in full size on every news paper and that stroll in the park was much discussed too. The obama couple clearly looked short of sleep on a few occasions but that didn’t hamper their energy in being cordial and friendly at all events. In spite of the rain , Republic Day parade looked glorious as usual and I assume the Obamas had a good view of it. Weather shouldn’t have been a problem, Delhi looked like it was a 20 % Chicago honestly. Obama didn’t dance this time around but quoted the arguably most famous line of ‘DDLJ’ i.e. ” Senorita, bade bade deshon mein.. you know i mean” and instantly it became a social media hit, everyone talked about it. Shows his sense of humor. ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to finish of a grand visit was a master stroke, both Modi and Obama poured their hearts out and the general public could connect to it. They spoke about great men like Swami Vivekananda and Benjamin Franklin, so clearly it went well.

I’ll say the following lines , Yes ! i dare will. You can have your own views but this obama’s visit was the best visit from a foreign man to the land of India in modern era. It was overwhelming to read about it, watch it and listen to it. Just the demeanor between both the leaders were magnificent, just what it meant to be and it didn’t look fake. Modi calling the president of united states with his first name ‘Barack’ was one of the few evidences to it i suppose.

– Nithin Lokesh