On the maya beheading and some real filmy burglars

Maya’s statue got beheaded in Lucknow today. And very soon after the incident, there was a message from memsaheb addressed to the cadres. She, in a message to the cadres requested them not to take law into their hands it seems. And this group which damaged the statues, demanded her arrest and also pleaded that the statues be demolished within 72 hours to save the swabhimaan of the state.

I was thinking of this gang which did the beheading of the statue. So kind of them to give a trial run before they go about working  out their trade on flesh and blood. 

There was also this incident in Chennai where miscreants returned 70 sovereigns worth gold and other valuables which they had stolen from a home after breaking into it last week. They returned the complete amount and also enclosed a sorry note along with it, addressed to the victims. I don’t understand the source of their goodness now. Maybe they went into the wrong home. Or maybe they wanted to test their skills before the real deal. Oh come on, who am I kidding?! Filmy burglars.    
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Mister Christopher Nolan,

The way I see it, The Dark Knight Rises or TDKR as people around call it (it took me a week to know what TDKR meant) is certainly not meant for people who believe, life is much more realistic than what they see through your movies. Its harder, especially when this comes at the back of two other non nonsensical movies – one in which people are getting into extra terrestrial space to find out the roots of their existence and the second, in which a boy who should be ideally thinking of passing out of college tries to level all evilness in his city by flying all over like a zombie – a third one with an imaginary superhero trying to save an imaginary city from an imaginary terrorist would be too hard to digest. 
But then, what makes it impossibly astounding to believe, is how so many people got hooked onto the comic book character, which I believe has to be the inspiration behind Batman, the movie. Because when we grew up/ were growing up, life had much more to ask from us than all the funny comic characters that were being dished out on television. Maybe they all are aware of your ability to make contorted reality into believable stuff. Or maybe, they all are twisted enough to believe your stories to be indeed sensible. Anyhow, my reservations against this should not matter to you since there are a lot of imaginary human beings with some deal of imaginary commonsense paying what seems to be insanely huge money to see your movies and then get orgasmic about it. So you are good, anyway. OK, thanks. Bye.    

Yours Sincerely,

The Sabbatical

The First Part
Needless to say, I loved my sabbatical from everything and everyone. Few days in a year to live for yourself is no mean thing. And considering the relief from the vagaries of the grueling fall semester, it was something I could really afford now, even if I questioned myself a hundred times on this regard. No contact with the outer world was a well sought after desire, especially after I mentioned about it here and I am glad that came about in its very own measure. And that meant staying out of social media, loved ones, friends and even the confines of my apartment. All the windows and vents for natural lighting sealed, the soul and the body were ready to go in for cleansing and I did not wish for any kind of intrusion into it. On the quest to clean up the systems, bring out a fresh zeal for life and more importantly, a re-energized self.
The Second Part
 
It was half-past 11 in the morning. I had woken up late, much to the chill for the sheer joy of it. I switched on the computer and all the networks got connected and I saw her online. She is 15 – a growing girl in her teens, trapped at an age where children generally find it hard confiding matters of their heart to their parents. Or as mothers say, “The age where I lost my baby and she went on to being a completely different girl.” Few minutes into our conversation, I could sense that she was a tad disturbed. Like she was hiding something and wanted to shout it out to the whole world. Her little fingers were seen grasping for the right words, something extremely unusual with her. I knew I had to do it for her sake, for I was aware of it since eternity. After all, she was my little baby and for once, was really looking up to me for help without really saying it out loud. Sensing the urgency on her face, I decided to kill her misery right away. Closed my eyes for a bit, and then went ahead and told her what I had gathered of the situation and my reflections on the same. The kind of reassurance that someone needs when they are faced with decisions in life – holding them to your side, with a promise of being there forever and ever and ever. The ice-breaker that it had turned out to be, worked wonders and lit up her eyes. And that little expression of relief and reassurance on her face at the end – priceless.
 
The Other Side
I had got misled into doing something, which was clearly not a thing of my ilk. For once, the guilt was so profound that forgiving self and moving on was just not an option anymore. The repercussions haunt me, even as I write this piece. But I am aware that life has to go ahead and not stagnate in the memories of the past. I needed the courage to stand up to life and face it as it comes to me.

:: Spotlight ::

I am somehow able to remember the dreams that I experience. I am afraid I might be alone in this world when I come to say that, but I do. Not that I remember them long enough to be etched into history, but long enough to write about what I saw early into the morning today (7 am). And strangely enough, the connect well into what lies ahead in life. Not that all my dreams comply to Freud’s* theory of wish fulfillment or is it influenced by events in the “day residue” but they serve as some sort of a connect to the future.So, I had a rather interesting dream today. 
Time has gone ahead and I have gone grey. I am still alone, quite predictable seeing the current trend. The place that I am in, is not very well defined. But I know seeing the people around me that I am in India. The sun hasn’t risen very prominently, but is nestled amongst the clouds. Its drizzling a wee bit too. The air has a fragrance of burnt/half burnt human flesh. The town has succumbed to a growing epidemic/phenomenon and very few people (mostly women and a very few men) have lived through it. And those who are alive are enclosed in a casing, transparent, which I think is made of glass. 
 
The scene outside is grim. Women are seen wailing their hearts out at the sight of their dead partners, children amongst others. They are covered by a coating of ice, so that they can sit near their departed loved ones. Maybe it is a means of prevention of the spread of the epidemic. Some of them are doing the last rites of their loved ones, something which has never happened before in India. The graves have filled out and overflowing. And the roads are soon filling up as make shift graveyards.  
It ended right there and I woke up to a start. Strange as it felt waking up to it, maybe the world is set to reach this stage 200-300 years from now. Have you, the reader experienced such notions about life ahead through the dreams you see? If yes, I would like to hear more on that.* Sigmund Freud – Austrian Neurologist, father of modern psychoanalysis. Author of the book, “The Interpretation of Dreams“.  The book is highly recommended for those who haven’t come across it.

Guangzhou, China: "Winning the future" with BRT

In the first in a series of many-to-come reviews on Sustainable Transport, here is the story of Guangzhou, China. Guangzhou – for those who don’t know or haven’t yet heard of it, is the main city in the fastest growing economy, in the fastest growing province of the fastest growing country in this world for the last 30 years.And much of its success is due to its rapid strides in the field of sustainable urban transportation. So much so, that Guangzhou is the winner of the Sustainable Transport Award of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) for the year 2011.
The video below shares the success story of the Guangzhou Bus Rapid Transit project, one of the largest bus rapid transit systems in Asia. It also explains why the Guangzhou BRT is where it stands right now, at the top of the world in an effort towards sustainable transport and “winning the future”. India and also the many other developing countries, who are pinning on the Bus Rapid Transit for an answer towards sustainable transport needs to study the Guangzhou model in detail.