RIP CHESTER BENNINGTON

The first time I heard a Linkin Park song, I was about 13. ‘One Step Closer’ was the first, but it was ‘In The End’, the second, that quickly became a personal favorite, retaining its place in the top ten of my heart for the last 16 odd years, regardless of how distant I eventually came to be from the band that was there, with me and for me, while I was growing up.

The voices of Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington were my sources of light through some pretty dark times, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating in the slightest when I say that were it not for their music, I may not have escaped with my life, certainly not my sanity. And I know a lot of people feel that way. That is as remarkable as the untimely loss of Chester is tragic, though I suppose I must also admit that we would have never been ready to say goodbye. Apparently Chester was ready though. And I hope with all my heart that he finds the peace he was seeking. May he know no more sorrow…

I’ve spent the last four days catching up on two years of music that I seem to have somehow missed out on, and, now, his voice is in my ears, in my head, and I can’t… find the right words to articulate the profound sense of grief and loss I am experiencing. There are no right words.

Like I have just watched an Angel fall.

Requiescat in pace, Chester Bennington.

Thank you for everything, brother.

Love,

Always,

Me.

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On the Execution of Burhan M. Wani

Either he and his friends were armed and dangerous and had to be shot on the spot

OR

he was intoxicated and began to cry when surrounded.

You cannot have both. As for the people celebrating his “execution”…

A 21 year old boy issues a “challenge” to the Army of a nation. There’s a high chance he has not ever even fired a shot at anyone. He declares, on social media, that what Kashmir needs is Azadi because there is too much violence and too much impunity in the hands of the military. The army accepts the “challenge”, hunts him down and kills him. The people identifying with the State rejoice, even as his friends and neighbors love him more for having the courage to speak out and die while all they have done is avert their eyes when a mother wails for her raped and murdered daughter, for her disappeared sons, for her arrested and tortured husband.

A new line is drawn.

Who wins?

I do not know, but this does not taste like victory.

It tastes like shame.

Question for the Day: How do you define terrorists and heroes?
The answer: Depends on where you are standing.

The test remains the same though:

Terrorists terrorize _the people_.
Heroes fight back _for the people_.

Watch out, brothers and sisters. The long overdue consequences of our actions await us.

The long overdue consequence of our inaction awaits us.

Requiescat in pace, brother.

“It is very evident that there is a lot of anger and alienation as far as the ground situation is concerned, especially among the youth, and these are some of the occasions when they can actually come out on to the street and pelt stones to vent. Otherwise the way things are controlled and managed here, their emotions are suppressed. As a result, people are associating themselves with the sacrifice, commitment and ideology. More and more people feel that Government of India is not going to resolve issues related to Kashmir through dialogue or discourse. This is the reason why young boys are coming and challenging the might of the Indian government despite knowing that they may not win; and they are displaying their resistance and resilience.”

– The aftermath of the Burhan ‘Encounter’

Murdered Children/ Incoherent Rant

I don’t know if this is Gaza or Syria or whose doing it is or who they are.. but here are murdered children. Look at this picture. What are we? This is worse than primate behavior. Who does that? Who fucking murders babies? What does that even prove, man? Come on. Fuck. Even video games don’t allow you to injure civilians, leave alone toddlers. I just feel so ashamed of being human right now. I know we do a lot of good too. But it’s just damage control. We are all that’s wrong with this world.


Murdered Children

Injured Children

Murdered kids

Requiescat in pace, my darlings. I’m sorry we failed you so miserably. I know it doesn’t mean a thing. But I don’t know what else to say.

I hope it didn’t hurt. There’s no use saying cliched things like I hope you are in a better place, though wherever it is, even oblivion, it would be kinder than what our world did to you.

We’re not supposed to ask forgiveness from children for letting them die. We’re supposed to protect them.

Protect those weaker than you. Isn’t that what civilization is about? What does bombing or shooting a child prove?

What does murdering someone who can’t fight back fucking prove, man?

Fucking cowards.

Whoever did this.. indefensible act.. death’s too good for them.

They deserve to be damned.

A Conversation on Chivalry

Opening Speaker: Chivalry is over rated and convenient.

Participant 1: For whom is it convenient? Chivalry is a choice. The choice to do the right things, for the right reasons, at the right times. If not, then it’s not chivalry; it’s probably a superficial act to impress!

OS: To not practice it is also a choice. The choice to believe in equality. Chivalry isn’t right. The choice to like or hate it is right.

P1: What else does choice mean, OS? Obviously, it’s one’s choice not to practice it or otherwise.
Btw, i really would like to know if YOU believe in the very concept of being chivalrous?

OS: You used the word ‘right’ so many times with regards to things or reasons. Anyway I don’t believe in chivalry 🙂

Participant 2: I don’t get chivalry, we should be respectful and mindful of everyone. I mean if some guy bumps into u we say sala BC… its just not nice… lets just have good manners and leave chivalry to the Downtown Abbey guys

OS: Chivalry should not be confused with courtesy. Yes we should respect and be mindful of everyone we interact with but I don’t think it’s fair to go beyond our means or way for someone especially if external factors aren’t compromising safety.

P2: yea m not ruining my jacket so someone shouldnt step over a puddle… side se jao 😛

Participant 3: Weird. Being as chivalrous as possible is my high. I wish the whole world, both men and women, would be more chivalrous. As long as you protect those weaker than you, in kindness and not out of some weird sense of duty, chivalry is what you are practicing. It’s about courage and honor, courtesy and justice. It isn’t something you can or cannot believe in. It is something that either comes naturally to you, you aspire towards, or you avoid. I think it’s noble.
And it’s anything but convenient. lol.

OS: P3, Thank you for that. As far as courtesy, courage and justice are concerned I agree. However, I do feel the modern interpretation of it is sometimes unfair. I think I practice chivalry in the traditional sense but i’d rather avoid it’s modern interpretation. If equality exists among two individuals I fail to understand why one of them is ‘duty bound’ or expected to be taking care of the other person especially when external factors like safety etc aren’t a concern. I’d rather have equality in my personal equations and I really wouldn’t want to be a guardian to someone who clearly doesn’t need it.

P3: In life, everyone is going to be weaker or stronger than you at some level. It depends on what level your interaction is happening, I believe. Of course its application (chivalry’s i.e.) would be different today than at the time of its inception, but that’s because the social set up at the time of origin was a violent and dangerous one, where knights were one of the strongest and women, amongst the weakest. But today, this is not necessarily true. Yes, if it’s late at night, and you’re in India, you are at a position of strength compared to any female friends you might have with you and chivalry might be expected of you, only on the basis of your being male, but to assume that is the be all and end all of chivalry is wrong. There may be times when you come across a lost child, or an injured dog or even a male colleague who is utterly lost. Or when you’re dealing with the help, or a waiter at a restaurant, or a confused elderly gentleman on the subway. 

I think Chivalry, in fact, is all about strength. If you know you are stronger than those around you, then as long as you do everything in your power to protect them, without expecting rewards or favors in return, you are being chivalrous. Those that say that it’s unfair because women always receive the benefit are buying into the notion that a woman is always weaker than a man, regardless of surroundings or circumstance, and as dismaying as it may be, the solution is not to shun chivalry, but to practice it properly, so that even those who denounce it come to receive its favors, and more importantly, because that is the burden of humanity on its path to civilization.

OS: *sips on water*…Okay!
I have a problem with it due to it’s very gendered connotations. Now, I’m not going to get into specifics of what I do which actually does resonate with your comment. However I wouldn’t compromise on equality specifically when the circumstances do not put me in a position of strength. ..courtesy would mean opening the door for someone regardless of their gender or vacating a seat for someone who clearly looks tired, with a child .. paying the bill, again without bringing gender into the equation, because I might absolutely adore the person, maybe in a position of more financial strength However I wouldn’t want to pay for someone just because according to gender stereotypes, I am supposed to or rush to open the car door for someone perfectly healthy because I’m supposed to. Assuming there is no position of strength involved in a particular situation, I do not believe in doing something just because that is what some gentleman did for his lady at the next table. In other words, I’d rather not be a position of strength and I’d love to be with someone who’s independent and doesn’t need me to pull off stupid stunts to amuse her yet if there’s ever a situation where I find myself in a position of strength, my belief system, how so ever flawed, will be doing everything that’s expected out of a decent human being.

P3: Yeah, so it is all about your own perception of your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of the people you are with. I frequently open doors for people I am with, male or female, because if I can do something that makes life easier for the person I am with, and it costs me less than nothing to do it, then why not? Does it mean I consider myself stronger than them in some way? Why, yes, it does. Often it does anyway. And for the few times where I am certain that I am at a disadvantaged position in terms of strength or capability, then what better opportunity to repay them for the chivalry I believe their advantageous position will inspire them to than by doing something as simple as opening a door, or fetching a glass of water, etc..

If I was Voting Tomorrow

Well, I still have some time to make up my mind. But, I think this time, in Delhi at least, the AAP has conducted itself with surprising efficiency and no-nonsense. So, if I would be voting tomorrow, I think the Aam Aadmi Party would get my vote based on these three reasons alone:1. Only party that has not once spoken about castes or reservations.

2. Instead of the general practice of releasing 1 manifesto for the entire state and having all candidates carry a copy, the AAP has 27 candidates in 27 constituencies, and 27 different manifestos, all identifying the strengths, weaknesses and requirements of each constituency.
3. Minimal wastage of money on stupid things. (I mean, they are the last guys I would expect to be building and justifying the building of statues)
Also, the biggest criticism against them is actually the part I find most endearing: That none of their representatives are actually the “Aam Aadmi”.

Yes. They are not. Instead, from every locality, they have chosen someone who has made it big in a respectable field, someone with adequate income to not be dependent on money earned from office (State), yet someone who is, if not out and out concerned, at least aware of the problems of local people from all walks of life. And, most importantly, every single one of their candidates is highly educated. Like, uber important that is, I believe.

In other words, they have tried choosing from among the best. And isn’t that what democracy and this whole election process is supposed to be about?

If nothing else, I believe the AAP shows a coming of age of Indian democracy. Finally. And I think that alone makes them worthwhile of the chance. Unlike mass murderers and their close-minded sycophants, or dynasty loyalists..

The Last of the Anti-Orange Rant [Or why you will never convert me, Modi-ites!]

The problem is this, S. The reasons why we don’t support Modi have been listed out a hundred times above. As others have mentioned, your scary blind devotion to the man is disappointing and frightening.  What we will get into is this: A lot of Muslims were horribly tortured, and died, under his reign. When you […]

Pro-Modi v Anti-Modi: Facebook Debate Excerpts

July 2013 1. The development claimed by Modi in Gujarat is a bunch of lies, as independent reports by Human Rights organizations, both international and Non-governmental have already proved. 2. Modi rides on the fanaticism of his Hindutva fan-boys and fan-girls. No one here is claiming that he wakes up and does the surya namaskar […]