It was a random facebook update that Meera did that sparked up this conversation. And I’m uber happy that it did. Now I don’t want it to be lost in the labyrinth of facebook craps, do we? So I thought to make a note of it. 

 

“I think hope is the worst thing in the world. I
really do. It makes a fool of you while it lasts. And then when it’s gone, it’s like there’s nothing left of you at all . . . except what you can’t be rid of.” 

Marilynne Robinson

 
 “Hope is a good thing. maybe the best of good things. and no good thing ever dies”

― The Shawshank Redemption

 
To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless. 
― Gilbert K. Chesterton
 
Hope is the worst of evils , for it prolongs the torment of man.
– Friedrich Nietzsche
 
“Etta, Hope is not bad. Its just our lack of will, that forsakes hope. I understand that you are deep down in shit. But this too, shall pass.” 

-A person I hold close to my heart
On a weird afternoon- Fall, 2009.

 
[Edit]: Every weird afternoons, almost every day in 2009.
 
interesting discussion. Well I am right now not very sure. I dont think there is one absolute truth. No absolute right or wrong. Like everything else I guess hope is both good and bad.
 
Now, Defending the concept of hope is evil. Buddha said desire is the root cause of all unhappiness. Dont you think hope is a higher form of desire? To give a silly example, I can have a desire to have a date with Hugh jackman. But I probably wont hope for it. I mean to say, u have hope for things that seem to be possible. It makes it all the more desirable. You get wat I’m saying?
 
I do. But we’ll never reach anywhere without desire. When Buddha said desire is the root of all unhappiness, he surely didn’t mean every single individual should live their life without desire. my desire to something gives me conviction, which gives me the will to fight for it, which leads to that what is my tomorrow. 

Surely, hope without action is a daydream. But everything starts with a dream, and one’s hope to achieve that dream. And his actions- taking him closer to his dream. I do accept that it is the feasibility that draws the thin line between desire and hope. But that doesn’t tell me why hope is bad. 

For me, from what little I’ve been through, I have forsaken hope- when I doubted my ability, doubted the feasibility. For which, sometimes I regretted and sometimes, I rejoiced. What ever the resulting feeling might be, I forsake hope, for my lack of will. I held on to hope, when I relied on my loved ones and friends and their support, rather than idiots like Marilynne Robinson or FriedrichNietzsche – whoever they might be. 

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The Dictionary of the Khazars, written by  Milorad Pavić says (in a weird, peculiar way) how a once a great empire disintegrated into nothing, leaving nothing behind- when they converted into one of the mainstream religions of that day(Islam, Judaism, or Christianity)- which we don’t know. 

I wouldn’t say that the book is wonderful, and is a pleasure to read- because it is not. Turning every page was a pain- until I stumbled upon this page. It was in the second book- the Muslim version that Milorad explained about the organization of the Khazar state. Let me quote the whole portion for you. 

The Khazar state is organized along very complex lines. Its subjects are divided into those born under thewind (the Khazars) and those born above the wind, meaning that they have come from all over, like the Greeks,Jews, Saracens, or Russians. The Khazars are the most numerous in the empire, the others all constituting verysmall groups. But the empire’s administrative organization is designed not to show this. The state is divided intodistricts. Those populated by Jews, Greeks, or Arabs are named accordingly, whereas the larger part of the Khazarstate, inhabited only by Khazars, is divided into several districts, all with different names. This was done so theywould have only one of these purely Khazar districts carrying the Khazar name, while the rest acquired their nameand standing in the state in other ways. In the north, for instance, an entirely new nation was invented, which gaveup the Khazar name, even the Khazar language, and it has a different name for its district. In view of thecircumstances and the Khazars unfavorable position in the empire, many Khazars disclaim their origins andlanguage, their faith and customs, and pretend to be Greeks or Arabs, hoping to fare better that way. There areGreeks and Jews from the Byzantine Empire in the western part of the Khazar state. In one district the Jews (who were persecuted in the Greek Empire) outnumber everybody else, but only in this district. The same is true of Christians in another district, where the Khazars are called the “non-Christian population.” Although the Khazars inthe state outnumber the Greek and Jewish settlers five to one, this fact is lost, because the balance of forces andpopulation figures are calculated not on the basis of the overall situation but by district.These districts’ representatives to the court are in proportion not to the number of people they stand for but tothe number of districts, which means there are always more non-Khazars than Khazars at the court, although not inthe state as a whole. Given this situation and this balance of forces, promotions hinge on blind obedience to thenon-Khazar representatives. Just avoiding the Khazar name is already a recommendation in itself, enabling one totake the first step at court. The next step requires fiercely attacking the Khazars and subordinating their interests tothose of the Greeks, Jews, Turkmen, Arabs, or Goths, as the Slavs are called in these parts. Why this is so is hardto say. A 9th-century Arab chronicler writes: “A Khazar contemporary of mine recently made an unusual statementto me: Only a part of the future reaches us Khazars, the toughest and most impenetrable part, which is hardest tomaster, and we brave it sideways, like a strong wind; or the moldering, worn debris and waste of the future thatspreads imperceptibly, spilling over our feet like a puddle. Only the most inexorable part of the future ever reachesus, or only that part of the future that is already smoothed and trampled by use. We never know who gets thebetter, unchewed part in the general distribution and looting of the future…”To understand these words, one must remember that the kaghan does not allow the younger generation tocome to power until it reaches the age of fifty-five, but this applies only to the Khazars. Others advance morequickly, because the kaghan, himself a Khazar, believes they cannot be dangerous since they are so few in number.According to the latest court decree, ranks in the Khazar administration are reduced, not reassigned, when they arevacated by a man of the kaghan’s age or by a foreigner. In a few years, by the time the next generation of fifty-five-year-old Khazars is eligible, these state titles will already have been given to others, or will have lost theirimportance and not even be worth the taking.There is a place in Itil, the Khazar capital, where, when two people (who may be quite unknown to eachother) cross paths, they assume each other’s name and fate, and each lives out the rest of his or her life in the roleof the other, as though they had swapped caps. The most numerous among those waiting in this line to exchangetheir fate with someone, with anyone else, are always the Khazars.In the war capital, an area with the largest Khazar population and the most densely populated region in theland, awards and decorations are distributed equally among all the inhabitants, with care always taken that an equalnumber of decorations is given to the Greeks and Goths and Arabs and Jews living in the Khazar Empire. Thesame applies to the Russians and others, and to the Khazars themselves, who share their own decorations andmonetary prizes in equal parts with others, even though they themselves are the most numerous. But in thesouthern provinces, where there are Greeks, or in the western regions, inhabited by Jews, or in the East, wherethere are Persians, Saracens, and others, decorations are conferred only upon these peoples’ representatives, notupon the Khazars, because these provinces or districts are considered non-Khazar, although there are just as manyKhazars as anybody else there. And so in their own part of the state the Khazars share their bread with everybody,but in the rest of the land nobody gives them even a crumb.As the most numerous, the Khazars shoulder most of the military duty, but the commanders come from theother nations, in equal proportion. Soldiers are told that only in combat do men live in balance and harmony, andthat the rest is not worthy of attention. Thus, the Khazars are responsible for maintaining the state and its unity;they are duty-bound to protect and fight for the empire, while, of course, the others — the Jews, Arabs, Greeks,Goths, and Persians living in Khazaria — pull in their own individual direction, toward their parent nations.Understandably, when war looms, these relations change. Then the Khazars are given greater freedom, andtreated more leniently, and their past victories are glorified, for they are good soldiers. They can thrust a spear or asword with their feet, slay with two hands at once, and are never just right- or left-handed, because both theirhands have been trained for war since childhood. As soon as there is war, all the other peoples immediately join upwith their parent countries: the Greeks rampage with Byzantine troops and seek enosis, union with the Christianmatrix; the Arabs cross over to the side of the caliph and his fleet; the Persians seek the uncircumcised. After eachwar all this is quickly forgotten; the Khazars acknowledge the ranks earned by foreign peoples in enemy armies,but the Khazars themselves revert to dyed bread.Dyed bread is the sign of the Khazars’ position in the Khazar state. The Khazars produce it, because theyinhabit the grain-growing regions of the state. The starving populace at the foot of the Caucasus massif eats dyedbread, which is sold for next to nothing. Undyed bread, which is also made by the Khazars, is paid for in gold. TheKhazars are allowed to buy only the expensive, undyed bread. Should any Khazar violate this rule and buy the cheap, dyed bread, which is strictly forbidden them, it will show in their excrement. Special customs servicesperiodically check Khazar latrines and punish violators of this law.”

I came to realize that it was not the conversion into a new religion that destroyed the empire. It was their constant urge to be someone else. I can’t believe an empire without any self respect whatsoever withstand  the challenge of time. 

Another little something I found, was the Khazar’s system of “reservation”. Oddly enough, it looks so similar to the Indian system of reservation. As in, just look at the way we’ve have it right now! We did start the reservation system- when we needed it, more than 60 years ago. When the reserved community “truly” deserved reservation. How many years would take to shift the criteria of reservation from caste, to something more credible- financial status, education levels, urban/rural areas. 

If this is not changed, we might end up- just like the Khazars. forgotten and forsaken. 

 

 

Its a funny thing when we’re in shit.
Some will tell you, it’ll pass-> Acceptable, but clichéd.
Some will tell you, I told you so.-> nlm
Some will tell you, its the grand plan of the Almighty-> ahem.

That’s what ‘some’ might say. Let them all rot in hell. But what is your perspective? Yea, Yours, you, who is rotting in hell? In neck deep, nay, nose deep shit. All you have is the eyes. And its not helping either. Because, you can bloody see that you are in shit, and you can’t do anything about it. Because, you can see everyone walking around you, looking down at you, down their nose, with that IToldYouSo kind of look. Aaargh..

The problem with shit is, no matter how experienced you are with shit, its not gonna help. It won’t help you mature, it wont help you handle shit better the next time.. When you’re in shit, You ARE. Accept it.

When I decided that I should join Viswajyothi to work as a lecturer, I was quite relaxed. For, I’ve been teaching and training kids for quite some time, and I thought that the “teaching thing”, came to me naturally. My Appa, on the other hand, had a completely different point of view. He tried to make me understand, and that has made all the difference in my Life.

“Any lecturer”, he started.

Any lecturer you may come across, has the authority vested upon him, to declare that the whole class is full of idiots. Please note, I intend to stress on the “authority vested up on him” part a bit more than the others. I stress on it, for nobody can, and nobody will question the statement made by the tutor, that the whole class is full of dumb-asses. If such a comment is made in the staff room, everyone will take it for granted, and will start commenting on their experiences with stupid people. Its a downward spiral, a quicksand, where every teacher in the staff room will come to a prejudiced conclusion that the class is stupid. That’s the last nail on the coffin.

Any bloody idiot who have donned the mantle of a lecturer can blame the kids. The good teachers, the bad teachers, anybody. But we need to understand that there is no such thing as a bad student, there is only bad teachers. You’re a bad teacher, if you can’t ignite that flair in the kids’ mind which will attract them to your topic like Sunflowers to the sun. Lecture, experiment, show, make them experience, do whatever need to be done. But ignite that fire in them. Give them the confidence to explore. And you’ll receive a great community, who is brave, daring, truthful and eternally curious. A group of people who will love you, and sometimes, even worship you.

Blame them not. Appreciate in public, criticize in private. Whenever a reprimand need be done, call him/her in private and talk to him in slow voice. A loud voice will never penetrate a defiant mind. Accept what they’ve done, understand the cause and discuss on it. For them to understand your point, you first need to understand their point. For all the small small good stuff they’ve done, call to the staff room, and in LOUD voice, appreciate them. For all the people who got 46+/50, write in BIG BOLD LETTERS, Well done. If possible, write with that red pen on top, “get this signed by your parents and group tutor”.

I’m eternally thankful to my dad. For he taught me, not how to lecture, not how to teach. But how to be a mentor.

One thing I’ve come to notice these days was quite amusing. I believe, with all my wits, that one has got absolutely no control over his reputation. When I had this thought forming first in my mind, I had discarded it as stupidity. Obviously, how on earth can it be that, I don’t have any control over my reputation? People think of me, as depending on what I say, what I believe and most importantly, what I do! Should have been insane to make such a thought!!

But no. I don’t think I’ve got much control over my reputation. When I deliver a session to 100 people, there are 100 different reputations formed about me. Some will be based on the content of the delivery, some on my mannerisms, and some on the amount on the heretical speech I try to push in through. And a hundred more parameters on which I’ll be weighed, calculated and finally, judged.

If so wide is the array of probable options, what could happen, when the reputation can be influenced by our actions too?? The more I thought about it, the more I came to understand the futility of our human desire to be recognized. We do everything to impress people. We wear the dress to impress, whether it be good or bad. Some people dress nicely, and neatly to impress people. And some, wear low waist jean, so tight, that it’ll look like you went skinny dipping in blue paint.

Frankly, I’m not making a judgement. I’m not telling this is right and this is wrong, NO. This whole post is a gentle note, that no matter what you do, what you wear, what you ride, different people make different assumptions about you. Some will hate you, and some will love you- both, in different degrees of magnitude. So, in the end, it will all come to the basic question “did you really want to do that”, Did you really want to wear that? If so, were you comfortable there, in all its sense?

If yes, good. If no.. well what can I say. 🙂

Was thoroughly disappointed, when I searched for eat outs in kochi. No bloody blog whatsoever. Where are the good tech and writing people in Kochi??

So, I should take this up. Starting a new blog.. Possible that I’ll add collaborators, so that they too can contribute. Will soon post all that I’ve come to know about kochi and food.

Here is the link: https://eatoutkochi.wordpress.com/

A friend sent me this cartoon strip. Can’t put it better 🙂 Enjoy!!

Something we've to listen to, very often