Saturday, December 27, 2014

Love to Hate

Why do we love to hate so much?

This question comes to my mind every time I open any form of social media. We hate politicians, we hate animals, we hate our neighbors, we hate this, that, everything. Not a single day passes without some form of hatred being posted on every social platform. Let me put it in another way

If x is an object to be hated,

y = hate (x)

Now somebody that loves x, will hate y

hate(y) = hate(hate(x))

Next somebody will hate the somebody hating y, because maybe that somebody likes x.

Therefore hate(hate(y)) = hate(hate(hate(x)))

If x = hate(y)

hate(x) = hate(hate(hate(x)))

Substituting further we get

hate(x) = hate(hate(hate(.......hate(x)....)))

Can you see where this is going? 

One single hate gives rise to multiple hates and there is simply no end. Any person with a bit of familiarity with computer programming knows what this is. Classic stack overflow in recursive functions (Okay, I had to put some geeky stuff here).
Which brings us to the question (once you forgive the senselessness of my mathematical model). Why do we hate everything so much?

The most recent episode, that actually prompted me into writing this post, is about the scathing criticism of the new movie PK. Assuming that you have watched the movie in addition to reading and listening to all the praises and brickbats, I want to give my opinion.

The movie raises questions, lots of them, some might be viewed as controversial. Most of the criticism that I've read is that it singles out Hinduism as a religion for questioning beliefs. Why not Islam, Christianity or Sikhism? This reminds me of an incident when I was in school. The teacher was reprimanding a student for some bad behavior. The student's argument was, why do you pick on just me? I'm not the only one behaving badly, there are many more in this class. Why have you singled me out? The teacher replied, even if everybody else in the class is behaving badly, does that mean your behavior is fine? We are focusing on behavior, not who is doing it!

By now it should be clear, which side of the coin I'm supporting. The movie did raise some big questions, but the so called protectors of religion are evading the actual questions and instead resorting to redirecting the focus. I'm a Hindu myself, and no, I did not feel that my belief was questioned in any manner by the movie. The questions raised were logical ones. If God loves his children, will he tell them to roll on the floor or beat yourself before he shows love? When he is so powerful, will he be hurt by somebody asking him a question?

What is the whole point of religion? All of seek peace of mind. Some find it in work, some in art, some find it in religion. It is all in the mind, in a very personal space. Nobody can force you to believe in something until and unless it comes from within. It isn't necessary that what we believe is correct. For example, didn't mankind believe once upon a time that the earth was flat or that the sun revolved around the earth? If questions were not raised about this, we wouldn't have discovered the truth. When we are unable to answer questions on what we believe, somewhere in a remote corner of this personal space in the mind, doubts begin to rise as to maybe, just maybe there might be more to this than what meets the eye. It is not the faith that is being questioned, it is the logic behind the practices that is questioned. We seek to rationalize every thing, then why not religion too?

A few years back, the same people made another movie that questioned the educational system in engineering colleges of India. Nobody said, why only engineering, why not arts, commerce, law colleges? All of us enjoyed the movie and went home with a smile. Why not do the same here?

What I'm most happy about is that the movie has given rise to widespread discussion on a topic that is being demonized. We need to move away from the "my religion is better than yours" debate. Religion is a personal preference, just like the brand and type of clothes we wear. Just because I like wearing a particular brand does not mean everybody should. Just because I prefer playing cricket does not mean a person playing football is wrong or ignorant. If you feel that questions are being asked about your beliefs, answer them using the same beliefs. If you think the questions don't make any sense, explain why they don't make any sense.Sometimes the question is more important than the person asking the question.

And please, for once. Can we stop hating each other? If you don't like a person, don't talk to them. Simple! There is so much more to life than hating somebody just because that somebody does not believe in the same thing as you do. If you don't want to hear the questions that the movie asks, just don't watch the movie. Is it so difficult to "not spend" your money on something that you don't want to watch?

Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one and everybody thinks that the other person's stinks. I like mine.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Lonely Birthday

"Thank you"
"Thanks a lot :)"
"Haha ... thanks"

Replying to all those meaningless wishes on Facebook is the last thing I want to do on my birthday. I want to go out, I want to celebrate. Alas that isn't going to happen. A man struggling to find a job in a new city has very few friends, if not none. These are not the type of friends you would want to go out with and have a party. I know who I want to go out with and she is right next door. But Meera would not go anywhere with me, not now.

People have called me a lot of things over the years, shy and introverted being the most decent of them. They never understood me and majority did not even try to understand me. Yes, I had a problem and the problem was that I found it extremely difficult to convert my thoughts into spoken words. I always had answers to all the questions in my mind, but they refused to come out of my mouth. I was going downhill with my inability to communicate, almost on the verge of contemplating suicide, and that's when I met Meera.

She turned my life around. Finally I had found somebody who understood me. She introduced me to writing and that gave me an outlet for all the thoughts that were flooding and overwhelming my mind. She made me realize that I wasn't totally useless and in fact I was pretty good at something.

Don't think about those times, I tell myself. Things have changed now. People come into your life, change things around, and then they leave you, as if they weren't even there. You are on your own now and its high time you got your shit together. Nobody cares about anybody other than themselves, so learn to live with it.

Okay okay fine. I get the point, but thinking about the good days makes me feel better. It is like a tiny spark of light in a dark tunnel. It does not do much, but it does give you something to smile about.

Smile like a fool the entire day if you so like. Anyway, nobody is going to celebrate your birthday for you. Not Meera, nor any of your family. You don't even have any friends. Don't tell me you have 347 so called friends on Facebook, they don't count.

My head is about to burst, I don't want to think anything.

Yes, you don't want to think. That will stop everybody else from thinking that you are an idiot, is that right? That will stop people from making fun of you behind your back. Your stopping to think prevented that Raj in school from sticking that paper on your butt saying "Here is an Asshole". Your stopping to think prevented you from losing your jobs, is it? Your stopping to think will prevent you from overhearing Meera making fun of you?

Stop it right there. I like her, hell I love her more than anything else.

Yes you do. But what does she feel about you? I don't think she even wants to wish you on your birthday.

She doesn't know it because I never told her. Go to hell, I am going to tell her right now, and nothing is going to stop me.

I pick up the key to her apartment from my table and walk to her door. Will it be rude to go in without knocking? I knock on the door but nobody answers. I unlock the door and enter. Everything is too dark. I turn on the light and there I see Meera sleeping peacefully in her sleeping bag. I open the zip of the bag and hold her in my arms. I like holding her when she is asleep. The blood on her clothes has also dried up now. Why Meera why? Why did you say mean things about me? I liked holding you better when you were awake, but it is fine. I will take whatever I get in this life. An asshole cannot make big demands. I hope you are sleeping soundly Meera.