Monday, 22 April 2013

                                    Not All Terrorists Are Muslim

I remember the thoughts that ran through my head when the Boston bombings occurred. First, I was saddened at the pointless loss of life. Second, I hoped Muslims don't face a backlash for this. Because after the bombings, the U.S. government tried their best not to feed speculation because they were well aware of the consequences. Their caution is to be lauded and I admired how their law enforcement agencies, emergency services and the American people responded to the crisis.

But what have I also found is the unsavory side of Humanity on that day. You know, that side of Humanity that puts on trial an entire religion for the actions of two renegades who for all intents and purposes acted of their own volition. Yes, they took their inspiration from Islam. But the guy who shot up the Sikh temple drew his inspiration from a white supremacist ideology. I don't remember calling him a terrorist.

In fact, I am fascinated how the social group that is dominant in a particular country treats it's minority groups. Let's first turn to America. You know the stereotypes of that has stigmatised African-Americans and Latinos don't you? Yes, the prison population do present a skewed presentation of these aforementioned minorities. African Americans form 14% of the population. But they represent 40% of the prison population. But if you take into the population as a whole, the majority have jobs, and lead productive lives.

It's almost the same thing with Muslims. They count among them 1.7 billion among their number (I think). How many terrorists are there in the world? And this often repeated phrase that all terrorists are muslims really gets on my nerves. In India, the primary threat to security are now Maoist guerrillas. We have also experienced for a long time violence in the North-Eastern states. And let's not forget one of the biggest purveyors of violence in the country, the Indian military who frequently carried out extra-judicial killings.

Coming back to the topic at hand, I think it says a lot about us  that the only facet of Islamic society that we care about is the violence. I am far more bothered about how minorities like the Kurds, Yazidis, Baha'i, Christians, Armenians are treated in Middle-eastern countries. Or how Punjabis have a stranglehold on the centers of power in Pakistan. Or how a normal act of affection would be considered a faux pas in Indonesia.

I think a lot can be gained from covering the struggles of women for their rights in a repressed society. How they find it hard to get an education, have the same rights, how they deal with rampant domestic abuse, constant sexual harassment. Or the travails of a young, unemployed, sexually frustrated man in Egypt. Or the efforts of peple in Bahrain to ensure a democratic society. Coverage of people in Pakistan who have lost loved ones in senseless violence, or struggling under stifling corruption and patronage politics. It would serve to humanise these people, make us understand them, their motivations and desires. Then they wouldn't seem so alien to us.

Life seems hard and pointless sometimes. We don't need occasional outside affirmation from people who are filled with hate. I should be jaded, I should be cynical, but like some sort of a hopeless romantic I hold out for the best in Humanity.

Monday, 1 April 2013

                                    In search of Love: Part 2

A while back, I think I had posted a topic in which I discussed my insecurities, my fears of ending up alone. Well, between the time that I posted it and now, there were some events that made me re-evaluate things I had said back then. This post is going to chronicle those events.

Well, after University opened, an old friend of mine invited to his flat-warming party. After much encouragement, I worked up the nerve to introduce myself to a rather good looking blonde girl. After the obligatory introductions, whn the moment came for me to charm her with my wit, intelligence and charisma, I just drew a blank. I just had nothing to say. And then she politely asked me if it was O.K. for her to get more wine form the kitchen, which was a subtle hint of her blowing me off. So for the rest of the party I retreated to my shell, sticking with my friend and not mingling at all.

I mean I felt like this guy

And not this guy

But then a female acquaintance of mine showed up at the party with her female friend. I did not notice her friend that much (let's call her Morgan for brevity). As the party wore on, Janeane (a fake name for my female friend) called me over and wanted to talk to me. She informed me that her female friend liked me very much but was just too shy to talk to me. She wanted me to introduce myself and do so in a way that doesn't freak her out. then went on to do so, only to have my efforts be foiled by an intoxicated man who had no business being among college students, let alone partying with them. I got flustered, but several other girls in the party encouraged me to talk to Morgan.

I did not, thinking that such a move might indicate desperation on my part. In the end, we both were just too shy to talk to each other, contenting ourselves to exchanging passing glances at each other, much to the chagrin of our friends.

But in a way, I am kind of glad it happened. Because the event served as a self-affirmation exercise. I did feel a rush of adrenaline when my friend told me that Morgan likes me. In that moment I felt a torrent of emotions. Disbelief that turned into excitement and exhilaration. I felt myself validated, for the first time I felt attractive.

Because really, I do want sex. Make no mistake about it. But more than that, I want to feel needed, at the same time I want to feel needy as well. I seek the physical pleasures of love as well ans the mental pleasures of it. That feeling of self-worth, and self-esteem that seem so alien to me.

In a way, this also makes me feel more depressed. The realisation that if I had gone out more, had been more socially active or was more self-confident could have been the cure to what I am feeling right now pains me. It was painful for me to learn the knowledge that the characteristics that distinguishes me as a individual is also the source of my torment.

Well, that's enough rambling. If you guys can post about your own romantic experiences you may do so.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Love me, or hate me. Don't be indifferent

The title is a reference to what my friend said to me a long time ago. According to him, he hopes
 that people either love him or hate him. Being indifferent to him means you don't care about him
anymore.When I was deciding the title for this blog, initially I was mulling over the title of
Nirbhaya: A Tale of indifference. But I decided to not go with that title, because I thought I
should accord her a little more respect.

When I heard of the news the girl had been raped, and her subsequent tragic demise, I, as well as
other armchair commentators of course posted their outrage. We vented about india's patriarchy,
about the need to liberate women and all of the standard talking points you have heard affluent
Indians and westerners spout. You have heard it in the news cycles, you have heard it from the
mouths of politicians from whom we have heard so many lies and yet we vote them to power.
We heard it from the NGO's, the Women's group advocates. We were outraged that this
poor girl was raped and her male friend beaten up. For more than a month we vicariously
lived through her parents. Witnessed their trials and tribulations. For that time, the nation
grieved as if they had lost a sister.

But I think we all know where this story is going to end. In this era of attention deficit syndrome.
In the era of 6 month  music sensations, the era of 24\7 news cycles, this story will slowly but
surely will be pushed to the sidelines. it will be buried under a story of new found scams,
Narendra Modi being the Messiah of the oppressed Hindu masses and even more horrifying
stories of women getting raped. I will move on too. To even more mindless TV shows, playing
video games and watching cute puppies on you tube. Each one of us will move on. Except her
parents. They will live on in grief, knowing that they cannot ever see their intelligent daughter
who had toiled so hard to build a future for her and her family. Her brothers will miss a
sister, a role model whom they could have lived up to and emulated. A sister they would
have been proud of. The whole nation will move on. sure her name will crop up every time
a brutal sexual assault will come up, but life marches on.

I do not wish to end on a cynical note. I do however, see little changes in the behavior of
Indians. Statements made by politicians and so called god men insinuating the girl was as
much to blame for the rape as her attacker has been torn to shreds. For the first time, I have
seen the media do an introspection. Most importantly, I can see some Indians had to do some
soul searching and I salute those people willing to protest. Because despite my opinionated
 nature you did something I could never do, actually do something about it.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Gori! Gori! Gori!

Just Another quick blog post before I disappear for a while.

Now, I love my mother, I really do. Well I would come across like a bit of an ingrate if I did
not lovethe woman that labored under immense pain to give birth to a gremlin like me. But
 like every other person, she has her own faults. She is to put it bluntly, a bit of a racist. I can
 recall having many conversations with her, which ended up with her warning how lecherous
 white girls are and how she would tell me in a matter of fact way, that they are gold diggers. I
 think my mother was brought to this world with her irony meter broken. She would often
 complain about the racism meted out to her in New Zealand, while pushing these awful stereotypes
 about white people. I know why stereotypes are formed, it is easy to generalize, But it is generally
 a good idea to not hold much water in them.

In my humble opinion, encumbering a certain ethnicity with your own prejudices is never a good
I remember a two years ago, being enamored with a certain Punjabi girl. When I asked her out,
she replied to me that she doesn't like mallu guys so wouldn't do so. Three months ago, I asked
out a certain acquaintance of mine, who was white, to go out to lunch with me. She looked at me
with her pretty blue eyes, and with a smile I thought at the time was really gorgeous that she wants
us just to be friends. Even though my heart sank, she comforted me by saying how girls would be
lucky to go out with me.

You cannot help who you fall in love with, you really can't. I find it a bit unfortunate that people
still hold onto these prejudices. For me, I do not care for a girl's ethnicity. The only thing I
need to know if she is compatible with me and loves me.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A Lonely Traveler

If life was analogous to a journey, then I am indeed a lonely traveler. I have a confession to make
that is rather embarrassing. I have never found love in my life. I have fallen in love, yes. But I have
 neverhad my feelings reciprocated. I have made overtures to exquisite specimens of the opposite
 gender in a gentlemanly manner, but I have not succeeded. When I look at my inability to attract
 girls, I think it reveals something about myself. Something of my character.

For the longest time, I would blame this deficiency on me. I would find the excuse that I am simply
 not good looking enough, or that I simply lack personality. But recently I have come to realize one
thing. The excuses that I make up to explain away my romantic failings indicate one thing. A lack
of self-confidence on my part. Since I lacked confidence, I have already lost in some ways.
When I approached those girls to ask them out, I did not exude that aura of confidence.
 It is essentially the story of my life. I lacked the confidence to jump at opportunities that
 life threw at me. When I was bullied in high school, I lacked the confidence to tell my bully
 to back off. In my university career, I lacked the confidence to partake in various extra-curricular

But still my heart craves for love. It is funny, in my teenage years, I would indulge myself in various
sexual  fantasies. But now, I often dream of holding a girl in my arms. I feel sort of empty. I have this
 need of someone wanting me in their life and me wanting them.

As I tread this beaten path alone, maybe I will find a companion.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


 Now, you might be wondering why exactly did I choose this title? Well, there are several
moments in my life that I would like to rub out, like many of us like to do. You know, sort of like an
etch a sketch.

Now let me introduce myself. My name is Anil Nair. and I am 23 years old. I immigrated to
New Zealand in 2004, from Kerala to India. So the ninth anniversary of my migration is coming up in 4 months. Even though I have been to India only a few times since then, I do have a certain affinity
with my homeland and we shall see what the future holds for me in this regard.

There is a reason I have created this blog. It is a place for me to pour my heart out and maintain a
relative cloak of anonymity. You see IRL I am a social hermit. I am afforded few chances out in the
social sphere. So I consider myself to be the internet version of Socrates. Without the intelligence,
without the charisma, and without the class. I feel like the internet is a place where I can indulge
myself in another character, in another persona that I would not have the self confidence to do.

The blog of course needs a lot of work. And I will continue to improve it. But I am notoriously lazy.

So welcome readers, to my private world. To my thoughts, to my dreams. A realm of craziness.