Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sleepless Death

Something which was celebrated last week on the 20th of November has rocked everyone’s senses in these financial depressing times and the new age belief of the riches of Dubai grew new roots. The $1.5 billion Atlantis - The Palm was opened up by, hotelier and gambling tycoon, Sol Kerzner who made his money solely from evading taxes in South Africa. As a developer of gambling resorts, he has been investigated for corruption a number of times, none of which has resulted in a conviction. This was made in the man-made island, Palm Jumeirah which is shaped like a palm tree. This 1.5 billion dollar hotel was inaugurated with the most expensive private party in the world at a cost of around $20 million, and one-off private beach concert by Kylie Minogue. Miss Minogue just with 10 songs and a mere 45 minutes performance, pocketed a cool $4 million (Rs. 20 Crores), inarguably the highest paid per minute performance by a singer ever. The guests, 2000 in number included who’s who of anyone and who is anybody, from supermodels to actors, to royalty. All were given off a cool 4 day stay and a return flight from where ever they wished to join up. A spectacular firework display was the word around which included a release of radio-controlled rockets from all the rooms in the hotel and 226 floating structures covering almost 40 locations in approx 27 miles of water along the palm like design of the island.

Now let’s look at the figures. The cost of the hotel is almost one billion dollars - approx Rs 5000 Crores which is only half the cost of the total provision for the National Infrastructure Highways Development Program (NHDP) in India for the financial year 2008, which also includes the road-cum-rail bridge over the Brahmaputra at Bogibeel, Assam.

It would come as a surprise to many but there are only 497 billionaires in this world (approximately 0.000008% of the world’s population) and almost two in three people lack access to clean water and who survive on less than $2 (Rs. 99) a day, with one in three living on less than $1 (Rs. 49) a day. We have to consider that a dollar will buy the same amount in all countries and understand that if an average person in a poor country who lives on a dollar a day relocated to the U.S. with absolutely no changes in their income, they would still be living on a dollar a day. Now, another interesting factor - Almost 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 (Rs. 499) a day. The suites in Atlantis costs $25,000 - $30,000 (Rs. 15 Lakhs) Dollars a night. Ironically, according to UNICEF, 26,500 - 30,000 children die each day due to poverty. So if one person can survive on $1, did Shahrukh Khan who hosted a party with the likes of Hollywood's biggest names - Robert De Niro, Wesley Snipes, Kylie Minogue and Charlize Theron at the Atlantis Bridge Suite which costs $30,000 a night kill 30,000 children who keep his crumpled picture under their heads while they sleep?

But who cares? Many eject out due to a minute of lust and they die ever so quietly far from the prolonged look and the conscience of the world. Just being spiritless and weak in their miserable life makes these dying multitudes even more unseeble in death.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Maturity Blues

I really don't know whether there is an abstract theory that considers if age should be considered a factor for maturity or if there is a theory that assumes that the amount of responsibility which a person can handle can be called maturity. I safely doubt that a few years difference can define a person's attitude or approach to maturity. Seriously for me, it’s simply my myriad and infinite character traits that dictate and define my mode. I could be mindful and an "adult" one spurious moment, and pissed off, jejune and sloppy the next. I guess and very true in the olden times a man (not woman) is outlined as mature if we don't consider his infantile or adolescent idiosyncrasies till date by his material possessions or his level of education and the successes he has had in his life. Now, one thing bemuses me at times. Do women actually know that they mature at a different rate than men? I believe most women need and would desire a man as close to their age as possible, as close the men can be like their Fathers, of course not in subjective to their age but in contrast to their characters. They firmly hope that this will mean they will have more in common what they actually loved about their Fathers. They also believe that this will increase the chance they will share whatever phase of life in which they find themselves to be. But frankly speaking, if they hope to find a man the same age and with the same maturity level, then I feel sorry for them. Really sorry! I wish to intimate them to choose between the chances for common tastes, say for example - for music, movies, fashion or for common goals and a certain maturity level.

An individuals varied profile at different moments and instances in his lifetime can be such an interesting sketch of who a person really is. I usually find so many of them to be just captivating and yet sometimes down hysterical. Yeah, I know that this will sound like an old guy trying to charm younger ladies but I'm going to put it out there anyway and speak my mind. Guys mature much slower than women. The women need to accept that and stop cribbing about it. It has been true for time immemorial and nothing much can be done about it. I believe that there are four factors that be considered in maturity. Of course the first and least maturity level, children, who basically define right and wrong in terms of what an elder tells them. The next important factor is very typical of people in their teen and of course here you will find a bunch of people who tend to hold foundational beliefs with right and wrong on loyalties, commitments and dedication to their family and friends. Thirdly, my favorite is the third level of maturity wherein an individual comes to rely on societal, universal and defined ethical principles of life, such as the principles of justice, equality and empathy that impartially considers interests of all persons. Finally, the twisted- mind maturity which considers the people altered by religion, dictators and the societal cult thinking.

It’s unfair to omit the considerations of the women’s point of view. Now, they are more concerned than men with conserving good relationships with their family and friends, and with downplaying hurt (whom they care about, of course - women are women), which is the 2nd level as discussed above. But men, usually look at the moral part - impartial empathy (to all), equality and such as characterized by the third maturity factor. So by assumption women appear to reach the third and the most mature level much less often than men and are less morally developed than men.

All said and done, end of the day, maturity as I believe is, the argument that the other person must be comfortable like your own skin and be able to meet the primary family and social/community commitments expected of you. The serenity to accept what is demanded of you and the ability to change for you but the wisdom to know the difference. Confused? Even I am...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pseudo Love - A face in the fall

I had a fresh bout of depression this week. One of my previous girl friends got married this week. I know that I need to be happy about it but the fact that she didn't invite me for the event dug into my soul. God knows that I loved her and would have married her if her family was okay with it. I really don't understand why women are like this, they love you tons and hugs a minute and the next minute they escape even your name. Is it something to do with the society, the embarrassment or is it something to do with an attempt to forgetting the feelings of love, and forgetting those heart throbs that she experienced when in love. I used to call her the "blue eyed girl. Nah, she didn't have any blue eyes; she was the regular black eyed village belle trying to prove it out in the big city. A girl with a lot of hopes about finding an understanding man, a man who could give her a lot of freedom, a man different from the usual village MCP's and a man who could bear her children. She was born into a family which had very strict values instilled and drilled into their children, a family which didn't buy a T.V for the fear of corrupting the growing minds. I don't know what she saw in me but had evinced with expressive hands a huge rock, a boulder. She felt that I was one silent rock on which she could sit and watch the sun set.

Every time it's like this. I fall in and out of love. Every time, I feel optimistic that this time, I and a girl will connect and it will be the start of something wonderful. Initially, it seems to be going well. The conversation flows with the freshness of young rivers, you laugh together and you feel all excited and interesting but as days go by, there's no call, no email, no SMS. Finally, you take up the phone and call her; there is a space and a deafening noise of the ceiling fan or the noise of the T.V or a sudden intrusion of a friends call. This has become such a predictable event that I've grown to become a little less humiliated and a little less hopeless.

Looking around I discover that the most depressed and disgruntled people that I see are either married, or formerly married or have a live-in relationship. Though I don't want to say that the reason people get married is because they are weak and seek out stronger people to cling onto and feed off of their energy but this is the true nature of humans and parasites. Understanding marriage is becoming very difficult as time passes by. Sometimes, I find it to be completely unneeded and the source of more troubles than solutions. And I realize time and again that nothing makes me happier at the end of the day than being alone with myself and my own thoughts, living my own life and being responsible only for myself. Why do I need anyone else with me to say something or do something just to upset me and disturb my thoughts? Why don't all those married people out there that think they are happy, just realize that all one is doing is raising someone else who will grow up and have his own life and end up ruining and controlling someone else?

A cat that’s caged in the four walls of a house and never let out will generally live longer because it can only look out on a world it can't enjoy. There are no risks, only comforts - of security, of routine food but as we see it, there is no life. A cat which was born in the street and lives out in the open will generally live a shorter life. But, maybe in so living, it experiences much more of what life has to offer, good, bad and adventurous. So, who precisely should I pity more?