08 March 2008

Tagged to Tell!

I am finally getting to a tag by Priyamvada. I apologize for the delay but I hope this makes up for it!

The most enticing part of this tag is that you really don’t have to think, “again”!

It is a link to post five of your previously written blogs relating to the keyword “5 people who you have already met on earth”...or is it five people who irritate you the most….umm...i think it is…five people you love to hate…lets just settle with five groups of folks...you are stuck with...some with choice...some without your choice. (Alrite...the keywords are Friends (your choice), Family (not your choice), yourself (stuck with it), your love (she is stuck with u) and anything you love (your escape pods)).

You always start with Family and Friends just to make them feel good for putting up with your bullshit!

The one that gives a window into my life is the one I wrote when I reached my big 30.

After watching the great many “last rites” scenes from “Gandhi”, “Indira Gandhi”, “Rajiv Gandhi” and “MGR” funeral, and also feeling morbid when I was admitted for Kidney stones (two jugs of beer apparently for the cure), I wrote “How many would attend your Funeral ?. Apart from these two, I rarely write about family or friends unless a tag from respected blogger forces me to oblige, like this one .

I don’t think I have written anything about me in a blog but the intelligent reader can always figure out who I am from all of my blogs and you all hope I become too famous so you can write a biography and make some money off it! (ohh...i love being narcissistic).

Blogs about love! Now, who can escape not aching in love, not wanting a certain kind of love, not cherishing the polarities in your love, not pining for your lost love, not pondering why certain triggers makes you breakdown in pain!

Love is a paradox with simple solution of accepting your self, loving your self and above all forgiving your self!

I am a pure Gemini which means you never know which twin you are going to meet at any given point of time!
Like any true desi, I love Cricket and I love Cinema!

The milestones in my life is remembered by the movies I watched in those years. I love to share my thoughts on movies that have been satisfying and not so satisfying!

I enjoy writing on things that are not so significant but they fill up our daily life!

I am also a passionate patriot (maybe Obama will borrow this line ;) )! I wonder about Desi and Un-desiness, the immigrant vacuum, the search for home, the search for Utopia, the root cause of racism. It is these epiphanies in your life that makes you move on with wonder and hope inspite of all the cynicism surrounding you!

Hope you enjoy these blogs as much as i have enjoyed sharing them!

I am supposed to tag 5 more people for this topic! All my old blogger friends rarely blog nowadays (like me)! Nevertheless, i will tag them to see if they come out of hibernation.
Lotus Reads,
Purple Breeze,

01 March 2008

Blindness of Color! Part One

It’s a poignant moment in the movie. You are enthralled and wondering who will be revealed as the traitor. And suddenly, you hear a huge laughter behind your seat. You turn to find three South-Asian college kids talking so loud that you wish you had your baseball bat with you. You tell them to be quiet which they don’t listen but the incident remains with you.

You are at a restaurant where the African-American waitress doesn’t give you the service you deserve. In fact, she is not only giving you a poor service but also condescending. You realize your evening with the family has just been ruined.

You enter the best retail store for suits. Three Caucasian men pass by without offering to help you but you notice they are attending to people who have entered the store after you.

You are standing on a red light and an illegal Hispanic driver halts to a screech and hits your bumper. He has no insurance and your insurance company raised your monthly rates for no fault of yours.

Every instance above has nothing to do with race but somehow they end up being everything to do with race.

When you live in a multi-cultural environment, there seems to be an invisible scorecard against each race. Our lenses are filled with collective prejudices and stereotypes which seem to make a constant impression on our psyche no matter how much we try.

For long I have wondered,
What is defined as racism?
Who should be called as racist?
Why do we judge people?
Is it Narrow mindedness?
Or is it harsh truth?

As you dig through the layers of your psyche, you reach the core of your existence and analyze how you judge people. What is the key factor that determines your judgment? What makes you trust someone and loathe someone else?

Like a man who didn’t turn back and realized he had a tail all along, it hits you!


Patterns of behaviors.
Patterns of faces.
Patterns of experience.

It is patterns that make you like certain faces instinctively. It is patterns that make you wary about certain others. Instincts are developed by past patterns.

Every experience deposits goodwill or ill will. You soak the person’s color, origin, height, weight and his “energy meter” with you with each experience. As you grow, this pattern database grows building your internal “prejudices/stereotypes” based on your “limited” experience. Among these interactions with other race (even your own), some are people you know and some you don’t. When you don’t know the person, the only attributes that gets into your database are his/her physical features including color.

What every person belonging to any race doesn’t realize is that, there is a social ripple effect when they behave badly. When they behave badly in public, the ripples are larger. They might be sowing the seeds of discontent for first time in someone’s mind or reassuring someone’s already prejudiced experience with that race. It is not necessary that racial judging happens only with someone from other race. People in the same race loathe at the behaviour of their own kind as they worry they will be branded the same way. Bad public behaviour accelerates racist tendencies more than anything in this world.

Is it possible not to judge someone by their color when you know there is a big reservoir of experiences and opinions from your own life regarding them? Not initially. That someone has to prove beyond doubt that they don’t fit the pattern in your head. You are forced to prove to them that their idea of generalization is wrong. I don’t blame them for assuming “I will also fit a certain pattern according to their experiences or knowledge or lack of it regarding a certain race”. But I will be disappointed if they continue to judge me based on it, inspite of proving otherwise. Now, that person is what I would call a “Racist”. Someone who can’t get beyond his initial prejudices, and see the person for who he really is!

Perhaps that is the challenge. To be open minded inspite of our personal experiences and give every individual a chance they deserve irrespective of where they come from and retain the awareness that every seed has the potential to grow different and bigger and stronger than its previous generation.

We can’t get rid of the patterns but we can be aware of the fact that your patterns and reasoning have holes in them. You don’t have to judge every individual based on it and give everyone a fair chance!

At the end of day, we are all Humans!