Saturday, April 11, 2009

God,Grant me a wish - Take everything away !!

I guess a week is over since I have been languishing in the bountiful lap of nature in Kerala and as I say it is one place that is disturbingly peaceful. You start so much of introspection that it gets to you after a certain point of time. Such is the peace here. The other day I was travelling in the bus when this thought of the ever clichéd unemployment aspect of the state stuck me. Kerala is notoriously famous for its high literacy rate (that is a farce anyways) and the unemployment despite the literacy. Gazing through all the natural bountifulness of the state one thing struck me, when I saw a couple of young guys sitting under a tree and smoking away their beedis.

It is said that necessity is the mother of all invention(there is something about all these adages, they might be clichéd but carry a certain level of truth).So that translates into the fact that if there is no necessity there will not be any forward thinking because one is comfortable in his/her own cocoon. Three things that stand out about Kerala any day would be the fish, rain and rice. If there is ever a word association exercise with Kerala these three would be the front runners I guess along with Strikes, communism and coconut probably. Now let’s look at the ideal Kerala family setting and I am not talking about the Kerala in cities(if there is any) where people haven’t seen a well. I am talking about the agrarian Kerala. Each home will have a comfortable number of coconut trees, banana trees, a well and rice would be their staple food any day along with fish. Even if they don’t work they can sell the coconuts, use coir, get coconut oil for normal chores, bananas for nutrition, rain is plenty in Kerala and hence the constant availability of water added with not that depleted water table. The land is fertile and hence there will be enough demand for land based factor work .Hence there is never a scarcity. Everything is readily available.

Everyone knows the story of Japanese resurgence after the world war when it was battling a tattered economy and lack of any natural resources. Let’s think of Indian states itself .Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab etc .None of them are as blessed as Kerala, but then that constraint has allowed them to utilize each and every resource very well and utilize their human capital which harvests the natural resources than simply pluck the natural resources .Constraints are needed to perform at optimal level, the absence of which leads to under-utilization and below average capacity performance as there is no initiative to perform or let’s say perform that extra bit, same holds true for any aspect of life. Constraints have to be used not avoided.                                                                                                                 

Your environment makes you and hence when you have a tailor made environment, you never are motivated enough to look beyond the regular sources because the regular sources are a plenty. The peaceful environment makes one timid all the more and un- rebellious. The problem or the paradox is not that they are not using resources but using it all too often and at a pretty sustainable rate and to top all of that a communist ruled state .Ideal settings for the lackadaisical. It is not the problem of scarcity of resources but a paradox of a complete set of resources that curbs the man’s nomadic tendency to explore further. The irony of being blessed by all means and not having to struggle. Same goes for its twin sister West Bengal. Absolutely same microcosm .This my friends is the paradox of abundance .Survival might be guaranteed by natural resources but not prosperity, prosperity can be guaranteed only if there is proper human capital and technology involved with or without nature .When you stop resisting a major factor you tend to get shaped by that factor .So it’s not a surprising fact that people in Kerala have become complacent, comforting, unproductive, undemanding and over and above idle. If an idle mind is a devils workshop then it’s the ultimate parody that this place be called gods own country.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My friend - Rich, fair and famous!!


This one was broiling in there for a long time. We all have an inherent bias in each and everyone of us no matter how unbiased we would like the others to perceive us. There is a side to us, dark they say, that everyone tries not to project, tries to eclipse it with some façade.But how realistic is this build up is another matter of contention.

Isnt it  true that we still are discriminating when it comes to black or white? Boy or Girl?Hindu or Muslim?Many of us will not agree but we are still biased towards white is beautiful and black is ummm,well, not that beautiful and that goes even for people of the black skin or brown or leathered or tanned or dusky or whatever.  This practice is very evident in hiring proceses,selection let it be in reality tv shows or anything in general. But none wants to accept that. We fit in euphemisms to satiate our bias,dusky for black for example.Presentable for good looking.How can I forget the lovely matrimonial ads that straight away shoot off by saying that “looking for a bride who is fair,good looking and tall”.

How many times have we cracked that odd joke on Mallus(Hey,ask me how many I have heard and I love em!),sardars,north eastern brandished as chinkis to name a few.We just see a person and snap! We form an impression .Bias too.Well the point is that its not something to be ashamed off.Greatness,(well not exactly greatness because that would mean I am great)lies in accepting the penchant and working thereof.How many times have we laughed on the accent of certain people when ours itself is a far cry from perfect?

The point is that we have differentiated and selected all through out our life.Even our own set of friends too. Haven’t there been  enough instances when we have wanted to friend a person of the other sex because she /he happens to be cool and sexy and hot and handsome and all that.I don’t know how many of you will agree but I have.We all have and then we justify it by saying that we were never thinking on those lines and that you  are un-corrupt and have friended a person because of the good heart he or she had and nothing else.Bullshit.From my personal experience,I have seen several instances when a baby is called ‘oh cho cute’ and the only reason I can attribute to it is his or her color or because of the little Adidas slipper he/she is wearing that cost Rs999.I atleast am free of that bias.I don’t like or rather am disinterested towards kids in general(not that all of you who like them are paedophiles).Most of us(men) would be more than willing to help a hot girl,or any girl for that matter rather than an old woman.In a household tussle it is taken granted that it is the male who is defector(The Ghanti Bajaao campaign for instance).

Time to be practical now.Can we do away with the bias and  be open minded and profess our equality in the real manner?No we cant.It is an inbuilt mechanism and this will never go off.We will always be biased.Yeah! you read it right! The difference lies if we realize it or not,acknowledge or not.Each and everyone of us is biased deep inside us,most of us are pretty evident too.Everyone wants to be associated with a certain set of sets.There will always be bias regarding rich poor,white black,hot or not,young old.It is the biases,prejudices and habits that make a person,that decides the level of variability in a person.

Duck it or face it.