Monday, 13 February 2012

Status Quo

While my last post was inspired by a coffee place conversation, this time I got something to write about while having lunch with few of my colleagues. I will refrain from decorating the article with superfluous adjectives and breathtaking metaphors as the topic is grave and it will only be served by bluntness.

The discussion was about whether a common man should pay his taxes when he knows that the money will be laundered to some tax haven by the corrupt politicians. We were five guys and four said one should not (of course I was the fifth one). Though I do not disagree completely with their arguments, nor do I blame them but its more than just paying taxes. If you can't carry out your responsibilities for the society you have no right to blame the government for anything.

According to me the biggest problem in the contemporary Indian society is not corruption, its the mentality of the people. My dad, being an expert in legal jargon, calls it the Status Quo. Everybody wants changes in the way India is moving forward but nobody wants to change himself. They say "what's the point? Everybody else is corrupt, then why should I bother?" , "...even If I change, it will not change the society. So why should I?". For me its hypocrisy. You can't expect others to change without changing yourself. But everyone thinks "let others change first". Its like a vicious cycle where everybody is waiting for others to do something and in turn are destroying the country one by one.

Even before somebody brings out a good thought to change the way we live you can find guys saying "nothing will change". The pessimism is way too much for the positive energy that most people can arrange for. For instance, let's talk about Anna Hazare. I am sure more people will still call him a failure than success. Because that's how an Indian  thinks nowadays. Nobody will even think of what he has achieved already before labelling him with a 'stupid' tag. FYI, how many of you could have even imagined a citizen's charter being implemented in Delhi in the pre-Anna era? How many of you can even think of getting your driving license without paying bribe before this Anna 'drama'? Nobody. But still people will not change. They love living in their utopian world where they always have money to pay bribes but not to pay taxes.

I take it in a different way. For me people don't want to change because they are corrupt themselves. They say that the taxes will be gobbled up by the politicians because they don't want to pay it in the first place. However foul they may cry against corruption but deep down somewhere they are getting benefitted from the same crooked practices. They want to live in this gutter of status quo because they have not only stopped hating its smell but have also started loving it a bit. I have a very strange observation and I don't say that it can't be wrong but people from corrupt families rarely turn out to be honest. I have not seen a corrupt businessman who teaches his children to fight against corrupt bureaucrats. Neither have I seen their kids doing that ever. On the other hand, those coming out of poor families or honest citizens are the ones who generally fight for change in the society. Because they have tasted the humiliation that corruption brings to a common honest man. And they don't want others to feel the same.

Sometimes I am so annoyed by this pessimism that I feel like punching some of those guys who don't want things to change or rather who want things to change but don't want to change themselves. But my punches can't change India. I hope the common man of India wakes up and break the shackles of slumber and inactivity. Instead of blaming everyone, I hope he starts taking some responsibility on his shoulders. Amen !!!

Monday, 6 February 2012

The Gadget Girl

Ok, we are told to accept the fact that nothing can puzzle a brain(or any brain) more than this mysterious entity more famously known as woman. And as I almost qualify to fall into the category of "somewhat" normal people I accept that this species amazes me too (and yes this is one of the qualifying criteria to be called normal). But my amazement is a little wayward than most other people wonder about gals(remember the "somewhat" clause).

So enough with the rambling, let's bring the curtains down. Simply said, I wonder why in the hell gals don't like gadgets? Though I have seen and talked to a number of gals, I am yet to meet a gal who can be called a "geek"  and who can keep talking when guys switch the coffee conversation from office politics to patent infringement cases (some of my friends call it a blessing in disguise for boys that should be used tactically and sporadically to make the chatterboxes(read girlfriends) mum). This post is all about capturing my quest to find 'that' girl whom I call the Gadget Girl.

Yeah, the title sounds like a reality show but I neither have the sponsors nor this much time to organize such event (of course I didn't consider the (im)possibility of gals participating in that show but who cares). So I decided to use my daily encounters with gals as my way of 'doing it'. I started out talking about gadgets and/or technology with friends in the presence of gals. But the whole exercise remained a notch below useless as with every statement spewed out of a gadget freak mouth, I found one beautiful lady missing from the discussion. And as it always happens with guys we were then divided into groups supporting competing gadgets/technologies after which I was so engrossed in the discussion that I forgot my "objective".

So I decided to take the challenge head-on. I asked few girls at my workplace about what OS is in their phone( sorry guys I could not think of anything dumber than this). It was difficult for me to believe the freaking awesome phones I saw in their hands and the answers I got to this seemingly kiddish question. A beautiful lady with a even more beautiful Experia said that she got the phone because his boyfriend suggested it. When I asked another gal having a Nexus about her IceCream Sandwich update she thought I was taking her to Barista across the road and gave me a look that is difficult to explain (but any guy who is/was ever rejected by a gal for a date would know and empathize with me).

As I was getting bogged down by a feeling of failure and was on the verge of declaring gals dumb I saw THE messiah. I finally met a girl who was talking about Android (yeah I was awed too). When done with overhearing I hacked into the discussion and asked the girl,
Q. Why Android?
A. Because Android is awesome.
Fair point. +1
Q. But so is iPhone/Mango/BB ?
A. But Android is so fast.
Q. Really?
A. Of course. Don't you know that Android phones have dual-cores?
Q.So what?
A.That means they are fast.
Though I was about to laugh at her face but maintaining some decency I rather switched my question,
Q. So what? iOS and Mango are also 'fast'. Why android?
A. Because Android phones have great battery life.
What ??? Come again??? It took me a while to recollect myself and before that the talented gal had moved on to how beautiful are the Androids and how dull are all the other phones in this small world. The quack went on for a while before she struck the last nail in the coffin of the Gadget Girl. And I quote, "...Apple can never compete with Android because Android is now such a large company that it has acquired all the mobile companies like Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola etc. ..."
I was forced to interrupt her enlightening talks with my last question,
Q. Do you know what OS android phones run on?
A. Of course I do. Linux, what else. And that's why there are no viruses in Android phones,.

I cursed myself for even imagining the existence of the Gadget Girl and promised myself that I will never ever indulge in such stupid and useless expeditions where the result is known even before the start. Needless to say, Project Gadget Girl stands scrapped !!!