Monday, 31 August 2015

Respect For The Indian Armed Forces

Disclaimer: The author of this post does not intend to disrespect anyone from the Indian Armed Forces and appreciates the sacrifices they make for the country and the risk-laden lives they lead. The author also doubts whether the Indian Armed Forces deserves the ‘glorification’ they receive and is merely stating a question rather than strongly opining against them. 

They keep us safe. They fight our enemies. They die for the country. They go through rigorous trainings and develop near impossible skill sets to function the way they do. They sacrifice a normal life to ensure regular citizens like me can live in peace. They survive in uninhabitable conditions and truly define what ‘discipline’ means. 

All of the things mentioned above are true, right? So the Indian Armed Forces do deserve the respect they get. Or not?

My problem is more with the civilians than the Armed Forces themselves. The civilians are the ones who have put the Armed Forces up on a pedestal. Showing respect is one thing but glorifying takes it to another level, which is where they lose me. 

I’m pretty sure everyone in the Indian Armed Forces is just doing their job sincerely, trying to make it through a tough day, working hard for their country and their families, and making sure that we get to sleep at night peacefully. Well, maybe not everybody. I’m pretty sure even the Indian Armed Forces is not perfect. But I’m not going to hold that against them. 

But… But, wait. Is it only the Indian Armed Forces doing the things I just mentioned? Don’t you also do that? Let’s say you’re an artist. You studied many years to develop and hone the skills you posses today. You’ve been working for a few years now and have been through tough times yourself. You’ve seen the ups and downs but are now in a happy place. You still have your bad days but you’re also serving someone and need to get shit done. You even try to do good for others in your own little way every now and then. But when you step out in your uniform, say a kurta pajama partnered with a jhola, you most definitely don’t get the respect that a Major would get, would you?

Showing respect in this country for other people is another blog in itself. We don’t know how to respect others. We judge people based on their caste, how they look, how much money they earn, which strata of society they belong to, what they do in life, how well they speak in English, so on and so forth.

Given our country’s history (fight against the British Rule) and age (independent India’s age), we’re born and brought up with the concept of seeing the Indian Armed Forces on a pedestal and picturing them as demi gods. We don’t question this concept and we don’t try to understand it any further. We accept it as fact and move on with our lives.

Have you ever wondered that even the Armed Forces are simply doing their jobs? It’s their job to wake up early in the morning and stay fit. It’s their job to know how to use a gun and know how to shoot one when required. It’s their job to train hard and become mentally strong to face any adversity they face during their journey ahead. They knew what they were getting into when they signed up for this gig and risking their lives is just an occupational hazard. And that probably is the biggest differentiator between them and us mere mortals. 

They risk their lives to get the job done.

So do the cops. Do we respect the cops enough? In Delhi, we simply refer to them as a ‘thulla’ and believe that each one can be bribed with a 100 odd bucks. So do the other groups like CRPF, BSF, etc. We don’t seem to see them at the same level as our Army or Navy or Air Force. In fact, we don’t even respect the jawans enough as compared to the ones in senior ranks. Can someone explain why?

People are not forced to join the Indian Armed Forces. People do it out of choice. It’s a good thing, no doubt. I’m also quite certain that not everyone who joins is doing it purely because they want to die for the country and defeat the enemy. There must be people who do it because they had no other choice. There must be people who do it because it runs in the family. There must be people who do it because they want to fly jets. There must be people who want to have the lifestyle they get. And there must be the ones who do it for the style – the uniform, the medals, the aviators. Maybe not so much for the last reason…

Whatever the motivation be, fact is that not the entire strength of the Indian Armed Forces is constantly at the border or in sensitive areas fighting the enemy and risking their lives. If that’s the biggest reason why we should glorify them then we’re failing miserably. There are many others in the country who risk their lives but don’t get the same amount of respect and there are many who get way too much respect even if they don’t risk their lives. I have a problem with that imbalance.

There are many people who are helping run this country in a sincere and honest manner. There are plenty who are making sure our country prosper and are making sacrifices and compromises in their lives. The country can’t solely survive because of the Indian Armed Forces but other essential services are ignored when compared to them. Be it doctors, engineers, scientists, professors, administrators, police, economists, etc. none of them will ever get as much respect as someone from the Armed Forces.

So, what if a doctor today becomes one for the money and not for saving lives? He is still doing his job, right? He is still helping someone in need. His motivations may be different but who are we to judge them? He studied hard, worked hard, and now enjoys a drink at home after a hard day at work. Don’t you think someone from the Army does the same thing? It’s not like they have a bad deal. It’s not like they are constantly risking their lives every single moment of every single day. They get all the respect one could imagine. They live in a ‘developed nation’ within our underdeveloped nation. They probably lead some of the most comfortable and classy lifestyles across the country. Don’t think they compromise one bit there, do they?

I’m not saying they don’t deserve it. They’re humans too. Everyone has needs. But everyone has a job to do as well. Some may seem important and some may not. Some may seem that they’re done just for the money and some look like are done for the passion. At the end of the day, let’s respect each and every honest human being who is out there trying to earn a hard day’s living and feeding his or her family. Everyone is risking something or the other every single day. People die of multiple reasons and one doesn’t need to join the army to face that risk. Let’s respect all our heroes equally. 

I wanted to touch the topic of army kids but I think I should let that one be given the amount of douchebags I’ve met or heard about in my life. I’m not trying to generalize here but in my experience I’ve seen they’re not the smartest bunch of the lot. 

Let me sum up by saying that I have immense respect for the Indian Armed Forces but I have immense respect for my father as well who still works his ass off at 70 years of age even after having had 3 heart attacks, a surgery, and a device under his skin. There are heroes all around us. Let’s not ignore the ones without uniforms.

PS - I know this blog will not make everyone happy and may probably piss a lot of people off. I haven't written this to create any sort of controversy neither do I deliberately want to hurt anyones sentiments. Please share your thoughts in the comments section. I would love to know what people think. Also, I will be heading the Jantar Mantar next weekend (if the agitation is still on) to know more about the OROP issue. Meet me there, maybe?

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Good Morning My Ass

They say God is in the details. Sometimes they even say that devil is in the details. But there is no God and I know where the devil resides. He is not a dark lord sitting on the clouds at night sipping beer with Batman. Neither does he go around with a sickle looking for people to kill post midnight. The devil sleeps when we sleep. The devil wakes up when we wake up. The first light is the devil’s fuel.

The devil is in the morning, rather the ‘Good Morning’. 

I hate good mornings. I like mornings that are good, of course, but I hate the greeting called ‘good morning’. What does it even mean? Why is it assumed that people are having a good morning? Why do people randomly yell out ‘good morning’ like they mean it when they walk past me in the mornings? I mean, even if I’m having a good morning, the fact that someone says that out loud to me automatically makes it not such a good morning no more.

I mean, think about it. You’re starting your day, you’ve woken up after a 45 minute fight with the snooze button, you barely manage to run a kilometer but you’re as exhausted as a 90 year old man having sex on Viagra, you manage to find your way through the manic traffic and reach work without killing anyone and the first thing someone says to you instead of a "Hey job well done, welcome!" is "Good fucking morning".

Have you ever even thought what it means? Is it an assumption that one is having a good morning or is it a wish for that person to have a good morning? It’s a blatantly incorrect assumption if it is the latter and it is all lies if you tell me you genuinely wish for others to have a good morning. It’s just 2 words we are so used to saying all our lives (remember school? – Goooooood morniiiiiing maaaaaaammmmm) that we continue to use them even today without rhyme or reason.

I genuinely believe the world would be a much better place if we stop saying it and genuinely say something else that we actually mean (at least remotely) to say.

‘Good night’ is still acceptable. Though I prefer to use “have a good night” as I genuinely want others to have a good night. It’s the least anyone ever deserves – to have a good night’s sleep. A sleep that is not followed by a stupid ‘good morning’. You could be sleeping on the streets or in an air-conditioned room, once you’re asleep, it doesn’t matter where you are. All you’re left with is the dream to see a world where people don’t say ‘good morning’ ever again.

You all must be wondering if I have a personal vendetta against ‘good morning’. Well, you’re partially correct, I must admit. I’m a guy. And I have a penis. And I sleep at night (almost always). And I wake up in the mornings. And sometimes, just sometimes, I wake up with wood. Yes, I’m talking about the mythical force that governs the bodies of men all over the world. The magical phenomenon that is as hard to describe as explaining the Pythagoras Theorem to Radhe Maa. It happens to all of us. Black, white, Indian, Asian. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you are a guy and you have a penis, you must have experienced ‘morning wood’.

For the uneducated ones, morning wood is a marvel of nature wherein a man wakes up with an erect penis in the morning for no reason whatsoever. Even if you masturbate at night or have sex 3 hours before you wake up, you can still have a penis as hard as the 11th standard math chapter on application of derivatives in the morning. It will not make sense. It will go away when it pleases to. And you will not be able to do a thing.

You can’t wake up and start pleasing yourself, now, can you? Masturbation is any which way not a very inspiring activity. And masturbating first thing in the morning will confirm all your doubts of being addicted to it. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with masturbation but rinsing your penis before your mouth in the morning sounds like a disturbing trend to me. The only way that the morning wood makes sense is when you have someone to poke it with. And we all know that it’s a dream that all men live with. Poking is a fairly risky prospect and it probably needs a separate blog post.

Poke and ye shall find.

Till next time... All of you all have a very wood morning.

PS - Follow me on Twitter @LaughingJawan and find out all about my organs in 140 characters or less. 

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Running While Shitting

I have been training to run a half marathon for over 3 years now and I’m nowhere close to making it happen. I barely survive 3-6 kms and I continue to be fat as shit. Though, I haven’t given up yet. I’m trying again this year and I’m hoping writing this blog will help me gain some stamina. Heh, kidding!

Now imagine if I get a bad dose of loose motions just a night before the half marathon and I decide to not do anything about it. Rather, I run the half marathon with shit dripping down my legs, proudly. And the message I’m trying to convey is that we shouldn’t shame people who defecate in public and to show solidarity for my brothers and sisters who do not have access to proper toilets.

Will you be cool with that? I won’t, if someone else decides to do that. Usually, people who shit their pants are drunkards. If it’s a mistake, if something went wrong, if it was beyond your control, I get it (I’ve often taken a dump in my pants as a kid); for any other reason, it just doesn’t make any sense.

This is exactly what Kiran Gandhi has done in my honest opinion. The comparison may be hugely senseless but it sure is funny.

PS – In case you do not know who Kiran Gandhi is and what she has done, please go read her blog entry here. In one line: She ran the London Marathon with period blood dripping down her legs. Photo below.

Firstly, I’m all for feminism and equal rights and all that stuff. I don’t hit women. I love women. I believe in equality for all. I live with my parents (man and woman). I’m married to a woman. My sister is a woman. Heck,I've even got a female dog. And if I didn’t have enough chest and facial hair, my man boobs will make you think I was a woman!

Secondly, Kiran Gandhi, you go girl. It’s great that you ran a full marathon without taking a single break. This is the kind of stuff my dreams are made of. I’m hoping, someday, I will replicate this feat, minus the period blood.

Thirdly, it’s amazing you managed to raise over $6000 towards breast cancer care. I haven’t done shit about prostate cancer ever in my life. I hope I find some inspiration from you.

Fourthly, it’s great you care about period shaming and how women do not have access to even basic hygiene stuff and are often shunned by society because of something as natural as menstruation. I’m thinking of taking up the cause of better television ads for sanitary pads in India. I’m tired of the fake blue blood they keep showing and the women jumping around when clearly all those are lies. Blood is red and women do anything but jump during their period.

Lastly, though, why the hell couldn’t you wear a tampon or a pad or simply a black pair of pants?

It would have been completely fine had you started menstruating during the marathon. Clearly, you didn’t know and it was not time to give up. I mean, I would have proudly ran alongside you on my motorcycle and kicked everyone away who shamed you for dripping blood all over the track. I would also have taken you home immediately after the run to ensure you could clean up at the earliest and do the needful to avoid any infection.

But, no. You had a point to prove. You started menstruating a night before the run so you knew. You could have used a tampon or a pad. You could have decided to wear a black pair of pants for least visibility of blood. But, no. You had to run around with blood dripping down your legs and show it to the whole world (in metropolitan London) and gain as much attention as possible and call it feminism. Or whatever your cause was. I’m actually feeling quite disillusioned now about why you did this.

And you wore bright light pink pants for maximum visibility and effect.

Tell me, how has it changed the world? Is any woman doing anything about period shaming now? Have any of the men changed their minds about it? Has your message reached the interiors of India where this period shaming happens? Is there a growing revolution against period shamers in the world after your daring feat? Largely, these questions remain unanswered and I doubt if we will have anything in the affirmative as answers to these questions any time soon.

I would be more than happy to be proven wrong. Honestly. Anything for the greater good of the world.

I read up a little about you when I found out about what you did. At first, I was in two minds, whether this actually is a great achievement or plain stupidity? The more I read the more my opinion started tilting towards the latter. You’re a drummer for MIA and Thievery Corporation. You’re young and live in London or Boston? You’re a feminist and will write a strong blog to change the world of women. You will probably get into great arguments to stand for women’s rights. And you will ensure to do gimmicky things to get attention, more for yourself, and less for the cause, it seems.

I fail to understand why the world is going gaga over what you have done. You've achieved what you set out to achieve. You're popular. Full points to you on that. But it is unbelievable that the publications the world over are actually praising this act of utter stupidity which is not only useless but probably unhygienic. Why don't you take this movement further and encourage women to not use a tampon for one day of their menstruation cycle each month? More visibility, right? They could travel in metro trains, they could walk around in parks, sit on their desks, all the while dripping blood down their legs, 'proudly'. Let's spread the message of period shaming and along with it the exact opposite of hygiene.

You took a great route to increase awareness around breast cancer by running in the marathon and raining money. You barely capitalised on a 'situation' and gave it a twist by raising awareness around period shaming. This is being an opportunist and not necessarily genuinely believing in any cause related to the real issue whatsoever. I have some more marathon suggestions on the same line through which people should spread awareness:

  • Masturbate Marathon: Masturbation is cool and better than raping. Will be perfect for India. Spread the message of solidarity for boys who live with their parents and sleep with their siblings and are deprived of porn now that it is banned. Let's run with semen dripping down our legs.
  • Snotty Marathon: A lot of poor people probably do not have access to basic medicine for cold etc so they probably keep sneezing and have constant runny noses. Let's run along with runny noses all the while dripping snot down our lips.
  • Shitty Marathon: Is something I have already spoken about.
  • Susu Marathon: I like to run for long hours because nobody can see my piss get mixed with my sweat.

Kiran, you probably need direction. There are better ways to talk about an issue. Ways that do not risk the health of anyone else. Do not set a precedent where women world over start running with their period blood dripping causing them to faint or having an infection. It is a serious matter. And don't you dare walk around with preiod blood dripping in front of me. I will not acknowledge you. I will not say hi, forget shaking hands with you. I will simply turn the other way and walk away. And that would have nothing to do with the fact that you are menstruating.

So, tell me, people: Am I the only one who thinks what she did was extremely stupid and completely useless?