Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The lost case

I've been piling up a lot of frustration over the last three days, but I've been unusually calm. It's actually not a good sign. I felt terrified about when I was going to explode, who was going to face the slack and how badly it was going to end. I say a simple prayer everyday. "God, please give me the patience to control the urge of punching someone today. I don't think I have it in me to take a return blow." So, blogging about it seemed to be the best idea. I was getting my head around a nice and subtle way to put it out there, which surprisingly was taking my mind off the frustration. But, now, I'm not going to write about that, because I woke up this morning and the first thing I read was: Andhra court issues warrant against MSD. It stumped everything else out of priority.

Disclaimer: I'm obviously going to write totally against it, so, if you are not going to like it, please exit now and we can avoid a war of words later. 

Answers to FAIQs (Frequent Asked Irritating Questions):

1. Yes, I'm such a huge fan/admirer of Dhoni and that has nothing to do about my feelings here. Even if Gambhir/Yuvraj (my least favorite players from the WC winning squad) were in this position, I'd be totally against it. Maybe if it was Nehra/Munaf Patel, I'd still be against it, but, I'm sure I would've had a bit of a laugh too.

2. I belong to the same allegedly 'denigrated' religion in discussion here and I'm a staunch believer in God. But, NO, I don't feel that my religious sentiments are protected one bit more than the way it was before this complaint was filed.

3. No, I will not 'unfriend' you on FB even if we did argue over this. We probably just don't agree about this. It's fine with me.

4. I shared the 'The Hindu' version of this article because I didn't want to hurt the religious sentiment of my blog. Content is the religion of a blog.

To me, the first most disturbing thing about this news was that when more than 50% of the population don't even have time to read Business Today, there was one guy, who (1) saw this, (2) noticed the Reebok shoe among the many other things, (3) connected it to the prospect of handing God a shoe (the brand probably bothered him - Nike/Adidas fan?) (4) got his religious sentiments fatakkk-thattaak broken (Awwww!), (5) took time and effort to file a case (and money - mostly funded, because the character profile doesn't seem the spending-from-pocket type) and (6) the worst of all - DID NOT get thrown out of court. This last point, to me, is most frustrating.

Frankly, I want to file a few law suits too.

Did Dhoni really wear make-up and pose for Business Today or was it just a Photoshop thing? It kind of feels a bit of a let down if he did. My religious sentiments got a tad hurt. Well, cricket is kind of a religion, isn't it?

Suit 1: If he did, as a cricket fan, I want to sue him for wasting time instead of spending that time training for England.
Religious (cricket) sentiments: 1, Indian Cricket: 0

This news piece has got some media publicity because a celebrity (one of the top most) is involved. But, I'm sure there are so many cases like this one which puts so many innocent victims through a lot of pain and stress. People accused of rape will not be punished severely (because that's inhuman - rape is not), people who face massive corruption charges are released on bail and their arrival is celebrated as if they went to jail for freedom struggle (point to re-note here is that they were only released on bail, not cleared of the charges - ha ha, who am I kidding?) and they contest elections, people facing murder charges are in the VIP ward of a top hospital (heart attack - as usual to the rescue), thousands of such cases pending and this suit WAS NOT thrown out of court. Ah!

Suit 2: I want to sue the judicial system itself for spending the tax payers' money for this. Trust me, if they send force to England to bring him down here, I'm seriously considering it. 

Religious sentiments: 1, Judicial System: 0

So, who is this guy? Why does he take it for granted that he is the moral police of my religious beliefs. Who made him my religious sentiment hurt-level monitor? My religion is the probably one of my most personal business and why does he get to decide? And this suit WAS NOT thrown out of court.

Suit 3: I want to sue this guy who filed the law suit in the first place, because he has made it clear that the God I believe to be most supreme can become impure or whatever because he was handed a shoe. And that bloody, hurts my religious sentiments more than anything else. 

Religious Sentiments: 1, Common Sense: 0

When I mentioned this to a colleague today, the first thing he said was, "Didn't a pair of slippers rule Ayodhya (the biggest pain point  for over 2 decades in the country, in terms of religious sentiments) for 14 years?". And this suit WAS NOT thrown out of court. 

Suit 4: Issue arrest warrant to Sage Valmiki who conceived the Ramayana (or track the current living descendant) to clarify what happened there.

Religious Sentiments: 1, Actual Religious Values: 0

And this coming from an Andhra court. Isn't NTR literally considered as Lord Krishna himself? And, this suit WAS NOT thrown out of court.

Suit 5: I want to sue all those who used to perform prayers/arthi in the theatre, when NTR came on screen dressed as Krishna. I won't sue NTR, he undoubtedly pulled off the best on-screen Krishna appearances ever.

Religious Sentiments: 1, Ground Reality: 0

So, if slippers and shoes are such impure things, why don't you walk around without that? In the summer heat of Guntur, you can't afford that because your feet will turn in to pulp. So, you are degrading, no, denigrating shoes which actually feed lakhs of people who belong to the industry.

Suit 6: On behalf of everyone in the shoe making industry - Denigration, it is.

Religious Sentiments: 1, Self Respect: 0

But, what will we do? We have work to do. I have a release tomorrow and I'm writing this post instead of sleeping, only because I have to wait until QA signs off. We will worry about it when it happens to us. We will write blogs. We will post on FB. We will sit at home, in front of the idiot box, enjoy the game and complain that India doesn't play well overseas. We, are the Common Man. 

Suit 7: This lifestyle 'suits' me. Let me enjoy it, while I can.

Religious Sentiments: 1, Common Man: 0

If everyone starts suing for crap that gets printed on the media, TOI would be facing so many law suits that it will have to borrow some space from CNN-IBN to store some of the paper work. Dhoni is obviously not going to jail. But, some idiot down the line is going to keep filing law suits, because he got his psoriasis treated, but the habit of scratching something all the time stuck. A politician quips against severe punishment for rape that 'Boys will be Boys'. We will not sue him, because we are looking for a ticket in to the parliament and not out of it, right?

I'm halting there - abruptly. Not because I don't have anything more to say, but because the moment I decided that my prospects of surviving existed outside the peninsula, I lost my right to complain. All I can do is let out my frustration in the form a few sarcastic quotes. Once in a while, that NRI guilt creeps from the corner of the heart, whose existence I never knew of. 

And then, days like today happen. 

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