November 23, 2007

News of horrible massacres find place in our newspapers side by side with glamorous pictures of beauty contests

For Whom The Bell Tolls? Posted 2 yrs ago
The hungry little imp of tyranny concealed in most human beings is anxious to exert itself – and a dictatorial position provides him with the luxury in its complete bloom. But to ascend to power in the one of the several normal ways and then to capture it craftily and to possess it for life is not easy. No wonder that the tyrant in a man should burst forth in an opportune moment, when anarchy rules the roost, when a harangue or two can yield what it ordinarily should take a decade or two to achieve 2517 Views comments (6)
Revolutions and Rituals Posted 3 yrs ago
The girl's eyes, dazzling with tears of joy and sorrow, slowly close. The young man lets her fall asleep and goes out to look for an apartment, only to turn totally bewildered on his return. His bride-to-be “lay cold; there was no pulsation – her face was pallid and ghastly. In a word, she was a corpse. 3622 Views comments (2)
An Aspect of Identity Posted 3 yrs ago
"I have great regard for the man after whom my district is named. Let there be a dozen hospitals, a university and a dozen public parks bearing his name. But why impose it on my identity? Why should I be obliged to make him a part of my greater address? 3882 Views comments (6) Tags:
A Courier For The World Beyond Posted 3 yrs ago
Obviously, the spirit that descended into the medium was a sort of freelance! That explains how people claim to have summoned the spirits of the illustrious dead. Why should these spirits, even if they had not incarnated again, be at the beck and call of a curious lot? It seems there are always hosts of tramps in the world of spirits eager to impersonate the VIPs... 2512 Views comments (2)
Killing The Saviour! Posted 3 yrs ago
The story of the genesis of Ganga, like that of several other great rivers of India, is simply thrilling even when we do not go into its symbolism. The story of the sacred celestial flow descending on the earth through the penance of Prince Bhagiratha is well known. Its power to resurrect the dead (it flowed on the ashes of the thousand Sagara princes and brought them back to life), an integral part of that story, is again 2763 Views comments (6)
Darkness And Light From Arabian Nights Posted 3 yrs ago
The young man cursed his own fate. At last he sought out three of his friends who had professed to be his best well-wishers, who used to announce that there was nothing they could not sacrifice for him. The three then sat in a tavern chitchatting and nibbling some delicacies and took no notice of him. He went closer to them and narrated his misfortune to them. Instead of offering him help or even a share of their food... 2878 Views comments (6)
Two Similar Events And An Interval Of Millennia Posted 4 yrs ago
I remembered having read the account of a similar encounter that had taken place some day, somewhere – similar yet with a difference and that is why it had left an impact on my memory. Before long I recollected its source, the Buddha Jatakas. Naturally the incident goes back to many centuries, may be to three thousand years. I 2661 Views comments (5)
The Other Rabindranath Posted 4 yrs ago
Some anniversaries are celebrated as routine; behind some others we feel an inspiration, they wake us up to the ethos associated with the celebrity behind the anniversary. And Tagore's anniversary surely belongs to this category. Reflections on his poetic excellence or his concept of man always revives our faith in humanity, ushers in a new ray of hope amidst the encircling gloom. 2013 Views comments (21)
Tragedy Of The Taj Posted 4 yrs ago
It is now more than two decades since the Taj was added to the UNESCO's World Heritage list. Way back in 1984, the success of anti-pollution measures in bringing down the sulphur dioxide concentration around it by 75 per cent was announced to the relief of its admirers. Before long, however, it was observed that even with the 2520 Views comments (18)
Souls Under Morphia! Posted 4 yrs ago
Disaster? For whom? Whether the youth would abide by the minister's counsel or not is left to them. But if some of them practise better control over themselves, they are certainly not going to cause a disaster for themselves; nor is their abstinence going to be disastrous for the society. Then? Could it be disaster for the condom manufacturers who vie with one another in achieving vulgarity in packaging? 2306 Views comments (4)
My Name is Ozymandias! Posted 4 yrs ago
The heart-broken veteran is overwhelmed by an irresistible nostalgic love for his desolate statue. He visits it all alone at night and soon spies upon a few young men approaching it. He is thrilled. They were about to attack it because they found it important, contrary to what the foolish collector thought! He waits with bated breath. But one of the young men merely climbs the statue to observe a small bank building on 2004 Views comments (3)
The Incredible Posted 4 yrs ago
But however insignificant the surface of their lives may appear to them, we cannot help reading an undercurrent of imports in them. The task they had set for themselves, after all, was to change this gross mortal life into a life Divine. A subtle link between their actions at the physical plane and those at the sublime plane can always be sensed. For example, Sri Aurobindo fought for the freedom of India, and India for him 1883 Views comments (3)
The Hour Of The Unexpected Posted 4 yrs ago
The spectre of unmanageable population made the biologist, Thomas Euston propose a radically original reform when the world could contain pocketsize human beings. "The technology to shrink humans," he assures us, should be available soon. A genetically engineered virus, carrying genes codes to create small people, can be placed in a reservoir or released in the air. Then everyone infected would absorb the 1229 Views comments (2)
The Riddle Of Sphinx And Euthanasia Posted 4 yrs ago
The question brings to my mind another seminar - rather a workshop - held under the auspices of WHO, at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore, in 1985. How is it that a certain treatment carried on two mental patients, both similar to each other in every respect and suffering from the same ailment, failed to cure one but was quite successful in the other case? 989 Views comments (3)
A Climate of Smog Posted 5 yrs ago
Half a dozen women gather in an apartment in San Francisco, three women meet in a modest living room in Laguna Beach, twenty women and men find an isolated spot on the beach in Santa Cruz, a dozen men and women meet in a loft in downtown Los Angeles. Wherever they come together, these people lay symbols of the elements -- fire, water, air and earth on a low table -- a red candle, perhaps, and shells, feathers and oysters and green plants... Someone adds chalice and a knife, others light incense and candles 934 Views comments (4)
Two Sensations, A Question and A Confession Posted 5 yrs ago
In India, the country of million mutinies, events vie with one another in their claim to sensation. News of horrible massacres find place in our newspapers side by side with glamorous pictures of beauty contests. We have graduated to maturity... Of the two events, which created moderate ripples in our society and would have continued to be in the front pages of our broadsheets 1882 Views comments (5)
More Equal than Others Posted 5 yrs ago
Alas, we are all equals according to the Constitutions of the nations professing faith in democracy, but not according to our personal constitutions. Most of us would like to be 'more equal than others', to use the Orwellian cliché. Collecting titles as affixes or suffixes is one of the means towards achieving that status. The British rulers of India exploited this human weakness 1592 Views comments (10)
Jubilation of the Bald Parrot Posted 5 yrs ago
The principle of psychoanalysis may be effective within a certain range of the working of human consciousness -- and at a certain plane. The danger lies in its ignoring the truth that the consciousness is too vast for Freud and his disciples to survey it in full. There are spheres of occult reality and planes of consciousness that can be known only through deep concentration, meditation and other methods of Yoga 950 Views comments (4)
The Tiger's Moustache is Still Wet Posted 5 yrs ago
By the way, did you believe that the rustic Indian mistaking a Ph.D. for a medical doctor was a joke dead since long? But here he is for Christina Noble's sake, asking a University teacher, “Will you do a sperm counting for me...?” 1779 Views comments (8)
Evolution: Lights From a Primeval Myth Posted 5 yrs ago
It may be news to many that in several universities in the West Darwin was proscribed till the sixties of the 20th century. The situation has changed. Be Darwin accepted fully or not, evolution is looked upon no longer as a hypothesis, but as fact. However, from time to time we come across new theories about the working of that process 1113 Views comments (19)
Trailblazers of the Primrose Path Posted 5 yrs ago
The films will not change their direction. They will continue to teach carnage and mayhem with the excuse of realism and will glorify perversions in the name of surrealism. And they have with them the all-silencing divine excuse: “We give what the people want” 646 Views comments (3)
The Secret of Human Conduct Posted 5 yrs ago
Way back in the late 60s of the 20th century a communal riot shook a certain town. I was surprised, for it was a new settlement grown around a huge industry and the population consisted of labourers and officials attracted from every part of India. There was no tradition of animosity between communities and what united them was a common existential necessity 2857 Views comments (275)
The Little Imp and the Giant Imp Posted 5 yrs ago
The politician I overheard saw nothing wrong in exploiting a vital element of the feudal tradition -- the fascination people had for the scions of princely families. But he was worried about the other element left to us by the same feudal past -- casteism 713 Views comments (1)
Pilgrimages: A Passing Tradition Posted 5 yrs ago
Indeed, in no other country had pilgrimage grown, over the centuries, into such an extensive and robust tradition as in India. Here is an Englishman's amazement: “One of the strangest sights in India is that of the ascetics who make pilgrimages from one part of the country to another 959 Views comments (5)
The Indigestible Beef Posted 5 yrs ago
Joy, the child's birthright, is denied to him for the sake of a chimerical concept of success. An abundance of pleasures created around him are sickening to his soul. Lighten his burden; recast the syllabi so that his leisure is not usurped either by professional tuition masters or by his parents assuming that role 2063 Views comments (15)
Reviving a Grisly Metaphor Posted 6 yrs ago
“Comrade Aidit, you were present at the Soviet Congress as a fraternal delegate. What was your reaction to the report?” we asked as soon as we settled down around a small table, munching roasted groundnuts and sipping black tea. He listened to his interpreter and banged his forehead thrice or so, before he could formulate some apology. 733 Views comments (2)
Return of the Old Man of the Mountain Posted 6 yrs ago
What is important to note is that the close relationship between drug and terrorism is almost a thousand years old. What is even more noteworthy, the terrorists who volunteered to die for a cause then and who do so now, were not just some brainwashed and misguided idealists, they were and are far worse. 2064 Views comments (6)
About Me
Manoj Das is an internationally known creative writer. He is counted among the popular short story writers in Oriya as well as in English. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards like the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padmashri and the Saraswati Samman. He has columns in India s national dailies like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu and The Statesman. His writings, revealing the deeper truth and the untraced aspects behind current issues, have been highly appreciated. Member Since Oct 29, 2001 Rank:

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