Friday, April 12, 2013

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Religion

When I was 14: I used to love the religious diversity because it meant a higher number of holidays in school. Number of religions was directly proportional to the number of holidays.

When I was 17: I took part in an inter-school debate in the favor of the topic, “Religious Diversity plays an important role in keeping India United!”

When I’m 20:  I do realize how naive I was, and that I’ve grown up. The thing that worries me is that the world didn’t grow up with me; that the world is still trapped in its illogical faith.

“Religion is like a PENIS: It’s okay to have it. It’s okay to be proud of it. But it’s not okay to wave it around in public or to shove it down people’s throats!” - Anonymous

What? Are your feelings hurt? Okay, I’ll define it in other words.

“Religion is like Circumcision. If you wait until someone is 21 to tell them about it, they probably wouldn’t be interested.”

Really, religion is the best thing that the man has ‘created’ for the sake of power. Religion is so damn serene and peaceful, that it has to use violence to prove those people wrong, who accuse it of being violent.

Now let me explain what ‘religion’ is, in very simple terms. Everyone has a religion. My religion is LITERATURE. My gods and idols are numerous like Dumbledore, Gandalf, Howard Roark, Professor Morrie, and Sherlock Holmes to name a few. The only ‘Messengers’ I believe in are authors like John Green, Markus Zusak, Ayn Rand, Dan Brown etc.

My religion DOES NOT ask me to follow any certain set of rules (It doesn’t matter whether those rules are beneficial or harmful for me). It doesn’t prohibit me from following other religions like Music or Painting. It doesn’t force me to read fantasy, young adult, erotic thriller, or classics. Dumbledore never said that following Gandalf would mean blasphemy towards him.

Now allow me to take you through a journey of, my dream destination, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I hope to make you all understand the real meaning of religion through the world of Harry Potter.

….Voldemort is dominating the world. He IS the religion- Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism etc. He is in full power, creating havoc, despite the efforts of Dumbledore. Dumbledore is the epitome of love and is fighting hard with his little army.

To ensure his immortality and perpetual reign of power, Voldemort has torn apart his soul into six different parts and created the Horcruxes. His different Horcruxes are:

1. Book: Koran/Bible/Puranas. Textual commands written with ‘Imperio’ spell. It causes the victims (readers/believers) of the curse to follow the commands of the lord.

2. Ring: Astrology and faith.  Uses the ‘Expelliarmus’ spell. It disarms the victim of his rational self. It uses hocus-pocus to serve its purpose.

3. Locket: Works on the ‘Obliviate’ or memory charm. It defiles the memory and thinking of the victim. Used in preparing terrorists, religious fanatics, and delusional followers.

4. Cup: Originally used as a dining utensil, this was defiled by Voldemort. It keeps tabs on what people can eat, and what is ‘haram’. Those who don’t follow these prohibitions are sent directly to hell for eternal burning. It also releases various ‘Fatwas’ to keep people under control.

5. Nagini: Most protected and harmful horcrux- can take forms of Mosque, Temple, Church, Gurudwara etc. This institutionalizing concept is pure business, aimed at feeding the nagini and spreading the vicious circle of Voldemort.

6. Diadem: It manifests the harmful effects of Dark power. The original carving of the diadem has been modified from, “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure” to “Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has”. It works on the ‘Crucio’ spell and inflicts unbearable pain on the victim, who demands reason.

7. Harry:  A part of the soul of the Dark Lord is hidden inside every Harry, which is germinated with religious indoctrination. It doesn’t allow us to doubt anything about the lord, prohibits any questions, and forces us to believe in the shit that religion preaches, i.e. ‘A free thinker is satan’s slave’.  All of us have to destroy this horcrux first.

Voldemort hates Dumbledore, and perceives him as the biggest threat to his power, because-

1) Dumbledore is Gay: He doesn’t follow the orders of the Dark Lord, specified in the Horcruxes of Bible and Koran.

2) He is a Muggle-lover: He doesn’t follow the discriminating ‘Caste-system’ of Dark Lord. There are no Brahmins-Dalits, Catholic-Protestants, or Shia-Sunni for him.

3) He respects women:  He neither creates any ‘hijab’ for women nor restricts them from becoming priests/popes in churches. He doesn’t believe in the practice of ‘Sati-pratha’. He doesn’t create derogatory rules and regulations for women.

4) He is not afraid of the Dark Lord: He doesn’t believe in the ‘Judgment day’. He neither desires for the 72 virgins nor fears the wrath of the Lord.

Draco Malfoy: He is the perfect example of victims of (Religious) child abuse. Persons like him are beguiled of reason, right from the childhood. Their parents, elders, and the society abuse them with their religious indoctrination. They are deprived of the most critical aspect of one’s growth- the science of having doubts and raising questions. With time, they become just like their indoctrinators and no one can reason with them. [Sadly, some of my friends do fall in this category]. You need a Dumbledore to protect them.

Death Eaters: The messengers and most faithful supporters of Voldemort. Their sole aim is to spread his reign and kill and torture people for their own profit. Some of the prominent ones are- Zakir ‘khal’Naik, , Nir’mal’ baba, Paul ‘moneybhai’ Dhinakaran, Politicians like Akbaruddin ‘mental’ Owaisi, Praveen ‘bakbak’ Togadiya etc. 

They also form organizations and create havoc. Ex- Darool Uloom Deoband, Bajrang Dal, Khalistanis, Khaaps, Taliban etc. They ultimately use the death spell, ‘Avada Kedavra’ on the victims.

Dementors: Their sole purpose of existence is sucking out all the happy feelings and memories from you, feed on them, and then make yourself guilty for it. Various dementors include- Popes, Priests, Muftis, Mullas etc…

Harry Potter: Every one of us is a Harry Potter. We have parts of souls of all the ‘characters’ in us. I’m Hermione as I’m a bibliophile, and when I’m in doubt, I go to the library. I’m Ron as I have perpetual hunger for delicious food, and that I do feel insecure at times. I’m Fred and George as I only have humor and sarcasm as my faithful companions. And the list goes on. However, the problem is, we should be able to express these ‘souls’, rather than the ‘Inferi’ made out of us by the religion. It is difficult, but not impossible. As Dumbledore says, ‘happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light!’

Now for those people whose sentiments are hurt by this post, who are feeling offended and looking for sympathy- well, you will find sympathy in the dictionary, between shit and syphilis.

And just to clear my stand to some nincompoops: I’m a ‘rational’ theist. I believe in god; it’s just that I don’t believe in people, who talk about god. Confused? Well, I believe in morality, which is doing right regardless of what I’m told, and not in religion, which is doing what I’m told regardless of what is right. I believe that my religion i.e. literature is better than the common (ab)normal religions, because at least my religion accepts that it’s based on fictional stories, and doesn’t force me to buy it, unlike the ‘sky-daddies’ of those religions. What people should really understand is that killing for peace, is just like screwing for chastity!

Well, we all know what happened after the battle of Hogwarts. Harry did win, but after losing many friends and family members. I just hope that we will not have to lose any more friends because of this Voldemort. Hundreds of thousands of people have already suffered and died, in the hands of the religion. We can’t afford to add more to this list.

I rest my case, with this quote of Dumbledore- “It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.’

Friday, March 29, 2013

MunnaBhai Gets Jaadu ka Jhappad

DISCLAIMER: All names and ideas used are real. If this article hurts the sentiments of some people, it is meant to be.

Recently High Court gave the verdict on 1993 Mumbai Bomb Blasts and sentenced Actor Sanjay Dutt, better known as Munna bhai, to 5 years imprisonment, under the Illegal Arms Act. This has created hullabaloo in the Political and Bollywood fraternity.

The two major political alliances, UPA [Useless Pernicious Alliance] and NDA [National Derogatory Alliance], organize a meeting. Some representatives of Bollywood also attend the meeting.

'Italiano’ Gandhi puts forward the agenda of the meeting. She says, “This is dangerous. We can’t let this happen. We are above the petty judiciary and laws. Politicians and Celebrities should never be punished. If Munna is sentenced to prison, then it will just be a beginning. We all will go down under…”

‘Amul-Munna’ Gandhi- (interrupts in between) - “...But Mommy, you only said that Power is poison. Why would I be sentenced even after this philanthropic act of consuming poison?”

‘Italiano’ G- “I’m referring to Munnabhai, not you baby. You just keep folding your sleeves and enjoy your bournvita. You really need it.

‘Maakad’ ‘Sir-me-ju’: Now, I need all of you to come up with some ideas for obtaining clemency for Munna. I’ll write useless and crap letters to everyone in my 90% list, asking them to pardon Munna. After all, I can’t afford to be away from the Limelight. So, should we start with you Diggi babu?”

'Pig’vijay Singh- We should use our trump card- Youth. He was so young when he committed this crime. At 33, our own munna baby couldn’t even spell Goa.

Balwan Khur’shit’- Why to include our Yuvraj’s name? I think we should go with the idea that our madam cried all night after hearing this judgement. Those who don’t believe this should come to khur-shit-abad, and confront me. I dare them.

‘Sust-Bimaar’ Shinde- This is not a game of truth and dare, ballu. I guess, we should blame the Hindu terrorists for manipulating Munna. We can also use Secularism to display that his father showed sympathy towards Muslims, and so he is being targeted.

‘Maya’ ‘Reserve’wati –. I think we should follow the principle of my BSP (Building-only Structures Party). We should build large structures of Munna all across the country. People will see them, remember his contribution to Indian cinema, and will support us.

Soft ‘Chameleon’ Yadav- This will take too much time, Behenji. We should go with the policy of my SP (Showbiz Party). We should create a team of film stars, especially from the Minority community, who will do special interviews with media, in support of Munna. We would also give some lucky spectators free laptops.

‘Ek-hi-chiz-Har-Bar’ Vishwas - Good Idea, Netaji. I will also perform with my cliché poems. This time, I have even written three new lines..!!

Raj ‘Todfod’ Thakrey- ‘Shetkhana band kar re gaadhava!’ I will allow this in Mumbai only when all the performances are done in Marathi. Also, Marathi should be the default language in the laptops when they are used in Mumbai. Netaji, you can easily do this as you already use special software in such laptops.

‘Italiano’ G - Okay. We will think about this idea. Let us hear some other ideas first.

Sheela ‘Dick’shit- We should announce that Munna will give 600 rupees to a certain number of families in some cities, every month, for continuous 5 years. This would be a big help as a family of five can survive in that amount for a whole month. Also, Montek ‘Aaloo’walia supports me on this.

Arvind ‘Khujli’wal- It will be better if he provides electricity to people, rather than mere money. In my view, we all should go on a hunger strike and threaten the judges every other day that we will expose them. It always works.

[Everyone laughs.]

‘Bhaiya’ Kamal R Khan- I have an idea. Let’s take inspiration from ‘Lage raho Munnabhai’ movie. I will build temporary residence outside High court and protest against this judgement. Then every alternate day, one of my relatives will keep visiting me, and eventually, build their own residence. Then you all can follow the same procedure. Soon we’ll be strong in numbers and can conveniently protest.

Ramu ‘Bhutiya’ Verma- Ha-ha, is this inspiration from the movie, or the real life, KRK? This is not Mumbai! Your idea sucks just like my recent movies. I have a much better idea. We should make the Judges watch ‘Ramu ki Aag’ and ‘Raavan’ back to back. And if even then they don’t change their decision, we can always use Karan Johar’s flicks.

[Some people murmur and show their support for this idea.]

‘Italiano’ G- I’m impressed, Ramu. I’ll order special ‘Awkward-angle’ cameras for you from Italy.

[Suddenly, our beloved Sallu ‘NotBeingHuman’ Khan enters in the room. He is drunk.]

Sallu- Sorry yaaron, I’m late. I told that lousy director that I can’t do acting; I just follow my mannerism. He didn’t understand and, to assuage my anger, I got drunk. You know while I was coming here, I had a small accident. My Hummer got on to a footpath and killed some bastards. Why you people build such bad roads?

[People start whispering. Dabang convinces everyone that he is in a fine fettle.]

Sallu- Yeah, I’m all right, but the front part of the Hummer got screwed. Well, I have a great idea, and it has been very successful in my case. We should start some NGO in Sanju baba’s name and do a bit of charity here and there. Indians are emotional fools. When they see charity and their stars/idols together, they forget everything else.

‘Mand’mohan Singh- THEEK h.

[Everyone starts applauding. Meeting ends.]

PS: When Munnabhai came to know about this, he called Sallu and dismissed this idea. He said that he knew the best idea. He would do the only thing he is best at- acting. He will cry a lot, will not ask for clemency, and gain the most important aspect of this country - sympathy.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Date A Girl Who Reads

This is not written by me. I came across this post on a Literary page on Facebook and I thought this is worth much more than just sharing on FB.
I must say this is like something coming straight from my heart. I really hope that there are such beautiful, bibliophile ladies out there.  I hope to find the one meant for me too!
[ Maybe she is reading this right now! ;)]

"You should date a girl who reads.
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."
— Rosemarie UrquicoK