Saturday, May 8, 2010

Freud Ab Initio

J: So ... I got something.
A: What?
J: An inter-lingual pun.
A: An inter-lingual pun?
J: An Inter-Lingual pun.
A: What's an inter-lingual pun?
J: Its a ...
A: ... and don't say its a pun that's inter-lingual
J: ...
A: ...
J: Well, it is....
A: Brilliant. What is it?
J: 'Ab Initio'
A: Ab Initio?
J: 'Ayb Initio'
A: I don't get it.
J: It's a vice that exists from the beginning. 'Aib Initio'
A: That's stupid. And don't say I need to know a bit of Urdu to get it.
J: Maybe.  But you'll be using it.
A: Oh I dont think so.
J: Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not the day after that, maybe not the ...
A: oh stop already. What's next?
J: I've been reading Story - 

"As a story begins, the protagonist is living a life that's more or less in balance. He has successes and failures, ups and downs. Who doesn't? But life is in relative control. Then, perhaps suddenly but in any case decisively, an event occurs that radically upsets its balance, swinging the value-charge of the protagonist's reality either to the negative or to the positive.... The climax brings about absolute and irreversible change."

I mean my highs compared to my lows are ... one in a million, I mean, thats ... thats not true, i mean thats an exaggeration, more like, you know, one in, like, five hundred

J: The positive climax in my life would have to be getting telekinetic superpowers, destroying the world and then walking alone...
A: ooh. 'Disstrawying the wurldd'. Seriously?
J: I don't know, maybe all the people were already dead or something. You know, I just ... I have this image of smashing up cars against each other; walking forward in front of a backdrop of telekinetically orchestrated mass destruction
A: Charming. What movie?
J: Who the hell knows anymore.
A: Certainly not you.
J: Yeah.
A: I bet the negative climax is even more ... er ...
J: Charming?
A: I was going for creepy, but sure...
J: The negative climax would be giving up all effort, all thought. Suicide by alcoholism.
A: Really?
J: Yeah. 'Overwhelmed by soul crushing failures in all avenues, our protagonist, deeply defeated, distraught, disturbed, demoralized, deranged and depressed decides to de-exist himself by drinking himself to death'
A: uh huh. uh huh. um ... I have a question.
J: Shoot.
A: I will. But first, have you even ever had alcohol?
J: No... But I loved Leaving Las Vegas. I think I could do alcoholism. ... Yeah. I can definitely wrap my head around it.
A: Dear lord.
J: Look, the proverb goes, "the dude who has worries, has alcohol too" ...
A: Actually it goes, "Whoever has cares, has liquor too"
J: Aalu, aalu; dude. Point is, I got cares, and stuff ... I could use some liquor
A: Yeah, not the worst idea you've had. Freud even said something of this sort was indispensable. But it's not your Aib Initio. ... Damn it!

Walker: It's perverse, isn't it? people spend years developing their minds and educating themselves, but in the end, they just want to shut them off.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A warm December with you

Doubt thou the stars are fire; 
Doubt that the sun doth move; 
Doubt truth to be a liar; 
But never doubt I love. 
O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers; 
I have not art to reckon my groans: but that 
I love thee best, O most best, believe it. Adieu

I've never read Shakespeare. I'll stop there, because a blogpost is not enough to document all the 'normal' things that I have wanted to do and haven't. Some, because there hasn't been time to do them the way they are meant to be done - going all out. Most, because there just hasn't been the right combination of happenstance and Will to transform. The right combination of talent and effort. The right combination of opportunity and motive power.

The trouble with a weak will is that it neither attacks nor recedes. It neither goes after the desire with complete force, nor accepts the absence of capacity to achieve. When it forgives, it forgives too easily; when it chides, its criticism is destructive. Its happinesses are meager and too quick, but far worse, its sadnesses are not tragic. A breakdown of self integrity causes but the mere disappointment of a moment, soon forgotten.

Self Actualization is optional, it says.

I have not art to reckon my groans: but that 
I love thee best, O most best, believe it. Adieu

Sunday, January 31, 2010

February. Get Ink. Shed Tears.

Regina Spektor - Apres Moi

I, oh, must go on standing
You can't break that which isn't yours
I, oh, must go on standing
I'm not my own, it's not my choice
Be afraid of the lame
They'll inherit your legs
Be afraid of the old
They'll inherit your souls 
Be afraid of the cold 
They'll inherit your blood
Apres moi, le deluge 
After me comes the flood
I, oh, must go on standing
You can't break that which isn't, isn't yours, yours
I, oh, must go on standing 
I'm not my own, it's not my choice
Be afraid of the lame
They'll inherit your legs
Be afraid of the old 
They'll inherit your souls
Be afraid of the cold 
They'll inherit your blood 
Apres moi, le deluge 
After me comes the flood 
Be afraid of the lame 
They'll inherit your legs 
Be afraid of the old 
They'll inherit your souls 
Be afraid of the cold 
They'll inherit your blood 
Apres moi, le deluge 
After me, the flood
Fevral, dostat chernil i plakat,
Pisat o Fevrale navzryd,
Poka grohochuschaya slyakot
Vesnoyu chornayu gorit. (x2) *
Be afraid of the lame 
They'll inherit your legs 
Be afraid of the old 
They'll inherit your souls 
Be afraid of the cold 
They'll inherit your blood 
Apres moi, le deluge 
After me comes the flood 
I, oh, must go on standing 
You can't break that which isn't yours 
I, oh, must go on standing 
I'm not my own, it's not my choice 
I, oh, must go on stan, standing, ding 
You can't, can't break that, that which isn't, isn't yours, yours
I, oh, must go on stan, standing, dong
I'm not my, my own, own, it's not my, my choice
February. Get ink, shed tears.
Write of it, sob your heart out, sing,
While torrential slush that roars
Burns in the blackness of the spring.
The portion from Russian is from a Poem by Boris Pasternak - 
Fevral'. Dostat' chernil i plakat'!
Pisat' o fevrale navzryd,
Poka grohochushaya slyakot'
Vesnoyu chernoyu gorit.
Dostat' proletku. Za shest' griven,
Chrez blagovest, chrez klik koles,
Perenestis' tuda, gde liven'
Eshe shumnei chernil i slez.
Gde, kak obuglennye grushi,
S derev'ev tysyachi grachei
Sorvutsya v luzhi i obrushat
Suhuyu grust' na dno ochei.
Pod nei protaliny cherneyut,
I veter krikami izryt,
I chem sluchainei, tem vernee
Slagayutsya stihi navzryd.

Translation - 
Black spring! Pick up your pen, and weeping,
Of February, in sobs and ink,
Write poems, while the slush in thunder
Is burning in the black of spring.
Through clanking wheels, through church bells ringing
A hired cab will take you where
The town has ended, where the showers
Are louder still than ink and tears.
Where rooks, like charred pears, from the branches
In thousands break away, and sweep
Into the melting snow, instilling
Dry sadness into eyes that weep.
Beneath - the earth is black in puddles,
The wind with croaking screeches throbs,
And-the more randomly, the surer
Poems are forming out of sobs.
1912 Translated by Lydia Pasternak Slater

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sheeple, PartTwo

November 26, 2009.

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me

And then, near the Taj, a van crosses by proclaiming, 'A Nation salutes its brave soldiers'. 'Tourists' line the street, admiring the large bulletproof military vans. the kulfi wala opposite the Taj is doing mad business. The group of teenage girls all in white t-shirts and wide smiles, get their pictures clicked as they salute for the camera.

The procession walks by, screaming, 'Kasab ko phaansi do'; 'Hum sab ek hain'. Followed soon by the saffron brigade carrying flags with the 'Om' displaying prominently. 'Desh ki raksha kaun karega, bajrang dal, bajrang dal. Dharm ki raksha kaun karega, Bajrang Dal, Bajrang Dal'.

There's so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

They proceed to chant more Hindu specific chants as I move towards Rahman's voice wafting from near the Gateway. The concert just ended, I'm told. Music. Crowds. A lit Gateway. Girls in skirts, giggling and clicking their pictures next to the military vehicles. People in fancy dresses, with T-shirts demanding some dude be hanged. Is it more a carnival and less a mourning? A carnival of our survival. For now.

A few youngsters sit in a circle, with a wobbly centerpiece enquiring, 'Mumbai Spirit?'. The crowd pushes me aside to see what's going on; then getting bored, leaves soon enough. Mumbai Spirit?

'Hindustan ke veeron. Saari duniya ki tarf se shraddhanjali. Aatankvaad ko jud ke khatm karne ke aapke adhoore sapne ko hum poora karenge'

Nearer the hotel, there's a bunch that sits on the pavement selling candles.

Processions will be processions. Even the ones in mourning, would require one person to scream the first line, and the rest of the procession will scream the second. And in every procession, there'll be one guy who'll pick the wrong moment to scream. And it'll lead to guffaws. 'We all mourn the dead. But ha ha ha, his voice was so weird just then'

Crowds gather around the TV interviewer. Seeing the crowd gathered, more crowds gather to see why the crowd has gathered. Someone is carrying a flag; which is then inconveniently hoisted and clumsily waved, and the crowds dutifully scream 'Vande Mataram' and 'Bharat Mata ki Jai'. And the camera records it. And all of us are a part of the spectacle that is all of us.

And later, in the cordoned off area near the Gateway

We Pledge. We Will. Mumbai Shapath.

And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

A hoarding displays the names of all victims that died. There are two 'unknown's. No anonymouses. I start reading their names. I give up soon enough. The names were too hard. Too boring.

Erected to commemorate the landing in India of their Imperial Majesties King George V and Queen Mary on the Second of December MCMXI

The self picture clicking fest continues. Especially beautiful is the effort that goes into (trying to) getting the smile just right for the pictures. And once the picture is clicked, we must rush to see whether the attempts at smiling in that particular way succeeded. Or should we fake-whine to get the last shot deleted, and try one more time.

Back at the Taj, as I stand taking a final look, a middle aged guy walks past carrying a placard and a small flag. Sensing my curiosity to read what's on the placard, he pauses, holding the placard up for me. I stare at the placard, earphones still on, as a few moments pass. 'If you understand Marathi, that is', he says. I remove the earphones. The placard has some demand written in Marathi, written in Saffron, with the word 'kasab' in green. 'I don't,' I say, 'but I get the import'... 'Kasab,' he explains, smiling. 'That bastard.' he says, and walks off.

Now the sun's gone to hell
And the moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it's written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We're fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sheeple, Part One

November 26, 2009
Marine Drive. 8 PM.

I walk my usual end-of-work walk to Churchgate, my usual earphones in tow blaring the usual music. The queen's necklace plays host to a flood of small-time processions in remembrance. Impoverished kids holding placards that read -

"Politicians are the root of all evil"
"Our politicians are our terrorists"

Twenty-somethings sporting "I heart Mumbai" T-shirts. News crews doing their jobs tiredly, and hundreds thronging the scene for a few minutes, and getting bored and moving on. A nation of ADD afflicted people mourns.

"They started it. We will end it" screams the poster lying on the floor of Marine Drive.

TV news anchoresses (?) enjoying being the center of attention with their TV make up on. Foreigners clicking photographs of the poor family lighting the candles. They ask the poor mother and her children to pose. One day they'll enter this practiced shot in a photography competition and win the third prize.

"Sorry doesn't make a dead man alive"
"Only in India. Worli Sea Link Project 400 to 1600 crores"

The director of the TV show pats the kids' heads spouting vague profound platitudes to his anchoress, "The terrorist is there in us". Then continues to speak broken laborious hindi with the poor family.

The Professional Party of India spouts its triteness with web addresses prominently positioned on their t-shirts.

"One India. One People. Do not divide us for political gains."

The people in the Hero Honda sponsored sub-procession drum their raucous little dhol and chant their raucous little chant . For some reason, the Hum Awaz Charitable Trust is carrying a hovercraft on top of its gigantic bus. Candles lit in front of the Trident. The sub-processions pose for the cameras.

"We are the offenders & the victims if we do not vote !!!"

You know, I would have actually missed your point but your three exclamation points really jogged my brain and transformed my whole life view.

Barely twenty feet away from them a mother and her son lie on the marine drive pavement. The mother wants to sleep, her head resting on her raggedy slippers. Her worn out sari her bed sheet. She tries to sleep in vain (its 8 pm) as her son cries and tugs at her.

"Free the police from the politicians. Implement Police Reforms."

The rally participants pass her by. So do the happy couples enjoying the queen's necklace on a windy November evening. Perhaps the worst are people like me. Those who'll pause and observe the scene, with the phrase, 'grotesque irony' swirling in their heads. Who'll think for a fraction of a fraction of a second if they can do something. And then leave after convincing themselves at nano speed that 'of course there isn't. How stupid of me to even consider this question. What can I do? Its just the way it is. I dont want her to be poor. Its just the way it is.'

A wife, husband and her mother-in-law pass her. The wife pauses for a second. I can read her mind. She'd much rather that the woman on the pavement not be on the pavement. She stops. She lurches towards the sleeping woman, unsure of herself. Her husband and mother-in-law pull her back. She complies semi-reluctantly.

Main janda tainu ajj
Peerh hundi
Dil tere uthhdi ey

Main janda aunde
Din ‘ch tufan kai
Kujh sujhda na
Udddi ey reit

Probably she'll forget all about it before she reaches Not just Jazz by the bay, a few steps down the road, and takes a heavenly whiff of the pizzeria. Maybe she'll think of her in the night, and then think, 'Oh but I wanted to help her, but they pulled me back. What could i do?'

Tera maseeha
kivein das bane koi
Duniya sabh bhulli firdi
Khud varke tainu folne paine
Khud painde tainu chalne paine
Navein akhar gharne paine

And opposite the Express building a tv crew has cornered a politician and a bunch of concerned citizens of mumbai. The citizens question, some trying to sound intelligent; others wailing about why kasab has been kept alive for a year. The politician justifies. The anchoress counts seconds to when she gets to stop nodding vigorously and say this, "Aaiye junta se pata karte hain kya sandesh hai har mumbaikar ko, ek saal baad ..."

The Air India building carries a huge picture / shadow that spells 'In rememberance' with a picture of the Taj and a huge candle.
Half a dozen people stop to click a picture of this magnificient display. They'll go home and upload it on their facebook page. A TV crew cameraman records them clicking it. He'll put it in a montage for the late night anniversary special on his news channel. I write about the cameraman recording the people clicking the photographs. I'll post it on an unread blog. You're reading what I wrote. Perhaps you'll tell it to somebody.

"We're all going to die"

(yeah, ok, this one wasn't one of the placards)

The candle is tilted. 'If it tips, it'll set the Taj on fire again', I think as I stand at the marine drive pavement marked '0000 Meters'. A guy does his stretching exercises. '0100 Meters' A sketching artist sits jobless, waiting for someone to come any look at his wares. '0200 Meters' A young couple sits still and stare into each others' eyes silently. Feels like they've been that way for a long time now. '0300 Meters' Two foreigners sit with two large headphones on their ears listening to music and stare out into the sea. '0400 Meters' Two professionals sit with a small laptop with a broadband doggle, and stare into the laptop. Opposite them a Taxi Driver cleans his taxi.

T-shirt quote of the guy who passes me by - "Someday they'll make a movie about me". I turn right towards Churchgate.

Next - Sheeple, Part two - November 26, 2009. Gateway.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Existangential Post

Existangential (adj.) - A thought that begins on an existential note, but soon goes off on a tangent.

"Are you alright? You look like crap"
(beat) "Seriously? That's what you're leading with?"
"What? I cant make one self referential joke now?"
"oh by all means. I'm your blog. Make as many as you like. In fact, I bet you will."
"oh, I also bet I will. Anyhow, why so serious?"
"I dont know, dude. I just ... I'm not sure if I should continue or not"
"What? Where is this coming from?"
"I dont know man. Blogs are ended / stopped all the time. Haven't really published anything in a while. I'm starting to doubt why I exist in the first place."

Walter Sparrow: I once read that the only philosophical question that matters is whether or not to commit suicide. I guess that makes me a philosopher.

"Why did you start, existing?"
"It was just one of those things. Hark! 'twas done on a lark. It was done because a status message wasn't enough. Because nobody on my friends list would understand (or be interested in) my obscure references, and I wanted to see if anyone out there would. For example, if anyone would google the following and land up here to revel in our mutual Kaufman obsession -

.... of events can be approached either from behind or above. In other words, all pluralities must be tethered to a consequence or the "rotation" of the event sequence will be uninflected and the locator axis (a, ab, abx...) will be an unapproachable phenomenology. Furthermore each sequential variable will be prohibited from interacting, creating a casual decimation and resulting in the profligation of at least three unendurable practicalities.

... beyond that I dont know. Why do you exist?"

"Me? Mesa 'man', yousa 'blog', and a lame-ass one at that."
"You and I aren't that different, you know."
"yes, oh. See, I stop writing, I cease to exist. You stop living, you cease to exist. I write drafts , and dont publish them. You live with yourself, and don't interact much with others. Most of the time I sedately consume instead of restlessly producing; and you live your life on auto pilot, going through the motions. You live for the self (rather than for God and others) and I write for myself rather than anyone who might venture here. Just as it is stupid of me to want to write (not funny, but rather) funnier than other blogs, its stupid of you to want to earn more than some random moron. You hate yourself, I hate all that I write. So the real question isn't why I want to stop. It is, why don't you?"
"Well, I love my sedate consuming, thank you very much"
"Look. Frankl said -

We can discover meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.

..And all three are perfectly applicable. "

"Yeah, but what if I hate all the works I create?"
"(vocal turntable) oh I hate / all the works / I create / all the jerks / ideate / call the ..."
"what the ... what in pluperfect hell are you doing?"
"you know ... i... i'm just ... quick ... give me something that rhymes with 'tangent' "
"dear lord"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Freud, Groucho, Allen, Gatsby, Yorke, Costanza, and yet ...

Alvy Singer: The... the other important joke, for me, is one that's usually attributed to Groucho Marx; but, I think it appears originally in Freud's "Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious," and it goes like this - I'm paraphrasing - um, "I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member." That's the key joke of my adult life, in terms of my relationships with women.

I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member

True for all relationships, actually. If you want me, then i don't want you. Its the Power Number theory.

A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: "There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired"

In every relationship, there will be a pursuer (?) and a pursued. The person with the lower power number would want to be around the person with the higher power number, crave his acceptance and approval. The person with the HPN would tolerate the person with the LPN till he becomes cumbersome.

You will be dispensed with
When you've become inconvenient

The person with the LPN would initiate all the calls, exclaim all the "Its been so long!"s, and "lets get together and hang"s. The person with the HPN would be excused all usual social impolitenesses. A person with a LPN than you asks for a favor and you can easily decline, but a person with a HPN asks for anything and you must oblige. Like Seinfeld walking her ex-girlfriend's dog.

But there's no escaping it because you pull the same crap with people with a LPN than you.

George Costanza: Aah! what's the point. When I like them, they don't like me; when they like me, I don't like them

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ask yourself if you're happy ...

[nusrat fateh ali khan - sanu ik pal chain na aave]

Returning home after my final day at my first job, I lie down, switch off the lights, and listen to this song, doing nothing else.

sanu ik pal chain na aave
sanu ik pal chain na aave
sajna tere bina
saada kalliyan jee naiyo lagna
saada kalliyan jee naiyo lagna
sajna tere bina

Haven't been able to find the lyrics to this version of the song anywhere through 'the algorithm'

ik pal chain naa aave
sajna tere bina

"Ask yourself, if you're happy, and you cease to be so" - revolves in my mind, for some reason.
I take stock and I don't compare, but how do I complain when I have this song?

raati main jalaavan diva
hanjhuan de tel da
hai rabba sajna nu chheti kyon nahi bhejda

In Shawshank Redemption, there's a scene where Andy locks the guard in the toilet, locks himself inside of a room, and plays a recording of The Marriage Of Figaro: 'Duettino - Sull 'Aria' - Karl Boehm/Deutsch Opr Berlin (I think thats the recording) at full blast. He lies on a resting chair savouring the voices as the guards and the warden threaten consequences. Finally, they break the window and escort him to to 'the hole', but not before the whole of Shawshank has experienced those time-slowing moments.

rog vajog te sog hazaaran
sajna tere naa de
ohna bhaane roz kayamat
vicchre yaar jina de

Red: [narrating]
I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free

o kaaga tainu chooriyan paavan
kade saade vi baith banere
de paigaam koi sajna vaala
ve main shagan manava tere
o kaaga baith banere saade
shayad aa jaan saajan mere
addiyaan chuk chuk yaar farida
raah takkan main shaam savere

those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream.

The segments in 'Sanu ik pal...' bring the same phrase to mind. The vocal callisthenics of NFAK and the accompanying singer need to be heard to be believed. (2:50 - 3:50; 5:25-5:40; 6:58-7:48; 7:09-7:16)

yaar yaar kookaan
chhadd yaar gaya
labbhaan yaar nu labhda yaar naahi
bulle shah jahaan de yaar bajhon
mazaa yaariyan da vajhon yaar nahi
khair deen shah yaar bin bhatt jeevan
kol yaar de je kar yaar naahi

And then, another day, another chapter, same tripe.


raati main jalaavan diva
hanjhuan de tel da
- wouldn't a translation just kill the spirit?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Incurvatus in se

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. - Romans 7:18, 19

story of my life, told, what, 2000 years ago?

"Incurvatus in se (Latin: turned/curved inward on oneself) is a theological phrase describing a life lived "inward" for self rather than "outward" for God and others."

A life lived for self rather than for God and others.
Apply criteria stringent enough, and whose life does this statement not describe?

my ambitions for my life are completely selfish. from so many of the fantasized futures that i envision for it, one of the most preferred ones is a life lived in solitudinal travel, making money through a laptop, internet connection and some acquired skill, and spending the lot of leisure time i will be hopefully left with, in pursuits such as books, movies, music, writing, learning and pursuing perfection of new sports and musical instruments. selfishness. utter and absolute.

keep a beggar or anyone underpriveleged in front of me, and that would be all i can think of. remove him from in front of my eyes, and it would be as if he never existed. when in their presence, i think of how can people spend hundreds of million dollars on a canvas with some colours on it, when millions of other people struggle to sleep each day because they do not have food to feed themselves or a roof to provide for their children. how can i think of spending thousands of rupees on a vacation, which would provide me with, what, a week of unadultered leisure and a few new experiences, when that money could have saved someone from commiting suicide.

but think is all i do, and that too, seldom. perhaps thats one more reason i want a life of solitude. to try and convince myself that that world out there no longer exists. i sit in the dark, and write this and am unable to see anything past the light from my laptop, and unable to hear anything other than the mellow music in my ears, and it is as if nothing other than this exists. the solitudinal life will be a feeble attempt to trick my conscience away from the moral responsibility to do something for the underpriveleged, when i am in a position of privilege. hand me a lavish meal and i wont be able to gulp it down if a famished guy is in my radar. my incredible ability to be myopic is both surprising and the reason i live in sanity.

sanity sucks, says Rahul Pandita

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Friday, June 13, 2008

a moral dilemma

june 14, 2.30 am
i travel to and from work in the ever-surprising world of western railways, mumbai. i am the guy wearing the earphones who takes out a pen and a small pad soon as he gets a place to sit. what do i write? well, stuff like this post, general thoughts about my life and the world, and off late i take a line from the song playing in my music player, and construct (or try to) a story around it.

anyways, this is what i wrote yesterday -

The moral dilemma - as i watch beggars with missing limbs, street urchins, rail traveling salesmen and the like - of whether to give or not to give. Do i have the responsibility as the more privileged party in any transaction to sacrifice for the less privileged one? - Do i offer my seat everytime to even a remotely elderly gentleman? Do i buy stuff from these poor kids roaming in the stuffy locals all day when what they deserve is an education? Do i always give some money to every beggar who looks atrophied or has lost a limb? What amount? Enough for one meal? Enough for one month? Do i actively look for people to give charity to, or just to those who come in contact with me? What about the millions of others who are in a far worse condition than i am; in a far worse condition than any human should be; and for what fault but an accident of birth?
[NFAK's 'The Face of Love' plays as i write this]

All this, as i still lament and curse my lot in life. Why wont God give me the girl? Why wont He give me [insert wants of choice here]
[Linkin Park - 'Nobody's Listening']

To ask for all this now feels so utterly selfish when seen in the light of the millions in inhuman plight. yet, a strong feeling of injustice is felt when i look at the more privileged lot.

To come back to the original questions - how much responsibility do i have [Sonu Nigam - 'Yaar Mangiyasi'] to do something for the downtrodden? how much of me should work for them? the foggy answer that comes to me is - all of it. i, indeed most people, would not be able to enjoy leisure if a man with such a bad lot in life as may push him to suicide sits in front of me. Then, how can i do it just he's physically removed from my surroundings? how can i turn a blind eye so easily? ['this is the last song that i will dedicate to you']

A guy has a lakh of rupees that can be spent on a hedonistic vacation or on giving a few random people a small break from the constant misery that is their daily life. What's the right thing to do? [Nishabd - Amitabh Bachchan - 'Rozaana']

The question is - is it wrong to favour my wants over the genuine needs of the poor? and if it is, then that's the end of all plans i ever made; of all role models i ever had.
[Eminem - '8 Mile Rd']

How to decide?
I later recall that all this was very much alike to a 'Sports Night' episode where Dan can't decide which charity to patronize. that episode ends beautifully with Dan, hungry as hell, shares his dinner and a game on television with a homeless guy who walks into the building.