Friday, December 26, 2008

One person parties

How come there are all these "one person party"s mushrooming all over
India like the roadside temples ? The English word "party" means a
group of more than one person. Contradiction ab initio.

I would like to focus mainly on the one-woman parties but I cannot
really blame the women; they are following the men leaders. Yet, there
is a difference. Like it or not, political movement in India is male
dominated. Maybe it is like this in other countries too.

Wait there, I didn't say male centric. South Asian countrymen (or
citizens, to be politically correct) like the idea of a woman at the
center. "Nari jaati", "Nari shakti" etc. attract middle class
intellectuals and have-not poor folks at the same time. For different
reasons though. I have 27 seconds to explain this. Keep reading.

For the would-be intellectuals, having a woman at the center is a
glorious way to flaunt the tag of world's largest democracy. It speaks
volumes of our open political system, underlines the principles of
equal opportunity and reminds everyone else that we are different.
Well, I think we are differently chauvinist, but keep that aside for

For the have-nots, it is a chance for them to be heard. Men can go and
earn the bread they eat for dinner. And women, who are pretty good in
managing households of these men, can go and manage an even larger
household of men. She has a natural talent for that. They can discuss
next day strategies over dinner.

There are leaders who are likable for different reasons. A woman is by
nature kind, gentle and serene; this makes them extremely approachable
- a desirable mention in the CV of any aspiring politician. I would
like to talk to a woman instead of a cunning, rough and corrupt man
any day of the year. Women can be corrupt too ... but hey, their
number is insignificant compared to the male counterparts.

Hence, we have numerous one-woman parties. These parties end up having
a few other important leaders but still all the decisions are taken by
their leaders. To me this feels like a small scale dictatorship and a
milder one.

There is nothing against the rules to ban these parties. There should
not be one. History shows us how ideas from a single man or woman can
change the society. It is ok for a single person to take forward an
idea. That's how revolution starts. But it is foolish to blindly
follow this person without following the idea. Sadly, that is the
state of the Indian voters these days; they are mesmerized by the
wowness of their women leaders.

I am not an usual male chauvinist who scoffs a women in power. I only
blame when blames are due.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My first ballet

Ballet is a dance performance with elaborate sets and matching orchestra in the background. That is how Steve described it to me. He was right, but the words carry more meaning than they might sound.

I decided to spend the afternoon before Christmas Eve watching The Nutcracker (artistic designer:
MIKKO NISSINEN). I have never been inside any opera house before, let alone see any live opera. So this was supposed to be a memorable experience. It was, for all the right reasons. The performance was at the Boston Opera House in the theatre district of Boston. The opera house was magnificent, with decorated walls and ceilings and beautiful chandeliers providing just the perfect lighting. For some reason there was a strong smell of alcohol where I was seated but that might just be some exquisite perfume (or an already tipsy opera fan). Oh, I got a $20 student rush ticket but got a seat in the 6th row from the stage so I was pretty fortunate that way.

Anything I say about the actual performance would fall short of its actual beauty. I have been to a few Bangla theatres and watch a lot of movies onscreen. I am also a big fan of classical Indian dance performances. But this turned out to be a completely different visual experience. Simply put visually stunning. The set and the promps were just magic. The dances were just in tune with the orchestra music, which was also wonderful. I wonder if I can buy the score somewhere. The dancers were graceful, the direction was perfect with the required amount of humour needed to keep the kids in their seats and the the whole experience was very very colourful.

Simply put, I am very impressed. I am glad I decided to watch one ballet performance by our own Boston Ballet. I really am.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bostonians are not rude but ...

I find the people of Boston extremely friendly and cordial. But I have also been told that there is a lot of racism here, especially among native Boston people. Maybe I have only seen the good side of Boston because I usually interact with the people in academia. Academia is the last place to foster racism; so, that might explain my biased opinion about Boston. I still believed what I saw ... until ...

Someone (from Arlington, I believe) posted an ad on Craigslist about
Queen IKEA platform bed. Delivery possible - $80 (Arlington)
One of the interested customers, who happened to be an Indian, emailed him an oft-asked question:
Is it still available. is mattress included in the price? Pls send
your contact details.
Thanks & Regards
This somehow angered the seller and here is his email that I wish I never saw:
This is the IKEA website of the platorm bed. (RETAIL $180)

Quoted from that page:
Slatted bed base, mattress and bedlinens are sold separately.

The slats are $40 extra for a queen bed size.
The cheapest [indian] mattress is $70.

Do you really think Id sell a $300 bed for $80?

> Hi
> Is it still available.
IF IT WAS, why woudnt you include your phone number like the other 9 people?
Do I really want to spend 5 days emailing back and forth when a 10minute call would suffice?

> is mattress included in the price?
Did you bother to do ANY research on the bed? The other 9 people did.
They realized that $80 for a $180 bed was a good deal.. I even added the slats ($40) to the deal.
$220 value for $80?!!! Any smart person would jump at the offer...9 people saw the value and sent their phone numbers in the email YOU DIDNT.

> Pls send your contact details.
Why? So I can listen to the the world's most annoying accent
INDIAN/PAKY try to tell me that I should sell it for less? DISCOUNT? DISCOUNT? Then be told to deliver it wayyyyyy out in some shit town - because indians are too cheap to live in the boston area.
You'd want me to deliver it during traffic time or during the snow storm because DOT DOT DOT Indians are self centered, inconsiderate assholes.

Then I get to your house, it smells of curry and body odor and the heat is at 90*.
Your husband cant lift (INDIANS ARE WEAK) and youre no help. Your children are ugly and in the way. Then after all that, you, AS INDIANS, would want to re-negociate to an even lower price.

I didnt put my phone number on the posting because I didnt want to have annoying indians calling me at 1130pm like it was 2pm.
I dont deal with indans anymore. I just say NO and hang up.

This is the IKEA website of the platorm bed. (RETAIL $180)

Quoted from that page:
Slatted bed base, mattress and bedlinens are sold separately.

The slats are $40 extra for a queen bed size.
The cheapest [indian] mattress is $70.

Do you really think Id sell a $300 bed for $80?

FUCK INDIANS (DOTS not feathers)

Thanks & Regards
The interested buyer was extremely annoyed due to the abusive language against Indians in general and had to post this email to a list from where I came to know about this incident. But please please tell me, that this is an exception. Boston is a fantastic city. I love Boston.