Terrorism and Loveism!!


In the age and time that I have lived – Terrorism is an important world issue.

I was born in 1979, so I missed most of the Cold War action. That was good, because it ultimately turned out to be nothing. A damp squib. I vaguely remember seeing the Berlin Wall fall and the break up of Soviet Union.

But as I grew up, what most definitely changed the world forever happened just a few years back. 9/11 – the digits chillingly the same that Americans dial to get help from Police when in distress.

Since then, Terrorism became an important issue. Probably, the important issue. Whether I will live to see the day a girl would decide to go out with me depends entirely upon whether my country is sending some troops to Iraq. It seems, in the cold war you could blame everything – from a rude neighbor to the weather – on Russia (or U.S depending upon where you were). After Russia decidedly stopped being a threat – there was a godforsaken peaceful vacuum in which the world existed.

Now, things are better. We have Al-Queda. We have an enemy, we have somebody to fight with. And that is great!

If we don’t know who we are against, if we do not know who is our enemy – we don’t know who we are!! Not having an enemy might lead to such wasteful things as introspection and worrying about unimportant issues like environment or poverty or even…. Shudder shudder… hunger-deaths.

We don’t have to worry about those things anymore. We have terrorism. Yippee!! We have to worry about smoking them out of their holes and shooting them down and waging war and counting dead bodies and preparing for bomb-blasts and hostage negotiations.

The world is normal again!

Thank you Osama uncle.

Terrorism – Terror-ism. Philosophy of Fear.

Interesting.

I wonder if there was another way to fight terrorists.

Is there something called Loveism. Well, the red underline under the word on my word-processor says there isn’t.

But imagine if there was.

Loveism – Love-ism. Philosophy of Love.

Love is the opposite of Fear. Isn’t it natural that we should fight fear with love? Fighting fear with fear could result in overall – well…… more fear!
Oh, you are a terrorist?
Know what, I am a Loveist!!

Here are some imaginary headlines from newspapers not yet published.

Loveists strike in the heart of New York! Police reach in time to be kissed.

Unknown Loveists sprinkle flowers and rosewater over Iraq.

Loveist head – Cupid Bin Bush warns: All those who believe in fear are our next target.

Loveism is a threat to the Weapons Industry – stocks plummet.

Here is a small news item:

Loveists attack London, Afghanistan, Iraq

By our international Reporter,
September 11, 2xxx

In a worldwide attack of chilling accuracy, Loveists today struck three corners of the world – London, Kabul and Baghdad at 8 A.M GMT.

London
Londoners were in for a shock as the Loveists forcibly stopped an underground train and distributed, again, forcibly – footstep counters (small digital devices which count the number of footsteps you take everyday!) and conducted small training programs on how to stay healthy. They segregated the smokers and shot water pistols at them. The stunned smokers were then presented with toy-lungs and asked to care for them. The hunt is on for the Loveists, but as always – they have left no traces. Later on a statement was posted at an unofficial site on internet which said a new group ‘Random acts of Extreme Kindnesses” has taken responsibility for the act.

Baghdad
A group of rebel U.S marines sent a chill down the spine of the entire world by revealing their real identities as agents of “Love Group for Middle East”. They shocked the Iraqis by reciting verses from the Koran over loudspeakers in the city. They had been practicing for months, reports say. They proceeded to the now-famous Abu Gharib prison and made a public apology on behalf of mankind to those who had suffered there. The matter has shaken the U.S army to the core and head in command was sacked the same evening. The U.S marines have been arrested for the heinous act and will be face a court martial.

Afghanistan
At about the same time – a group of about 100 loveists appeared out of nowhere – and in a precisely executed operation erected a plywood school building with a well stocked library and built a huge water tank for a small town near Kabul, all within eight hours. Eyewitnesses say, the authorities were kept at bay by a parade of strippers, who in eight hours of a sleazy dance show – managed to take their veils off and also exposed their elbows. The Mayor of the town was then kidnapped and tickled till he approved of both the constructions as legal.

World Reaction
The love attacks have brought the world community together in expressing their condemnation and disgust. President Gregor Bush of U.S.A in a white house release today said “The Loveists pose a threat to the world as we know it. They stand against the concepts of profit, power and believe only in spreading harmony and love in the hearts of our voters. We will not tolerate this. We will smoke them out of their holes and kill them. For without fear, there is no power”. He was supported by the British PM, Mr. Tony Blare. Indian PM, Mr. Manmohan Sing said that the Loveists were looking for a resolution of the Indo-Pak hostilities without any extended negotiations over hundreds of years. This, he said, went against the very idea of two countries making peace. The Loveists, he said – would never succeed in their loving schemes.
Stop Press
The French however, have extended their full support to the Loveism movement and has been declared a Loveist country.

Ha ha…
Ha ha ha …
Ha ha ha ha….

Very funny, you say?

Romantic but not realistic, you say.

Exaggerated? Yes.
Romantic? Very much.
Realistic? Totally.

How do we know? When was the last time we responded to terror with love? When was the last time we felt fear and said “I forgive”. As a race, when was the last time we did it?

And if we have never done it, how do we know what consequences will it bring?

If U.S, instead of vying for the oil of Iraq, provided water and food to Iraq and Afghanistan and marketed its contributions well enough – are there any chances that some of the hardcore militants would soften? If I am giving you water, will you kill me? Well, maybe after you read my book, no matter what I do, you will kill me – but I mean seriously. If we made a genuine, from the heart effort to help those who hate us – would hatred give way to shock… to guilt…. To tolerance… to understanding…. To appreciation… to love.

Maybe not.

But then,

Maybe.

Is it worth a shot?

Holy Cow!!


Reading this book called “Holy Cow” by Karan Chopra – it’s such a delight. It’s written for first time tourists to India. Our country is so colorful. And we hardly notice. Reading about the Mughals, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sadhus – it is somebody telling me everything I know……. for the very first time. And you know what? That changes everything!

For example, when Mumtaz Mahal was dying, a tear drop fell from her eyes and rested on her cheek. ShahJahan picked it up on his finger and said ‘I will build a monument that looks exactly like this tear drop, descended from heaven and eternally frozen on earth….” That is how Taj Mahal was built. While Taj Mahal was being built, a small city called Mumtazabad sprang around it. Imagine this…. Taj Mahal being built… 500 elephants bringing marbles, silver and gold to Yamuna… Craftsmen, engineers, workers….. The whole place hustling bustling for over 20 years with one goal… To create an eternally frozen tear drop on earth….

Or Aurangzeb… The super-villain amongst Mughals was the least indulgent of them all. He wore white clothes, no jewels and sew caps for a living. He was a fundamentalist and he razed numerous temples and gurudwaras to ground. He did not take opium (every other Mughal emperor was big on dope) or alcohol and did not have any monument built for his death. He lies buried in an inconspicuous grave near Aurangabad (which Anisha, my neighbor has visited :-D)

Or did you know that Ganesha, the elephant God has only one tusk. He broke one off while writing Mahabharata (which was dictated in one sitting by Vyas) to use as a pen.

Or that Jain religion favors extreme form of ascetism. They wear those white masks because they do not want to kill an organism while inhaling or exhaling.

Or that Sikhism is the only religion in the world where the book defining the religion was composed while the figurehead of the religion was still alive. Sikhs do not worship statues, they worship the book – “Guru Granth Saheb”

Or that 85 temples dedicated to love and passion were built, out of which only 22 remain and Khajuraho is the most well preserved.

I am really enjoying this book. Really. It’s about rediscovering what I have known all my life and there is nothing more interesting than looking at something you know and you think you understand very well in a new perspective.

PS: Do not confuse this with another book called Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald.

Creating in Emptiness

Revisiting this blog, after almost a year. So much has happenned. I really should write more often. Make that – I really will write more often.

A friend left for a month – leaving me with suddenly empty evenings. All current personal projects, brainstorming sessions and pleasant outings came to a sudden stop. When I was done watching the latest movies I had bought – the questions has started settling in… what do I do? Such bouts of ‘not-knowing’ have a history of turning into some of the most creative periods of my life, and I am looking forward to it.

Something similar happenned when I was at home for almost two months after TAPMI (the college where I did my post grad) convocation. I was alone at home in the city where I grew up. The streets seemed unfamilliar with no familiar faces in sight. A whole generation had left the city and a strangeness blanketed the familar ‘black field’, the ‘football ground’ and the ‘community center’. Even the tennis court had looked intimidating then. My only responsibility then had been to make myself available at dinner and lunch. And I spent a lot of time walking to the browsing center and sending ‘Miss You’ mails to modellites – that’s what our college gang called (calls?) itself. After a while of dealing with this sudden silence, something inside me began to stir. A need to create, a need to express. It appeared with doodling on blank pieces of paper, capturing an idea on the blank sides of the newspaper while solving a crossword and slowly… slowly… took form. This ‘stirring’ led to me writing a rought sketch of a screenplay based on TAPMI days. And I started writing a book called ‘What the F is the meaning of life’. Still incomplete, the book is a potential best-seller 🙂 , it’s just that I have not had much ‘quiet time’ since then…… till now!

I need these stirrings, or these ‘quiet times’ to create and express ‘felt’ things. Otherwise I just get too involved in living life. But the stirring is there. I can feel it. That is wonderful. Therefore, the return to the blog!

So, the next month or so – should ideally be extremely creative and soul-satisfying for me. Make that – will be extremely creative and soul satisfying for me.

Also, working on my new web site (which I recently registered) www.abhishekkumar.com .

Will come back.