When Hypocrisy Isn’t as Bad

India is a land of breaking news. And now it’s not just news channels. Thanks to twitter, we don’t even need news channels anymore. We make news out of who tweeted what. By ‘we’, I mean the non-troll and non-lechers community, whether right or left leaning but people who have opinions, get outraged for the wrong being said and sharing it out there. In the last two days, there were two-three such things. One of them being:

Narendra Modi said, “Our Muslim sisters should get justice too (on triple talaq)”

People said, Narendra Modi talking about Muslim sisters is so ironical. He abandoned his wife.

Snapchat CEO allegedly said that “Snapchat is not looking to expand in India because India is a poor country and the app is for rich people.”

There was such a huge outrage that Indians began uninstalling Snapchat and downrating it. Some idiots also confused it with Snapdeal and uninstalled the app. “How dare he call us poor?”

Yesterday, I began reading Givler Ray’s book, “Don’t Get Fooled!” The book is about Cognitive Biases and Fallacies (now don’t get scared and run away, I’ll explain what it is). A Fallacy is a mistaken belief, generally based on an unsound argument. Argumentation doesn’t mean to argue but it means to have sound reasoning behind what you say and believe. We tend to make fallacies based on our biases about things. Our arguments, negotiations and relationships can be more swift and peaceful if we keep our biases and fallacies. The first step to being a rational person is to learn to keep our biases aside.

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Confessions of a Serial Reader

Home is where the books are. There’s a reason why home is our comfort zone. It’s a place our tattered ego gets fixed, the self-confidence gets rejuvenated and there’s love all around. Books make a huge part of my comfort in life, not just at home. But even otherwise.

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It could either be my cowardice or a strange kind of fear, but when I move outside my house without a single book in my bag, makes me feel like the most vulnerable person in the world. Even when I am going to a movie and there’s absolutely no chance I am going to get a chance to read, keeping a book is a must. It’s a safety measure- better safe than sorry.

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Must Read: Ken Liu’s Short Story ‘The Perfect Match’

Must Read: Ken Liu’s Short Story ‘The Perfect Match’

Ken Liu (born 1976) is an American science-fiction and fantasy writer and translator of science fiction and literary stories from Chinese into English. His short story “The Paper Menagerie” is the first work of fiction, of any length, to win the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards. I loved his short story, ‘The Perfect Match’. It is a fantasy story about the future of Siri (robot helper) where the robot suggests you everything about your day and your life and talks about the mysteries behind it. It is especially relevant in the age of Aadhar where the government is aware of each and every move of yours and there is no right to privacy (in spite of it being a constitutional right).

Some of the quotes from his short story:

Centillion is an algorithm that’s gotten out of hand. It just gives you more of what it thinks you want. And we—people like me—think that’s the root of the problem. Centillion has put us in little bubbles, where all we see and hear are echoes of ourselves, and we become ever more stuck in our existing beliefs and exaggerated in our inclinations. We stop asking questions and accept Tilly’s judgment on everything.

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The Reason of Your Illness

The Reason of Your Illness

Illness is never welcome. No one ever says, “Oh! I am so glad, this was the best time to fall ill.” Illness is detested. I am not talking about fever. I am talking about some of the worst and the most crippling form of illnesses. I am talking about the illness that makes us stuck in a phase, makes it difficult for us to move. In one of the earliest written English literature, you may find a brilliant piece called ‘The Consolation of Philosophy’ written by Boethius, a prisoner who made a legendary contribution to philosophy during his trial in the jail for his alleged crime against the King. The book is about his (imaginary) conversations with him (as a prisoner who begs not guilty) and Lady Philosophy. I thought to present here the part of the text where Lady Philosophy explains him the reason of his illness- his sorrow, lack of motivation and confusions. You might resonate with some part of it: Continue reading “The Reason of Your Illness”

A Foetus is not a Person by Caroline Lund

Abortion in India is legal only up to twenty weeks of pregnancy under specific conditions and situations which are broadly defined as:

  • the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury of physical or mental health, or
  • there is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.

(via Wikipedia)

Recently, the Supreme Court permitted a rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy at 24 weeks, which is beyond the permissible 20 weeks limit prescribed under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

Abortion is a topic that is not as hot a debate in India, as it has been in the US. The basic difference being that in the US, the fight for abortion rights is at the point of consent of a woman of not having a baby. While in India, the legalities in abortion are focused on severe health risks for the woman or the baby, and that if the woman is a rape survivor where abortion is legally permissible before 15 weeks. There are obvious risks in the process of abortion due to sex-determination. But the point of consent of a woman is always missing.  Continue reading “A Foetus is not a Person by Caroline Lund”

Jan-Feb-Mar: Top 6 Books So Far

 

Reading is a solitary space which gives you as much as you are ready to receive. Every book you read, there’s a risk that you are missing out on another. But I try and not regret it. Regret makes you suffer twice.

I believe it isn’t enough to read. It is a reader’s responsibility to spread the goodness as far and wide as possible. So here am I. Here are my recommendations for the books I read in the first three months of the year (March is almost gone!):

 

A Long Way HomeA Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I decided to read this one before watching the oscar nominated movie based on this book, ‘Lion’. The movie was amazing too. This book is such a beautiful story of hope and what it makes it classic is the fact that it is so real. No one is going to tell me that, ‘ah! this is just a story. The reality is much worse.’

I feel so heartened. It was just a 5 hour read, like an emotional super fast train journey to the past!

Continue reading “Jan-Feb-Mar: Top 6 Books So Far”

The Other Angle: Top Best (Interesting) Bookstores in Mumbai

The Other Angle: Top Best (Interesting) Bookstores in Mumbai

The last trip I made to Mumbai, it was focused on bookstores. The idea wasn’t to buy too many books (that is never the idea, but it always happens). It was like you know how people want to go to Siddhi Vinayak, Haji Ali, Mahalakshmi, all of which I have already seen; for a book lover, bookstores become one of those sense of attractions. I looked up whatever information that was available on Google (especially Quora) and made a curated list. Mumbai is such a big city that you cannot finish everything of anything. I was determined to make the best out of two days- Sunday and Monday, that I had in hands.

Of course, this trip included other interesting places (apart from bookstores) such as the walk around Colaba, Kalaghoda, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mani Bhavan and Starbucks (because coffee is an essential ingredient for stimulated literary and philosophical conversations).

This piece is not just about the bookstores but the experience that goes within while you explore them. If you don’t like spoilers, please don’t read further (disclaimer).  If you are not going to ever see these places or want to have a literary tour irrespectively while you still plan to go and discover these and more places yourself, you are the right person to read this one.

The BookStores that were on My List:

  • Kitab Khana, MG Road
  • Strand Book Stall, Horniman Circle Gardens (definitely sounds like horny men but luckily found not a single one)
  • Smokers corner, Kala Ghoda  (Found no smokers here, and Kala Ghoda is a street statue of a black horse made in the memory of Prince of Whales’ horse)
  • Oxford Bookstore, Marine Drive
  • Mani Bhavan, Laburnum Road
  • Trilogy, Worli
  • Victoria Book Center and Library, Mahim 
  • N Bookstore, Bandra
  • Crossword, Bandra 

Continue reading “The Other Angle: Top Best (Interesting) Bookstores in Mumbai”