Month: October 2013

And Thou Shalt Call me ‘GHAWD’

So does god exist or is he/she/they a figment of our imagination? Am I stirring a hornet’s nest again? Possibly, but please endeavour to hear this thought out.

This is a debate where a lot of people play their cards very close to their chest due to the sensitive nature of the topic. I, on the other hand, have had this conversation numerous times with various people, deriving varying results. And ironically, the most stimulating conversations I’ve had is with people who strongly support one view; and in this conversation – people who believe in god. I learned two things.

My senior manager I worked with for 2 years is probably one of the most knowledgeable people I know. He’s so incredibly well read and loves to debate. I could spend hours talking about any topic under the sun with him, and it would end up being a conversation where I end being wiser, or atleast with a broader horizon. He’s a staunch follower of Osho, a spiritual teacher who provocatively engages his followers/listeners into non-linear thinking and eventually nurtures them into his line of thinking. So apparently Osho has challenged people into what they believe. If I’m a Hindu and people question my religion, do I defend Hinduism because I truly believe in Hinduism or is it because I happen to be a Hindu. Do I believe in these ideals or do I believe simply what I support?

That’s one of the 2 things I learned from listening to debates between atheists and believers. The atheists just refused to broaden their horizon and accept the existence of god while believers were so annoyed that people questioned what they believed in, rather than their actual beliefs. Atleast, that’s what it seemed like in most cases.

The other thing that I noticed, and is probably the most enlightening thing I’ve got out of being part of these debates, is that which is inconclusive. A god may or may not be extant on what you believe.

Right now you’re probably saying to yourself, “Well that was a rather fruitless conclusion!” However, that may not be the case. Believers are strongly inclined to believe that any misfortune that befalls them or consummation of a task should be attributed to the disposition by their god. Atheists on the other hand, while debunking this ‘bizarre’ notion of believers, go on to say all these are down to your mistakes and efforts which are peppered with incidences of ‘fate’ and ‘luck’. What is fate and what is luck? Phenomena that are incur without bearers intrusion or completely of the person’s hands? You mean they could be controlled by something else, or someone else? Maybe someone like god? Atheists get annoyed and struggle to defend their views after these questions. But really what or who is god or luck?

Personally, I’m not an atheist, Im not a staunch believe of god either. However, I do believe in God and there is a reason I believe in God. Felicity and despondency are borne by fleeting moments of errant decisions or unforeseen and abrupt planned or unplanned events. I’d rather take comfort from the fact there exists a supernatural being who is the reason for a problem or who could be the saviour where a solution looks inconceivable. When your loved one is on a hospital bed, would you rather hear from someone “Don’t worry mate, he/she will be alright soon. Im praying to god everyday” or “Medical reports show that at this stage a recovery is difficult. But I’ll be there for you”?

Man has manufactured deities and ideals like such because we find it hard to digest that the world is indifferent to pain and suffering or human existence. We assign meanings to phenomena based on our subjective experiences with them. We rationalise them as to plans belonging to a God or to notion called fate. It’s difficult to deal with something with a lack of meaning.

So let’s stop sitting on a high chair and judging someone for being a believer. Let’s try to analyse things more subjectively before berating someone on why you think a god doesn’t exist. With some topics, we need to learn that our thoughts or views need to be grounded and humane rather obtuse and godly.

Fat vs Fit Turns Ugly

Image

Fat, massive and large; people who normally like it are considered contemporary or classic. I’m of course talking about my iPod classic. I normally carry this 160 GB heavyweight in my car, connected to the music system. Yesterday, I didn’t, and it set about a sequence of events that irked me a fair bit.

As my friend and I bemoaned over what limited music we might have to end up hearing, we stumbled on to an uninteresting debate on Chennai Live. Flab versus Fit (or something on those lines). We had 2 speakers, both women with orotund voices, one of them for and the other against (‘the need to get fit by the youth’). Here is where things go a bit awry. I was expecting an enjoyable heated debate over this topic but instead what I heard was rehearsed balderdash.

The speaker who spoke for the topic decided to class the graduated/ working youth into a single category where she defined them as ‘The youth love to do what they do, go out a lot, eat at new places, eat junk food, party every night and then not get enough sleep’. She went on further to add they should make time during the day for sports, working out or yoga etc.

Now, I know when you hear people say something that’s different, from what you think, it’s very easy to put that cynical hat on and go on exposition to point out why and how that person is wrong. And in cognizance of that fact, I’ve taken a rather neighbourly view about what she said. I’m no speech pathologist, but judging by her alternating accent I’d hazard she’s done her Masters in a foreign university(US or the UK) and is back in India now. Another shot in the dark is that I’d presume she hasn’t got into the work grind properly yet and has probably not experienced it at all. There is absolutely no chance that anyone could possibly suggest the working youth have time to more than 2 of those things let alone all of them. It seemed like a view plastered on the youth in general because she knew a handful of people who led a lifestyle similar to hers. Her view didn’t highlight the need for fitness/health because of the sedentary lifestyle a lot of people lead due to desk-job, it didn’t highlight the stress youth have to deal with at work, home and the threat of becoming a social pariah if they didn’t comply with certain peer benchmarks. It seemed like a very shallow view, though I must admit that she was being completely honest and only answering to her best knowledge. Maybe a year later, she’d have different views.

Ideally, this should have been the point where my friend and I should have shut off the radio but we persisted and our sheer determination was rewarded by what can be described as one of the most vociferous, yet torpid, belief I have ever heard.

The second speaker first made it clear that it wasn’t simply her opinion and she felt oversized people in general should subscribe to her view. She then began her sermon by stating that the youth today is obsessed with their looks and vanity is a huge way of life. It’s a view I entirely subscribe to and I think it’s a fairly decent assessment of youth of the same wavelength, at large. But she followed this by saying that she felt that people who are overweight shouldn’t work out or attempt to lose weight and they are beautiful irrespective of their size. She preached that they are who they are and implied that they are just ostracised by society because of their weight and society is wrong for not loving them. She also said that she’s a ‘plus size gal’, you know, adding that layer of credibility to her views.

Now I don’t know where to begin. I’m trying to stay grounded on this brave girl’s opinion but I simply cannot get my head around it. It’s just so lazy to think that oversized people shouldn’t be overlooked and shouldn’t have to work out. It’s subscribing a mentality that is weak and rings an attitude of ‘Oh I put in half-hearted efforts and it didn’t work out for me so it’s like a disease and I’m being chastised wrongly’. Absolute codswallop. And you know something, I’d say all this is acceptable if it was her personal belief and what she individually applied this ideology to herself; but the fact that she exhorts this view to oversized people at large shows a very poor way of forcing acceptability.

We’ve all been there before and some of us have failed and some have succeeded but honestly, we all know that if you put in the efforts you can stay fit and stay healthy. You can always find time to shoehorn a jog or a work out into. You can find 30 mins to do yoga in your hall or bedroom. It’s possible. It’s also possible to control your diet (excluding certain extraordinary situations), but it all requires a level of commitment and discipline that one cannot dedicate unless they genuinely WANT to change the way they look.

To be honest, this sort of topic will generate a multitude of views. It would get heated at some point eventually, but we all know the truth. Weight loss or weight gain is not impossible.