Friday, December 29, 2006

Films and Updates

Just a little update on what's happening with our films

1. Men of Burden - Pedaling Towards a Horizon
After the NYC premiere at IAAC, there hasn't been much happening. Although our plans for future screenings are on. We have been talking to some folks in the Cycle Rickshaw (Pedicab) industry here in New York for arranging private screenings. Hopefully by mid-January, we'll know more. So far, DIY distribution seems to be the way to go. More on that later.

2. Wait No More
Our new completed short film is all ready to go places (crossing fingers). We got some good reviews for the film from our inner circles, but still, until it hits the big screen and people outside our inner circles say something good, we aren't going to rejoice. The DVDs are burnt and ready too, and some have hit the submission currents, so let's see what's in store.

3. New Untitled Documentary film
Yes, our documentary on Siragu school based on underprivileged/homeless children in India still is 'Untitled'. We have a few options but they are just 'ok'. Nothing too exciting. We will be getting the footage in our hands next week and then we will start Post-production. Very excited. But, so long.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Conversations with a friend...part 6

We all say God is everywhere.
It is obvious that God is also inside us. We say God has His influence on anything and everything. So He can influence us from inside. Now if we consider God as this enormity as a whole, then it is obvious that we are inside Him. Now when God can influence us from inside since He is in us, then we can equally influence Him since we are inside Him.
Is it so ? or not?

Conversations with a friend...part 5

We know all the living beings grow from inside. Growing is nothing but an action or a happening. Happening is nothing but a change. No change can happen without a cause. Now the origin of the cause is internal or external?
Our growth is perfectly a physical change.
Again, any physical change must have a physical cause. What exactly would be the physical nature of that cause?

Conversations with a friend...part 4

Let us once again ponder over the creation of the baby. The single cell splits into innumerable cells and all the cells assume their own functions simultaneously.
Can we identify the exact nature of influence or authority or command that is possessed by the single cell over the rest of the cells?
During the process of growth almost all the cells are equivalent.
Now tell me if each and every cell represents the single cell or the single cell represents all the cells?

This would directly relate to the all-powerful omniscient divinity that is a part of us all. We cannot say exactly whether the divine represents all of us or we represent the divine.
We do not know whether the baby in the womb is conscious or not (even though a great search, debate, theories and incidents are prevailing on this particular issue) but when it comes out, we can be sure that it is physically unorganized. First it takes control of the nose when it is able to smell and recognize the mother; then the ears play their role in sensing the mother- with louder noises; then sometime in the third month, the eyes when it is able to focus and smile; then with great difficulty the hands and fingers, when it learns to grip; then the legs, when it stands up to walk, then it analyses everything when slowly taking the control of mind and behavior and it walks the whole life to achieve towards a great organization at first to realize itself as a whole and later to realize some other whole.

Now without such a great course of growth with full of events, will there be any meaning for the single cell?


Thoughts and Expressions...

This is a topic on alienation and this particular paragraph from the book "Marx's Concept of Man written by Erich Fromm and it shows so much depth that I cannot even explain how overwhelmed I was when I read it...
Karl Marx says,
"Among the many forms of alienation, the most frequent one is the alienation in language. If I express a feeling with a word, let us say, I love you, the word is meant to be an indication of the reality which exists within myself, the power of my loving. The word "love" is meant to be a symbol of the fact love, but as soon as it is spoken it tends to assume a life of its own, it becomes a reality. I am under the illusion that the saying of the word is the equivalent of the experience, and soon I say the word and feel nothing, except the thought of love, which the word expresses. The alienation of language shows the whole complexity of alienation. Language is one of the most precious human achievements; to avoid alienation by not speaking would be foolish; yet one must be always aware of the danger of the spoken word, that it threatens to substitute itself for the living experience. The same holds true for all other achievements of man: ideas, art, any kind of man-made objects. They are man's creations; they are valuable aids for life yet each one of them is also a trap, a temptation to confuse life with things, experience with artifacts, feeling with surrender and submission."

Please also do refer the September post on Language and expression. Expression is the most essential part of human life and living and is very much needed in the surrent scenario...
http://acchor.blogspot.com/2006/09/language-expression.html

Conversations with a friend...part 3

We see a lot of people in our lives and we interact with a lot of them. When you see somebody can you visualize him or her with a totality that is right from the baby to an older one?
It is assumed that each and every human takes numerous births. As a second step, can you imagine somebody with a lot of forms? A greater totality over a great period of time?
Can you imagine at one sight, all the human beings, at the same time with the entire history, right from the earlier man to a greatly organized society in the future?
On an interaction with somebody, can you imagine yourself as the person with whom you interact? Can you imagine yourself in all the human beings, along with all the pleasures and sorrows, pains and comforts, births, lives and deaths, all the emotions as if you are undergoing and experiencing them in the most objective way?
As a next step, can you imagine yourself in all the living forms with varied emotions and secondly in all the non-living forms?

Conversations with a friend...part 2

Only that single cell takes a form of you or me. And we know that the cell is more knowledgeable than us. Now, tell me if that single cell has grown towards the present form of you or me, or that it has decayed towards this form?

Conversations with a friend...part 1

A friend asked me recently....

When a sperm gets fused along with an egg or ovum, they together form a single cell with 46 chromosomes, containing all the genetic information. Only that single cell is the origin of any one of us. Now the point to be noted is, that single cell not only contains the genetic information, that is a great past, but also all the information about us, which comprises our future. Whether we are black or fair, fat or thin, bald or hairy, tall or short, our physiological structure, physical being, i.e., when we would get what disease, also our temperament, and our psychological make up, and so on; that is our entire life is concentrated in that.

Can we say that is exhaustive? Along with that a lot of cells are formed along with innumerable information and assumes a form of any one of us.

We know that the single cell has everything about us. But even to know that, we need science, experience and a great historical process. and, we are in the process of knowing more.

We can very well say that we can never be exhaustive with respect to knowledge.

Now, can you tell if we are conscious or whether that single cell is conscious?

When every information of our life is somehow embedded in us, then what about our free will?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Mythology in Movies

Ahh...a cliched pair, huh?
But whatever we may call it, they are still the basis of our imaginations running wild. Wild in terms of what we can't seem to achieve in the 'real' life. There have been so many thinkers and writers who have extolled the relationship of mythology and what role it plays in stories, films, civilizations and life itself. Having read the likes of Campbell, James Bonnett, etc, I have to admit I'm finding myself increasingly attracted towards the genre.
I recently saw the trailer for 300, which is an adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel. It'll be out in 2007 and has been directed by Zack Snyder, who is a cousin of a friend's friend. Was really amazed at the amount of effort they had put in towards the making of the movie. Imagine, LOTR, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnya, Superman and now 300, they all take us to a world devoid of our mundane existence here in the 'real' world as we see it. It makes us wanna break out of our monotony and do something outrageous which is primarily because the films and the stories serve as metaphors for our 'true' existence. It's just spectacular how we translate them into our lives and sometimes try and become better versions of ourselves. Maybe someday we can be the superhero we've always been dreaming about. Up, up and away!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Global Warming on the Loose??

Whatever happened to the snow this year- 2006?? Today is December 24th and still there is absolutely no trace of snow in New Jersey. My anticipations have turned into disappointments with the warm sun smiling at me even during the supposed winter. Well, it is a wait that brings so many questions to the mind… is there is something wrong on a larger scale? Three four years back when people talked about Global Warming, no one had any clue as to what it meant. But I guess the meaning is slowly getting into our understanding. The fluctuations in the weather and the warm temperatures indicate something worse that is impending. The rest of the world is already suffering the consequences. There are some parts of the world which are already deprived of good drinking water and Nature has her own way of expressing her disappointment I guess. SIGH!

Where do we start? Many people would not know…but, for a start, let us begin to respect our trees and hope we can correct our mistakes sooner and not let anything drastic happen to this beautiful world around us.

I pledge not to hurt any tree and see to it that I plant at least a 100 trees in my lifetime.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Principal Photography: Complete


Can't believe we are done with Principal photography. So many things have happened over the last few days that we are finding it hard to believe the primary work on location is behind us now. In the last couple of days, we did the interview bits with Uma and Muthuram, you know, asking them about the specific activities that the children did over the days of the shoot. Seemed like their thoughts fit in quite well with the overall objectives and the goal of the documentary.
An irony is that we still haven't come up with the Title of the film, weird but true. The same thing happened to our new short film, Wait No More, we came up with the title only during post-production. But hey, if any of you have any ideas just holler.
The picture above is that of the kids during the football games, I think. We got a lot more pictures, but they are still in India. We are waiting for the tapes too. Man, can't wait to get our hands on them and start post-production. Ok, gotta go, a movie's waiting to be seen.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Production Updates



Well, well, well, guess what?
Our Universal concept for kids is shaping up pretty good. The kids are much, much smarter(hyperbole) than we thought and the story-making exercise was a real eye-opener, not for them, but for us...the kids taught us a lot with their creativity. More in detail about that, later.
The world languages exercise is also proving to be a great tool for the kids. They have already started wishing us in Greek, French, etc. Everyday, the teachers would teach the kids new words from new languages. The primary world languages that are being taught are Arabic, Chinese, Greek, French, German, Hindi, Russian, Spanish, Swahili and Tagalog. I guess the next time we meet them they are gonna talk about things we wouldn't have a clue about.
Postcards - They also created postcards with drawings, paintings, poems, written messages, etc for kids in other parts of the world. This exercise was primarily to help them connect with kids universally and maybe in future develop life-long relationships with them.
Most in the crew were exhausted after continuous shooting, day and night. Our Cinematographer became sick and we continued despite that, nevertheless, we got some great shots. We also got routines of the kids' activities as we followed some kids on their daily journeys. There's lots more to discuss, but we'll soon update you within a couple of days.
In the pics, you can see the crew with the kids in the playground with one of the teachers. The other pic is a painting done by them on aliens and space.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Siragu Documentary Update



The second and third days have been great. We made great progress with the shoot. We went with Uma and Muthuram to the actual Nadaipathai (pavement) where the parents of the children live.
You can see Uma and Muthuram in the photo above with the parents, talking to them. They showed us the whole environment where many pavement-dwellers lived. It was an amazing experience meeting people who are so straight-forward and simple.
Back at the school, Siragu, we played football/soccer with the children. Man, was it fun! Ramesh, Raja and almost all the crew members joined the game and were so exhausted after that.
At night, we had a campfire with the children where they were asked to write down what they didn't like and threw them into the fire - they threw 'War', 'Guns', etc into the fire. Babu (Ramanujam) was the one who initiated it, with the whole thing being a very deeply emotional experience - the children striving for peace, love and unity. Can you believe it?
The little girl(2nd photo) with the hat is Meenakshi who recently joined Siragu and she tagged along with the crew most of the time.
Watch out for more updates soon.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Siragu Documentary - In Production



Great News!
Our next documentary film on Siragu, a school(it's more than that) for street/homeless children, is under way. We started production/shooting yesterday in Avadi, Chennai, India.
The day started out great with the Production Crew leaving at 7 a.m from Chennai city. After a long 2 hour drive, Ramesh, Packya, Babu and Raja reached Siragu Home/School and met the children and checked out the school and the location. Ramesh, who is organizing and directing the whole shoot in India, is a trooper, who's been working constantly with sleepless nights and endless travel. Packya is associate producing with on-location logistics help. Raja, is our Cinematographer, with about 8 years experience in Chennai. A great team. Period.

We got lots of great shots of the children in the school and the surroundings. The school is located in the outskirts of Avadi, which is itself in the outskirts. It's amazing how the Founders/Managing team, Uma and Muthuram have built the school from the ground up. They are so committed in their goal to educate children from the most down-trodden areas of the society. They have been amazing in their cooperation and are guiding us through the entire shoot. Do check out their website www.siragu.org
The above are some pictures that we took immediately after we landed there. Enjoy and more to come right after this.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Latest Epidemic!

This dis-ease has been spreading swifter than a forest fire and the germs come in all possible forms and in all mediums…
It is called the CREDIT SYSTEM…

I tried to collect a few definitions from some informative sources…you can see what this can do to your life...
A credit card is a small plastic card issued to users of a type of retail transaction settlement and credit system.
Courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_card

1. A card that identifies a person as entitled to have food, merchandise, services, etc., billed on a charge account.
2. A plastic card having a magnetic strip, issued by a bank or business authorizing the holder to buy goods or services on credit.
3. A card allowing someone to make a purchase on borrowed money. Credit cards are one of the most popular forms of payment for consumer goods and services in the United States.

And some free advice…from the Investopedia Commentary…
Credit cards have higher interest rates than most consumer loans or lines of credit, so try your hardest to pay off your credit card each month.

Courtesy: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/credit%20card

Before you realize what is happening you are sucked into the abyss of the credit system making money (which is after all a tool and is supposed to assist us with exchange of goods) one of the most sought after things in life, pushing Love well behind in the race.
Where is this all leading us to?
Check these links for some more information on the students of the United States and how they are finding themselves caught up in the maze of the credit system and cannot seem to escape its poisonous fangs at such a young age.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/2006-10-01-college-credit-usat_x.htm
Courtesy: www.usatoday.com

And if you are young and in debt with your credit card loans, you have another set of people to help you out and that is not for free… there is a crowd to help you build your finances again…for money, of course!!
And, what about the rest of the world? They will soon join the credit clubs…sooner or later!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Reality or Illusion?

Is there a line that distinguishes Reality and Illusion?? If so, where does the line exist between the two?
All our lives we run behind things thinking that they are real, but can we really be sure about that Reality not being Maya?
What then constitutes MAYA or the Illusion?
Nature around us... all the while tries to show us Reality and Maya alternatively...but then is our perception too rigid??

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

R.K.Narayan - Those days...


I was reading the article below about R.K.Narayan (1906-2001), one of India's celebrated writers of realist fiction. Of course, anybody who knows him will know him primarily by his Malgudi Days - Swami & Friends.
Lucid, simple and powerful prose. To me, his stories are more about evoking that nostalgia, recreating those familiar memories that we all have buried inside. When we used to watch Malgudi Days back in the 80s, it would create an inexplicable pain, everytime. Now when I think about it, it not only brings back memories of our golden days but also the evocative narratives that were very much part of our psyche when we grew up. The reason why I can relate to it is the exitentialist nature of R.K.Narayan's characters. Maybe I see his perspective as part of my own, maybe that's why I've been having a lot of questions in my mind about being right or wrong, about good or evil, about the larger cosmic paradigm that we are all part of.
(picture courtesy: malgudidays.com)
http://www.newyorker.com/printables/critics/061218crbo_books

Wait No More - Completed


Wait No More
- Our next short film starring Ragini Parmar and Patrick Fernicola is now complete. Gotta admit we are a little behind schedule, but hey, it's all good now. The project is ready for the DVD pipeline and soon for the Festival circuit.
Here's the link that's been up and we hope to update it soon. Watch out for more news.
http://www.accessiblehorizonfilms.com/waitnomore.html

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sharing...


Sharing is one of the most valuable tendencies of living beings. We see it in every possible species. Once the action of sharing starts, it opens up a lot of knowledge gates where you learn a lot of new things about the world and its mysteries. Apart from the uniqueness of every single being and the connection that brings all of them together, there is this element of sharing which further enriches the whole living process without which the planet would have stopped revolving. However big or small the invention or discovery, unless it is shared with the rest of the beings, it does not make any sense. How on this earth is it ever possible to live otherwise?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Reduction of air pollution - An Awakening

The advent of Electric cars, hybrid cars are paving way for the reduction in air pollution in the current scenario. Although these cars came into existence in the early 1900's, there were a few factors that would have influenced in supressing them. Some of them could have been like non- availability of electricity in the remote areas in the olden days or the threat for oil exploration companies and oil exporting countries. The list could expand to infinity.

Of all these hurdles, electric cars sneaked into the market in the early1990's with tags like environmental friendly, low power consumption, less maintenance as there are few moving parts unlike in gasoline cars. Due to political issues and selfish people they were scrapped from the market. When people were ready to buy them, the automobile manufacturers were forced to stop their production by unknown external factors.

Finally there seems to be a ray of hope for the electric cars and hybrid cars as a few other automobile manufacturers have had the courage to give life for them in the market. One of the electric car manufacturers’ website below would provide more information about the future for them.

http://www.teslamotors.com/index.php?js_enabled=1

Soon we can find decreasing gas stations and increasing electric charging station in every house, every parking lot and on top of it a dead end for war for oil. Hey all gasoline car owners, its time for changing to hybrid or electric cars or else you will lose a lot while reselling your car after a year or two.

End...

A word that says it’s all over,

A word that says it’s all begun,

A word that gives you no mercy,

A word that gives you all the hope,

A word that means you’ve something ahead,

A word that says ‘no looking back’,

A word that soothes,

A word that cuts through,

A word that can give,

A word that can deprive,

A word that means there’s nothing more,

A word telling you it’s just the beginning,

A word telling you it’s just enough,

A word that means there’s more to life,

And…

A word that eventually takes you to a different plane of life!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

FriendSHIP...the only ship that never sinks!


No matter what comes our way....in life...
There are some things we can always hold on to...
Each and every soul needs a friend...
To evolve, to be happy, to laugh, to cry...and eventually...
TO LIVE!!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Babel: Ok but Enough's enough

Ok, here's the deal...let's stop the saturation before it gets intolerable. I love films with horizontal storylines/non-linear narratives/parallel structures, but please, we gotta refrain from overdoing it. Magnolia, Syriana, Crash and now Babel...gosh gimme a break, there's a clear pattern emerging here. Non-linear's in and too much of it is making me wanna hurl. But if you still wanna do it, do something more with it, something different. As Hollywood says "Give the same thing, but only different".
I ain't gonna lie but I've had ideas about doing Non-linear narratives, but what I now realize is that you gotta think way ahead of your time before bringing out something original. That's why I've been racking my brains and trying to come up with a different structure. Hope my grey matter musters up enough activity in the next few weeks to break out of the clutter.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

HE HAS NOT LEARNED THE FIRST LESSON OF LIFE WHO DOES NOT EVERY DAY SURMOUNT A FEAR.

This was the response given by me in 1998...so will there be any difference now? in 2006?
The nature of life always deals with any issue in two ways. The reason why we experience bad is because we will know the difference when it is good. This is the universal truth accepted by majority of human beings who learn the ways of living through this formula. A fear for something indirectly inspires the human to conquer it in some way and carry on with the next coming challenge. And without conquering the fear for the first time no person can proceed to the next level of life's understanding. The lesson comes from the very fact when the person learns to face and surmount fear, he takes the strength from this victory and feeds his will and determination to vanquish all the fears he might face in the forthcoming lessons of life. It's strange that most of the answers to life's questions lie in the questions themselves. When fear for example comes in the form a simple insecurity towards a relationship between a child and his favorite toy, the child learns to confront the fear first by developing protective instincts towards it. The fear of losing the toy will provide all the strength for the child to safeguard it from any of his possible threats. Fear also indirectly paves way for the expression of the mind without any inhibitions. If people under the threat of domination by anyone around them be submissive about their expression due to fear, and fail to overcome it, the experience gained from an otherwise free mind would never be felt at all.
Fear definitely directs the mind in a way which helps it to adapt itself to the actual LIVING though the momentary threat it kindles in the mind is temporary.
So, what do you think? Is FEAR necessary???

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Clouded Mystery



Even the brightest ones can be hidden behind the clouds...







But they are just passing clouds...

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Omnipresent, the Omniscient...


That which gives the highest degree of comfort between beings…

That which allows limitless tolerance between beings…

That which helps to maintain balance of all possible emotions…

That which reveals all the joys of togetherness among beings…

That which is present in the deed done by every caring mind…

That which relates every being with an unknown bond…

That which will remind others of our existence even after we’re long gone…

That which leaves every being with wonderful memories to hold on…

That which intensifies the very meaning and purpose of living…

That which coexists with beings in this planet…

That which endures without our knowledge..in our souls..forever..

That which is the only possible reason for this planet to exist…

That which above all makes us realize that

IT ' S WORTH BEING HERE!


............and that is Love, Love and Only Love..............


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Upcoming Short film - Wait No More

Title: Wait No More
Synopsis: Wait No More is about you and your psyche and how your "worldly self" ignores the simple intentions of the "self within". If you don't take chances with the self within, what would be at stake? Your raison d'etre or life itself?
TRT: TBD
Cast: Ragini Parmar, Patrick Fernicola
Status: Currently in Post-production (Completed Rough cut)
Production Stills: Check out http://www.accessiblehorizonfilms.com/waitnomore.html
Keep checking for updates.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Memento - Raison d'etre

After many metaphysical indications, I finally watched Memento last night. Considered one of the most critically acclaimed films that came out 6 years ago, it has had some of the worst divided audience on the subjective nature of the film as well as the structure and content. Scores of critics/fans/noir-lovers have dissected the film so much that it really doesn't another review from me. Anatomically speaking, it doesn't make sense to cut up an already cut-up film.
Christopher Nolan (Writer/Director) has no doubt done a good job, but isn't there a line of demarcation one has to draw between giving the audience a grueling experience rewarded by a nice pay-off (translates an understandable message with no loose ends) as opposed to a grueling experience with layers of loose ends (with each scene having its own course of reasoning)?
In the end, there are so many revelations that feels maybe like unfinished business leaving the audience to still work it out on their own. But hey, I'm usually up for some challenge but sometimes it leaves me wondering what the point was. Existentialism itself is something that's as deeply subjective as thoughts/perspectives themselves but when you make a film out of that I guess it becomes much more subjective beyond even the realms of space.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I think Discovery Channel will excuse me for posting their rather thought provoking question...

"WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DID SOMETHING FOR THE FIRST TIME??"

Ask yourself this question time to time and see if you really do anything different... once in a while!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Post Men-of-Burden NYC Screening

Men of Burden had its NEW YORK CITY premiere yesterday at 6 p.m. It was a more-than-satisfactory evening!
Before the screening, when we were standing outside the theater waiting for people to come, it hardly seemed like anybody did. But the moment we went in, we couldn't believe it...the theater was almost full. During the scenes of Vincent, Balaraman and Selvam (Rickshawmen in our film), people couldn't stop laughing. And by the end of the film, the film had quite a sustained applause. Seems like people really enjoyed the film :-)
The post-screening discussion was moderated by Vandana from the IAAC Film Festival staff. The best part of it was that people came forward to make donations for the Men of Burden - Cycle Rickshaw Revival Project
We also announced the launch of our MOB - Soundtrack music album which has Steve Gorn's wonderful music underscoring the entire film.
The After-party at Asia Society was good and we met many filmmakers including Directors, Actors, Producers and others. There was a mix of those just starting out and those who are established. Overall, it was a very interesting evening, of course, how could I forget the Chardonnay and the Merlot!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

IAAC Film Festival 2006

This is the night of the third day of the festival.
A good collection of films - both shorts and documentaries.
Some films that I/we watched since Nov.1st:

The Namesake

Toba Tek Singh
View from a Grain of sand
Un posh yeli weli van posh
Kabaddi Cops
Flower Girl
The Seance
Singing Pictures
Dharini

Hiding Divya
Gandhi at the Bat
Twins of Mankala
Pria
Davy & Stu
Nina's Heavenly Delights

The reviews will soon follow...too tired from the drive and ofcourse movie-watching ;-)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Suicide Pledge in schools - Ethical?

In August (Article from Chennai Chronicle: MONDAY 28 AUGUST 2006 ) there was an article on the Chennai Chronicle on the 'necessity' of Suicide Pledges by children in school. This was a reaction to the increased number of suicides by children because of the increased and heavy workload of children, the cutthroat competitiveness in examinations and the pressure to perform.
The problem here is with the educational system but making children take suicide pledges - way off the limits.
Is this even ethical?

(Article from Chennai Chronicle: MONDAY 28 AUGUST 2006 )

Suicide Pledges, a must for schools
“OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS THERE HAS BEEN A RISE IN THE NUMBER OF CASES OF SUICIDE ATTEMPTS BY YOUNGSTERS. ALARMED BY THIS, DOCTORS AT THE ROYAPETTAH GENERAL HOSPITAL HAVE DECIDED HELP SCHOOL CHILDREN BY REQUESTING THEM TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE UGLY SIDE OF SUICIDE ATTEMPTS”

Our correspondent/ Chennai

Nearly 1000 students from the Adarsh Vidyalaya Matriculation Higher Secondary School took pledge recently to not commit suicide. According to the school principal, Rama Krishnasayee, students from all city schools should be made aware of the fact that suicide is not the answer to their problems. She says, After the NSS students of our school took the pledge at the Royapettah General Hospital; they brought the initiatives to my notice. I believe it is stressful times for students everywhere. Whether they are upset about their marks, extra curricular activities or even peer pressure. They need to understand that stress can be dealt within the right way.
Though the pledge was in Tamil, the significance was explained to the students in great detail. She adds, “For students, stress is not just regarding academics, it is also the vice of the age. The school children have been very receptive and I hope they have understood how attempts at suicide can change their lives and how it can affect the ones they love.

The doctors of the Royapettah Hospital took this pledge on August 15, and have decided to spread their message from school to school.

According to Dr. Chandra Mohan, head of the gastroenterology department at Royapettah General Hospital, the main reason behind asking students to take this kind of pledge is to make them aware of the harm that it causes. “Most often students only attempt to commit suicide. When this happens the acid/substance tends to burn up their food pipe and this in turn affects their health. This is when living becomes dangerous,” he says. Most people believe that girls are weaker emotionally as compared to boys and therefore girls must be exposed to the issue of suicide. Says R.Vijayeta, an HR executive who had attempted to commit suicide when she was in school. “I took the drastic step when I could not express my feelings of distress to my parents. I was facing the same stress as many of the boys in my class were. Only I felt weaker.”

However, certain experts feel that taking pledge is not enough. Mr.Sudhakaran, vice chair person Dream foundation and a clinical psychologist says,” This initiative is very good concept as it will create awareness among the youngsters. But it is not practical in the long run. Youngsters commit suicide when they are helpless-it is an impulsive decision. Hence they should be taught how to handle the crisis and or the problem, instead of escaping it by committing suicide. If this is done, it will save many young lives. I think both girls and boys are equally capable of suicide, it is not that girls are emotionally weaker than boys or vice versa.”

Thursday, October 26, 2006

IAAC Press Conference - Men of Burden

The Press Conference for the Sixth Annual IAAC Film Festival was held today between 4 - 5 p.m. Around 15-20 filmmakers, the Press and many actors and industry folks had made it for the presentation. Like every other year, this year too seems promising for South Asian/Indian independent filmmakers from the diaspora. This year's festival has 60 films in all, Feature Films, Documentaries and Short Films. Aroon Shivdasani, the executive director of IAAC opened the presentation. Met quite a few friends who are both filmmakers and actors. Watch out guys, Men of Burden - Pedaling towards a Horizon, is screening on the closing night at 6 p.m, Nov.5th, 2006.
For tickets, go to www.meratickets.com
Tickets are only $10.90 when you buy online. At the door, they are $15.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Way Past the Time...




We recently went to a place called New Port in Jersey city, New Jersey. From there we could see the enitre New York city skyline across the Hudson river. The view reminded us of a fast growing world and made us wonder about our position and role in this universe. On this side of the river, there was a board walk which led us to a memorial built for the people who lost their lives on September 11th 2001 at the World Trade Centers. This memorial was built right in line with the original World Trade Centers but on the New Port side of the river. Only the Trade Centers were missing now!
The above photograph is the view of the New Y0rk City skyline from New Port, Jersey City, without the Trade Centers taken on October 2006.
The three I-Sections which are in the other photograph were taken from the wreckage of the Twin Towers.To even imagine that they had been parts which had held the huge structures five years ago, was so strange.
No matter what the truth behind the bombings are, we can never deny the fact that lives were lost. Lives with dreams, hopes, faith, happiness etc were silenced there!
Many lives are still lost each day even without our knowing it or the media exposing it.
It is way past the time we got together and did something to spread peace and love in this Planet.

ARE YOU AN "EARTHLING?"

Are you an EARTHLING in the deepest sense?
Just give us an answer!!
Please give us your name and email address and we can begin the network to bring all the like- minded individuals together!!
Let us know! We are waiting!!
EARTHLINGS , Unite!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Web-roster for the Inquisitive folks

Hey Folks
Here are some websites that you could check out when you feel like you want to dive into the never-ending matrix world of web-browsing(some are especially for people who want to make the world a better place to live in). Ofcourse, this is just a small list, more to come later. Some are obviously popular but some have to made popular. Just dive in.

World Mysteries
Just World
Wikipedia
Intent Blog
Uncyclopdia
Suyam Siragu
Dooms Day
World In Common
Resurgence Online
Parivartan
A I Foundation
Asha Net
ABE Books
E-Bay
Adbul Kalam
TGF World
Accessible Horizon Films
BH Photo Video
Barnes And Noble
Google
CIA

Monday, October 09, 2006

Men of Burden - Cycle Rickshaw Revival (MOBCRR) Project



Men of Burden - Cycle Rickshaw Revival (MOBCRR) Project

The objective of the film is to raise awareness and funds for our ‘Men of Burden – Cycle Rickshaw Revival (MOBCRR) Project’ .
This project aims to tackle issues of multiple dimensions; some key issues are to:
1. Raise Socio-economic status of rickshaw men in India, in the process, try to eradicate hunger and homelessness.
2. Revive cycle rickshaws in India
3. Reduce Environmental Pollution
4. Promoting Sustainable Transport in every nook and corner of India
5. Encourage students/professionals to do their part in creating a better world

Why help?

Approximately 400 million reasons.
Yes, an estimated 400 million people in India live on less than $1-$2 a day. And on a global scale, this amounts to an estimated 3 billion people living on $2 a day. When seen from a larger perspective, the planet with all its beings constitute a single living organism which breathes and lives every single moment. When you contribute, you are creating thousands of employment opportunities, propagating sustainable development, improving the lifestyle and social status of rickshaw men, reducing air pollution and creating a better world. Since the project has already been implemented in some cities in North India and has proved to be successful, it needs to be propagated for similar success throughout India. Collaborative efforts by academic (IIT Delhi) and professional entities (ITDP) are creating waves of progress towards socio-economic change that show promise of reaching every nook and corner of the developing world. It is time we played our part as it is perfectly within our reach to lessen their burden. At a time when half the world is in need, good intentions alone are not enough. Action needs to be taken…NOW.

For Information on How to be a part of the change, Please visit:
http://www.accessiblehorizonfilms.com/partchange.html

and scroll down :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Men of Burden - Pedaling towards a Horizon

UPDATE: Documentary Film

Men of Burden - Pedaling towards a Horizon

We are happy to inform that our film's next screening is at the Sixth Annual Indo-American Arts Council Film festival on November 5th, 2006 at 6 p.m. Do check out our official film website at www.AccessibleHorizonFilms.com

Next Screening
NYC Premiere at the Sixth Annual IAAC Film Festival
Venue: Maya Deren Theatre, Anthology Film Archives
When: November 5th, 2006, 6 p.m Sunday
Check out: http://www.iaac.us/sixth_film_festival2006/screening_schedule.htm

Past Screenings
European Premiere
FilmBuro Baden Wurttemberg's Bollywood & Beyond Film Festival
Venue: Stuttgart, Germany
When: July 13th, 2006
Check out: http://www.filmbuerobw.de/typo3/Filmprogramm.reservierungfilm.0.html?&no_cache=1&tx_mjseventpro_pi1%5BshowUid%5D=239&cHash=fb84c60655

World Premiere
Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles
Venue: Arclight Hollywood Cinemas, Los Angeles
When: April 20th 2006, 6:30 p.m
Check out: http://indianfilmfestival.org/movies06/menofburden.html

Friday, September 29, 2006

E-Tutoring...?

I went through this topic called E-Tutoring. It was on the yahoo news headlines today. The link to it is

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060929/tc_nm/life_education_india_dc_1

And the link to one of the e-tutoring institutes is

http://www.tutorvista.com/

I am sure all of you would have by now become familiar with anything that starts with “E”…or the “electronic-…

Well, what more can I say? Other than the fact that the world has become easily accessible and we can access any corner of the world by just the click of a mouse. They guarantee that the online tutoring gives everything a personal tutor would give to a child on a one-to-one basis. Until we hear it from a child who has actually taken these lessons, how can we be so sure that knowledge is actually transferred in the right sense. Or is it just an outcome of the growing outsourcing and there is no other alternative for the middle class parent in the developed countries other than to seek help at much lower prices and still try to get quality education for their children. The ever growing gap between the so-called rich and so-called poor makes anything possible. Obviously parents think that their children should be getting the best of education no matter what and so, nowadays resort to seeking help thousands of miles away. So, the differences in the social system which forces parents to seek help far away from home itself indicates that quality education has become inaccessible to many children. Who is to blame here? The system, or the difference in the social status, or the imbalance of finances, or the outsourcing, or…or…or…??

On the other hand, with the outsourcing, five people earn what one person might earn in an hour which is a good thing when seen from a humanitarian perspective. The child, who learns from an online tutor from the other side of the planet, also gets to experience a whole new different process of learning and in fact can access the facility day in and day out, throughout the year! The bond that the child forms with this tutor is also a unique one and in the process, the child becomes aware of a whole new world that exists far but is within reach.

But…what happens to the knowledge and education in its purest sense? But what about the dedication and responsibility of the ‘teacher’? Are the children even benefiting from these so-called electronic tutoring? And why is education and knowledge only for those privileged few? What else will this electronic world replace?

We have to wait and see.

And amidst all this going on, what about the poverty that lingers on the face of this Planet?

Only time will tell! Asking questions have always been easy…we have to come up with tangible solutions as soon as we can!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Language & Expression

Language is one of human’s profound inventions. Can you imagine a world and all the evolution without language? What if we did not have languages? Maybe we would have invented some other mode for communication and would still come up with the concept of language some time down the line. Well, it is for our convenience right? Everything we have created so far is to help us live better. At least that was the intention the humans had when they set their spirits behind the mysteries of the world.

Language is a boon to Humankind. Though it may never compensate for the actual living experience, we cannot refrain from using it. But it should always be remembered that the purpose of language is to make expression easier with the rest of the beings around us and never to differentiate. As long as the people around us understand the language we use and as long as we try to express thoughts in the simplest way, it is justifiable. So, while conversing, all we have to remember is to get the message across to the people around us and not how the way it is told. Of course, the ‘how to express’ matters when it comes to the depths of literature studies etc. but as long as opinions are concerned, all we have to worry about is to get the thought process across. Blogging is one of the powerful tools of technology, which is definitely going to take the humans to the next step towards evolution and help them see the world as one. Humans have strayed enough from their original path of finding the truth and have come a long way on the wrong track. The Internet and the blogging will help them see the world from a whole new perspective and make the necessary corrections to get back on track.
So, while keeping in mind the power of expression, let us all unite and bring our thoughts together for a unified purpose. No matter how we express ourselves, let us always try to bring our most genuine thoughts to writing. Let us not leave the responsibility of writing to only writers because each of us is equally good enough to express our thoughts in this world. And remember, we have to transcend differences of all kinds, to become a single entity!

In the end, it is not the excellence in the language that matters; it is the genuine intention to communicate, share and love the world around us that matters. Languages, together with the Internet are tools that will help us bring this world even closer. Well, everything has its place and purpose in this universe right??

Nuclear Weapons. Threat or Security?

What do you think about Nuclear weapons? Do you think they are a means of Security or Threat? Is it worth spending so much money on them, when we have so many hungry people in this world? Do you think the world should get rid of them or use it positively as an energy source?


The US has spent more than 5.5 trillion $ in developing their nuclear arsenal and France has spent about 1.5 trillion $. ­ And these numbers do not include the costs of testing, fissile material production, storage and disposal. The costs for other nuclear weapon states are probably similar, but those numbers are not publicly available

source: http://www.ippnw-students.org/NWIP/factsheets/money.html


Nuclear Energy: Advantages

France produces 76% of its electricity, enabling it to achieve almost 50% energy autonomy. As a result, its dependency on other countries is minimal as regards meeting electricity needs.

Nuclear energy does not produce greenhouse gases and therefore has no impact on global warming. In France, 50% of CO2 emissions have been avoided since 1970 thanks to nuclear energy. This energy source enables the emission of 700 million tonnes of CO2 to be avoided each year (equivalent to emissions by 200 million cars) in Western Europe, including 360 million in France.

source: http://www.cea.fr/gb/institutions/nuclear_power.htm


Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT]

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also referred to as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), obligates the five acknowledged nuclear-weapon states (the United States, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, France, and China) not to transfer nuclear weapons, other nuclear explosive devices, or their technology to any non-nuclear-weapon state. Non-nuclear-weapon States Parties undertake not to acquire or produce nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices.

source: http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/npt/


Friday, September 22, 2006

RTI Act of India


For folks in India and those who want to truly make a difference in India's domestic policies, you need to look into the RTI Act (Right to Information Act) which is currently gaining momentum in some cities. But what we need is the same momentum in rural areas. People need to be made aware of what they can do in the face of the Government's actions/inactions.
Citizenship is more than just voting and deciding who the leaders are. The responsibility doesn't stop there. Citizens have to realize that the taxes they pay to the Govt are to be brought back to the country's welfare and development. More than 70% of the people in India don't realize that the Govt is accountable to them every bit they promise in their manifestos.
Check out Parivartan - Fighting Corruption and Arvind Kejriwal the man behind it and who has been selected for the Ramon Magsaysay Award (http://www.parivartan.com/)
What we need is to spread this awareness in every state in India - the people/citizens can make a difference after all. The key is to propagate this through educational channels where the primary recepients are children and the youth.
(picture courtesy http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Geography : Disrupted...


The very sound of the words “Geographical boundaries” inflicts a pain so sharp in my soul and will do so as long as I remember the meaning of those words in any language. How can two simple words inflict so much pain to a soul that believes in free spiritedness? Free spirits are everywhere…but what happens when they are sucked in a system that runs only on laws and rules of the so-called world made by Man? Man made such a system thinking that it would in turn help get him organized and civilized. But in the process he has made things worse for nature, other living species and himself. Wanting so much to educate himself and become civilized as a natural consequence, Man has not even come to that state of mind, where he can comprehend that being educated is far from being civilized and to be actually civilized is within his reach if only he realized the difference.

Well, let me share something I recently experienced. I had to cross a border of a country to get into another. And I did get all the necessary papers that were needed in a human system of rules and regulations to cross the border. And you want to know why I did that? Well, I did not want anything that trivial to stop me from doing what I wanted. And when you have a higher purpose to accomplish, you do not want to be pinned down by simple hurdles. But what might sound trivial to certain people might be a Herculean task for many. And for some, such hurdles would not even matter and yet for some others, it would be the only thing they struggle to overcome all their lives.

When I was approaching the man made border between the two countries, I could see how breath-taking the scenery was. The mountain ranges and the clouds seemed to unite the heavens and the earth. The green trees seemed to reach out to the skies and they were filled with love. The surrounding air, sun, water from the rivers, and the skies seemed so connected to each other. When I was almost at the so-called border, I saw the immigration and customs office building and I had to walk into it. Apart from the presence of the building in that beautiful landscape, there was no other difference on the other side of the so-called border. And I saw all kinds of posts that gave names to those countries on either side of the Immigration office building. Does it make any sense, I asked myself. Well, what do you think?

I heaved a big sigh trying to release the frustration my soul felt every time I thought about the geographical boundaries and then, took my papers inside so that the officers could let me into the country on the other side of the border. The building represented a boundary - a border which screamed of differences from every angle. It disrupted the natural harmony that was present in the surrounding backdrop. I tried to ignore the screaming building and wanted to get my work done as soon as possible so I could get back to the harmony that was waiting for me to return and take me in.

The peace I felt with the nature outside turned into absolute chaos when I walked in. They say that feeling at peace or chaos is all in the mind but when encounters of this kind come your way, the chaos creeps in with the energy and leaves you questioning everything around, including your very own existence. And since I am no great exception, I felt the chaos disturb me so much within but the outside had to be faked and pretentious in order to get through with the crossing.

My papers were taken by an officer who had no time to even wish me and in the process of giving her the benefit of doubt; I assumed she must have had a long hard day and was probably worried about her children at home. For all I knew, she could have just been so preoccupied with everything around her. Or maybe even the daily routine at the man made geographical border was bothering her. I did all this assuming while waiting for my turn to get my papers back.

While I was waiting, I saw this man walk through the door with a police officer. This man, who looked like he was in his early fifties, had an absolute serene face. He was so calm and kept staring at the police officer as he questioned him while walking him in. It was obvious that the man did not understand a word of what the officer was saying. Maybe he just spoke a different language I thought. And it took a while for the police officer to realize that this man spoke a different language and that he did not understand even a word of English. English had become such an international language I used to think. But it made me wonder as to how many people still do not feel the necessity to learn other languages since they take language speaking and mostly English speaking for granted. The police officer then asked this man to wait and called another officer who seemed to speak the same language as the man. As the other officer came by, she passed me and gave me a cold stare. (When you are face to face with someone, and you do not know them, you tend to force a smile and divert your eyes elsewhere. That was the case here.) I did come face to face with this other officer and when I forced a smile in her way, she looked at me so coldly that I wish I did not understand the eye language. Sometimes even being able to understand the body language pains me because the hostility comes right through to you. Maybe she had a long, hard day too?

After giving me the cold stare, she walked up to the man and spoke in a language which he could probably understand. Though I did not understand that language, I realized that the man was as quiet as he was before and answered only in mono syllables. And whatever the man told the second officer, she translated it to the first officer who was beginning to get impatient. She told him that the man did not have a passport and did not have any other papers on him too. I could see the impatience piling in layers within their bodies and trying to create an explosion on the outside. But they still tried to control themselves giving the man a chance to explain his situation. I wish I knew what they were speaking then. The very thought of a language posing such a barrier to my understanding of this world, inspired me to make a resolution with myself to learn as many languages as possible in this present lifetime. After around half an hour of impatient questioning with the quiet man, the officers led him to a glass room around the corner of the hall and asked him to stay in with many more people. My eyes followed the quiet man and the two officers who led him to that open glass room and noticed there were around twenty people in it already. There were four children who were clinging to their parents’ side inside the room. I noticed the thickness of the glass and immediately recognized it was bullet proof. What was the reason behind that?? I cannot even begin to comprehend… The officers locked the glass room.

I can bet on the fact that the calmness I witnessed in that man’s face can never be replicated by any actor or actress. It reminded me of the scenery outside the building. There wasn’t any difference between the peace I felt outside in the landscape and on the man’s face. As I was scanning the people inside of the glass room, I wondered what the authorities would do with them later. The man sat by the glass wall and stared out at the landscape. I felt he yearned to get back to the serenity outside but how, I had no clue.

He looked like he had given up all material comforts and was in search of that peace beyond all the rules and regulations and laws of Mankind. He seemed oblivious to the consequences and the possibility of his freedom being curtailed. I suddenly felt the power of his soul which was ignoring the man made laws. What happens when man tries to break free from the system in an attempt to find salvation from its chaos? Is he chained by the very own system he is trying to escape from? What significance did the geographical boundary have for him? Or was he even aware of the rules of this system? Or maybe he tried to change the system and failed and gave up on everything and lived a renounced life? Or maybe he meant some harm even? I could not assume anything nor could I even get any close because the serene expression in his face remained the same throughout.

The system also bothered me a lot but I tried not to let it in and always focused in the bigger purpose. I want to be able create a change in this system and so I could not afford to let these things become a hurdle. Was I being a hypocrite and was that man living up to his convictions? I did not know…and will never know what went on his mind.

Then, when my name was called, I collected my papers and left the building. I was finally given permission to get to the other side, which otherwise was in no way different than the former.

Before stepping out, I looked back at the glass room and saw the man sitting in the same position and staring out. The two police officers then got back to their discussions and I could see that they were referring to someone in the glass room. As I walked out, there was this one moment when my eyes met with the quiet man inside the glass room and before I could bring out a smile, he smiled at me. A smile that inspired me to go back and create a change in the man made system! (All the while I thought he was having a long, hard day!)

Back to the scenery and awe-inspiring landscape I found myself looking for alternatives to bring a positive change and erase the “geographical boundaries” made by man. I hope to live in a world with no geographical boundaries and whenever I hear those words, I will tell myself that I should do something to lead them to obscurity. After all, I still have the smile to give me the courage to take the world single-handedly.

Here I am, writing about my experience and having a positive feeling about it. I am confident that there are like minded individuals in the face of this planet who would join me in this journey to erase all the existing differences!

Monday, September 18, 2006

St.Kitts & My lessons...







Nature has a knack of transferring her serenity to any being who seeks solace in her. And that is exactly what I got! She has a special way of teaching her lessons at the times when we most need them. It is up to each and every one of us to take these in...fully, with our body, mind and soul…and stay open to any experience we are offered.

When I was in Basseterre, St.Kitts, West Indies for eight months to pursue something which mattered a lot to me…I lived in a house which was located at the tip of the island and my bedroom overlooked the Caribbean Sea...and every morning and evening I used to be fully in admiration for the beauty of nature...the peace and tranquility…would totally engulf me in itself…the walk would be along the beach road…and I would most of the times stop by the beach and stare at its magnificence.

For the first time in life, alone with nature, I never did once feel lonely…I felt alive...I felt good…and then I realized something...I had stopped thinking and I really got present…to the moment...NOW!

And in the evenings...since my house was at the foot of a mountain...I used to climb up...and watch the sun go down...almost everyday. I cannot elucidate the living experience in words to you…I have never been so happy with myself and with the surrounding nature…and suddenly the whole world seemed so beautiful and positive and I yearned to live so much. I realized something so profound and that time could after all be ignored and stopped… and I stopped time!

I think time is always dependent on the changes that happen around and within you... It’s up to us to keep time running or putting it to a stand still so accordingly… when we have the events and changes in our life we can see the existence of time.

I truly understood what Eckhart Tolle said in his book “POWER OF NOW”. If you get a chance to read the book please try and read it.
I am happy and I have realized the ..JUST BE!
Life is full of surprises…you never know what you are going to get now…I have realized one thing. With all this happening…the power of NOW…there were a few friends who had tried and made an effort to make me understand. Though I did try…to learn it from them. It wasn’t until I came across this incident in life that I realized the power of now.
I know that all I have is NOW...and nothing else. I think that we all need time to ourselves to sort out our thoughts. The detours of life can make us do just that. It is during this time that we may learn much. More than if we were never to go through the experience to begin with or to always have everything smooth. I can think back over those times and see the good it has done for me. It may be difficult to see it that way and we may ask the question why? But things always have a way of working out for the best.

I am richer by this experience and every time I share it with someone new, I go through the whole phase once again.

Maybe it is the intense and powerful energy that is within Nature that gives us all the strength to live and love life most of the times. And since we all breathe the same air, drink the same water, walk the same Earth, are protected by the same skies and derive our energies from the fire of the Sun, we manage to appreciate the beauty that surround us, once in a while. Life would be much better if we did it more often.

I am sure this is what they call life and living!

Sometimes it just takes us a moment to express anything in language...but the genuine living experience is far more special and unique from the words...but we still have to resort to the languages to express ourselves...because language is one of man's most brilliant inventions!

Well, you sure know what to do if you want to know more about the experience! Of course yes! Go visit St.Kitts...


Media Sensationalism: The Downward Spiral

Whatever happened to Media's responsibility? Or should we ask, is there any such thing at all?
Just go and switch on your TV for news. Right now. CNN, Fox, CNBC, you name it...
Let's rewind to July 12th and go all the way towards the end of August 2006. What did we see?
Splendid explosions, dramatic incursions of Israeli soldiers across Lebanon's border, action-packed fighter planes demolishing buildings, bridges and infrastructure, poignant stories of displaced people - foodless, homeless, grief-stricken, angry...and a whole range of emotions, and Anderson Cooper's endless tirade on what he was seeing around - apparently informing us of the situation. Good job Cooper! There are millions around the world watching this dramatic spectacle unfold in all its glory except that it's not scripted much in advance, like Cinema.
But wait, what the hell is happening in Lebanon right now? UN peacekeeping forces, Relief efforts, Humanitarian concerns...blah blah, who cares? Peace-what?
You can hardly find half hour worth of updates on Lebanon's war after-math. Has the media become so insensitive to the actual needs of humans that all they care to do is just thrust more and more drama into their viewers' lives? Now that, the sensational part of the war is over, why does the media have to care, they got their share of ratings. Before the Lebanon crisis, it was the Iraq war's initial stages, beautiful footage of precision bombings, showing everything they could get on camera. But during the Lebanon crisis, there was not even an inkling of the Iraq war because it had lost its glamour.
Does anyone ever question what's happening right now? Are we as citizens of the world getting up against the media and asking them what the situation is right now? Question them as to where their responsibility is? Isn't there a line to be drawn between sensationalism and actual truth? This more or less seems like selective truth.
Peace, Humanity, Aid efforts and other concepts like those don't have a 'cool' or 'sensational' value to them like war, guns, death and despair. Maybe it's time to make the former elements more mainstream and accepted, maybe then we can expect a world more tolerant and understanding.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Edison & the Motivating Factor

We live in a city called EDISON which is in New Jersey named after Thomas Alva Edison. We live close to the place where he lived and there is a memorial tower and also a small museum near that place. There is a small forest-hiking area near the place he lived, which has thick vegetation and has tall, magnificent trees...they have turned it into a hiking area for visitors...throughout his stay in New Jersey, he used to walk daily in these woods and make his inventions...there are small posts which give us information about what he used to do and what he was interested in doing. There is a small pond in the middle of the woods where he used to go fishing with his kids. He loved music and used to always sing with his children when he was not with Science. Music was his only solace apart from the knowledge seeking. Just by visiting that place once, we could understand the intensity of Edison's yearn for knowledge in its most purest sense. Being there, it seemed that he always felt secure in Nature's compassionate warmth and was open to its light. No wonder it led him to contribute so much to mankind. It also seemed like he derived his energy from the nature around to take mankind to a different level.

We four went hiking on the trail and felt the charged-up energy in that area in our system. It was so overwhelming to be in a place where the light bulb was invented...can you imagine that more than 100 years earlier, there was a human in that very place, who contributed so much to mankind and science...and his son also donated the place to the government, in a sense, to share the significance of the area with the people who visited. And to be in a place like that, was absolutely amazing - the tall green trees, the sky above, the pond and everything in that place allured us with the intense energy.

"Only because of Edison the people in villages got bulb but, for them science ended with the bulb". After nearly 110 years even today most of them are yet to get even that. There was a time when scientists did not run after money or popularity. It was pure intuition and passion for knowledge and quest that drove them to live life But this is hardly a case now. Everything now comes with a price. Money has become the most powerful motivator and not the quest for knowledge. And what does that leave us with? Insecurities, insecurities and nothing but insecurities - of all kinds. Some of the people who speak about truth are greatly discouraged. Some of the people who go after inventions do not get proper support. When everything is institutionalized in the present world, the only people who come from institutions are getting recognition. Individuals are ignored. Only because of this factor, individuals lose their hearts. But in the past, science had advanced in certain key areas only by individual efforts.

So, when motivation comes only from the quest for knowledge, it brings out the vast potentialities possessed by the human mind. No matter what the hurdle, we must bear in mind that when we give unconditionally to the Universe, we in turn, get what we need or even desire.

 

Friday, September 08, 2006

Evolution of the Self

Went to this car show last night - vintage American cars most of them from the 50s & 60s. And suddenly it struck me as to how the Automobile technology has evolved from back then which made me think as to how Man has evolved over time. Let's forget about Darwinism now and just think about the evolution of the thinking man. What is that something that has constantly propelled Man to think in terms of sophistication, technology and 'development'?
Heard about this book 'Excession' by Iain Banks - something about what if the entire world has everything it needs, food, clothing and shelter and maybe even some things that it wants. Will post more about Excession later.
But the point is, in the realm of 'thought' evolution, there has always been a battle in the minds of Humans. The battle between the Higher self and the Lower self. What propels one towards a higher state of being and taking the high road?
Was reading James Bonnett's "Stealing Fire from the Gods" where he talks about the R-complex (reptilian complex) and the Limbic system in the human brain. Of course, R-complex is the reason for humans' instinctual self (targeting the basic physiological needs) and the Limbic system - the advanced part of the brain that's responsible for the higher self, which is geared towards humanity, love, peace and the all positive archetypes associated with one's self.
The outcome of the battle between the two selves, is what is manifested outside in a human. And the triumph of the Higher self over the Lower self in an ongoing battle is what leads to the evolution of the self. How far we can gain control over our lower self is no doubt a question to be pondered about.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Media attention needed: Suyam & Siragu

As filmmakers/media outlets, we have a responsibility towards social change. It doesn't matter what your safety zone/genre is, but filmmakers and the media need to have at least some focus towards social development.
Accessible Horizon Films is aiming to make films for change, either in a small or big way. We recently came across Suyam and Siragu, 2 NPOs striving towards social change involving extremely poor children in Chennai, Tamil Nadu (India).
If any filmmaker/media outlet is interested in what they are doing, you could get them some press attention or even make a documentary on the social work. These children need the world's attention in every way possible.

Right now, there is an urgent and desperate need for money and media attention. Anybody who is anybody, can lend a helping hand.

Following is a recent request from (Suyam &)Siragu administration.

How you can help:
1. No doubt money is the primary need to support our activities, we are desperately in need of funds (as of now, running on loans). You can try to get some small contributions say Each One Contribute One dollar.

2. You can forward our mails to all your known contacts and ask them to support.

3. From wherever you are, you can collect books, CDs for our children in Siragu.

4. You can devote your time 1 hour a week to support our documentation work. We can send you the content and you can fine tune it and send it back to us. This will help us in correction of grammer and add more strength to the presentation.

5. If your Overseas friends are willing to contribute from one dollar, ask them to visit the link
http://www.ashanet.org/workanhour/2006/projects.html

our project is displayed here for funding, SIRAGU

6. If you have any media contact in Chennai, they can support us in coverage of our School and publish our details and this way can get some support from people. Even magazines in abroad, TV channels in abroad can telecast the shoot of Siragu. This will create awareness around the World how are transforming the begging children and street children into mainstreaming.

If you can help in any of the above ways, please contact Muthuram or Uma at
suyam_awake@yahoo.co.in

Please check out http://www.siragu.org/ or http://www.suyam.org/