People I Like and Don’t

I like people like: Albert Einstein, Aristotle, Ayn Rand and A.R.Rahman.
Their names all seem to be ending in ‘A’s. Haha:) Theirs are the great minds of the world. And more such people. These are the likes of people who have brought the world to where it is now. Without such people, we wouldn’t be where or how we are now.

I don’t like people like: Mother Teresa, Pope John, any spiritual teacher
Yes, I once used to like Mother Teresa, but blindly. Just because everyone likes her. But now I know her motive power, her ideas and her philosophy. It is not something that I wish to follow or something that I would approve of. Therefore, I don’t like her.

Eventhough I’m a staunch feminist, I still agree with what Ayn Rand says about her opposition to women’s liberation. Men are superior, in terms of sexual and physical strength, compared to women. Atleast most of them are. When it comes to actual equality, there can be no conflicts. Both are humans, for goodness’ sake!

When it comes to other matters, like who shows much care, who is more emotional, who is more practical and all that, there can be no divide between men and women. Both show all the characteristics typical to both men and women. In some cases more and in some cases less, but nonetheless, they do show it. Why should we even argue about who is more superior and all that?

True women’s liberation came through scienctific breakthroughs. Scientific progress has done a great deal for women. It has given them the power to control their lives by the use of contraceptions and reproductive preventive measures. It provided women with the freedom they needed. Women can decide not to have children or to postpone their motherhood because they can get their hands on contraceptives and other preventable measures.

Now, Mother Teresa was opposed to abortion and contraception on the basis of her religion. How fair is this? Abortion is a woman’s issue. Only she has the right to make a decision. How can people confuse between a human life and a potential human life? As for the issue on contraception, that was even more absurd!

Let me give you a scenario, and you decide for yourself which is more important; the human life or the potential human life? Imagine yourself in an IVF clinic and you are waiting for your wife sitting outside. Your wife is undergoing her IVF counselling inside a room. So, there is a door to the storage room beside you. In this room they store all the eggs and the sperms from the donors. Suddenly, a fire alarm sounds. Somewhere in the building, something caught fire or there was some explosion. You have to evacuate soon or else the building will collapse. What will you do?

Now this is a moral situation. Will you, (a) run out of the waiting area with your wife, or (b) quickly go into the storage room, grab as many nitrogen cylinders as you can with the help of the others, risking your life in that situation? Naturally, you would worry more about your life than all those potential human lives, right? Come on, if you still believe that abortion is immoral, I can do nothing else to change your mind. And anyway, I’m not trying to change any mind. I’m just presenting the way I see things and why I believe such and such.

Rajini and Religion

Dr.Richard Dawkins always says that religion has acquired an unique status that enables others never to speak ill of it. You cannot criticise your own or others’ religion in public. You can, however, do so in private among your close friends. Such high criticisms on religion and how it poisons the minds of the people will bring about much chaos from all corners, if made known to the public. In our world, atheists are still a minority only.

Now, why am I comparing Tamil actor Rajini with religion? To say that Rajini has also acquired such an unique status, whereby you cannot criticise him openly, in public. You will be mauled by his enormous number of fans. What Dawkins days is very true. Everything in this world should be able to be subjected to criticisms. Why should anyone or anything be put on a pedestal?

So you are asking me what is there to criticise super star Rajinikanth? I have a nothing to criticise him about. I disagree with few of his methods to attract his fans. But there is nothing to criticise him about. However, I’m saying that he should be able to be subjected to criticisms by those who are or are not his fans.

In almost every show I see, each and everyone of them praise him and like him. I would ask, well what has he achieved, that I could also follow him and take him as my inspiration? According to me, nothing. So I do not care about him and I have nothing against Rajini. But these people just blindly quote him to be their inspiration. If they are actors, well it’s understandable. But even the general public? Why does everyone have nothing critical to say about Rajini? Why do they all just follow the crowd?

Well, you can ask me, those who know me well. Why do I like Vijay, if I am ignorant of Rajini? You might say I’m being an hypocrite. Let me be clear. I do not like Vijay as an actor. I do not approve of his ways of acting in those so-called masala movies and wasting his talents. But I likie Vijay as a person. And they don’t call him ‘Ilaya thalapathi’ for nothing. He has talents. He’s just wasting them right now.

I have watched a lot of Vijay’s interviews. I like the person I saw in those interviews. His personality, his like for aloneness and all that, I like it. I like his chubby face. I liked him a lot in ‘Kathalukku Mariyaathai’, ‘Bhagavathi’, and ‘Puthiya Geethai’. In Kushi, he was fantastic! But he’s just simply wasting his talents in movies like ‘Mathurey’, ‘Thirumalai’ and ‘Sivakasi’.

I would really like it if Rajini does good roles, like some hollywood actors in movies like Die Hard, or Mission Impossible. I don’t like it when people act typical tamil actor roles. Like a hero, saving the heroine, fighting the villains and all that.It’s quite boring. Tamil film industry has still a long way to go. I also agree with Dawkins, that nothing should be left out when it comes to criticisms.

Why Am I An Atheist?

One of my friends asked these two questions to me: “What is the meaning of atheism, in your sense?” and “Why are you an atheist?” Well, he feels it quite strange that I’ve put my religion as ‘Atheist’ in my Orkut profile. It’s true that atheism is not a religion. In fact, atheists are mostly opposed to religion. But I seriously don’t know what to put in my profile under the ‘Religion’ heading. I don’t want to put ‘Hindu’ and give my friends a wrong message. Because hinduism is a religion and is always associated with belief in a God or several Gods. So I chose Atheist. Maybe I should consider putting ‘None’ in there now.

Atheism, in my sense, is the belief that God does not exist. Be it any kind of God; the supernatural, theist, diest, pantheist. Atleast, I can accept the pantheistic notions of God as of being somewhat “rational”. But certainly not the other versions. I still don’t know why we even have to accept those pantheistic beliefs. For me, atheism means freedom from relying on an external entity, which doesn’t really exist at all since there is no convincing evidence of it’s existence, and relying entirely on yourself. The first thing you experience when you come out of that glass ceiling, is that you are free to make entirely rational decisions and that you don’t have to rely on anything or anyone else.

But there was this dark feeling when I first came into that realisation. I was feeling alone, nothing to hold onto for support, no one but me to blame for whatever wrong/mistakes I do. My old habits of praying and seeking forgiveness kept coming up. I didn’t realize that it was so ingrained in my mind. But it’s all gone now. I don’t pray, I don’t go to temples, and I don’t keep mentioning “Muruga!” All of that is completely erased out of my mind and it took me quite a bit of effort for that. Not to mention, the time it took me to arrive at this stage, almost a year!

One I am an atheist because I have hope and I’m also certain that philosophical questions like “Who we are?” and “Why are we here?” can all be answered by Science. In fact, it has already provided those answers. Evolution by natural selection is not a theory anymore, it is now a proven fact. While simple explanations can be offered by science, why go looking for mythical and illogical explanations? The one thing I don’t advocate is blind faith. You say that God is a simple explanation? While it seems so on the surface, look deeper into it. God must have been a very complex being or some unknown entity to create such a complex life systems on the planet. I have already said this many times in my other post in my other blog. So I’m not going to put forth the same arguments again.

I’m sure people are also really fascinated with why the constants of the earth are so exact that any slight change to any of them, would not have made it possible for earth to survive. This will induce them to think of a creator in work. For more inormation on such arguments against atheism, go and grab yourself “The God Delusion” book from your nearby library shelves or book stores. It’s written by Richard Dawkins, who specialises in evolution. All the explanations given in that book are rational.

One If I am so strong an advocate of atheism, then why do I still call myself a Hindu? Because I believe that hinduism is not a religion, but a way of life. I believe that you can be both an atheist and hindu. As I said in a post before, I view the hindu scriptures and temples in a purely metaphorical and aesthetic perspective. So there, I hope I have answered those questions fully as my friend intended.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Disclaimer: This post is NOT a spoiler. However, there are certain crucial information presented here that could give good clues for those fans out there who have not read the book yet.

Finally, I have finished reading the 7th book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. What a read! The story has so much complexity about it. I had to read the book again to understand why exactly such and such happened.

But it was a fascinating read. I really enjoyed and was saddened by a lot of events happening in the story. I don’t understand how can certain people disregard this series as children’s stuff, not being interested in the books at all. They are missing out on a lot. Movies certainly don’t give that amount of satisfaction.

So many deaths, and all lost hope in the middle of the story. I almost cried, feeling so much for the characters and their predicament. As you all know, Harry and his friends are set out to find the horcruxes. But they meet a lot of obstacles along their journey and near-death escapades.

Who said that this is children’s book? I don’t think that children can understand the intricacies and the emotions explained in this book. Especially about Death. Only teenagers and adults are capable of understanding them.

A well-presented magical book by JKR. Never have anyone waited so longingly for a series book like they did for Harry Potter’s. But it is all so sad that Harry Potter is no more. All there is to wait is for the movies to come out in the following two to three years.

All I can say after I’ve finished reading the book today morning at 2am, is that the story’s climax resembles that of Sivaji’s. But it is presented in a more logical way than in Sivaji. And what more, I love Severus Snape!

It’s Like…Duh. But Fun

You Are a “Don’t Tread On Me” Libertarian

You distrust the government, are fiercely independent, and don’t belong in either party.
Religion and politics should never mix, in your opinion… and you feel opressed by both.
You don’t want the government to cramp your self made style. Or anyone else’s for that matter.
You’re proud to say that you’re pro-choice on absolutely everything!
You Are Romanticism

You are likely to see the world as it should be, not as it is.
You prefer to celebrate the great things people do… not the horrors they’re capable of.
For you, there is nothing more inspiring than a great hero.
You believe that great art reflects the artist’s imagination and true ideals.
You Would Choose Money

You know that love doesn’t always last forever – but money can.
Why bother with jealousy, petty fights, and hurt feelings?
You rather just go shopping!
And while marrying for money may be lonely, you’ll always be well dressed, well traveled, and well fed.
You Are Very Skeptical

Your personal motto is: “Prove it.”
While some ideas, like life after death, may seem nice…
You aren’t going to believe them simply because it feels good.
You let science and facts be your guide… Even if it means you don’t share the beliefs of those around you.
Your Brain is 47% Female, 53% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve
What Your Hands Say About You

You are logical, analytical, and rational. You have good verbal skills.

Flexible and broad minded, you can fit in to any situation. There’s no telling where your life will take you.

Brainy and intelligent, you are intellectual to the point of being incomprehensible.

Your emotions tend to be nervous and potent. Your energy – both positive and negative – deeply impacts your life.

On the “Neeya Naana” sequel…

I was just reading this blog post a while ago. I was also watching the two-part series of that program “Neeya Naana” conducted by the controversial figure Srikanth as the author in this post talks about. The program was about what a complete man and complete woman should be like. According to me, I think the program did not really finish off the debate. The girls crowd and the guys crowd also do not represent the whole Tamil Nadu population. But the views they expressed are widespread and can be agreed by most of them.

The most controversial part of the talk show was when the girls quoted the economic status of the complete man according to their views. The author quotes the following in his quote:

“…the group of women had the following commandments to identify the male’s fitness to marry them.

– Rs. 50,000 salary per month (mostly everybody agreed on it)

– A double bedroom flat with centralised AC

– Car and other accessories

I was really amazed, as to how, not even a single women wanted to affirm that they wanted a self-confident dude or a person who is aiming for a success in his career.” 

Well, what is wron with that? I don’t see why the author expects the women to be hypocrites. It’s easy to say that I want such and such confident man and all that, it’s true. But a man’s wealth proves much beyond that. It shows that he is really confident, that he is hardworking, that he is intellectual and a lot more. Those women ask such salaries because they themselves are earning very well. Hard facts and truth are what the show demands of the participants and what the show presents to us. so that is what we will get.

I agree to the author, however, when he says that, “When we were are in a framework where women are fighting for equal status, why is there a disparity in seeking a partner with higher income. Are they treating themselves as unequal or inferior, have they lost the battle before it has begun, I never thought they were masters in meeky submission.”

The girls in the show were actually saying that men should be earning more than them. That is BS! If the girls in the show are like that, then the author should not base his judgement through their views, because their views don’t represent all the women. I certainly wouldn’t care if my “complete” man had a higher salary than me or not. Why should the women in India, or more specifically in Tamil Nadu degrade themselves in such a way? And they say it like as if they are giving in to the guys with great hearts. That’s the most ridiculous part of it. But rest assured guys, girls are changing.

The show is incomplete, I say. The host didn’t ask the same questions to the guys, that which he asked to the girls. Like for example, he didn’t ask the guys what are the five most important things they expect from their complete woman. I tell you, even if the host had asked such a question, the guys would not have quoted any salary, house, possesion of a car or accessories. Our society is still narrow-minded and stereotyped. If the men and women have really achieved equality, the show would not have progressed in such a way.

There was this guy sitting in the front row, who said that he wouldn’t mind having a woman as his wife even if she consumes alcohol or smokes. Well, that’s BS too! What a hypocrite! Tell me this guys, would you honestly accept a woman who drinks, even if it is only occasionally? Or for that matter, someone who smokes? Most of the girls themselves do not accept guys who drink or smoke. They consider it irresponsible behaviour, not fit for family life. How would guys? Unless he is from the US or something, he might. But Tamil Nadu guys are conservative. They expect a family type girl when it comes to marriage and becoming wife. They expect a “chick” girl when it comes to dating and having fun. That’s the summary of guys. Period.

It is true as the author says that “it is a myth that economic prosperity beyond a level leads to happiness”. Wealth is just a means to achieve the end, but is not the end in itself. The end here being our own happiness. So therefore, what the author says is true. Wealth does not give happiness. Whatever you achieve through wealth gives you happiness.

According to me, my complete man should have the following: 1) Must be atleast 2 to 4 years elder than me. If younger, max is 1 year. 2) Must be a businessman. 3) Must be independent, living on his own salary. 4) Must have views similar to mine, like he must also be an objectivist, atheist and a feminist. Both of our visions for the future must be the same. Not listed in any order. But the most important one must be no.4. If he meets no.4, he is automatically no.3. No.2 is not mandatory. No.1 is my ideal but not necessary.   

Just for Fun

You Are 72% Capitalist, 28% Socialist

In general, you support a free economy and business interests.
You tend to think people should fend for themselves, even when times get tough.
However, do think the government should help those who are truly in need.

Your Dominant Intelligence is Intrapersonal Intelligence

Reflective and thoughtful, you enjoy spending time alone.
You are good at analyzing yourself – and knowing your true feelings.
Totally self aware, you are in tune with your dreams and desires.
A spiritual and philopsophical person, your inner calmness inspires and helps others.

You would make a great philosopher, researcher, or theorist.

Harry Potter…

I love Harry Potter, do you?? I guess not. Some people out there don’t like Harry Potter and are not at all interested in it. Like me and some others who don’t like Sivaji, but a lot of other people like it.

But you just can’t deny that a majority of people love Harry Potter. It’s self-evident. The author is now many times richer than she was before writing this sequel. Why? Because a lot of people buy her books. Why? Because the story is magical, the imagination is ecstatic. JKR is really a genius to have come up with something like that.

The intricacies involved in the story is simply mind-blowing. To imagine that she took 5 years to finish the plot of the story! She deserves all that money she has made. I hope she writes more other sequels. Not exactly about Harry Potter. With all these Save Harry Potter campaign, I don’t think the people really want to save the Harry Potter sequel from ending. All they want it JKR to continue writing more such sequels basing Hogwarts and it’s magical creatures. I hope that she will write too.

Anyway, I’m happily and eagerly waiting for the 7th book! I’ve pre-ordered my copy. I don’t know who is going to stop me from peeking to the back of the book to find out the ending! God help me!! If there is a God…

Bursting Out Of The Circle

Have you ever looked at what a typical lifestyle of a person living in India is like? It seems like he never thinks but just follows the crowd. Observe him carefully. Because that is not what you want to live like. You, who are the thinkers, would not want to live this way.

At 10 years of age, he wakes up in the morning and goes to school at 9, comes back in the evening and goes to tuition and comes back from tuition, studies more and then goes to sleep.

At 20 years of age, he does the same, but goes to college instead. You don’t even have to ask what degree he has taken. It would always be engineering, if he cannot have MBBS.

At 30, 40 and 50 years of age, he does the same, but goes to office instead. 35 years or more of his life will be dedicated to the same workplace.

At 60 years of age, he retires and that’s the end of his life according to him. No other duty exists for him to perform. He would have performed all of them by this age.

For a woman it’s different. While at 10 she studies, harder than boys, she is married off at 20. She has children soon and that’s the end of her life. If her husband meets a tragic accident and dies, that’s the end of her life too. She has no more earthly pleasures to pursue.

Why does it seem like only the Indians have such short period of life compared to he rest of them in the world? I am not just generalizing here. I am stating the fact of what is happening to most of the people in India. Their attitude towards life is appalling! They live a life of emotional and cultural drudgery, struggling throughout their life trying to live for their family and for the others.

But things are approaching a change right now. The youngsters nowadays are changing and are more drawn to Western life. They are individualistic, open-minded and all-around type of people. This is mostly brought about by the developments of the city life and developments in technology available in India. Still, India has a long to go.

But do Indians like Western lifestyle? A lot of them hold dear to their heroic “Indian Culture” when it comes to this issue. The culture, they say, has enabled them to live peacefully and prosperously until the westerners came. Like the dialogue they speak in the hindi movie Swades, these people hold their culture dear to their hearts. They blame the youngsters for eroding “Indian Culture”.

Okay, enough of digression. Coming back to the topic at hand. Like I said, India has still a long way to go before all of them open their eyes to the world outside. Seriously, people live within a small circle and refuse to come out of it. Believe me, I know such people. They are above 50 or 60 years of age and it’s a bit too late to tell them to come out of the circle and look around them. They are financially well ridden. That is not a problem for them at all. But they refuse to do so. To know that they have spent half or more of their lives in the same place on earth gives me a disastrous feeling. Like they have wasted the whole of their lives. They have a lot more to see and they are missing it all.

Notice what happens to people who come out of this circle. Their first reaction will be to question those around them and wonder why people live like that. They will start to defy all conventions. They will start to think for themselves. They grow much matured than their parents and elders because they have come out of this circle. They will start to see life as they should rightfully see.

But what is the reaction of the majority living inside the circle to this outburst of knowledge? They brand them as being “selfish”, “talking too much”, “impatient”, “irresponsible” and “not being respectful”.

Such is what happened to me and to my parents. They broke out of the circle first, when they left their relatives behind in India and came to Singapore. It happened to me next. I have broken out of the circle too. I don’t want to live a life of a typical Indian girl. I want to live a life that I want.

What kind of life I want? I want to live only for myself, not relying on others and not letting others relying on me for anything. For now, I have to rely on my parents to educate me. That is their duty. But once I have completed my formal education, I will be left on my own. I want to take life decisions on my own, not seeking anybody’s help. I will not sacrifice my life, my interests, and my wishes for anything not under my concern or responsibility. If I did take any wrong decisions, it will be me and only me who will bear the consequences for that. Having said that, I will not bear the consequences of anybody else’s wrong decisions, be it my parents or my dear friends. All of this is my right, as it is everybody’s, and nobody can stop me from achieving it except myself.

“I swear by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine.” ~ John Galt’s Oath. It’s mine too, from now on.

The Fountainhead

Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead is the first novel I read about objectivism. Well, the book did not exactly tell anything about her philosophy like her next one Atlas Shrugged. I fell in love with both Dominique and Howard Roark. That is all I can describe about the book because I don’t have any other words to describe it. The prose was fantastic. I actually had the impulse to buy the book immediately. Even now, I want to read the book again.

When I say I fell in love with Roark or Dominique, it means I liked the values and morals they represented very much. But sad to say, I didn’t understand the novel that well when I first read it. I have to read it again to write a good review on the book.

But I just wanted to express how much that book had changed the course of my life. I’m sure all objectivists started out like that. With sleepless/restless nights following the days of reading Ayn Rand. You just lie there on the bed, tossing and turning, thinking about what Rand has expressed in her novel. My view about the world had changed the instant I read that book.

Now I’m in the process of reading Atlas Shrugged. I have to read finish it before Harry Potter’s 7th book is released on the 21st. I had to read this book slowly because I needed to grasp the full meaning of what Rand is trying to convey through her well-devised dialogues. I’m reading John Galt’s speech now. In the middle of it. His speech makes it perfectly clear what objectivism is all about. It’s the speech that Rand wants to make to the world. I love his speech. I love Atlas Shrugged