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Just Shoot Me

Bala, 28, Gordon Gekko in the making, pseudo-intellectual, cynic, bibliophile, obsessive compulsive ranter...

an epiphany

May 31, 2006

As much as i despise the idea of Social Darwinism, i realise that the entire reservation issue might boil down to the case of the (numerically) strong taking from the weak.
posted by Bala, 5:02 PM | link | 1 comments |

The unreadable

May 28, 2006

Every once in a while there comes a book, which makes you go to sleep in a few minutes.. here's my latest...
posted by Bala, 12:12 PM | link | 2 comments |

ishtry experiences

May 23, 2006

My MA exams are finally over. Over these past five days, i have written more lies than i have ever told in my life before. The height of "reel" came today when i was writing the answer for "estimate the career and achievements of jatavarman sundarapandian". Now all i know about the bloke in question is that MGR played him in "madurayai meetta sundarapandian" and lisped a lot of "kayaviyi", "kayaviyi" (MGRspeak for Kayalvizhi) in the movie. I filled two pages of A4 sheet with what i remembered of the MGR movie based on Akilan's novel (and most of it was surprisingly accurate, when i checked it out later)

The questions in all the five papers were highly subjective - mostly we were asked to comment on statements like "Aurangazeb dug his own grave in the deccan", or "Asoka had an able forerunner in Chandragupta Maurya" and things like that. This way of subjective questioning is good in the Masters level, but we have been specifically warned to write just the facts of what happened in that time and where and no justifications/pontifications please. But remembering all the datum is what is highly confusing - with multiple similar names and years (with multiple versions of chronology in some periods) it is a pain in the ass to remember all things everywhere.

I wish instead of these 3 hour bouts of intense mug-vomitting, there were more analysis assignments. I could do more with those, instead of writing 5 exams in 5 days. But hey, when one is doing one's Masters in a standard diploma mill open university, one cant be choosy.

These are the five papers i wrote and my chances of clearing them :

1) History of North India till 643 AD.
Bad, Bad, i knew nothing of north india except the samudragupta dude. Chances of passing this are same as those of an independent candidate retaining his vetti in A*ndipatt*i

2) History of Greater Mughals (1526-1707 AD)
Now this is one of my favorites, I cant be more happier than when i am denouncing Aurangazeb as an idiot. verri vaippu pragasam might pull of a la captain in V*iruthachala*m

3) History of Modern India (1707 - 1857 AD)
Had a spot of trouble with Wellesley. But there is a lot of mughal history in this period and aced the questions on it. Will pull through.

4)History of Europe (1789 - 1919 AD)
Now this is the home ground. It is by reading pulpish historical novels called Roger Brook Series that i got hooked into history. Be it denouncing Von Mitternich or discussing Blood and Iron, everything was a home run.

5)South Indian History till 1336 AD.
Now i should have been able to ace this easily. But the course load is double that of the other subjects. There are about half a dozen major dynasties at work here - satavahanas, pandyas, cholas, chalukyas (both kalyani and vatapi), hoysalas, yadavas, kakatiyas, gangas and pallavas. Throw in a little bit of Malik kafur, early vijayanagar history to confuse the poor me. Still i might make it.

posted by Bala, 4:13 PM | link | 2 comments |

What does one do with a racist? Part Deux

May 22, 2006

In today's letters to editor of the Hindu a certain "K Vedamurthy" from Chennai writes the following :

The decision reminds one of Will Durant's statement: "No one man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for those are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history.

The above letter is about the Tamil Nadu Govt's decision to allow any person to become a temple priest irrespective of his caste.

If only racism could get any subtler!!. Among the customs and institutions my society developed after centuries of experiment (careful development) in the laboratory of History include this and this. So it goes like this - when you think about someone burning a woman in her husband's pyre, accept the wisdom of your ancestors, because you are but a single man.

Whats funny about the whole letter is this - the same guy (i am pretty sure that it is the same K Vedamurthy) once had a war of letters in the LtoE pages of The Hindu with the cultural attache of american consulate in Chennai regarding the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This guy claimed that the Americans used the A-bomb on Japan and not on Germany because they were racists. This was in 1995 or 96. It doesnt take a white man to be a racist, a lot of that despicable species walk and live amongst us brown people too.. oh and they write letters to editor too..

PS : On reading this post, i think it is too harsh. I am denouncing everyone who opposes the decision as a racist. But then, why else would one oppose the decision?
posted by Bala, 4:38 PM | link | 0 comments |

What does one do with a racist?

May 20, 2006

Two days back, i had a run-in with an Indian racist. Not your everyday ubermenschen dreaming about the day when the fuehrer will clean out all the undermenschen and provide lebensaurum, but close enough. The Indian racist uses caste instead of race - Just a technical difference, rest is all the same - the bigotry, the hatred, the helpless splutter at seeing the lower castes walking about "where they dont belong".

unmindful of the fact that i am obviously one of the undermenschen , she (it was a she) went on happily ranting about the recent decision by the Tamil Nadu Government to allow persons of all castes to become temple priests. Normally i dont waste brain cells thinking about indian racists, but i got a moment of epiphany - these are the sort of brainless wonders who could come up with stuff like "kula kalvi thittam". (a wicked scheme hatched in 1953 by the then TN CM C Rajagopalachari to ensure all was proper and children learnt only their family trade)
posted by Bala, 4:08 PM | link | 8 comments |

Black Monday!

May 15, 2006

Oh and the Markets tanked today by almost 5%!!.. hurray for the bears!
posted by Bala, 4:55 PM | link | 0 comments |

we hatessss examssss...

Dear Constant Reader,

I know, i havent been blogging for a while. I am appearing for my First Year Masters in History exams this weekend and it is playing havoc with my free time. One doesnt get the impulse to blog, when one's mind is filled with fear and loathing for KA Nilakanta Sastry. Will be back to regular blogging once i finish off my exams.

There are Five papers and i hope i can clear atleast three this time.

posted by Bala, 4:41 PM | link | 0 comments |