Parva – Y. L. Bhairappa


It’s not just another re-telling. It’s the retelling of the Great Mahabharath without that mythological nonsense. People in this retelling behave, think, sweat and  live like mortals. The devas are merely the hill folk with different traditions. Dharma, Maruth and Indra are the chieftains of the hill folk. And that’s all about the tradition of Niyoga. Krishna’s magic of saving Droupadi’s is not really required if Droupadi could stall the oncoming villain with the words. Does it? What do you think would exactly be the reaction of Duryodhana and Dussaasana if Droupadi could say something like “dare to disrobe me if and only if you have the temerity to get a taste of the wrath that would be unleashed by two of mighty clans (Panchalas & Yadavas) whose rules are brothers/brother-figures to me”?

One more I liked about this book the style of narration -nonlinear. The accounts are often recalled and the book is written in such a way even the not-important-looking-figures find could find their voices in this book.

The importance given to the characterization is pretty impressive. In fact, the sanguine episodes of the Mahabharata are given less importance so that more importance could be paid to the characterization which banks heavily on the way the characters think.

I for sure have a different mental-pictures of Kunti, Krishna, Bheema, Dharma, Arjuna, Pandu, Dhritarashtra, Baarama, Karna, Abhimanyu, Ghatotgach, Ekalavya, Salya, Vidura, Samjaya and Hidimbi after reading this book.


Listen Amaya


I happened to watch this on a trip the previous Sunday (12th June 2017). The one line description I read about this movie convinced that this movie is about human emotions and also that this movie is an award winner types. I was not wrong. I did thoroughly enjoy this movie.


The movie is about the daughter (Swara Bhaskar) of a widowed (Deepti Naval) woman not able to cope up with the relation that her seem to be enjoying with a another widower (Farooq Sheik). I liked the way the movie maintains a mellow pause without resorting to super-emotional scenes. I liked Farooq Sheik’s acting and characterization especially. Swara Bhaskar as Amaya was superb. The show of friction among the mother and daughter and daughter and her friend (Farooq Sheik) sometimes borders on love and sometimes on the anger that the other person is spoiling the friendship to get the relation transformed into another. I liked the way she comes around after realizing that her mom too had a right to life and love and none has a right to confine her mom to the  memories and condemn her life to them.

Some books…


Some books make my smile and make me feel proud. I am reading this book called “Homo Deus”. I liked the author’s philanthropy (in it’s true meaning -not as in charity). so far this book talked about the problems the human had been able to conquer (famines, plagues and wars) and set the course for the humans to deal with the next set of problems (death, unhappiness and aspiring for god like abilities) and at the same time, doesn’t shy away from pointing our lack of morals like equality. I felt like reading Casmos – Carl Sagan all over again. Books like this never fail making feel proud for being born a human.

There are the other set of books I read; Politics. Our stupidity makes me cry when I read them. When I read how our attention is intentionally being diverted to sentiments like religion, nationalism so as to evade accepting the actual problems let alone be discussing them, I feel bad. I feel like atlas carrying the burden of the heavens on my shoulders.

I am now scared of picking up Freud. May be peering into brains and encountering devils could wait for some-more time.

Logical Fallacies


Tu Quoque : In Latin that means “You too”. It’s a special case of Ad Hominem fallacy where the arguer is blamed for his past actions or silence. Like we blame our intellectuals for them “being” biased rather than discussing if the situation they were pointing to is real and in existence. It’s kind of when someone points a finger at you, you would blame him of being a felon in the past rather than introspecting you. If a smoker were to point out that smoking is dangerous, we, rather than verifying the fact, would argue “And yet you smoke!”

Ad Hominem : In this case though, rather than going through the validity if the argument, we just blame the character of the person who has been arguing the cause. This is the argument our lawyers employ in the cases of molestation. Since the character of the woman under the question is not of respectable character, it is proved that she herself invited that abomination. The same goes with the dressing and all others. “Anyone who dresses like that is not of respectable character”.

Appeal to Authority : Most of the quotations fall under this category. When a popular person says something, rather than verifying the validity of what he had said, we just assume that whatever said by the person of such a stature should be true. When our beloved god-men/politicians comment on various issues, rather than questioning them, we take them for granted.

Appeal to Emotion : When some one argues a point, we respond in an emotional tone. We see these cases in “our sentiments have been hurt” cases, when someone says something, rather than trying to prove/disprove them on what they might have said, we just file a sedition case because of our ‘hurt feelings”.

Bandwagon : When questioned about the validity of the point, rather than answering that, we respond the number of the people who seem to be thinking that the point under the question is valid. Remember this : A million people believing something untrue doesn’t make it the truth; it just makes a million idiots though. Many a people believe in -some or the other form of- astrology, but without a scientific proof, astrology would just be hokum.

Burden of proof : Assuming that the burden of proof (or correctly dis-proof) lies with the one who is not claiming. Bertrand Russel once said if one were to claim of a cup and saucer that are neatly placed on a table orbiting  the earth, it’s not the burden of a well esteemed astrophysicist to come with the disproof before the person who is claiming comes up with a conclusive proof for what he had claimed. May be I should say this to my devotedly religious friend the next time I meet him 🙂

Things a government should never do


  1. A government should never control information :- Should never prohibit the publication of a book or arrest the release of a movie. Even if the literature is considered offensive to majority (or a minority) of the people. Even if the literature could be classified by a few people as seditious in nature. As long as the literature is not actively encouraging the people to cause violence, government should simply ignore it. A government should actively encourage alternative thought.
  2. A government should never discourage people from having different opinions :- If only French monarchy were to succeed in silencing the great thinkers, we would not have accepted “equality, liberty, fraternity” into our moral frame work. Now they seem alright but in those days, preaching equality was offensive. An idea might sound out of time and sometimes might fly right into nationalistic faces, but as long as it is remotely moral, it should be discussed and people who encourage others to follow that should not be treated like criminals as long as that idea doesn’t foment violence in it’s teachings.
  3. A government should never ever let it’s people become patriotic/nationalistic :- As Oscar Wilde puts across “Patriotism is the virtue of vicious”. Emotions like patriotism and nationalism, like religion will rob the people of their logical thinking and people, who are infected with them can never think freely. Knowing that nationalism is just the liberal form of racism, governments should actively discourage people’s tendencies to become national.
  4. On the matters of the religion :- While a government need not actively discourage religion, it should never fund religious institutes, and never appear to be siding with any AND/OR all the religions of the land. As long as the religious practices tend not to be violent, government should not interfere in that matters. Governments role should be to improve the scientific temper of the people. In a good government, religious sentiments would show a diminishing trend by the people’s reliance on technology.
  5. On invasions :- Unless to defend it’s own people, a government should never invade other countries. Having said that, if a state or a province should seek to get separated, the wish of the people of the province should be respected after a due process of referendum. Nation should never come to mean a patch of land but the people who share a common bond.
  6. On human rights :- Upholding the human rights, shall be the very first goal of the government. If religious practices some in the way of that, those religions should be warded off, if the constitutions itself comes in the way, that should be amended. The Four Freedoms should be guarded on par with the spirit of the Nation.

The Queen of Katwe


“Hmm! Another underdog story” that’s what I thought when I got introduced to this movie. And that’s true. This movie did have the markings of an Indian Movie and made me recall “Chak De” and even “Sala Khadoos”. But what lies underneath is a looking glass through which we could peer into the daily lives of the Africans. And lies there is also the sense that all it takes to empathise with one’s joys and sorrows is not a feeling of ‘having been related to’ but just of ‘having one identified oneself with’. And and and… a movie need not have glossy graphics, sassy budgets, classy actors, raised expectations and huge fan following. It just have to make an appeal to your human side. And even when the movie fails to do so, all the list we have come across could not fill the abyss of the lack of the sentiment humain.

     It’s the story of a girl -Phiona Mutesi- who was born in a slum -Katwe- in Uganda. She gets to know about Chess almost by the something that is akin to luck. She proves her a champion among the local group of street kids and then goes on to play the school tournament in the near by town to win. She takes her liking to chess only because of her teachers inspires to think about Chess like “it is about winning a fight with planning” and it is allowed to become a queen (like the queen-ing procedure in Chess),  though one hails from the humble beginnings. While her mother is apprehensive about loosing a working hand, it’s the benevolent coach who promises her a life of education for her own daughters. So she goes to play in a Chess Olympiad in Sudan and wins the gold medal for Uganda.

She develops a complex case of superiority complex and quits the game after loosing in Russian Olympiad only to come back after a family incident. Then she goes on to win Rwabushenyi National Chess Championship. And then they happily live together ever.

The movie is lacking in the super-spicy and dramatic twists (like Dangal etc…) for good. End of the movie made me feel like the director did wanted to rush to the climax because maintaining the tempo and the tension was beyond her capacity (but then.. if she were to spice up the story, the movie would have looked like out-of-Bollywood). I applaud Mira Nair for not contaminating the humanness of the story.


A few dialogues I happened to like:
Coach's wife to the coach: Why do you do this? Why do you apologize when you knew what you have don is right?
The little who teaches the basics to Phiona : In Chess... the small one can become the the one. That is why I like it.
Coach Katende : Fiona! Never tip your king so quick.
The little girl : He took my Queen!!!!

And now… I am looking for the kindle version of the book in the hope that the book would give me more details : The Queen Katwe.