Thursday, March 05, 2009

Lahore, March 3, and it's India v. Pakistan again

As expected, the blog scene across the globe has been pulsating with the news of the incredibly tragic attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore yesterday.
Here's Simply61, an Indian blogger with sense in the right proportions.
And here's Pak Tea House.
Also as expected, blogs by Indians or Pakistanis on the subject have led to a flood of comments by readers from both sides of the border, which comments then take on a life of their own and soon spiral down into the usual mess of bashing the other's country /beliefs / politics and what have you. So we see the familiar and mindless accusations of extremist Islam, Talibanisation, Hindu fanaticism, Muslim-ghettoing, State-sponsored ethnic cleansing, Church-destroying, nun-raping, priest-killing, Dalit sidelining, honour killing, school burning, beheading etc. doing the rounds...
What is it with India and Pakistan? Or rather, with the common Indian and Pakistani youth? (This is the demographic that is active on blogs.) For a longish time I held firmly to my belief that, "No, no, it's all good. The average Indian Raju or Pakistani Pappu bears no ill-will to his neighbour . It only seems that way in the movies, media and among hard-right politicians."
But the unfortunate fact is that this is not so. Can't say about Pakistan, but I've lived in India for over 10 years now and all my friends are Indians. For every sane and tolerant voice I hear among these my sensible friends, I hear and see many more intolerant, hateful, angry voices that bear malice towards Pakistan. I'm pretty sure it must be the same on the other side.
And why? None of the youth today have any real attachement with the Partition Era or the tragedy that unfolded then. Where is all this Hate-Thy-Neighbour sentiment coming from? I fail to understand. This feeling is never more evident than, ironcally, during a Pak-India cricket match. I need to wear ear-muffs to drown out the name-calling at such times. Why for?

I can distance myself from India- or Pak-bashing since, being a Kashmiri, I have the luxury of not belonging to either. (On the other hand, I'm equiliberal in India- or Pak-bashing when I see an injustice from either side. I'm not blind, I'm just more objective.)

What I really don't get is that overwhelming feeling of patriotism/nationalism/call it what you will, that takes a person to such a level of self-righteousness that he feels he is superior to anyone else. Because that is what nationalism is. A fierce pride that convinces you within your man-made borders that you are better than the other.
I reject nationalism outright. No 'nationalism' for me. I will judge people by their actions and intentions, wherever they may be from, and extrapolate that for Governments too.

And the moral of the story, based on this theory above, must be that the US Government sucks. :)

Cartoons flicked from Nicholson Cartoons and

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I watched, I liked.
Certainly not fabulous enough to win Best Film, but very good nonetheless. Mr Pitt was fantastic as I think he always is (the poor underrated sod what with his pretty face taking away from his acting).
Extremely impressed with the gorgeous Cate Blanchett since she was herself for a longer period in this film than Brad was himself.

Loved: Cate Blanchett as the contemporary dancer. As the insecure older woman. As the gorgeous love interest.
Loved: Tilda Swinton's character and esp. the "It was nice to have met you." note.
Loved: The love between Benjamin and Daisy.
Loved: Brad on bike. Rowrrr.
Loved: The ending where Cate holds Baby Brad in her arms. So bleddy clever.
Loved: Various other things.

Did not like: Weak to-ing and fro-ing between present and past. Julia Ormond has pissed me off from the time she caused all that havoc in Legends of the Fall. She continues to do so in this film.

New movie on wishlist: Rachel Getting Married

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sri Lankan players injured

Profiles of...
(from BBC)

Lahore Attack on Sri Lankan Team

What the...? Of all the sports teams in the world, Sri Lanka's cricket team is probably the nicest bunch and this makes Lahore's senseless attack all the more disturbing.
Which is not to say I would be celebrating if the Aussies were the target. Just adds to the incredulity of this whole mess.
Very Munich, which mixes someting clean like sports with mindless, dirty politics.As usual, the BBC gives the most comprehensive coverage. Read here.

My pick of the quotes in the aftermath of said incident:
South Africa captain Graeme Smith: "The word 'tragedy' is often used to describe a setback on a sporting field but this is a real tragedy. It is a tragedy for all the people of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it is a tragedy for cricket and it is a tragedy for all decent people."
That's all.

Nice blog post on The Dawn's website here.
Comments below blog were all sensible, mature and sincere. Very, very strange and heartening to see.