The long way to......

essays about my daily life. It will be something about India since it makes me happy and bothers me a lot.

Monday, May 15, 2006

what a real educator is....

I found an interesting story from The Hindu, Metro Plus, this morning. An English translated book called “A life less ordinary” written by a domestic servant originally in Bengali is published. Urvashi Butalia is a translator. (Butalia is a founder of a publisher; Kali for women and writer of “The other side of silence” which deals with violence against women during the Partition.)

According to the article, the book was born like this. Her employer who owns many books including Bengali written books one day asked her whether she would like to read books. Since she could read and write, she soon started reading many books. One day, he gave her a notebook and pen and recommended her to write something…..

The most interesting part was that this employer is Pradodh Kumar, the grandson of Premchand!! Wow…..He was a professor. I think he is a real educator. I would like to read out this story to many of teachers of JNU.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Commitment and disappointment

Again……Times of India likes to talk about casual sex among young people. There was an article about this before and again I found similar article this morning. Thinking about TOI is a paper which is widely favorably read by middle-class Indians, this topic seems like their favorite topic or concerned issue these days. (Or my concerned issue…)

It is said that it is now cool to keep virginity in the US. On the other hand it is cool to be sexual adventurous in India. Those young girls seek nothing serious in relationships and it is uncool to be sexually inexperienced. It is said the one fourth of call center employees have regular casual relationships. (Should I work there, too?)

TOI analyzes reasons of this behavior of young girls that those girls who got self-confidence by financial independence brought by booming jobs like call centers or marketing seeks new life style influenced by a media as “The Sex and the City”. It is also the reason that they have a carpe diem philosophy that they should have fun in early 20’s since they will get married with someone chosen by parents in the end.

It is not like I want to against their life style or anything. I just feel that what do we learn from experiences which do not involve emotional attachment, distresses or commitment? It is true that those emotional things make our life complicated. According to the article, one guy said that his “girlfriends” in mid-20 spend their time with other guys till he get free when he says he is too busy to see them. Yeah, it sounds like rational. But I cannot help wondering that is it the real flavor of the relationship spending one night suffering from mental agony? Is it the real pleasure of spending time wondering whether a guy really likes me or not? (Yes, it is suffering!)

I think that this shallow attitude is not only about the relationship. It can be applied to other things related to life especially like a job. I heard that it is common to switch jobs among youths these days when they simply did not like it. It is difficult and emotionally tough thing to peruse our own carrier wondering whether this is really a job for ourselves suffering with reality that there is no such a job easily available for us. It is always required to see the balance (or compromise) among own ability, job availability and what we want to do in our life. Of course, it is difficult to get them. No one is happy about their job in the first place and even those who were happy in the beginning will suffer anyway. We are required to keep making efforts, hunting for new chances and at the same time dealing with responsibilities accompanied with current jobs. This really is suffering process. We are required to devote ourselves emotionally and physically. It is exhausting process.

I understand that why they wont to avoid commitment in relationships or in carrier. Because commitment always involves with disappointment. Commitment does not assure that we will get what we want. It often ends up with disappointment and emotional hurt in the short run. The more we commit our time, efforts, emotion etc, the more it hurts when we cannot get satisfactory results. It is simple; if we stop committing ourselves emotionally and physically towards life, we would never get distressed.

Some people may thing I am old-fashioned. Or I am not good at handling with life being always struggling. It may be true. But I just simply want be a person who does not fear those disappointments in life. Maybe those realtionship experience makes us capable dealing with those life difficulties.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Human being might be an animal which keeps doubting and thinking about meanings of its existence. I just wonder why we, or I, cannot help proofing own existence something as significant. Why we, or I, cannot be happy about who I am?

I happened to encounter a book called “Confessions of an Indian women eater” by Sasthi Barata the day before yesterday. I was just curious to know how Indian guy perceives sex. (yeah, stupid motivation) However, it turned out be a good book (much better than I expected). It is fun to read, definitely. There are elements which usually excite reader as sex, booze or moving around Europe. But the book contains more than that. In addition, the book was not overtly Indian. I mean the author did not over emphasize his Indianess that much. (I think some of Indian English novels use Indianess too much as using Western myth or orientalistic image like religious and traditional stuff)

It might be possible to see the story as an individual struggle to deal with dislocation feelings and struggle to seek meaning of his existence. He did try to find it out by sleeping around. (I know my interpretation is partial and could do more deep analysis.)

I never thought about losing my social belongings (well, there is not so strong social belongings in Japan compared with India, though) or dislocation could distract me as such. It may be because I am so emotionally attached person. Or it could happen to everyone. Words cannot express the feeling of losing my space in a society. It deprives my identity (it could be that my identity was so small from the beginning) and makes me doubt my existence. After reading this book (while reading this book), I kept thinking how I can deal with dislocation feelings. Dislocation made Upamanyu Chattarjee to write novels and give a birth to Agastya Sahib in Indian literature world. Some may go for drinking. Some may go for sleeping around. Some may go for marriage. But none of them suits me. One thing I know is that I am the one responsible for finding it out. If Amit, the protagonist, could find way out, I guess I can do. It just that it does not happen in a flash.