I shall be reviewing a few books in the next series of posts. 

Abbe Prevost’s Manon Lescaut.

Bartleby the Scrivener and Benito Cereno, Herman Melville

Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Country Doctor

To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

Light in August, William Faulkner

Ficciones, Jorge Louis Borges

The Ice Palace, Tarjei Vesaas

Beloved, Toni Morrison

Disgrace, J.M. Coetzee

After this sequence of reviews, there will be Rousseau, Kant and Marx on Enlightenment and Revolution. Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary” as a discussion of modernity and art for art’s sake. Nietzsche and Freud on morals, discontentment, civilization. And then some post-modern thought with Wittgenstein, Foucault, Judith Butler, Rorty and Zizak.

This is the plan for the year. Very ambitious, as it should be! 


Dealing with Facebook-Wisdom.

I came across something on facebook that riled me up a little. A guy posted an offensive, arrogant, childishly superficial note on facebook about the social problems confronting Bharat Mata (Mother India)  and the ills plaguing the middle class. He did not have a coherent argument to present, he flitted from issue to issue like a reluctant, angry teenager with baggage, and he blamed practically everyone in the country for the problems – “most of Bharat Mata’s children, the women who are so stuck up, activists and youth marching on the streets for worthless causes, idiotic parents” etc. ad infinitum and garnished this potpourri of hatred, prejudice and obscenity with a brilliant quote that exposed the sexually frustrated young man that he probably is  … “Bharat Mata’s tits are sagging. FUCK HER.”

Generally I would have ignored this, but for some reason I was quite annoyed by his tone. I decided to comment on that thread where a couple more of his friends found the whole note to be some sort of a “brutal ass-rape” (if that is a compliment). They also wished that the note would “go viral” since it might teach Indian society so many lessons. After I posted my very-long paragraph-wise reply to his note, he and his friends decided to take the argument to the next level  (hahaha)  .

They decided to call me a faggot. They started publicly slandering me with obscenities – typical behavior expected when a pack of teenage bullies are confronted. They revealed both their homophobia, their intellectual shallowness, in not comprehending that an argument is always about the idea and not the person, and their flagrant disregard for any form of public decency. The guy who wrote the note decided to message me privately on facebook where, amidst the verbal diarrhea and the glut of invectives, he also managed to inform me that “everybody thinks that I am an idiot. ” , “seriously man, we are laughing at you” , “Learn english and some social science” . I found this bit mildly amusing.

I had always wondered whether I would ever be completely brutal with someone’s bullshit before, will I ever be impolite enough to rip someone’s arguments apart without the luxury of propriety. I found out that it takes the right kind of armchair-“know-it-all”-wannabe who brings that side out in me.  I do not feel guilty for doing this to someone I don’t know. Just a little schadenfreude.

Below is my reply to his note. The italicized portion is the guy’s note and my comments are interspersed. And I have not left anything out. 😛

—————————-The Note———————————-

“Indian society is currently going through a major transitional phase. We have literally been thrown into the globalized 21st century with the second largest population in the world. And what are the memes generated in this society? Porn, Rape, Floods, Unemployment, Competition, Poverty, and NarendraModi. “

Hi. I do not know you. I am commenting on this only because I found it interesting – in the sense, that I have never come across something so arrogant and devoid of coherent ideas at the same time!

Of all the issues that face India – the one that offends your consciousness is the memes generated?? It’s an iffy start to the note considering the section of society that generates memes in India (hahaha) is a minuscule minority and is primarily from the rich, globalized elite of India. I like your style of indirectly questioning your own social group.

 “Most of Bharat Mata’s children love their motherland a lot. But do they even know that their motherland only exists in their minds? India does not exist and has never existed in the unified utopia that the Kashmir enthusiasts and critics of ‘so-called secularism’ think.”

And I cannot see what is wrong with “loving” an idea? Our sense of self, our ego, our sex drive, practically everything only exists in our minds. India does not exist. Very assertive of you.

“ This country, if analysed historically is a political milestone achieved by the leaders of the Indian sub-continent of the 1940’s “

Oh, and now you go ahead and contradict yourself in the next statement! Sigh, did you suddenly remember geography? And clearly since India was politically realized only in the 1940s, we should be ashamed about it. If for instance, it was older, say an ancient civilization – things might have been better? .

“All those marching on the streets after getting inspired by Ajay Devgan (Bhagat Singh) and NarendrabhaiModi have no idea that they are neither fighting for a worthy cause or a lost cause. They are fighting for a cause that only exists in Tumbolia, due to their lack of knowledge about most things, especially the complicated notions of India, Bharat, Hindustan etc”

Yeah, those fucking idiots. Here you are writing a facebook note and changing the world! The first sentence is hilarious because it reveals the ignorant cocoon in which you have been hiding. Since you clearly “get” the complicated notions of India, Bharat, Hindustan – I am sure you have personally persuaded the Indian Govt. and bureaucracy to recently amend the Criminal Law for sexual violence, forced the politicians to bring in a legislation for Food Security, got us all RTI or RTE, inspired the Vishakha judgement by the SC, arm-twisted the Indian Executive into taking note of these “worthy” or “lost” causes — all by your vigorous facebook note-writing.

“A friend of mine recently remarked that we have the most stupid middle-class in the world. This reminds me of Justice MarkandeyKatju’s comment that “90% of Indians are idiots”. More and more people are realizing all over the world that intellectual mediocrity and lack of critical thought, in addition to a total lack of knowledge about anything are the prime causes for the world to be in the backward ass-fucked position it is in today. “

Brilliant evidence there — A friend remarked, Justice Katju thinks, more and more people are realizing. Did you know that some friend of a friend once said – “if only the elite could get off their high horse, we would be much better off”?

“India is no exception to this rule. A massive chunk of our youth is lost between imaginary causes due to their inherent conservatism and lack of awareness. A revolution like the kind that happened in Turkey recently, where couples made out in public in large numbers, is unthinkable in India at this time. It is a shame that even the middle-east is getting far more progressive than our middle-class. We are so caught up in family ties and mother-father, brother-sister, uncle-aunt crap that we have no idea that the worst dictatorship is the dictatorship of ideas which are enforced upon us by our less-enlightened elders. Why? Because elders get undue respect and authority in this country, the younger lot will never be able to change anything.”

A massive chunk of our youth is lost fighting for employment and daily wages. They have no time for imaginary causes. A smaller chunk of the youth thinks they have it all figured out on facebook. And I salute your imagination. Of all the revolutions that you could think of in India, the most pressing one is seriously PDA!  And this sentence reveals the unconscious racist/cultural bias you have – “it is a shame that even the middle east” , yeah because they are “supposed” to be more conservative? Wtf is wrong with you!

And then you go ahead and scoff at all kinds of familial/kinship ties. Family issues, eh? The younger lot will not be able to change anything if it has intolerant, pompous pricks like you.

“Why is pussy considered so sacred in this country? (Disambiguation required) Why are you girls so fucking stuck up? Do you not understand that if your fucking parents want to marry you off after college, its because they are conservative IDIOTS? The word idiot is key here. Conservatism is not to be blamed upon our parents, it is to be blamed upon their parents and their parents’ parents and so on. It is the hierarchical order of society imposed upon us from the start which is the problem. And this order is being maintained not so much by conservative authority, but more by idiotic parenting and idiotic respect for such idiotic parenting.”

Hahaha. The girls are fucking stuck up because they have to deal with idiots who think they have an inherent, congenital right to pussy. And I am sure your solution of disrespect, tempered with arrogance and lack of reasoning, will solve the problems of Indian society. Thank you so much.

“We claim to be very progressive, but we elect a political party to power in Delhi if they promise to build a temple. We have not even stepped out of religious boundaries and we claim to be a rising nation? The reason why most people in India are still religious is not their higher spiritual values. It is simply the lack of scientific knowledge that holds the people stuck to notions of Hanuman, Ram, Vishnu, etc. “

 I am an atheist. And I finally find something to agree with.

“ Bharat Mata’s tits are sagging due to lack of sex. FUCK HER. “

 The sexual imagery you use is very charming. And please do not consider this a personal attack on yourself. I was just responding to the stinking pile of bullshit that was hogging my wall. You should, by the way, delete this comment, in case your balls are sagging.   ”


This blog-post is about trying to assuage my guilt at having spent so much time and energy on this fruitless activity and I feel that I might have been a little too mean. Maybe someone else will tell me if he had it coming.