अनिल एकलव्य ⇔ Anil Eklavya

June 17, 2011

From Abbottabad … With?

On the other hand, the website (of a software) that is operational, there is map that shows the places (as dots) from which people have visited that website. Adding it to the site was an extension of an idea given by someone who once worked with me, who had suggested that we might add such a map to another website meant for a research workshop.

In the beginning I used to eagerly see the map (the details that you get when you click on it) to check how many people have been visiting. Since the number was not very encouraging, now I only sometimes see this map.

Today I happened to see it and noticed that now they have an extra feature which more specifically lists (apart from showing on the map) the places from which the most recent visits have originated. One day, one IP address, one dot. Same day, another IP address, another dot. And so on.

And what is that? One of the dots is from … Abbottabad. Now given the things as they are at present (in India and elsewhere), and have been for some time, that is something to make you jump out of your chair. As I nearly did.

I wonder which of the three great parties is using my software. Or is there a fourth* party? Should I swell with pride, shrink with shame or just faint from fear?

* Dotters or Dot Busters?

Or should I just say: one more and in a new place. And go back to my work. Or sleep.

I wonder and wonder. Because it’s a wonderful world.

Perhaps I should just curse someone (unknown) somewhere (unknown) in the Night of the Living Geeks.

(With apologies to the good people of Abbottabad.)

(As an afterthought.)

(There are some, aren’t there? … There must be.)

January 12, 2009

Picture of the Future

Orwell described a picture of the future rather bleakly as:

There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this, Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face … forever. (1984 by George Orwell: Part III, Chapter III)

This, I believed, was a dystopian picture. I still do. I have my own picture of the future, which has remained almost unchanged for the last decade (at least). Three recent events somehow seem to me to be describing my picture of the future.

The picture is mine, but the future need not necessarily be mine.

But it can very well be.

The first is the unbelievably and blatantly criminal assault by Israel on all Palestinians: man, woman and child. I won’t give references for this. It’s there prominently even in the mainstream media and has been there for some time now.

The second is a recent call by the Andhra Pradesh Human Rights Commission chief (Chairman) for “legislation to prosecute parents with diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV, leprosy and dyslexia should they, knowing that they have the disease, have children”.

Inhuman Rights Commission?

The third is the news, or rather the lack of it, about the recent death of a Hindi writer living in Jaipur (yes, the connection with ‘your’ places does make it worse) Lavleen (लवलीन) who was relatively young. She had a reputation as a ‘bold’ writer and woman. She hadn’t really established herself as a great writer, but she was known among the Hindi literary circles. Let alone the Indian English media, (it has been pointed out) even the ‘biggest Hindi daily’ Dainik Bhaskar didn’t report it, even after many requests. And even the small but very vibrant and inter-connected world of Hindi blogging (which is very enthusiastic about events like the wedding of someone’s relative among them) mostly ignored it, though they are trying very hard to find out who ‘the real Tau’ (असली ताऊ) is. Like a lot of other writers, she died with the dream of some day writing a masterpiece.

(But still, I came to know about this from a Hindi writer’s blog).

And, no, I didn’t personally know her. Nor do I know the A. P. Human Rights Commission Chairman. Nor have I ever been to Israel, though a large percentage of the people (in History) I admire happen to be Jewish and most of them (I am sure) would have or have been horrified by what Israel is doing.

I don’t know why but these three events (or should I say sets of events: being a ‘professional’ practitioner of language sciences, crafts and arts is tough when it comes to writing anything) somehow represent for me the picture of the future.

This picture is not quite as horrible as that painted by Orwell (actually, by O’Brien the character, whether or not by the author).

But it doesn’t seem very pleasant.

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