Thursday, July 29, 2010

Life goes on

Amidst the aura of death that smokes the valley these days, I manage to sneak through and ride along the most breathtaking stretch besides the Dal lake. Wind touched my face and I could feel the cool rush of air that whistled through fluttering my shirt. I captured a few moments that proved me wrong.
Irrespective of the kind of situation and conditions throughout the region where life has lost its significance and dignity, I realised that there is a power that keeps it alive. Life goes on in one form or the other. It changes its forms and color irrespective of the events that are created by man. I realised that man who enjoys the title "Ashraf-ul-makhlooqat" (Arabic term for the highest form of life) is just an intruder who is tirelessly working in disturbing the systems of nature. Unknowingly, he is doing no good but building up a huge castle made up of hazardous explosives.
It is just a matter of one moment and his huge empire will be lazed to ground. Man has never contributed to nature constructively. He has been selfish throughout the ages, creating deliberate conflicts, killing fellow men to enforce his might and an endless list. He has refused to accept that he is the culprit – the cause of the entire nuisance.
If we start observing nature keenly, there are a million things that can be learnt. One can see the simplicity and the way nature is streamlined. One can see the freedom that life enjoys being in the laps of nature righteously. But no one is ready to think about it.
Someone had rightly said that “Man is the only animal that spits”.

All these are clicked on my Canon EOS 1000D.
(Specifications on request)

Monday, July 26, 2010

The man behind WikiLeaks - Julian P Assange

Seemingly out of nowhere, Julian Paul Assange, a silver-haired Australian, has emerged as the world's most important newsman. He's done so by hosting a website,, that publishes classified military reports and other secret information.
"Since it went online, three and a half years ago, the site has published an extensive catalogue of secret material, ranging from the Standard Operating Procedures at Camp Delta, in Guantánamo Bay, and the 'Climategate' e-mails from the University of East Anglia, in England, to the contents of Sarah Palin's private Yahoo account," reported The New Yorker's Raffi Khatchadourian in the best profile of Assange to date. "The catalogue is especially remarkable because WikiLeaks is not quite an organization; it is better described as a media insurgency. It has no paid staff, no copiers, no desks, no office. Assange does not even have a home."
WikiLeaks garnered worldwide attention in April when it posted footage taken from a U.S. Apache military helicopter over Iraq in 2007. The footage showed American soldiers killing at least 18 people, including two journalists. On Sunday, in its latest disclosure, the site posted roughly 92,000 classified documents on the American war effort in Afghanistan.
Khatchadourian explains about this man and the idea behind
"He had come to understand the defining human struggle not as left versus right, or faith versus reason, but as individual versus institution. As a student of Kafka, Koestler, and Solzhenitsyn, he believed that truth, creativity, love, and compassion are corrupted by institutional hierarchies, and by 'patronage networks' -- one of his favorite expressions -- that contort the human spirit. He sketched out a manifesto of sorts, titled 'Conspiracy as Governance,' which sought to apply graph theory to politics. Assange wrote that illegitimate governance was by definition conspiratorial -- the product of functionaries in "collaborative secrecy, working to the detriment of a population.' He argued that, when a regime's lines of internal communication are disrupted, the information flow among conspirators must dwindle, and that, as the flow approaches zero, the conspiracy dissolves. Leaks were an instrument of information warfare."
Assange first tested his concept in 2006. Wikileaks' first post was a document allegedly signed by a Somali rebel leader calling for the assassination of Somali government officials.
In the video below he defends releasing tens of thousands of secret files about the war in Afghanistan.

Excerpts from
Video: YouTube 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Rain

Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain. - unknown
The Rain - from the way it forms to the way it drops, it’s a marvel of nature. Anything that is dark has always been considered as closer to evil but when the clouds turn dark every face lits up with hope, lips wear smile and suddenly the whole world starts to look beautiful.

The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain. Henry wadsworth Longfellow

See this rain song (below) I like though I do not understand a single word (It is in Telugu, a South Indian language). Thought of sharing with all of you.
Movie: Varsham (Telugu)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The real flight

Since few days I have been gazing the skies and thinking about these birds. As I watched them, the whole idea of being able to fly unassisted fascinated me. Parachute jumpers and skydivers would often argue that they are the closest thing to "pure" flying but in fact they are only falling, not flying.
People watched the nature and watched and again they said this is something we can do too! Silly people!

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. - C. S. Lewis

All these are clicked on my Canon EOS 1000D.
(Specifications on request)

Friends - a tribute

A friend is a blessing in disguise that holds an extraordinary power to transform your life to a meaningful and joyful journey, a journey leading to your purpose of life.
Friends have to be treasured like a prized possession. Nothing in life can be more precious than this and if by chance you lose it or take it for granted you will be at loss. Time has been kind enough to teach me the importance of carrying this prized possession throughout and then no storm will be able to stumble me down....just because friends are with me. Mere presence can make a huge difference.
Sometimes the feeling of friendship goes beyond words, the intensity of understanding and the purity of relationship start challenging words and expression. Let us pay an expressive tribute to our best friends who have stood beside us under the rain, in the storm, and on a joyful move. Let us dedicate this song by Junoon to all our friends
Yaro yahi dosti hai!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It is all about Words

A few days back on a news programme on NDTV, a moderate separatist representative slammed the anchor along with the whole Indian media for calling the young men on the streets “hooligans” and “trouble-makers” without understanding why they have taken to the streets. This has been the scenario throughout the mainstream Indian media. Local journalists from Kashmir are extremely careful about the vocabulary, completely opposite of the mainstream Indian media uses without pausing to think about the meaning.

It is not “peace” that ordinary people want; they stress they want a “resolution” to the Kashmir question. They want development and jobs, yes, but they also want a political solution.
The language used to describe those who protest in Kashmir is not just a matter of semantics. It is important because it places what is happening within a context. Thus, what is significant is not that people are using stones instead of guns, as some reports suggest, but that young people are daring men with guns, even at risk to their lives, because their anger and frustration cannot be contained any more. We need to comprehend this anger that fuels the “stone-pelter”.
I strongly believe that media is all about words and the use of words. It is about semantics. It is about the employment of phrases and their origins. I read somewhere that it is also about the misuse of history, and about our ignorance of history. Journalists no longer care about this element of linguistics.
The point I want to make is directed towards those journalists and media houses that are airdropped and appear only when it is all screwed up with major incident/s. It is a must for them to keep these things in mind, whether they cover Kashmir or any other conflict in India.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Kashmir's 'stone war' fueled by dissent - an audio report

Caught in tensions between India and Pakistan, Kashmir's youth have turned to an old-fashioned method of dissent: Emily Wax of The Washington Post reports.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I love to write but I ache to click

Without doubt, writing changes how a person perceives the world around him. I believe I am an average writer. I love writing though. I love words. I want my skill and professionalism in that particular area of my life to continue to grow. I feel passionate about it and it is something I will pursue the rest of my life. However, I still feel my photography, my ability to click, is my true strength. I love to write but I ache to click.
I can go days without writing a word. I cannot go days without picking up my camera. So I have been trying to decide what to do about that, trying to decide what's going out on shoots over the weekend enough or do I want more? And I always feel like I want more. One of the things I was really trying to find out was a place to combine both my writing and my photography but goes beyond. So here am I, blogging!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The BlocK

Like a lot of writers when I hit this point I am always a little worried that this will be the end--this will be the time when I lose it forever and never write again. This will be the time the words go away for good.

Even though experience has taught me that writing, like all creativity, is a cycle, I still have those moments of fear that I will never write again. There are times when I am bursting to get the words out (and cannot get them out fast enough) and times when it is more of a struggle. Not to mention times when the words won't come at all no matter how hard I try to make them. But I have always found that the words eventually come back. The writing always cycles back around.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Limits and Constraints

I wrote “Thinking inside the box” a couple of months back. I have been thinking about what influences innovation. That sparked the trigger. I analysed and was convinced that the solution must lie somewhere within the problem. I appreciate just how important it is to accurately frame the problem when working through complex issues. For past few years I have spent too much time paying too little attention to this critical step of problem solving.

Identifying all issues that could touch the problem and impact the solution is important. No rocket science there.

But what I have come to understand from research and personal observations is that the crucial step for breaking through problems with innovative ideas/solutions is to properly segment the issues into two groups: constraints and limits.

Far too often these two different issues are considered equal.

A limit, in my opinion, is an issue that has to be taken into account, as is, when solving the problem. Think of limits as the physics of the world that the problem exists within.
A constraint is an invitation to innovate. Where others see a limit, if you recognize a constraint, properly framing and identifying it, then you have a wonderful bound to innovate against.

Many a times, a constraint appears as a limit and is thus treated similarly by the problem solver. Yet, when viewed from another perspective the ‘limit’ may actually be a constraint that can yield a number of guiding points that lead to an innovative solution.

Next time you are facing a problem, try to identify what issues are constraints and what are limits. Work the list of constraints to identify the traditionally imposed bounds on the problem. The list of traditional bounds offers a well defined list of areas to innovate on, more often than not leading to a unique solution to a complex problem.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What Are You Optimistic About?

Today's EDGE question is exactly that - WHAT ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT?
Lots of smart people answered.

Here’s why I’m optimistic:
Not only are the world’s mightiest starting to feel the heat for not solving the problems of the oppressed world, but, our generation appears to be seeking greater meaning and fulfilment in life at a younger age. Their idea about being free is much more resolved. No confusion at all!
My optimism results from the belief that, like any other point in our history, the interests of the revolutionaries and experienced older generation are aligned with the interests of the passionate youth - a desire to be Free.
What are you optimistic about?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Everything YOU know is WRONG

"There is no war," Remington wrote to his boss. "Request to be recalled." Remington's boss, William Randolph Hearst, sent a cable in reply: "Please remain. You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war."
Objectivity, neutrality and unbiased approach is the mark and right spirit of journalism, but Indian media has always tried to be loyal and innocuous enough to bury the ethics of media under the ruins of so called “national interest” in Kashmir. It is this approach which makes them to cover their cameras with their eyes too when Kashmiris are victimized, abused and struggling in pain, inflicted by so called custodians of law. But when it comes to counter the often recurring “campaign supported from across”, their adrenalin runs high and they are on their toes. It also makes them vocal and articulate in their mad and ridiculous sensationalism good enough to bring two nuclear armed entities to the brink of war. Also sandwiching in between, the unheard, unseen Kashmiris.
Indian media does a ‘great’ service to their nation by projecting victim as guilty and guilty as innocent. The cries of gruesome incidents like chain of killings in the past few weeks or horrible incidents like Shopian and Kunanposhpora not strong enough to break the loud-mouthed glasses of their ‘national interests’ and clear their blurred vision. They puff chests in pride while twisting facts in the valley. Indian media today is in whirlpool of duplicity and double standards where everything goes in line with the power corridors of New Delhi and objectiveness and balanced reporting is shown the exit. About politics and their Kashmir policy it is for everyone to see, it is here where justice, human rights, democracy and all universal values are thrown out before crossing over the Jawahar Tunnel.

The establishment has been playing its role to make sure that local journalism is lazed to dust and no truth is reported to the world. This soil has produced great journalists over past few decades. Since three days these remarkable journalists of local and international news agencies are being kept unplugged and out of action not allowing them to report to their duties. Curfew passes issued to the journalists were cancelled, making their movement impossible.
In spite of these restrictions, “special” media house crews were given access to the deserted valley to report according to the guidelines provided by the state. This is an ample proof of promotion of infamous embedded journalism by the establishment. The outcome of the reportage comes up to the expectations of the state.
A typical example of double standards where Gandhian principles are talked about but even peaceful protests by an oppressed population is labelled as “agitational terrorism” deserving nothing but bullets and tear gas canisters that too directly on their chests and heads to make way for ‘complete national integration’. Where young ones are taken as enemy agents and imprecations on national security. Where Kashmiris have exclusive rights on Indian Bullets but all this appears blurr in front of ‘glamour’ of Indian media who have exclusive rights not to report the truth.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

World tight-lipped - Human Rights Violation in Kashmir

Human rights are "rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled." Proponents of the concept usually assert that everyone is endowed with certain entitlements merely by reason of being human.
Human rights are thus conceived in a universalist and egalitarian fashion. Such entitlements can exist as shared norms of actual human moralities, as justified moral norms or natural rights supported by strong reasons, or as legal rights either at a national level or within international law.
The modern conception of human rights developed in the aftermath of the Second World War, in part as a response to the Holocaust, culminating in its adoption by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. However, while the phrase "human rights" is relatively modern the intellectual foundations of the modern concept can be traced through the history of philosophy and the concepts of natural law rights and liberties as far back as the city states of Classical Greece and the development of Roman Law. 
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. —Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
In Indian Administered Kashmir, there have been countless repeated cases of violation of the Geneva Convention (for the humanitarian treatment to the conflict struck). Indian security forces have consistently violated humanitarian law, and do not often comply with its provisions regarding treatment during conflict. The spree of fake encounters and killings are evidence of their contribution towards the growing human rights violations and oppression.

Above. A cop showing his might
Human rights organizations are routinely denied permission to investigate in a free manner. There is no entity known as free press. Journalists have been brutally attacked and denied access while performing their duties. Local bulletins have been asked to air the news within 10 minutes a day. Isn’t this ridiculous?
Above. Security forces beating up a man who tries to stop paramilitary CRPF troopers from desecrating the bodies of two youth killed in CRPF action 
These cases of human rights violation stem from abuse of power under repressive laws and police/army brutality unleashed against the Kashmiri people. People are taken into custody for acts that are legitimized by international human rights standards of free speech, freedom of association and assembly, and freedom of the press. Many arrests are without any legal justification. The establishment has done well in gate keeping media and projecting a different picture to their people in the Rest of India. A Kashmiri boy has been projected as a paid stone-pelter or associated with an infamous brand of outfit. This is unfair and not true.

Kashmir is at such a volatile stage that can erupt and create a shockwave destroying all the establishments built over the period of time for their vested interests. The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the whole world.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cops turn Goons

A bunch of maniacs and goons passed by our street, smashing all the windowpanes of residential houses and throwing abuses. The culprits were none other than the Central Reserve Police Force - CRPF personnel. Ours locality being one of the inactive areas, I was trying to figure out the cause of this insane behaviour that too without provocation. Some deadly spirits might have possessed these goons resulting in this out-of-the-world act.
I heard similar stories of other areas from my friends and relatives. They had similar tales to tell. The Indian paramilitary CRPF restored to stone pelting without provocation in a few areas. They even tried to cut the power supply at multiple locations. What are they up to?
Actually, they (CRPF) have really got their basics wrong. It seems there is no training manual devised for these poor souls. They are doing no good for their country..
I could see the real face of a great democracy through these so-called ambassadors.. the one and only "CRPF".
Note: The images are clicked by GK lensman Aman Farooq

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I was looking out for the actual meaning of the word "Oppression". Though it is a very broad term, the main context remains almost the same.
According to Wikipedia, "Oppression is the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. It can also be defined as an act or instance of oppressing, the state of being oppressed, and the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, and anxiety."
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the concept of Human Rights in general were designed to limit oppression by giving a clear articulation of what fundamental freedoms any system should allow to all of the people over whom it has power.
When oppression is systematized through coercion, threats of violence, or violence by government agencies or non-government paramilitiaries with a political motive, it is often called Political repression.
Several movements across the globe have arisen that specifically aim to oppose, analyse and counter oppression in general. It might take ages for a movement to defeat oppression. But sooner or later the movement wins..

Note: The photographs are from Indian Administered Kashmir and Palestine. The final photograph (last on) shows an Indian policeman chasing Raashid Wani a cameraman working for an Indian owned media channel Sahara Samay who was severely beaten while covering events in the Srinagar city a few weeks back.

Stone in my Hand

This song is meant to create a discussion about oppression in general .... but definitely is inspired by the problems in Palestine ...
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