Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Indians Now Want Caucasian Babies

In the concluding section of my past post Indian Fascination About Foreign, I was trying to figure out the various ways this fascination culminates into, i.e., we predominantly prefer foreign language and wear foreign clothings, etc. And, I found some more fascinating stuff. Today, I came across this article in outlook This Sperm Counts. This article enumerates the mindset of childless Indian couples opting for IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and details how foreigners visiting India become sperm/ova donors to various sperm/ova banks in India who in turn use those sperms/ova to fertilize infertile Indian couples. But why foreign sperms/ova? The answer lies in what type of babies Indian couples want to BUY from fertility clinics. Here is what Indian couples want:
These are the characteristics couples coming to fertility clinics ask for, fuelling the trend for foreign sperm: * Fair skin * Lighter hair * Blue/green or light eyes * High IQ levels
Now, observe, 3 out of 4 desired characteristics in a baby are the common characteristics of Caucasians, that is Indian couples are increasingly willing for their babies to look like someone whom they consider better and superior. Doesn't the above fact reflect a clear preference/fascination for foreigners? Indians have still not liberated themselves from ghost of foreign rule and it seems most of them feel comfortable in this bondage. A bit of imagination: Now, suppose that IVF becomes so cheap that anybody including the daily-wage laborer earning Rs 50 a day could afford it and Indian law allows even the fertile couples to have IVF and to be able to choose various physical features of babies. Given the Indian adoration of Caucasian race, every couple will be more than eager to have and raise babies of foreigners (since sperms and ova would come from foreigners) rather than propagate their own genes. Soon, in a few generations, the whole country will be populated by Caucasians and not East Indians. And in this way, we Indian will finally reach our goal of looking the most like foreigners, from trying to ape them to completely genetically becoming one of them. But then, who will be the foreigner when we too are foreigners in our own land!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kolli Hills Trek-October 2008

This 2-day trek was organized by Chennai Trekking Club in October 2008. We climbed the Kolli Hills, got into our cab to reach Kollimalai Falls (the most amazing one I have ever seen, neither a photograph of which can be taken nor a photograph can describe the experience), and then 9 of us (including me) out of the group of 40 set on to explore the cave the route of which starts from the falls. We could not find the cave but this deviation from routine plan turned out to be another amazing trek with river crossing and following a route which seemed more puzzling the more we explored it. And of course, we gave some headache to the rest of the group which finally started the search drill for 9 missing souls.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is Freewill a Misnomer?

Is there a way that a computer programs would know they have been programed and their actions are predetermined and controlled to large extent by humans. It doesn't seem as though they know. Similarly, most humans too do not know that they have been programmed or primed to perform actions which would be beneficial to those who programmed them. For example, the ruler of a state primes its citizen so as to act in ways to serve the purpose of the ruler, to let the ruler live a lavish life and histories be written praising the ruler. Another prominent example of this is religion which has become such a complex entity that it is difficult to point out who is the programmer since the programmer himself seems to be programed at first hand. On closer examination, it seems that even though the religious leaders are programmed themselves, they tend to do lot of fine-tuning in religious processes and beliefs so as to derive benefit from masses. Almost everywhere in this world, someone seems to prime someone else or group of individuals. But the general rule is that the number of programmers are far less than those being programmed and hence the harvest thus derived is concentrated among a few. Under so many influences on our mind, the concept of freewill, the ability of an individual to decide, seems to be a misnomer, something that gives the illusion of being in self control. Our so-called freewill seems to be rather limited to choosing between McDonald's and KFC, Pepsi and Coke. Someone called Jane Roberts wrote:
Your beliefs can be like fences that surround you. You must first see them or you will not even realize that you are not free, simply because you will not see beyond the fences. They will represent the boundaries of your experience.
True, our beliefs often become boundaries of our freewill. And how to gain more freewill? I suppose, we can do so by: 1. Questioning everything that we have been taught and that are being taught especially those that we have been told to believe in and not to question. 2. Doubting all including self wisdom. 3. Not treating your believes, ideas, and opinions as your belongings but rather discarding the old and accepting the new ones as and when more evidence become available. 4. Finally, always keeping your fingers crossed since you know not the truth but the perception of it, the shadow of it, which would change as the direction of light changes.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Old Ain't Really Gold

I'm really sick of this silly idea, "old is gold." I don't understand why people keep on saying that they like old stuff, that the old songs/movies were far better than present ones, the food was good in old times, and the nonsense continues.

If old things are really better than new ones, then is there any reason to invent new stuffs and moreover the whole human race would seem to be going through retrograde progression, from good to bad, constantly and endlessly. And if old is gold, why do people sell their old gold for new ones and why do most old stuff depreciate in price.

One reason I can find: Out of hundreds of items (say songs), what remains in people's psyche are a handful of best ones and then people compare those THE BEST ONES with all sort of average, good, worse contemporary ones. Obviously, the best old one will be better than the average current items and then people interpret it as the old stuff are better than present ones which actually should mean the best old items are better than average current items.

The problem seems to be in the limited memory of our brain, there isn't just enough disk space to save all the crap of yesteryears.

If you still have problem visualizing the situation, consider experiencing life as it was just 25 years back if not 100 or 200 years. Give up your high-paying IT job that makes you sit in an air conditioned cabin and take up a job in some manufacturing factory, railway, or some government office; drop your mobile phone and rely solely on neighborhood STD booth for calls; get a used scooter to replace your car and intend to use it forever; no computer or cable TV; do not avail any medical techniques that were developed within the last 25 years; and take other similar measures to transport yourself in good old time. I hope just by imagining these, you would like to reconsider your idea of "old is gold."

Indian Fascination About Foreign


While traveling back from Hampi, I encountered something that is much talked about and is already known, the Indians' fascination about foreigners. I found few Indian co-passengers dying to talk to few foreigners who were sitting next. The Indian guy was desperate to help and guide those 2 German ladies even without their intention to ask for any advice. This transported me to thinking mode asking why Indians are so fascinated about foreigners, foreign goods/brands, people living abroad, and almost everything foreign as if their shit smell better than ours.

On discussion, one of my friend suggested "it is because we give too much importance to fair skin color." In media or marriage, fair skin color is preferred and probably this is what explains Indians' fascination. But I say, this may be not be the complete truth and limited to females, because I've never seen any excessively fair local guy being treated like outsiders, not even to slightest extent. Moreover, in media and in marriages, many a times tall, dark, and handsome is the way to go.

Another friend suggested, since most Indians won't be able to visit other countries and hence, by talking and being friendly with foreigners, they want to get a feel of the land beyond seas. If this is true, then Indians must be as inquisitive to people of African origin as they are to Caucasians. Unfortunately, that does not hold.

Finally, a third friend suggested that "the persons who had willingly worked under British domination, had tried to ape them so much that they passed on the habit to their offspring." This seems to hold some truth but does not justify the fact that this phenomenon involves the whole India diaspora not just those who worked under British.

Another more general conclusion, "foreigners pay triple than an India and they don't bargain." That may be true for most foreigners and explains much of the hotels' and business owners' preference for customers with a Visa. But what I'm referring here is more generalized "thrill" associated with foreign in Indian psyche.

My conclusion: In Indian subcontinent, there exists cast system which has been hereditary for the past hundreds of years if not thousands. Hence, membership of a particular jati is by birth and what a member of that jati does for living is pretty much predefined. The Kshatriyas were kings and warriors, the Brahmins were teachers, scholars and priests, the Vaishyas were traders, and Shudras were agriculturists, service providers, and some artisan groups. This hierarchy was and is not just for division of work but also for defining social status, the facilities available to a cast, and to what extent a person was oppressed by members of higher casts. Also, Mughals too became part of this hierarchy after their invasion. Under such conditions, it is pretty much clear that proximity to higher cast had obvious advantages.

Even if social conditions were not at all bad for lower casts, getting closer to people who are considered superior is certainly advantageous and this behavior is somehow embedded in human psyche. Sometime there are direct benefits of this association, like if you know a film star, you may get a break in movies. More often, there are indirect benefits, like if you know a film star, you get better treatment by your friends and neighbors. Now, what would you do when you find a film star sitting next to you? Start a conversation as soon as possible!!! Isn't it? At least that's what our subconscious directs us to do. This explains why would people in somewhat egalitarian societies would still want to get associated with outsiders who give the appearance of superiority.

In India, Caucasian foreigners dominated for some 200 years and had the physical features similar to or even better than Aryans, the probable ancestors of Kshatriyas and the characters of ancient scriptures/epic, e.g. Ram, Arjun, etc. The physical features and dominance over Indian soil gave an impression that Caucasians belong to the higher end of the cast hierarchy. So, the point is Caucasian foreigners were and are considered elite, noble. And hence, the obvious follows, Indians jump to get associated with them since that is what their subconscious tells, "get closer to higher cast."

The aftermath: Now, we Indians have accepted the fact consciously or unconsciously that there are loads of benefits of being associated with higher class and/or giving the feel of association by way of imitating their mannerism which among other things heightens the status in society.

And the consequence:
1. Many Indians have abandoned their native language and speak English which has also become unofficially official language of independent India (which could not free itself from the foreign language) to be used in parliament.
2. Indians have abandoned their attire (I have never wore a dhoti) .
3. Indians often like to be called by an foreign-sounding name instead of their original names, such as Viky instead of Vikram, Sandy instead of Saundarya.
4. Indians read far more books in English than in other regional languages which is reflected by the meagre number of books published in regional languages and their skimpy price compared to English ones demonstrate that no one is ready to pay more for them.
5. Also, if you notice you will find that foreignm movies are rated much higher than similar regional movies by the newspapers/magazines.

There are numerous such examples which show our preference for foreign and we still take pride in so called Indian culture. Boy! We look so much like Kshatriyas now.