February 4, 2009

The Pub Hub

Posted in Vultures on Culture at 2:11 pm by kailash

Ancient Indian culture advocated distance from smoking, drinking and extra marital relationships. Presently smoking is fashionable, drinking is celebratory and live-in relationships are acceptable.

Cultures keep changing with times.

Certain developments might be in tune with the demands of the modern society but could be harmful if accepted without thought. Pub culture is one such.

The word pub originated from public house, which used to be a meeting place for people. In the Indian context pub is referred to a place where smoking, drinking and boy-girl mingling is prevalent. No one denies that such culture could be detrimental to the values in life if meeting implies mating. At the same time one may not forget that those visiting the pubs are educated, self-dependent and mostly belong to the privileged classes. They do not need moral policing. If they needed, they have well-intentioned elders to back them.

Pub culture is not gender-sensitive.  If it is bad for girls, it is bad for boys also. Remember culture keeps changing with times.

Regarding girls, there is another sensitive problem. Majority of modern girls began wearing revealing costumes. This has happened long ago in the western society and not long ago in the Indian feature films. Girls may think in terms of freedom or fashion but all men, though not confess publicly, do appreciate this as a gesture. Female anatomy is such an obsession to a normal healthy male that men may sometimes go wild if its exhibition is uninhibited. Law might help such girls but the support could be a medicine rather than a preventive. Western society got used to it and it is a matter of time before the Indian society gets used to it. Meanwhile the girls may alert themselves of the implications and be clear in their minds whether their revelation is meant to please the male-eye or female pride. If their decisions stem from wisdom and self-confidence, be assured that cultures keep changing with times.

Given this background, it is difficult to appreciate the violence against women in a pub at Mangalore in the name of Mr. Pramod Muthalik’s Sri Ram Sena. Mr. Muthalik, however, condemned the act and disowned the attackers.

Vultures do clean our surroundings while meeting their hunger-needs, but their action is not considered honorable for obvious reasons. How, and not what, is important in actions of concern. Cultures may be changing with times- yet vulture’s actions are not acceptable to the civilized and free societies.  

Gone With the Water

Posted in Vultures on Culture at 2:08 pm by kailash

Tradition and culture are quite often synonymous. When they defy logic, it could be due more to arrogance.

Water is universally accepted as the best cleaning agent for human body. However, in some countries, it was replaced by paper for toilet purposes. Hygiene could not be the reason because those countries continue to use water for bath, the ultimate act of cleaning the human body.   

A machine operator in Townsville, Amador Bernabe (aged 43 and was on a working visa from the Philippines) was fired from his job, because he uses water instead of toilet paper. His foreman followed him into the bathroom questioning his toilet hygiene and disapproving his ‘un-Australian toilet habits’. In India, people feel uncomfortable on the hygiene of those using paper for toilet purposes, but they do respect their habit by providing them with toilet paper. Tradition/culture may not be supported by logic but need to be devoid of arrogance and intolerance.

Poetry in ‘Motion’

Posted in Vultures on Culture at 2:06 pm by kailash

And then, the countries using toilet paper in place of water have some consequent problems too. Read this report (reproduced from the Times of India, January 28, 2009):

Poetry in the loo can cut down on paper use too, says a Japanese group campaigning to save toilet paper as part of the country’s battle against global warming.

Simply pasting a “toilet poem” at the eye level of a person seated in the cubicle can help cut toilet paper use by up to 20 percent, a study by the research centre Japan Toilet Labo showed.

“That paper will meet you only for a moment,” reads one poem. “Fold the paper over and over and over again,” says another. Or just: “Love the toilet.” Now the group is looking to have its posters displayed in 1,000 public toilets. “We asked ourselves what we could do for the environment in the toilet?” said Ryusuke Nagahara of the Japan Toilet Labo. “The answer is to save toilet paper and save water.” Toilet paper use in Japan has been increasing in recent years.

Usage of toilet paper demands poetry in ‘motion’. Is not water a better option than poetry?