Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Mother Said: Love is Like Iron

I have a round-about way of expressing emotions. I either state them so bluntly no one takes them seriously or I act out by repeatedly wheedling at the object of my affection or agitation. I did the latter with my mother yesterday. I was lamenting the lack of time she spent during the day with me and the rest of the family. I jokingly commented she didn't love me enough, and didn't think about me enough. I guess it really hurt her. She popped up today with an adorable earring rack--she knows me too well--and a story.

It sounds sweeter in Punjabi to me, but I can't write in the language so I'll paraphrase in English.

Iron is heated in a forge and shaped by fire. When the iron hammer hits it, the iron clangs loudly. Gold is heated and shaped in the same way with an iron hammer, but with a softer sound. The shaped gold asks the iron, 'Why do you cry so loudly?' Because the gold keeps his pain to himself. The iron tells him, 'When others strike you it does not hurt so much, but when your own attack you the pain is unbearable.'

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Social Networking: From the Pind to Facebook

People who live in the pind, Punjabi for 'village,' usually reside on ancestral properties which have been in the family for hundreds of years. People do move out of the village, but the connection to centuries of patriarchal history has a strong influence on both an Indian's heart and social life.

The pind connection binds its descendants by culture and geography, often providing the surname to its resident families. You will notice that one of the first things a Desi will ask a new acquaintance is, "Which pind are you from?" Promptly followed by a slew of personal questions in the search of a common ground and creating a verbal profile to pass onto other relations. This interview is usually performed with an unabashedness the average Westerner would find rude.

Amusingly enough, this same inter connectivity is the goal of modern social networking, today epitomized by Facebook. Every profile first asks a series of personal questions about family, education, work, hobbies and then to add all the people they might possibly know. Although Facebook takes it a bit further by allowing all conversations, activities and photos to be showcased in a somewhat public forum. Of course, the technologically inclined, Desis and non-Desis alike, have colonized the website and made it an almost necessary part of their daily routines.

Promoters in particular have managed to abuse the ease of social networking for profit. Their goal and methods are transparent enough to discern--getting paid for selling tickets--but what interests me is the curious effect it has on their personalities. I find the egotism associated with a verifiable, wide social circle of acquaintances (not friends) and the safe barrier afforded by the internet cultivates some of the most despicable personalities I have ever encountered. Don't believe me? Meet a promoter in person. The majority of conversation centers around the promoter's own life and his notable actions, as he wantonly hopes of impressing the easily swayed with images of grandeur and creating profitable future connections.

Leh, can you tell I've had a bad experience? Anyways, don't make the mistake of trying to engage on any level with the douche bag-in-disguise. Promoters are like small, ill-tempered children with no handle on reality. And they usually don't apologize until their only commodity of value, i.e. their reputation, is on the line.

Yeah, that last bit was a rant... but here I hope Jus Reign's own Facebook rant will cheer you up. :)

And just 'cause we were talking about the pind, I had to mention the lovable Miss Pooja, who represents the lively, innocent pind girl.


That oil painting is by Harvinder Singh, I ripped it from his site. Pretty good don't you think?