Wednesday, January 29, 2014



By Promod Puri

I am a complaint type of person. So are some or perhaps most of us of this breed (complaining! ).

Actually I have not done any googling to find statistics about the extent of this addiction among us. The reason is even if I shovel to dig for the numbers these would be available in some percentage configuration as most of the surveys report these days.

Whether it is desired or not the trend is that a lot of information and data come in the mathematical veil of percentage. Example: there is a new small apartment building of 10 or 20 suites coming up in our neighborhood, and the latest sign says "90 percent sold". Why don't they make it more clear and simply say nine or 18 sold and only one or two are left. Another one: the merchandising sales are advertised like "50% to 70% off". Again we don't get the actual prices of sale items unless we visit the stores advertising these super special sales.

This subtlety of percentage is always baffling to me. Anyway, the point is that I am complaining even about trivial matters or things.

Still I feel the nature of complaining gives us an outlet to express our dislikes or disapprovals about something or most things we come across or experience in our day to day life.

There is an extensive cross section and mixed bag of complaints; an endless list of our grudges against governments, politicians, leaders, bosses and mother-in-laws; big corporations, big businesses, lawyers, doctors, dentists and plumbers; friends and relatives mostly at their backs; culture, traditions, systems, religions, god ( why not! ); weather, environment, health and bad knees; etc, etc, etc.

And then there are complaints about complaints, quite genuine ones.Here is a sample: a friend is meeting his buddy after quite sometime. His first remarks the moment they meet are like this "why you did not inform me about your father's death". Before the buddy comes up with a reply, the friend continues "anyway, I am sorry to hear that....". The very basic civility is to express condolence before complaining of not being informed about the sad news.

My own experience about complaint is regarding talking with relatives in India by phone. A few of them, the moment they pickup the phone, sarcastically say " finally you have come to remember us" or " you are phoning us after a long time". Again the underlying social grace is to express thanks for my phone call and then complain if one has to. Here in Vancouver, Canada, the den of preserved Punjabi culture, the complaint goes like this " O' phon phan maar liya kar kadi".

And then some people don't have any distinction between a complaint and a compliment. Example: "Oh you look weak, you have lost so much weight, are you ok" or "you have put on quite a weight". "Nice to meet you"!

I don't know what is the psychology behind being of complaining nature. But  complaining can be considered as healthy criticism (sometimes). And for that reason we should be in the elite category of being called critics like food critics or film critics.

So folks keep complaining, it gives an outlet to express oneself as well as some status of being a critic.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Tackling Rape Problem In India

By Promod Puri

Massive number of demonstrations have been staged, a lot has exuberantly been expressed, suggested, written, discussed and debated on the ever burning issues of violence and rape against women in India. Do we need more to say, more to express and more to propose, as well as reiterate, replay or rerun to build up the spectrum covering the issues.

Categorically Yes!

The more uproar we continue to drum up, even if it is repeated thousand times, to express our anguish and to keep the debate on, the rally of words is both a conviction and an incessant tool to weed out the imbedded immorality.

The street protests rallies may be abating, the politicians may be staying away from the row, the parliament and judiciary might have done their work in formulating and introducing new laws, and the police might have more ammo to apprehend and prosecute the culprits, but the words perpetually being expressed on the issues can keep the fire on.

Delinquent teens and adults, even those approaching the senior age, to fake gurus and saints promising celestial peace, powerful and privileged politicians, high-profile bureaucrats and professionals including the crime-busting scribes, those with "compulsive and impulsive" addictive behavior, and a lot more scums of the society, all are culpable party to this multi-facet social disorder.

Atop an observing post the landscape looks visibly blighted with crimes of rape and violence against women committed by beastly creatures who have practically debased every fold of the Indian society.

Also from the same post the cries and sobs of traumatized women vehemently struggling to somehow slip away from the beasts, their screams and shrieks to catch some help and their desperate "don't, don't" pleas during those dreadful moments endlessly reverberate like the recreated sounds of executing afflictions from Andaman's "kalapani" jails.

But the agony of the ordeal do shake up the nation's consciousness as has been lately happening in the country. And an ambience of hope is slowly emerging from the horizon. Beside other positive developments, more and more victimized women are boldly coming forward or trying to get thru the clogged system to report the crime and expose the criminals.  After all "silence is the enemy of justice".

Not to speak out publicly is appearing to be a receding taboo. This trend along with the public condemnation and outbursts, overall awareness of the twin issues thru extensive media reporting of the crimes, the protest rallies and the continuous exchange of opinions are all thrown in with a downpour of words. And that sure can help to drain out the culture of rape and violence against women.

The blitz of words must continue.