You might have come across this joke that has been doing rounds for years now. Let me tell it to you nevertheless.
It unfurls in a classroom, where the teacher is conducting an exam. The students are to write an essay on coconut trees. (What other topic to write on in a state named after coconut trees!) While all the kids went gaga over it, Veer was yet to write a word. Veer was not from the state named after coconut trees, and he knew scant about those. This is not to imply that his was a gone case. He decided to make up for his lack of knowledge in coconuts by leveraging his extensive knowledge about cows. This is how we wrote his essay:
Coconut trees are good trees. We have a coconut tree in our backyard. My uncle ties our cow to the coconut tree in the afternoon. The cow gives us milk everyday. My uncle loves our cow very much...
In a system that rewards on the basis of the number of words written rather than the sense it carries, Veer passed the test in flying colors. He later held a cowboy party to celebrate his victory.
This is not a blog on coconut trees or cows. Or on Veer or his party. This could be a blog on love, but we are not there yet. Let's first talk about Psycho Pass.
Have you watched Psycho Pass? Are you into Anime?
Psycho Pass is a Japanese animated TV series based on a manga by the same name. It's one of my favorites, and I would recommend it to you in case you haven't watched. I am of the opinion that it is way better than the hugely overrated Death Note, which gets tedious once you get over the brilliant premise that draws you into it in the first place.
No, let's not waste time writing on cows in a piece on coconut trees.
So, Psycho Pass takes place in a futuristic setting. Japan has come up with Sibyl System, a bio-mechanical computing network that psycho analyses each of its citizens and assigns them a score, which is their "Psycho Pass". This score allows them to identify latent criminals, thereby enabling the prevention of crime even before it even happens! Cool, right?
What would happen to the latent criminals, one might ask. Latent criminals are citizens with a deviant thought process that is unhealthy to the collective well being of the society. Therefore, it only makes sense to keep them away from the public spaces, where ordinary citizens could walk free. The Sibyl System empowers the enforcers of law and order with Dominators, hi-tech devices to imprison, or even execute the latent criminals based on their Psycho Pass score. Is it okay to jail, or even kill someone when they haven't committed a crime yet?
Well, the fact that they haven't done something sinister yet doesn't warrant that they would not step out of line tomorrow, right? As they say, prevention is better than cure. Their Psycho Passes showed them as latent criminals, so they must have at least schemed crimes in their minds. How can you blindly trust a system and its assessment, one might wonder. Who decides the factors that aggregate in the calculation of the Psycho Pass, one might ask. Maybe it's not a great plan to ask so much questions against a system that is put in place to protect you. What if your questions cloud your analysis and your score makes you a latent criminal? What if the dominators feel you need to be put out in order to safeguard public interests? Pretty chilling, right?
Now let us talk about Munawar Faruqui, a stand-up comedian who was arrested by the cops from a cafe in Indore while he was doing his job right - making people laugh. His crime? “intent to offend"! Apparently, some right wing nut cases allegedly overheard him mouthing jokes hurting religious sentiments during his rehearsals. They first bullied him on stage, and then the bullies lodged a complaint. The police acted promptly and arrested the comedian for a crime he did not commit. Just like Pushpaka Vimana, India aced Sibyl System years before anyone else.
Nothing summarizes the present times better than this quote from Vir (never to be confused with Veer) Das on his YouTube special - 'The scariest sound that this establishment can fear is not the wording of my jokes but the energy in your laugh'.
As I am writing this, the love of my life asked me if I am writing on love. Not receiving an affirmative from me, she asked me why there was no love in my blogs! (Only if she had gone though the Chetan inspired cringe stories in my blog! sigh)
Today is the fourteenth of February, a day when people across the world celebrates their love. Now, I do not know who this Valentine person was or what he did. Nor do I care. In a world that increasingly screams hate, why not commemorate love for a change. We like going out and eating fancy food, so why not! Especially when some Bajrang Dal whiners think they can tell others not to do it, a simple dinner date also gets revolutionary.
Let me sign off with a tweet from an actor I admire for her work (on and off screen).
Massive transformation alert, The kind of range I display as a performer no other actresss...
Oops! Not that one. (Running into right wing nut cases everywhere!). Here we go -
"If one tweet rattles your unity, one joke rattles your faith or one show rattles your religious belief then it’s you who has to work on strengthening your value system not become ‘propaganda teacher’ for others." - Taapsee Pannu