Friday, March 31, 2006

ok this is dedicated to the new art of CCp'ying that i recently learnt.

bunny: wat were u doing/
Arunlekha Sengupta: lenguptaooking at cartoons
bunny: k
Arunlekha Sengupta: will also do a pp presentation i think
bunny: me too at magazines
Arunlekha Sengupta: so we will need a projector on thursday
Arunlekha Sengupta: should tell rekha
bunny: yah
bunny: i think m slowly catching up with ur talents of ccpy'ing
Arunlekha Sengupta: GOOD DTUFF
bunny: (there was a smiley here don know why it didn't come here)
bunny: yah sure
bunny: all bows to the Goddess of CCp who finally showered her blessings on me
Arunlekha Sengupta: hmmmmm
Arunlekha Sengupta: may you not have to use even a word of your own
bunny: i have succeeded in cpying 1 page
bunny: with your blessings i tread on this path
Arunlekha Sengupta:
Arunlekha Sengupta: aashirwaad

p.s- so this what we do, we chat with each other, we meet n so talk again, we write scraps each other in orkut so we end up talking again, we comment on each others blogs so cannot avoid entering a discussion again, we at times fight for each other in other people's blogs, and at times like these we end up posting our conversations do we bore anybody???????

It's a real, real, real Bad Poem and i choose to write it in RED!

a girl
who wears a pearl
imagines her life to be in a swirl.

is a woman
she is not a demon
she insists on guarding my hymen.

is a man
who eats from the pan
helps my mother execute the ban.

now is it not baaaaaaaaaaad?

sorry UG couldn't resist posting it, and with you pestering me for new posts :(

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

it's been nothing for long so here itis...

the God
of crossroads
the games we play
stiching the lanes
like rivers
till it reaches
the old man
who paints them
in the love of
black women
singing songs
and dancing
the primitive dance
on age old
rythms of the
ancient drums...

the hindi will go something like this

chauraste(crossroads) ka ishwar
har khel
jo galiyan khelti
mod par baithe budhe ke sath
jo rachta
pura shahar
kali auratein
gati sohar ke geet (songs sung during n after the birth of a child)
mridang ki dhaak(rythm) par
aur nachti
prem mein mugdh
bihad nach...

Friday, March 17, 2006

hey my handsome brothers.

Games we play!!!

The vanity sometimes comes through, and then the long cherished, nurtured façade is over. All that can be seen is barely the minimum, all the animal instincts resurface, and you are left cursing all that broke the façade.

And then,

All that you loved seems to be a game that u played all along to keep up the pretence. All that was beautiful within takes an ugly deformed shape, and when you look at it, your filthy face stares at you from beneath that piece of rotten shit.

Wonder was that this that you so long protected and held on to…was it really this. The shock slowly melts away into oblivion and once again the façade emerges, this time only more glamorous. And yet again the games we played all along begins. Just that you don’t know when it will show the ugliness within…

wonder why I wrote this at all?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Missing my Dad.

so what do I do if I am missing Papa, Ok I will write a few lines of his poem that I remember...

Neend aur nashe ke beech
kahin ek patli si gali hai
apni mutthi bhar neend
chutki bhar aaram
ki khatir
mein chup chap pada rehta hun

(after this I don remember so I will continue...)

door kamron se awaaj sunte
ma akele niptati hai
sansarik pareshaniya
wah janti hai
mein aana chata hun
aur isliye nibhati hai
wah sab jo hame sath karna tay tha
mein apne ghosle mein chahta hun
uska sahas
aur uska hona
meri zindagi mein...

I guess Dad won't object to this. Amazing how much I know him, that I can even write the way he would have written. Miss you.

and I will not translate it now, cause its for me and for him that I wrote this.

Friday, March 10, 2006

its rains and destiny for me...

barish ki us shaam
jab chataa pakde
wah ladki
kar rahi hai par sadak
tab us samay
mein bhool rahi hun
apna paitrik ghar
yaad karte hue use
chote chote ghadon mein
chote chote dukhon ki tarah
bhar gaya hai pani...

ok sorry to all those who cannot read it, but I couldn't just resist writing it.ok will try translating it

in that rainy evening
when I see this girl
crossing the road
with an umbrella
I think
of my ancestral home
small sorrows
get collected
in small (earthen) pots
like drops of rain water...

now those who understand both the languages, is it close enough?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

doesn't take time to be happy again!

humm, I realize its a good world after all, with so many good people around. Take for instance yesterday, I was waking alone in this Hyderabad heat, where the sun sits just over your head, just after having visited to the two most incoregeble institutions of the state, the bank and the post office and thier having done enough to irritate me. So poor me walking all the way from arts college building to ciefl, and none of the auto walas agreeing to take me there, there was this one auto wala who stopped and aske me where did I want to go and very apologitically I said,
"bhaiya yahan pas mein hi" (just near by), and the good suol agreed to drop me till the campus,
the best part of the story is since it was a very short distance when I asked him for how much I needed to pay him, he said,
"rehne do amma" (let it be)
wasn't that really really good on his part.
and I was so happy since just before I was feeling miserable for what all had happened in the past few days.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Disappointment and Disillusionment....

this is what has been the result of two days.
I am scared to write and express, because everywhere people seem to be misunderstanding or perhaps wanting to misuderstand.

personal disappointment apart.

'power' I guess is the crucial element. Is it human nature to misuse it. Though Levis Strauss(hope ve spelt it correctly) in his thesis of nurturing and celebrating the natural instincts talks about in his study of south african communities and how the influence of the west ruins their community by introducing the concept of 'rule' and 'power', yet does he not realize that it existe all along, ever since communities existed? Funny that he does not see the whole system of one person heading the community, the king as such in itself excersices dominance of one over the other. how does he explain the system of a son taking after the father king, is it not a fear of losing 'power' that initiates such a rule.
guess I am incoherent. Why not...
hey l>t call this the author is wasted and I promise I will not argue...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

my reading of Derrida's Right to Philosophy...

In the very beginning I would like to define the term philosophy, because it is one of the terms around which the argument revolves through out the essay. The term philosophy derives from a combination of the Greek words ‘philos’ meaning love and ‘sophia’ meaning wisdom, therefore the word comes to mean ‘love for wisdom’. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the original meaning of the word encompasses all kinds of knowledge. Over time, however it gained the more specialized meaning of knowledge of the world, as contrasted with knowledge of the divine. For example, science was originally called "natural philosophy". Today, the word refers to the study of ultimate reality and the most general causes and principles of reality. Philosophy in the present context of Eurocentric definitions begins where the universal is comprehended as the all-embracing existence, or where the existent is laid hold of in a universal form, and where thinking about thought first commences.

Where, then, has this occurred? Where did it begin? That is a question of history.

And we clearly see from its definitions that it certainly did not begin in the East, because in the Eastern philosophy, definitely Mind indeed begins to dawn, but it is still true of it that the subject is not presented as a person as something absolutely concrete, but appears in the objectively substantial, which is represented as partly super-sensuous and partly, and even more, material, which is seen as negative. The conclusion to be derived from this is that no philosophic knowledge can be found here. To Philosophy belongs the knowledge of Substance, the knowledge absolute the Universal. The Eastern form must and has been therefore excluded from the History of Philosophy.

And perhaps this very shift in the definition of Philosophy from the ‘knowledge of the divine’ to the ‘knowledge of the world’ creates for a distinction between the philosophy of the East and that of the West, with more credibility associated to the Western Philosophy for its closer relation to ‘rationality’ and its ‘universal’ nature. However, what philosophy is, or should be, is itself a philosophical question that philosophers have understood and treated differently through the ages. However, when one uses the term "philosophy" in an academic context, it invariably refers to the philosophical tradition begun with the ancient Greeks. The "Eastern philosophies" are inevitably overlooked, and considered worthless for academic purposes.

It is at this juncture that Derrida voices his discomfort about how philosophy as a discipline has been institutionalized in a Eurocentric structure, which makes other philosophies, which do not follow its pattern, loose its authority as a discipline. In this essay he begins with questioning three particular axioms,

-One, is that of the right to philosophy, and the space, the platform where it can be discussed.

-Two, he asks philosophers to not take it for granted rather question the a priori philosophical mode of being of the institutes like the UNESCO. It is important to question the reasons for the existence of such institutes. He of course cites the reason Kant gives for the set up of these institutions of peace, yet he has his own reservations in accepting it.

-Three he refutes Kant’s notion of a universal, which Kant says after much struggle becomes a fact. For him the element of Universal is a problem in History and Philosophy.

He mainly draws his critique of this institutionalization of philosophy by posing the questions to ‘UNESCO’ as an institution of philosophy and also relies heavily on Kant’s “Idea of a Universal History from a Cosmo-political Point of View” in order to put forth his arguments as to show how is there an acceptance of the European model of philosophy as the Ideal philosophy, with a universalist understanding of philosophy and a unfretted faith on the Greco-European origins of philosophy without taking into account the conflicted nature of those origins. In his essay he ingeniously raises the question in the beginning as to who has and who does not have a right to philosophy? And "where does the question of the right to philosophy take place?”. And the questions that run as undercurrent are- Whether philosophy was only the concern of the West and if no other philosophies exist apart from the Western philosophy? If so what happens to the any other philosophy, the non-Western wisdom? Or the contention is that there is no other wisdom apart from the Western? Through out the essay the case that Derrida seems to be making is that he is interested in carving out a space for philosophies to emerge and be accepted from the non-Western contours of the globe. Derrida’s contribution in this essay is to recognise that, truth can be expressed from what Kant calls the barbaricregions as well, precisely because of the place philosophy occupies, rather than some special faculty of philosophy to apprehend eternal verities. He also enables us to consider the ways in which philosophy does serve to challenge the pretensions of those disciplines which deem themselves to be place-less, or regard themselves as em-placed in such a way as to simply combine their unique talents to solve a difficult problem.

The essay in one way follows Ranajit Guha’s argument about writing a Subaltern historiography, where he mainly argues against European teleological method of writing History which he feels does not work for the East, so also we see Derrida in a way making space for other philosophies and histories, rather than accepting just one way of looking at it. In this piece Derrida explains Kant’s obsession for a ‘universal element’ in history and philosophy, and how since the Greco-Roman discourse provides for such a narrative which embraces wisdom with a universal appeal, they become the Ideal for him. And as Kant explains that it is in human nature to be unsocial and nature in a way uses this evil force in them to align them into a more social form, to give a meaning to their lives to elaborate on this I quote from the text,

“…Nature makes use of a detour of violence and of primitive, thus natural, unsociability in order to aid reason and thereby put philosophy into operation through the society of nations…”

And this is the reason he gives for the formation of institutions of peace like UNESCO that claim to serve humanity and how these institutions took it to themselves for creating and maintaining a culture of philosophy, whereas the more ‘barbaric’ (as they call it) nations and states needed to affiliate to them in order to devise themselves according to the European apparatus of “Modernity”, because this was the only available path for their resurrection. And one of the most able usages of these modern phenomenons is the creation of the concept of ‘Nations’ by them, because it is through this they devised to show to the East the difference between them and how they bettered. However, Derrida does not delve into discussing this, yet it seems very important for me bring in this borrowed concept of ‘nation’ along with the discussion of ‘Philosophy’ and ‘History’ and also to allow myself to get into some diversions, cause this unquestioned acceptance of Western philosophy as the only ‘philosophy’, and the concept of the ‘nation’ seem to be interrelated in an intangible knot. Now coming back to the concept of institutions, Kant’s argument for a universal history and philosophy to govern all man/ woman-kind seems to me to be based on his gross assumption, whereas Derrida argues that aspiring for an element of universality in any of the two concepts would only make it more like literature, making it open to imagination and fiction, with no grounds on reality.

Derrida explains and extends Kant’s notion of the ‘novel’ in philosophy, as something which does not agree/ accept the universality in philosophy, but Derrida rather suggests that this hope for a universal history/ philosophy is infact like a novel. Because this universalization brings in with itself elements of fiction, as it is nothing other than a gross assumption on behalf of the nations who had not been able to voice themselves.

Derrida then goes on to explain how realizing this danger, of philosophy turning to literature, Kant resorts to idealize the European philosophy and history, holding on to the thread of European history of reason and the Greco-Roman history of history. Derrida all this while argues for a Cosmo-political space for philosophy, but Kant’s resolution of the matter only fixes this Cosmo-political space in the hegemony of Europe. And this fixation then calls for a penetration, a downward movement of knowledge and understanding with Europe at the top, to the Eastern nations at the bottom, and this is what Derrida and his likes object as a problem. For them Philosophy cannot be determined by a program. Philosophy and History the two disciplines over which Europe mainly lays its claim are nothing more than recollections, a memory/ies of the past which has been( I Borrow the terms from the essay) ‘assimilated’ and ‘appropriated’, thus the important awareness that has to and needs to come along with this is that this memory of the events of the past is not and cannot be just one, universal thing.

Towards the end of the essay he makes certain arguments for the various problems that need to be encountered in order to develop the Cosmo-political point of view to the right to philosophy. The three main hindrances that need to be tackled are related to the hegemony created by the existing models of philosophy. For him it is necessary to first take into account the various philosophies arising out of various nations. It also becomes important for one to take into account the two given models of Europe and Anglo-American, but at the same time not take them as the Ideal. Thus, any claims to the right to philosophy from a Cosmo-political point of view needs not only to appropriate these two models but also in order to make the presence of other philosophies felt, deconstruct their hegemony.

Extending the argument further he says, that with the superlative models already available there is a dominance of the respective languages that has come to set in with them, and it is necessary for one to surpass this barrier and the authority language has come to achieve in the discipline of philosophy. Because philosophy cannot be restricted to the structures of language. But the very fact becomes important that with different idioms in play one gets open to different ideas.

And lastly he appeals for institutionalizing all possible philosophies, blurring the edges of nation, language, style etc. because ultimately it is through education and institutions that there is acceptance of things that are new and important. One needs to validate and accept the Eastern philosophies with it having equal heritage.

Derrida claims that what is happening at the present times is an attempt at deconstruction of the existing hegemony, and only with this can there be an emergence of the Cosmo-political philosophy which speaks also in non-European languages. As he says,

“…Not only are there other ways of philosophy, but philosophy, if there is any such thing, is the other way.”

It is true that philosophy cannot be explained tracing it back to anyone origin or memory, one in order to have a Cosmo-political platform for Philosophy, which is the need of the time, needs to amalgamate all the philosophies, only then is there any possible justice to the discipline of Philosophy as such, only then one can begin to create a platform that is available for a discussion of ‘The Right to Philosophy.’