55er: Business As Usual

The senior management was regretful. The incident shouldn't have occurred. Lives were lost.
But, the show had to go on. A handful of deaths didn't justify an additional safety budget. Or the ensuing cut in profits

So, it was back to business as usual; the potentially fatal flaw un-rectified. After all, it's a capitalist world. 

55er: Thankless

All day long, through sun and rain, I man the signal.
Often without a post, in the center of the road.
Sometimes hapless, sometimes helpless.
Swallowing dust, breathing in smoke, directing unruly motorists.


And what does my city reward me with, at end of the day?
Ruthless, biased criticism. With not a single thought spared.

An Ode to Lai - The Cancer Fighter

I'll remember the late nights at office, when your jokes succeeded in keeping the work pressure at bay.
I'll remember the lunches and dinners when we traded thoughts about each others' cultures.
I'll remember the drives, the drops, the cars, the parking lots.
I'll remember what we taught each other of our respective languages (“Ennadei” in particular).


Above all, what you will always be remembered for, is the way you turned your predicament into a mission – that of giving hope to the countless others suffering from the same disease.
You will forever be remembered for your fight against cancer, for the manner in which you took the bull by the horns.
You will live forever in our memories for inspiring innumerable patients to stay alive and fight the dreaded disease.
The tips, the wit, the advice, and most importantly, the fighting spirit, that you imparted through your blog – will, no doubt, give new life to some cancer patient one day.


And through that new life, you shall live. Forever. In our memories and in our hearts.
Lai Chin Lun, I am proud to have had a friend like you. May your soul Rest In Peace.

************************

My close friend, Lai, had been diagnosed with nose cancer last July. He refused to be bogged down by the situation, and started a blog (The Story of a Cancer Fighter) with details of his fight against the killer. His intention was to give hope and inspiration to other patients like himself, to prevent them from surrendering themselves to the disease.

A year of fighting took its toll on him. He breathed his last yesterday. This post is an ode to everything Lai – his courage, his spirit and his attitude.

The Religious Freedom Paradox

I, Kiran, founder of the religion of Convertism. This is a brand new religion, and I think it has come about at just the right time. This country (in fact, the world), is in a grip of religious freedom-ness. So, I guess I can be assured that I will have the right to practice my religion freely, anywhere in the country.

Convertism is very simple really. There are no holy books, no places of worship, no deity, no rituals, no guidelines, no God. There is only one simple principle and one simple goal of Convertism:


To convert every human being on Earth to the religion of Convertism”


There. Isn't that great? Show me one other religion that can state its entire existence in a single sentence! And what's best – since most countries in the world have stated that they guarantee religious freedom, I can practice my religion without worry. Now, to find people from other religions so that I can start converting them … …

Hey! What do you mean? Leaders of all major religions are opposing my move? But .. but .. this is my religion. This is all there is to Convertism. How can the world, a professed “religious-freedom-guarantor” one, deny me the space to propagate mine?

What's that? My religion contradicts another? So, you mean, practising Convertism implicitly denies other people the freedom to practice their respective religions? Hmmm .. that's quite a paradox.


Hold on! Are none of the existing major religions into conversions? Aren't they treading on each other's freedom? When the major religions have failed to compromise on some of their practices (if they violate another religion) for the sake of World peace, then why should I, the founder of the predominant religion of tomorrow, step back?

This is getting really messy. If all major religions had more than sufficient followers, then the world should have made a conscious effort to minimize conversions in any form long ago. More importantly, the religious freedom guarantee should have come with a caveat – that the act does not violate any other religion in any manner.

But, since there is no such explicit effort to bridge the abyss, I will go ahead preaching and converting. Come what may.

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