What would RTH do?

That is the question.

If I were in a highschool yearbook, they would vote me most likely to die of a lynch mob. That does not prevent me from opening my mouth and serving a warm hearty cup of STFU to people who deserve it. My dark scathing humor will leave no matter of existence untouched. My innocence will touch your soul.

Welcome to a warped world turned inside out and upside down. All sorts of discretion advised.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Taty Nostalgia

I spent the past few hours watching old Taty music videos on Youtube. I was watching to Lena Katina's 'Never Forget' on Youtube and all of a sudden I felt extremely nostalgic. The tatu.ru forums was one of my first virtual home on the internet.  I've never found an online community that was as warm, welcoming and fun as the Tatu forums. There are a lot of cherished memories connected to that forum.

It seems like just yesterday I joined the forum and the members created a thread to intepret my user name Return To Hades. There were a lot of fun threads like that like the battle of the sexes where the guys and girls battled it out, even discussing the nuances of Prostye dvizheniyaing. Or the life saving British to American dictionary thread where the Europeans finally discovered that peanut butter and jelly was not some disgusting combo, but peanut butter and jam, delicious goodness in all worlds. Then there was the day of the great modspiracy when we the moderators got together and locked up all the threads that we thought were stupid. My personal favorite would always be the accent showcase thread where we went to town with dear Stella and I had my usual shenanigans convincing people to record the phrase "fuck me I'm famous".

I miss the deeply philosophical discussions we had on love, sex and everything under the sun. Or better yet when we analyzed the songs, coming up with various explanations or interpretations, finding all the metaphors and symbolism. Why don't you find forums with such meaningful discussions anymore?

I miss waiting eagerly online for hours to catch the first radio play of a new single. Or patiently waiting online for someone to finally post the recording of a concert or television performance. Or the sinfully delightful indulgence of getting our paws on leaked releases or rare footage.  And oh the excitement of finally having our hands on the very first demos of the songs.

I miss writing and reading fan fiction. I remember writing my first fan fiction and feeling really apprehensive and hesitant as a writer. I was even more nervous when I decided to write erotic and steamy fiction, which apparently I could execute that well enough too. It was lovely to receive feedback as well as enjoy other people's works in a closely knit fan community.

I miss my online chats into the wee hours of the night, sometimes all the way until dawn. Discussing everything under the forums, fan fiction, the songs, the band, the music, the girls, and especially the girls and our conspiracy theories on how they were someday truly going to end up together. Or how we would have our own trauma support group if Taty ever ceased to exist. I've made some good friends through those endless chats.

Most of all I miss the infamous virtual couch. That little couch all of us Yullen fans, the believers managed to hide behind. The little rebellious bunch of us vagabonds who managed to hold onto dreams and fantasies forever. And oh the love lives threads, all the various versions of them where we kept debunking tabloids, yellow press and other fans theories.

Taty is now gone. Thankfully, we all moved on without needing serious rehab. The forum is still there but the charm of the old is gone. Some old folks are gone and some remain, sometimes even I nostalgically lurk by for a few fleeting seconds reminiscing on days gone by. 

I miss the folks who created these memories so here's a shout out to all those who I can remember. Some of you I interacted with a lot, some of you I just lurked around. Some of you I'm in touch with, some of you have disappeared. Do happen to drop a shout out if you ever drop by - Vikince, Seinas, Buka, WinterBlue, Dean, Tichy, Ka-Boom, Jon, Bristan, Numen, Xena225, ArnaudFrenchy, Maraja, BlackCat, Shagratha, Anneke, Odette, Ev, Jam-One, Dawn, MasterOfSensation, Sunrider, IvyRevolution, Volkster, YaVernuz, Teady, Necromantic_Angel, JBTatu, Juliette, Property_of_Yulia, Devushka, Ruiville, Demon_Star, Albi, Machiavellism, NathB, JoJoTatu, Zvezdi, Insain4Tatu, MarkPriest, Julian, Howard, Vicky_Tatu, Forre, Miffin. BillieChaz, Joost, Vicente, Nabil, Konami, NFNE and even my two nemesis 2-J and RowerB.

Wow thats a lot of people.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Deliverance


Last year Team India delivered Sachin Tendulkar the greatest gift - a World Cup victory that he had been patiently waiting for through five World Cups. Finally, team India carried on their shoulders the man who had shouldered the burden of the nation's expectations his entire career. However, the burdens on his shoulder were not lifted yet. After all, God's work is never done. He always has to deliver. The God of cricket owed his devotees and the fanatical blue billion a hundredth hundred.

Deliverance doesn't come easy. It takes patience, lots and lots of patience as the path to deliverance is long and tedious. In our hopes for deliverance we endure pain and agony. We suffered the humiliating whitewash in England and sunk our heads in shame. Our few brief moments of respite and glory quickly faded again as we once again had our hides whipped, this time in Australia. And every now and then we came to that excruciating moment where you come, oh so near yet so far, that moment when you are so close that you can almost taste it, but something snatches it away in a matter of seconds. But salvation is not for those weak of faith, it is for those who hold on to faith strong and true, in good times and bad.

Finally, this week, we received our deliverance and so were the faithful rewarded. Sachin Tendulkar scored a hundred hundreds in international cricket, a feat no one has done before. It is a feat once upon a time no one thought possible and a feat that probably will stand undefeated for a long time to come. Some naysayers may pooh pooh the accomplishment and dilute it saying that it came against Bangladesh - a team with a weak bowling attack. But as some faithful have said, it is not just the hundredth hundred, but each and every one of those hundred hundreds.

My biggest regret and disappointment is that I was sleeping at the time. If only I had been more faithful and awoken to experience the miracle. Despite not being there at the moment the accomplishment is so surreal and sublime that I can feel the thrill of history pumping through my veins at the thought of it. I can proudly say that I was there to receive deliverance with open arms and gratitude. After all this has been my journey too. From a cricket crazy seven year old child, to the enamored and obsessed teen, to the grown woman - cricket has been a part of life, my faith, my religion, my inspiration, my sustenance and my deliverance.

So let us raise our glass and salute the man, nay the immortal who walked amidst us, played for us, entertained us, shouldered the burden of our hopes and dreams and delivered them unto us. Let us toast to having the honor of experiencing the greatest hero of our times.


PS: Also a huge shout out and standing ovation to Rahul "The Wall" Dravid, the true gentleman cricketer. In fact he was the gentleman sports star. If any aspiring athlete wants a role model to emulate, whether you play cricket, baseball, basketball, tennis or wrestling Dravid's honor, integrity, discipline and passion for the game is the kind of values that can bring back glory to any game. So here's to Dravid "India is indeed humbled and proud to have men like you"


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Why I'll be reading the Quran

A few months ago I made the commitment to read the Holy Quran this year. My commitment had to be delayed for a couple of months due to academic readings and responsibilities. Now that I have plowed through my academic readings and responsibilities, I am ready to take my plunge. I just finished downloading the Holy Quran onto my Nook this afternoon. I anticipate beginning to read it this week.

Many may wonder - Why the heck will I be reading the Quran. It is not everyday that you come across Hindus who want to read the Quran. It definitely is not the type of book I'd pickup and curl up with for a good evening's read. Nope, not my idea of a good read at all. I'm not a student of Islamic studies, so it definitely is not for school. Most importantly it is quite and odd choice for a self proclaimed and proud heathen of the worst sort.

The driving factor for this choice was an argument I got into with some online Muslims. I'll spare the details, because I've vented about it in past posts. But one of the most common comments in the argument was that one had to read the Quran to understand Islam and that those who had not read the Quran had not standing to engage in debates on Islam.

I'll admit to being stubborn and childish, but I'm not that stubborn and childish to read books on a silly whim, especially religious books. The truth is that I'm a major dork for social studies. History, philosophy and theology really intrigue me. I'm genuinely fascinated by the philosophical and historical evolution of religious views and how they are shaped dynamically by culture and society. I love exploring the stark differences in western doctrine and eastern spiritualism, but the common thread of humanity and compassion within the teachings. Even though I am a business major, I tried to take as many theological or historic courses as possible. I've studies East West World Views, the history of ancient Israel, the history of the Ancient Church and the Holy Roman Empires. On my own outside of academia, I've explored the history and development of ancient pagan religions as well as modern day practice of Paganism, Wiccan and Shamanism. I've read the Tao Te Ching and the Analects of Confucius. As a Hindu, I've spent a lot of time reading the Mahabharata and interpreting it and trying to understand ancient Vedic philosophies. I've actually read the Jerusalem and the New American versions of the Bible as well.

The study of theology gives me an understanding of what shapes religious beliefs. It gives me a better understanding of where religious people come from and what is driving them. It helps be better understand why they say or do certain things. Theological studies also help draw the line between the spirit of the doctrine and the misinterpretation and misrepresentation in practice. Understanding of theology also helps in addressing religiously fueled debates like that of freedom of religion, separation of church and state, abortion, gay marriage and similar issues.

Islam however, is one religion that I never really studied as much. Actually, I never thought I needed to delve into Islam as much. Most of my friends growing up were Muslim, so I had a good understanding of Ramadan, Eid, Muharram and other Islamic celebrations. We also learned basic Islam in school and I knew the five pillars. The problem with that is that I had a very narrow cultural understanding of Islam. My Muslim friends and acquaintances were modern Indian Muslims. They were very liberal in their interpretation of Islam.

In the United States and the world in general, the practice of Islam is very different. Most Muslims are conservatives or moderates. The loose and liberal interpretation followed by modern day Muslims in urban India is uncommon globally. Adding to that Islamic relations and understanding in United States are strained. Post 09/11 the American general public has been fearful, xenophobic and harshly judgmental to the Islamic community. On the other hand American occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq, coupled with their pro-Israeli stance in Middle Eastern affairs has created a hostile anti-American attitude in the Islamic world.

As an American in the post 09/11 era, reading the Quran will give hopefully give some grounds and understanding in the complex world we live in. If not at least the satisfaction of pursuing further in my personal theological studies. At the most the next time an argument ensues, I'll have solid grounds of having read the Quran just like I do when I debate with Bible thumpers. Hey, I try to be good and noble, but didn't I admit to being a diabolical heathen.