Are you an honorable person?

Are you an honorable person? Or do you cheat on tests? This conversation happened with my students recently. I have been a teacher for nearly three decades, and I have witnessed a lot. I remember the old days of blue books (my American readers will know what I mean), when I used to hand out a cyclostyle question paper (later a photocopy), and I would "invigilate" during the test time, as the students wrote out their answers in a book which had a blue cover, watching to see who the honorable student is and who peeps over the shoulder of the person nearby. I really never spotted anybody doing that. Because they were honorable people. They understood that there is a moral standard to be maintained. Many are not like that. They cheat. They are dishonorable men who cheat in everything they do - from their dishonesty to their bondhus, whose wives they take for the night, to the dishonesty to their professional ethics when they secretly make others do the work that is supposed to be

Deer in the headlight

Deer in the headlight: There is a common phenomenon from where I am from. Driving down the winding road to my home in North Carolina sometimes a deer will leap into the street and as the headlight of my car shines on it, the animal freezes, a confused and scared look on the face. It realizes that it has been “caught” or discovered. Its secret is out. (I just saw such a “deer” yesterday). The deer realizes that it is in a place where it should not be and doing something it should not be doing. Frozen with fright, it pauses and then flees. When caught in the moment of danger the cowards flee, the ones with courage stay and fight. This is well known amongst animals. But they flee because of mortal danger. They would die if they did not flee. What about people? Do the cowards freeze like the deer in the headlight? The sheer terror of being caught in the act – from stealing from the till to taking your friend’s wife to the beach for a roll in the sand – its all the same. I have seen these t

The Runner

The Runner: Although this term brings back fond memories amongst many of us of a song in the Bangla language from the 1970s, the term also has a negative connotation. And in my life I have seen many a runner – those who run and hide as soon a they are caught in an act that they were intrinsically guilty of doing. This runner is the coward. Much has been written about the coward and there are many perspectives, but one thing that many agree on is that the coward runs when caught or sees that the environment is not safe for the person. The runner has no emotions towards anything other than the self. It could be a person that sweet talks their way into the lives of others – a false confidant, a scared adulterer, or a fake business person – but the moment they see the environment getting a little too tricky for them, and they may get caught, they run. These are the people who will tell their “loved” one to back off or worse still tell them, “lets not do this (whatever “this” may be – from

Back I Am

It has been a while since I wrote. Life was doing things to me and the original driver - COVID - has temporarily disappeared. The pandemic wreaked havoc on us, and even as we recovered, we knew what to do and how to address this deadly virus. Yet there are many other things that bring us down, especially people who bring us down, from demonic despots to individuals without morals. Just as COVID left us in a DAZE there are humans who are far better than the virus in leaving us "dead" and spent. And in my life, as in yours, we have seen them all from the cheater who takes you on a ride to the one who comes along and makes things better. Hopefully you will like this new series and circulate amongst your network as well. Happy reading coming soon. 

Denial does not make it vanish

Denial does not make it vanish. The notion of denial is something that a bondhu pointed out to me recently. At a very personal level, I was told that my refusing to see the reality of some things around me does not mean that those things do not exist. As you ponder on this, you realize that sometimes you deny because you do not want to accept the truth you are seeing. It seems too painful to admit, and there is the false hope that denying what is staring at you will somehow make it go away. Look around you right now, if you are surrounded by people - friends and family - do you not see those subtle signs that tell you that you the truth but you are denying to yourself that your husband is sleeping with your friend, or your child is sobbing because of the abuse she faces in school. These signs surround us, a stolen glance that you want to overlook, that constant sob that you want to wish away, or that opportunity you let go that you now regret. For many, denial often occurs at the momen

Trust none but love everyone

Trust none but love everyone:  After my post on February 7, a reader, and a bondhu, said, "I love the clarity at the is awesome .." Such accolades deserve a response, and I said my next piece will focus on my recent book on surveillance, trust and deceptive narratives, and the bondhu offered the tag line for this post - "love everyone, trust no one." My book deals with different kinds of surveillance that are used to identify deceptive narratives. In doing my research I learnt many things, especially what we all commonly know - producing deceptive narratives is a way of life. Lying is unavoidable. But my research also showed how simple it is, with contemporary technology, to identify these stories. My research took me to many dark places, including the so-called underbelly of the digital space, where there is a persistent game of hide and seek since the information must be hidden from prying eyes lest the hand of law reach out. Surveillance here is desig

How Much Do You Need It

How Much Do You Need It: It is no surprise what a person needs and what a person gets are completely different things. This is why everyone learns to do expectation management. And also learn to grin and accept it when expectations are not met. One is also reminded that some expectations are not correct - sometimes those become entitlements and people seem to take the expectations as granted and consider them to be the norm. A bondhu recently said about life - "reprioritize and move on." Indeed that often is the way things work, jobs change, places change and if one expected to live the rest of their lives in a certain way, all of a sudden something would happen, and all the "needs" need to be rethought. Global moments from the Second World War to the recent earthquake in Turkey constantly remind us that what we need from the World, we will not only not get, but we will be reminded, sometimes even rudely, that what we thought we needed, we should not have needed at