Thursday, April 30, 2009

Titles, answers, opinions, lies and truths.

Ever since Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai won the pageants in 1994, I was hooked on to watching pageants. The best part of the evaluation to me was always the question answer section where pretty young things come up with intelligent and profound answers for intelligent and profound questions. It is a totally different blogable topic that profound sounding young things end up on modeling ramps, silver screens and multi million dollar commercial deals instead of going on the expedition to eradicate child labor or to embrace the poor and downtrodden. So - everything can look and sound eloquent, meaningful and sincere when spoken or written -which kind of makes me remember my school days - the days when we used to euphorically write about something like "India of my Dreams" or "Charity starts at home" coming up with essays competing on expression and eloquence but it makes me wonder now as to how much of that eloquence mattered in absolute intention and sincerity if the essays weren't evaluated for grades.
I saw Sush talk about her adventure of making a better world for kids and Priyanka speak about "Mother Teresa" as a living woman that she idolizes the most (which made me wonder she overlooked the one main phrase of the question "living woman" in the year 2000. Now, we can argue that Mother Teresa is immortal - but technically, she came up with the wrong answer, used the almost Divine Mother to her advantage and won the Title and then - you all know what happened.!Mother Teresa is dumped for Madhuri Dixit and the sexy siren bared all for the Bollywood camera and marched past her peers in the number game. Now - I do not have anything against ambitious actresses and scheming politicians - I am actually trying to ponder over what we say and how sincerely we say it. It just makes me wonder if we'd say the same things if grades, titles , tiaras and vote banks are not involved.
So do we adorn our opinions with sweet lies to be popular and sound good - or do we speak what we believe in? Recently, Miss California was in news when a judge of the Miss. USA pageant asked her opinion about legalizing same sex marriages. The pretty young thing initially strayed into making an eloquently ulterior-motive opinion but kind of concluded that a marriage should stay between a man and a woman. Now the judge got offended since she said what she felt and not what she was supposed to say and the result was a lost title, bitterness from the gay faternity and loads of criticism. Now if you ask me what I thought about gay marriages, I'd say, I don't really give it a thought - which is true. USA being the free country it is, people should not have a problem with being who they are - If I say I am against same sex marriages, it doesn't mean that I am against people who are gay. I am someone who might not prefer doing it but at the same time I am someone who might not really bother about someone else doing it. I would not belittle a gay person because I am straight and believe that a marriage is between a man and a woman. So anyway, what does Miss. California's experience teach us?? That we are so used to listening to equivocal and politically correct responses that we are not able to give credit to honest opinions??? So is winning going to make us compromise on our opinions and beliefs? Should we try being who we are not - to be who we want to be? Is speaking our mind out when asked for it the last nail in the coffin of our dreams?
There was another contestant who was asked what she thought about Universal health care. Her answer kind of puzzled me and then put before me the a classic example of wanting to win - She, according to me, represents each one of us who are so focused on winning that we craft our responses to make us look like we are there in all our glory and integrity (no pun intended) but winning doesn't really matter to us as long as we have our integrity intact. On a different note, I was tempted to find out if she knew the meaning of integrity.
Here's what she answered - verbatim - to her thoughts about Universal health care in USA.

“I think this is an issue of integrity regardless of which end of the political spectrum that I stand on. I’ve been raised in a family to know right from wrong, and politics, whether or not you fall in the middle, the left or the right, it’s an issue of integrity, whatever your opinion is and I say that with the upmost conviction.”

Okay- what conviction does one see in this response? A conviction to win? Or a conviction to keep up one's integrity?? :-)) I know, I know!! :-))

We all seem to be in a constant quest to be recognised, to be ahead in the race and to be successful and rich - And what is the price we are paying to be what we want to be? What is it that we are compromising on? Our values? Our beliefs? Our opinions?

This whole ponder has made me realise one thing! That thoughts and speeches without actions and intentions are like beautiful bodies without souls. They lack the conscience that makes them true and sincere. May be - just may be if we kick in a little honesty into all we do and say, and a little respect for what others do and say - we can collectively improve the quality of the world we live in. We can probably stop gushing on embellished eloquence and concentrate on plain vanilla truth. In short, if we mean what we say and say what we mean - the world will be a lot less complicated and pure.