Sidharth Vardhan

Diary of a Cynical Suicide – 9

(A short fiction by Sidharth VardhanFirst written on January 25, 2019) 201.My last wish that I don’t see ever getting fulfilled is for someone to hold my hand and tell me “I understand.” That is perhaps all I need from all my friends. But perhaps they aren’t friends. Perhaps I just don’t have the luxury of friends. 202.I don’t even how to make effort or in what direction to make. I don’t have it in me to walk another mile to find happiness. All I want is for this suffering to end. Everywhere I see, there are people … Living things suffering. I don’t want this anymore. No more of this world in my eyes. I must close them to the world and close them so that they are never opened around. 203.Pain Letter – 18I guess you did listen to me and delete the last letter. Well, delete this one too. I will make it short. I am never gonna find any self-respect again – ever. And for the rest of my life, I will never be able to open up before another person knowing that they will walk out the second I learn to look at them for

On Nationalism and ‘Imperialism: Part Two of The Origins of Totalitarianism’

(A review of’Imperialism: Part Two of the Origins of Totalitarianism’by Hannah Arendtfirst written on September 15, 2018) My one and the only objection is that it should have been named ‘Nationalism’ instead of ‘Totalitarianism’ because this book discusses various consequences (mostly negative) of Nationalism and imperialism was one just such consequence. Moreover even while studying imperialism, she is only interested in white men aspect of it – its effect on Europe. Moreover Arendt’s larger concern is studying origins of Totalitarianism which seems to me more connected with Nationalism than imperialism. Among consequences of Imperialism, she included are Imperialism, totalitarianism, refugee problems and wars (including two world wars). Imperialism Nationalism somehow continues to be thought of good when it is just a beautified name of narrow mindedness. Much like religion or racist ideologies, it is basically an act of limiting responsibility by creating a limited ‘we’ group based often on language, race or religion. It gives a false superiority complex- you are supposed to feel proud just because you belong to particular group (often people who are good for nothing else, chose these causes to take pride in). And a pride in belonging in such groups always comes along with a

On ‘Antisemitism: Part One of the Origins of Totalitarianism’

(A review ofAntisemitism: Part One of the Origins of Totalitarianism’by Hannah Arendtfirst written on September 15, 2018) antisemitism sidharth vardhan review analysis hannah arendt Arendt brings out a brief history of anti-Semitism with a special focus on the way it came to be used as a propaganda device by Nazis. There is much in this – like the argument that a wealthy section of society is tolerated by the rest only as long as they serve a function. And to be able to serve a function, power is needed. Some of the richer Jews (mostly bankers) were themselves first to accept the differentiation given to them by state. This differentiation attracted prejudice, first, when the customers of the bankers become middle class rather than upper class (middle class people take loan out of needs and won’t ever like bankers) and the stereotypes created because of a single family – Rothschilds. You can add to this, the conspiracy theories. Thus Nazis found a ready prejudice to take advantage of when they came into power. Hannah Arendt It is all very interesting but it isn’t as much hard hitting as other Arendt works I have read. May be because it is much

Review of Father and sons : On Nihilism

(Review of ‘Fathers and Sons’ a novel by Ivan TurgenevFirst written on January 10, 2019) The first time I heard of Turgenev, it was from Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky parodied Ivan Turgenev in his character ‘Karmazinov’ in novel ‘Demons’ (reviewed here) for writing ‘Fathers and Sons’. Turgenev’s novel is based on the nihilist generation and the differences they had with the previous generation – that of socialists. The ‘nihilist’ son Bazarov in the novel refuse to believe in anything based solely on authority – whether it be established sciences, practices, arts or traditions. The ‘fathers’ in the book are in too much of awe for their sons and even have some sort of guilty conscience to produce arguments for their way of thinking. However the nihilism has its own problems. (to began with, nihilism is based on ‘belief’ that nothing is worth believing and is thus paradoxical).Even if you have good reasons to defy authority, often people tend to develop it as a habit and defy authority just for sake of it. Bazarov of the story struggles with his feelings of love just because it is a feeling in established tradition. Thus, Turgenev did brought out the fact that nihilism was not

Nietzsche’s Anti-Christ – looking too much into the abyss of Christianity

(A review of ‘Anti-Christ’ a book by Friedrich Nietzsche) I had a liberal access to Internet only when I was already in college. And I developed a very quick obsession for Wikipedia and Wikiquote surfing. When I tumbled about Nietzsche’s Wikiquote fan, I became a fan. But reading ‘beyond good and evil’ was a disappointment. All the good parts of it I had already read on his Wikiquote experience. It is as if his best always comes in aphorisms – you read Wikiquote, you can say you have read Nietzsche, well the good parts. (I felt same thing with Oscar Wilde’s plays but Wilde had non-aphorism beauty in his in non-dramtic writing). There are lots of great quotes in it, but I had already read them. They might be more of a revelation to other readers. Much of his criticism of Christianity makes sense but he seems to want to correct it by forcing opposite values on society which is where he fails. It is a popular adage that philosophers are better at asking questions than answering them. Goes for Nietzsche too. Friedrich Nietzsche Moreover he can often be inconsistent. At one point he says Christianity has taken away virility

Possession

(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan First written on December 4, 2018) “It started suddenly one day. We – me, my brother and husband, suddenly heard her screaming in her room. We ran to her room, the door was shut but not locked. She had developed a habit of spending more and more of her time alone in her room and often locking it. We thought it was all a part of growing up but this time the door was not locked.” John the priest entered the house. A large old bungalow probably made during British Raj time and which in fact was once a place of residence for British colonials. The place was too big for a family of four and as is often the case with such houses wasn’t well lit. “When we entered the room, she was scared. Her eyes were widened in shock, frightened. She kept telling us about a ‘him’ – we soon realized there was some sort of evil spirit in the room. That he was smiling at her, was going to ‘touch’ her. He touched me, mamma, she kept on insisting with a stress on word ‘touch’ …. She was too naive to

Diary of a Cynical Suicide – 8

(A short fiction by Sidharth VardhanSeptember 15, 2018) 176.I look for peace in this world where everywhere I see imaginary wild red fires. I no longer hope to find it so I don’t know why I go on. The habit of breathing can be so addictive, won’t leave you till death do you two apart. 177.I listen to people talking about things I can’t get interested in. Sometimes I wish I was piece of furniture – gets whole credit of existing without being troubled by related misfortunes and listens to everything yet can stay indifferent without raising offence of those speaking. Now that is life! … Or well lack of it. 178.This desire to be furniture reminds me of Vonnegut talking about a person in comma if I remember right “not feeling a thing, yet getting the credit of being alive” . How I yearn to live rest of my life in comma! 179.The crows roam around in joy of easy access to free food given to them as Shradhs have decided and Hindus feed them believing that in feeding them they are feeding their dead ancestors returning for a meal. I try to enter their imagine and see from

Fighting Like An Old Couple

(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan First written on November 6, 2018) “we fight and it passes the time.” – Ernest Hemingway 8 p.m. Major Baldev Singh, the fifty-eight old advocate, returns home. He had been playing chess with his friend ‘Sharma’ for the whole day. He returns home to find it locked and curses the whole universe in general and his wife, Simran Kaur in particular. Why can’t this woman stay at home? He kicks the door. He hates it – not finding her home, waiting for him with cooked food. He waits for her sitting on the stool just outside their main door and he doesn’t have to wait for long, though it seemed long to him, for she is here in five minutes. She has whitening hair like her husband. While his legs, one of which had once received a bullet, are giving in; his body is still muscular. She on other hand can still run around like a girl of twenty but has a pot belly. He secretly hates her for going fat just she openly calls him lame when they are in arguing. “Where were you?” He lets his anger show in his voice. “I

On Gandhi

(A ridiculously long essay about a man I think is overratedFirst written in October, 2018 by Sidharth Vardhanas a review of ‘My Experiemnts with Truth’ or ‘An Autobiography”by M.K. Gandhi.) Gandhi is hands down one of the most overrated people in the world. It might be true for most people tagged as ‘great’ but the way people in India obsesses for Gandhi either considering him really great or awesome on one hand or calling him wicked on other without being willing to see any shades of grey in him is really too much. To be honest there are two Gandhis – one is the real Gandhi and the other is the idea of him that is attached to an almost ridiculous faithfulness to non-violence and truth which features in movies like ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’. The idea Gandhi is more popular of course, I wonder how many of us have ever imagined Gandhi as a young man, This later idea Gandhi is something I like because it doesn’t have to suffer from limitations of the original person who is, after all, a human. Gandhi The God The problem is that, even in his own time, this idea Gandhi raised him

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