The Right to be forgotten vs the Right to be remembered!

According to the Indian Express, “Ashutosh Kaushik who won reality shows Bigg Boss in 2008 and MTV Roadies 5.0 has approached the Delhi High Court with a plea saying that his videos, photographs and articles etc. be removed from the internet citing his “Right to be Forgotten”. In the plea, Kaushik also maintains that the “Right to be Forgotten” goes in sync with the “Right to Privacy”, which is an integral part of Article 21 of the Constitution, which concerns the right to life”.

On the flip side, if people are allowed to remember things that you don’t want them to remember then it may constitute a fright to life! Should your left hand know what your right hand did? The moment it twitches, it will be a dead giveaway. But having seen it act at close quarters, it’s unlikely to forget.

There’s a meme going around on social media that says rather poignantly if you have done nothing to be ashamed about when you are young, you will have nothing to laugh about when you age.  So why the anxiety be forgotten by asocial friends (friends who are social only on the media).  Is it because times have changed, and people are apprehensive about the future and prefer to live on memories? Maybe so… Besides who doesn’t love gossip and scandal. It’s something that emerges from beneath the sandal and cannot easily be stamped out because familiarity breeds contempt!

Well then, this desire to be forgotten, perhaps stems from the fact that when you start earning notes, you don’t want the change to clink in your pocket every time you take a step in a new direction. That’s natural I guess – take the example of a politician – what he said in 2013 is the exact opposite of what he says in 2021 – now who would want that to be remembered or to be reminded? There itself is a strong argument in favour of the right to be forgotten and you might be surprised by the swell of ground support for this idea.

On the other hand, both Fame or infamy are derived from the envy and memories of others, not from one’s own, and having extracted the most from them for one’s own benefit, at any one given point of time in their lives, asking them to throw it all away, because you no longer need them, would be an imposition on their right to remember, wouldn’t it? After all, memories maketh a man. Also use and throw was not an Indian concept until recently – it has picked up from a neighbour’s manufacturing strategy that provided for renewable profits with renewed energy!

Interestingly and coincidentally, an Israeli horse called Pegasus too is interested in the arguments that might be presented in court on the interlink between privacy and the right to be forgotten. Its ability to privately invade privacy has been the subject of much debate in the media and so far, it has the best privacy record of all. It seems fully protected by Article 21 for it still survives, like Covid, in private. But it’s not sure for how long, and so, it too wants to exercise its right to be forgotten!

It’s in the middle of its own paradox – it doesn’t want to forget what it hears and sees before it passes on the secret – but it wants to be forgotten… and quickly; before it becomes a star constellation like its mythical Greek Counterpart. 

Like its namesake, it is a divine animal – a winged white horse with a flowing mane – with all the powers of invisibility and the quality of obedience that the offspring of Poseidon and Medusa the Greek Gods naturally possesses.  But taking authorized advantage of a divine creature requires a higher calling and power than the divine horse itself. This can be done only by a Bellerophon like Creature, who was, according to Greek Mythology “the greatest hero and slayer of monsters, alongside Cadmus and Perseus, before the days of Heracles”.

But what perhaps intrigues us more than ever, is why plump for Greek mythology superimposed on Israeli Technology to monitor Indian polemics and pathology when we have our own? Is Atmanirbharta in peril or does it pre-date the concept?

It’s your obituary that remembers the best of you and Pegasus that will remember the worst of you.

Given this scenario, would you like to be forgotten or remembered? And do you have the right to decide? Well, it’s your private matter, and only the winged horse will know!

Until next week!


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Image by Christoph Meinersmann

LifeonStreets#7: Scratch the Thought

Scratch the Thought – Wilson
I wonder how, I wonder why
I scratch my head, before I lie
It keeps it warm for work overtime
Removes the cobwebs and the grime
And helps me think on the fly.
I thought it does, until one fateful day
I came across the chance to pray,
I looked around and wondered
What to say…
I scratched my head, said out loud
Lord, I struggle to live, I no not why,
I’d like to die, but that’s a lie, and then I cried.

LifeonStreets#6: Love in Service

Love in Service – M. Ishrath
Hello Mother, Mother Superior,
Here I am on Maidan street
Feeling inferior as so many sleep
On the road, with no one, but no one
To give them food or help them eat;
Or wipe their tears as they weep.
Help me out, send someone here
To take them home and quell their fear.
To the Lord I pray, their wounds to heal
No more to roam, as love abounds
Warms their hearts and renews their minds,
Till their life again, regains its zeal.

LifeonStreets#5: The Mystery

The Mystery – Virnda Karanth
Listen pals, just see what I found
A pair of specs I hereby impound
Tell no one I warn you lest you lose
Your friends and me….
Whose it is, is our mystery to solve
We have time so let’s all resolve -
To catch this guy we seek.
Let’s find him and find out why
He abandoned his specs, was he high?
He must be here, very near the creek.
He might have stumbled and fallen,
he might be unsighted, he might be weak.

Don’t Mingle even if you Tingle!

Population is the most popular sport in India after cricket. And it does not require massive infrastructure! It does not require 11 men and 11 women playing separately on large, lush fields in the glare of arc lights and it is not played on TV. In fact, it’s just the opposite. With the pandemic, the popularity of the former game increased while that of the latter dipped.  The connection seems a bit weird because as games people play, they are very dissimilar in the way they are conducted and their outcome(s)!

As avid followers and players of this game, Indians have given India an almost unbeatable edge over the rest of the world, barring China. Today, it has 18% of the world’s population and is marginally behind China in the world’s population stakes and that is why perhaps, there’s a new game in town –– Population undo Battle Ground (PUBG), that’s gaining popularity like it has, only once before, and it is totally developed in India, though modeled on neighborly precedents. Given the scale of the popularity of the population game, its popularity must be induced!

While India might be behind China in the population stakes, it is marginally ahead in the popularity stakes because of its democratic credentials, found mostly in the pages of the Constitution of India, which is the most populous in terms of words in the world – it has 117,369 words in the English version. Do we take our cue for our population from it?

But it is kept young and productive as it is amended from time to time like our own population. With a life expectancy of just 70 years, the older generation doesn’t last very long, but before they depart, they do their bit for India and that is how we have a median age of 28.4 which can and does contribute a lot to the nation in terms of productivity – whether at the workplace (if they can find one) or at home, they are undeterred by the sex ratio of 108 males to every 100 females according to That’s a lot of pressure.

It’s probably this pressure, that has prompted a state government to vote down its own home productivity norms with a population control bill that advocates the two-child norm and proscribes government benefits (the few that reach out to you) for those with more than two. Other state governments are expected to pick up the cue and play snooker soon enough.

Quite piquantly though, the tag line for more than half of those who are party to this new bill of human reform, is “We can’t have just two”-They are more precious than Lay’s Potato Chips! The irony is that those who violate this norm, legislate it into law and defend its objectives in public, have more than two children, and one presumes will continue to get their benefits Allowances and pension) from the state’s coffers. Charity begins at home they say and rightly so!

There’s another side to this new game though!  A more challenging one. Will a population collapse, prevent us from colonizing Mars?

Last Tuesday, the Twitter handle of one of the greatest innovators / Entrepreneurs of our time Elon Musk’s fan club – Tesla Owners of the East Bay – came out on Twitter with news of a ‘population collapse’ that may happen sooner rather than later and lauded Musk, the father of seven kids, for “making tangible efforts” to keep population collapse at bay. Musk took this tweet in his stride and said that he was trying to set a good example. Perhaps he was not aware that there are so many good examples in our own country. Musk hopes his next will be a baby girl! We hope so too.

The conversation was prompted by the 2020 report by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation of the University of Washington that showed that the global fertility rate is likely to take a hit by 2050 and 2100. The study, published in the Lancet, showed that the global fertility rate nearly halved to 2.4 in 2017 and will fall below 1.7 by 2100.  It does seem like lack of fertility will be the new pandemic and a simple injection won’t solve the problem!

He went on to say, “Population collapse is a much bigger problem than people realise and that’s just for Earth,” he wrote.  He further stressed that Mars needs people as the ‘population is currently zero’. The SpaceX CEO has a life-long dream of establishing a human presence in Earth’s neighbouring planet.

India too plans missions to Mars, as its population density is extremely high – 464 per Km2 (1,202 people per mi2) – quite akin to a box of Lego squares and must beware of a population collapse as suggested by the University of Washington. But then should that happen in India post PUBG, they can still do it through NASA and SpaceX. There are a lot of Indians there. 

In his tweet, Musk posted, “Humans are the custodians of other life on Earth. Let us bring life to Mars!”  And so, we must. Besides, it’s just a game that must be played with the right spirit. There’s no competition, only repetition! But all this popular population posturing begs the question, why make driverless cars and trucks? What will the extra grown-up kids do if there are no jobs before they land on Mars?

There’s another deeply practical question we must focus on. If we take the example of this great innovator, does it mean that having fewer kids would mean the death of innovation and entrepreneurship in India? Certainly, it is the case with ease of doing business in the days to come – there will be fewer people to employ and the driverless cars and planes that everyone is making/planning to make will come in handy, and they will be older, but Arnoud de Meyer says, they will be more productive.

Writing in the Straits Times Arnoud de Meyer said, “The older you get, the more productive you are at work”.  This he wrote based on studies at German carmakers which show that with the right tools and environment, older workers get more productive. The Keywords are ‘Right Tools and Environment’. The only misgiving that companies may have is that their salaries will be higher because of experience! Home productivity will be limited though creating a self-perpetuating population collapse.

Let me leave you with the choice of life (time) – population collapse or population relapse.

Got to play by the rules my friend, the rules, until next week.

Don’t Mingle even if you Tingle!


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians

Celeste: Sorry, I am spaced out!

Ever wondered why the stars twinkle? It is the same reason our eyes twinkle – they cannot contain their happiness. This was evident from swashbuckling entrepreneur Richard Branson’s countenance as he looked down on his original space here on earth. From up there, he realized quickly that distance does make the heart grow fonder because it swells in comparison!  And so, he returned in 15 minutes.  His large heart is required here on earth!

He hustled into space aboard his own winged rocket ship Sunday in his boldest adventure yet, beating out fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos.  It was a truly Amazonian or shall we say Virgin moment?

The nearly 71-year-old Branson, the second oldest to do so, proving that age is just a number in space, and his five crewmates including an Indian American from his Virgin Galactic space-tourism company reached an altitude of about 53 miles (88 kilometers) over the New Mexico desert enough to experience three to four minutes of weightlessness and insignificance, see the curvature of the Earth (is that all they wanted to see? The curves?)  and then safely glided to a runway landing. “The whole thing, it was just magical,” a jubilant Branson said after the trip home aboard the sleek, white space plane, named of all things Unity – that might be because from up there, all of us here on earth seem united. What a nice way to see the earth!

But that was not the only celestial event of the week. The Gods were busy throughout. They always are – managing seven billion people of all hues and thought processes is a herculean task. But social media keeps them well informed, and they have their own Algorithms to decide what to do with whom and when. Dissent is not permitted!

As Branson landed back on earth, at least 60 people entered the space Branson vacated, in Pradesh and Rajasthan as parts of these states witnessed scattered rainfall and lightning on Sunday. This is in addition to those who go there every day (other than astronauts), never to come back, or maybe they do as someone else. Recycling is a big thing these days – we must build a sustainable world according to all the people who emit carbon every time they open their mouths in their air-conditioned environments! No wonder they get all the carbon credits! 

The curious thing is that eleven of them died while taking selfies in front of a 12th-century fort in the Rajasthan capital. It was dark and cloudy, and the use of a flash was necessary if it was to be picture perfect. And in the end, perhaps it was in a tragic sort of way. It is what our management professors tell us all the time – always look at the big picture before you step into the frame!

There is nothing funny about death. It is all about relief.  Even when you write about it, you are relieved – you hope you will get there soon enough. Writing about life is harder, you might get trolled! Or extolled! It all depends on who and what you write about…

Be that as it may, there were two other celestial events that marked the beginning of space tourism, reminding us perhaps, that space is for exploration, not exploitation. It is called space because it has been relatively empty until now, and once the tickets are available on Amazon, we may well drop the letter ‘s’,, for then it will be all about pace.  We know space is no longer virgin territory now that Virgin Galactic has had access to it!

In Dharamshala there was a cloudburst and consequential flash floods.  It proves Newton’s theory that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and we must prepare ourselves for that reaction with every action we take. It’s inevitable.

And in Uttarakhand, the other side of the celestial paradigm, one that we cannot see even in space, might have decisive say in what happens next regarding the Kanwar Yatra.

According to a report in the India Today, the annual Kanwar Yatra which was earlier cancelled by the Tirath Singh Rawat-led government in Uttarakhand in light of the pandemic might be reviewed After Dhami took over as the chief minister, his government decided to reconsider their decision on the annual religious pilgrimage associated with the state of Uttarakhand. When asked if any clear decision on the matter has emerged yet, Dhami said, “Uttarakhand is only the host. Crores of people from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and others come for the yatra. A decision will be taken after speaking to these states.” He continued, “It is a matter of the faith of millions. However, people’s lives should not be threatened. Saving lives is our priority. God would not like it if people lost their lives to Covid due to the yatra.”

We all look forward to our faith to conquer Covid, not the other way around. But with each new Covid wave, comes a new test for our faith in the Celestial. The waves which are supposed to push us ashore, are dragging us back into the seas of doubt. And what we do? We gather to arrest our doubts!

Beyond these events here on earth, a high-speed solar storm that is approaching us at a speed of 1.6 million kilometers per hour (much more than a Virgin’s speed), according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), is expected to hit our planet’s magnetic field sometime today, affecting electricity supply and communication infrastructure around the world.  

It is good that Branson is back with his crew, as the satellites in the Earth’s upper atmosphere are also expected to get impacted by the incoming flares. This will directly impact GPS navigation, mobile phone signal, and satellite TV. Power grids can also be hit by solar flares. Can you imagine we will be without the internet and won’t be able to Google “Solar Storm?”?

That is why I have provided an explanation below! A celestial boon!

“The solar flare, flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun’s atmosphere that was first detected on July 3, can travel at a maximum speed of 500 km/second, according to Although full-fledged geomagnetic (magnetic field associated with Earth) storms are unlikely, lesser geomagnetic unrest could spark high-latitude auroras”.  In simple words, just hold up your candle and Celeste will light it for you wherever you are – in space or here grounded in disbelief!

As Celeste’s eyes twinkle in mischief, I can hear her say, see you again next week!


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Image by safran7

LifeonStreets#4: A Heavenly Perch

A heavenly Perch: Pic by Vrijesh
I am ensconced in heaven,
At vantage point for free
It was so much fun, up through the tree
It was designed for us, my friends and me!
We keenly watch the games people play
The sights and sounds, the clothes on display
As the master of the willow, Virat Kohli
Hits a massive six and it soars over me!
I hear the cheer and ruminate,
Over missing school, and our future fate
Will I reach the heights he’s scaled?
Or will this perch be my checkmate?

LifeonStreet#3: Destroy to Create

Destroy to Create: Pic by Vivek Gowda
When the flame flutters high, and a spark burns my eye,
I know the heat is on and it’s ready to fry.
So it’s time for you, you lump of metal,
You rusted away, now I’ll change your fettle
I’ll burn you and turn you into blades of steel
To fan us and cool us, when the heat makes us squeal.
I’ll scorch you and mend you from what you are,
Useless and harmful, into a heavenly deal.
I don’t feel bad, I’ve no regret
This is the way I earn my bread
I seek to destroy and then to create
What for all is a valuable asset….

LifeonStreets#2: The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead – Pic: Aparna
The Road ahead seems easy and clear,
But the mirror tells me it could cost me dear.
My age shows, and the trees bow
As the wind blows.
What I see reflects my life -
My basket is full, but in my mind
Speculation’s rife. Will I sell and then earn a rest
Or fail to gel, and trade my nest?
That I believe is my test.
I look ahead with a tinge of fear
And say to myself
All the best.

LifeonStreets#1: Heels on Wheels

Pic: Prabhakar Kulal

I’d love to use my useless heels
Over these frayed and rusted wheels;
I know I can’t, so your extended hand,
Tells me only you can understand.
You pull me ahead when I’m low on steam,
And ready for dead. You save me energy,
And roughed up palms, but when done with love,
It’s a basket of alms. And though you help,
You also hurt, the remains of what I feel.
But I’ll never look back or lament my fate,
You taught me that, my little mate.
My only question – Will time heal my heel?