Tuesday, 23 December 2008
"India is perhaps the only country in the world that went from being the greatest super-power to a developing wannabe superpower"
Indian culture - the Holy books - The Ramayana, The Mahabharata and the Bhagavat Gita and the greatest literature of all time, the Vedas, have held remarkable words of wisdom. But it's not the wisdom, but the intelligence which is even more remarkable. We had done all the scientific inventions and discoveries, had flying crafts and had even fought a nuclear wars some 4000 years back... Don't believe me? Have a look at this -
And perhaps the very same Hindus are all the time the underdogs in India - No matter who fights, people first blame Hindus. Just have a look at what Francois Gautier had to say about "Hindu terrorism"
Is there such a thing as 'Hindu terrorism', as the arrest of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur for the recent Malegaon blasts may tend to prove? Well, I guess I was asked to write this column because I am one of that rare breed of foreign correspondents— a lover of Hindus! A born Frenchman, Catholic-educated and non-Hindu, I do hope I'll be given some credit for my opinions, which are not the product of my parents' ideas, my education or my atavism, but garnered from 25 years of reporting in South Asia (for Le Journal de Geneve and Le Figaro).In the early 1980s, when I started freelancing in south India, doing photo features on kalaripayattu, the Ayyappa festival, or the Ayyanars, I slowly realised that the genius of this country lies in its Hindu ethos, in the true spirituality behind Hinduism. The average Hindu you meet in a million villages possesses this simple, innate spirituality and accepts your diversity, whether you are Christian or Muslim, Jain or Arab, French or Chinese. It is this Hinduness that makes the Indian Christian different from, say, a French Christian, or the Indian Muslim unlike a Saudi Muslim. I also learnt that Hindus not only believed that the divine could manifest itself at different times, under different names, using different scriptures (not to mention the wonderful avatar concept, the perfect answer to 21st century religious strife) but that they had also given refuge to persecuted minorities from across the world—Syrian Christians, Parsis, Jews, Armenians, and today, Tibetans. In 3,500 years of existence, Hindus have never militarily invaded another country, never tried to impose their religion on others by force or induced conversions.You cannot find anybody less fundamentalist than a Hindu in the world and it saddens me when I see the Indian and western press equating terrorist groups like simi, which blow up innocent civilians, with ordinary, angry Hindus who burn churches without killing anybody. We know also that most of these communal incidents often involve persons from the same groups—often Dalits and tribals—some of who have converted to Christianity and others not.However reprehensible the destruction of Babri Masjid, no Muslim was killed in the process; compare this to the 'vengeance' bombings of 1993 in Bombay, which wiped out hundreds of innocents, mostly Hindus. Yet the Babri Masjid destruction is often described by journalists as the more horrible act of the two. We also remember how Sharad Pawar, when he was chief minister of Maharashtra in 1993, lied about a bomb that was supposed to have gone off in a Muslim locality of Bombay.I have never been politically correct, but have always written what I have discovered while reporting. Let me then be straightforward about this so-called Hindu terror. Hindus, since the first Arab invasions, have been at the receiving end of terrorism, whether it was by Timur, who killed 1,00,000 Hindus in a single day in 1399, or by the Portuguese Inquisition which crucified Brahmins in Goa. Today, Hindus are still being targeted: there were one million Hindus in the Kashmir valley in 1900; only a few hundred remain, the rest having fled in terror. Blasts after blasts have killed hundreds of innocent Hindus all over India in the last four years. Hindus, the overwhelming majority community of this country, are being made fun of, are despised, are deprived of the most basic facilities for one of their most sacred pilgrimages in Amarnath while their government heavily sponsors the Haj. They see their brothers and sisters converted to Christianity through inducements and financial traps, see a harmless 84-year-old swami and a sadhvi brutally murdered. Their gods are blasphemed.So sometimes, enough is enough.At some point, after years or even centuries of submitting like sheep to slaughter, Hindus—whom the Mahatma once gently called cowards—erupt in uncontrolled fury. And it hurts badly. It happened in Gujarat. It happened in Jammu, then in Kandhamal, Mangalore, and Malegaon. It may happen again elsewhere. What should be understood is that this is a spontaneous revolution on the ground, by ordinary Hindus, without any planning from the political leadership. Therefore, the BJP, instead of acting embarrassed, should not disown those who choose other means to let their anguished voices be heard.There are about a billion Hindus, one in every six persons on this planet. They form one of the most successful, law-abiding and integrated communities in the world today. Can you call them terrorists?
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
"I agree with Barack Obama when he said 'Yes, we can change' - But I am still waiting for Indians to understand that 'Yes, we can change, we need change, we will change' - For knowing that we can change isn't important, but the will to change is..."
"Honesty is the best policy" is an old adage. "Rules are meant to be broken" is another old adage. But somehow we see that people like to follow the latter, more than the former. A lot of patriotic Indians may disagree with me in this article. However, my aim is not to get anyone worked up - rather, we need to understand some home truth, and analyse it for our own good.
Rules are seldom followed in India. If you don't believe me, stand at any traffic junction, and watch. Especially when the traffic policemen aren't around. We can see how people continue driving despite the red signal. Everyone is in a hurry. When people see the green turn to amber from a distance, the speed instead of decreasing, shoots up - "Yes, I can just about make it" Why? What is going to happen if we wait for a little longer? If it is some kind of an emergency, perhaps it is understandable. 99.9% of the times, it is just because we don't want to wait. Then there are those who find themselves waiting at a red signal. But the road for which the light is green is almost sparse. So, they decide to drive past the red signal, for they see no point in them being made to wait... And those who think the same but are not at the front, honk - blaring sounds, forcing the person in front of them to start driving - "Who are you waiting for buddy? There is nobody on the other road... Go go go". And if you are a rule-follower and don't want to move, then some of these considerate rule breakers will ask you to move a little to the side so that at least they can drive along.
Us not following traffic rules is only an example - a case in point. We somehow see that people don't follow most of the rules. We always want the easy way out. We feel that rules are for the rest of them, not applicable for us. Rules are for losers... for the geeky lot. We are elite, and we don't need to follow rules. Another example is in Kiran Bedi's show - Aap ki kacheri, where a man sells tea on his push cart, bribes the Municipality guys every month for allowing him to do business there. When she asked him if he knew that he could avail a license which would allow him to legally run the business, he said that he knew about it. He still didn't do that. He continued to bribe the Municipal people, who later took away his cart and broke his articles for delaying the "payment". This would not have happened if he had taken a license.
Some people in Bangalore are complaining about the Bangalore police disallowing pubs to be open beyond a certain time, saying that their "night-life" is being curbed. They feel that their rights are being suffocated. They don't understand that it is being done for their own good. If you want to party beyond certain time, do so - without alcohol. Listen to music, and dance. But no! They want to drink, for that's the best part. And after the party, they drive home in an inebriated state. And the roads are empty at that time of the day and the inebriated drivers tend to drive rashly (rather than fast) and become a risk for themselves and for others. They may argue that the chances of meeting with an accident is not high. But when they do, it will be horrible. And let's be practical - drunken driving and over speeding are the biggest reasons for accidents. They even go to the extent of abusing the police saying that they are not doing their job properly, and keep focussing on petty issues like this. One, prevention is better than cure. It's better to disallow late night partying, than get yourself with bandages in a hospital. And two, I am sure you won't be talking so lightly about the police, when you see how they lay down their lives
We need to change. We should all, each one of us today, take a solemn oath that we shall change. We shall all agree to follow the rules, and respect law. We should follow the rules, not for the sake of the rules, but for the fact that following rules makes us more conscious. Instead of shooting dirty looks at the airport security personnel who insist on checking, we should co-operate. Lest, a terrorist may throw a dirty look and coolly carry a weapon onto the craft. When we do this, we can then have the moral right to blame people who are lax - blame the politicians or whoever for not doing their jobs properly. Only then can we have the moral rights... Otherwise people can keeep blaming one another. For none of us will be perfect, and others can find flaws. We need to change, instead of trying to change the system as many try to do. Yes we know we can change, yes we can change. But knowing that is not enough. We should change, and change we shall all.
Click on the image for the full size
A tribute to the brave men who laid down their lives for the safety of others, a tribute to the families who lost their loved ones... Let us not just sit and watch. My dear friends, I do not think that simply sitting around and blaming politicians is the solution. We should all stand up together and take a solemn oath that we shall follow the rules, no matter how hard it is... We shall respect the law. We shall change... And we shall influence others to change. To change towards betterment. We shall follow rules by not paying bribe, we shall follow traffic rules, we shall follow rules - for they are meant for our good. And when we do, we begin to realise that following rules is not important, but the sense to do that is... We start become conscious, and later it becomes inherent in us. And when we all become responsible, it becomes easy to narrow down problems. If you have some time, close your eyes, and think about it...
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Swami Gulagulaananda preached:
"The danger of HIV is not the virus itself, but the fact that it nullifies our defense to face newer ones"
The recent terror strike in Mumbai has taken the lives of hundreds of innocent people. And
the blame game has already started, with the intelligence agencies saying that they had
warned about these attacks long back and no action or preparation came from the Mumbai
police and government to prevent this from happening. And the people at the other end of
the fingers pointed claim that no specific information was given - strikes could be
anywhere, anytime. Information too general... Well, whichever is true, the damage has
already been done. Now for the correctional measures - which several people have demanded
for, and new Home Minister, Chidambaram has made several promises which if truly
implemented will be really effective.
However, this is within the country. A lot of people have strongly felt that we should go
on a full nuke strike on Pakistan - finish that country once and for all, they won't be a
migraine anymore. Other people, including US President elect, Barack Obama feel that
striking the terror camps on Pakistan is a better solution. It will be like helping
Pakistan get rid of terrorists. Just perform rapid air strikes on Pakistan, and before you
know it, it will be cleared of its nuisance (and ours)
But it is not as easy as it sounds, for surely, Pakistan will retaliate. And they will
start mobilising their troops from the Western border to the eastern, towards India.
Several people feel that this is exactly the idea of the Taliban, because fewer soldiers on
the west means that they can fight better. Some people feel that this is the idea of ISI so
that increased troops near India, means increased infiltration.
Now suppose a war does break out between India and Pakistan, India will surely win, no
doubt about it, just like it has happened several times before. However, there will major
disadvantages because of this war. One, several lives will be lost. Two, the economy will
fall back, and we will be a little behind than what we are now... This means that we will
be much behind China, which as of now is a silent spectator. China's economy will continue
to grow, while we are a going behind due to the war. And in the future, we will be up
against a far stronger enemy, and we will be weaker than what we should be to fight them.
Another aspect is - India will not suffer a major setback if the USA and the UK assist
India in this. But this is doubtful as USA needs Pakistan's help to curb issues in
Afghanistan, and also needs its troops there. So, their help might be minimal.
The only probable way that everything will go fine - with USA and UK assisting India
without us suffering a major setback would be if Taliban takes over Pakistan which they
have threatened to do. If that happens, then that country will truly become a rogue nation,
and the western powers will have no choice for the sake of their own safety, as for India,
whoever is ruling Pakistan, military or democracy, elements from that country have been a
Our objective would have to be to get rid of these rogue elements only - Pakistan, as a
country I doubt would be involved in this. This would be the work of ISI and terrorists. We
should therefore strike at these terror camps, therefore not affecting Pakistan, not
inviting a war and therefore rendering us stronger to stand up against China. New
technology that is being developed should be inducted as soon as possible - Like anti
missile weapons etc. to prevent pre-emptive strikes, nuclear or otherwise. We need to
develop far more aggressively, and should suppress our urge to fight on communal lines, for
now, we need to stay united as a nation.
Also, we should learn to be more security conscious, our police needs to be upgraded in
terms of training and weapons, our reconnaissance improved... India has the best cameras on
satellites in the world. Still we are not using it to guard our borders effectively. We can
see upto a metre very clearly Anything suspicious could be quickly captured. Also, with
advancements in Digital Image Processing, human intervention can be removed, and the
computer itself should be capable of reporting suspicious behaviour, like unknown boats,
ships arriving. If we have the will to do it, we can do anything, not a big deal. We have
the best brains in the world. Another approach I feel would be to have communities like the
open source, where people volunteer and provide small bits of help, which when put together
will form a large powerful system. Where they can help, and how? Well, this is left for you
to ponder about... But the borrom line is - we need to brace against probable future
threats or attacks from China which is a bigger danger than Pakistan which can be defeated
relatively easily. For China has more people, better technology, larger land and greater
clout and will.
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Sunday, 7 September 2008
"There is only one God say all religions, then why are you converting or being intolerant?"
Whatever I want to say in this entry - everything is clearly given in the link below. Just follow it, download the attachment and read it - Please attach it to your mail and forward it to others
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
"I have heard of monks selling ferraris, but NOW I have seen everything"
Chess is a game of minds. Well, I was on Yahoo Games the other day. I thought of playing a game of chess with some random person in some random room. And then I played a couple of games. And then comes along a person with a strange ID - christ_is_the_way_to_heaven or something to that effect. And the game starts, and the "dude" engages me in a conversation. I would actually say "interesting" conversation. It did keep me more active on that side, than on the game... [sadly]
Me: Hi :)
Dude: Where are you from?
Me: Bangalore, India. You?
Dude: Are you Christian?
Me: No (Oh boy, here we go... from his ID I knew what he would do next)
Dude: Do you want to go to heaven? (What're you? My travel agent?)
Me: No. I would rather live here on Earth forever
Dude: That's not possible (Duhh !! :P)
Me: Yeah I know, it's but the fact of life
Dude: Take Christ in your heart, and you will go to heaven
Me: We have not seen heaven. At least we know what Earth is...
Me: Are you an evenagelist?
Dude: Preacher (Potato potato, vase vase...)
Me: Do you believe that Christianity is the only religion that will take man to
Dude: [Quotes something from the Bible - ends it with a number like 20:30 or something that indicates verse number etc. The message conveyed by that paragraph is - There is no such thing as religion. Christ is the only saviour... blah blah and says that it was told by some guy (Must be bigger 'dude') ]
Me: Of course he would say that, he was Christian too... (Duhh!!!)
Dude : Accept Christ into your soul and wash away your sins...
Me: I have not sinned. Anyway, thanks for the wondeful game, but I have to be somewhere right now. Bye
Now, we see quite a lot of interesting things from this person. Clearly he was a fool for trying to pull such stunts. What is the point of telling me such things? There is no way he is going to convert anyone in such a short time. Nor can he get them "thinking" about it. He was merely wasting his time, and spoiling my mood and getting me irritated.
Ok, so what was he? My travel agent? Trying to get me to heaven with some bumper offer? He was worse than the most persuasive salesman I have ever met in my life... Anyway, no conclusions to be drawn. There are several terribly desperate people in this world, whose only objective seems to be religious conversion.
I have only one message for them - Read the Bhagawad Gita :-) And for Vishnu's sake, stop converting...
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
"Necessity is the mother of invention. Piracy is a tweaked version of that"
When a crime is committed there are many people who analyse it completely - inside out, the motive, the method etc. And then they write books like psychology of the criminal mind and books with other fancy names. So, in this post, I try to analyse a pirate - Not the one who has a "squacking" parrot on his shoulder, an eye patch, a hook for a hand and a sword in the other, and wooden stub for a leg and screams out "fee fi fo fum" [Oops! or is it "arrr land lubber matey" :-) ] Well anyway, coming back, I am talking about the software pirates, book pirates and music and movie pirates.
Now we first try to see why does piracy even take place? In the entire discussion, I am taking India as the country. In India, I have seen that the software that needs to be bought from a store - the original version, is extremely expensive for a common man. And I am talking about good software. If you try to buy software online, even useless programs that don't do a lot cost $20. And this may not appear to be quite a lot at the outset. It's the conversion of Dollar to Rupee that makes a common man to feel the pinch. If the software cost was reduced to a level where everyone could use it, then, everybody would have definitely bought it. And in India where the number of people is so high, piracy would cease to exist and the companies making the software would continue to make profit.
Same is the case for books. Originals cost somewhere up to five times or sometimes even more compared to the pirated versions being sold on the streets. Thus any average person who reads a novel for the sake of the story or the language, and not to collect the book as a "book" would rather buy five books for the price of one.
The same was the case for movies. However companis such as Moserbaer have come up with this excellent idea of dropping the cost. Earlier an original copy of a movie costed around Rs. 250 or more. Pirated versions were Rs. 50. Again, five times. Whereas, now that Moserbaer has slashed the prices to Rs. 50 I am sure that everyone prefers to buy an original disk.
We need to understand before releasing anything into the market, who the target is, and if it can reach others. Piracy is something that cannot be stopped. With peer to peer programs and rise of torrents [not the high seas] along with unlimited high speed broadband connection, piracy seems to have become easy, and there is no stopping them.
I sincerely hope that prices are brought down and people give up piracy after that. A lot of effort goes in the making of the originals and that needs to be respected. Either buy originals or use open source programs that are free. But this move should come from people of both sides.
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
"People stressing on being politically correct are not among the ones who defend, but are those who underestimate"
I was going through Bangalore Times today and happened to read an article about being politically correct. The article was long and finely written - well, don't ask me to comment about the contents. People with sense and blood pressure problems at the same time are requested not to go through the article. The reason? Well, read the small gist below
The article says that it is Politically Incorrect to call a fat person fat because the person might feel offended and demotivated and may get into depression and may end up eating more instead of trying to slim down. Instead we should say - obese. So much for calling a spade a spade eh? Or not really. A person who is mad should be called mentally ill. It goes on further saying some more weird things.
Well, what exactly did we conclude from this? It says that a person who is fat perhaps always has a low vocabulary. I come to this conclusion because apparently a fat person gets offended if called fat but not obese. WHY? The only conclusion I can draw from this is that the person maybe doesn't know the meaning of the word. Thus euphemism can be used safely - and more so on fat people, because according to the author of that article
"All fat people have bad vocabulary"
which maybe next time can be added as one of the quotes.
We must therefore try to understand that there is no such thing as a euphemism. You can use euphemism only provided the other person is a little dull. Otherwise calling a person fat, obese, round, overweight, pot-bellied, prosperous, satisfied etc. will definitely convey the very same message to the listener - "Dude, you are overweight, go jog" - Let's therefore call a spade a spade, or if you feel that it will offend the person, refrain from passing the comment. Not doing "Politically Correct" or you may end up having a intumesced labia [swollen lips :P]
Check out what George Carlin has to say about the matter
Thursday, 24 January 2008
"Love is forever, or is it indeed?"
I was sitting alone, wondering how much he had changed over the years. He used to love me a lot. I can't believe someone can change so much with time. Time changes everything - mighty mountains disappear. Even the dinosaurs which once ruled the planet are nothing but fossil remains. We all grow old, don't we? I expected his love for me to grow with age. I feel it's so unfair.
I try to look at him innocently. Hoping my eyes will at least melt his heart. But looks like time has changed even that. Nobody understands my loneliness. Everyday he comes drunk and beats me, and if that doesn't hurt me he adds abusive language. My my, the words he uses... I wish I could say something back. I don't want to hurt him. I still love him. He's the master of my heart and soul, now, is he not? But I definitely wish he would change. He should understand that my silence doesn't imply my approval - of course I am not ok with it.
Well, God has given me a really strong head. I could use it - but I feel he's no match to me in that field. The game wouldn't be fair. I don't want to incur his wrath at such an old age. Well, I can kill him - but then such thoughts shouldn't be in my mind. Love should be pure. Like my heart. But I still feel he's being unfair. Time changes everything. He used to get me my food to wherever I was... He used to come looking for me - "Lakshmi Lakshmi" he would call out. Ahh the sweet smile he used to have, kissing on my forehead all the time. Now I have to fend for myself. He gives me nothing. I have to spend my nights in the cold, earlier he used to get me a special blanket he had made himself. Where did all that love disappear? Ah time changes everything. Just because he can't get much work done from me, doesn't imply that he can beat me and push me around. I am old now, frail... I can barely stand at times. My bones are showing - he still doesn't care. He should understand. He should not be drinking, it makes his thoughts to change rapidly, blocking his conscience. I want to tell him what I think about him, but I am sure he simply won't understand. I get frustrated at times, makes me want to shout - Moo
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
"Purpose of life I simply know not
but life has a purpose, that's my thought"
Darwinism and Creationism. Two theories which I don't think agree with each other. I didn't know creationism as a word until recently. However I knew what it was about. I had studied Darwinism in school as part of subject. But I feel Darwinism can only explain the general evolution of species. The evolution of man from monkey, how different species have many similar characteristics and so on.
But I am sure evolution cannot explain many things that we see in nature. For instance, let us consider the "yucca" plant. This plant disperses seeds by producing a cotton like material to which a seed is attached. When the wind blows, the cotton material being light carries the seed to a distant area, where a new plant grows. Now, I am sure a lesser organism like a plant does not know or understand that cotton is light, that it can float, that by attaching a seed to it, it can be made to move a distance. A plant cannot think and apply laws of physics like we do. However it still continues to do so. Evolution is nothing but trial and error and till you perfect you keep testing... Nice for a plant to do so.
Let's take another example of, say fruits. If you have observed fruits and the way seeds are present in them. Apples and papayas have seeds present in the middle. Water melons have seeds dispersed throughout. And if you take oranges, the seeds are placed in the individual units within. Everything in nature is like what it is for a reason, as we have seen in the yucca plant. The cotton material is produced because it is light and fly long distances. So should the case be in seed arrangement. Why are the seeds arranged the way they are is my question. Surely there is a reason - perhaps a more efficient way of making sure that the plant will grow. I ask this because if I was designing a fruit, perhaps I would have selected the watermelon pattern - concentrating everything at the centre is not a good idea - like they say, it's not wise to keep all the eggs in the same basket. But why are they kept in individual units of the oranges? What purpose does that serve?
Life is not as simple as Darwin puts it - surely if that is the case, then the orange plant must have reasons as to why it keeps seeds like that, and we still can't talk to them. I don't know if there was a superior force that "created" organisms and made them the way they are... But I am sure, that everything has a logic, that things are the way they are for a solid reason...
[And someday I intend to find out. Maybe that's the day you'll see a halo behind my head. Look out Buddha, I am coming ]
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Purpose of existence
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
"When in trouble, son, and you can't do much, just let go"
You can now read the story from the book - Swami G's Short Stories
He was uneasy in his seat. The movie was a fast paced one, but he had other things in mind. He had seen a scene on the screen and this was followed by thoughts. He pulled out his phone from his pocket to check if he had gotten any calls. None. He replaced it. He had stopped watching the movie now. His fingers were trembling in his box of pop-corn while the hero was loading his gun with bullets on the big screen. He had a terribly queasy look on his face. He was beginning to feel sick. Why wasn't it ringing. He turned to his left to see the rather annoyed looks being darted at him by his wife. "If only looks could kill", he reckoned. "What the hell is wrong with you?" she muttered through her gritted teeth. He could almost see the flames of the explosion of the screen in her eyes and teeth. "Umm nothing" he managed to mumble sheepishly as he tried to loosen the grip of his wife. "How could such a small woman have such strength? When it comes to moving the sofa I wonder where her strength goes", he thought.
There was that feeling again. "Let me go woman", he wanted to blurt out. He was beginning to move uncomfortably with a weird rolling movement in his seat. His neighbours both on his right and back were beginning to stare at him like he was performing a magic trick. "Magic is all that can save me." Why wasn't his phone ringing?, he was praying by now, praying for the second intermission, hoping against all hopes that the theatre management would miraculously introduce a new policy. He took his phone out again. By now his wife's looks had gotten dirtier than ever before. What had he seen in her when he got married was his immediate thought. He noticed her overly sparkling diamond in her finger ring. He wondered where they found such large stones, at the same time getting the answer for his previous question. Rich bi**h he swore under bated breath.
"Listen darling, I'll be right back", he whispered as he took his phone out for the third time.
"You are going nowhere, last time you decided not to show up after you had gone out", his wife replied in a threateningly quiet tone.
"Last time was different. This is an emergency." Beads of sweat were beginning to form on his forehead. His wife decided to ignore that. She had asked him to cancel all appointments and meetings. She was not to be disturbed this time, owing to her unpleasant memories of being dumped halfway through the last two movies because of the self-claimed urgent calls her husband had got from the hospital. What kind of hospital cannot operate without one doctor was her question. What special skill did her husband have that he was being called so often. She would have normally felt elated that her husband was special, but she suspected something else - that her husband was hiding something and under no circumstance would she allow him to go this time. Any other time she would have followed him, but not this time. This movie was special.
His phone was shimmering and glowing alternately now. That's it he thought. His wife noticed that from the corner of her eye. She suspected he was having an affair and this must be the other woman's call. "Cut the call", she uttered rapidly which was followed by angry looks and hushing sounds by her neighbours. He did as ordered, although it was completely against his wishes. He had been waiting so long for his phone to ring. The call was not important to him anymore. He knew there was not much time left now. He had to act soon. Cutting the call was the last nail in the coffin. He hoped the caller would call back. He wanted to answer it so desperately - cutting calls was completely against his principle. Doctors must be able to react in times of emergencies.
He could see how far he had to go before he reached the exit, counting and imagining where he would place his steps. The phone was beginning to shimmer and glow again. If he made a dash for it now, he could perhaps reach just in time. He had mentally begun counting till ten. Ten is too big for such things, he thought and deemed five should suffice. He had hardly reached three when his wife tightened her grip and his neighbour decided to relax his legs and outstretched them. Blasted people could read his thoughts he felt. He was now beginning to see a hazy grey in front of him. Strange circular patterns with squiggly shapes kept rapidly appearing and dispappearing, morphing speedily. He almost had the urge to count them, but let it go - This was not the time, there were far more important things to do. His thoughts were drifting faster, unclear, unfocussed.
By now, time had run out. He was sure of it. The phone was still, silent, and lifeless. There was no glow anymore. "Damn, no more calls" he thought. Tension was eating him, he was beginning to get jittery and slightly cranky. He remembered his Guru's parting words - "When in trouble, son, and you can't do much, just LET GO. You'll find that tension kills a man faster than the trouble itself" He knew he had lost his chance and opportnity. The Guru has never been wrong, he has always shown me the path towards light. "Let Go" he felt like someone had whispered in his ears. He knew the caller wouldn't call again - at least not after cutting the call twice. "Let go" He decided to follow his Guru. As he did, he felt a deep sense of satisfaction; a feeling of gratification he had never felt for a long time. "Letting go was so much easier than wrestling this bi**h next to me. I need to start going to gym again, I seem to have lost touch. Flexing my muscles was never so difficult before." He was not uneasy anymore. He was in fact smiling, and he enjoyed the rest of the movie. "Let go" he said to himself. His wife on the other hand was beginning to feel weird. Why did her husband suddenly relax? His hands were not resisting her grip anymore. Did that other woman tell him something that passed me without my knowledge? She was unable to concentrate on the hero's final parting kiss on the heroine's forehead promising to be with her in their next brith. That something had changed was the only thing in her mind. Curiosity was killing her, eating and gnawing through her from within. She could not bear it anymore.
The movie got over with the heroine stabbing herself and resting on her dead beau's chest. The lights came on. She did not even want to see her husband's face. She decided to pat his thigh and demand an answer, the sooner the better before he came up with excuses. She did so, and instinctively pulled back after the first two pats... "Why are your pants wet?"
-- An attempt to mimic Karry Kavya's blog I know I can't write their style, but hey - I am me
"If DSL or power line goes for a tizzle
How many net crazy lives would fizzle?"
We are aware of, or if not, then made aware of two kinds of worlds that exist now. I am not talking about the earth and space, hell and heaven, netherworld and its complement... I am talking about the real world and the virtual world. And by virtual world I refer to the lives people live on the internet. Real of course, is YOU as a person and your life.
Virtual world is the more fascinating world as of now, at least as of this discussion. Virtual world is much larger than the real world, more fantastic in many ways - larger because of the several terrabytes of memory being contributed by each server and more fantastic because normal rules and laws don't apply - by laws I mean Newtonian and Coulombian (not legal) You can take birth at the moment of your choice... All you need to do is create your account. You can die at the moment of your choice - delete account.
You can make friends, or catch up with old ones through social networking sites. Interesting that although people haven't met in the real world, they make friends online, in the virtual world. Of course, as long as the real and virtual worlds remain apart
[You'll laugh if you watch Seinfeld, skip this bracket otherwise - wrt George and his worlds]
When the worlds come together and mix up, then there might be trouble. This statement I make with reference to the couple of deaths that were due to some mistakes/crimes committed by people on popular social networking site Orkut, where virtual friends (total strangers) decided to meet in real world, and one killed the other.
You'll be surprised how many people have fallen in love online and some have even gone ahead and married (some got killed, but let me skip that now) Some live online lives. Some talk to others only online but when they come face to face in the real world they pretend as if they don't know or recognise each other. Online they chat for hours. The online world eliminates poor memory problems that absent minded husbands might have - such as forgetting anniversaries (angry wife tapping feet with rolling pin in hand, grumbling) because you can have settings to automatically remind you about it, even a week back or earlier... Send gifts and cards, that also online... And here's something even more weird. One of my friends told me that there is a place where you can also get online jobs with money and profession also applicable only online - meaning that in real life that money is worthless, but you can buy perhaps a virtual house and a virtual car, air conditioner and so on...
Things are going so out of hand at times, that when I return to complete sanity and introspect, I wonder where this is taking us - it's absolutely crazy to have an online job, online money, online wife, husband and kids, everything online. No power would kill several. So many are addicted to the internet for the wrong things. I use the internet a lot, but not for such junk purposes. Chatting I do with close friends, with whom I can talk sense, or blabber my heart away. But the internet needs to be seen as a vast resource set, you can get whatever reference material you want for free. Songs and videos etc. complete entertainment. But not to such an extent that you forget how it is to be walking on the sand barefoot in the sun... Balanced handling is important claims Swami
Sunday, 13 January 2008
"We are many, reaching a billion;
Are we nothing but the west's minion?"
India has a population of a billion. One billion. That's one followed by ... well, many many zeroes. And Indians are as such considered to be among the most brilliant people in the world. Many patriotic people say that many leading western companies like IBM, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google have thousands of Indians working in them. India also has many indigenous companies such as Infosys and Wipro.
I have till date never heard or seen of a single Indian product that is being recognised across the world as a famous product. Not a single one... Operating systems such as Unix and Windows are American, database softwares such as Oracle and Access are American again, SAP is German, and if you consider any other software for that matter, they are all western, perhaps American or European, but never Indian. The only famous Indian product that I have heard is Tally. I am not talking about general software applications, but serious products.
This discussion is not limited to software. Even nuts and bolts of many machine parts are imported. India therefore is largely limited to services - chiefly outsourced again by the west. If we are all oh-so brilliant, with so many IITs and all, why do we still not have ONE operating system that we can call Indian. It is something that really intrigues me - that I can not find one single product that is completely Indian... Strange that a population of one billion hasn't made one complete indigenous product that can stand at par with the western products.
Thursday, 10 January 2008
"Justice delayed is justice denied"
The crime rate is ever increasing, at least it is so in India. But why are the perpetrators are never scared or worried of getting caught, and the consequences that follow thereafter. And why is this? There are all kinds of crimes that take place. And of course, from crimes, I am directly linking to the justice speed and the system. Now when I say crimes, I am referring to much more than just the criminal cases. I also include the civil cases.
Murders, rapes, robbery, attacks, property dispute, official disputes, etc. All of these are common cases that the justice system faces. But these continue to flow in, and in fact continue to grow unabated. The main problem is - THE SPEED OF JUSTICE. People aren't hesitant to commit crimes because they know that they won't get caught, and even if they do, nothing will happen to them. I am, of course, as you might have guessed by now, talking only about the hotshots of the society, or children and relatives of the hotshots. They are the ones with the weight that they can simply push around, and get things hurried up, or delayed or even suppressed, suffocated and asphyxiated to such an extent that people will eventually forget about it.
Court cases are simply dragged. Dragged to unbelievable extents. It's ridiculous to even imagine that the man who has a grandson will be fighting his father's case... Fifteen years, twenty years... And it takes a lot more than just extremely strong will to endure such depressing periods. You need to also have a sufficiently big wallet (filled of course...) to continue to fight just to sustain yourself in the legal battle. Ordinary common people cannot sustain such battles against the rich and powerful for the same two reasons - they are too rich and too powerful to develop enmity.
Gradually prudence teaches you to pull an out-of-court settlement. Look sir, you know what you did is wrong. I don't want to waste time, energy and money in court cases. Just give me a fraction of the total amount, and I'll be on my way. A single person cannot fight a company because of the might it has, poor can't fight rich, because of the power their money has (sufficient to delay it to such an extent that the poor shalt, but perish - quips Swami)
This is perhaps the main reason why you don't see people suing others for even pretty big issues. In the process, you lose more than what you get. In the USA and other western countries, justice is delivered so fast, that they can afford to sue everyone or anyone for anything... For playing music too loud, driving on their patch of grass, winking at his wife, and so on. Here - not a chance. All problems, including corruption, which is of course the main reason for all other problems have their root at the delayed justice. And the speed of justice is not increased for perhaps the same reason.
After a nationwide protest and vast media coverage, one Jessica Lall case and one Rizwanur Rehman case are making news... There are thousands of other cases pending...
What is the point of delivering a just verdict twenty years after the case was filed, if the complainant lies dead in his grave, and his family on the streets of the city begging.... The judge's mallet may go *Bamm* but when is the question!
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
"If eating cereal and drinking milk made people any clever
Then would they come here to read my lessons? Never..."
If you have watched advertisements, you'll know what I am telling you. I mean the hilarious advertisements they show on TV. I liked the Kellogs cereal ad and the Goodlife milk ad the most. The bottom line is this - you are an idiot, nothing enters into your head. Then you eat the cereal, or drink the milk or butter etc. And *BOOM* the girl solves the problem, the dumb looking man who till then didn't know he was being robbed right under his nose gets a sudden brain powering, and he can tell the number of the vehicle without looking...
Ok, how lame are we to believe this? It's funny how people try to "fool" people into buying their products. I wonder if people actually fall for it and buy these things because of what they are claiming their products to be doing... In a way they are cheating people by making them feel that they'll become cleverer than what they inherently are. Well, if they do buy it for this reason then they are the ones who deserve it.
There are many such lame ads. There's this ridiculous advertisement about this veterinary doctor who is advertising for this chewing that brightens teeth. And he speaks horribly bad English, the grammar gone to dogs. And he uses a cow... A cow and bad English for advertising a teeth whitening chewing gum. And if it was funny, witty or made sense, it's alright. This one is sheer nonsensical.
Then there are detergent advertisements. Another classic case of morons. In these advertisements, the kids seem to know more about the detergents and washing powder more than their mothers. They always seem to be excited about detergents, why I don't know. Every detergent and washing powder has kids, in fact obsessed with dirtying clothes and then educating their mothers about why they should be using that detergent. Sheeesh. And what's worse is when their mothers look amazed at that detergent in all awe while the over-smart have this know-all expression on their faces.
More over-smart kinds continue their saga in cereal ads, toothpaste ads, detergent ads, biscuit ads... Sheesh. There are many such advertisements. Most of them have no connection to the product that they are marketing. And some that have connections tend to overdo it - like the cereal and milk advertisement I told you about. The really funny advertisements are copied straightaway from western ads.
Sunday, 6 January 2008
"A crime is a crime, big or small,
Size determined when done by all"
Have you ever met people who commit mistakes and they say, "Aww chuck it man, nobody will notice" ... Or "Hey, it's ok... Forget it, nothing'll happen"
Ok, or you yourself may think like this some times. When I am talking about these small mistakes, I am referring to the teeny weeny errors like:
- Jumping signal, driving badly (no indicators, hand signs etc.)
- Throwing chocolate wrappers, chips packets etc. on the ground as you walk, drive etc. (Littering)
- Spitting, shouting, talking loudly in restaurants and other public nuisance creation
- Cutting in lines whilst in queues...
- Small cheating, like giving 990 ml fuel instead of a litre in bunks...
Think that's ok? Let's take cost of petrol to be around Rs. 50. By pouring 990 ml instead of 1 litre (Although their cheating proportions are much larger) he saves 50 paise. That's all right? I mean, come on, 50 paise is the price paid for a chocolate (the wrapper of which we throw here and there) Now, if he cheats 100 people per day, where each person asks for say just 5 litres.
Total for a week = 7 * (0.50 * 5) * 100= Rs 1750/-
This is just for one week, and that too we have taken just 100 vehicles and just 5 litres. In a year, at this rate, he makes Rs. 6,38,750 (Nearly six and a half lakh rupees)
And this was just for one petrol bunk. Now you know why people always fight and pay extra money to establish petrol bunks (there's a lot of demand) And here, I have considered 100% pure petrol. As we were made aware in newspapers, many bunk owners save even more money by adding kerosene and other cheaper alternative substances. If each one of us talks in a restaurant, there's no difference between a market a "nice quiet" place to eat. Many restaurants have a bunch of noise makers.
There's always this attitude among people - "It's not like the sky will fall if I do it, so, what's with all this preaching?" If it's an isolated case, maybe it's pardonable. But it's not so. When a child sees his/her father/mother doing something like this - say littering, or any of the above mentioned things, the child will consider it as a green signal - impressionable minds or otherwise, parents are considered to be the people from whom we learn most of our values. Oir role models, seniors, adults and everyone else do this... and the "legacy" is continued by their children and thus the problem continues to prevail.
To sum up, each one of us should stop committing these mistakes - and automatically when others see you are not doing it, they may feel ashamed to do so (If they don't, you have the moral right to ask them to...) and slowly we can eliminate the problem. The bottom line though is that no error is too small to just let go without an apology and rectification...
Saturday, 5 January 2008
"Skimpy clothes, drink in hand
Page 3 is where you'll land"
Times of India - Nice newspaper, in fact it's really great. You get everything that you need to, but then, they also provide this supplement called Bangalore Times. Bangalore Times has many pages, but it's the page 3 that intrigues me, and also works me up.
Well, by now you would have realized how much I am against pub culture and social drinking. Alright, FINE, do it - it's your life... But you know what? Why publish these photos of people doing this, in the newspapers??? Funny, I feel - they publish the photos of some who-is-who and mostly "umm-who-the-hell-is-that?" type people. Now seriously, think about it, who in the sanest states of their minds, would want to look at photos of people they don't even know in newspapers page 3?
They can use that much ink for putting in better stuff about so many things - ok, why not write some cooking recipes [seems boring...], or publish photos of celebrities (now THEY have many fans), or more advertisements (revenue for papers also) or something... Well, ANYTHING else is better.
Page 3 - it's funnier than Page 2 - Oh for those who are unaware, Page 2 has cartoon strips. The only people who read page 3 are the people who come in it - or who are wannabe page three people, so now they'll start going to those pubs - So. I guess indirectly you are inducing more people to go to bars and pubs to drink, because everyone wants to come in newspapers, most people find it difficult to do something great to come, others find it difficult to drown themselves in legal battles for committing murder and other abominable vices... So the easiest way till now to come in the newspaper with a smile on your face is to have a drink in your hand.
I know it is called page 3 because that page is reserved for the "Party Animals", another term that I detest... Well, party animals, wwwhhhhoooooooooo you guys enjoy dudes... and dudettes, wwwhwooooooo yeahhhhh but don't come and show your inebriated faces to me. Nyah, so there
Friday, 4 January 2008
"Largely ape needn't be King Kong;
Look around you, I am surely not wrong"
At every point we seem to be aping the west - especially the United States of America. Aping is alright, as long as your aping will benefit, and it makes sense to do so. Here are some very annoying things that I found among Indians who ape the "states"
Mentally retarded children are referred to as mentally challenged... And now they are being referred to as "gifted" children. This is supposed to be called - being politically correct. It puts me off just as much as management talk [crap] does. I find it rather ludicrous that people are more bothered about selecting politically correct and apt words - now mind you, they don't have any sympathy for the children, in fact, they act as if something weird is near them when they see the children. Instead of showing the "gifts" in feelings, time is wasted in such things. Call the child a mentally challenged person, because that's what the child is - you may feel the argument to be a little strong, but understand the fact - a gift is defined as a positive thing, something that you want maybe for your birthdays or anniversaries, but I am sure nobody would want a mental gift like this. Call a spade a spade, or at least learn to be sympathetic instead of simply pathetic when you use such phrases. Be true from your heart, not from your lips only
This is only one of the things. We need to primarily understand the fact that the culture here and there are different. Watch some western shows on tv and you'll know what I mean. There, sleeping with someone is a pretty obvious thing - "Duhh!" but here it isn't. There they go to bars, get drunk, and hook up with someone. [standard usage in all western shows] However, here they go to bars, get drunk, molest and get into trouble... both the men and the women. Either avoid going to bars to drink, that too past midnight or increase your chances of getting molested or prepare to get laid... I know, I am still sounding rather crude. But then again, I dislike it when people ape only the wrong things from the west.
The west essentially reveals large open-mindedness, logic and freedom. But people seem to adopt being slutty, lascivious and such "features" of the west. Come on, they have so much to show us. Why the pub culture? Of all things...
Thursday, 3 January 2008
"Economy booming, money overflowing
Why then are the unfortunate continually growing"
The economy is growing rapidly. India is the second fastest growing economy in the world. We all have amenities. iPod isn't a thing anymore. Everyone knows how to use it, and kids around me have exclaimed surprise when they came to know I don't have one.
We are not all stinking rich. But we are all pretty well to do, upper middle class people. Alright, fine, maybe middle class... But we do spend money for something that we don't need THAT badly. Like for example, we spend fifteen bucks to drink an iced tea from some kiosk. And something around that for a bar of delicious chocolate. And so on. There are many people around, who don't have that much money to buy a bun or some rice to fill the stomachs of their children and themselves.
I don't say completely curb the habit of enjoying and pampering yourself. Come on, I am no saint [Ok, not a really great saint, Swami nevertheless ]. But just imagine a fifteen saved here and a fifteen saved there - drops and drops maketh ocean. And you can do something really worthwhile with that saved money. Especially if you and your friends all decide to save money on the same day, for example, a joint effort. That money can be donated to some of these organizations [hungry children, abandoned women and children, and stray animal caring orgs.] who will put that money to good use.
We are not going to die if we don't drink iced tea for one day - not that I have something against Iced tea vendors. But what I am saying is, amid such merry making, occasionally care for the people and animals who aren't as lucky as you are. It might seem that I am trying to make people to give up worldly pleasures and go to the Himalayas. Far from that, you'll learn the pleasure of giving, sharing... Oh puh-leez, it's just an ice tea, man! Peace...
Wednesday, 2 January 2008
"Getting drunk and murdered, molested or raped is a ridiculous way of appearing in newspapers"
In view of the recent "Shame thing again" from the business capital of the country - Mumbai, where nearly 80 men groped and molested the two women. This thing can be seen from two angles, one of which is the obvious conclusion that can be drawn - the city isn't safe for women. That what happened was a very very uncomfortable thing for the women, very shameful and a horrifying experience for them. This of course can be drawn straightaway, you don't have to be an analyst for drawing this inference.
But if you have a look at it the other way, I still feel that the women weren't right in doing what they did... I am sure some would be ready to throw stones at me. But what these people need to understand is that we are not yet living in Utopia where the entire city is SO safe that people can safely walk around at 1:30 AM in the morning. Come on, for crying out loud, we are all aware of that. For the number of mugging incidents that take place in the city, for the number of murders and rape cases, that happen in the middle of the day, such incidents happening in the dead of the night is not a surprising thing. I don't understand what two women were doing at 1:30 AM - Oh wait, I do know. They were drinking and partying .
I don't want to sound old fashioned and orthodox, well, I am not - but I am pretty logical enough to conclude that when you are aping the west by holding New Year celebrations by drinking and dancing [Something that I absolutely detest, how cheap!! - personal opinion], you should also ape them in carrying around 'pepper sprays' and learning self defense. It's absolutely ridiculous - and another thing I don't understand is this kick people get by partying all night, but that's something I'll put in my other blog entry.
For now, this is all I have - Ladies and gentlemen alike, please don't ape the west, whilst the west is now beginning to believe that Eastern culture (Indian and Chinese) is better, we are going from better to worse. Please don't develop dumb habits of unnecessarily partying, drinking, drinking and driving, and all others...
I am telling this because it's a ridiculous way of coming in the newspaper - getting molested, dying in accidents, and drunken brawls and getting murdered in the stupor... I urge especially all the Indians to restore sanity in yourselves - Mind you, I am NOT being orthodox and conservative, plain old common sense and logic teaches me this.
Tuesday, 1 January 2008
"I don't take analgesics because they hide the symptoms - Fight the cause, fight the disease, and the symptoms shall disappear with it..."
Reservation is indeed a major problem in India. And this problem continues to exist primarily because the problem of casteism continues unabated in the nation. I saw a video the other day which described the pathetic conditions of the people of the "low-caste" and how these people were ill treated and were not allowed to be at par with the people of "high-caste"
Now in the video, they showed this girl who decided to drop out of school because she could not continue owing to the taunts of her fellow classmates. She initially intended to become a nurse or a doctor and all her dreams were shattered she says in it. Now, the government decides to reduce these things by putting up reservations for these people. In reality these people are never benefited by this ridiculous scheme. In fact the meritorious students also don't reap the benefits because the seats that they effectively get are far lesser. And people of the low caste get into these seats owing to their caste, and not merit.
But it's true that the girl's dreams are shattered. The problem according to me is this - the people of low caste drop out of school because of the taunts. As a result of this, they lack the education that's required. Since they lack this vital component required to get a white collar job, they don't get it - and this means they have to do manual labour as their parents were doing. And this vicious cycle continues. The solution for this definitely isn't reservation. This is because not all "Dalits" are poor, nor are they all doing manual labour, and not all are in such a situation. And these "reserved" seats go to the richer dalits... And the poorer Dalits continue to rot in their abject conditions.
The solution for this, is to fight the system. We should fight the very fact that the caste system continues to exist. When we do this, if successful, we reach a condition where all are equal - without reservation. Education is what's more important. People should be educated against casteism. And mind you, religious conversion isn't the solution for this either. The Dalits continue to be referred to as Dalits in their religion.
And so the solution I would like to reiterate is to FIGHT THE SYSTEM. I urge you all to oppose these ridiculous segregation, and also to oppose an equally ridiculous system called Reservation and Categories based on caste.