My Take on the world events
I have views too and so do you.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Shekhar Kapoor to Cindy Sheehan

This is an open letter by Shekhar Kapoor on behalf of an Iraqi Mother (fictional I believe) to Cindy Sheehan.....

Presents one valid side of the story but the ending sounds a bit revengeful...what do you say?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Death Ends Fun review now available

The Indi Blog review now has a Review on Death Ends Fun and an interview with Dilip D'Souza. Check it out if you have time

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Been Away from the Blogging World

Been busy though there is so much to blog about !!

The Blog Review of "Death Ends Fun" should be posted sometime this week on Indi Blog Review.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Funniest Religious Joke

Relgious Joke (just because everyone is cribbing about religion on their blogs :-)

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the
edge, about to jump.

I ran over and said: "Stop. Don't do it."

"Why shouldn't I?" he asked.

"Well, there's so much to live for!"

"Like what?"

"Are you religious?"

He said, "Yes."I said, "Me too. Are you Christian or Buddhist?"

"Christian.""Me too. Are you Catholic or Protestant?"

"Protestant.""Me too. Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?""Baptist."

"Wow. Me too. Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the

"Baptist Church of God.""Me too. Are you original Baptist Church of God, or
are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?"

"Reformed Baptist Church of God.""Me too. Are you Reformed Baptist Church
of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of

He said: "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915."

I said: "Die, heretic scum," and pushed him off.

Read here for the Top 10 Funniest Religious Jokes and I am sure you will go "sheeesh" on the Most Offensive Joke at the same site...

chaayneese - or not?

Read this from Rashmi - ABCD

I had been to NY and NJ a couple of weeks back I enjoyed the best "Indian Chinese" (a different cuisine altogether as explained in the post above) over there.

Those who plan to go to NJ should surely try out two places which are a must visit for an Indian Chinese Cuisine Lover. The Places are "Moghul Express" and "Nan King".

Opportunity Cost? What is the confusion?

The latest debate on the economic front.

Well nothing to do with the economics but a lot to do with the economists. An interesting one anyways….

Here is the gist as given by Alex Tabarrok on Marginal Revolutions:
You won a free ticket to see an Eric Clapton concert (which has no resale value). Bob Dylan is performing on the same night and is your next-best alternative activity. Tickets to see Dylan cost $40. On any given day, you would be willing to pay up to $50 to see Dylan. Assume there are no other costs of seeing either performer. Based on this information, what is the opportunity cost of seeing Eric Clapton?

(a) $0, (b) $10, (c) $40, or (d) $50.

I have a hard time believing that this is possible but 78 percent of the economists
gave the wrong answer! This is not a hard question. There is no trick. Opportunity cost is central to economics, the people asked were among the best economists in the world, a large majority of them have taught intro econ and yet the correct answer was the least popular.

You can read the whole study here and a related NY Times article here

The answer obviously is $10.

The difference in the “perceived value” of the Dylan Concert ($50) and the actual cost of the ticket ($40).

If I try to explain this in simple terms, I would get the ticket at $40 anyways when I am ready to dole out $50 so I am losing out on the $10 (virtual) profit that I could have “enjoyed” by going to the Dylan concert instead of the Eric Clapton one.

Disclaimers – I may not be as good as Michael in explaining complex Economics in a simple way and personally though, I prefer Eric Clapton – but I do not have the “free” ticket.

I got the answer right, and before you think that I am posting this just to boast about it, let me say a modest “NO”

Now if you got the answer wrong AND you prize your “Economics degree”, or consider “economics” to be your “cuppa tea”, or just want to rant out; read this counter post on the same Marginal Revolutions. And if I have not confused you enough, go to the comments section of the same post.

I do not agree with the counter Post simply because I think the Net v/s Gross argument does not hold true in this case. The problem clearly states that “ there are no other costs” thus I think the debate is nullified. If this is the “LAST” Dylan concert on the Earth and your “perceived value” is still $50 then the $50 opportunity cost is true, but else not.

BTW – People named Amit are generally smart – You see this Amit got it right as well.

My sixth sense tells me that I need to turn off the comments on this one, but then wasn’t it I who begged for them in the first place.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

From the Horse's mouth

Here it is ... the "Guruspeak" or should I say "Guruvaani" ...... your comments are welcome.. I will post my thoughts later

Monday, September 05, 2005

Katrina - The good stories

There have been many a stories on the net about lack of humanity, but NY girl proves that it is otherwise as well.

Read for the compilation here and if you have a suggestion let her know

May the spirit stay alive and may GOD help all those who require it

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Talveen Singh ...

Read this and let me know what you say. I am confused... what is the point?

Indian Team pulls out ....

India wins. You say, it was against a trimmed down Zim so it is not a big news.

I agree but....

... as usual India managed to get itself into a mess and thanks to a timely (long due) surge by Yuvraj and Dhoni that they managed to pull itself out.

I hope this show of resillience will help us in the Finals..

Friday, September 02, 2005

Second Review on Indi Blog Review

The Second review in the Indi Blog Review series has now been posted. It features "Happenings of the Heart" - a blog by Josephine Fernandes

World of Sport

Should we be happier about Sania storming into US Open Round 4 or India finally registering a 'credible' win?

Ofcourse we should be happeir about Sania, cause what she acheives today is History in the Making, she gives hope to many..... unlike the cricket victory which is not so special as Shane Bond was missing....

At least I am, are you?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Indi Blog Review begins

Check out the first Bloggerview on Nerve Endings Firing Away (A blog by Patrix)

Others are in the pipeline. I plan to put up one every week.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

@mit is back...

I have just returned from a week long vacation in NY, Niagara and Toronto. A vacation from everything (even blogging - on rerequest from my wife). All pending projects in blogging will begin from tomorrow.... ciao

Friday, August 19, 2005

Update on Indi Blog Review.

I am being dragged to NY and Toronto over the next week and thus the launch of Indi Blog Review has been delayed.

I appreciate all the support that I have received from you all. Thanks for that. I hope this will be a good initiative.

The Following blog reviews AS WELL AS blogger interviews are coming up (not in any specific order):
  1. Nerve Endings Firing Away- by Patrix
  2. Balancing Life - by Sunil Laxman
  3. IndianWriting - by Uma
  4. The Examined Life - Ravikiran Rao
  5. India Uncut - Amit Varma
  6. Happenings of the Heart - Josephine Fernandes
  7. News in Limerick - by Aparna
  8. Death Ends Fun - Dilip D'souza
  9. Beautiful Life - Vasanthi Emmanuel
  10. A walk in the clouds - Megha M
  11. A time to reflect - Charu

--- and few others are in the pipeline and currently being contacted.

Tune in later to find out more and keep the suggestions flowing because this is still WIP.

- cross posted on Indi Blog Review

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Indi blog review

What is Indi Blog Review?

The several posts by Michael, Vikram, Deepak and Dina on the Most Popular Blogs (or the worst as per Sibyl), set me thinking on what I like / dislike about a particular blog.

I visit a lot of blogs which I like and generally bloghop from there based on the blog roll / favorite blog links of those bloggers. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised and sometimes disappointed. Some good or even great blogs do not get the right exposure or audience whereas there are other not so good ones which get a lot of hits.

I thought why not use my blog to voice my views and promote some of the blogs that I visit. Hence this attempt is to write about and promote all the blogs that I read.

Then there are other blogs which are anyways well settled and popular that they do not require my secondment. I have always wondered what these bloggers think about blogging and any advice that they may have to others. Some of these popular / well established bloggers have written about these things as well. I want to provide an insight into the minds and thoughts of the well established bloggers about blogging. This will be done via an interview with the blogger.

My attempt is to centralize all of the above and go a step forward by providing my views on the blog (not the blogger)

Last but not the least, I am no expert on blogging and our views may not match, but I am trying to go a step ahead of the blog roll and provide some more info on the Blogs that I read.

About the HOW and WHAT part of this . Read all about it at the new Indi Blog review Blog and do leave your comments there.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Blog Reviews or Interviews?

Starting this week I wish to review / introduce / interview / present a blog each week.... more about how and why later....

Plannign to call it "Bloggerview"? Does it sound okay?

Basic Idea is to provide thoughts about the blogs that I read and what I feel about them
In case of famous blogs, will try to get an interview with them if possible and provide an insight into what they feel about blogging

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Some Truths or Some Myths?

Democracy is the best form of cultured socitey.

If so, why do I sometimes feel

that my country requires a dictator?

Majority should rule.

If so, why do I feel something is wrong when

a majority ethnic group decides to clean off a minority

Education makes you smarter

If so, why do I feel that the illeterate people sometimes

show more wisdom

Thursday, August 11, 2005

What did you say honey?

The Issue on Hand

Setting: Living room
@mit watching the TV on the couch munching on pop corn( Sports Channel. Minnesota Vikings v/s GB Packers. 4th Quarter. Vikings need a touchdown and all hopes on Dante)

My wife in the kitchen, cleaning up.

My wife(lovingly) Can you clear the trash honey?

@mit munching on pop corn...munch munch

My wife (a bit irritated): are you listening?

@mit biting the nails now cause it the the 3rd down and 10

My wife (shouting at the top of her voice): shut the damn TV. Clear the trash

@mit still biting on his nails and praying to all GODS that Dante does it.

My Wife standing next to me and still shouting: CLEAR THE TRASH

My Wife (shaking me, taking the remote and shutiing the TV) : Are you even here?

@mit: What are you doing? Can't you see....

My Wife: Can't you listen, I am shouting for last few minutes. You never listen to what I say.
You need to check your ears.

@mit catches the feeble shouts of his neighbors shouting because of the touchdown and starts dancing.

My Wife (sobbing now): you cannot even hear me but you can listen to the neighbors TV and the score... My god ... what happened to you...

I always knew nothing was wrong with me

Cause: Men process female voice differently (I do it even better)

Moon and Monk...

Drink this or go here

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Jagdish Tytler (Hitler) resigns...Yeh dil maange more

Flashing News - After hours of squirming and standing alone, Jagdish Hitler (ooops Tytler) resigns as a minister.

Now we all can breathe easily ... at least you all can... not me.

Mr. Minister (former) your resignation is the least that the Govt can do, but we want more. Yeh Dil Maange lot more.

Resignation as a Minister, Resignation as a MP, Arrest, Trial, Verdict, Hangman....Justice!

That is what we want.

So until that happens I will not breathe easily and will not let you too...
BTW - Mr. PM - You admit it is a national shame - so let us kick the ones who brought this on us. And if you have time please convey my message to your colleagues in and out of the parliament

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I am sorry

I am sorry.

I should have been a bit more considerate.

I could surely empathize more with you. You could not tell me what the problem was, but it was my duty to find it out. You depend on me to take care of you and I was irresponsible yesterday.
It is not your fault that you were not keeping well... it is not your fault that you could not tell me was not your fault that you were cranky, incoherent, messy and so worked up.... it is not your fault that you are teething ........ it is not your fault that you are just 17 months old
I am sorry Sai. I love you and I am sure you do too....

TOI Where art thou?

Cross posted on TOI - where art thou?
I remember my school days when our English teacher egged us to read the English newspaper aloud everyday in order to improve our diction and clear our speech. I urged my dad to subscribe to the best Englsih daily (We had subscribed to a vernacular daily because my mother preferred it). He promptly asked our "Paperwallah" to give the Times of India to us. My dad, I remember, told me that it was the best English daily in circuit. --- Read more at TOI - where art thou?


A couple of years back, I had played the lead role in a play named Partitions by Pangea World Theater. We had 16 shows in the Twin Cities and had nearly taken the play to New York and Chicago.

The play was wonderfully written by Meena Natarajan and directed by the talented Dipankar Mukherjee.

The play was about the trauma of a Sikh family and its journey from the bloody Partition, the 1984 Riots and its aftermath. The protagonist Bishen (played by me) tries to find the meaning to this journey.

It was during the preparation and study for this play that I actually found out how horrific the times of Partitions and the 1984 riots were for the families. We talked to dozens of Sikh families and Pakistani families as well to get a perspective of what the Parition meant for them.

I still shudder at the stories that I heard and their deep impact on me. The stories of honor killings, people burnt alive, uprooted from their native lands and then betrayed by the land which they called their own. Meena had done extensive research for the play.

It was then, that I realized that the betrayal by India of the Sikh community. I was never and still am not in favor of any more divisions of our country based on religion, language or caste. But for India to remain a united secular country, we all need to be a bit tolerant.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Tryst with Destiny

Honorable Members of Parliament, members of our esteemed temple of democracy I come here in humility to remind you of the Pledge that this very institution took on the eve of Independence. The 'poetically worded but eschewed in practice' pledge - "Tryst with Destiny"

I would like to remind the Honorable Members:
Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially [...]

Honorable Members, our honeymoon with Fate has long been over and we have marched into the next Century, but the pledge which we solemnly agreed to uphold remains forgotten. The Pledge, H'ble Members, is not even marginally redeemed. I seek YOUR assistance as the beacons of democracy, the leaders of my motherland to uphold the basis of our Freedom.

Freedom and power bring responsibility. The responsibility rests upon this Assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India.

H'ble Members, the FatherS of our freedom, the Martyrs of our struggle, have paid the price so that we can breathe the freedom, enjoy it and if I may so say, take it for granted. We have the freedom and by the power bestowed in us, by our Constitution, we have delegated "that" power to you and request you to take up this huge responsibility.

The service of India means, the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.

H'ble Members, the Mahatma has passed away. He along with the thousands of his colleagues who sacrificed their lives (and much more) look upon from the Heaven and expect that I, You, We will treasure the gift of their life.

H'ble Members I would also like to take up this opportunity to remind you of the Preamble of our Constitution which we adopted on the twenty-sixth day of November, 1949. The Preamble which boasts of Equality within the secular fabric of India.

You ask why I bring all this up today? Lying before you today, is the Nanavati report on the 1984 Anti Sikh riots. In a few days you will see a similar report on the Bombay riots and Gujarat riots.

Unfortunately we call them "riots". They are not. None of the above mentioned incidents are riots. They are at best "ethnic cleansing" if not "genocide". Out country, our governments, our police forces, our armies, our people.... and most importantly YOU could not / did not stop the above from happening. The future generations will look back upon us (you and me) as the impotent systems or parts of it which could not / did not protect its own subjects. The people who died in the above genocides were ALL Indian Citizens whom me, you, we promise to protect and serve. We failed in our duties to those hundreds of victims who died due to our impotence and inaction. This cannot be undone.

However, we owe it to these victims as much as to us and our future generations to be just. It is our duty to ensure that the criminals (most of whom are Indian citizens) are made to kneel in front of the all too powerful LAW.

H'ble Members, Let me warn you, that in this and other similar reports, which are conjured out of our bureaucracy, will invariably name your political colleagues, your political friends, your political idols, your political enemies, because no genocide of this magnitude can be executed without the political blessings of the governments.

Can I rely on your just behavior that the perpetrators whoever they are will be punished?

Can you promise me that you will not blink once even if the crime is committed by your kin, if not your friends or foes?

Can you assure me that you will not seek political mileage or one-upsmanship out of these reports as that will be the biggest insult to the victims and their bereaved families?

Mind you, that this will not be easy.

Last but not the least, can we FINALLY make up our mind that such heathenish murders will not be tolerated in the SECULAR polity of my motherland. Next time a "big tree" falls the Earth is NOT bound to shake. The earth of my country is strong enough to bear the grunt of many fallen trees. Next time, a building falls; we will not embark upon the jungle rule and unleash the political carnage. Next time, a train catches fire; the people of the country will not take the law in their hands.

Will you stand up to be counted and show the world, that the largest democracy in the world is also the most deep rooted?

Will you ensure that the people of this country will realize that next time they feel their freedom, their faith, their beliefs are being raped, they can turn to you and the judiciary of India to protect them and give them justice?

This hate politics which results in these genocides is more or less imbibed in all of you, all of us. We need to cleanse ourselves of this hatred.

But before ALL that we need to give Justice to the victims. Justice delayed is Justice denied. It was not long back that some terrorists attacked you personally and within a few years we have caught and convicted them, decided to hang them to death.

The report in front of you carries the names of similar terrorists who need to be hanged to death.... Do you have the guts to do that?

I await your decision

We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of India what destiny intended them to be. We are citizens of a great country on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.

To the nations and peoples of the world we send greetings and pledge ourselves to cooperate with them in furthering peace, freedom and democracy.

And to India, our much-loved motherland, the ancient, the eternal and the ever-new, we pay our reverent homage and we bind ourselves afresh to her service.


Saturday, August 06, 2005

Day of the Underdogs

What do you know? Looks like a day of the Underdogs today....

West Indies win against the "so far" unbeatable Sri Lanka and make the game against India into a Semi Final. Will the bonus point India earned against them save them finally?

The England are on the brink of a IMHO "historic" victory, which is good news for all. The Champs needed some competition and now they where to look.

Inda Wake Up........

Friday, August 05, 2005

Why don't you say something I ask thee?

So what is it with you? or with me?
Why don't you say something I ask thee

Did you come here by chance or did you take the bite
Did you follow the rabbit hole that I left on your site

Do you think that click of yours was "well spent"
on @mit the dreadful name, by the comment

But now that you are here reading about me
Why don't you say something I ask thee?

I spent some time reading what you think
If I liked your site, I added a link

I put a small comment, whenever you allowed
and hoped you take the bait and followed me around

You read it, you came here, looking for me
Why don't you say something I ask thee?

You don't like comments, you allow them not
That liberty I don't have , so "COMMENTS" are sought

Say something friends, before you move on
Click the "comments" link, cheer me up, come on

I would love to know what you think about me
Why don't you say something I ask thee?

I ain't no famous, I love no
I ain't no
Pundit, where blogs you can browse

I am not
Gaurav, Uma or an economist per se
I Have no
whirlwings you might say

site meter, tells me you were looking for me
Why don't you say something I ask thee?

I do not
dance with the dogs or die b4 fun
My life ain't no beauty, that I can shun

My life has no
shades to celebrate
I am no
Techy, nor gold coins I make

My thoughts I put down with blissful glee
Why don't you say something I ask thee?

One day my thoughts you will want to read
you will like to comment, but I will not need

You will want to flame me for my pranks
I will just turn around and say, "No Thanks"

But till such time, the comments are free
Why don't you say something I ask thee?

"Comment" my friend, that is all I ask
Just a few words, it's not a huge task

If you don't have time, just copy this line
"Go to Hell @mit", paste it & I am fine

I hope you will heed to what I plea
Why don't you say something I ask thee?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Nasa gets creative.

NASA before it got creative actually got curious.

Curiosity is one such quality which always amazes me. Had it not been for the curiosity of the human mind..... the world would have been different. Anyways back to the reason for this post and we will keep the post on curiosity for a different time.

Look at this great promotional video from Nasa. I love just for the sheer simplicity of the concept.

Taken from Instapundit via Gary Faber.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Rain Rain Go Away....

(Disclaimer:No No.
This is not a blog on the Mumbai Rains. I think enough has been written on it and I think that most of the writing has started becoming counter productive to the issue. The Mumbaikars
have taken this in their stride and I will let them alone for now. “aamchi Mumbai” will survive the disaster…..

This Blog actually does not apply to Mumbai and other rain affected parts of the country.
The Blog actually is on the cultural differences of the West and the East.)

I am sure all those who have done some part of their schooling in English have heard and crammed the nursery rhyme – Rain Rain Go Away….

This is taught religiously in our schools and we have recited it to umpteen times to get more “marks” or to get the accolades from others who doled out goodies onto us when we recited it (…obviously I am talking about the childhood).

Now think about this, should our country collectively recite this Poem. Should our spokespeople with God (the innocent children) be singing “Rain Rain Go Away” when most parts of Cpuintry never get enough rain. Doesn’t our agrarian economy and some of our water starved parts of the country “hope” for more rain than less…

On the contrary the poem that kids recite in Marathi says “Yere Yere paavasaa” welcoming the rain.

The stark difference in the theme of these poems is the cultural (or should I say geographical) background of their origin.

The former comes from England, where rains are a given constant and a hindrance for Little Johny’s play. (Interesting tidbit about the poem)

The latter come from the agrarian background of India where the Rain God (Indra) is the king of all Gods.

I think Rudyard Kipling was right …

East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet. BTW - This snippet is generally used in the wrong sense

Friday, July 29, 2005

Opening up the Railways to Private Investment?

Desipundit (one of the best sites to blogsurf) has a link to Michael Higgins' post on the concept of privatising Railways (and other such systems like Washington Metro)

Michael opines that the natural monopolies like the Railways do not have the incentive to invest in modernisation. The lacking incentive being "profit". The natural monopolies (which are invariably run by Govt or quasi govt institutions) are always touted to have a "socialist" goal where profit is a taboo.

However there is a bigger issue that both the Washington Metro and the Indian Railways share: these monopolies exhibit underinvestment. Instead of seeing new technology, we see the old technology persisting, and wearing out. Why is that? Well, if you price your commodity below cost, why would you want to invest more money in the production of it? Profits are the enticement that leads to new investment over time. But you need to be free to raise prices if you want to profit from improved service.
He rightly points to the way these services are priced:

In almost all cases, there is an attempt to set the price equal to average cost. Average cost pricing means no profits and therefore the consumer is getting the lowest possible price that can keep the natural monopoly going. Sometimes, the price is set below average cost and the government subsidizes the monopoly directly from tax revenue.

The complete Post is worth a read

The idea to price these services just equal to or below the average cost is purely for the socialist reason and the advocates of this theory will obviously believe that if the private arm is allowed to venture in such initiatives, they will have "profit" on their minds and the social good of the people at large will be lost. I am surprised that the capitalist economies like the USA also support this theory to some extent.

Even if we agree that we should price these services at cost or below cost, the following points beg an answer:

  1. Do these organizations (especially Indian Railways or Mumbai Locals) have the right tools and expertise to determine the actual cost of running these services?
  2. Do they have the visibility to all the indirect and directs costs of these services?
  3. Does the Government also consider the opportunity costs?
  4. A comment by Kaps in Michael's post points to the ticket less travellers. What about the cost to carry them?
  5. Do the railway authorities have the "authority" to discount the vacant occupancy on some of our trains and price them differently? Like this
There is one point which Michael has not mentioned in his post: Differential Pricing.

The Indian Railways also believe in "Differential Pricing" of a different sort. The one where the monopoly decides to cost the lower end services at par or below cost and price the higher end services (read First Class etc) at a much higher price and make up the losses. That is one of the reasons why the prices of First Class are much higher than that of the others. The cost of extra benefits awarded to these classes are supposed to be far less than the difference in prices. The age old adage "Haves to pay for Have Nots"

The Differential Pricing Theory will price the service / commodity equal to or more than the marginal willingness (utility) rather than the marginal cost. Thus if some sections of the society are willing to pay more for a slightly improved service, they are catered to at that price. This works both ways and does not necessarily mean higher prices. Even the concept of "Last minute discounts" is based on this concept.

However Michael scores a bulls eye in his post about how the private sector can run the show and the Govt can have quasi control of their activities. The Surplus generated in this set up will be pumped back to the society and thus creates a win win situation. This will also help improve the quality of the service.

On a side note though, I am highly impressed by the slight modernisation of the reservation counters in India. Step (albeit small) in the right (no pun intended here) direction.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Ganguly Gaga Continues

Read this.

Justice Albie Sachs has reduced the ODI ban on Indian cricket captain
Sourav Ganguly from six-match to four-match ban

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Ain't Mine English correct?

British Council to teach English to Bengali techies

In a clear admission that students in West Bengal need better communication skills in English than what they can boast of now, the West Bengal University of Technology (WBUT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the British Council at the Council’s library in Kolkata this morning.

The admission of the lacunae that some of us have with the language of the "sahibs" is heartening as well as frightening in some sense.

So, what do you all think?

BTW - A small quiz for all of you linguists
Which of the following is correct?

1. Nobody likes a dog that bites
2. Nobody likes a dog which bites

Post your answers in the comment.... As for me, English is not my cup of tea :-)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

G4 - AU agreement

The latest "League of Nations" may actually become "United Nations" for the first time since its inception because of the agreement that has been bartered in between the G4 and the AU.

As for the (f)utility of the the UN - more will follow later and your views on the same are more than welcome.

Something Different....

Something from my past --- thankfully it does not haunt me --- because my present is far far more beautiful

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Gandhi, Queen Victoria, Hitler and Marilyn Monroe connection

So what do Mahatma Gandhi, Queen Victoria, Adolf Hitler and Marilyn Monroe have in Common? In fact add to the list the following :Dean, Audrey Hepburn and John F Kennedy, is Muhammad Ali, Elvis.

This Report says that all of these were masters of image control and could use their image (litereally) towards their respective causes.

Quoted from the article:

......Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi as a skilled self-publicist, who harnessed the media to great effect. A pair of pictures, taken over 40 years apart, shows him as a young lawyer, the picture of British middle class, wearing bow tie and winged collar, and later as an Indian in ordinary dress, who would appeal to the masses.

Adolf Hitler initially kept photographers away, but came to recognize their importance as a propaganda tool. The leader`s favourite photographer, Heinrich Hoffman, and assistants took an estimated 2.5 million pictures of the Fuehrer from 1935 to 1945.

While on the the topic of Mahatma Gandhi and the use of his image, here is an interesting site of Foundation for Better Life which is using the images of Mahatma Gandhi and others to inspire people to do better in life. These Billboards are placed in California and am sure are making a difference to the lives of people. Do have a look at all of them (Link)

Billboard used by Fondation for Better Life

Movie and a Makeover

This is interesting - We now have a movie on Sonia Gandhi and her love for an Indian and India. Seriously folks, have we all lost our sense of finding an Ideal or an Idol in our life?

Ask a young child, who his or her ideal / idol is? The answer will be one of the following:

1. Sachin Tendulkar
2. Shah Rukh Khan (if not no. 4)
3. Amitabh Bachchan
4. Aamir Khan (if not no.2)
5. Abhijit Sania - did I get the name right?
6. Rahul Dravid
7. Sourav Ganguly (not in Mumbai)
8. Sania Mirza ( a
child well read or not)
9. Narain Karthikeyan
10. Sonia Gandhi
11. Bal Thackeray
12. Advani (Last Three names are just indicative of the
descend of our choices and are not in any particular preference).

Where are the names that SHOULD be our ideals or idols. The names which should inspire us to live by the virtues that those individuals lived by. Do we really beleive that the Abhijit Sania who can sing and dance to the tunes of a channel IS the INDIAN IDOL.

Is Indian Idol just a show or our inability to have an idol?

Where are the Gandhis, Boses, Bhagat Singhs, Martin Luther Kings, Einsteins and hundreds of others who can be our idols....

In the contemporary world can India not find a single person who can be an idol for us, someone whose life will be a inspiration for all of us?

I am sure we can, we are just not looking for them. There are hundreds of people whose life is not only an inspiration for us but for the world.

Long time back I had read an article on Rediff about the life of some people who have changed their lives inspite of their so called lacunae. I am unable to locate it right now.

But my point is a dancing jack is not my Idol.... Is he yours?

More on the lack of fitting idols later.....

Quake in India again

Just read a news peice that Anadaman and east coast of India hit by a quake...Hope everyone is fine.........

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Shoot at Sight or Shoot from the Hip?

The alleged bomber who was shot a few days back by the London Police , 5 times I may add, has been found to be totally unconnected to the Bombings

Scotland Yard said Mr Menezes, who lived in Brixton, south London, was
completely unconnected to the bomb attacks and added: "For somebody to lose
their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan
Police Service regrets."

This is very unfortunate and time will tell whether this act of the London police was governed by any superior orders or not.

The Law enforcers need to ensure that in the process of defending their Freedom they do not infringe the freedom of others and thus stoop low to the level of the terrorists who commit the similar crime

Sorry Mr. Rane!

Mr. Rane did you read my blog?

Anways, sorry for now you have done the right thing.... I mean the "resigning part"... about the rest of your decisions ..... time will tell.


Indian Express voices my thoughts exactly. Are we heading towards illiberalism?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Sanity at last

BJP decides not to boycott the Monsoon Session. So some work will be done at last. Sanity returns or not?

Leisure - as taught by Sai

What is life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Leisure - W.H. Davies

The poem is so true in the lives of most of us.

Do we live because we are alive
or are we alive because we live?

We need to find the time to discover ourselves and the world around us.

W.H. Davies wonderfully describes the loss of time and need that we posses, to admire simple yet beautiful things.

Why do I post this today?

I woke up last night around two and saw my beautiful daughter asleep. The sheer innocence in her sleep and the saintly look of hers made me realise that in my Topsy turvy life of work and chores, I may not have taken the time to enjoy her childhood and before I know it, it may be gone.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

So from today, I promise her and myself that I will live to be alive and enjoy what the world throws my way.

I will not lead a poor life full of care
and I will have time to stand and stare

Thanks Sai for teaching this to me in your sleep.

Twenty Twenty - to be or not to be

Two peices of news regarding India's willingness to join the 20 / 20 cricket bandwagon

1. Reports that India refused to play England in that form of cricket (Link)
2. Reports that 20 / 20 will be experimented in India with international cricketers (Link)

What next?

Dalmiya clarifying that the 2nd news report is not correct and that BCCI will not allow its players to play in those matches.... Lets wait and see

Retail Industry - FDI Required?

I believe that the next boom in India (after cell phones) is going to be in the Retail Industry. Our Coutry is experiencing the bom in the Car segment too.

An interesting article advocating support to FDI in that sector.

I think that the big business houses already have set their eyes on this segment. Watch out for Tata and Ambanis to venture big time in this space.

Are we still a democracy?

Mr. Manmohan Singh, you were wrong when you promised the US Congress that we are the largest democracy. I do not doubt the "largest" part. But are you sure we are still a democracy?

This latest report from Gujrat, which is no doubt an infringement of the personal rights, makes me wonder if we are actually moving towards a so called "moral anarchy". This is supposed to curb the love marriages which take place without the consent of the parents. I as a proud father of a daughter should feel relieved, should I? The Report says:

Officials in the sub-registrar's office said that the state government issued a notification recently, stating that a marriage would be registered only if parents of both the bride and the groom give their consent.

Earlier, marriages were registered even if the bride and groom produced their age certificates, and were accompanied by witnesses.

This is absurd and as Amit Varma rightly points out, are we going backwards?

Yesterday, the moral police led my Mr. RR banned the dance bars, today Mr. Modi decides to ban Love marriages which do not have the consent of the parents.

I remember my Registered Marriage and how corrupt the system (or actually user friendly) was at that time. More on that sometime later.

Rane Sahab -Kya Hua?

Hmm -- so this latest report about the Abhimanyu of Shiv Sena joining arch rivals Congress, sets me thinking, about how easily our elected representatives and politicians (some are not elected) take us " the common junta" for granted.

It makes me furious to know that if I elect (rather vote for) someone becuase he / she belongs to a particular ideology / thinking / party etc, I do that assuming that the person will stay true to his words and ideology. Won't I? Who gives that person the right to take me for granted and switch camps - that too the diagonally opposite ones?

I am not a supporter of Shiv Sena and absolutely would never vote for Mr. Rane in any case, but then his electorate, somewhere in the forgotten Konkan area, surely voted him to keep the Congress / NCP candidate out.

I am not against a person switching parties, he / she may choose so. But then it is the duty of that individual to ascertain that his electorate is not taken for granted.

Next time I vote, what do I do?

Stree Mukti? Stree Shakti?

Interesting take by Supreme Court on the Dowry Law

Merely because the provision is constitutional, it does not give a licence to unscrupulous persons to wreck personal vendetta or unleash harassment...It may, therefore, become necessary for the legislature to find out ways how the makers of frivolous complaints or allegations can be appropriately dealt with.

Ashes - It is all Happening...

Wow - The most awaited series for quite some time, actually delivers what it promised in the last 2 months.

- a serious bid by Eng that they have what is required to challenge and if possible defeat the invincibles
- a rebuttal of the above by Aussies

I can't wait to see what happens next....

McGrath and Harmison deliver the punch

I hope Pieterson can stand long enough to make a match out of it and prove that Eng is better off with him rather than Thorpe

As for the other match up between SL and WI which I thought would be a lop sided game is turning out to be quite a contest as well........

...... and the Cricket starved US enthusiasts have to rely on the Web for all this Fun....

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Naach Meri Bulbul

--- ke paisa milega... Kahan Kadardaan tujhe aisa (take a bow Mr RR) milega?

The Moral Police finally do the unthinkable......

So, Salman can ask Aish to dance for Abu Salem but no one else can now ask anyone else to dance... for anything.

We all are dancing to the tunes of Mr. RR Patil. I hope he does not read this post from Amit Varma.

Mr RR - Where are the next stpes to ban all else that you despise of?

I have never been to a dance bar and not that I want to go there, but I am completely against this "thrust my morals down your throat" attitude that has crept in lately.

Gandhi - where art thou?

In furtherance of my previous posts on Non Violence and its relevance in today's world.....

I came across this Article in the Telegraph by Charles Moore asking Where is the Gandhi of Islam?

When a nation, a race, a political movement, a group of workers, the followers of a religion have legitimate grievances, there generally arises amongst them a champion who can command respect for his advocacy of peace, his willingness to fight without weapons and to win by moral authority. There may be many such grievances for Muslims in Britain, and in the West, but we are still waiting for the Gandhi or the Martin Luther King to give them the right voice.

Where have the avenues for global dialogue gone? Where are the forums to discuss the grievances of peoples of the world? With UN never becoming what it should have been and turning into another "League of Nations" which gave birth to Nazism, where should the voices go?

As I said in one of my previous posts, Bang is the only voice we listen to.

Another interesting article is about the book release on July 6, about non violence.

Mahatma Gandhi says, "It is not enough to refrain from taking the life of a living being. He who has pledged himself to this vow may not kill, even those whom he believes to be unjust; he may not be angry with them, he must love them. He will not carry out the tyrants will but he will suffer punishment even unto death for disobeying his will until the tyrant himself is won over."

Non Violent - Am I? Can I?

A question from my last post

However the question is "Would you be non violent and if so to what degree?"

I am a firm beleiver in non violence, but then it makes me think that do I believe only because I have not been put in a tough spot.

Would I have had the courage to stand in front of the brutal Lathi Charge of the British, in that era? Would you?
If someone comes to my house and slaps me would I be non violent?
If someone comes to my house and rapes someone I love would I be non violent?

The Mahatma said that if someone slapped you in one cheek, give him the other cheek.

So what is the Cheek a metaphor for? Gandhiji please explain......

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Non Violence - A Stitch in Time

Non Violence - a tool, a weapon, an armor for Terrorism?

Mahatma Gandhi and others in his era advocated non violence as the path to freedom. Freedom from the British Raj, Freedom to self govern, Freedom to decide for ourselves, Freedom from Monarchy, Freedom from Anarchy, Freedom from foreign rule, Freedom of Speech.

Sound Familiar in the current context? All the same demands that some groups, organizations and peoples are making. The goals in some areas are the same, but the paths are different. Do not be mistaken, I am not comparing the Indian Freedom struggle with Al Qaueda movement. However there are various supporters of Al Quaeda who support (tacitly) the cause only because they require the above mentioned demands.

Non Violence as many believe is an act of cowardice, and act of non confrontation, an act of weakness. But Non Violence requires more courage, more determination and does not advocate non confrontation, but advocates confrontation without violence (at least from one end).

However the question is "Would you be non violent and if so to what degree?"

Monday, July 18, 2005

Terrorism as the world sees it now

The 9/11 changed the world in many ways for many people. It was a defining moment for some. The fall out of that day is still resounding in many ways and surely there are hundreds who still curse the horrific day.

The 7/7 too has its share of defame and the era post 7/7 will be a bit different from the era of 9/11.

The world (most of the western for sure) looked upon Terrorism as an "imported", "alien" item which reached its shores as a response. The terrorists came to the shores, unleashed their hatred and died in the process.

However post 7 /7 Terrorism, as the world now realizes, can be a home grown factor. It is no longer something that has come to you, but in many ways can be something that was with you all the time. Many of us cannot fathom why educated young people who have families and a good life for themselves, decide to end their lives and also of other innocent people. At the same time I am sure there are many others who cannot understand why we do not "understand" their stand. The Debate continues.......

Here are a few interesting articles from people across the world on the London Killings:

1. An Interesting Debate on one of the USA Today Articles on the Lessons of 7/7. This Debate with its points and counter points firms up my belief that the resentment is lurking around and we need to provide a vent to it. We should agree to disagree and agree to co exist.

2. An Article on why or how the army lines are being drawn and how the recruitment works

"AL QAIDA is secretly recruiting affluent, middle-class Muslims in British
universities and colleges to carry out terrorist attacks in the UK, leaked
Whitehall documents reveal"

3. Ibtissam Al-Bassam ( a former dean of King Fahd Academy in London and a present staff member of UNESCO) argues how the innocent are the only ones who fall victim in this world o politics where the whole world is a battleground

In violence only the innocent fall.

4. Zafar Agha elsewhere opines that Iraqi occupation is the main reason why Al Qaida can fill its ranks (Interestingly more than 2 /3rds in Britain feel that Iraq is the cause for the London effect)

Every nation and every race hates occupation. Americans did. They fought a
bitter war of independence against the British colonisers in their own country!
Didn't the American Blacks fought against white domination inside America!

5. At the same time the Allied front denies the Iraqi link

6. And while some part of the world argues that engaging the disoriented ordisgruntledd in talks is the way out, Vinod Meheta argues how can you meet the demands of these terrorists?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Admit it you morons!

The last few weeks have seen an interesting twist in the Indian Politics. The kind which makes you sit back and wonder if the same has actually matured.

1. The comments by the Opposition Leader of India Mr. L.K. Advani in Pakistan about the Quaid -e -Azam of that country

2. The Speech by the Prime Minister of India Mr. Manmohan Singh at Oxford defining the Indo British relationship post freedom.

The former marks a significant switch in the ideology of the party which rose to power on communal feelings (At this moment, whether Mr. Advani can steer the party from a right wing to right of the center is yet to be seen). However more importantly it also marks a significant change in the mindset of our political leaders to see everything (or everyone) in black or white.
We have a tendency to idolize all our heroes or leaders and create a havoc (literally) if anyone points out any fallacy in their thinking. For us our Heroes / Leaders / Gurus are supreme and nothing can be wrong about them.
Similarly for us all our villains are villains with no virtues. The Ravan can be the greatest Shiv bhakt but that is something that we will not discuss.
The statement by Mr. Advani (one of the most well read leaders) marks a positive change in that mindset. I hope it translates down to all levels and we can see a day when the students in our country learn History as it actually was rather than how we wanted it to be.
Equally path-breaking (but less surprising as it comes from Mr. Singh) is the second admission of the nature of Indo Britain relationship. Mr. Singh rightly admits that India has obviously benefited in some matters from the British Raj. He does not fail to also point out that the Empire actually did suck the country dry of its wealth. But then surely there were a few positives from the Raj and we need to admit that.
Interestingly, they are the top two leaders in our hierarchy now and that speaks volume of the maturity that we as a responsible power can show.
Bravo to both the leaders.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Time to Introspect?

Rediff today has run a wonderful article on the hypocrisy of Indians and our blind faith which we sometimes refer to as our culture or nationalism. This article reminds me of a small skit that we had performed while in the college which was a sarcastic take on how we learn the Pledge by heart but defy it in every walk of our life (hypocrisy).

I think we all need to introspect our belief that all is well and that our "culture" is an answer to all that is wrong in the western societies. I recently had a debate with one of my friends on how the females in India actually believe that they ARE the weaker sex. Unless all and sundry actually believe that women are more that breeders and practice it, we should never bask in the relief that we respect our mothers and sisters.

Elsewhere our political leaders have thankfully started introspecting a bit and are honestly admitting to a few things which our history lessons have forgot. More on that in my next blog....

Wah Taj !

Are huzoor - Wah India boliye!!!

Taj Mahal - one of the wonders of the world. A place, which was an identity (sometimes the sole one) of India and its heritage. There was a time when India was known to the world outside only for the Mahatma and the Taj. Such was and is the popularity of this magnificent sculpture. I have been one of the fortunate ones to have seen the eternal beauty that it is.

Ek Shehenshah ne banwa ke hasin Taj Mahal,
Saari duniya ko mohabbat ki nishani di hai

The Taj Mahal in India has been called a poem in stone, a moon-white dream, a tear on the face of humanity. It is seen as the ultimate symbol of love and has been the subject of many a poems and "shers"

Taj Mahal is a symbol of Love
The love of a king for his queen.
Here lovers meet by moonlit nights
Lovers- Unsung! Unseen

- Syed Mohammad

tum jo hansti ho to mastana kanwal lagti ho...
meer ka shair ho ghaalib ki ghazal lagti hoo...
sang-e-mar-mar say tarasha hua shaffaf badan
saans leta hua ek taj mahal lagti ho...
- Sahir Ludhianwi

taj nagma hain mohabbat ke dhadakte saaz ka
yeh hai woh aaina jisme aks hain
mumtaz ka

The Taj Mahal however has also attracted its share of controversies:
  1. Was the Taj Mahal a Vedic Temple? Is it Taj Mahal or Tejo Mahalaya?
  2. The Taj Mahal is sinking
  3. The Taj Heritage Corridor Project
  4. The Taj ownership row with the Prince
  5. The Taj ownership issue with the Waqf
So the monument which symbolises love and beauty to many is not devoid of controversy, cause we all cannot take and appreciate what we have.

Hence I say "wah India boliye!"

But a silver lining of hope does exist when the Muslim League says that Taj Mahal is national property

I sincerely hope that common sense prevails and we all are saved of the ugly war that such controversies tend towards in our secular India

As much as Taj is the love metaphorized, here are a few intersting lines in the end

Ik Shehnsha ne banwa ke hasin taj mahal
hum garibon kee mohabat ka urhaya hai majak
Meri mehboob kahin aur mila kar mujh se!

An emperor had the beautiful Taj Mahal built
to make fun of love and emotions of poor people like us.
My love meet me some where else than Taj Mahal!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Salman - Hum aapke hain Don?

Salman Khan is once again in the midst of chaos and controversy. My wife says that no one can save him this time. She felt the same last time and the time before that. Actually, she is a fan of his but thankfully not a "fan"atic.

My counter arguement, if the Hulk can get away after killing a black buck, threatening Aish for umpteen times, killing a man by his drunk driving, increasing Vivek's phone bill etc etc.... what is the big fuss about this latest "audio evidence" which the police have had an aceess to for the last 4 years.

No rewards for answering that.... just wait and watch how this latest publicity gimick unveils.

My Terrorists are your Freedom Fighters?

Thomas L Friedman in his article Muslim Problem, Muslim Solution suggests that the Islamic militancy is on the rise because it enjoys somewhat of a popular following in the Islamic States. The Muslim polity needs to defy this by condemning these acts at all levels.

Robert Parry in one of his insightful articles points out the futility of trying to kill the Islamic militancy by attacking Muslim nations under the false pretext of saving the world and War on Terror.

B Raman in his article on Rediff about the 5 lessons from the London Bombings talks about how easy it is for someone with hatred on their mind to cause casualties, without any serious threat to get caught.

Also read an interview with someone who subscribes to the views of those who want to hurt the "imperialist forces."

I believe that Islamic militancy......I hate the word actually - even though I am a Hindu. The militancy cannot have a religion. Do we call the killings of innocents in Iraq and Christian Militancy. NO - Militants are militants and all religions have their share of bad apples.

The age old adage that someone's terrorists are someone else's freedom fighters comes to my mind all the time. I have had my own misconceptions about the terrorism saga in India and all my childhood believed that all the people from Khalistan Liberation, Kashmir and Naxal movement were people who have gone crazy and are completely wrong.

As much as I still despise and condemn the use of violence that any terrorist of "right aligned" organizations takes in making their voice heard, I have outgrown my belief that the voice of these organizations cannot be crushed by force but can surely be heard and given a vent in the democratic society.

Hunting the perpetrators of the horrendous killings of London, New York, Madrid, Ayodhya, Bombay, Israel and other similar places should surely be on the "to do list" of the civilized world. But they should not forget that the voice of those organizations and their demands cannot be muted. The bang is caused cause we do not listen to anything else. This is the sorry state of our politics and media. We discern the voice of the weak and wait until they take a unwarranted step, wherein we can punish them.

Kill the hatred and you will surely kill the terrorist.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Cricket Aid(s)?

At least the "religion" is being put to some good use rather than just idolizing the players J

This one has the picture in it

I like the campaigns and support that the activists are getting.

However is this enough?

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Fifth Nail - Blog or a blob?

The accused kidnapper and sex offender of IDAHO has purpotedly written a blog titled the "Fifth Nail".

He writes about his internal struggle. I am at a loss to comment on this until we know if he is just the accused or actually the offender.

May god give peace to those who are inflicted with pain by the crazy minds of his own creation.

Sometimes I feel that as a civilization / a society , we have failed to provide any avenues to vent out any hatred or anger that an individual may clog up. There are times and situations, where people have the feelings all clogged up waiting to explode. If the society does not allow them / us to vent the same, it will just explode some day resulting in the undesirable.

It is like the analogy that the brothels are the vents that society provides so that others can live in honor.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London - We cry with thee

The Serial Bomb blasts in London which have killed more than 40 people and injured a lot more, make me shudder.

The Human life is so expensible now that, the people who have done this dastardly act actually beleive that they will not make an impact until they kill "X" number of people. Has Human life lost its value? Have we become so immune to such things that anyone who is wronged (or sometimes someone who just enjoys killing) think that they will not be "heard" until they make it bigtime in News and what better way than to "kill" people.

The people and the organizations who have done this need to be condemned and outcasted from all civilzations. The Politics of the World has made human life just so cheap.

A powerful nation targets the civillians to make an impact and on the other hand a powerless terrorist outfit does the same for a different agenda.

The people who lost their lives deserve a moment of silence and a small prayer for their beloved ones.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Terrorist Attack in Ayodhya

Take it from me, this attack in the Ayodhya Temple premises will surely turn out to be one of the most politicized story now.

first things first. This attack should be condemned by all and sundry. Not only because it is an attack on a holy shrine, but because it is done with the malice of creating ripples within the secular fabric of India.

The attack smacks of political conspiracy and I would not be surprised if this points fingers to those who are losing their grip on their votebanks. The polity of India needs to take this in the stride and not give a knee jerk reaction. We are a non violent country and we need to stay that way.

As usual we have blamed the neighboring country (or some of their outfit for this) - How convenient for us. Always blame the Foreign hand, never take the blame on ourselves.

One more interesting fact is that whenever there is such a highly politicized attack, our forces end up killing everyone of the culprits. Remember Akshardham? Same case here. All the culprits have been shot. We did arrest the driver, but then why could we not arrest the others. Do we lack the skills in that or the will for that?

Why do we always have this policy of "Never take any prisoners?".

This makes me wonder, is there something fishy?

Friday, July 01, 2005

Rs. 21,608 crores as Bribe each year?

The Bribe report is out. It says that Indians on a average pay Rs. 21608 cores as Bribe each year. Another report says that the Average per capita income of an Indian is somewhere in the range of Rs. 12000. Both the news pieces together make an interesting read.

Now we are talking of an income of Rs. 21608 cores which is unaccounted for. So assuming a population of 1 Billion we are talking of around Rs.2000 per capita not being accounted for!!

Mind you, the bribe money is mostly in the Public Sector and those are some of the most poorly paid jobs as well. Do you see a connection here?

But the question that begs attention is that, if we do pay more in the public sector, will it reduce corruption. Is corruption a function of less pays, more power or just human nature?

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Smoking Ban or just a smoke?

Friends, Roman, Countrymen - Lend me (our I&B Minister) thy ear...... none will henceforth smoke in any movies.

WOW - That is sleek and such a simple solution. Now my kid will watch Hindi Movies, see that no one smokes in the movies (What if he watches older or firangi movies - Mr. Minister please help) and it will suddenly dawn on him / her that "I should never smoke"

It was only the other day that my neighbor's son, started smoking after watching Ajay Devgan in Company, or Amitabh B in Kalia. Phew - now comes the relief. No more such stories. Thank GOD.

Minister sir - surely your solution will go a long way in helping us souls get rid of the vice. But, sir I have a few doubts and probably you can help.

  1. What happens to older movies? Do we remake or edit them?
  2. What happens to biographical movies?
  3. Have you sent the memo to Mr. Steven Spielberg?
  4. What happens to Foreign films? not only the Hollywood ones
  5. Does this apply to documentaries?
  6. What if I am shooting for my Film (under the new rules) on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai and some guy in the background (not a paid extra) is smoking?
  7. What all types of smoking are banned? Cigarettes, Bidis, Pot, Chillam etc etc?
  8. Is smoking banned in the "Theater world"? I mean the Dramas and plays?
  9. That reminds me - Can I smoke in the movie theater?
  10. What happens if you / your government loses the next election and your successor does not share the same optimism?
  11. And the perennial question - When are you coming up with the ban on depicting the following in the movies as well
  • Rapes
  • Violence
  • Corruption
  • Skin Fest
  • Dowry
  • Alcohol
  • other vices - I have not included "sex" in here but you are free to do so

You must have started believing that I am a chain smoker by now. But actually I detest smoking as much as you do. Especially the Passive smoking. I would be glad if we can get rid of this vice and wipe the world clean of this vice.

Unfortunately however, I do not share the same Utopian world like yours where banning smoking from the Films will actually even make a small dent to the industry.

I will stand right next to you, if you decide to ban smoking completely.

- an avid non smoker

Imrana - The Fiasco

I can never imagine what the poor lady Imrana ( must be going through.

She is married (not Happily for sure now), has five kids and now is raped by her father in law. Well, you would puke at the thought, feel sad for the lady, call on the police and wait until the father in law is imprisoned. Not a simple task, but you would expect it to happen.

Well, you are in for a surprise. The expected won't happen, because the lady in question is governed by some clerics who want her to marry the Rapist (her father in law).

We are in a democracy with a Secular constitution where Justice prevails. Aren't we?

Rajiv Gandhi - Are you in heaven or in hell? Do you read this blog? Are you happy that you allowed the shariat to rule?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Times of India - What are you up to?

The Times of India and its realted news papers (economic times etc) have decided to become entertainment websites than remaining a new paper which tells us about news.

What is this new Heads and tales section which gives "news" about Vaginal Tests

I am appalled - anyone else?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Pataudi? Tiger on the Run

Mr. Pataudi is on the run. I am sure he wished that he was actually a real tiger than a fake one.... because then the govt would have tried to save him (Operation Tiger) and allow unlimited hunting than actually hunting him down.

Had he been a real tiger, he would have got the honor of getting a sighting of the Prime Minister and so many NGOs may have cared about him. Currently the same NGOs are raging a scathing attack on the humble one eyed youngest captain.

Come on - what is his mistake - he was hunting -- no one told him that Tiger was a nick name given to him and not his profession. This is unfair. After all he is a Nawab, Shikar to unka shauk hai...

And you all let Salman kill a black buck, drive over a few people, break Aishwarya's heart, increase Vivek's phone bill (not in any particular sequence) and he never has any issues. In fact you all flog to his hopeless unlucky movies.

Come on Tiger is a Nawab -- He will hunt!!

Stung by Sting Operations?

It is reported that a young journalist from Mid Day tried to seduce Maharashtra Deputy CM RR Patil in a sting operation. The Dep CM smelt a rat once the reporter posing as a bar dancer started getting close.

I think the Journalism and the competition between the tabloids has hit an all time low where dailies have to resort to such cheap thrills in order to create news and report it.

The media (not all of it) wants to sell news and if it does not find anything interesting they will create one. I call it the CNNism and the Indian media is catching fast.

The Times Of India, one of the most respected and widely circulated newspaper has also started using its website for such cheap thrills and increase the viewership.

Tehelka started it (with good intentions or bad) and now it has become a weapon / license to do whatever the media pleases. I hope this stops....

The Tsunami Match - Indian Score card

The spinner Duo from India step up to the plate and deliver some goods. That is good news for Indians.

Overall I think the match did not become as interesting as it could have been given the fact that 22 of the best were on display.

VVS - please keep on the good work and start converting those good starts into something substantial. I have not seen anyone as complacent as you are. But then I have not seen your class anywhere else either.

Dravid gets to keep even after the invention of Dhoni :-)

Ganguly scores 14

Ganguly finally faced the international music in the Tsunami relief match and scored a meagre 14 runs. But then that does not mean that our captain has lost his sublime touch as well.

As much as his failure in this match to score a big one does not indicate his loss of form for the season, his century for the county game does not ensure otherwise

Basically friends, a swallow does not make spring

Monday, June 13, 2005

Do not go gaga over Ganguly

What is this fuss over Ganguly scoring a hundred in the county league?

It was a county game after all and he was not facing the balling of any international standards. Have our standards fallen so low that we now will shower praises whenever our Indian captain scores against a county team.

Granted that the situation in which he and his team scored the runs were not normal. He was losing partners and he was not in the best of his form. From that point of view he might have got over the ghosts that he was battling. But nothing more.

I love Ganguly's batting when he is on a song and I for one would love to see him get back in the groove. But till then give him his space and let us not start going gaga over this.

Advaniji - Stop it now

Advaniji - Thanks for hogging the limelight for the past one week. We really owe it to you. You know what, we did not have anything interesting to read for a long time and you just made our day.

First of all - it was YOU who was speaking - You were talking on Secularism - and that too about Jinnah - it had to be an interesting hearing.

Let me be clear - I have no oppostion (pun intended) to your veiws about Jinnah. I am sure a person as well read as you are, will not make a blunder. So I beleive you. But the bigger point is that why now?

I understand you wanted to say something nice on this "sadbhavna yatra" but then you could have spared us of all this fiasco by just saying that Musharraf is great etc etc...

You have dug out the old "bhoots" with a view on the booths.

I liked your strategy, but then what was the point in bowing down finally.