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Archive for October, 2008

THE FALL BACK OPTION!


When your skin has lost its sheen,

When your thighs have become dimpled,

When your elbow has callused,

When the tautness of what

I’d spent my days dreamin

And nights splitting

Has become patulous,- lose not your hope.

Refresh your memory of how they were

The milestones of my manhood.

History is not writing journals,

It is the inscriptions of the feelings of a winner.

DEEPAVALI/DIWALI-THE SECULAR MULTICULTURALISM OF INDIA


Deepavali/Diwali is the MOST CELEBRATED of all the Indian festivals. The reasons are manifold. But to narrate the happenings on the Deepavali/Diwali days in Bangalore reflects the concept of multi-culturalism gaining momentum in INDIA at the most grassroots level.

Deepavali is celebrated in the SOUTHERN PART of India (I personally hate the expression SOUTH INDIA, as it is redolent of a great political schism like in South Korea/North Korea, West Pakistan/East Pakistan etc.) on the 14th day of the month of Karthikai, and consequently falls a day before the day Diwali celebrated in the NORTHERN INDIA, which happens to be on the no-moon day, of the same month Kritika. The reasons for the celebrations of the same festival on two different days calls for serious research, and this blog is no place for it, i reckon.

The Hindus, as i understand it celebrate it as the day for welcoming the return of Lord Rama after the rescue of Sita. Another for welcoming the Goddess Lakshmi into the believers’ homes for prosperity- the business community’s celebrations are in consonance with this. There are many more beliefs and traditions/practices for Deepavali/Diwali celebrations by the Hindus.

The Sikhs are stated to be celebrating Diwali as the day of return of their sixth Guru after, his incarceration by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir.

The Jains celebrate it the day on which Lord Mahavira had attained NIRVANA.

This congruence of the day of celebrations of DEEPAVALI/DIWALI by 3 different Religions on the same day, and also celebrations on different days- by persons of different regions of the same country, have led to the secular colour of this festival.

At Koramangala in BANGALORE is a Township by name NATIONAL GAMES VILLAGE. It is mostly home to a drifting population of Yuppies, Government officers, Judicial Officers of the state of Karnataka and other persons who desire a peaceful, non-commercial neighborhood. There are many flats which have been converted into Private Guest Houses and houses for Paying Guest accommodation. Consequently, the residents are without roots and without the baggage of the sons of the soil concept.

It is in this Games Village at Bangalore that i celebrated this Deepavali/Diwali. It was truly multi-cultural. The business communities from Gujarat, Rajasthan and parts of Maharashtra celebrated it on the 28th oct, 2008 along with the Indians from other Northern parts. The southerners (well sounds like the ones who went under the banner of Thomas Jefferson’s confederates!) celebrated it on the 27th oct..

The CELEBRATIONS WERE OBVIOUS TO EVERYONE IN THE NATIONAL GAMES VILLAGE AS THE BURSTING OF THE CRACKERS AND LIGHT-WORKS WENT OFF ON THE INTERVENING NIGHT OF 27TH-28TH AND 27TH-29TH. I MUST SAY THAT THE NORTHERNERS’ BURSTING WAS HEAVIER, BUT THE SOUTHERNERS’ LIGHTS WERE MORE BRILLIANT.

I also had the privilege of attending the church service on the 26th Oct., 2008 at ST.MARK’S CATHEDRAL, no.1 M G Road, Bangalore. The service was at 10.30AM. In the prayers, the priest prayed for the HINDU brothers celebrating Deepavali/Diwali that week. I have been attending many church services both in the Northern and Southern parts of India, but it was the FIRST TIME that i’d seen such prayers being made in a church.

All in all, what is HEARTENING and ELEVATING is that a brotherhood among INDIANS is gaining momentum, by not being merely TOLERANT but participating in CELEBRATIONS of other communities and it is what i’d like to call the DYNAMIC TOLERANCE OF INDIAN ATTITUDE (tolerant had a negative connotation of putting up with, but this collective positive expression has given a positive inflexion to TOLERANCE). I hope that this gains momentum and makes us, Indians, dynamic in our endeavours and does not hold us up within the NARROW DOMESTIC WALLS.


NATIONALIZE METROS IN INDIA.


Metro in India could mean the tube or also the METROPOLITAN cities. I’m here wanting to blog on METROPOLITAN CITIES.

In the wake of the parochialism that is being spread thru SONS OF THE SOIL concept, it is time for the parliament to step in and decide the issue based on debate and making locals realize that neither them nor their forebears are responsible for the growth of the cities which are called METROS.

The metros that i am talking of are DELHI, MUMBAI, CHENNAI and KOLKATA. Delhi is the capital of the country and every Indian has the right to access and seek jobs there, buy property and make it his place of domicile.

Prior to India’s independence Bombay, Madras and Calcutta had found a place in the International map as CITIES of repute. One shud also include Lahore, Karachi and Dacca in that list. Therefore the three  cities, which are in today’s India, were not built into these huge METROPOLISES after the advent of the DIVISION OF STATES ON LINGUISTIC basis from the mid 50’s onwards.

MADRAS was appropriated by the then Madras state and Bombay by Maharashtra, but Calcutta was always with West Bengal. The composite culture that pervaded those two cities ie. Bombay and Madras have slowly been taken over by the local politicians and have infused a belief that merely because the respective cities are their state capitals, they shud be made the fief of the majority linguistic community of that state.

The malaise that we see today-in the form of violence- is nothing but a symptom of that belief, that had been allowed to creep into the consciousness of the locals and bandied about as a RIGHT. BOMBAY’s wealth is not merely the product of the labour of the locals. Even assuming that it is entirely their labour, if INDIA did not provide inter-state trade and the  CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT that no discriminatory taxes could be imposed by another state, where could  the BOMBAY FILM INDUSTRY have found  paying viewers? If such a right had not been constitutionally granted, where could the LUCAS-TVS sold all its automotive electrical parts manufactured around Madras?

IN EFFECT WHAT APPEARS IS THAT, EACH STATE IN INDIA WANTS ITS MANUFACTURED GOODS TO HAVE A GOOD MARKET IN THE FORM OF POPULOUS STATES, BUT IT DOES NOT WANT THOSE MARKET PROVIDING STATES’ LABOUR!!

How are we gonna create a NATION if we launch such parochial issues which assault the constitution of INDIA?

The only solution lies in the MODEL OF CHANDIGARH. Which is a UNION TERRITORY but the capital of Two states (Haryana & Punjab). After all, as already pointed out, let us nationalize MUMBAI and CHENNAI and make it the second and third cities which vest every INDIAN WITH THE RIGHT to work or stay without any over-riding rights by the locals.

I know it is too idealistic, but let each INDIAN start a soul-searching on these lines.

PROPHECY- BARACK!


IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN FOLLOWING WHAT I’VE GOTTA SAY PLEASE READ FROM THE

BIBLE , THE BOOK OF JUDGES CHAPTER:4&5

Many of you have been fascinated with the predictions of Nostradamus and have wondered how a person in human form could have predicted so accurately about things yet to happen. Even though , i consider the interpretations CONTRIVED, NOSTRADAMUS sells. Lo and behold! we have a prophet.

After reading Judges ch:4 & 5, u must be familiar with the dramatis personae. Yet knowing the indolence of human nature , let me make a brief of the chapters recommended.

There is a Judge in Israel named DEBORAH. During her regime (Kings had not yet been anointed in Israel, by then,and only Judges were dispensing Justice and organizing the society), Canaanites had been suppressing God’s chosen ones! She prophesies that BARAK, has to lead a posse of 10,000 persons from two of the weakest tribes viz. Zebulun and Naphtali and defeat the Canaanite king and his army leader SISERA. Deborah importunes BARAK to go it alone, but BARAK insists on her going with him. Deborah warns him that if she were to go with him for the war, he would have to share the glory of the victory with her. Yet , being a chivalrous man, he took her along for the battle. They fight Sisera’s forces, destroy the iron chariots of Sisera and Sisera takes refuge in the house of a neutral person’s(Heber) home and there, Heber’s wife Jael puts the tired Sisera to sleep and NAILS A TENT PEG INTO THE TEMPLE OF SISERA. Barak wins.

The above incident must have happened, if taken in a historical perspective, around 3400-3500 years back.

HISTORY IS GONNA REPEAT ITSELF AGAIN!!!

This US election 2008 is gonna replicate what happened then (3000 odd- centuries are odd vis-a-vis millennia- years ago).

Firstly notice the coincidence of names:

BARACK the BARAK

McCain the Canaanite!

Barack comes from the afro-american community that is in terms of the status of the tribes of Israel, equivalent to be from the tribe of NAPHTALI.

Secondly, coming to the structure of the elections. There was a debate as to whether Barack shud be given the Democratic ticket or Mrs. Clinton. BARACK OBAMA is to lead the Democrats. Even Clinton endorses after losing out. I don’t think she was keen on going with him as the VP nominee, yet in a strategic positioning for the 2012 or 2016 elections she is with BARACK OBAMA. She is one of the ex first ladies of the US for 2 terms. Thereby she hails from a superior tribe of Ephraim- just like Deborah was. She is joining Obama in the battle, like Deborah. Obama needs her, to counter the white Palin effect!!

Thirdly, the person who sealed the victory for Barak was Heber’s wife Jael, who drove the tent peg into Sisera’s head. In US08, we are gonna have the REPUBLICAN LADY SARAH PALIN- who is gonna drive the nail in on McCain, and thus get Barack the VICTORY.

Fourthly, women play an important role in real bad TIMES. In the case of Barak the Jew, it was Deborah and Jael; and in the case of BARACK OBAMA it’s gonna be Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. Hillary who was the opponent, and Palin, who is in the opposite camp are gonna be INDIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VICTORY OF BARACK.

What was the punchline after Barak defeated the Canaanites(Judges ch.4&5)?? It was:

BARAK DEFEATS CANAANITES.

What is gonna be the punchline when Obama defeats McCain? It SHALL be:

BARACK DEFEATS McCAINITES!

Do u guys get the drift? So much for prophecies.

Get on with your life instead of figuring out things in advance.

METRO DRIVE-II


Well in my earlier blog i had written about traversing between two metros in India, the route, the charm that it holds, the uniqueness et al. I like to discuss in this blog about a problem that is becoming rampant and the remedial measures that one can take, and if one can’t take those measures -for want of power or the attitude of others- at least to make mental changes to get out of stereotype prejudices and build a multi cultural strong India.

One of the papers carried a news item that mentioned that a car bearing another state’s registration number was stopped on the Bangalore- Mysore state highway, damaged and the occupants threatened by the locals. When the occupants reported the matter to the police, they are reported to have said that THEY SHUD BE THANKFUL THAT THEIR LIVES ARE SAFE.

It may be politically right to accuse the police of callousness, but we shud be acutely aware of the fact that we as a nation had lost a PM who was protected by the best force, another ex-PM to the terrorist act of an overseas organization. WE HAVE TO TAKE MEASURES TO PROTECT OURSELVES. Structurally DISTINCTIONS that distinguish our statehood, language, affiliations shud be done away with.

Distinctions that incite anger, hatred and violence have to be controlled by adapting ourselves and merging with our surroundings. Seeing the registration of a number plate shud not become a red rag to the fanatic bulls, but their attitude shud be deflected by causing confusion in the minds of such fanatics.

We may consider having a FEDERAL VEHICLE REGISTERING AUTHORITY, which shud be bound to register those desirous of having a more SECULAR(!) number plate.

The safest as i see today is to have a DL registration as the state of Delhi is common to all INDIANS and is OUR capital. Therefore the attrition levels against Delhi registration numbers are the least. Further, everyone has something to identify himself with Delhi. The next best is to have Daman registration DN, as it is confused with Delhi number plates, even by the traffic cops of Delhi!!

As a reasonable alternative let us give options for Indians to have IN as the registration tag.

We as individuals have to protect our lives and property from hooligans, to effectively uphold the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT enshrined in ARTICLE 21 of OUR constitution. Post facto damages are meagre, and meaningless when it concerns loss of lives and limbs.

ASTROLOGER -THE FALLEN MAN


The Scythe sweeps, Fear creeps.

STAY BENT- says a voice within.

But when to RISE?- says another voice within.

I CAN SEE THE REAPER SCYTHING,

I’LL TELL WHEN TO RISE- said the Astrologer.

Are u not a part of it all?- said I.

Does not the scythe mow u down too?

Said he, THE SCYTHE MOWS THE STANDING ONES,

BUT I AM A FALLEN MAN-

WHO FAILED TO RISE, I SEE HIS FEET SWING,

AND WHEN IT’S STILL, I FLICKER WITH MY ADVICE!

I AM A FALLEN MAN,

INDEED A FALLEN MAN-said the ASTROLOGER.

BIRYANI


I am a great fan of this classic food, not for its taste alone but for its FLAVOUR. It is the flavour that lingers in one’s memory, long after the taste had left one’s tongue and beckons one to revisit the place from where one had had the flavour beckoning biryani.

Of all the five senses that a person is endowed with, the only sense- the loss or absence of which , is not known to other human beings, is the OLFACTORY sense. Loss or absence of Touch, Hearing and Sight are easily identifiable from the response of the disabled/ differently abled, but the sense of Taste and Smell are the more personalized of the five senses and here we have our own Indian delicacy BIRYANI which could be understood only through refinement of these two senses. Especially thru the sense of SMELL.

Of all the BIRYANI i have had, the BIRYANI which is consistently the BEST is the one available at KARIM’S near Jumma Masjid, Delhi. Even their other joints at Nizammuddin West, East of Kailash(now closed), Sector 18 NOIDA are not a patch on the BIRYANI served at KARIM’S , Jumma Masjid.

What is so special about KARIM’S?

Firstly, u just can’t stop by to have this biryani. U have to make it a mission to go there. One doesn’t want to get scratches on one’s car by risking in that crowded street, besides not finding a place to park one’s car in the vicinity of the restaurant. So despite such besetting prospects, one has to embark upon it. One goes to KARIM’S to have BIRYANI. One just cannot not stop by and have it like one wud in Chandni Chowk, at CHAINA RAM’s or GHANTEWALA’s. The best way to reach this place and have BIRYANI wud be to either have a driver drop u in your neighbour’s car or park your car in the parking lot a kilometre away -near the back gate of JUMMA MASJID- and take a cycle rickshaw.

Secondly, the BIRYANI is CONSISTENT. Consistency may be the virtue of fools, but when it is a food joint, it is of cardinal importance as when u take a guest after exciting his/her interest u wouldn’t want to apologize for that day’s fare, on behalf of the F&B manager!!

Thirdly, KARIM’S itself claims to have the heritage of the chefs of the great Mughals. The claims notwithstanding, the foodstuff has to excite one’s taste buds. The memory not merely lingers but BECKONS. And believe u me, KARIM’s does it. IT BECKONS.

Fourthly, the ingredients which are noticeable to a devotee of BIRYANI. They are served in white porcelain half plates. As the waiter fetches the plate one’s attention is drawn to the somewhat whitish basmati rice. Initially having got used to inferior BIRYANI, i expected them to serve colourful biryani and was rather disappointed by its looks. But after having had the BIRYANI, i just couldn’t stop, there was this craving which overtook me and i ended up having 3 halves- which surprised me as well. One wouldn’t be able to identify the condiments except for whole black pepper and cardamom. I suppose. the rest of the condiments are ground and added according to measure. But i’m sure that there must be traces of mace, saffron, nutmeg, clove, poppy seeds etc all  layered to produce the inexplicable aroma.

I suppose, it is the layering of these condiments which brings about the redolence in the flavour. One may order for Mutton Burra as a starter and link up the biryani with JAHANGIRI chicken (but it is advisable to have the biryani by itself- therein lies the TRUTH!).

If at Delhi, it is better to have BIRYANI at KARIM’s Jumma Masjid.

If one finds oneself at Bangalore, there are places where apology for BIRYANI is being served. Rahmm’s (erstwhile RICHIE’S) at Frazer Town opp. the Masjid or at NANDHINI’s at St. Mark’s Road, Bangalore-1. But the BIRYANI which is better but different(vegetable) than the above mentioned two places is at BHEEMA’S on Church Street off M G Road. BHEEMA’S vegetable birayni has the flavour and is much ordered. At times they run out of it sooner than the MEALS!!

In Bangalore, there is this HYDERABADI BIRYANI, which is popular- for what reason is still a mystery to me. Maybe, the persons who buy it love to discover those small nuggets of flesh hidden at the bottom of the heap of rice – they call BIRYANI. Moreover this Hyderabadi Biryani has no refinement in its flavour, however, i should say it is tastier than other soggy biryanis at Bangalore.

In Madras ( now CHENNAI), there are joints which serve BIRYANI which is heavy with masala and they invariably serve it with  gravy (side dish) which makes it even worse. I was raised in this tradition, but now that God had made me see and distinguish the difference, i can’t afford to be so condescending. The biryani which used to sate my palate earlier was the GREAT MUGHAL BIRYANI sold behind EGA theatre off Poonamalee High Road. Their mutton samosas are good.

Velu Military Hotel at Village Road, Nungambakkam serves decent biryani- but not comparable with the best, even in Chennai.

I’d like to tell what my father always tells about BIRYANI, “Never ever ask for the recipe of BIRYANI, it is like calling oneself a Chartered Accountant without ever having been an Apprentice- he can neither advise nor cook!” TRUE WORDS OF WISDOM.

 If u r serious about making BIRYANI, meet the chef,  WATCH him choose the raw materials, condiments; keep a record of the TIME taken after each act of the chef and make an attempt- and u fail. Because making biryani is a FEEL and not mere knowledge! But don’t give up, as, if u succeed in learning the art of making BIRYANI, u have got a boon and even gods who granted it can’t take it away!!

READERS, IF INCLINED, MAY SUGGEST THEIR EXPERIENCES IN BIRYANI, WHICH WOULD BE TRULY BE EDIFYING!

MOBILE RACKET


What are the rights that are inherent to the user of a mobile phone with a connection?

Are these to be called as RIGHTS at all or merely the license, liberty to use the phone thru the network subscribed to?

I pay for the mobile, i pay the monthly bills for the usage, i am responsible for any misuse, i am answerable to the authorities etc..but the one who benefits is the MOBILE OPERATOR!

But the greatest INTRUDER is the cell phone company which, in the guise of creating options for me, starts bombarding me with pre-recorded calls, voice based calls which are not callable back, advertisement based calls even when i am on roaming, sms when received and when attempted to be deleted the option is FORWARD/DOWNLOAD etc!! The ECE graduates are employed by the hordes, to devise more and more ways to stealthily deprive INDIANS of money in a mass scale. One software programme, and all the 10 lac subscribers to the Co. are bombarded. Options are changed without the subscriber’s will. ALL WITH THE OSTENSIBLE REASON OF PROVIDING EASIER ACCESS. But when u wanna remove it, HEAVEN knows the difficulty and there are no software options for removal of those consequences- u have to talk to the CUSTOMER RELATIONS OFFICER!!!and he is scarce.

So much for their REVENUE MODEL.

THE MOBILE COMPANIES HAVE BECOME BIG FAT RATS, THAT THEY STEAL MONEY FROM U UNAWARES.

YOU click the asterisk button while u r calling another person , and LO and BEHOLD u have deducted 30Rs for having chosen the ringtone of the called party. If one were to ask the cell phone operator, he wud say that they are creating easier options for affording the subscriber a ringtone, of his choice! But the fact that they NEVER WARNED us of the deductibility of Rs.30 P/M, till kingdom come, is not told us.

THe mobile operators are FLEECING without NOTICE.

U INVEST ON A MOBILE, AND THEY REAP THE FRUITS OF YOUR INVESTMENT.

THE BLACKER THE BERRY,

THE ROGUES ARE MERRY!

AMPHYTRION


Twins have different fathers Print E-mail

By Ionox, on 28-11-2007 08:23

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NU.nl CHINA

A chinese twin was created by two different fathers. The father, Lui Yuan, saw that there were a number of differences between the two children. One was tall, while the other one was short. One of the two was much weaker than the other. This was enough reason for Lui to question his sons.

The other child
The man discovered during the search to truth that both boys had different blood groups. After a DNA-test it became clear that one of the baby’s was his, but from who was the other kid?

Rare, but not impossible
The mother, Yuan, confessed that she indeed had sex with her ex. Doctors conclude that this is very rare, but not impossible. The sperm of the man can sit for 72 hours in the female body. By mixing it is possible which has now happened.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

The above NEWS ITEM was cut and pasted from an article appearing on a website.

What is of interest is that in the GREEK/ROMAN mythology, there is a myth which goes as follows:-

Amphytrion is married to a woman called Alcmene. At the instance of Alcmene, her husband Amphytrion sets off to avenge the death of Alcmene’s brothers. In the absence of Amphytrion, Jupiter – the chief of all Roman Gods or Zeus of the Greek Gods- appears in the guise of the departed Amphytrion, and as was Jupiter’s proclivty has coitus with Alcmene.

Before Amphytrion’s departure Smt. Alcmene was pregnant with Amphytrion’s child. However upon the visit of Jupiter, she becomes pregnant again. Twins are born, a daughter and a son. The son being Hercules, and son of Jupiter.

Well to know more on this story one can read Plautus’ play on Amphytrion.

The issue that is to be brought to focus, in the light of the news clipping pasted above is that what was once imagined has been proved to be true. Knowledge is an expanding mass and none can make science(as on any given point of time)the basis, to deny the possibility of things uncommon/weird.

The other point is that, when a woman copulates with more than one man, it could lead to CONFUSION. It is , i suppose, the reason for devising concepts of Virginity, chastity etc. But now that men have been sufficiently moderated to accept many of women’s tantrums and peccadilloes, acceptance of another man’s child may not be that big an issue!

Even Amphytrion was mollified by Jupiter, when Jupiter predicted that his WIFE’S son HERCULES would achieve FAME.

MYSTERY


Demystification ain’t beautiful,

of things beautiful.

Venus needn’t be adored,

but draw inspiration,

and leave intact the mystery.

Pulverizing a cut diamond,

is a handful of charcoal!

AIRLINES MONOPOLY


Should the government of India step in and bail out the two Airlines viz. Jet Airways and King Fisher Airlines and give them tax breaks and other benefits out of the tax payers’ money?

Both the Airlines had built up its clientèle of techies and executives who were living off the anxieties of the companies, which were pampering them with the hope that they would stick with them. Now that the party is on the wane and the writing is clearly on the wall, the clientèle has dramatically dwindled thereby bringing the squeeze.

It was not long ago, that the Low Cost Airlines (LCC) like Deccan, Go Air, Spice Jet etc had brought revolution in the skies and middle class persons were able to cut down the time of travel, to distances beyond a rail overnight journey, and get a whiff of maximizing the short leave granted to them in their work places. Our Hero who has assiduously built up an elitist image of himself and was keen on bringing in the reflection of his image to his Airlines, seduced Capt. Gopinath and thereby killed the benefits of the opening, created by the visionary zeal of Capt. Gopinath.

Today only the wealthy and the super-skilled who are sumptuously employed can afford air travel. This monopoly attempted to be established by our Hero has fallen flat.

Our hero was an NRI, as per paper reports, and had built his Brand to such dizzying heights that it may not be difficult to plough back the profits of his liquor business and off-set the PUTATIVE losses incurred by his Airlines. Yet he has the gall to ask the Govt. of India to permit him to put his hand into the national till. He had done great disservice to Indians by not only keeping his airlines elitist, but has predated with utter impunity and attempted a monopoly.

The new found friend is the largest share-holder of a company registered outside India. So therefore here we have a recipe for 2 NRIs to come together- use the cash rich companies which send their employees by an elitist airline conglomerate- and write expense accounts and show operational losses.

In the US, they have severe laws like The Sherman Act 1890, The Clayton Act 1914(?) to restrain such TYING UP agreements, so that competition is not stifled. But here in India we have MRTP Act and Competition Act etc., yet none seems to bring out the evil designs of such activities, which are done so openly. We all know that Judge Jackson had arrived at the formulation of splitting up MICROSOFT because their WEB BROWSER business was tied up inextricably with their WINDOWS 98 to the overall detriment of INNOVATION and GROWTH. Had it not been for George Bush Jr., the mammoth wud have been split up a long time back.

But here in India we do not have a conscience that works against this monopolistic forces which would bring them within the mischief of the text of the Acts passed by the legislatures.

The least that we can do, is to check up the Corporate Taxes and Direct Taxes paid out of these two Airlines and see if there have been substantial revenues generated to the country in the past years (but not thru indirect taxes), since their inception, and then take a view based on the contributions made to the national exchequer.

Losses can be generated if one is bent upon building an image without the sustaining power to maintain the image, based on performance.

It is time for Capt. Gopinath to revive the zeal and create a new low cost carrier.

METRO DRIVE


The only two metro cities that are so proximate, in India, that could be traversed to and fro by road the same day are Chennai and Bangalore. Both the cities are so different, that it is worth traveling as often as possible, just to savour the difference.

The road route from Chennai would be Sriperumbudur, Kanchipuram, Ranipet/Arcot, Vellore, Ambur, Vaniyambadi, Krishnagiri, Hosur and Bangalore. This is if one wishes to travel availing of the NHAI(National Highways Authority of India) toll Road. The alternate route via Walajhapet, Chittoor, Kolar and Bangalore is not a two-carriage way and the road is not exactly a driver’s delight. The NHAI route is preferable on the count of driver’s comfort and also on the count that one gets to feel the variegated spread of the towns and cities of Tamil Nadu.

One of the most famous cases in the Environmental Law is the case popularly called the Vellore Citizen’s Forum case, wherein the rationale for clean environment for the citizens of a locality has been nicely balanced vis-a-vis growth. When one passes by Vellore, one is reminded of this case law. The towns of Ambur, Vaniyambadi etc are centres of leather processing units. In Ambur there is a Restaurant called Khaja, which serves decent Biryani. Beside this restaurant is another Restaurant called TAJ, a joint which is sparsely visited by the locals and therefore may not be of even the levels of Khaja Restaurant. For the vegetarians there is SHANKAR’S CAFE– which serves tiffin (a Tamil nomer for snacks!) till 11 in the morning and MEALS thereafter. But on the whole, the cleanliness in both these restaurants leave a lot to be desired.

Ambur, being the mid-way between the metros mentioned above, happens to be the stopping point of most of the travelers who do this stretch. So to be familiar with the eating joints at Ambur may be helpful. At noon, there is a place where good biryani is stated to be available on the bus station side viz. STAR BIRYANI. I was not in the least impressed with what they dish out.

May it be said as a word of caution that the Biryani available in Ambur is not a patch on the Biryani available at KARIM’S at Delhi or at Hyderabad. The aroma of the biryani from KARIM’S at Jumma Masjid lingers and wafts forever in one’s mind much after one has consumed. That is a class in itself and the food fit for Emperors, as claimed by them, is truly being served at KARIM’S.

The by-passes built by the NHAI allows one to side-step most of the towns except Ambur and that is one more reason why one can have a repast there.

Coming to the differences between Chennai and Bangalore, Chennai is the capital of the state that could legitimately boast itself of being the state which uses the only LIVE classical INTERNATIONAL language of India. Bangalore is likely to become the state HQ of the third classical language of India- Kannada.

People in Chennai are hard-working and the weather conditions make it difficult for persons to be in bed beyond sunrise. Whereas, Bangalore has a perennially clement weather which gives a greater latitude for persons to pursue their proclivities- therefore MAXIMIZING profits is the priority of the denizens. A plumbing, electrical, carpentry work for half-a-day could cost one a cool Rs.750/- and there are agencies which live off these semi-skilled labourers in Bangalore. So the Time of even the least of all the inhabitants of Bangalore is precious.

Chennai, during 11 months in a year, has steamy hot weather. The reprieve, if any, is felt only during the months of December and January. But it has its charms, like the Marina Beach on a drizzly evening is a delight incomparable. It brings wetness to the soil and moisture to the soul- which make men go on the hop and women the whole hog!!

Bangalore has many malls which open so early that it is not uncommon for young boys and girls to land up in the morning and laze till night fall. Bangalore is cosmopolitan and it is the least fanatical of its language or its culture/heritage. One can manage with Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu and English. Every person is a polyglot- I sometimes wonder in which language these polyglots think!

There is not a single road like Brigade Road or MG road in Chennai to match the city of Bangalore. The goods are overpriced and tastefully displayed- yet it is a pleasant experience esp. for the youth.

More than anything else if u do anything differently in Bangalore, it runs the risk of becoming FASHION; but if u do anything differently in Chennai u are likely to get sniggers and scowls. In Bangalore WHAT WAS DONE is important,in Chennai WHO DID WHAT is important. Bangalore is not only less regulated than Chennai, but also less JUDGMENTAL.

The best combination is to shuttle between these two cities for work in Chennai and spend the weekends in Bangalore; but shuttle in a BMW VII series!

God help me.

Achilles heel


Everyone who is faintly acquainted with the Greek mythology, knows that Achilles, who was one of the heroes of the Trojan war, had a weakness that was illogical. But many may not know the story behind it. Thetis, mother of Achilles, to make her son invulnerable held her son by his heels and dipped him in the river Styx( ?). Achilles became invulnerable in all the places where the river Styx’ water came into contact- except where his mother had held him-his heels.

The place where he was held by became his most vulnerable point.

The tragedy was not because of his vulnerability at that spot, but because his opponents came to know of it and exploited it to their advantage.

There is a parallel in the Indian epic MAHABHARATA, where Duryodhana had become vulnerable in the area not exposed to his mother’s sight, when she suffused him with invincibility except for the portion (thigh and loins?) not exposed to her view. The area not viewed by his mother becomes his weak point. Bhima took advantage of that.

I’m sure there must be other parallels in various epics carrying the same concept.

But what amazes me is the myth of Achilles. The point ATTACHED to his mother becomes the very root cause of him getting killed. It is the attachment of the umbilical cord which provides the nutrition to the child and that severance is required for the child to start its life on its own. It is cut , as we all know, at birth. Likewise, despite all the anxieties and fears of one’s mother, it is essential -for the child’s weal -that the mother lets go.

Achilles lost even the minimum natural strength, that was inherent in anyone’s heel. The point of attachment became his doom.

But why did not Achilles realize his weak spot? His mom probably never knew and never had the means to know, in any case Achilles was not forewarned.

The idea is that none succeeds where he/she endeavours to beat the natural order of things. Seeking INVINCIBILITY and therefore DEATHLESSNESS, would be against the natural order. Thetis was trying for that. Had she let go of her son, he wud have suffocated to death in the river Styx & probably Achilles would have died then and there itself and ended as a footnote to a mother’s greed!

In any case, in a man, the point attached to a woman has to be snipped at the point of integration of the self, to achieve even the MINIMUM CAPABILITY of that organ! Otherwise the very point of attachment becomes so weak that anyone having knowledge thereof wud be able to destroy him.

dawning manhood


Split down and in the middle

my groping hand abruptly ends,

no diverting forks,

looking for nothing beyond!

My breath stops and skips

my mind’s eye opens,

to see what i yearn to see.

A third eye for the new head.

TRUTH is everlasting- it can wait!


She claimed not to have done it before.

He took her at her word- truth can wait, she may not- thought he!!

She was already moaning oh-my-god s!

All for what was digitally done over the attire.

Modesty breaks down, she draws his hand into her pajamas.

Skin on skin, skillfully done, draws more than mere calls to the divine!

Relieved, she shamefacedly with downcast eyes

holds his lust-soiled fingers and wipes it on her kurta hem.

Vocally regretting that he wasn’t relieved.

Thought the man in him:

THE DEER HAS LOST ITS NIMBLENESS,

IT WILL NOT BE LONG BEFORE IT BECOMES VENISON!

TERRORISM


In the news channel CNN-IBN Sunday last, there was a debate on TERRORISM. The positions of the participants which impelled me to write this blog are the reasoning given by Javed Akhthar (Hindi cinema script writer and poet in Hindi) and the objection raised by Ravi Shankar Prasad( former minister in the BJP govt.)

The position taken by Javed was that not only persons who indulge in wanton bomb blasting shud be charged under the relevant laws of Terrorism , but even when persons indulge in communal killings they shud be tried under the same laws. Ravi was of the opinion that merely because javed wanted both to be treated equally it cannot be done as there is no rationale warranting such similarity of treatment.

There is some element of truth in both the opinions. But how?

The persons who are targeted by the terrorist is not known to him. The terrorist does not hold any personal grudge against the individual, who turns out to be the ultimate victim. Yet he hurts and harms recklessly a group of people who are found in that place where he had planted or got the bomb planted. I’m sure, so far, no terrorist has planted a bomb in a place where he worships, or a place so dangerously close to his own habitation etc. In effect, even though he shows recklessness, he is sure that the persons whom he cares for are not found in the place/plane/train/ship/building where he plants the bomb. In conclusion, he plants a bomb to explode in a place where he avoids the presence of persons he cares for but does not care for the innocence of the ultimate victims.

Whereas, a person who indulges in communal violence is clear about the property that he wants to destroy and the victims he wants to offend.

This is not where the differences end. The beginning of the difficulty arises with the way the law treats the perpetrator of the aforesaid crimes and the way the majority of the country views the perpetrator and the community to which he belongs.

Not so long ago, Dean Jones the cricket commentator called the bearded cricketer a TERRORIST. Co-incidentally, the person thus called was a Muslim by faith. Of course, we all know that Dean had to apologize for that Freudian slip. If educated, empowered and enabled persons could harbour such sentiments, it is no news that the deprived & uneducated persons could be also influenced to hold opinions against communities based on flimsy perceptions and not on the principles of HUMANISM.

Thereby, here we have a swear word TERRORIST, which is an insult and when used against a particular community it gains much ring of truth.

It is this stigma that Javed was objecting to, but he missed the point.

As per section 153A of the Indian Penal Code, the maximum punishment prescribed for the commission of the offence mentioned therein, at a place of worship would be 5 years. The offences committed by the communalists are brought under the ingredients of this section. Moreover the victim is clearly defined and not nebulous like in a terrorist attack.

Whereas in a terrorist Act, there is a sudden loss of faith by the common man on the capacity of the Government of the day to maintain Law and order, which in turn leads the prosecution to invoke provisions which are tantamount to WAGING WAR WITH THE NATION ( Sec.121 IPC), which prescribes a max punishment of DEATH.

So the law treats the persons who created the same effect differently. Herein lies the CRUNCH.

The law is to view not merely the act, but circumstances, the culpable mental state of the perpetrator and is prohibited from indexing the EFFECTS created by the act per se. Therefore the communalist who has a rationale- however warped- and a defined target cannot be slapped the nomenclature of a TERRORIST. He has to be dealt with only under the section 153A of the IPC.

What Javed wanted was, to treat both the perpetrators at par. Unless the law is amended and the punishment enhanced, there appears to be very less scope of treating them at par-of course except thru a preventive detention Act.

Our Ravi Shankar Prasad just doesn’t want this to happen – a law equating both acts whether the intended victim is innocent or not; whether there is a rationale or not etc. He appears to be against it, as it may lead to the dilution of the stigma attached to the term TERRORIST, which presently is attached to a particular community which suits his hue.

May OUR country treat dangerous objectives that offend the basic structure (esp.secularism), with stringent laws, so that we remain united and meet our objective of GROWTH thru ACTION.

TOLERANCE


An anecdote to bring out the meaning of religious tolerance.

Not so long ago, but long enough for me to view the happenings objectively, once we as friends had been to Churu in the state of Rajasthan in INDIA. While on our way, it was told that a very famous temple was not very far away and that we shud pay a visit to the Hindu temple.

We reached the temple precincts by about lunch-time. It was not a very hot day, as it was sometime during the winter months. We got out of our car and my Hindu friends started removing their shoes and socks to leave those behind in the car.They were surprised that i had not stirred to remove my shoes or my socks off my feet.

The smartest ( i prefer to keep names out) of my friends, said HEY DUDE U CAN’T ENTER THE TEMPLE WITH ALL THOSE LEATHER OR YOUR SMELLY SOCKS ON, LIKE U DO IN YR CHURCHES.

I said, Boss! I am not entering the Temple.

He was concerned as he thought that i did not like the parallel he drew between the Temples and Churches. I was as liberated then, as much as I am now. But there was hardly any scope for discussing religious matters as we were at an age, when our mental space was filled with fine restaurants, nice ambiance, elegant women and girls- who were breaking into womanhood and were donning traits and skimpy micros to assess their attraction quotient from the response from the type of men they mentally held in awe!

I allayed his anxiety and said that it had nothing to do with what he said about entering the Churches with smelly socks and dirty shoes. I told him firmly that i was not coming for reasons which i told him i’d explain while having lunch. He agreed and left for his Darshan. He came back probably in 45 mins. I’d had a peaceful smoke and taken my rounds in the market which was exclusively catering to the devotees who wanted certain puja material.

We went to a nearby restaurant which was serving authentic Rajasthani food. As we sat, my pal said I DIDN’T IMAGINE THAT U WERE A FANATIC! I had not entirely unanticipated that response from him. I said that my personal experience and my religious conviction made me believe that i’d be first of all a misfit to enter a temple and secondly, i may be forced by circumstances to do things which are explicitly forbidden in my religion.

He was flabbergasted that an Indian could be not only liberal enough to visit the Temple but was also adducing reasons for his staying back. I told him that when i, was a kid of seven and, wanted to gain access to the Tanjore BRAHADEESWARAR temple i was thwarted by the person standing at the entrance, after he ascertained if i was a Hindu and negatively answered by me, he held my hand restrainingly and told me that i can’t enter. When i went back home, i was wondering if i was wrongly stopped.

With none to turn to, i asked the Driver Rajendran, who was my dad’s driver if it was a mistake for a christian to enter the temple. He said in chaste Tamil, saar from your mannerism and the body language he had made out that u were just a curious visitor and not a devotee, that made him single u out. So don’t take it to your heart. Rajendran was a witness to the scene in front of the THANJAI BRAHADEESWARAR temple. Rajendran had been a lorry owner and had fallen in bad times and thus had taken up employment. He was a person with tremendous self respect and conducted himself with dignity which was way beyond the function he was performing, at that time.

That night I had to take a serious decision- whether i cud enter a temple merely as a visitor and not as a devotee? The inner voice’ answer was a resounding NO.

My friend after hearing the episode thought that that had happened so far back in the past that it shud not be allowed to interfere with the present.

I said i was not thru. I told him that my religion was monotheistic and the name of my God was JESUS. I neither know about other Gods nor am i obliged to know about other Gods, therefore i was merely following the prescription of my religious creed. I am too small a fry to talk about others’ beliefs but for the integrity of my existence, i have to focus on one God and the name is JESUS.

So where is the prohibition to enter Temples, even if u do not recognize our Gods? – he asked. I told him AS AN INDIAN I HAVE THE LIBERTY TO ENTER A TEMPLE OR NOT TO, SO DO I HAVE THE RIGHT TO ENTER A CHURCH OR NOT TO, WHY DO U HAVE TO INSIST ON MY ENTERING THE TEMPLE?

FURTHER IF I WERE TO ENTER, AND A PLATTER WITH A BURNING CAMPHOR WERE TO BE EXTENDED BEFORE ME, I WOULD NOT WORSHIPFULLY FOLD MY PALMS TO THE FIRE EXTENDED TO ME, AS IT WOULD AGAINST MY BELIEF. THEREFORE WHY GET INTO A SITUATION THAT MIGHT MAKE ME STAND OUT AND CAUSE CONSTERNATION TO THE OTHER DEVOTEES?

THEREFORE i as a matter of principle and practice do not enter Temples.

IN future i also will not enter your churches, my friend said.

I told him, I FOLLOW MY RULES AND YOU SHUD YOURS ! I am prohibited from doing certain things and the commandments are NEGATIVELY WORDED for me such as, YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME; but if such restrictions are placed in your religion you shud also follow that.

This is a great country which has given rights to individuals NOT TO SING EVEN THE NATIONAL ANTHEM, IF IT WERE TO BE AGAINST THEIR CREED AND PRACTICE- but they have to show respect for the singing of the anthem by standing up etc. (Supreme court’s decision on JEHOVAH’S WITNESS Vs. STATE OF KERALA)

Once the Mahatma said, I AM A HINDU, A CHRISTIAN, A JEW, A MUSLIM and a PARSI.

Jinnah who was in the vicinity said ONLY A HINDU COULD SAY THAT.

Knowing the sarcasm of Jinnah one can undersatand the sense in which he must have made that statement, but in its essence a HINDU IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN WORSHIP ANY GOD IN ANY PLACE WITHOUT ATTRACTING THE FEELING OF GUILT- BASED ON HIS RELIGION.

Let us preserve it.

VOICE vs WORD


Aaron voiced Moses’ message

But the WORD was from God.

The Baptist voiced the message of Repentance,

But the WORD in flesh was JESUS.

They (MPs) voice their opinion in the Parliament,

But the WORD is from the President.

THE WORD is the Babel from which

spring the visual and the audio interpretations!

NUTS and BOLTS!!(377 IPC)


Hi,

This is regarding the debate on section 377 of IPC, between the HOME ministry and the HEALTH ministry in INDIA .

India is a country plagued with misplaced zeal, but when it hits ministers, the zeal gets into cabinet meetings and statistics is made the bedrock of pushing thru opinions, which are imbalanced. The Health Minister’s call for elimination of section 377, is one of those imbalanced propositions which shud be thrown out, without a thought (ironic?) and without a debate.

The reasons are there for any sane person to see:-

societies have been built on trial and error method, and the methods that encouraged LIFE , GROWTH and HAPPINESS have been promoted thru the ages. We stand on this tradition. We have collectively understood that the right fitting for a BOLT is to be found in a NUT. Not anything that resembles or cud function as a NUT, but a NUT that is meant to fit the BOLT. There is pleasure, progeny and propriety in the scheme of things as they exist.

Section 377 is firstly gender neutral, secondly if there is no penetration there is no offence, thirdly the act shud be UNNATURAL. With these basic ingredients to this offence, it is possible to bring a host of sexual activities perpetrated by perverse adults on innocent children/boys/girls/women/men/animals. The punishment prescribed is max life and with fine. Which is stringent.

Merely because this section cud be invoked i.r.o sex between consenting adults also, it does not mean that this section is to be scrapped. An exception i.r.o consenting adults, cud be made with suitable amendments. Mr. Ramadoss is known for throwing the child along with the water in the bath-tub. He did not consult the TOURISM minister, when he proposed the banning of smoking in restaurants and hotels, but when he gets sympathetic with the gay community, he wants the only enabling section- i.r.o many other offences- to be thrown out of the statute book!

Gays have a right to practice their beliefs and indulge in sex with consenting adults of the same sex or in unnatural methods with persons of the opposite sex, the problem arises when their problems spill over to the public domain and do not fall within the paradigm already familiar to the society. The problems such as, when persons bring complaints in matters which relate to domestic violence relating to cohabiting consenting adults of the same sex , how shud the police react? it is a new terrain and it shud be dealt with discretely, with laws specific to such persons and conditions. The laws that have certain POSTULATES like marriage is between a male and female,  should not be disturbed.

This TRENCHING of gays rights brings division which is no good for the society and the rights shud be separated and dealt with on the principles of good conscience, reasonableness and fairness(like the circuit judges of yore in the UK), as to codify laws for this new breed cannot be allowed, much less encouraged, to taint the precedents of the law well established.

LAWS are meant to organize society into active, healthy and productive units. We shud not and cannot be silent when efforts are made by policy makers to override the very principles on which the society rests.

MAY MEN REMAIN MEN AND WOMEN, WOMEN,

AND TO EACH HIS/HER FUNCTIONS REMAIN!

BUT LET THE IN-BETWEENS CHOOSE

THEIR PATH AND COOK THEIR OWN GOOSE!

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