Monday, January 24, 2005

He came, he duped, he went

The Benny Hinn Show is finally over. The rascal was not just allowed by the Dharam Singh govt to openly dupe people, but the CM and his favorite supporter - HD Deve Gowda - themselves attended the show to witness the miracle.

If the govt desires to ban Praveen Togadia on grounds that his speeches would hurt the sentiments of the minorities and may lead to public unrest, would not the same logic apply to Mr. Hinn's visit too? The different of course is that in this case, it is the sentiments of the majority community that would be hurt, and as I have oft repeated, the Hindu community is so dormant it never wakes up for these threats. Imagine Mr. Hinn addressing a "prayer meeting" in Pakistan??? I'm not saying that the Hindu society must turn militant like the Muslim society, but it definitely needs to awake from the slumber it is currently in.

At the same time, the opposition of the Sangh Parivar, esp the BJP smacks of opportunism. The BJP is taking the Hindu society for a ride by itz agitation. If it were to be really serious about preventing Hinn from holding the show in Bangalore, it should have started itz agitation when the public first became aware of the show, not a week before the schedule. Also, why did not they oppose Hinn's last meeting in Mumbai? And, now that Hinn has promised to return next year to Hyderabad, will the BJP take this as an open threat and ensure that he is prevented from his tour next year? Instead of flogging the non-existant Sonia connection, BJP is better off doing some thing concrete for the Hindu society rather than making empty noises.

Marriage is like pi - natural, irrational, and very important.
- Lisa Hoffman

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Celebrities and Rnanubandas

The death of Parveen Babi should serve as a reminder for ppl as to how to lead their life. A person from a royal family died with nobody around her, and nobody realised that she has died for 2 dayz :-( What a way to die. Not that she lived any better.

People who have recieved so much from the society must make it a point to give back to the society. Esp the starts - film actors, cricket players, etc - get so much from teh society, one wonders tha amount of Rnanubandas they carry with them, and the number of births they would need to take to pay back. Whenever a Sachin Tendulkar advertises for Pepsi, or dedicates Tendulkar's to the public, one should shudder to the amount of karma they are creating because of their false actions, and false ways of "paying back". I alwayz appreciated the stand taken by GopiChand in not endorsing Pepsi.

I dont think it is realistic to expect salvation for Parveen Babi's soul. I can just pray that she will get a chance to wipe out her rnanubandas in her next birth. Amen.

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
- Douglas Adams, "Last Chance to See"

An eye for an eye

Two incidents in the last 2 weeks vindicated the "eye for an eye will make the world blind" theory. The response of Israel to a Hamas attack after the election of Mahmud Abbas, and the response from India to the breaking of ceasfire from the Pakistani side - Pakistan insists itz not their army - is a real study in contrast. The sanity with which India responded should teach the hawks in the mid-east a lesson.

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Definitely disgraceful

So the Lalu appointed Bannerjee has come up with an interim report. The report has said what everybody had had expected....tone Lalu's line. As pointed out in this IE report, Mr. Bannerjee needed just 3 visits to Godhra and one public hearing in Delhi to arrive at its interim report! Arun Jaitley's reaction that the report is disgraceful is very apt. What will happen to Mr. Bannerjee if the Justice Nanavati commission decides that the fire was an act of sabotage? Will he be held accountable? Also, what was the reason for this interim report when the final report is due in March?

I would hold this as the single most anti-Hindu act done in recent past. It is an insult to the kar sevaks who died in that incident. This shows once again that the Hindu community has become passive and unresponsive to threats. Although I'm no big fan of extremism, patheitc actions like this requires nothing less than a mass protest. Not sure if the Bihar electorate can come out of petty casteist politics and throw the disgraceful Lalu out of power.

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.
- Douglas Adams

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The modern day Maharajas

In the book "Freedom at midnight", the authors talk of the lavish lifestiles that the Maharahas lead, and how the sufferings of the common man did not diminish a bit. If you think those days are now over, read Amitav Ghosh's series in Hindu.

I liked this series for one more reason - in the first part, he has written very revealingly on the loss of identity of the survivors. One wonders of the troubles faced by these people.

Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round to dinner.
-Douglas Adams

Maran: Man on a mission

I considered Murasoli Maran as one of the better ministers India had. His handling of the WTO negotiations was commended by one and all. He was the glue holding the DMK with the NDA. His early demise was a huge blow to the country, not just because it lost a dynamic person, but also because it meant DMK severing ties with the NDA, that was one of the main reasons for NDA's loss in last year's elections.

After his death, his son Dayanidhi Maran seems to have taken over from his father. Basking under the high-visibility post of the Union IT and Telecom minister, he seems like a young man in a hurry! After the launching of broadband connection with 256kbps speed at Rs.500 per month, he has now promised low cost computers. While all this sounds great, I'm not very sure if this makes perfect sense in the long term. Considering that BSNL, in true babu style, is selling the 256 kbps connection for domestic connections at Rs.500 and for commercial connections at Rs.1200, one wonders if itz the classic case of cross-subsidising. If that is true, then I would doubt if this will sustain the long run. It may just make the private players non-competitive, and govt players enjoying a monopoly. And we all know from our past experience what a govt monopoly means!

What the country needs is not govt subsidising IT, but coming out with policies that will enable private players to provide latest technology at affordable costs. Instead of subsidising, the govt should rather look at giving tax rebates, remove license fees (one of the most silliest tax on companies who you want to provide affordable technology to common man!), etc. It will be interesting how Mr. Maran will go ahead in his mission, and where Indian IT sector will be 4 yrs down the line.

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
- Douglas Adams

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Now, US RJs get abusive on outsourcing

One of the popular morning talk shows in east coast of US - Star and Buc Wild - tried to do a parody on outsourcing calls to India, but eneded up with mud on their face. Although the radio has pulled out the audio clip from itz website, thanx to the blogosphere, there are mirrors everywhere now! One blogger has even put out the transcipts of the call on his site, along with links to other sites.

Itz sad that inspite of this incident been one-month old, and with so much of controversy over this absolutely racist and venomous remarks by the RJs, they are still welcome to return to New York. As the Philadephia Enquirer said, this is not the first time these RJs are getting into uncalled for trouble.

Americans should also not miss out on the fact that Star and Buc Wild, along with Howard Stern, are the most listened mornign talk show hosts in the country. If this is no indication of the degrading moral values in the society, you cannot get one.

"People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world."

Monday, January 10, 2005

And now, Disaster Tourism!
Last weekend I met a friend of mine, who was just back from the US of A. We were chatting, and invariably the conversation turned into the tsunami disaster. My friend immediately said that he had just visited Nagapattinam, and "it was good"!!! For a minute there was silence and then he realised what he just said...and of course corrected himself immediately. But it was pretty obvious what he meant....he had been to Nagapattinam not to participate in relief activities, but to see the destruction the tsunami had wrought, and of course boast abt his experience later. Just when the thoughts of disaster tourism arrived in my mind, I read this news item . Makes me wonder what organised tour??? May be an aerial tour for those who may not admire the stench of rotting bodies???

He who has injured thee was either stronger or weaker than thee. If weaker, spare him; if stronger, spare thyself.
- William Shakespeare

Friday, January 07, 2005

Just jumped!

Just before I left for US in Dec'02, we - a group of Infoscions - had planned to take the bungee jump organised at the Bangalore Palace Grounds. That plan did not materialize for some reasons. And for some funny reason, I cud not take a bungee jump during my stay in the US. So when in mid-Dec this time Xtreme Zone organized for the bungee in the Palace Grounds, I wud not miss it at any cost.

It was Dec-19 that me and my cousin Sanket decided to take the jump. We - me, Sanket and my Mom - reached the place at about 2pm......the entrance is in front of the Talisma office.....just before the Sankey Rd signal if u r coming from the Mekhri Circle signal. The first sight of a guy jumping from 120-ft gave goosebumps to my mother :) She decided that we will not take the jump! It took a bit of convincing from our side to get her tolerate our jumps! We enrolled for the jump....the jump cost Rs. 600!!!....sadly the guy at the counter said we need to wait another 2 hrs. We decided to make use of the time and went to my Chikkamma's place in Vidyaranyapura. Since my Chikkappa had a camcorder, I decided to convince him to accompany us to the location again.

We reached again at around 4pm only to realise that there were another 20+ ppl before us. Finally it was around 6:30pm when our turn came. I dont know whether it was the evening chill or the chill runing thru our nerves, our bodies were virtually shivering as we readied ourselves for the jump.

The jumpng facility consists of a platform that will be lifted / lowered using a crane. You get the rope tied to ur legs, enter the platform with the rope tied to ur legs, the platform is raised to a height of abt 120-ft and then....u jump! First it was my turn. As I entered the platform there was this person who thrusts a microfone on me and asks me my name. He says he'z gonna gimme a kool pair of Fastrack glasses if I "jump like a Tarzan". For me, jumping itself was a big deal, and here'z this chap asking me to jump with a leap! As we went up, the guy with me in the platform started giving fundaes as to what to do after we reach the top! Once at top, I turned around, now facing the deep abyss! I took a second to have a look at the view from the top. Since we were in the middle of the Palace grounds, I cudnt see much other than the trees of the Garden City. Next, the guy asked me to leave my hold of the platform, which I did, hold my hand straight, which too I did, asked me move closer to the edge of the platform, then still closer, then still closer, which also I did. Now he asked me to push the platform with my feet and take the jump! This I cud not!!! I asked him to push me down. He once again asked me to push myself, but I insisted on him pushing me. Finally, in what was probably a combination of the guy pushing me, and me pushing myself, there I was plunging down in a free fall for more than 100 ft!!! I can even now see that moment in front of my eyes whenever I think of it. Those few seconds were probably worth all the fear and shivering! I cud hear the announcer syaing that I did not jump like a Tarzan and hence I will not be getting the prize. But what I did not hear was the crowd shouting my name when I delayed my jump at the top!

I had been to lotsa roller coasters during my stay in the US.....including the Dragster, the world's tallest roller coaster. However, the bungee shud rate as the most thrilling experience I've ever had. Probably because this is where u need to take some action - jump!!! - instead of enjoying thingz happening to u, like in a roller coaster. Anywayz, I'm now looking fwd to my next jump!

Be great in act, as you have been in tought.
- William Shakespeare

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Society going to the bitches?

A very thought provoking article in The Hindu on what the Delhi MMS incident means to the society. Undoubtedly the sense of righteousness in the society today is going down and going down at an alarming rate. The popularity of TV, esp the movie-related channels, the availability of easy porn on the internet and the blind aping of western culture are the main reasons for this.

What should be a matter of concern to the whole society is today reduced to hushed or sleazy discussions. The Govt took the ridiculous step of arresting the school boy who filmed the the video having oral sex with his girl friend. What use blaming the 17-yr old boy for what is a disease of the society :-( It definitely is the peer pressure that makes students make such misadventures. Anybody who is not "savvy" enough is considered a nerd and faces rejection from the friend circle. It is this peer pressure more than anything else that makes children and youths alike undulge in sexual misadventures. I can spek from personal experience that a person can stick to his moral values only at the risk of loosing his peer group, and very few ppl wud cherish the thought.

The country today needs an open discussion on how the moral values in the society can be maintained. It is unfortunate that none of our politicians consider it worthwhile to discuss this issue and suggest ways to rectify things. Just shows how short sighted and mean-minded our leaders are. Even the Rajya Sabha - which probably was intended as a house of intellectuals - is now probably devolved of all itz intellectual capacity. And the nationalist BJP is also comfortable in itz silence. If the VHP or RSS make a protest, they will of course be branded right-extremists and ultra-conservative. There probably is no place for a balanced debate in this society.

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad.
- Abraham Lincoln

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