Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Good & Evil

So, here is Diwali, at a time the global economy and the Sensex have both gone through a Diwalaa of a time.

When every rocket reminds you of the meteoric rise of the Sensex in the last year or few.

When every bomb reminds you that some companies, and many jobs, might sink even without a whimper.

When the ground wheel is not the only one caught up in circles.

When the sparkler looks like the only one shining.

Where the government will take all efforts to ensure that the rich will continue to be able to celebrate the triumph of good over evil; to let us all have a lovely festival time.

Where the street urchins look longingly at the vulgar display of wealth by the Affluent, blasting off all their worries and troubles.

When I wait for the day when, enough will be enough, and the less privileged will break open our car windows, enter our homes, take our belongings.

Because, they will say, it is now our time to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.

Till then, have a rocking diwali !

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why do we love Obama

The entire media has gone completely ga-ga over Barack Obama; and most Indians either have no opinion or prefer him over John McCain.

Especially, a lot of Indian bloggers have been very outspoken for the love for Obama, and disdain for Sarah Palin.

While a lot of it has to do with Ms Palin's obvious lack of maturity, her extravagance (and 'fashion accessories' bills), her opinions, and her limited capabilities, I suspect it is also to do with people being threatened by, and unable to deal with, her sexuality. A powerful woman leader is accepted only when she dresses down and underplays her sexuality, whether Thatcher, Indira Gandhi or others. A sexually assertive woman threatens men. What does not help Sarah Palin though are her outspoken views (wrong many times) and her trackrecord - she angers feminists with her views, and threatens male chauvinists with her sexuality. It is so odd, feminists and MCPs all on the same side, but for different reasons. But, I digress.

What I fear Indians are doing here is, unfortunately, and as always, take an emotive view of the battle rather than a practical one. We might have completely hated Bill Clinton in his last stint (Monica-gate was ofcourse his crowning glory), but we still look forward to Obama being the best bet for America, and by extension, for the rest of the world.

We Indians, have always been swayed by things irrelevant, or topics fanatic in nature. Previous Post

But why does the educated middle class not take a detached view of what McCain versus Obama has to offer to India? Atleast we can take a detached view of the US election since it is so far away from us, and we - the so-called elite - should be able to do that.

One of the better Indian writers on economy is Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar. He is also, probably, the only well known Indian man, who has taken on his wife's maiden surname after marriage.

And his Article here in the Times of India, is excellent, because it compares Obama with McCain, on economic matters that matter to India. I quote some of his views:

"A nasty global recession has begun. Nouriel Roubini of New York University predicts we will suffer the worst economic downswing since the Great Depression. So, pressures will mount for protectionist measures and beggar-thy-neighbour policies in the US, hurting countries like India. Apart from erecting import barriers and subsidising dumped exports, US politicians will seek to curb the outsourcing of services to India. Visa curbs will slow the movement of skilled workers and their dollar remittances back to India.

McCain is one of the few American politicians in either party with the courage and conviction to stand up to protectionist populism. By contrast, Obama embodies protectionism."

"McCain has voted 88% of the time against bills creating trade barriers, and 90% of the time against export subsidies for US producers. Few other senators have such a splendid record.

Obama has served a much shorter time in the Senate, and avoided voting on many key issues. He has voted against trade barriers only 36% of the time. He supported export subsidies on the two occasions on which he voted, a 100% protectionist record in this regard.

In 2007, he voted to reduce visas issued to foreign workers (such as Indian software engineers), and to ban Mexican trucks on US roads. He sometimes voted for free trade - he supported the Oman Free Trade Act and a bill on miscellaneous tariff reductions and trade preference extensions. More often he voted for protectionist measures including 100% scanning of imported containers (which would make imports slower and costlier), and emergency farm spending. "

"Obama favours extensive subsidies for US farmers, hitting Third World exporters like India. This has been one of the issues on which the Doha Round of WTO is gridlocked. McCain could open the gridlock, Obama will strengthen it.

Obama also favours subsidies for converting maize to ethanol. The massive diversion of maize from food to ethanol has sent global food and fertiliser prices skyrocketing, hitting countries like India. But McCain has always opposed subsidies for both US agriculture and ethanol. While campaigning, he had the courage to oppose such subsidies even in Iowa, an agricultural state he badly needs to win if he is to become president."

And a lot more reasons. It makes so much more economic sense for India to cheer for McCain over Obama. The relations with the US have taken off (for the better) AFTER the Bush regime (whatever the reasons). Again, though, it is so fashionable to make fun of Bush & his Bushisms.

And I wonder why we are so *for* Obama, instead of rooting for the person who is much more likely, as President, to be an India ally.

Is it just because we hate Sarah Palin, whatever our reasons may be.

Or that, we wish to show our love for the black guy - to prove in our own eyes that we are not racist. Ofcourse, it is all great as long as the black guy is elected as President in the US - but we will probably not want a White lady to be our PM.

Reverse racism, anyone?

The more I think about it, the more it seems our 'democratic' structure is a weak one, a farce at times manipulated by cunning & conniving politicians, and we as a society, are doomed.

A people that cannot identify its own best interests .
Whether far away from home, or nearer to.

Friday, October 24, 2008


(No, not Toes Go in First !)

Do you, too, look forward to the weekend ?
Like I do.

So, is this love for weekends, a sign of how much I enjoy the fun I have?

Or, is it a sign of how much a misfit I am, in my life every weekday?

Will I ever say TGIM ?!

Do you?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


My friend smiled
The smile had sadness in the eyes
Moist but warm
They pierced through my heart
And it hurt to see a friend sad thus
I longed to be able
To wipe those tears
And to see a smile
All I could manage was
To show a mirror
Where the tears became mine
And my sadness was all that was visible
I think I am a friend

(For someone who needs to smile more often; because when that happens, the world smiles as well)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Life is a B*tch

In these heavy times of political drama, here is a thought that comes to mind seeing the promos of the Yashraj movie, Roadside Romeo.

For the uninformed this is an animation movie, probably targetted as much towards adults as to children. The protagonist is a dog, dubbed by Junior Nawab Pataudi, and his heroine is a er, female dog, dubbed by the favourite actress of the studio stable.

And what comes to mind looking at the promos is - Is this the value system one wishes to show to kids of today (because, unless you have the film rated 'A', no kid is going to pass over the movie; animated as it is by Walt Disney).

Some of the few messages I got seeing their promos:
- It is great to be rich, stinkingly rich
- Stay in a huge mansion with those long cars, and snigger at the stray dogs gazing longingly at your luxury
- Kick your butler after he serves you breakfast (human, small mercy that)
- Then - since you are rich - you wil have a few er, female dogs, ready to dance along with you. You can do that, it is fine.
- One day though, you see the heroine crooning away at a night club, and the hero falls for her. You see you need extra sex appeal to snare the rich brat, obviously.

If these are messages picked up by my (perceptive but cynical ;-)) mind from a 2 min promo, what exactly will the great entire movie pass on to our kids ?

But hey wait, Neal n Nikki was a family movie according to Yash raj. So I am sure we will have some great moral of the story learning coming in here as well.

Won't we ?

Monday, October 20, 2008

The First Tag ..

And when I did get the first tag of my blogging-life, my techno-challenged understanding (& my vain soul) initially led me to think it is someone who has tagged me to follow my blogs for life.

And then, google throws up the truth.. How I hate google.

To repeat the Tag
OBJECTIVE :To let the world know about yet another 5 quirky aspects of thy personality and to TAG another 5 innocent bakras to do the same.

So, Gazal, here goes.

And I have decided to give it a slight twist, in that -
I do not Tag the 5 bakras, but hope whoever reads this, gets Tagged automatically..
(I assume, at least 5 people will. :-) )

1. Getting Jealous at the drop of a hat.

Jealousy is something I probably might have been born with. I have remembered being jealous for years & years now. Is it something that happens because you don't have siblings (so it is always you versus the others?) or because of some inherent character flaw..?

Or is it some gene, that always makes me compare myself with others. I hope its a gene, so someday doctors might find a cure.

2. Walking fast

Why can't I walk slowly - ever!
If I am out for a walk, it has to be a fast one, else it just does not feel right. Ditto for climbing stairs.

3. Getting in touch, just that little bit

I just HAVE to get in touch with that old colleague or classmate in some corner of the world, but I may not take the effort to meet him/her when I am in his/her city; or take the effort to do it even in my own city.

Then why bother getting in touch?
Is it the equivalent of collecting 'scalps' in some odd way?

4. Blogaddiction

Can a year old child be a chain smoker?
Then, how can blogging for a week make one so addicted, that one starts checking mail & blog updates from one's cellphone in the middle of the night?

Or, is it something like the new toy received by a child... Time will tell.

5. Wanting to 'look' good

The amount of time I spent thinking on this last one is not funny. Just that I did not want to use any of the points G already used (cannot be a copy cat, I am original), nor want to just put up something just like that. And after a while, realising that this is nothing different from those extra minutes spent in front of the mirror, especially on a bad hair day...

PS - I just hope this post does not put off the few good folks visiting my site - hey, I am trying to change, promise!

(PS # 2 - I have been trying to change for years now..)

(PS# 3 - Even if I don't/ cannot change, Does it Matter.. Hey, I missed out Ego in my Top 5)

Getting Ahead in Life

Getting ahead is such a valued capability/ ability; we have this inculcated into our minds from childhood itself.

So whether it is marks in school, or the first prize in a race, or the winner spot in a reality show, we are always gunning for Number One.

If not first, atleast be in the top 10 percentile, and so on.

And I hate it because of what (I think) it does to our traffic sense.
Because every one is in a big hurry to get ahead - even if we are all going in the same direction. We just want to get ahead of that one vehicle in front of us, and then one more, and then one more.

And we just hate it when someone does the same to us. Especially when someone cuts lanes.

Are we so hung up about winning, and the destination, that we have just completely lost track of the pleasures of the journey ?

I think so. I certainly have.

Only so far as my driving is concerned.

NOT, Life, for sure.
I think..

Friday, October 17, 2008


Am I vain to keep looking at the number of comments on the posts on my blog ?

Should I be unhappy if no one comments? Or that half the comments are anyway mine.

Or, should it be the karmic philosophy and just get on with it..

Doubts also creep up - when a comment on a blog gets mis-interpreted (or maybe, rightly interpreted - since I was not articulate enough).

If one can land up writing stuff that could land up possibly hurting someone, that one does not know well, but likes nevertheless; does one really have the right to go about writing?

Or should one just shut the trap up?
To avoid those self doubts.
To avoid looking (& feeling like) a jerk.
To just be a better human.

Would the Jet Employees have been taken back if

I wonder, would the Jet Employees have been taken back if:

1. They had not come out on the streets
2. They were not good looking guys n girls
3. The national media had not given them great coverage, esp live TV & front page TOI.
(Would 3 have happened without 2?)
4. The politicians had not supported them
(Would 4 have happened without 3?)
5. Indian Govt had offered a bailout package
(Would we kick the Govt out if 5 happens?)

Or (but not the least),
6. I had written a blog on them.
(Would 6 have happened without 1-4?)

I wonder, I wonder.

I am a criminal !!!


A simple enough traffic signal violation - not stopping at the yellow, but speeding up instead.
A challan which would take away my license and would need me to spend half a day going to the police station the next day and collecting it.
Bunking office for half a day.
Not sure whether I can drive,when my license is not in my possession.
Suggesting to the cop if a solution could be arrived at.
It COULD be had, it seems.

Yes, for the first time in my life, I have actually committed a legal (not counting moral ones ofcourse) crime.

Selected Practical versus Ideal.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Politics, Economy, Poverty, Growth & Happiness

These are some of the important things that affect your and my life, but how often do we really think about them. and even if we do think about them, what do we really do to contribute anything to the nation.

Are we, the Indian educated middle class too caught up in "I, Me, Myself" to really bother about what is happening around us. Are we going to the dogs?

Just compare the goings-on in India to those in the US Presidential Election - the quality & topic of debates is excellent touching just about everyone's life. Yes, race & gender have and will remain an issue, but prima facie, the decisions are being taken on the basis of issues, debates & policies.

When will the Indian electorate mature to the level where we elect our leaders on criteria other than caste, religion, region, language, age or gender; or, on the promise of a grand dinner + booze party; or, on the basis of hard cash.

When will we learn to not tolerate corrupt politicians who hold the country to ransom, remain in office even when they are found with unaccounted cash (ofcourse given as gifts).

What does the nation expect from us? What do we do? How do we - the so called educated - bring about the change that we want to see..

Thoughts, questions, but very few pointers to the right answers.

Maybe the first step could be to look beyond our narrow vision - of oneself, one's immediate family and friends. Can we even think of considering the entire community as our family - without the confines of religion/ caste/ language for sure - since thats the only extended family we ever encounter.

Will we ever be different?

Will our nation change because of our efforts? It surely deserves better; but are we equipped to be the change that we wish it to be...

I don't really know. Or maybe I don't want to answer since I (and you) might not like the answer.

Blogging without inhibition

Though really, what is a blog but ramblings of one's thoughts, not necessarily structured / organised, but channelised nevertheless into a medium that allows anyone and everyone to look deep into your mind, and comment - irrespective of whether one understands the other's view points or not?

But, is that not true for real world life itself.. Do people not, even without considering the sensitivities of the other person, comment to one's face or behind one's back of things, thoughts and opinions that would really hurt the other?

The only super advantage of a blog - the complete mask of anonymity or even a different identity itself. Well, I for one, at this point of time atleast, am keen to make good use of this advantage!

Bye for now.