Monday, September 11, 2006

Gandhi - Relevant or Dinosaur

Saw Lage Raho Munnabhai the other day and entertainment apart, the movie raises pertinent question - Gandhi, the Mahatma (by the way) is he relevant today or is he a dinosaur? And as an ironic co-incidence I was reading an article- the New Gandhi; in Outlook (Issue dated Sept 11 2006) where the youth (I don't mean pumped up teens) of today is re-discovering Gandhi and I mean re-discovering. The way they do it and how Munnabhai does it is very similar. No Gandhi caps, Khadis stuff (pity the cloth has now turned to be a totem pole for Corrupt politicians). Normal, average everyday person you meet on the road, the stranger for whom you don't waste a second thought are trying to find out the meaning of Gandhism or as Munnabhai says - Gandhigiri (Will be using this word; kinda like it). Using India's current core-competency - Information technology to idealise Gandhigiri, these young folks are ringing in a new revolution - a revolution against "chalta hai" attitudes, a revolution against the so-called "don't look the elder in the eye" generation. And what are the values that the movie and the article talks about. Oh! nothing vedic about it. Plain truths and simplicity, and love for your motherland is what the movie and the article talks about.

As an after thought, Raj Kumar Hirani must be credited with re-inventing the Hrishida kind of feel-good films.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Does Indians as a Nation Have an erect Spine

Post the recent Mumbai train blasts, there was this vehement argument between me and my colleagues that we don;t have a spine to defent leave alone attack and mind you I am not talking about the DEFENCE forces who are beyond reproach; but rather I am talking about the average normal Indian i.e. you and me. The talk veered to the recalled op-parakram whose objective was terrorist camps in POK (Hell! I hate that abbreviation). Please excuse the profanity. The much touted nationalistic pride of the BJP fell flat on the face after the pull back. My point was how much longer are we going to accept "this as a normal affair and that if there is no blast somewhere, then something is wrong somewhere". My collegues contend that it was a good step by not going in as world repurcurssions would have been terrible. Bullcrap (please excuse me again). And as time progresses, my respect for the Mumbaikar has only been increasing without a slight dent. For me Mumbai was always an enigma, it was a place I never wanted to be seen dead. But now, crisis after crisis, the winner is not INDIA I regret to say but Mumbai. If anybody have a spine I must say it is the Mumbaikar. Hail Mumbai! I Kneel in respect to you.

Pasted below in verbatim is a forward I got and I must say it answers the question, How could Mumbai come back to normal so soon. And I wish (I never wished this ever) that the Coward(s) who did this fail in their maksad what ever it may be and by God, I am sure they have failed.

Dear Terrorist,

Even if you are not reading this we don't care. Time and again you tried to disturb us and disrupt our life - killing innocent civilians by planting bombs in trains, buses and cars. You have tried hard to bring death and destruction, cause panic and fear and create communal disharmony but everytime you were disgustingly unsuccessful. Do you know how we pass our life in Mumbai? How much it takes for us to earn that single rupee? If you wanted to give us a shock then we are sorry to say that you failed miserably in your ulterior motives. Better look elsewere, not here.

We are not Hindus and Muslims or Gujaratis and Marathis or Punjabis and Bengaliies. Nor do we distinguish ourselves as owners or workers, govt. employees or private employees. WE ARE MUMBAIKERS (Bombay-ites, if you like). We will not allow you to disrupt our life like this. On the last few occassions when you struck (including the 7 deadly blasts in a single day killing over 250 people and injuring 500+ in 1993), we went to work next day in full strength. This time we cleared everything within a few hours and were back to normal - the vendors placing their next order, businessmen finalizing the next deals and the office workers rushing to catch the next train. (Yes the same train you targetted)

Fathom this: Within 3 hours of the blasts, long queues of blood donating volunteers were seen outside various hospital, where most of the injured were admitted. By 12 midnight, the hospital had to issue a notification that blood banks were full and they didn't require any more blood. The next day, attendance at schools and office was close to 100%, trains & buses were packed to the brim, the crowds were back.

The city has simply dusted itself off and moved one - perhaps with greater vigour.

We are Mumbaikers and we live like brothers in times like this. So, do not dare to threaten us with your crackers. The spirit of Mumbai is very strong and can not be harmed.

Please forward this to others. U never know, by chance it may come to hands of a terrorist in UK, Israel, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan, US or Iraq and he can then read this message which is specially meant for him!!!


With Love,

From the people of Mumbai (

Leave you with a song from Border; ;Yeh Mera Watan, Yeh Mera watan

Monday, July 03, 2006

This one is on Music and my attachment to it.

The other day went to PlanetM to add to my collection of Violin performances and this time opted for Vanessa Mae and wasn't I pleased to see a set of 3 CDs to take home. On an impulse made a decision to grab them and boy did they make a dent in my pocket you bet. Well the purchase was worthwhile. But imagine my shock when my MP3 player wouldn't play them. Looked up CD and found a nice picture of Copyright Control, which effectively means that I have to buy a player which can read those cds. And the bull crap (please excuse the profanity) the CD mentions is to protect the artists interests by not pirating or copying or duplicating the CD. Well I don't intend and have not done it before. but if protecting the interest of the artist is to deny the pleasure to the audience, then I know not whose interest is protected here. Do you? Had to borrow a compatible player from my friend (God bless him); may all the unfortunate ones (of copyright-control i.e.) have such friends nearby, to listen to them, 4 hours of ecstatic music with Fraulien Vanessa Mae playing the Fiddle/Violin. God bless her and her music. I must say the music is divine. And this teaches me a thing or two about buying music CDs anywhere. First ask the shop assistants about the Copyright-control part and if they are not in the know, check the logos and nothing is there and you are in doubt-DUCK. Don't buy or if you must first find a friend who has a CD player that can play it.
While at PlanetM, somebody told me that Kishori Amonkar's albums are available there and that hit the lid. I was not a big fan of Classical music (Carnatic, Hindustani or Western). I was only interested in filmi music (minus the ghazals - boy I hate those things except for a very few ones). One of my good friends and well wishers whom I call Papa bear/My Moses (Sorry papa bear had to say it) saw this trend and took me home where he gave me a cup of divine coffee and Yanni playing in the background. That started the trend. He introduced me to the track of Prince of Thieves; since then I became interested in instrumental. Showed my collection to another friend of mine(don't worry I don't have many) who introduced me to carnatic instrumental and then Mile Sur mera tumhara happened on DD - remember that track where all the known musicians happen to be giving a small treat to the viewers; well that happened and I hit the post and so started my small collection; a track here, a track there and so on. When I attended the Gandharv Mahotsav (I am stationed in Pune) last year, I was ready to forgive Pune for all its lapses and cold and distant attitude. A city which still hosts the vestiges (I must say vestiges) of Indian music deserves respect. And didn't someone say music is the language of the divine, well I agree with them. The artists send you to raptures and I wish them well. Can somebody bless one who is already blessed with musical talent.
Music lovers out there -> suggest you also lookup Bond (1 Cello, 2 viola and a violin)
Golden Krithis - Colors (Jugalbandi between Shri. Zakir Hussain and Shri Kunnakudi vaidyanathan). Forgive my lapse of not putting in their "DESGINATIONS", but I believe that they have trancended such requirements.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Brahmanism and anti-Brahmanism, Castes and reservations

I was forwarded this link
from Rediff and I am not sure of the intent and nature of the author(I am sorry sir, I don't know you and as such cannot take articles at face value), though I am fully in agreement with his conclusion, and I would put it up as "For India that is Bharat" to be great, Indians have to be Indians first and their caste members next, politicians be damned. Those persecuted have now turned persecutors so we are ending the full cycle. Whether history was recycled and reproduced differently, or is it being marginalised now is a different argument altoghether. I am reminded an incident (Narrated to me, I don't know if it is true, but the words keep ringing in my ears) during the Razakars terror regime just before Liberation of Hyderabad - Operation Polo; Shoebulla Khan, editor of the Imroze who was assassinated - on asked why does he oppose the struggle for an independent nation for muslims, even though he is a muslim, Shoebulla khan replied "Qubul Watan, Mazhab, Iman". So when will we be Indians, Bharatiya, Hindustani first and then (If it is needed by the common man - not as told by the godless politicians), Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Brahmins, Shudras, Vaishyas etc. I shed tears not knowing the answer and not knowing what to do. By the way I am a Brahmin and was not born with a silver spoon and like every average mortal (Mortal as in forgotten very soon after death) Indian; I had to struggle during my years of education. I sold cigarettes for a living to pay through college and also worked as a bartender. The two means of living together paid more than my first proper salary as an IT professional. My point is that with an English and I mean English education, many of the city bred have turned true burra Sahibs (If you think you are not, then you are not, don't blast me). Or is it that Dr. Arjun Singh is feeling ennui, that he has to rake up the Country to a frenzy?? Beats me anyway.

I am a member of a group Inter-culturalinsghts on Yahoo and doing the rounds was a link

Go through it if you must. My point is that there are many in the group who are Indians and a Lady, I must say Lady for her fair representaion; well a Lady who is not an Indian has to take up cudgels on behalf of the aggrieved party i.e. Indians. It was dismissed as a Joke outright and I agree with the lady who asked the group to explain "Sense of Humour" when she mentioned that the movie is a cheap(Can you hear the negativity with the word) production. Right on, my question is "What is Sense of humour"? Keep smiling when young people are sacrificing their youth to earn money to keep up a good life style and they are lampooned in the media. Keep smiling and laughing because their social life is all screwed up and many of them don't keep a normal life (Bloody depressing Night shifts). Keep smiling and laugh at yourself when your esteem is bruised. All I can ask is to ask yourself - what will you laugh at and what will you not.

So long fellow countrymen and my brethren of the world.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The lost species of Freedom Fighters

Have our generation of Indians lost contact with those involved in the Freedom Struggle. Barring a few who made up the coterie of decision makers we don't know any body else. Tis makes it look as if a handful of people took on the British, drove them out gracefully and then declared we are free, set up the constituent assembly, adopt the constitution (Oh! such marvellous words - "we give unto ourselves this constitution...") and whoosh we are independent nation. What about the next gen the Y-gen or Genext or whatever mishmash name you give them. Don't we owe more than a token remembrance to the freedom fighters. I was forwarded a link and boy am I glad. You bet. that link was more to me than a link which points out Panditji' books or something else. It started a thought - who are our freedom fighters??? Who really are they? Where are they? or as Guru Dutt would say "Jinhe Naaz hai Hind, par who kahan hai, Kahan Hai, Kahan hai?????

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Debt Trap of Microfinancing Institutions in Andhra

Read this article in the Hindu and culled out the webpage. It makes me shudder after reading it. Where is the accountability, interest rates going up to 50% by these so called NGOs are really very usuric in nature. Since when have MFIs become shylocks.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Gargantuan Sculptures

Came across this great link via
The artist has not had any formal trainging but the details captured are amazing.

Where was I Hiding

The last time I blogged was when I created my own. After that did not feel like writing anything. Life was just a blur. Left Banglore for good. Gawd the place makes you feel claustro. Anyway shifted to Pune - a hot day and cool night place in the western ghats of India. Life is now sedate, work is exciting and boring at the same time(sic.) My new bundle of Joy my second nephew is a darling, everyday morning he gives me a beaming smile when I am going of to work and the day just seems to be a beautiful one and problems keep solving themselves.