Saturday, April 23, 2011

Of Callie :(

Callie :( I love you Callie..Please please don't.. When Meredith says, yesterday I was at Callie's baby shower and was jealous of her..she got pregnant without any effort.. and I am doing all sorts of thing to get pregnant and today she has to go through this..Why is it that it happens like this? Is there an explanation for all this :(
Season 7 Episode 17 :(
And what an Episode 18!!

Will write more later :(

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Of English, Emotions and Criticism...

Hmmm.. So I had my half yearly appraisal discussion this week.. It was on the expected lines.. Nothing great  to talk about..some things really screwed up but I knew it before hand what it is going to be like after all I know what kind of work I do :(
Anyways, during the discussion I received criticism in the form of a compliment..Seriously some people have exceptional people management skills on how to impart criticism to someone without antagonizing the one who is being critically evaluated..
Now, I am in a job that requires preparing reports with formal business language. But since we have all grown up and taught from school to be as elaborate as possible, unlearning that can be quite a difficult task (as in we have to avoid the use of 'have' as much as possible while writing). So, my manager told me, "You have a very literature style of writing probably because you are from an academic background or perhaps you were very good at English in school. But you need to change that." I felt so happy at least some praise during the not-so-good-discussion. And not because I am good at English (still make so many mistakes) but because I love the language English. My favorite subjects in school were English, Chemistry and Social Science! 
So, when I reached home I went back to my old answer sheets (have all from Class 9 -12). So I checked my pre-board Class 12 English paper and read through the paper. That reminded me of one of my favorite chapters in Class 12 English  book Machines and Emotions by Betrand Russell. Almost all my friends hated that chapter but I totally loved it, although certain points he made I clearly did not agree with but it was a beautiful essay that talked about how the mundane modem life like a machine is leading to a lack of spontaneity in our lives, leading to bottled up emotions, in which the thought of war appears to be an outlet for our emotions. And seeing the events of the past few years/days, especially after 26/11 in which there was talk of carpet bombing Pakistan, and now the Anna Hazare movement in which we want everything to be done immediately as Barkha Dutt writes "Maggi noodles type of justice", I believe in some of his points. Although some say that machines like playing consoles provide us an outlet for our violent side, I somehow have to agree with what Russell says that machines do starve our emotions. And when he talks about the role of press, it is as if almost his prophecy is coming true for India. The media wants us to have a war with Pakistan without understanding the huge consequences of a war! He says

The impulse to war has always existed since men took to living in societies, but it did not, in the past, have the same intensity or virulence as it has in our day. The greater ferocity of modern war is attributable to machines, which operate in three different ways. First, they make it possible to have larger armies. Secondly, they facilitate a cheap press, which flourishes by appealing to men’s baser passions. Thirdly, and this is the point that concerns us, they starve the anarchic, spontaneous side of human nature, which works underground, producing an obscure discontent, to which the thought of war appeals as affording possible relief.

Another interesting/controversial point that Russell makes is that instead of being rich, it is perhaps the desire to be respected that makes the people want to become rich. He says

In every big city, whether of Europe or of America, houses in some districts are more expensive than equally good houses in other districts, merely because they are more fashionable. One of the most powerful of all our passions is the desire to be admired and respected. As things stand, admiration and respect are given to the man who seems to be rich. This is the chief reason why people wish to be rich. The actual goods purchased by their money play quite a secondary part. Take, for example, a millionaire who cannot tell one picture from another, but has acquired a gallery of old masters by the help of experts. The only pleasure he derives from his pictures is the thought that others know how much they have cost; he would derive more direct enjoyment from Christmas cards, but he would not obtain the same satisfaction for his vanity.

In case, you want to read the full essay, go back to Class 12 book :) or read it as this link.

I mean what he wrote in early 1930-40s is coming true for us!! So true!

See here the following pic from the answer I wrote in Class 12 Pre-Board Exam. And don't miss the V Good at the end. My handwriting is childish, though everyone says it is very nice :) I can write better than this now, it is funny how our handwriting changes with time, although my ma'am loved my handwriting. She even to the extent of saying that it like a string of pearls :) Love you Ma'am :)
P.S- This is not a post about praising myself. I am not the kind of person who shows off.  I know how behind I have been left, this just reminds me of the good old days :(

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Of Why I will not join Anna Hazare..

I am amazed at the hysteria created last week over Anna Hazaare! I do not doubt his good intentions but I am not in favor of the Lok Pal bill suggested by him. Agreed that the government's Lok Pal is toothless but neither is Anna's version. A flawed bill cannot replace another flawed bill. Sorry! but what he is suggesting is totally ridiculous and suggests of naivete. I am no law expert but what ever I have read about the bill shows that bill is totally undemocratic. Do you actually think creating a Lok Pal will actually remove corruption from our society? We have had Lok Ayukts for a long time but clearly they have completely failed. Just look at Karnataka! How Lok Ayukta Santosh Hegde was arm twisted by the government there forcing him to resign. Creating a Lok Pal will not anyway remove corruption from society!! And who will this Lok Pal be? In a country where the Supreme Court judges are accused of corruption how can we find this person to represent that? Moreover, concentrating power in hands of a single individual is totally against our Constitution. The same person who investigates will have the power to punish as well. Is this fair? Our constitution clearly separates power of the judiciary, legislature and the executive. How can this Lok Pal be given the role of judiciary? And they the Lok Pal could have members from Indian origin or Magsaysay award winners? Is our country that flawed that we can not find representatives from our selves? and who gives the power to these civil activists to force their law upon us? If they have so much problem with politicians, why can't the fight elections to become actual representatives? Why do we then criticize Sonia Gandhi's National Advisory Council. Giving legislative powers to NGOs who are not accountable to any body is preposterous!! Such a law requires debate an discussion and to blackmail the government to pass the law immediately is undermining the very idea of our democracy. What we need is an Accountability Commission and transparency and not a Lok Pal.  

But the thing that was most disturbing was that people took politician bashing as a fashion statement. Liking on Facebook, putting a link of him, joining the bandwagon was as some one suggested sort of Peepli Live media circus. The same people who fake their HRA slips, medical bills???  How many of the people do actually know the provisions of the what Anna is arguing for? Just that everyone is doing it, so should I is a dangerous precedent. Just look at what happened at Anupam Kher's house. India may have a flawed democracy but it ain't that flawed that out of 1.2 billion people I cannot find one honest representative. And Chetan Bhagat started a campaign called as Mera Neta Chor Hai..sorry Mr. Bhagat, if your Neta is flawed then stop electing him and if you say there is no alternative then why do ask Maoists and Hurriyat to join our electoral process..Let them continue what they are asking..I am putting some paragraphs of what I have gathered on against the bill below.. And does any one remember that Irom Sharmila has been on hunger strike for the last 10 years!! Tragic..

This is what Tavleen Singh wrote

If they had bothered to read the draft that Hazare’s Leftist advisors have drawn up, they would have noticed that its worst flaw is that it is anti-democratic in the most frightening way. It is not an ombudsman that it seeks to create but a despot with the powers to investigate, judge and punish anyone he suspects of corrupt practices. So if some NGO type of Leftist persuasion were to decide that his local MP was spending his constituency allowance on a project that did not benefit ‘the masses’, he (or she) could complain to his local Lokayukta and organise a raid on the MP’s property and order his arrest if he decides that public funds are being misused. It is not just officials but private citizens who will be under the Lokpal’s purview.
This is the way of totalitarian countries like China. It is not India’s way but you would not know it if you had been watching our news channels last week. One famous TV anchor became a sort of Lokpal himself by haranguing a Congress Party spokesman on behalf of ‘the people of India.’ 

Nitin Pai

How can we have Reforms 2.0 if “those politicians” are unwilling to implement them? The answer is simple: by voting. Economic reforms are not on anyone’s political agenda because those who are most likely to benefit from them do not vote, and do not vote strategically. At this point, it is usual to hear loud protests about how voting doesn’t work, most often by those who do not vote. This flies in the face of empirical evidence—when hundreds of millions of people turn up to vote. If it were not working for them, why would they be voting? They might not be demanding Reform 2.0, but something else, and are getting what they want. Instead of ephemeral displays of outrage—what happened to those post 26/11 candle-light vigils?—it is engagement in the electoral process that is necessary. There are some innovative ideas—like that of voters associations—that can be attempted.

Business Standard

It is tragic that an assortment of non-accountable activists, publicity-seeking busybodies and an assortment of do-gooders have all managed to push the gentle Mr Hazare into going on a fast unto death. No government in a democracy can approve of such blackmail. Merely because Mahatma Gandhi used a fast unto death as a means of exerting pressure on an alien, colonial government does not mean that in a democracy such tactics can be tolerated, much less eulogised. The situation in which the government finds itself is partly of the ruling party’s own making. By elevating the status of non-government organisations (NGOs) that are not accountable to anyone, and by not activating its own cadres on development and other issues of public concern, the Congress party has given a larger-than-life role to NGO leaders. Nothing should be done, even in the name of fighting corruption, that can weaken the Indian state and the office of the head of government, who is the embodiment of national sovereignty and answerable only to Parliament. If necessary, Mr Hazare should be force-fed and hospitalised, but not allowed to browbeat an elected government of the people.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

02 April, 2011 - A Part of History

02 April, 2011.. India wins the World Cup!! In case, you are living on some other planet, you would have known by now that India has won the Cricket World Cup 2011!! The first host country to win the Cup at its home soil.

Thank you Indian cricket team for what you have given us. Nothing can ever match the sense of jubilation that you have provided us. In a country scarred  by the plethora of scams that keep cropping up every third day, that has led to question the very foundations of our idea of India, you have provided us a new hope.. a new dawn that yes we can..and yes we did! You have instilled in us the feeling once again that there is no substitute for hard work..that dreams come true..The final six you hit, Sir MS Dhoni, the hopes of 1.2 billion Indians rose with that six hoping that all their prayers will be answered..and it did.. God does exist and probably that is why he answered our prayers..Thank you for making us a part of history..Cricket is perhaps the only unifying factor in a country as diverse as India..we all are always looking for heroes so that they can rescue us when we are down..Thank you for being our heroes..Look at fate's supreme irony. The so-called paper tigers who threw out innocent Biharis in the name of pride couldn't have been more shamed..As one message said,  a captain born in Jharkhand lifting the cup in the very city whose thugs threw them out. And the entire team dedicating the cup for a Maharashtrian.. It is a tight slap on those who try to divide us..Thank you for everything..the calendar years of 1983 and 2011 are same.. seems God had already plans for us.. It rained in Delhi last night when you won, an ominous sign that perhaps Gods are crying with us as well..Will love you always! ! खुद ही को कर बुलंद इतना के खुदा बन्दे से खुद पूछे तेरी रजा क्या है ...

I never cry after these matches but yesterday was different. And I guess there was no dry eye yesterday..Especially after Yuvraj, Dhoni, Harbhajan and Sachin crying like anything, the whole country cried with them. I don't know but there is something terribly comforting on seeing grown men cry. Crying is one emotion that humanizes us all and to see such testosterone-loaded men in tears, gives a feeling of catharsis instead of weakness..

And Sachin.. there couldn't have been a perfect swan song than this for him..Virat Kohli excellently summed it up when he said "Sachin has been carrying the country's burden for the last 21 years, the least we could was to carry him on our shoulders". Sachin, an epitome of grace, dignity and human spirit, this world cup is for you.. Thank you for everything..You will always always be there in our hearts as someone who taught us how to live our lives..people say you are the world's greatest batsman but Sachin, in addition to all that, you are the world's best human being..We have learnt human principles from you..from strength, hard work, conduct, craft, ability, sportsmanship to taught us all.. you taught us that dreams do come true.. you are our teacher, our idol, an ideal...Thank you!

And Gary Kirsten..a special thanks to you as well for being the silent understated worker who crafted this for us, continuously working from behind the scenes..

To sum it all, there is a game that says to write the words you love..and yesterday and forever, for all of us it will be INDIA...

P.S. If you find any more crying photos, please send me