Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolutions ... :)

The last post of the year on the blog ... Came across a very impressive phrase in a book - "There is only one purpose behind speech or writing - to communicate to others something one feels strongly". This is my space to write what I feel strongly about and 2009 will be about that :)

So, to start off 2009 in the most cliche way possible, here I shoot off some of my resolutions which I feel would actually be followed if someone else knew about them...

1. Value Health : Get in the best shape possible, physically and habitually
2. Value Friends: Keep in touch with old ones and not freak out the new ones ;)
3. Value wealth : Start keeping track of where the moolah goes, and be thankful about where it comes from
4. Value education: Where there's an asset, there's a liability - Gotta stay on the right (left) side of life's balance sheet!
5. Value love : They say it's the most beautiful of all feelings, I've been on that verge many a times - it's time to give back as much as I have received

If anyone out there thinks I'm about to break any of these, feel free to punch / bitchslap me (Not too badly though, remember resolution #1 :P)

Rahul aka Parcel

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wi-fi in Shatabdi :)

Am sitting in the train on my way to Mumbai from Ahmedabad ... And to my pleasant surprise there's a 54 Mbps wireless network available !!!

Damn, never knew this or else all my journeys would have been in Shatabdis all the way !!! When did India get this ahead ?

And to top it off, its my bday today ... exams ended ... and am on my way home - maybe one is meant to be happy on a birthday :)

Signing off...

Be back soon with some new year resolutions


Monday, December 22, 2008

New day, new crib

The weather in Ahmedabad is to die for ... but exams are approaching, and I have no good company to walk around in this weather... A gujarati friend told me they term such a climate "Gulabi Thandi" - just the right amount of warmth and cold ~~

I so want to write, but thoughts are plentiful and need some structure, so they wait for some other fair day

Also, happy that i'm going home soon - 30th Dec, my bday too :)

Still pondering if new year's eve deserves a grand bash with frenz and intoxication or a sober entertaining affair with family at home ... seems like a nobrainer tho !!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kyunki Tom bhi kabhi Jerry tha

Just remembered a funny incident in class from a few days back

A very tired and angry father goes home to find his 9 year old daughter watching Kyunki Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi" late in the night. Furious, he scolds her :-

Father: What is this nonsense, why don't you watch Tom and Jerry like we used to in our childhood !!!

Daughter: Dad, are you joking - this is thousand times more entertaining and unpredictable... :)

To the uninitiated "Kyunki saas... thi" is a ridiculously popular soap which has seen common life defy all laws of nature like spontaneous and mass memory loss, rebirth, immortal humans, women that don't age and kids that grow 10 years in a day ... And these are all just the first season, now why would anyone not find this entertaining :P

Here's a youtube video on the Indian version of tom and jerry - pretty cute :)

Of monkeys and elephants

Some interesting behavioral lessons from the animal kingdom:

Have you often wondered how a mighty being such as an elephant can be bondaged by a small meta chain nailed to the ground? I never did, but this is the question a friend asked me... The answer lies in the self-image of the elephant. A baby elephant is often cuffed in the same way, and the mere clinks of a hammer hitting a nail and the subsequent failed efforts to break the cuffs dampen the poor kid's morale making the "chain and nail" combo undefeatable in his/her mind. And not surprisingly this very self-doubt continues all throughout life - if only it can find the courage to attempt a tug at the chain with its adult might, it could be free of all bondage - A lesson which maybe humans can use too ... I sure can !

Another interesting fact - How are monkeys trapped? wouldn't it be impossible to catch those naughty miscreants? From what I've been told, all u need is a bird cage and some fruits - put the fruits in the cage and lock it - make sure that the gap between the cage bars is very narrow. If there is a monkey around, he'll use his smarts to squeeze his hand in, but then failure to bring out a fruit-filled fist will not teach the bugger a lesson. Even at the cost of his freedom, the greed of a delicious meal prevents the monkey from letting go of the fruit and keeps his hands trapped inside the cage- smart, huh ? Needless to say, another "human" learning avenue :O

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shaken ...

It must have been around 7 in the morning today when it all started. Ever since childhood I've been "nightmaring" about minuscule worries like being late to school (far too many times has this haunted me), or falling from a bridge; but the dream I saw today had me shaken the moment my eyes opened - I still am.

I saw a dream where mumbai was being targeted by Nuclear bombs - who sent these, I don't know. And it wasn't just one bomb - but strikes at 3 different places, I could feel the heat on my skin , the flames glaring in my face and it scared me bad... Writing this down brings back the images - I pray to God these images remain imaginary !

The worst part is that I am not in Mumbai, but everyone I care about is ... the thought scared me so much that I called up home on the pretext of inquiring about something as stupid as "has my phone bill arrived?" when I've been paying the same online for ages ...

It is an Indian superstition that dreams seen just before waking up tend to come true - in this case I hope it remains one and I would do anything to hope it stays just a superstition... But I feel helpless and powerless, what use has a so called elite engineering and an elite management education for me if it cannot put my mind at peace !

Shaken, yet to be stirred...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Missed writing ... :(

But this kept me busy for the last few days : ... spot me if u can ;)

If only the light guy had actually used some common sense, it would have been so much better :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The apathy of Indian Media

When the world tuned in to news channels to get news about their friends/families in Mumbai; many of them were exposed to this coverage on the "Effect of terrorism on the Pigeons from the Taj hotel", courtesy INDIA TV. The sentiment, although so noble has been degraded by such a pathetic commentary which winds on and on about how sad the pigeons look and how they are eager to go back to the luxury of the Taj... Sad sad ugly face of the media, and here's a clip to make you shout out WTF as loud as I did ;)

Also to add to this media debauchery saga, here's a photo from some years back, where another news channel took the term "celebrity care" to new heights altogether !

Amitabh bacchan ko thand lagi NDTV India news
Hail the Indian media !!! ... and my Mom used to complain I watched too many 'Western' channels :P

Hindu terrorists ?

This is an article a friend forwarded me ... am putting it here as a extreme view, which I might like to read somewhere in the future ....

"When the Mahatma's cowards erupt in fury, it hurts. It isn't terror - FRANCOIS GAUTIER

Is there such a thing as 'Hindu terrorism', as the arrest of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur for the recent Malegaon blasts may tend to prove?
Well, I guess I was asked to write this column because I am one of that rare breed of foreign correspondents-a lover of Hindus! A born
Frenchman, Catholic-educated and non-Hindu, I do hope I'll be given some credit for my opinions, which are not the product of my parents' ideas, my education or my atavism, but garnered from 25 years of reporting in South Asia (for Le Journal de Geneve and Le Figaro).

In the early 1980s, when I started freelancing in south India , doing photo features on kalaripayattu, the Ayyappa festival, or the Ayyanars, I slowly realised that the genius of this country lies in its Hindu ethos, in the true spirituality behind Hinduism. The average Hindu you meet in a million villages possesses this simple, innate spirituality and accepts your diversity, whether you are Christian or Muslim, Jain or Arab, French or Chinese. It is this Hinduness that makes the Indian Christian different from, say, a French Christian, or the Indian Muslim unlike a Saudi Muslim. I also learnt that Hindus not only believed that the divine could manifest itself at different times, under different names, using different scriptures (not to mention the wonderful avatar concept, the perfect answer to 21st century religious strife) but that they had also given refuge to persecuted minorities from across the world-Syrian Christians, Parsis, Jews, Armenians, and today, Tibetans. In 3,500 years of existence, Hindus have never militarily invaded another country, never tried to impose their religion on others by force or induced conversions.

You cannot find anybody less fundamentalist than a Hindu in the world and it saddens me when I see the Indian and western press equating terrorist groups like SIMI, which blow up innocent civilians, with ordinary, angry Hindus who burn churches without killing anybody. We know also that most of these communal incidents often involve persons from the same groups-often Dalits and tribals-some of who have converted to Christianity and others not.

However reprehensible the destruction of Babri Masjid, no Muslim was killed in the process; compare this to the 'vengeance' bombings of 1993 in Bombay , which wiped out hundreds of innocents, mostly Hindus. Yet the Babri Masjid destruction is often described by journalists as the more horrible act of the two. We also remember how Sharad Pawar, when he was chief minister of Maharashtra in 1993, lied about a bomb that was supposed to have gone off in a Muslim locality of Bombay .

I have never been politically correct, but have always written what I have discovered while reporting. Let me then be straightforward about this so-called Hindu terror. Hindus, since the first Arab invasions, have been at the receiving end of terrorism, whether it was by Timur, who killed 100,000 Hindus in a single day in 1399, or by the Portuguese Inquisition which crucified Brahmins in Goa . Today, Hindus are still being targeted: there were one million Hindus in the Kashmir valley in 1900; only a few hundred remain, the rest having fled in terror. Blasts after blasts have killed hundreds of innocent Hindus all over India in the last four years. Hindus, the overwhelming majority community of this country, are being made fun of, are despised, are deprived of the most basic facilities for one of their most sacred pilgrimages in Amarnath while their government heavily sponsors the Haj. They see their brothers and sisters converted to Christianity through inducements and financial traps, see a harmless 84-year-old swami and a sadhvi brutally murdered. Their gods are blasphemed.

So sometimes, enough is enough.At some point, after years or even centuries of submitting like sheep to slaughter, Hindus-whom the Mahatma once gently more called cowards-erupt in uncontrolled fury. And it hurts badly. It happened in Gujarat . It happened in Jammu , then in Kandhamal, Mangalore, and Malegaon . It may happen again elsewhere. What should be understood is that this is a spontaneous revolution on the ground, by ordinary Hindus, without any planning from the political leadership. Therefore, the BJP, instead of acting embarrassed, should not disown those who choose other means to let their anguished voices be heard.

There are about a billion Hindus, one in every six persons on this planet. They form one of the most successful, law-abiding and integrated communities in the world today. Can you call them terrorists? "

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

To vote or not to vote...

Is the question every vela 20 something in the country faces. If you don't trust your local representative (I know ... how rare it would be to find such a scenario :P), you can choose to utilize the 49-O section of the election manual - Manual of Election Law, Conduct of Election Rules, framed in 1961. The link can be found here... (Page 86 of the document); for the lazy rats like me, here's a small REM on the same..

As per the rules, in section " 49-O" a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his/her identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he/she doesn't want to vote anyone! Yes such a feature is available, but obviously past + present leaders have never disclosed it.

Happy voting / unvoting ;)

Incase you don't have a voters' card yet, visit the website Jaagore to know how to cut all the bureaucratic crap and get one.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Pakistani Media

I've always been a strong promoter of empathy towards my fellowmen from the neighbouring country of Pakistan. It is however the Media reactions from across the border such as the one below which are making it increasingly difficult for me to maintain a level head.

On a lighter note, I am so proud of the Indian newsreaders after a look at the stammering plastic doll in the clip above. Equally envious about the presence of such a young female politician, something that I'd like to see in India soon.