Thursday, July 31, 2003

Its all about money, honey?

That was borrowed from the tagline of, i dont see it much these days, wonder if they still use it...but that also is what i am going to write on today...i am reading 'india unbound' by gurcharan das(see my medialist), almost finished it...and i am able to relate yesterday's post to some of the stuff in the, will continue on the path....but i believe, i will be backtracking by the time i finish the entire's generation, as compared to the ones earlier, gets a lot of money related happiness, mostly because of rising consumerism, which has almost enveloped the more developed countries and is rapidly aadvancing in india...we like to have things literally at our fingertips, and the mouse is a powerful tool.. we order books, gifts and many other things under the sun online, it definitely is convenient....the mobile is also a powerful tool, most of the restaurants here, have introduced home delivery, again the fingertips can get the job done....result of all this is a decrease in the kind of social interaction we grew up with...and whether it is online purchases or home delivery, there is definitely an extra price we pay for it......the BPOs (call centers, in regular parlance) that are spreading like a virus, not necessarily with the same dire consequences, hehe, they are either making calls or receiving calls,giving customers from far flung corners of the globe, info about a variety of products and we have convenience, better economies coz these call center employees make good money, so more disposable income....but are we losing ourselves in the turn of the merry go round, why do we have waves of nostalgia? why do we turn to our blogs as outlets? a query, can our generation produce a bhagat singh or an aung san suu kyi, who would endure purely for what they believe in .....we have, but in a different mould, more on that tomorrow.... leaving you with
manuscrypts trivia
'If somebody gives you a free ticket for a tour, you cannot fight with the person because of the troubles you meet while on the journey.'....leena chandavarkar, on life

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Is this evolution?

i read a post in someone's blog yesterday, i think it was wonderbug (new entrant in bloggers park), old post but good food for thought, the subject was "Has our self-created society and its by-products ruined our personal peace and happiness?"...this is my version of the same argument.... to start with, the concept of society, as we see it, is extremely dynamic....every time we say 'times have changed', society is implicitly the same time personal peace and happiness is a subjective issue and itself changes with example materialistically, i was happy with cassettes 5 years back, now i hunt for makes me terms of other happiness, 5 years back, i could stare at stars and feel peace, now the scene would also include my wife..hehe...change again....
i will again choose social interaction as an arbitrary parameter to judge the changes in society, judge is not the appropriate word, coz the judgement is too subjective to be of any use....mobiles, the internet etc has reduced interaction as we used to know it, but it has also brought in chat and blog communities, which transcend geographical barriers, good, you say?, but it also has brought down long chats with siblings, neighbourhood friends etc... isnt that bad?..a balance, but how many of us are able to achieve it, so, is it all that good, or all that bad??joint families are almost extinct, nuclear families are in...extended families are also a minor statistic...i can go to all the entertainment spots with just my wife for company , happy ? yes....but the sense of security and the good feeling arising out of the dependancies and mutual harmony and sometimes lil disharmonies in a joint family is thrown out of the window? a balance again, sorry boss, in this case it is almost impossible....
yes, it is not possible to get everything in life, but it is also not possible to not think about opportunity costs and 'what might have beens'...a kid born today will not miss the joy of being cuddled and pampered by grandparents, because he might not experience it at all, the grandparents will not miss pizza coz they have not experienced it at all....i will miss both :-) .....but thats not something exclusive to me or my generation...lucky kids?? because they can buy most of the stuff that gives them happiness..or lucky grandparents ?? coz they are happy with the simple pleasures in life.....whos to decide??thats life, the most undefinable, unpredictable, unfathomable thing i have come across......almost done, but not before
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got it from one of my egroups...F-aiku: A Japanese PoemI tried my hand at poetry the other day. It's called "Happiness". And it goes like this…Free beer,Naked women,Paid vacation,Free beer,Happiness.Some of my poet friends suggested I turn it into haiku. A haiku, basically, is a Japanese poem that contains 17 syllables. Mine had 16. And no matter how hard I tried, I still couldn't make it a haiku. So now it reads like this…Free beer,Naked women,Paid vacation,Free beer,Happiness.Fuck haiku.:o)-

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

A whole lot of crap

i am not flattered by the attention i seem to be getting from miscellaneous poeple on the net, who send me mails everyday, telling me to-take pills, so i can reduce 40 kilos in 5 days-again take pills, so i can increase the size of my u-know-what-gamble in online casinos-date girls(thankfully no pills for that, guess they thought my natural charm would work)-eat viagra in wholesale measuresamong a whole lot of other things.. i was generally getting irritated because they keep coming even when i have it blocked under spam, so i was generally reading about this menace, when i came across this article, wish someone did it here....i have a feeling da vinci is rolling around in his grave, you can know why if you click here.
now, a general question as food for thought, are you comfortable with the pace at which your general existence goes, would you like it slower or faster...i just want to know whether i am a majority or minority statistic....generally i fit into the former, coz whether i am checking out mutual funds or online railway reservations, i usually find a rediff article on it, in 3-4 days....kinda deflating sometimes, coz i get into it , thinking i am part of a select few...hehe.. reminds me of a phrase, "you are unique, just like everyone else"will leave you with
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"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic."~ Anonymous

Monday, July 28, 2003

Bollywood and the big picture

thats the basic premise i am going to post on today, coz i caught up with a lil of my backlog in that area, saw khwaish and will bore you with mini reviews....khwaish is a very down to earth movie, totally unpretentious, and if it had the right hero and good promos, instead of harping on the smooches (which werent all that good), it might just have clicked... the hero dude is way too wooden to do any good, he should audition for a terminator role (he's more deadpan that arnie), it took till the last scene to squeeze out the actor in him...the movie touched me coz of the simplicity...and i have always been a sucker for pathos...qayamat, all u have to do to make this movie work is replace arbaaz, sanjay kapoor and that chunkey pandey..(u would expect some kind of improvement when the guy has been out for years, and become a star in bangladesh, but some things never change).. oh, what the hell, qayamat is basically 'the rock' , the cage and connery hollywood seems ram gopal varma is doing a sequel of darna mana hai, to be titled darna zaroori hai...i think i can see the version 1 by next week.the national awards were announced, and ajay devgan is best actor for 'the legend of bhagat singh'...u have to see it to believe it, what a performance, he really made you feel for bhagat singh and his ideologies..'mr and mrs iyer' got 4 awards, again well deserved, another simple movie, which could have been made complicated, but thankfully was not.....hey, any budding writers out there, do check this out.
and yes michelle, the big picture, before that, i want to sidetrack, otherwise i'll forget about it, some hindus believe that you acquire the karma of the animal you eat, so its best to be regards the iranian twins, for now i can only quote malcolm muggeridge(journalist/tv host/writer)' " in all the larger shaping of life, there is a plan already, into which one has no choice but to fit".....isnt death itself a part of the big picture? arent there a whole lot of people who die before 28? and maybe, just maybe, if thay had waited for some more time, we might have had a different ending??and a t-shirt for our kinda people, bloggers, here..hmm, i just might get a few "is that the first time you are seeing it" responses for that, wont i??......relax, the ranting stops with
manuscrypts trivia
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls "a butterfly" - Richard Bach

Friday, July 25, 2003

So, whats the point?

that was inspired by a calvin and hobbes cartoon, if you thought indians were fatalistic, this is one guy who will top us too, but he's too cool...the first shot is him raising his hand in class, he then asks the teacher,"since we are all going to die one day, is it absolutely necessary to understand the concept of integers?" the next shot is him muttering, "nobody understands us 'big picture' people".........its 'humour' + 'food for thought" kind of combination.

theres a nice site on reverse speech, for those of you who are into music, and who have good speakers connected to your comp, definitely check out this site....a girl in china is going to undergo surgery for six months to become a perfect beauty...the philosophy is very simple, she says she is all for inner beauty, but if she can have external beauty to go along with it, wouldnt that be great!!another review on rediff of my most awaited movie - Darna mana hai....hope i can catch it this weekend....the other good article on rediff was about shakespeare's hand, will give you the gist of it below, "Well, this handshake goes all the way back to Shakespeare, the first poet," he said. "You see, just as you're shaking my hand, I shook Eliot's hand, he shook Yeats' hand, Yeats shook Tennyson's hand, Tennyson shook Keats' hand" and so it went, all the way back to Shakespeare"... dom moraes to jeet thayil

and yes, i have to do this... in case you are wondering why there are so many links back to rediff, i am ass-kissing for putting me on the front page, hehe, just kidding....and now, since everyone's bored of tongue twisters, (its longish, but good) chew this instead in

manuscrypts trivia

Faith for Dummies

"Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ."The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand."You're a Christian, aren't you, son?""Yes sir," the student says."So you believe in God?""Absolutely.""Is God good?""Sure! God's good.""Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?""Yes.""Are you good or evil?""The Bible says I'm evil."The professor grins knowingly. "Aha! The Bible!"He considers for a moment 'Here's one for you.Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help them? Would you try?""Yes sir, I would.""So you're good...!""I wouldn't say that.""But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't."The student does not answer, so the professor continues. "He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?"The student remains silent."No, you can't, can you?" the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give thestudent time to relax. "Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?""Er... Yes," the student says."Is Satan good?"The student doesn't hesitate on this one. "No.""Then where does Satan come from?"The student falters. "From... God...""That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?""Yes, sir.""Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?""Yes.""So who created evil?"Again, the student has no answer."Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness. All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?"The student squirms on his feet. "Yes.""So who created them?"The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question,"Who created them? "There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized."Tell me," he continues. "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?"The student's voice betrays him and cracks."Yes, professor. I do."The old man stops pacing. "Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?""No sir. I've never seen"Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?""No, sir. I have not.""Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter."No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.""Yet you still believe in him?""Yes.""According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol,science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?""Nothing," the student replies. "I only have my faith.""Yes, faith," the professor repeats. "And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith."The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his own."Professor, is there such thing as heat?""Yes," the professor replies. "There's heat.""And is there such a thing as cold?""Yes, son, there's cold too.""No sir, there isn't."The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain."You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'.We can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than -458 degrees.You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat.We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it."Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer."What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?""Yes," the professor replies without hesitation."What is night if it isn't darkness?""You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light... but if you have no light constantly you havenothing and it's called darkness, isn't it?That's the meaning we define the word.In reality, Darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?"The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester."So what point are you making, young man?""Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with and so your conclusion must also be flawed."The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. "Flawed? Can you explain how?""You are working on the premise of duality," the student explains."You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing theconcept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought.It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one.To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it. Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?""If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.""Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester indeed."Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?"The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided."To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean?" The student looks around the room."Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?"The class breaks out into laughter."Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain?No one appears to have done so. "So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?"Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers."I guess you'll have to take them on faith."

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Those Days

while coming to the office today, i saw a group of schoolkids, having a picnic in the park nearby, all of them looked so happy and were definitely having fun.... they r enjoying the simple pleasures in life, which i think, as they grow older , they will forget to do, like i , and i can say for a majority, like we, have forgotten...its so ironic that when we should be having the best days of our life, we dont have time for it.....and when we do have the time, we can only sit and dream about those days......when we could have done it, but, when i dont get enough sleep, i think about my childhood, when i could have slept, hell, people even asked me to go and sleep, but i didnt coz i wanted to play more, or watch i can watch tv whenever i want, but most of the time, i have only enough time to catch up on sleep....oh the irony of it.....
enough of irony, some sweet talk now, did u know that the government has set minimum limits on the amount of cocoa content in a thing for it to be marketed as chocolate.and in case u need help in your sweet talk, check out this article, you might get a helping hand.have been hearing this for quite some time now, that sanskrit is ideal for computer applications, heres another article that says so, and in case you feel like learning sanskrit, this might help.and as part of the tongue twister series, heres
manuscrypts trivia
Betty and Bob brought back blue balloons from the big bazaar. A big black bug bit a big black bear, made the big black bear bleed blood. Black bug's blood. The blue bluebird blinks. The bootblack bought the black boot back.A box of biscuits, a batch of mixed biscuits. Brad's big black bath brush broke.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Death of a Saint

There were quite a number of good articles on rediff today, so am gonna have quite a few links in my post today. will start off with the title julie andrews sang, "start from the very beginning, a very good place to start"...the story is about StJude, that was the name she was known by, on the net, from what i read, (interesting character) she was a champion of hacking, geek sex and did a lot to get women to embrace new technologies. my guess is, she started off at a time when the net was less crowded, and whatever crowd there was, were all all about her here.also read an intro of 3 dewarein, the latest from nagesh kukunoor...have enjoyed all his fare - hyderabad blues, rockford, bollywood calling.... he set out on the trend of 'croosover cinema' long long before it became fashionable and we made a moniker for it.also got a link from one of my egroups, check out this site, and wear your glasses, u will certainly need them.There was also 'will it work' article on darna mana hain, i , for one, am eagerly waiting for this one, its sure going to be different..if you havent checked out their 'virus' do so on indiafm.and will leave you now with a lil
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Starting Today, The tongue twister series
Amidst the mists and coldest frosts, With stoutest wrists and loudest boasts, He thrusts his fist against the posts And still insists he sees the ghosts.
Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Spiritual Fugitive

That is inspired by an article i read, the link for which i got from a good find i made, no, that would be credit misplaced, actually it found me... so guys, check out this blog of Deki , it makes very interesting back to the title, it refers to me at some stage of my life, actually i think, applicable even now, to some extent... the stage when i dont want to explicitly acknowledge the presence, relevance or influence of God in my life, but at the same time will not, rather, dare not denounce his existence completely.....i still experience the phase now, especially when i feel that life isnt fair..and promptly thank god, when the feeling has passed..hehe....
these phases usually also mean that i spend time staring at the sky, trying to fathom my place in the scheme of things - you know, earth out of billions of planets, india out of hundreds of countries, bangalore out of .....the purpose existence at all, and sometimes i wonder, is the purpose of life, living itself? are we trying to attribute too much to it......hmmmmm
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picked this up from the same article i mentioned earlier - " part of a fast-growing population of global souls who exist in many cultures all at once "and so fall in the cracks between them."

Monday, July 21, 2003

Home is where?

Got back this morning, from a trip to Cochin,Kerala, my home....i dont know whether it was the weather that did it, but my spirits are damp!! i dont know about others, but when i think 'hometown', the picture i get is what i saw last, and what i expect to see, i think subconsciously, is that picture plus a percentage of development added to it, i think thats where the flaw is, coz my idea of development is subjective...nyways, that got me to thinking abt the saying "home is where the heart is"... i certainly know my heart is there...., but that doesnt feel like home... yes, i am most comfortable there, but theres something missing...because home shouldnt leave you feeling melancholy.....i get reminded of the lyrics in a Lucky Ali song " raste na badle, na badla jahan, phir kyon badalte kadam hain yahan..." and for
manuscrypts of the day
Mother is the necessity of invention! - "calvin and hobbes'

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

There's no place like home

isnt that what Dorothy Gail said in the wizard of oz?? well, i am going off home for an extended weekend..this week has more weekend than weekdays :-)....the snag, as always , is that when you are going back home after a long time period, theres so much work to do and so many people to see that time flies and i wont know when sunday comes and i have to be back....but then, lemme enjoy the journey, the potholes can take a hike...hehe
dont know if the net connection at home still works, so, like jim carey says in The Truman Show, in case i dont see you, good afternoon and good night... :-), and a good weekend too..its raining , the cats and dogs kind, in Kerala, which basically means that when i go out, either i wade or the vehicle wades or both wade, the last is the worst case scenario when it gets stuck in knee to waist high water...thats when the barriers between drains and roads cease to exist, and you can see all sorts of stuff floating around you, hehe, ok, enough of gross stuff!!, but thats the way it is, and i love it anyway, coz theres no place like home...
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"You think that because you understand ONE you understand TWO, because one and one makes two. But you must understand AND."... ~ Sufi proverb

Monday, July 14, 2003

Geo Politics for Dummies

That has something to do with a conversation to come later in the post.But before that, all you guys, vote for your fave bollywood actresses here. and yes, check out this site, cant tell u what it is, its like the matrix, u have to find out for yourself, but its cool... :-)
Saw a lil girl doing mimicry on tv yesterday, she was mimicking singers, actors, actresses, politicians , all persona from my homestate, God's own country, Kerala....well, nothing great about, generally when girls imitate guys, its difficult, because theycant match the voice, but this girl was terrific because she got the mannerisms bang on....nothing great about that either, lots of girlsmight be able to do that...except that at the end of the performance we got to know that she is blind....i normally dont spare extra thoughts for people with physical disabilities, because i tend to accept them as they are, but yesterday, she made me think....and what i felt was admiration...a lot of times, i complain about the state of things, take yesterday's post for instance, but that girl has so much more to complain about - she cant watch a movie, she cant watch cricket, she cant watch a sunset, she cant see the people and things she holds dear....and yet she has found a way to keep going, and excel.. so many times in life, we give up, coz the tide is against us, without pausing to think of people who spend their entire life, having to swim against the tide.... now for the title track, its kinda long, but worth the read, i think.....
Following is a bed-time conversation between a confused kid and his father on geo-politics:
Son: Daddy, why did we have to attack Iraq?
Dad: Because they had weapons of mass destruction, son.
S: But the inspectors didn't find any weapons of mass destruction.
D: That's because the Iraqis were hiding them.
S: And that's why we invaded Iraq?
D: Yep. Invasions always work better than inspections.
S: But after we invaded them, we STILL didn't find any weapons of mass destruction, did we?D: That's because the weapons are so well hidden. Don't worry, we'll find something, probably right before the 2004 election.
S: Why did Iraq want all those weapons of mass destruction?
D: To use them in a war, silly.
S: I'm confused. If they had all those weapons that they planned to use in a war, then why didn't they use any of those weapons when we went to war with them?
D: Well, obviously they didn't want anyone to know they had those weapons, so they chose to die by the thousands rather than defend themselves.
S: That doesn't make sense Daddy. Why would they choose to die if they had all those big weapons to fight us back with?
D: It's a different culture. It's not supposed to make sense.
S: I don't know about you, but I don't think they had any of those weapons our government said they did.
D: Well, you know, it doesn't matter whether or not they had those weapons. We had another good reason to invade them anyway.
S: And what was that?
D: Even if Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was a cruel dictator, which is another good reason to invade another country.
S: Why? What does a cruel dictator do that makes it OK to invade his country?
D: Well, for one thing, he tortured his own people.
S: Kind of like what they do in China?
D: Don't go comparing China to Iraq. China is a good economic competitor, where millions of people work for slave wages in sweatshops to make U.S. corporations richer.
S: So if a country lets its people be exploited for American corporate gain, it's a good country, even if that country tortures people?
D: Right.
S: Why were people in Iraq being tortured?
D: For political crimes, mostly, like criticizing the government. People who criticized the government in Iraq were sent to prison and tortured.
S: Isn't that exactly what happens in China?
D: I told you, China is different.
S: What's the difference between China and Iraq?
D: Well, for one thing, Iraq was ruled by the Ba'ath party, while China is Communist.
S: Didn't you once tell me Communists were bad?
D: No, just Cuban Communists are bad.
S: How are the Cuban Communists bad?
D: Well, for one thing, people who criticize the government in Cuba are sent to prison and tortured.
S: Like in Iraq?
D: Exactly.
S: And like in China, too?
D: I told you, China's a good economic competitor. Cuba, on the other hand, is not.
S: How come Cuba isn't a good economic competitor?
D: Well, you see, back in the early 1960s, our government passed some laws that made it illegal for Americans to trade or do any business with Cuba until they stopped being Communists and started being capitalists like us.
S: But if we got rid of those laws, opened up trade with Cuba, and started doing business with them, wouldn't that help the Cubansbecome capitalists?
D: Don't be a smart-ass.
S: I didn't think I was being one.
D: Well, anyway, they also don't have freedom of religion in Cuba.
S: Kind of like China and the Falun Gong movement?
D: I told you, stop saying bad things about China. Anyway, Saddam Hussein came to power through a military coup, so he's not really a legitimate leader anyway.
S: What's a military coup?
D: That's when a military general takes over the government of a country by force, instead of holding free elections like we do in the United States.
S: Didn't the ruler of Pakistan come to power by a military coup?
D: You mean General Pervez Musharraf? Uh, yeah, he did, but Pakistan is our friend.
S: Why is Pakistan our friend if their leader is illegitimate?
D: I never said Pervez Musharraf was illegitimate.
S: Didn't you just say a military general who comes to power by Forcibly overthrowing the legitimate government of a nation is anillegitimate leader?
D: Only Saddam Hussein. Pervez Musharraf is our friend, because he helped us invade Afghanistan.
S: Why did we invade Afghanistan?
D: Because of what they did to us on September 11th.
S: What did Afghanistan do to us on September 11th?
D: Well, on September 11th, nineteen men, fifteen of them Saudi Arabians, hijacked four airplanes and flew three of them into buildings, killing over 3,000 Americans.
S: So how did Afghanistan figure into all that?
D: Afghanistan was where those bad men trained, under the oppressive rule of the Taliban.
S: Aren't the Taliban those bad radical Islamics who chopped off people's heads and hands?
D: Yes, that's exactly who they were. Not only did they chop off people's heads and hands, but they oppressed women, too.
S: Didn't the Bush administration give the Taliban $43 million back in May of 2001?
D: Yes, but that money was a reward because they did such a good job fighting drugs.
S: Fighting drugs?
D: Yes, the Taliban were very helpful in stopping people from growing opium poppies.
S: How did they do such a good job?
D: Simple. If people were caught growing opium poppies, the Taliban would have their hands and heads cut off.
S: So, when the Taliban cut off people's heads and hands for growing flowers, that was OK, but not if they cut people's heads andhands off for other reasons?
D: Yes. It's OK with us if radical Islamic fundamentalists cut off people's hands for growing flowers, but it's cruel if they cut offpeople's hands for stealing bread.
S: Don't they also cut off people's hands and heads in Saudi Arabia?
D: That's different. Afghanistan was ruled by a tyrannical patriarchy that oppressed women and forced them to wear burqas wheneverthey were in public, with death by stoning as the penalty for women who did not comply.
S: Don't Saudi women have to wear burqas in public, too?
D: No, Saudi women merely wear a traditional Islamic body covering.
S: What's the difference?
D: The traditional Islamic covering worn by Saudi women is a modest yet fashionable garment that covers all of a woman's body except for her eyes and fingers. The burqa, on the other hand, is an evil tool of patriarchal oppression that covers all of a woman's body except for her eyes and fingers.
S: It sounds like the same thing with a different name.
D: Now, don't go comparing Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are our friends.
S: But I thought you said 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11th were from Saudi Arabia.
D: Yes, but they trained in Afghanistan.
S: Who trained them?
D: A very bad man named Osama bin Laden.
S: Was he from Afghanistan?
D: Uh, no, he was from Saudi Arabia too. But he was a bad man, a very bad man.
S: I seem to recall he was our friend once.
D: Only when we helped him and the mujahadeen repel the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan back in the 1980s.
S: Who are the Soviets? Was that the Evil Communist Empire Ronald Reagan talked about?
D: There are no more Soviets. The Soviet Union broke up in 1990 or thereabouts, and now they have elections and capitalism likeus. We call them Russians now.
S: So the Soviets, I mean, the Russians, are now our friends?
D: Well, not really. You see, they were our friends for many years after they stopped being Soviets, but then they decided not tosupport our invasion of Iraq, so we're mad at them now. We're also mad at the French and the Germans because they didn't help us invade Iraq either.
S: So the French and Germans are evil, too?
D: Not exactly evil, but just bad enough that we had to rename French fries and French toast to Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast.
S: Do we always rename foods whenever another country doesn't do what we want them to do?
D: No, we just do that to our friends. Our enemies, we invade.
S: But wasn't Iraq one of our friends back in the 1980s?
D: Well, yeah. For a while.
S: Was Saddam Hussein ruler of Iraq back then?
D: Yes, but at the time he was fighting against Iran, which made him our friend, temporarily.
S: Why did that make him our friend?
D: Because at that time, Iran was our enemy.
S: Isn't that when he gassed the Kurds?
D: Yeah, but since he was fighting against Iran at the time, we looked the other way, to show him we were his friend.
S: So anyone who fights against one of our enemies automatically becomes our friend?
D: Most of the time, yes.
S: And anyone who fights against one of our friends is automatically an enemy?
D: Sometimes that's true, too. However, if American corporations can profit by selling weapons to both sides at the same time, all the better.
S: Why?
D: Because war is good for the economy, which means war is good for America. Also, since God is on America's side, anyone who opposes war is a godless un-American Communist. Do you understand now why we attacked Iraq?
S: I think so. We attacked them because God wanted us to, right?
D: Yes.
S: But how did we know God wanted us to attack Iraq?
D: Well, you see, God personally speaks to George W. Bush and tells him what to do.
S: So basically, what you're saying is that we attacked Iraq because George W. Bush hears voices in his head?
D. Yes! You finally understand how the world works. Now close your eyes, make yourself comfortable, and go to sleep. Good night.
S: Good night, Daddy. But just one last thing. Didn't you tell Mummy the other day that they sent our neighbour's uncle to an asylum because he was hearing voices in his head?
That was long, wasnt it???? but hoped u liked it!!

One of Those Days

i hate 'one of those days' and i hate when it happens on a monday, so god is in one of his perverse pleasure moods today and i feel like asking 'why does it always rain on me'.... i had to drag my kinetic for a km, to the mechanic, because the damn thing wouldnt start!! and ergo, i got to the office half an hour late, just on the day my COO had come all the way from Washington to see his India office..grrr, fortunately that hasnt had too many ramifications....and i got a mail from those indiatimes guys that there is a monsoon discount, and one of the books i had been looking for was available at 25% normally, that would make me a happy man, but not when i had bought it one week back!!saw the reloaded version of the matrix (the sixth according to the architect), and liked it, it wasnt loaded with philosophy as many people claimed it to be....the idea that caught me was the one the Oracle said .....that its more to do with why we make certain choices than the choices itself..that made me think a lot...but this one takes the cake...hehe...
"Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control. Which has led you, inexorably, here.""...quadruple quotes coz its so loaded...lots of people are back .....michelle, simon, welcome back guys!!and now for
manuscrypts trivia
Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.

Friday, July 11, 2003


Thats the feeling i have on Fridays, 2 days of doing a lot of lil nothings....have to come for a couple of hours tomorrow, but thats fine ...Most probably will buy a cd tomorrow, so more music....I was thinking of the term 'whistleblowers'... thats people who blow the whistle on their organisations when there is a malpractice of some sort....then i got to wondering about the different terms that have sprung up these days, corporate terminology of course, butstill .. isnt ethics all about being fair, and whistleblowing, just being honest... there was a time when people were honest by default, now they have terms for people who become honest, after being around dishonesty for long periods of time....whats next??
hey, for people who love those sexy videos on tv, if u want them to keep playing, have your say here!! heres a god fwd i got - "when does skin meet skin, hair meet hair, and balls disappear?"...the answer is 'when you blink' ;-) and thats it for this week, people, have a great weekend, but not before you read
manuscrypts trivia
Alcohol doesn't solve any problems, but then again, neither does milk.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Faith....Have Some?

Theres a nice article on rediff by rajeev srinivasan, well, nice is a subjective view, and i think, very debatable....have you noticed how lots of pro-hindutva articles are popping up on rediff..hmmmmmit seems a lot of 'historians' are claiming now that since 'ram' is more of myth than reality, (we have no archaeological proof) why should his birthplace have any significance? But most of religion is based on faith, right?If anyone is in a charity mood, read this article. The concept is simple but effective.Cant bring myself to write more, so will share a good fwd with you guys...
Between 18 and 20 a woman is like Africa, half discovered, half wild, naturally beautiful with fertile deltas.Between 21 and 30 a woman is like America, well developed and open to trade especially for someone with cash.Between 31 and 35 she is like India, very hot, relaxed and convinced of her own beauty.Between 36 and 40 a woman is like France. Gently aging but still a warm and a desirable place to visit.Between 41 and 50 she is like Yugoslavia, lost the war haunted by past mistakes. Massive reconstruction is now necessary.Between 51 and 60, she is like Russia, very wide and borders ! are unpatrolled. The frigid climate keeps people away.Between 61 and 70, a woman is like Mongolia, with a glorious and all conquering past but alas, no future.After 70, they become Afghanistan. Most everyone knows where it is, but no one wants to go there.
Between 15 and 70 a man is like Iraq - ruled by a dick!!!
and now a lil manuscrypts trivia
The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a "thresh hold."

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Half Way Through

Its wednesday and we are half way through the working week......i like wednesdays, they are like the top of the hill, ur next steps are all going to be downwards to the weekend.....i got an interesting phrase from the book i am reading, "cultural commuter"...i think the best way to explain it would be the older gen and mayb some new gen indians living in america.....they have an american kind of lifestyle in their professional life by terms of their interaction with people etc..and at night, when they are back at home, they listen to indian music, have indian food, and talk in their mother tongue etc....nice terminology, huh?? rough day today too, so am too tired to write anymore, so will go to
manuscrypt trivia
in the 1500'sHouses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all thedogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence. The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.Hence the saying "dirt poor."

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

if life were an execution software, thats the button i would like to press now....its been such a tiring day and too full of happenings.... the only good thing that happened was a good fwd i got, so i am gonna paste it here and get the hell out of here....btw , i started reading the book i got yesterday, seems to be good, but 5 pages out of 314 dont tell the entire story, No i am not a slow reader, there were 14 pages of intro..hehe, anyways heres the good fwd i promised....
It was the first day at a school in America and a new student named Ramesh Reddy, the son of an Indian restaurateur, entered the fourth grade.The teacher said, "Let's begin by reviewing some American history. Who said "Give me Liberty, or give me Death?"She saw a sea of blank faces, except for Ramesh Reddy, who had his hand up."Patrick Henry, 1775.""Very good! Who said 'Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth'"?Again, no response except from the young Indian : "Abraham Lincoln, 1863.",said Reddy.The teacher snapped at the class, "Class, you should be ashamed. Reddy, who is new to our country, knows more about its history than you do."She heard a loud whisper: "Screw the Mexicans." assuming Reddy was a Mexican."Who said that?" the teacher demanded.Reddy put his hand up. "Jim Bowie, 1836."At that point, a student in the back said, "I'm gonna puke."The teacher glares and asks "All right! Now, who said that?"Again, Reddy says, "George Bush to the Japanese Prime Minister, 1991."Now furious, another student yells, "Oh yeah? Suck this!"Reddy jumps out of his chair waving his hand and shouts to the teacher, "Bill Clinton, to Monica Lewinsky, 1997!"Now with almost a mob hysteria someone said, "You little ****. If you say anything else, I'll kill you."Reddy frantically yells at the top of his voice, "Gary Condit to Chandra Levy 2001."The teacher fainted. And as the class gathered around the teacher on the floor, someone said, "Oh ****, we're in BIG trouble!"Reddy said, "Saddam Hussein 2003."and now for more info on life in 1500's, here is
manuscrypts trivia
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children-last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

Monday, July 07, 2003

Raw Hatred

i had to express my feelings about monday mornings, hence the title...another lil quote comes to mind, forgot where i heard it, " i love mornings, but i wish they came later in the day"....was an okay weekend, went shopping , there was a sale at 'weekender',and saw 'little nicky' on star.... loved the movie; anybody, any ideas where i can get the rocks... plus, the special appearance by ozzie was cool..... adam sandler has given a wonderful performance, total timepass movie...
Registered on an online scrabble site, easy interface, but, if in India,connectivity is a lil issue....i have finally got the book i ordered on rediff..."india Unbound" by Gurcharan Das, will intro you guys to it in tomorrow's post...Have included a new lil thingie down below, on the right, its a deathclock, check it out, but i claim no responsibility for feelings of euphoria, desperation, depression etc...hehe
i read patrix' blog today, check it out, its worth a read....i liked the hinduism post, so am including a line on hindutva, which i think i picked up from 'the return of the aryans', had written down a lot of stuff from that book, will have to trace it now... its written by bhagwan s gidwani, the same guy who scripted the tv serial "the sword of tipu sultan".....nyways this is what it says abt hindutva "Hinduism is a law of life, not a dogma, its aim is not to create a creed, but a character; and its goal is to achieve perfection through varied spiritual knowledge which rejects nothing and yet refines everything through continuous testing....."
from today on, i am gonna post interesting facts about the times in 1500's in
manuscrypts trivia
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Life etc......

Not very sure, what i should write about, but first things first, i have to thank Mr.Saltwater Blues, coz he sparked a nostalgic wave in me, about goa, so was looking at some old stuff, and suddenly rediscovered a lot of things that i thought were thanks buddy!!I think , i will debate a lil more on my post a couple of days back, coz i got some good response from sapna. ..what i still would like to ask is that, was human nature always so "yeh dil maange more"? i think it has been an acquisition of the last 3-4 generations.. and havent the machines intended to make life easier for us, made life too easy, to the point that we become self reliant isolated beings,with no social interaction till we drain ourselves out? Reminds me of an old saying about life "forget the potholes, enjoy the journey", arent we more of trying to acquire stuff that will fix the potholes now, rather than enjoying the journey?thats enough food for thought, have a great weekend people, and have a great vacation, michelle, you, you lucky thing!! ;-) before i go, this one's for babita, something that mark twain said about India "the sole country under the sun, that is endowed with imperishable interest, the one land all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the globe combined" Cheers India!!and for anyone anywhere with that unexplainable ache in the heart
manuscrypt of the day
i hear the countless voices of the human heart
Flying unseen,From the dim past to the dim unblossomed future.
Hear, within my own breast,the fluttering of the homeless bird, which,
In company with countless others,
Flies day and night,Through light and darkness,
From shore to shore unknown.
The void of the universe is resounding with the music of wings:
'Not here, not here, somewhere far beyond.'
Rabindranath Tagore, A Flight of Swans
Check this out....go to google, type "weapons of mass destruction", and hit the "I am feeling lucky" button (instead of search)Now, READ THE ERROR MESSAGES VERY CAREFULLY and hey, congrats Andy (the wonder years), u r on rediffblogs mainpage..woohooo

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Goan Rhapsody

First up, I have changed my music list,chucked out some old faves in the list, and list only current and hot... its way too similar to Saltwater Blues. (check out his site, its definitely worth your time)..He is from Goa, and so is Michelle!! thats where i was for a couple of years, when i was doing my MBA..its all what they say in the ads and more, the place, that is...hehe....The lifestyle is so so cool, they refuse to be hustled and bustled and enjoy life....thats what i love most about the place, and the beaches, and the time i spent there with new found friends....i did get a lil culture shock in the beginning, but that wasnt coz of Goa,but coz of the crowd in my institute, i wasnt used to any culture outside Kerala's....i guess what bonded me to Goa was that it was so similar in appearance and climate to my homestate....and the view from my window, that of the mandovi flowing lazily....its been almost 2 years since i left goa, but i still miss it so badly....soon as i can get the cash and the time, at one place and time :-), i'll b there....i miss the beaches, i miss the ferry rides, i miss the mandovi, i miss the movies at ashok and samrat in panjim, the late night rides to Dona Paula, and most of all, i miss my life there....Not in the mood for any serious talk today, i am feeling too nostalgic,will go home early and look at old albums...
manuscrypts quote of the day
"I am not a complete idiot, some parts are missing" - Navin, a guy on one of my egroups

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

War against the machines

Nope, this is not about arnie's latest exploits...just thought i will give hinduism a break for a day and return to what i was shooting mymouth off, a couple of days back...I got a couple of notes from michelle and sapna, both forced me to think again, but..... Sapna says that if i am born with a silver spoon, i cant live without it, and its not that bad...true, i cant go lower, but arent i always trying to get a gold or platinum spoon, and at the end of the accumulation mania, isnt what is left a hollow question, can we ever teach ourselves to be content?? michelle is right in saying that if it leaves her happy, y shdnt she be having a cell, a player and other consumer goodies, my answer is the same as before, then why are we always cribbing, and looking for an outlet like this....from a different angle, i think what i amtrying to say is, :-), arnt the machines killing our social interaction? i am not talking about the easiness, yes, they have certainly revolutionised communication, but about the quality of interaction.honestly, wouldnt i prefer a face to face conversation than a few sms, chat or a call....when we talk about the good old days of college/university, isnt that what we are missing, the human element, the direct interaction?? but we have easier means now- the net, a cell......and the worst part, in my view is time crunching.....hmmm, that would be tomorrow's post....

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Beware of the Hind-OozeI

I completely forgot about poor Schumi yesterday, the elder one, that jackass montoya, i hope he fails to complete even a single race the rest of this season. he actually ran poor schumi out of the track, now objective analysers would say that part of it was schumi's fault,but i am a fanatical fan, so i have rights...hehe
now to where i left off yesterday.....the fanatical tunnel vision..any community, if it builds up tension for long periods is going to experience frustration and hence spawn militancy among its ranks. thats exactly what has happened here, right from the invasion of alexander, indians have always been the defenders, and mostly unsuccessful in their attempts, which explains why even when we have been aggressors, the exploits have been limited to what we now call the Indian subcontinent, because we never encouraged offense, and were therefore never good aggressors. yes, there are exceptions, but too few, chief among whom is Ashoka, and he got the tag of being an inhuman barbarian. I guess he knew that if he stayed a hindu, at some point of time, there would be a rekindling of his aggressive side again, maybe thats why he moved to buddhism.there were also exploits by samudragupta, but these are all exceptions to the rule.we never had the sheer grit that the romans or the mughals possessed, to invade,conquer and hold.At a later stage, maybe this is the reason why the non violent doctrines of gandhi had more supporters than bhagat singh or the subhash chandra bose, although the latter certainly had the charisma.(hell, i am most definitely a bhagat singh fan, at an age where me and most of my generation are preoccupied with a career and lovelife, the poor guy sacrificed himself for the country, and it was not the death of a guy obsessed with ideals, but a very calculated and bold death).and so therefore, i cannot blame the fanatical tunnel vision , it is only the backlash of a civilisation that, inspite of triggering the best of the science and arts we have, has been pummelled into submission by various forces.We still stand helpless when pakistan chooses to attack our parliament, hell, if the plo ever tried that, israel would wipe it out in a day, but we condemn the act and run crying to the international watchdogs who have a history of asking us to sort it by discussions and bilateral talks!!
When the US chooses to reciprocate the taliban's greetings, it bloody ctrl+alt+del afghanistan, and then goes on a prememptive strike on Iraq for wmd that were never there, (no, i dont support saddam), i can safely say that the total headcount, as far as attacks by pak on india goes, would have easily exceeded the figures of 9/11. kashmir easily gets around 20 people killed in a day by terrorists sponosored by the isi(pak's agency) and trained in their camps, whose evidence is there for all to see, but NOT acknowledge. BUT if india launches an attack on its neighbour, it is going to have strong repurcussions from all around theglobe.I think it is this sheer helplessness that is gradually increasing the revebrations of hindu militancy in all its forms, from burning ofmissionaries to pulling down mosques. Thats part of what i call the Hind Ooze - the eruption of the dark side of a so far subdued community!!
to be continued.............