Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Blogspot banned!!

In case you did not know, the government of India has banned viewing blog sites, particularly blogspot and typepad. So you might probably not be able to see this post in India till the ban is lifted.

Once again the governement is questioning the very intelligence of the educated Indian. Someone who reads/writes blogs has to have at least that level of intelligence to not to be influenced by some random and unheard communal site and start reaping hatred in their minds!!

I'm not sure if the blogs spread communal hatred, but it might sure spread some hatred for the I&B ministry. I for sure am never going to vote for anyone who is remotely associated with either Congress, or it's allies or Priyaranjan Das Munshi!!!

This looks like a very low-IQ move from many perspectives - instead of banning the sites, they could have tracked down the culprit with the kind of technology available and deal with them using the legal framework. Blanket ban on blogs sounds absolutely ridiculous. You don't cut the head off if you have a head-ache.. It's like banning mobile phones because terrorists use mobiles. Blogs serve much larger purpose than just spreading communal hatred.

I think we all need to condemn government's moronic move by trying to restrict our right of freedom of expression. Hell, this is no China or Pakistan and these are not the dark ages.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Death of an old friend.. rather a pair

It was around this time of the year in 2000 when I bought my first pair of sneakers which my parents hadn’t paid for. God has blessed me with a weird foot size. Size 10 is a bit fit and 11 too loose. That being the principal knock down factor, a relentless pursuit for 3 continuous days in June heat in the discount stores or factory outlets, as they call them, in the by lanes of Parel, finally offered me a choice between a couple of pairs. And considering that my CA internship earned me a really modest stipend, there wasn’t much to chose from. I subsequently chose the white Nike joggers which comfortably fitted me. The conversation between me and Abhishek, who accompanied me on shopping was roughly on these lines:

Abhi: Dude nothing seems to fit you.. what does one eat to grow feet like yours?
Me: Will the blue sneakers be better? Will white look too Jitendra style?
Abhi: (struggling hard to muster that extra ounce of patience) Look why don’t you just decide on either of them..
Me: (looking in the mirror – front and sideways) These whites are damn comfortable.. Bless their soles..
Abhi: (despicably stares at me first and then at the irritated salesman as I imitate infront of the mirror) Yeah right! And they suit you a lot. Buy them. JUST DO IT.

I did.

For initial couple of times, the sneakers looked obnoxiously white. But the monsoons brought in kind of a worn-out look in them which I liked a lot. It’s hard even for me to believe now, but I did do a lot of jogging wearing my nikes. They were an inspiration in themselves to get up at 5.30 in morning and complete 5 rounds of the MIG grounds in Bandra before the sun rises with full fury, and before the women folk in the ground go away.. tellingly, they were an inspiration too :)

The most vivid memory of the utility of these sneakers is the grueling Sahyadri treks around Karjat in monsoons. Will write a post on one of my trekking expeditions soon. But these sneakers provided the requisite grip, ensuring survival and avoiding humiliation in the midst of slippery, trail-less treks.

Over the years, they were there for me when I needed them, like a faithful dog – showering me with undemanding adulation and comfort in return of friendship. The more worn out they looked, the more I liked them. But it was just a matter of time before the signs started showing. The sign came when the vulcanized latex layer at the bottom of the soft rubber, which forms the sole started peeling off. A common shoe ailment, which was promptly QuickfixedTM. But until then, the gap looked like a morbid smile on a dying sole. Not before long, other vital (rather, fatal) signs started showing. The spikes at the bottom wore out making it awkward to walk on slippery surfaces, the shoelace broke a couple of times, the sole started peeling off again on both the shoes, the insole gave away.. And finally last month, after a faithful service of 6 years, my old sneakers finally threw in the towel. I now wear my other pair of Lottos, but as a sign of comradeship I don’t keep them in the same rack where my good old nikes rest in peace.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The resurrection

19 January 2006. No, I’m not talking about the National Popcorn Day, but the day when I last posted on my blog. 138 days may not be a long period in a greater sense, but a lot has happened during these days. Won’t give any excuses for not posting but an apology seems to be in order – for those who visited this blog but did not find anything worthwhile (the small hitcounter at the bottom of the blog went from 500 odd to 1000 plus). As a separate matter, some would cast doubts whether there is at all anything worth their while on this blog (present post included :D).

In these 138 days, temperatures have soared in Chennai (the city where I work). At work, my serial number in the company rolls soars up a few notches every month. That is because many colleagues have moved out to better jobs (talking about soaring, their pay-checks have also soared). Tushar, Chatty, Dada, Jithesh, Vijay (doc)… the list goes on, and The dwindling friend circle is a little upsetting, but there is respite in the thought that their times are changing from Economic Times to Financial Times, if you know what I mean.

Trading on stocks got fire-walled in my company, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Sensex which defied laws of gravity earlier, subsequently gave in to “what-goes-up-must-come-down” law of karma, but in the process collapsed faster than a limping sumo wrestler.

The latest gadget that I found out is feedreader Newzcrawler. It syndicates articles from news sites and blogs in an incredibly user-friendly manner and also embeds a browser for MS Outlook type interface. It comes with features, speed and ease of use. Now I can read at one place all the sites and blogs that I frequent. I guess this was the biggest factor to put me back on track on the blogosphere. I hope I will write more often now.

Parting shot: A lady in Orissa married a snake. Odd? I think she just exercised animal rites !!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

10 million missing girls & Three men in an ambassador... and more

I came across this article by a friend Santanu Sengupta, which spoke about high frequency of violent crimes in north India as compared to rest of the nation. Being a north Indian myself (well central Indian maybe), my first reaction was to dismiss the idea as an insolent remark, which was aptly reflected by the comment which somebody left on his blog.

But then something happened. I was reading Steven D. Levitt’s Freakonomics, specifically the section where the author Stephen Dubner talks about Levitt’s views on sudden reduction of crime rate in late 90s in the US. He relates the drop in crimes to the legalisation of abortion some 15 years back. According to Levitt, an unwanted child was more likely to turn out to be a criminal for many very apparent reasons. It may sound very crude the way I have put it, but broadly the idea was, the un-born unwanted children, who were more likely to turn into criminals, were just not present there because of legalisation of abortion. I think that made a lot of sense.

Then I came across a news article and a related editorial by M.J. Akbar in the Deccan Chronicle. This is a link to a similar article. The news read that according to a shocking but interesting Canadian study, some 10 million female foetuses have been aborted in India over last two decades. So applying Levitt’s funda, could it mean that among other reasons for violent crimes against women, one possible cause could be lack of females in India? Not just the missing females due to over-all misaligned gender ratio, but more specifically the ones which would have born in the last two decades.

To put in a simple manner, the alleged male criminals who were born in last twenty years or so, just can’t find the females of their age, and as a result commit violent crimes such as abductions, rapes and murders. It is true that newspapers are increasingly carrying more such ghastly stories lately than ever.

To delve over the subject little more, why are such crimes more frequent in the northern states (at least according to dada... that blog still nags my thoughts). As a child I distinctly remember a lot of reported infanticides and foeticides in Rajasthan and Tamilnadu. Somehow I even vaguely remember seeing a Doordarshan news feature, newspaper articles and my cousins discussing this subject.

After all, every crime is said to have a motive. Terrorism has roots like oppression of minorities, fanaticism or religion. Murder has motives of money or revenge. Theft, robbery etc. again have monetary motives. But clearly, acts of violence such as rapes mostly don’t have motives of money, religion etc. So could the above phenomenon could be the reason of increased violence against women?

Some questions come immediately to the mind. For one, why does Delhi have so many such cases? I can think of work-related migration in states like Delhi from parts of UP, Rajasthan & Bihar, especially from relatively backward regions, where the practice of foeticide and infanticide still reigns because of parents still consider girl child as a liability.

Why not so in southern states? Afterall foeticide and infanticide was (may be still is) practiced in backward regions in the south. One reason could be emigration. I have seen and heard about huge lots of south Indians in the middle-east and south-east Asia as work force due to labour scarcity. I remember during my one-day stay at Kualalumpur, almost every third person I encountered was from Tamil Nadu or Kerala. Majority of Malaysian Airlines passengers were Indians and it was very apparent that they were potential emigrants. It may just be possible that emigration reduces the crisis if not balancing it out.

What I have written is no thesis or research, but more like a collection of musings. I am sure there are more dimensions to this problem than what has crossed my mind. Violent crimes against women and improper gender ratio are just two facets of the range of problems that this ghastly practice has resulted. I may sound like a feminist here, but in order for a long-term solution to this whole problem, it has to start with women empowerment, both social and economic, so that the parents become less avert to a female child.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My choice

Frantic work schedule, and couple of busy weekends have sort of numbed my wits. Even as I write this post, I suffer from two acute conditions – verbal diarrhea and intellectual constipation. These two aren’t exactly medical conditions, but again not very different from those.

Now exactly what have I been busy with? On terribly hard-working weekdays, I was kept busy with what is called the sole motivator, the only force which gets most of us moving.. yes that major factor is called deadlines. And on weekends, particularly last weekend, I was busy simply watching movies … by tons. Loads of them (see the sidebar on the right-side of the blog). Then I saw this terrific movie, The Shawshank Redemption. For those who have seen the movie, I need not delve into why and how good a movie is this, and for those who haven’t seen it, read this viewer comment on imdb.

After one sees this movie, one cannot stop thinking about it for a long while. It set me thinking too. One not-so-overwhelming thought was that this is definitely the best movie I have ever seen. Then continuing on the same chain of thoughts, it occurred to me that I should make a list of my favourite motion pictures. This post is a result of that very chain of thoughts. Before I mention the list, lemme clarify the term favourite motion picture. I don’t say that these are the best movies ever made, but these are my favourites, because they have touched me (in metaphorical sense of the word) at some level. Maybe because of the inherent story strength, acting, cinematography, or just presentation.

Anyway, here goes the list:

Hollywood movies:
The Shawshank Redemption
The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Saving Private Ryan
Schindler's List
The Mummy
True Lies
Forrest Gump
Monsters Inc
Wall Street
Good Fellas
The Usual Suspects

Foreign movies:
Run Lola Run
City of God

Apna Bollywood:
Andaz Apna Apna
Dil Chahta Hai
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar
Deewana Mastana
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

There may be many movies that deserve to be here, but I might have left them out. Just leave a comment if you think any of your favourite movie will make me change this list. This blogger shall be grateful to you for eternity if it turns out to be a list-changing movie :)

Amit ji

Here are some of the famous dialogues by the Big man himself:


Vijay deenanath chauhan...
baap ka naam, deenanath chauhan...
maa ka naam, suhasini chauhan...
gaoo, mandva....
umar, chattees saal, nau maheena, aath din, aur yeh solvah ghanta chalu hai, hein!


Koshish zaroor karna, kyonki vaade aksar toot jaate hain, lekin koshishe kamyaab hoti hain.

Amar Akbar Anthony

aisa to aadmi life mein doich time bhaagta hai, olympic ka race ho ya police ka case ho.

tumne apun ko das das maara, apun ne tumko sirf do maara, lekin solid maara ki nahi?


Don paan nahi khaata tha? yeh bahut bura karta tha.


Jao pahale us aadami ka sign leke aao jisane mere hath pe likh diya tha ki "Mera Baap chor hai", jao pahale us aadami ka sign leke aao jisne meri maa ko gaali di thi, jao pahale us aadami ka sign leke aao jisne hame sadako pe bhatake ko majboor kiya tha phir tum phir tim mere bhai jis kagaj pe bologe me sign kar doonga per sabase pahale nahi .................


Mard Ko Dard nahi hota.......


Majboor ye halat idhar bhi hai udhar bhi tanhai ki ek raat idhar bhi hai udhar bhi kahane ko bahut kuchh hai magar kisase kahe hum kub tuk yooo hi khamosh rahe or sahe hum dil kahata duniya ki har ek rasm uta de dewwar jo hum dono me hai aaj gira de, kyo sulagate rahe duniya ko bata de haan hamako muhabbat hai, muhabbat hai


ay ay sala tum ye aapana purana kapada nahi fenkane ka kya..ye sala aapun ka kafan hai.....


Tiger - Keede 2 prakar ke hote hai ek sala wo gatar ka keeda jisako marane ke liye flit aata hai or ek sala ye society wala keeda isako marane ke liye koi flit nahi aata.

Satte Pe Satta

Ye sala daroo bahut buri cheej hoti hai daroo peene se lever kharab ho jata hai.......


Tumhara naam kya hai basanti..........waise hame bahut bolne ki aadat hai.....

Kya karein mausi, apna dil hi kuch aisa hai………

Last but not least. why this in the last becoz this makes Amithabh Bachchhan....amit ji.


Khade ho jao or jub tuk na bola jaye baitana mut ye tumhare baap ki jaageer nahi hai Police station hai.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Picture This

Haven't written anything this year because am caught up with lots of work. But as the old cliche goes - a picture is worth a thousand words. Please do visit my photo blog whenever you get a chance. Will post soon.