Tuesday, August 31, 2010

China's Duplicity

In continuation with my thoughts of yesterday, I would like to bring out China’s duplicity in its actions directed against our country. And it, definitely, has a sinister pattern!
Towards the run up to the Chinese preparations for the ‘Beijing Olympics of 2008’, a two decade thrust was initiated on building up the infrastructure. The main aim was to showcase the best of China at the time of the Games and almost everything went as per their government’s plans except for the following happenings:-
(a) The massive rallies organized by exiled Tibetans all over the world, as and when the Olympic torch passed through each of the member countries highlighting the repressive nature of the Chinese government that brooked no dissent. Delhi was like a beseiged fortress during the day of the torch run.
(b) At the almost flawless opening ceremony, a good looking girl was shown as the Games’ face, while the voice over was that of a child who’d to remain in the background as she was unfortunately not photogenic enough, to be beamed on the millions of television sets, all over the world!

China was nice with India during the period. But after the successful completion of the Olympics, just see as to what that country has done with regard to Kashmir:-
(a) All foreign media correspondents who visit Tibet are given maps that show Kashmir not as a part of India.
(b) All Kashmiris with Indian passports are given Chinese visa endorsement on a separate sheet of paper implying that they consider such passports as invalid.
(c) Though both India and Pakistan have agreed to solve the Kashmir issue bilaterally, China offered to mediate which was mischievous in intention.
(d) The deployment of Chinese troops in the Gilgit-Baltistan area of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir - the official explanation being that they’re carrying out civil works – is an irritant (Perhaps, the Siachen issue continues to simmer because of the proximity of Chinese troops?)
(e) And the latest is its denial of the Northern Army Commander’s visit to China just because he has Kashmir under his charge.

In addition to the above, the under mentioned factors also point a finger at China’s intentions:-
(a) The Karakoram highway, through the length of PoK, enables quick movement of Chinese troops in the shortest possible time, on to our western borders.
(b) The unrestricted use of the port of Gwadar at the Arabian Sea, which it had funded and help build.
(c) Three airbases and six more being built in Tibet
(d) Deployment of long range ballistic missiles on Tibetan soil, aimed at various cities of India.
(e) The Quing Hai – Tibet railway line that can shift military resources over long distances.
(f) And finally, to top it all, the media keeps telling us of frequent border skirmishes all along the Sino-Indian border.

But having said all that, China has a lot to worry internally as it has numerous problems. Just to cite one example, the youth yearn for freedom and the rage within is simmering. And from the observations made by many foreign visitors, development has been lopsided and many of the modern facilities are yet to reach the rural landscape.

Monday, August 30, 2010

China up to tricks again!

I think China continues to view India as its major adversary and has been doing a lot of things much to our discomfiture, whereas, we've always supported its cause at various world forums.

Their entry into the United Nations was a classic example wherein our articulations helped. And in return, they've consistently blocked the expansion of the Security Council so that India does not share the high table with them.

They do not like the Indian media giving coverage to the happenings in Tibet and their anger at Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, a few months back, was palpable to say the least. And now they've playing footsie in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, aided and abetted by Pakistan. Coming as it is soon on the heels of their visa denial to our Northern Army Commander, they surely want us to be put on the defensive.

Thankfully, the nation has risen together to make our displeasure known to them in no uncertain terms. We must show the Chinese that they can neither be churlish nor heavy handed while interacting with us. They need to understand our strengths.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Interpol says so!

What amazed me was a news item that says that about 650 Indians have been issued with 'red alert' notices by the organisation over a period of the last five years. Of these, 25% of the cases are related to over speeding and traffic accidents. I can understand that it could be out of sheer ignorance about the existent rules on the part of the perpetrators but we, Indians seem to have a penchant for getting into trouble.

The other cases include dowry deaths and frauds.

In a similar vein, I remember having read an article on the 'attitude of Indians' working in world organisations. Indians, more often than not, have a 'KUPD'(Kiss Up Piss Down) syndrome. They play up to their superiors unabashedly while being very demanding/ harsh on their subordinates. I would rather take this observation with a pinch of salt, though.

But we, Indians need to take note of others' sensitivities and the prevalent customs while travelling abroad for the sake of their own safety and acceptance!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A bountiful Yamuna

Today, we had gone on our monthly trip to NOIDA. The sky was overcast and though it was humid, the heat was quite bearable. The traffic was thankfully fast flowing and there were no glitches enroute.

The route taken was through the DND(Delhi-NOIDA-Direct) Flyover and naturally, we'd to negotiate the bridge that straddles the River Yamuna (I prefer this name as it sounds feminine as I feel that rivers have the strength of character of that of a woman. And Jamuna sounds so masculine, in a comparative sense!), just off the Oakhla barrage. After having got used to the sight of an apology of a river with hardly any water and if at all there was some, which was outright filthy, it was so nice to see the Yamuna in full swell. I'd stopped my van for a few minutes, just to take in the rare sight.And for this singular reason, I thank the rains for its persistence!

A swift flowing, clean Yamuna is what Delhi needs to make it majestic in sight! And it's my sincere hope that this magnificent sight continues through the Commonwealth games, so that our foreign guests carry this sight in their memories when they return to their native lands.

The fact, however, is that the Yamuna is creeping the danger levels and consequently, a high alert exists. With Haryana, opening the sluice gates of its dams, the entire population living on the banks of the river have been shifted to temporary shelters and the possibility of another spell of rains just cannot be ruled out!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mother Teresa

A person for whom I've tremendous respect and am glad that I too have had the privilege of living during her lifetime. She's the classic example of selfless love towards fellow human beings. The love and care that she provided to the wretchedly poor, impoverished and ailing people from the streets of Calcutta(and of course, to the world at large through her 'Missionaries of Charity') is legendary.

How does one explain the phenomenon of this frail but majestic lady, having left her home and hearth in Albania (of the erstwhile Yugoslavia), to be with the needy in India? India is indeed blessed to have been the land of her calling!

On the occasion of her birth centenary, which falls on this date, I salute her in all earnestness and offer a silent prayer to her soul for everlasting peace in eternity. I'd like to reproduce an extract of Rabindranath Tagore's 'Geetanjali', which sums it all up so beautifully,
"It's in giving that you're given
It's in loving that you're loved
And it's in dying that you're born to eternal life".

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The essence of the Gita

"Main zindagi ka saath nibhatha chalagaya
Har fikr ko dhuen mein udatha chalagaya"

The beautiful opening lines of a Hindi movie number sung by one of my favourites, Dev Anand! Roughly translated - pardon both my Hindi and Urdu - the wordings mean something like this,
I've been faithfully following my life's calling and in the process, I was left with no worries as each of them vapourised into thin air thanks to my attitude!

This essentially, is the essence of the Gita. Man thinks that he's in control of his life and consequently, goes about utilising his resources towards achieving his perceived goals, utilising means based on his upbringing. As the meaning of life dawns upon him, it becomes clear that his life in this world's arena was based on a preordained script and He was its author.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Very, very disturbing!

Yesterday, there was a prominent 'breaking news' on the Malayalam 'Surya' channel that highlighted the existence of a market, trading human beings - yes, you heard it right - in God's own country! I really was flabbergasted as they showed the venue( Kolancherry junction at Perumbavoor - a sleepy hamlet about 75 kms north-west of Kochi) and the process of sale.

Labourers and skilled workers come in droves and assemble at the market place in the morning. Potential contractors come with appropriate vehicles(depending on the number of labourers they require), haggle over the price with the middlemen or even with the labourers directly and clinch the deal. There was a guy who'd collected about fifteen odd labourers and stacked them like cattle, into a pick up truck, which was the most searing of the sights provided by the TV grab!!

And while the prices are negotiated, the incentives offered are liquor, drugs and 'paan'. Is a human being's worth so less? Is life so meaningless and cheap?

Another reason for Keralites to hang their heads in shame. Quite disturbing indeed!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Today's 'Rakshabandhan' which is a festival celebrated with much vigour and verve, all over north India, wherein the brother reaffirms his commitment to protect his sister, through the voyage of life.

What a beautiful concept? Being a mallu and the brother of two sisters younger to me, I often used to wonder as to why we did not celebrate this day back home in Kerala. And I used to feel sad that I was missing it all because I did not have the colourful 'rakhi' tied around my wrists like the others, especially during my NDA days!

I suppose, this symbolism is highlighted in the north as it was subjected to frequent invasions by marauders over the centuries! Anyways, my greetings to all my north Indian friends on the occasion.

And the immediate result in Delhi was that the roads had less of traffic making driving a pleasure and the average attendance, especially that of the civilians in the offices, reduced considerably!!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Last weekend, on the channel Times Now, I happened to see the programme, 'Total Recall' on the legendary Madhubala. To my mind she is the classic example of a statuesque beauty and India's answer to the famed Marilyn Monroe of Hollywood but definitely more beautiful. What beats me is the coincidences that both their lives had - I mean, the fact that they were both beautiful which incited fatal attraction amongst the men they came in contact with, unsuccessful in love and finally, died young - a tragic narrative! And they both lived almost during the same timelines!!

It's better that they'd passed into eternity quite early as I, for one, cannot imagine their 'old age visage' even for a moment.

I can never forget a scene from the ageless classic 'Mughal-e-Azam', in which there's a scene where Anarkali gives Akbar a searing look and tosses her defiant head, as if to tell him that his power was no match to destroy her feelings for his son, Salim and therefore, save his standing by putting the seal of approval on their relationship! The protagonists of the three characters portrayed by Madhubala(defiance), Prithviraj Kapoor(impotent rage) and Dilip Kumar(wariness) respectively, played their parts superbly, but in my reckoning, it was Madhubala who stole the scene - her love for Dilip Kumar off screen, perhaps, brought out the natural emotions and therefore, made it the most endearing for the viewers!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Onam Greetings

Here’s me and Lekha wishing all the malayalees, who’re following or more aptly, stumbling through this blog spot, a very happy and prosperous onam. May you enjoy the warmth and togetherness of being with your close friends and family and we congratulate you for travelling great distances to have made it possible. And to those of us who could not make it to our near and dear ones, hope you’ve a wonderful onam at your respective areas of influence and are able to enlighten those around you the significance of this wonderful festival which is celebrated by all Keralites, irrespective of caste, creed or religion!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Delhi is floating

Rain, rain and yet more rain!
For the last few days, it has been raining almost incessantly in Delhi. Consequently, the low lying areas are flooded and the roads at many vantage positions are full of water, throwing traffic out of gear. Swanky new complexes built for the impending Commonwealth Games have taken the worst hit, with seepages and water logging at every conceivable point, embarassing even the most thick skinned guy involved in their creation. Power outages, on a daily basis, have come to stay in the poshest or the so called 'VVIP areas', so one shudders to imagine the plight of the people staying in the other 'not so important areas'. And to top it all, there has been an outbreak of 'Dengue' fever, the statistics of which are being fudged for whose benefit one wonders, instead of taking bold remedial measures?
And can you beat it, Delhi's Chief Minister Smt Sheila Dikshit, announces pompously that Delhi is a world class city! Is she an ignoramus or is she blatantly lying, despite being fully aware of the reality?

Anyways, all is not lost and one learns to smile and plod through these adversities and being a Delhiite, I too join the rest, hoping that everything will go well in the end.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Those halcyon days - will I ever meet them?

Today, I happened to hear this old rhyme that I'd learnt at the Holy Angels' Convent, Thiruvananthapuram where I'd done my third and fourth classes during 1963-'65 and the wordings go something like this,
"Somethin' the world is full of fun and frolic
And so am I and so am I.
Somethin' the world is full of melancholy
But not so I but not so I".

Those were the days when we're growing up under the watchful eyes of Sister Anne,
our class teacher, who was a fund of knowledge, full of kindness and compassion who wanted each one of us to imbibe the right things of life. Her beautiful, smiling face and energetic gait - in the flowing white and brown habit - shall ever remain etched in my mind. I'm sure I'd not be wrong when I say that they don't make them educators like her anymore and I consider myself lucky in having spent a few of my formative years with her.

And talking about those days, I remember the following classmates of mine even now for their distinct characteristics but have not had the opportunity to meet subsequently:-
(a) Sydney Stephen. I'm yet to see the Sathyan-Ambika superhit 'Adyakiranangal'
but vividly remember every scene, frame by frame, thanks to the wonderful
story telling capability of Sydney. His house was at Pettah and we used to
sit on adjacent seats in the class.
(b) Girija Thampi. A bright eyed girl with long hair, near whom I did not mind
sitting, whenever the teacher used to make us sit with the girls as a
punishment.And the incident that I do remember was when I'd socked another
classmate for making her cry.
(c) Elizabeth. Do not remember her full name but she used to be the pride amongst
the girls for her adeptness in craft. She used to wear ribbons, of various hues
, with the bow stylishly atop her head. She was indeed capable.
(d) Mary. A tomboy to the core but very helpful and highly emotional. I think she
used to stay in the convent and she was simply adorable. Had a high propensity
to get into trouble.
(e) Udayashankar. An ever smiling Uday had to be saved, time and again, from the
bullies. He could never harm a fly and his dimpled smile was of a million
watts as he was on the darker side.
(f) Ajith Kumar. The tallest among us, who was ever helpful and who followed me
to the next school after our stint in the Convent, which was a school meant
for girls from the V class onwards. He used to really take care of me.

Wonder where they're now? I'm sure they must be doing well and it's my fond hope that
I'd be able to meet them someday, in the near future.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gulzar - 74, not out!

Today is Gulzar's 74th birthday. One wishes him a long and healthy life on the occasion. His music couples heavenly poetry with haunting tunes and each of his efforts is a masterpiece by itself. Beginning his career in 1963 through the evergreen hit 'Bandini', there was no looking back for him. I never tire from hearing them and my 10 all time favourites of his are the following:-
(a) Mora gora ang laile (Bandini)
(b) Bole re papihara (Guddi)
(c) Koi hota jisko apna (Mere Apne)
(d) Musafir hoon yaro (Parichay)
(e) Dil dhundta hai (Mausam)
(f) Tere bina zindagi se (Aandhi)
(g) Naam goom jayega (Kinara)
(h) Yara seeli seeli (Lekin)
(j) Dil hoom hoom kare (Rudali)
(k) Chaiyya chaiyya (Dil se)

And amongst them, the lyrics that I adore most is 'Musafir hoon yaro' as I feel it best describes my personality - the number was a hit and frequently played in my squadron's ante room while I was going through the various phases of ragging and thereby etched in the innermost recesses of my brain !

Gulzarsaab, here's me wishing you health, wealth and happiness yet again! And may there be many more creations from you in the years to come.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chingam Onnu

Today's Chingam onnu meaning that it's the first day of the month of 'Chingam' on the Malayalam calendar- an auspicious day for all the 'mallus' of the world. The harvesting season is just getting to be over and it's another ten days for the festival of Onam to begin.
To the benefit of my non-malayalee friends and the young malayalee generation that has been born and brought up away from Kerala, I shall narrate to you the significance of Onam. Long, long ago Kerala was ruled by a demon(Asura) king by the name of 'Mahabali' or 'Maveli'. He was a just and an efficient ruler who ensured good administration for his people and there was all round prosperity and happiness. He was also a believer of Lord Vishnu.
To the 'Devas' this sort of arrangement was unacceptable and so, they prayed to Lord Vishnu to bring about a change. Accordingly, Lord Vishnu in the guise of a frail Brahmin ( Vaamana), approached the king and asked for a place to do his 'tapasya' which he'd measure by three footfalls of his. When the benevolent king agreed to this strange request, the brahmin assumed his original being and with the first two footfalls, he'd covered the shores and the seas of the earth and turned questioningly to the king as to how and where he should measure the third, as the king was honour bound to keep his word. Without any hesitation, the king prostrated and offered his head for the same and Lord Vishnu sent him to hell. So impressed was Lord Vishnu with Mahabali's humility and commitment to his word, that he grants him a boon to visit his kingdom once evey year.
The festival of Onam commemmorates this visit of Mahabali, who's entitled to travel the length and breadth of Kerala, during the entire month of Chingam. The floral decoration or the 'athappoo' presents the necessary ambience to the king's visit.

Wonder what he's to say about the present plight of his kingdom?

The week that was

It’s over a week since I’d posted my last random thought. Since there was a requirement to go out of Delhi to attend an important function, I’d been out of my normal frequency and hence, the change of rhythm.
Last week was a hectic one by the sheer number of people that I was able to meet and exchange my views with. It was physically draining but mentally stimulating and in the process, didn’t realize as to how time had flown – these days, I’ve become very conscious of the passage of time, wonder why?
Subi, on a month’s leave from Muscat, had reached by the afternoon of Monday(09 Aug) and the tale of his tottering marriage was heart rending to hear and I’d mentioned about it in my earlier posting. MP(Joe) Joseph who’d come on an official errand, dropped in the next evening to spend a couple of hours before his flight for Bombay and reluctantly, I had to skip my evening walk and had a ‘sundowner’ with him. And by Wednesday(11 Aug), our programme for Thiruvananthapuram had crystallized and consequently, a lot of last minute tying up was required to be done. Drove through a bad traffic snarl, thanks to a heavy shower after working hours, to help Subi reach the railway station for his short trip to Kanpur.
Thursday(12 Aug) was the longest day for me in the recent past. We’d to get up at 3, early morning, to be on time for the 0725h flight to Bangalore and for an onward flight to Thiruvananthapuram, soon after and reached there, thankfully, on the dot by lunchtime. After settling Lekha at my aunt’s place, I was off to the PN Panicker Foundation to pitch in with my bit. From being a chauffeur to playing the host to picking up appropriate gifts for the special guests to decorating the venue of the event and finally, to being a script writer for my Maman’s welcome speech, I put in my mite into the preparation process and finally, flaked out at 3, in the wee hours of Friday(13 Aug) morning, after going through four rehearsals of speech delivery by Maman!
The Rashtrapathi’s inauguration of the concluding activities, in connection with the ‘PN Panicker Birth Centenary Celebrations’, which was spread over an hour and forty minutes from 1200h to 1340h at the Kanakakkunnu Palace, went off with a clockwork precision. The other guests included RC Gavai,the Governor of Kerala, MA Baby, the state’s Education Minister, PJ Kurien, Rajya Sabha MP, Shashi Tharoor, the MP from the constituency, Sivankutty, the MLA of the constituency and LV Saptharishi, the Chairman of the Federation of NGOs of rural India.
In the last minute as a stand-in for Pannian Raveendran, ex-MP, I'd to propose the ’Vote of Thanks’ and I must admit that there were two glitches – when I'd unwittingly, changed Omana Chechi’s gender while thanking her for her mellifluous rendition of the Invocation at the beginning and the author of the compilation on my Muthachan, that was released during the occasion, was wrongly named. Was I daft, scared or careless? I really, can’t give a precise answer but a BAD SHOW, it was, on my part! I would like to believe that neither was I overwhelmed by the occasion nor was I suffering from stage fright.I could only hear the final round of applause just prior to the singing of the national anthem.
Saturday(14 Aug) and Sunday(15 Aug) saw the both of us meeting many of our friends and relatives, whom we’d not interacted with during our last leave. It was exhilarating and thoroughly enjoyable. We left Thiruvananthapuram for Delhi by Sunday evening and reached our house by 2200h and was well in time to guide little Megha, coming from her parents currently in Paris, for her onward trip to Madras on Monday(16 Aug) morning.

There’s never a dull moment out here!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Yet another failure!

Tonight after listening to our friend Subi Philip, who's come in to spend a couple of days with us, I'm of the firm opinion that marriages arranged through the internet always turn out to be failures in a majority of cases.
Is it a case of putting across the 'best foot' forward, during courtship, only to bare one's fangs once the ritual of marriage is over?
Being very, very nasty but then, my random thoughts, as usual.
I pity the poor fellow as scars take time to heal!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

O, those evergreens!

Today, two of my all time favourite Hindi movie numbers were seen on the TV and boy, wasn’t that a bonus?
The first was from the 1958 super hit ‘Kalapani’ starring Dev Anand and Madhubala and the number is ‘Achha chalo mein haarein, maan jaao na……’ The number has an ever refreshing twang to it and I never tire of hearing that because Dev Anand and Madhubala make a very effervescent team!

The second was the evergreen number ‘Phoolon ke rang se’ from the 1965 super hit ‘Prem Pujari’ which is my all time favourite. And I must admit having sung this song, in my groggy voice, once from the depth of my heart. The words are simply ageless, powerful and the most expressive of one’s innermost thoughts for another and shot against the beautiful backdrop of the Swiss Alps is simply fascinating!

I love the two numbers with no holds barred!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Two sayings revisited

In the sixteenth century, in England, there used to be a loose conglomeration of people who endeavoured to educate the society on the importance of doing only good things towards living a fulfilling life. The conglomeration used to be called the 'Quaker Society' and it's one of their sayings that I've chosen as my life's dictum. I quote,"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good work, therefore, any kindness or any help that I can render, let me do it now. Let me not neglect or defer it, for, I'll not pass this way again".

Another beautiful saying that I try hard to follow but fail miserably is, 'To err is human, but to forgive is divine'.
Maybe I do not have the divinity, perhaps? Or is it that my evolution process has been stunted beyond repairs?

Friday, August 6, 2010

06 August

Today is the day that saw a catastrophe, encompassing human suffering of an unimaginable magnitude – and the tragedy is that the after effects still persist. 65 years back on this day, the American aircraft christened ‘Enola Gay’ had dropped ‘the little boy’ – the first manmade atomic bomb – into the heart of the then busy city of Hiroshima. The aftermath was terrible, as the huge mushroom shaped cloud grew into the sky, people and livestock just vanished into thin air without a trace thanks to the intense heat and radiation that enveloped the city. Buildings and other infrastructure were reduced to useless rubble and the once noisy city had become an eerie and silent ghost town. Three days later was the dropping of the second bomb on the city of Nagasaki. The proud nation of Japan was brought down to her knees and the emperor was willing to sign the instrument of surrender as dictated by the victors of the II World War, the Allied Forces.
This is a tragedy that must never be repeated, huge stockpiles of nuclear bombs in the arsenals of many countries notwithstanding. May sane thoughts prevail upon governments and their leaders the world over, so that the sufferings of the millions of people that inhabited the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki do not go waste. And may the huge stockpiles of weapons be just deterrents! Let’s say a minute’s prayer for all the people who’d suffered in that horrible incident.

While at school, I had read the book ‘The knights of Bushido’ written by a US army Major which is a gripping chronicle of the atrocities committed by the Japanese Armed Forces, while they were victoriously invading country after country, during the course of the II World War. And I remember asking then as to why the Americans had stopped at dropping two atom bombs.

The crew of the aircraft that dropped the bombs had a drastic transformation on sighting and further hearing about the undue hell that they’d raised. One of them committed suicide overcome by guilt, another became deeply religious and consequently, a pastor and the third simply lost his mental equilibrium. Such was the effect!

And it’s against this backdrop that I’d said earlier that we can ill afford to have a repeat of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

On a nostalgic trip!

The cable service providers of Arjan Vihar have added a round-the-clock music channel ‘Mastii’ and I’m already set to be its addict. The channel couples humour with music, in that music is preceded by spoofs on the numerous serials, chat and other reality shows that are currently in vogue.
This evening, a song from the movie ‘Sharmilee’, a super hit of the early 70s, was shown and boy, wasn't it a treat?! I'd seen this movie, for the first time, while I was a cadet in the NDA and since I liked it so much, I saw it twice more while on liberty to the Poona city, subsequently. A suave Shashi Kapoor and the vivacious Rakhee(that too in a double role) were nice to watch and all the numbers were and continue to be hits.
In fact, I remember telling my divisional officer, Sarabjit Mitra, who was an IAF pilot that I wanted to change my service to the army simply because I'd liked Shashi Kapoor as an army officer in the film!! And I still remember a guffawing Sarabjit Mitra who christened me 'Shashi Kapoor' and continued to call me so, whenever he saw me from then on.
And yes, the one thing that always boosted my spirits at the Academy, during my training days, was the movie sessions every weekend - English, on Saturdays and Hindi, on Sundays and I don't remember having missed a single one during my entire stay. Years later, even when I was back at the Academy as a DivO, I did make it a point to watch every movie without fail.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This, I suppose is the trend in parent - children relationship!

I’m in a carpool where we form a foursome. Driving to office has become lively as each one of us put in a thought for discussion and we go through the pros and cons to reach the office without getting the feel of the vagaries of the prevalent traffic. Similarly, the return drive also gets to be interesting while exchanging the day’s events that had gone by. Consequently, fuel is saved and the wear and tear on each of our vehicles also gets reduced!
This evening was no different but it was the agony of a fellow traveler that was shared. His daughter, studying in class XII had told her school authorities that she just didn’t like doing ‘science’ and opted for ‘humanities’ instead. Such selection of streams is possible at this stage but as the sad father said, it had the following ramifications:-
(a) The child needs to get a good grasp of the new subjects, under humanities, over the span of the next seven months before the Board Exams, which could be a tough call.
(b) Certain avenues were going to get permanently closed for the child after having exercised the option of switching over from science to humanities.
(c) The tutors, who’d been arranged for teaching science thus far, had to be discontinued forthwith.
And what made matters worse was that the child had taken this momentous decision while at school and the parents were informed about it, by the school authorities, subsequently. That had hurt the poor parents (I happened to meet the mother during my walk in the evening) immensely, though they’re putting up a brave front in supporting their child’s decision.
When I was young, though my parents were generally liberal in their outlook, important decisions pertaining to my future were their prerogative and I’d followed their diktat without asking any questions and I daresay that everything has gone off well. However, when I heard of this child’s decision of today, I can’t help but agree with her, that, she knows what she wants best and hence did the correct thing to speak up at the appropriate moment. But yes, she could have discussed the issue with her parents before going to town with her decision!
Am I sounding confused? You must agree with me that I’d always labeled myself as a confused bundle of thoughts!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Some attitude this - Aisha, I grieve for you !

Today, I happened to get my hands on the latest 'Time' magazine and was enormously saddened at the gruesome photograph of a young Afghan lady 'Aisha' who'd been brutalised by the Taliban. The photograph has been put on the cover with a note of apology, by the magazine, on its editorial for having resorted to such an act. She has been punished for having run away from a bad marriage, by the hooligans by chopping off her nose and ears! A sense of revulsion coupled with rage has been the underlying reaction deep within me, ever since.

The extreme measures resorted to by the Taliban on the general public in Afghanistan has been documented earlier too, but the scale of inhumanity that they practice is to be seen to be believed. What sort of savage people are these and how do they metamorphose into such hideous personalities when, I'd like to believe, each one of them came from families who lead honourable lives?

Do they plan to rule their people on the basis of a perpetual fear psychosis? If, on the affirmative, aren't they being totally dumb and ignorant of the nuances of human behaviour and psychology? No control of another human being is sustainable through fear or hatred.

For once, I'd say that the Americans are being the saviours of the common man of Afghanistan and it's a fond hope that they'd be able to beat the Taliban convincingly. And may God be with the people of Afghanistan in their eternal quest for peace and a life of hope sans fear of any kind!

An NGO has taken up the responsibilty of providing Aisha the corrective surgery through the best medical facilties available in the United States. A silver lining in an otherwise dark cloud scenario!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

What's happening in Kashmir?

The media has been abuzz, over the last few months, about a slew of violent activities between the security forces and the civilian community. The steady increase in bodycounts is alarming and sad. Any action or any word uttered initiates a fresh wave of violence and the end doesn't seem to be anywhere in sight.

Why can't all well meaninged people get into a huddle and break the impasse?

The murky behind-the-scene activities, adopted by the separatist leaders - probably because of having been exposed by the media - is very much in evidence. Wonder when these bad people would realise that nothing is gained in the long run, by inciting innocent youth to meet their violent ends for their own personal agenda. Perhaps, they'd only learn it when the violence affects their own kith and kin or are they hardened individuals, who do not understand the value of life at all?

It's my firm belief that good sense will prevail once sincere and effective leadership is provided but where's the messiah who fits the bill? For starters, why don't we get tough with the separatists, expose their shenanigans and render them totally ineffective?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It really ain't fair!

This evening was the grand finale of the reality show 'Idea Star Singer - Season 4' on the Asianet channel and five contestants had reached this stage after a year and a half of a tortuous process of elimination from an initial bunch of around 45 young boys and girls.
The results were based on the combination of the marks given by a panel of judjes and the votes through SMS by the viewers, after each performance. And the winner of this season is a youngster by the name of Joby John, who comes from a very humble background. He won hands down over Sreenath, his nearest rival by a brute majority of 'SMS votes'.
My personal observations on the results are:-
(a) Joby got more SMS votes because people perceived him to have come against
all odds and being the underdog was given their support on a sympathy wave.
(b) Sreenath, definitely, is a better singer and it's to be remembered that he
was the only participant who had sailed through each phase, never once going
into 'the danger zone'.
And so I wonder as to whether real talent gets recognised or otherwise, when emotions cloud our ultimate judgement in these reality shows.
Anyways, my congratulations to all the five contestants who'd reached the finals!