Monday, August 23, 2010

It's time to act.....

It has been a long afternoon today, an afternoon where I have been trying to distract myself from the fact that I need to leave my sister's place at Boston. Whenever time nears for departure during a visit to someone in my family or a friend, I get a kind of void feeling inside me, a sort of desperation to avoid that moment. So anxious I am that almost every time I tend to get an acidity in my stomach and today is no different. It's surprising that I don't get this feeling when I am away from people. 

Maybe that's the reason that most of my life changing decisions are made during travel away from my loved ones, a time when I become too emotional and start thinking too deeply. And yeah today I am again thinking after a long time. 

People who are accustomed to me, know that I am a social animal. For the past one and half years over here in America I have been missing my family and friends. Though I say to
myself that I am making some money and I need to be here for some more time, I am not sure whether there will be a time when I feel it's enough. My needs are ever increasing, I aspired to have a computer in my second year of college, now even after having a good phone, computer, camera,etc my lists is ever growing. 

I believe it's time that I chart a plan firmly return to India for friends and family are more important than money and gadgets. Hoping that this doesn't turn out to be yet another decision which was never implemented. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Final Year CIT Students seriously injured in an accident - Help needed

Two final year IT students Pragadeeshwaran and Pradeep met with an accident yesterday. An Innova driven by a drunken driver crashed into them.

Seems Pradeep is almost brain dead and has very low chances of Survival. Pragadeeshwaran has had multiple fractures and is requiring a major operation at Ganga hospital. The surgery costs nearly 10 lakhs. They are in need of financial assistance.

Kindly use any one of the following bank accounts for donation and please do send a note to id with the amount you have sent.

SBI - 30585222934 - V.Mahesh,kochin.

ICICI BANK - 613601011109 - S.Sumithra,
Tirupattur , vellore dt.
INDIAN BANK- 711877100 - N.Sathish Kumar, Peelamedu, Coimbatore.

For queries please contact, Nithyanandhan- 9047367005 Suresh-9884279587

Latest Update
Pradeep has passed away. Lets try to pool in whatever possible and help the other guy.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Bhramaram - A beautiful movie

Badri has always been a connoissuer of Malayalam cinema. And as usual today he suggested me watching Bharmaram, starring Mohanlal. Mohanlal is one of the most versatile actors I have come across. Mohanlal has got the uncanny ability to come under the skin of the character and this movie illustrated it once more.

For the past 150 minutes Bharmaram made me stick in a single place and watch it. (Believe me, many a time I watch a movie in phases). I am of the firm opinion that a good movie, "Must make one think". That doesn't mean I don't like entertainers but movies are a very powerful medium and if used, rightly can bring about a change in the lives of people.

Bharamaram is a damn good movie. Blessy, the director, doesn't just keep you glued to your place, he also succeeds in implanting a few seeds of thought in your mind. Though I was able to guess the plot to some extent during the halfway marks, the screenplay was riveting and there were a few surprises at the end. As usual Mohanlal has fitted into the poignant character of Sivakutty with ease. Though the story was a tard slippery in a place or two, they can be termed as minor glitches. The way of story telling is realistic, intriguing and emotional. At the end of film you might wonder why our media doesn't showcase films of these sort. (Maybe I am not noticing).

The most immediate thing which came to my mind after seeing the movie was Papillon. Though Papillon doesn't have any thing in similar with Bharamaram, the reason for which the Papillon came to my mind was that in both places the main character was a person who was wrongly convicted. I have only read Papillon, never even thought of seeing the movie, for the book was so engrossing and didn't want to commit the mistake of watching something which wrecks the book. The Count of Monte Cristo also came to my mind, however it was a movie which was unrealistic and fantasized.

Thought of going to sleep but Sivankutty and Lakshmi kept on coming to my mind and made me write this. Going to sleep with restless thoughts about the thousands of people who were accused, convicted and punished for no harm of theirs. There is a saying in Tamil, "கண்ணால் காண்பதும் பொய்; காதால் கேட்பதும் பொய்; தீர விசாரிப்பதே மெய்", never miss to follow that.

If you are a movie enthusiast or somebody who wants to see a good movie don't miss Bhramaram.

(PS: Youtube has got the entire movie with subtitles.)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Every moment of Life is beautiful, live to the fullest.

I get amused whenever I see people who try to save every paisa they earn and end up missing the moments they live in. I am amazed by their belief and confidence that sacrificing this moment would make things better for the future. And in most cases those things generally turn out to be pretty materialistic and even worse when they arrive at that futuristic point, they would have turned their attention to something even more futuristic and missing the moment again.

Though I have come across many of that sort, I got totally pissed off last week when one of my friends avoided eating out just because it is costly. The costly dinner came out to $12 per head which amounts not even to 0.33 % of his monthly income. Of course he knew that it would be coming around that range only. This act of alone didn't force me to write this post, but a series of quite silly acts. For instance, he didn't want to travel 3 extra miles in the car for getting fresh vegetables, worse he consoled himself that a week old (believe even more) dry Spinach was fresh indeed. There are many more and I don't want to waste my time prodding into everyone of them deeply.

I am not against the habit of saving, it is a quality which all of us must develop. I believe we, Indians, are masters in the act of savings. These days, maybe I am seeing it now only, I see lot of people trying to hoard every single rupee the earn. They don't mind missing out beautiful places, events, parties, even good food, in short to be miserable in all aspects of life just for the sake of saving.

That made me wonder what the hell are they saving for? Because most people of these sort, I have come across, don't come from poor families but from families which have a decent standard of living and some wealth. When you dig a bit deeper, you could see Indians save for 3 important things,

1. Buying a house. Perfectly right, Home sweet home. Having one's own home will give a sense of satisfaction, especially when you live in it. But is everybody buying a home which is affordable?

Not quite so, they invest in a house in a busy or posh area of the city which will make both husband and wife pursue on their jobs under all circumstances for repaying the loan. As a result they fail to spend quality time among themselves and their kids, worse in many cases they don't even understand their kids. When at last they settle, life would have passed along and in some instances there are some irreparable damage in the families.

And one thing which I constantly hear when discussing this topic is that this is the best form of investment and security.

I haven't seen many who sell their homes when in times of need, I have seen only homes bequeathed from parents to Children.

2. Buying and hoarding gold saying it's the best form of security. Passing it from generation to generation and also continue the process of removing credit from the system and keeping it safe in bank lockers. This is worser than the first one because in the first one you at least get something tangible but this one is something absurd.

3. Marriages - The amount of money people invest in marriages is something which is so big these days. In most of the cases the entire family of the bride will be nervous, tensed and anxious that the marriage should go smoothly, in the process missing out to enjoy the occasion. The occasion for which the bride's parents should have started saving from the day the girl was born. Isn't it absurd that you spend all your life saving for an occasion and not able to enjoy it when it comes. Do we really need such big marriages? Can't we make them simpler and more happier? For these days, the photographer has made marriages a kind of civic ceremony, a place which is meant for shaking hands and giving pose to the photo with an smile which turns out to be artificial on many occasions.

On a lighter note, I would like to have my marriage where people come, sit down and chat among themselves about whatever they want. Whereas me and my better part will move across the entire hall meet up with people, have a lively chat and move on. Would it be better?

These 3 things I won't say aren't worth spending the way we are doing right now.

In Tamil, we have a saying, "நாய் பெற்ற தெங்கம்பழம் போல" literally translated becomes, "Just like a coconut in the hands of a dog.". What it actually means is that a Dog cannot eat a Coconut but it simply won't accept it, instead it will keep on rolling the coconut and carry with it to everywhere it goes. Neither the coconut nor the dog's time end up being useful.

Makkale there are many beautiful things out there which are not worth sacrificing for these three. Do go and chill out at times.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Then forget it....

This Strip of Calvin precisely reflects my attitude right now.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some Useful Chrome Extensions

I have started loving Chrome pretty much and it has been my preferred browser for a few months. The most important thing which made me switch to Chrome was the space it provided, though you can disable toolbars in Firefox, Chrome seemed to be more spacious due to the Google mantra of keep it simple. I rarely have my bookmarks toolbar turned since the most frequent sites I visit are there on the Open Tab itself. Though Chrome still crashes then and there, it has become a lot less frequent these days. With the add ons , sorry extensions, slowly making their way, life has become quite easy with Chrome.

1. Application - It took a while for me to realize that you can have a page as an application shortcut which has the page sans the address bar, thereby giving you more space. Though it's just like a bookmark having a shortcut on the desktop, it gives a feel that it's an app of it's own.

Check out this video to know how to create one.

GMAIL, igoogle, Google reader and, from last week, Feedly sit as an application on my desktop. And placing the icon in system32 folder makes life easier for people like me who prefer to use the Win+R.

2. Feedly - Feedly is a front end for your Google reader. Though I started using Google reader more than 2 years ago I was never consistent. One of the primary reason is the reading interface which though simple is not a pleasant experience. Seems these folks also felt the same and instead of sitting like a lazy brat like me, they came out with this beautiful front end. Just install the add on for Chrome here and login using your Google account and see the difference.

You can link your twitter account also and view tweets, but I don't prefer this.

3.Chromed Bird - Though I have always felt the power and usefulness of twitter I never twitted or followed others twitters regularly. I found it a pain to go to twitter and see the tweets or tweet on my on. However after I installed Chromed Bird tweeting has become quite simple and easier.

You can tweet from any page you want without moving out and moreover it has an URL shortener which is even cool(I use Also you can check the tweets of other people from any page. Check it out if you are a twitter or want to use twitter.

4. GMAIL Checker - This is places a gmail icon on the right of the address bar and lets you know the number of unread mails in the inbox. Clicking on it will open Gmail in a new tab. No more typing to see any new mails have come. The add on is here. There is another extension called One Number, which does the same for Gmail, Reader, Voice and Wave. Since I am not using the Voice and Wave, I prefer this.

5. Send From Gmail - In case you want to forward any page to anyone this one is good. It opens a Gmail Compose in a new window(not a tab) with the Subject as the Page's title and the link of the subject in the body. Pretty neat and simple. Can be found here.

6. Delicious - I have been using Delicious quite extensively these days. (Please don't ask when I will be reusing the bookmarks, will help for sure one day. For example took all these links from Delicious only.) Earlier I used a tweak which had a link in the bookmark bar, but at last they have come out with an add-on which is neat and simple and works cool. It's over here.

In case you use Facebook you can try Beautify Facebook which adds some Gloss for facebook. Discovered this a couple of days back and not sure how it works, but worth trying.

Trying Tweet deck for the couple of days, seems good. Yet to explore it fully.

Do let me know in case you also have found some cool extensions for Chrome.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What happened to our Values?

Anybody who watched, Vetri lying hapless on the road with a group of people around him who dared not to act to save the life of a fellow human must have been annoyed and would have gushed with anger. For those who didn't are inhuman.

I was frustrated and could not even understand why at least one in the crowd could grab any of the numerous vehicles standing around and take the inspector to a nearby hospital. Why the heck should they wait for the ambulance to come and pick him up? Wasn't that insane? Is a human life less valuable compared to the interiors of the vehicle? Numerous questions arise.

Certainly I would want the heads of the Ministers, Collector who were at the scene. Though I do agree that the cameraman must also be questioned, I don't questioning him taking the video. For it had created not just a stir but made us sit back and think about the values of the society.

The incident evoked sharp criticism from everybody who can think and Sreevats suggested enacting a law, as in Germany, to punish those who do not help people in danger and distress.

Though creating a law can improve things, personally I feel enacting the law won't bring a sea of change. However it's better than keeping idle and forgetting this barbaric incident with time. How the law will be implemented is indeed a matter of speculation since the people who were at the place of the incident were law makers, custodian of the law and people of fourth estate who have the work of making sure the former are acting properly.

I think this incident makes us to stop form the fast paced day to day life and think about where the values in our society is heading. Vetri during his dire minutes was not alone, but there were couple of ministers, a collector, numerous policeman and a number of common man, of course everybody out there is a common man. What gives great pain is that none of the common man acted immediately and brings us to the question of the values existing today.

This may be the land in which Akbar, Ashoka, Vivekanda and numerous other man of great sanity, noble minds once walked upon. It seems we have just stuck their names in our history books and missed the good values they followed. This one case has embraced us just because of the fact that it was videotaped, certainly in a country of billion people more barbaric acts must and are taking place which never come to our notice. People like Vetri, Ruchika, Manjunath are exceptions and come to our notice evoking our emotions and slowly forgotten with time.

During my College days at 5h, we constantly used to discuss this topic extensively about where we as a society are heading towards. And one thing which I used to state and would love to reiterate over here is that, if we want to make a change we need to change the way the moral education is imparted at schools. I don't have the personal experience in other parts of India, but I can state with strongly that Moral Science has been a forgotten subject in the schools of Tamil Nadu.

It is a subject I would say which requires utmost importance, the art which when practiced properly can impart good values and virtues to the children who turn out to be the common man who witnessed the incident at Tirunelveli. So how do we go about doing the change is a different question. Just blabbering here in blog won't move things forward.

I will stop my rant for now and think about what I can do from my part to develop responsible citizens which is the want of the hour. This kind of death shouldn't occur for any human being alive.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What do you think about internet penetration in India?

Was just reading something on Google blog when I hit upon the World bank data search in Google. Just thought of seeing internet penetration in India compared to some countries.

See for yourselves, how India fared.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sudden fame is a bad thing indeed - Precisely said sir

Venkatraman Radhakrishnan, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry this year, is at Chennai and gave a guest lecture for Department of Crystallography, Madras University.

And he has reason to ask this question,

“Last year, the lecture was held in [an auditorium] with a capacity for just 300 people, and half the seats were empty,” said a bemused Dr. Ramakrishnan, facing a jam-packed audience of 3,000 at the university’s Centenary Auditorium. “What has changed? I am still the same person doing the same science. Why are people so impressed when some academy in Sweden gives an award?,” he asked.

But Sir, we Indians never look into the quality of the work what matters to us is fame and television. We will honor the victims of 26 / 11, but cannot give a damn about the deaths of people in Communal clashes / police autocracies, forgot the people who were killed by naxals, people who are dying due to poverty and so on. The reason these things are not shown on TV.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Love transcends humanity

When my friend Amith sent this video, tagging it as worth watching, I was extremely curious as he generally sends good videos only.

On watching it, I was moved to tears.

The last words were extremely touching,

"Love knows no limits and true Friendshipslast a lifetime. Get back in touch with someone today".

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

How could this be a Security Lapse?

Today the IAF chopper carrying India's President Prathiba Patil hit the Hanger's wall in Bhuvaneshwar International Airport. On reading the article the first and foremost question is won't the helipad and the hanger be well seperated, if so how did the Chopper go near the hanger wall. I googled it out and found am right.
Hence, I believe there are two possibilites for the accident to happen,
1. The pilot had some concentration lapse and didn't notice it, maybe he was tired after the visits to Konark and Puri for the president to get Darshan.
2. Or some extremely intelligent official citing security reasons might have insisted to land near the hanger.
Either way I can't understand why Econmic Times has mentioned it as a security lapse and some officials also accepted the same.
On a different note, I always get furious on seeing Government officials visiting Places of Worship on Taxpayers money. Just imagine the cost of using a 16 Sitter M17 helicopter, the security setup and the inconvenince to the public. I couldn't control my laugh on reading the servitor's comment, “She prayed for the well wing of the people of the country”.

Why blog?

On 6th of December, I was driving back from Jersey City to Delaware, I realized that on this very day 17 years ago Babri Masjid which was just a centre of controversy, to become a scar on the face of India. My first thought was to check Google news, as soon as I get home, to make sure there was no bomb blast or a heinous act like that. The barbaric act of Dec 6 has caused irreparable damage to the Secularism of India, widened the Hindu - Musilm divide and has made more people become religious fanatics. It might take decades, might be even centuries for India to shed off the scars and move on.

The scar would have not been this deepr had the Government acted sensibly, instead it choose to be a mute specator and every Indian Citizen is paying for it. To this day nobody have been indicted for the carnage which happened in Ayodhya, doubt whether it would ever happen. After all it took 17 years for Justice Liberhan to submit his detailed report to the Government. Worse still only an unofficial leak prompted the Government, which was skeptical, to release the report.

I was actually thinking of writing a detailed post on the Liberhan Commission, howeversome Vidial work, my friends birthday bumps and plans for India return kept me occupied a bit. However there were some questions lingering in the corner of my mind like, why do I need to write it. What is the effect of writing it? Is it going to change anything? and a lot more.
These days, I often get questions like this, though it dissuades me from writing at times, it does gives me some different perspective and also help me in brooding over the topic a little deeper.

Hence I don't try to restrain it, doing so would be .

Ok, lets come to the questions? Why blog?

The primary urge for blogging is not just for others to read, it's actually a vent in this busy world when we are not able to share our thoughts with anybody. I don't care whether it creates a profound impact on people, it's just that writing a blog takes some weight of your mind and you can move on thinking about various other issues.

One more reason is that only when I decided to write over an issue I start thinking about it deeply, try to find out the facts, perspectives, reasons, etc. It is indeed a bad practice, for this should happen irrespective of what I am going to do, ofcourse I am not Mr.Perfect however I would like to mend my ways.

Blogs also serve us a way to communicate with people who can understand what you think and the people like that cannot you generally live with. I do have lot of friends but not everybody see things from their own planes and is rare to find a person in your plane. You can always talk, discuss and argue with people having different perspectives, but talking with a person in a different plane is rarely productive.

Also I am just a spectator in this world and rarely do things which can do good to people. Though I don't have the guts to go out and play, I atleast don't want to be a mute spectator. The most important duty of the spectator is to cheer around, shout and support his team which would effectively improve the performance of the team. That's why in all major sports, teams carve to play at home, for the effect which spectators can bring in you might be the difference in winning and losing. This is one place which doesn't make me a mute spectator.

To conclude blogging is something which brings better things out of me and I am sorry for you if you are reading this post, my rants will continue. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Love for Words

I am one among the thousands from Tamil Nadu who is neither fluent in my mother tongue Tamil or the tongue which gives me work, English. We can say that it is insanity as well as a boon that we were introduced to the language of English right from our Kindergarden, a language which is still as alien to me as it was when I read "Tiger Tiger burning bright", the first poem whose meaning I could comprehend a bit when I read it for the first time. Coming back to the topic, it was good that we were taught English in Tamil during our Kinder Garden which is the best way initially, teaching a new tongue through a known tongue, but bad that it was the same way we were taught over our entire schooling.

The main problem in dealing with English among of us is the dogma imbibed deep within us which proclaims, "English is one of the toughest things to learn and is complex". When this mindset is set in each and every child right from their infancy, it is no wonder that we struggle to learn the basics lest alone think about mastering the language. I cannot see when we can remember the lyrics of hundreds of songs still vividly though it has been years since we heard them, why cannot we remember words and grammar provided we have the passion for it.

I can say with confidence and shame that I cannot express / write what I feel using either English or Tamil alone. Vocabulary is something extremely important for expressing yourself in any language and if I look back and recollect the new words I have learnt after 5th standard has been extremely low. Though I have thought about this on number of occasions since College I have never taken sincere, sustained efforts. I need to thank my Appa for the decent grammar he has taught which had made me survive with a very mediocre vocabulary.
I appreciated the beauty of Tami for the first time when I was in College asked me whether I have ever paid attention to the lyrics of இளைய நிலா பொழிகிறதே.

These two verses in that song made me go on a high, which I believe I would have reached with a snort. (I have never taken a snort :-( ).

"வரும் வழியில் பனி மழையில்
பருவ நிலா தினம் நனையும்
முகிலெடுத்து முகம் துடைத்து
விடியும் வரை நடை பழகும்"

"முகிலினங்கள் அலைகிறதே
முகவரிகள் தொலைந்தனவோ
முகவரிகள் தவறியதால்
அழுதிடுமோ அது மழையோ"

I don't want to translate this to English and make these beautiful lyrics awful. These words made me realize that I have been living in a different world altogether, a world which was too machine like. These lines are something which I would say symbolize creativity, the feeling which has the power to move the world and is moving the world. From there on I started reading more and more especially Tamil which I have neglected for years. I started not just loving, but discovering more thoughts, perspectives in books. This was how my love for Tamil began, a tard too late, which took about 17 years after my birth. And it is no exaggeration that this discovery has turned my life upside down, I am indebted to Kani for his question.

English was something which I loved in School, think I can attribute a variety of reasons for why I loved the language. One of the primary reasons is that I was fascinated by the language right from the day my Amma made me showed a piece of Calvin and Hobbs in the Sunday edition of The Hindu during my secondary school. My fascination to English is akin to that of my fascination towards Wine.

As am sipping some Red wine and writing this blog, I laugh at myself about the delusions I had regarding wine. I believed wine as concentrate of the grape juice, like the Grape juice which Amma used to make, until I first tasted Golconda, the most common wine you get in India, at Thiruvanmayur. My first glass (actually not glass, but the usual plastic disposable cup) was a bitter experience, I didn't like the sour taste of it and moreover it crashed all the dreams I had about wine. However after coming to Delaware I slowly started appreciating the beauty of wine and do take it regularly. I realized slowly that wine is not just made from grapes alone but from variety of berries and fruits just like English which is not for elite alone.

It was in the Palani hostel I winked for the first time on the beauty of English. It was one of those golden days when we were putting vetti mokkai at Room 212 (Think the room number is right), Peter (aka Vivek) explained the beauty of the word Laconic, a word which got it's name from the place called Laconia of ancient Greece. The legend mentioned in Norman Lewis's Word Power made easy (Never completed beyond 3 chapters in that) says an army camped on the outskirts of Laconia and sent out a messenger to the King of Laconia asking him to surrender. The messenger came to the court room and said, "If we capture you, we will destroy the city, kill all the men, will take your children, women, etc". The King of Laconia replied with a typical wit of a Spartan, "What if". And from then on Laconic was used to symbolize short and crisp language with wits. This word hit a spark in me and wherever I come across a new word I try to identify the origin of the word which has become a favorite past time of mine.

So why do we need to care about these words be it any language? Language has been one of the most beautiful inventions of mankind, just imagine a world without language. Certainly it wont be a world of void but without it we would not have progressed so much. It is the tool with which we convey and obtain our feelings, need, knowledge across centuries and millenia, things upon which the entire world moves on. Had it not been for lanugage human civilisation would take countless more millenia to reach the stage we are in.

I know that I cannot neither do I have the desire to be fluent in English like what .Higgins in My Fair Lady or like Kamal Hassan in Tamil, but I believe before I breath my last I can say proudly that I made every effort to learn and appreciate the beauty of Tamil and English.

And finally the thing which triggered this post was the explanation regarding the Orgin of the Word Sincere by Professor Langdon in Dan Brown's lost symbol.

Sin-cere - Since the days of Michelangelo, sculptors had been hiding the flaws in their work by smearing hot wax into the cracks and then dabbing the wax with stone dust. The method was considered cheating, and therefore, any sculpture “without wax”—literally sine cera—was considered a “sincere” piece of art. The phrase stuck. To this day we still sign our letters “sincerely” as a promise that we have written “without wax” and that our words are true.

I am an avid fan of Dan Brown not just because of his plots but the details which is giving in his books regarding language and arts, I am thinking of writing a separate post regarding Dan Brown in near future.

And the rant ends here for now

PS: You may ask, "Why the hell you are typing this blog in English". Two reasons, I do blog in Tamil once in a blue moon, I am still poor in typing and spelling. Hoping to blog in a frequency in Tamil also.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happiness, what is it? Does it do good always?

Disclaimer: If you do want to think please don't read this post. It might be boring, read it at your own risk.

Last Sunday, I was talking to Gautham, a person whom I can talk freely about what is in my mind to some extent. It has been some time since we spoke to each other, as usual we had the usual gossip about our friends and other things for a while and then somehow went on to to muse about happiness.

Though it may see odd and you might think what the hell is there to discuss about happiness, it was an interesting one to me. After a long time Gautham made me put the thinking cap on, thanks Gautham.

So what is happiness? Is it a feeling? a state? Does it have a benchmark?

Happiness is a feeling which our mind yearns about, a state which each one of us will be happy to go into. Can we say for sure what will make us happy 1 year now?

Yeah maybe to some extent, but how accurate it will be? I had a dream that one day I should have a laptop of my own, an ultra modern one, and here I am having one. Though I am happy, I am not as happy as I thought I would be before I got it. for most of us, perhaps in many aspects of life, our mind wavers like this once it reaches in pre-defined goal. This yearning has indeed led to the advancement in technology and the progress we have made from the Classical age to the industrialized age we are in.

However this property of mind has left millions of people without a peace of mind, with jealously, with frustration and even in some cases hatred.

If I were asked to define happiness, I would define it as, "Happiness is a state of mind which a human wants to achieve, however once the state is reached, the standard for it is changed to a different state from the one we achieved just now."

One more question which came to my mind was whether happiness is directly proportional to the increase in civilization of mind, an improved society. I believe it is not always, because happiness is a state of mind which we covert to and a state which we desire because of the impact of the society and society's impact may not be the positive way always. However if we humans are happy, calm and serene we can think about the problems facing us and set out to solve them. So happiness is indeed positive to some extent.

And do we enjoy the state of happiness alone, don't we enjoy the challenges that we face, the depressions we have? I have sometimes enjoyed the ride, passionately and relentlessly worked on to come out of the difficult situations. Though I wasn't successful always I had worked hard and didn't feel dejected because everything is not under our control, or any other power, in this world filled with randomness.
In a nutshell, though my mind earns for happiness, I believe the Pursuit of happiness is a more interesting and satisfying after we have completed a stage of the journey. However it is a never ending journey, a journey which we all pursue till our last breath. And those who know their destination, plan the journey in stages and work hard for it will be satisfied and might do wonders to the society in many instances.

Though they may not reach their destination, those will be satisfied like the fox in this story.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Naxal question

Our Prime Minster Mr.Manmohan Singh has stated Naxalism as “the greatest internal security threat to our country". And he also stated that, "“We are ready to talk with any group whether in Jammu and Kashmir or in naxal areas provided they shed the path of violence.”

Certainly some encouraging words in a perspective considering the recent increase in the Naxal insurgency. The attacks, ranging across Central India spanning from Jharkand & Bihar in West to Maharastra in the east, have increased both in number and violence.

Initially I was still not able to understand the sudden increase in number of attacks, is it because they are getting more funds, organized training from some where? And also why suddenly our Government is so much focused on eliminating these people when there even bigger problems and matters to negotiate.

Then it dawned on me that Central government was forced to act against these people who are a hindrance to the mining which is going to be carried out in Central India, for which contracts worth millions have been signed. Hence, if these people are there they won't be able to freely ravage the forest lands, for the land belongs to these people.

One needs to travel across decades to know the real intensity of the problem. The word Naxal has coined when in 1967, 20 years after India's independnce, a group of youth from the village of Naxalbari, West Bengal, frustrated by their poverty, impressed by Mao's ideals, staged attacks over the local lords and tried to seize control of the lands and secure it for the poor. With time many Naxal groups sprang into action and never at any point of history they was good coordination between the different groups.

To these people Independent India meant nothing, as the existence of Indian state had no effect on them, which continues to this day. They have not been given education, health coverage, bare them all they don't even have roads even to this day. Hence their question is, why should I give back my land to the Indian state, the land which is the means to my survival, the land which is God to me, which has not done anything to me so far, which doesn't seem to do any good in the future also.

Isn't their question valid? Their means are certainly questionable, they are lot of innocent people who have suffered a lot due to their acts, there is no denying it. They need to be rooted out for the existence of the Indian State.

However had the Government have functioned properly we would have avoided this bad situation, does the Prime Minister or the Home Minister accept publicly that, "Indian State is responsible for the sufferings the people of Central India are in."

Sometimes I ask myself this question, what exactly is this Indian state? It doesn't care for the people or their problems, all it cares about is that it must have a clean chit in the world.

I believe it's time we jump in to make sure that the Indian State functions as it needs to be. I will try to think of and discuss in coming weeks regarding what can be done from our side to make sure the State functions as it needs to be.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We need to avoid these mishaps

Though these days I am slowly becoming numb to the accidents, natural disasters, political comodies happening in India, I have not reduced my addcition of going to Google News once in an hour or so. Being Friday and no mood to work after 5, I opened the portal and the first headline was "Mumbai accident: Two dead, 12 injured".

On reading the details of the accident, I couldn't resist my anger, especially when I came to know that the action was pending on the bridge since 2002. Worse still "Onlookers said that the girder broke because it was placed on wooden planks, which had detoriated over the years due to water seepage", more here.

This is yet another thing which could have been avoided had better sense prevailed among the concerned. It seems a local train rammed into a water bridge which had collapsed into the tracks. The frustrating part is that the bridge has been in fragile condition for a long time, however, proper repairing couldn't was not carried out. Thane Municipal corporation and the Central railway division are blaming each other for the mishap.

Had not been the alertness of R.Ramachandran, the Engine driver who spotted the wreckage on the tracks and braked quickly, the damage would have been more. The worst thing is that noble man is no more.

I believe our country keeps running through the sincerity of thousands like Ramachandran. Let's hope his family is taken care of.

Not sure whether they had changed the Thane - Mumbai track since 1853.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No more watching Cricket

I still remember those days at Nungambakkam, Chennai when I used to get up early in the morning along with my Grandfather and my cousin to watch the Cricket World Cup held at Australia in 1992. For the past 17 years Cricket has been an integral part of my life, just like a typical Indian kid one of the activities for which I have spent a major portion of my life time is cricket. I have been so mad and passionate about the game in my life so far, I have faked stomach aches as early my III standard to watch Sachin play, cut my classes to see Dravid forge a beautiful century in Australia, sacrificied a lot of things to watch and play the game.

The moment I open my web browser,my hand involuntarily will type, though I am not a great player of the game I was a kind of nerd in cricket.

Then why suddenly stop watching the game which has been so close to my life?

The thing which made me take this decision was India teams act of playing in Sri Lanka, a land which a genocide has just taken place. I was disgusted to see that Indian team choose to play over there at this situation, it's money which counts and not anything else.

A few of my friends considered me stupid and told me that the decision is not in the hand of cricketers, I do agree that. But if they had refused on moral grounds, a lot of people would have sat up and noticed the carnage which goes on. And all the more there was one tamil player in the who didn't expressed anything about what's going on there.

I don't know why people never think in these lines, why are they not sensible.

Some do question me that I am overflowing with emotions just because I am a tamil, for those I would like to strongly state that I am a human. I have spent lot of slepless nights thinking about the plight suffered by thehardships faced by people in Kandhar, Darfur, Gaza, North West Frontier province, Eelam, North Eastern India, Kashmir, Gujarat, etc.

I am more attached to Eelam because I have seen many who have been affected by the problem. Also if I can act with proper determination and sensibility I bring a change to their lives. Though I have to admit with guilt that I have not done it properly so far.

Thats why decided against watching cricket and do something useful during those times. Sometimes it is tempting to watch it, but so far I have been able to restrain myself. I have not visited Cricinfo's website once I came to India is going to Lanka, however watched a few portions of Lanka Vs England match when they were watching it in my room. But certainly determined to stop watching cricket.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

When we ramble about change, these people are working hard for it.

I am one among the thousands who ramble about the evils and ills which are dragging down our country. Whenver something bad happens, we feel bad about it in our minds, some discuss it with friends and some scrabble something somewhere.

We say that in our country change is not possible. We feel that whatever we set out to do will encounter a blockade somewhere by a politician or a bureaucrat or the police or the local rowdies. We do cite many examples of persons who had tried and failed, but rarely we see people who make a good try. In more simple words, we try to shift the blame to some one.

The IT boom has indeed bought some changes, people have started to earn more at a very young age. And among them there are some who can really see the ills of the society and a few of them tend to act towards it. Thats why I believe you can see the sudden spurt in the number of Non Profit Organizations working towards the betterment of education, Bhumi, Anavi, Nanmai, Saaral, Disha, Vidial to name a few. There are many more orgainzations and each of them is trying to something from their side towards the betterment of the society.

The question which constantly arises in my mind is, "Are these organizations enough to bring a substantial change in the society?"

My answer is a strict no, the reason are,

  • The rate at which these engines work certainly cannot keep in pace with the factors which detoriate the society.
  • A government can easily collapse an organization like this in a matter of days.
  • Education, the area which almost every organization concentrates, is one of the the pancea and not the only one.
We certainly need more organizations which jump into the political arena and fight for the injustice, evils and make sure our society head towards in the right direction. The bitter truthis these kind of organizations are very hard to find. People hesitate to enter this avenue mainly due to fear, fear of their career getting derailed, fear of something happen to themselves or their family, fear of financial insecurity and a lot more. Thogu some fears are true, some of the fears are imaginery, hypothetical. We need accept the facts humans are selfish brats.

Lot of us would love to do something of this sort but are not doing them. We may not jump into the arena, but we can atleast recognize and support people who do it, correct?

I consider myself lucky for getting in touch with such a set of people. On 8th February, 2008, I attended, Thesathirku Thool Kodu an initiative by Shanti Ashram at Coimbatore organized every year with an objective to Gather people & Organizations who are inclined towards the betterment of our society. In that meet I meet Sundharmoorthy na from Vavipalayam, near Coimbatore. Sundar na was representing Sidhanai Sirpigal, an organization which he co-founded, which had bought about significant changes in Vavipalayam. (Google it and you can see the difference they have made, BW had an article a long time back).

Nandhakumar na, representing Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam (Dr.M.S.Udhayamoorthy's organization), was one more intresting person I met there . Nandha na working in a software company had resigned his job to do research and work for the improvement of the Panchyat raj improvisation. Seeing a person who was just a few years older than me who had given up his job to pursue something which a lot of us hesitiate to dream about was something which gave me goose bumps.

Both Nandha na & Sundhar na were active at Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam, operating from the North Avenue road, Thiruvanmayur. I was infuriated by the fact that I haven't noticed it despite walking on the road several times. From June, till I came here to Delaware in Jan, I used to visit them consistently and be in touch with them regarding the happenings they are doing.

To eloborate a bit about MSI, they were an orgnization who were working towards bringing about social and political awarness to the people. They are doing a monthly magazine titled "Nambu Thambi, Nammal Mudiyum" and working different avenues like Panchyat Raj, Education, improving the Governmental activities, agriculture, Prohibition, Corruption. At MSI, I came in touch with Senthil na, Siva Ilango na, Prabhakar na, Mohan na and a lot of more other people. (Think I can devote a post to each and everyone of them).

Their commitment towards bringing a change was something which awesturck me and the results they produced were also good. They were a pretty determined lot and were working hard. I had a chance to take part in some of their discussions and found them to be very productive.

Last month, they formed a political political party called Makkal Sakthi and contested in the Bargur by election. Ilango na contested the elections and came third.

I got a mail from Senthil na, regarding the vote details.

Vote details and analysis:

DMK - 89481

DMDK - 30378

Makkal Sakthi Katchi - 1985

CPI - 1640

BJP - 1482

- RAJESH - 3482



- ELECTION COST IS NOT A BIG DEAL. OUR TOTAL CAMPAIGN EXPENSE IS LESS THAN Rs.50,000 only. With this itself we were able to do a decent campaign.
As soon as the party launch press meet is over, we came to Bargur. So, not able to communicate effectively to all our email network. Sorry about that. As soon we return to Chennai, we will update our website and will call for a meeting to brief you about our policies and strategy. ( At present you can download the pdf version of our policy doc @ )

I am really happy and proud about the way the are heading. Wishing them all the best.
Hats off to you all.

PS: For hardliners who say that Lok Paritran was not supported by people, change will not happen overnight, it will take some years. Their intentions was good, but the apporach was fatally wrong.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Don't blame the girls alone......

This is just another blabbering of mine, but think it's worth a moment to think about it.

Yesterday night was a typical bachelor's Friday for me. In the evening I played tennis for a decent amount of time, the first time in my life I served an ace, phew it is real. (After that came a game in which I had just 3 double faults). One set of friends wanted to go to Kaminey,
though I was a bit enticed to see Priyanka Chopra on the big screen, I decided not to go due to variety of reasons, budlight lime being one among them. We made some Rava Kichadi for the night and had some Breadsticks and buffalo wings from Domino's.

As it happens in the life of any bachelor, after a drink and nothing to do on a Friday night, a topic came in for vetti pongal. Sometimes these topics are of very great intellectual quality, which normally doesn't strike our mind, or things which we don't gave a damn about due to the various entertainments available around us. I love to be in discussions like this which give me an opportunity to realize how I think, what's my attitude, etc. (Provided you don't booze too much, if you do so, then it's a different story altogether).

Let me came to the topic, recently back in my company they banned wearing Casuals on Friday. The topic stated with the discussion of why did they ban the casual attire (to be read as Business casual, that's what they call so)? My friend told that one of the primary reasons is because of certain section of the girls wearing pretty indecent attire. It is certainly one of the reasons, I have seen certain girls whose costume will take your mind for a wild ride. But that doesn't rule out the boys who do wear a round neck T-Shirt with a glaring design, a jean with n number of pockets and sometimes which is torn at some places. Wearing what they like is an individual's right but when you are representing an organization there are some lines which should not be crossed, this was the reason why the Business Casuals were banned.

The argument from my friends perspective was that it was because of the Girls the Casuals were banned. My side of argument was though it was one of the primary reasons, I couldn't place the blame on them. I am articulating my argument as below,

"Every male or female (in most cases) tries not to be a common person. They want to stand out from the crowd in one way or another. Out of these some section want to attract the opposite sex, a section which will have a smile maybe not on their lips but in their hearts to see members of the opposite sex turn around and say a Phew at them. And many try to make faces turn by dressing beautifully, the problem comes when we are defining "dressing beautifully". A pretty good Churidar, or a decent top and a jean can project a girl beautiful for sure, but not everybody thinks like that. Some tend to think that dressing more sexily will make heads turn around. As everybody knows a Man's mind more easily sways and he will turn for sure.

Men don't (need) dress like that, it is not common to see men wear sleeveless tops or a top which shows their hip. The reason is a woman's mind doesn't get swayed like that, their definition of good looks is different from a man's mind. Hence men don't dress like that, had it been a case where women start liking a man showing his hip, you would see the streets swarm with guys dressed like that.

So my take is don't blame the girls alone.

1. For me beauty is something which is not determined by external looks.
2. Time to have another budlight lime, don't know I love it pretty much.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I believe the best way to fight draught is inspire people

You know during tough times it is always tough to do things which we do normally. It is even tougher to do things which are bit harder. Uttar Pradesh has been affected by a draught and people facing tough times. However you can't leave stones unturned because of a draught, actually you need to work more to overcome the situation. So how to make people work hard during this, Mayawati has come with an innovative plan which costs Rs.656 crores. Check it out, hats off Maya.

Friday, July 24, 2009

14 Years in Prison for a joke - isn't it absurd?

You would land up 14 years of imprisonment if you pass text a joke on Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.

Is Pakistan a democracy? don't know. But reading this news made me laugh my heart out.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

No more Chest Pain please, its time we get a change.

I am trying to recollect the first instance of a Politician getting a Chest Pain immediately he / she got arrested due to some wrong deed of him / her. (Believe female politicians are also not exempt).

The rampant abuse of this option I believe started in mid-90s.Or maybe I started noticing them in mid-90s, as it was the age where I started to think a little. I believe we need to applaud them for the fact that they never even seem to hesitate to act like that, even though it is a clumsy, silly act which can be clearly seen by everyone. Even when I used to cut my school / college I used to think of more creative ideas, despite that I used to get caught occasionally. Whenever somebody notices my clumsy lie, I used to be ashamed of myself and never again used that again.

But these guys don't give a damn about that. Whenever they get arrested, they complain about a chest pain and get admitted to the hospital.

The case of TDP legislator T V Rama Rao,
reported in Times of India, is one of the clumsiest I have ever seen. He was arrested for harassing a girl in a Nursing institute run by him. And as usual he complained of chest pain and was taken to the hospital.

The doctor, who examined him after the tests, said his condition is stable adding "he has no heart problems."

Don't know whether he has been moved to a jail or he is still ensoying at the hospital.

Whatever be the case, Guys no more chest pain please, its time we get a change.. As a responsible citizen who elected you, we need at least this privilege.

PS: I have a doubt since TDP's rival Congress is in power, the doctor mentioned like this.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy to share this Joyous moment.......

There are some days in which you feel truly joyful, a sense of satisfaction prevails in your mood and you will be looking forward to do some good things in life. This is one of those days. Want to ask me what makes me so elated? Certainly I have not found my girl, if I had I would screaming at the top of my voice and would have been busy talking instead of blabbering something in this weird blog of mine.

Just now I wrote a post summarizing the success of 4 persons, who had worked hard to get a job and got transformed from a beacon of hope to a person who leads from front for their families. The thing which makes it special is that Vidial had the opportunity to support them to a decent extent in their journey. And thing which makes it more satisfying is that I was extremely close with one of those persons, Suresh for the past 3 years. I had a tab on the remaining 3 persons to some extent. I am extremely happy for these 4 people.

I would also thank Vidial, a group which I accidentally stumbled into, which gave me this opportunity.

Do read more about it in this blog post of Vidial.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hindu and N.Ram are blatant liars

As I grew up, like many of the kids in South India, I was taught that 'The Hindu' is one of the best newspapers in the land. Whatever it reports were supposed to be correct and I lived with the same opinion till a few years ago. I even used to revere it.

Till my final year in college, it never caught my mind that it was just passing news, just like a RSS feed aggregator. I was not able to see any series which were exploring socio-political, economic and other active issues in depth.I don't know why never did it occur to me that Hindu never concentrated on Active Issues of the society.

Apart from the Indo - US Nuclear deal covered in detail by Siddarth Varadarajan, I feel no other matter (One more which comes below) was pursued seriously as by it. There aresome good journalists like Sai Nath, V.R.Krishna Iyer, but I believe neither of them are bound to Hindu alone.

I lost my respect for Hindu after seeing the way it is covering the Tamil Eelam issue. It has always painted a rosy picture of the Sinhalese. One blatant example how partial Hindu is can be seen in the below article,

When the entire world is concerned about what is happening in the Concentration camps,

the way Ram has written is a violation of the basic principles of journalism.

There are lot of peoples who have been questioning the condition of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The autocracies of the Rajapakshe and his Government were blatantly bought into light after the assassination of Lasantha Wickramatunga, a person who was not afraid in expressing his views against the Government's action against the innocent people. Do read Lasantha's editorial, that throws light on the scheme of things in Sri Lanka, which was published after his demise. Lasantha knew that he would be murdered sooner or latter for his anti government stance, hence he wrote the editorial in advance and asked it to be published after his death.

I am proud and happy to see people like Lasantha, who are the embodiment of journalism. I don't know how people like N.Ram have the heart to do such false propaganda. To my knowledge Hindu has never published anything which says Tami people where killed or were hurt by the Sri Lankan Army. Is it not comical to say that in an operation of such a vast magnitude, an operation which was carried out mercilessly didn't hurt any Tamil?

I don't hesitate to call N.Ram a b*******. A interesting bit of News, Sri Lankan government awarded Ram, the Sri Lankan Ratna, the highest civilian in honor that is conferred by Sri Lanka in 2005.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Certainly we are living in an Orwellian world.

Lot of times I used to ask myself this question. Are we living in a world which just gives the impression of being rational? Where was this rational when Africa and Asia were colonized, their natural wealth ravaged, their resources replenished and their people harassed, murdered, basic rights crushed. Didn't it all happen until 50 years back the impact of World War II made colonization a burden

Though I despise war not just it is violent, but the damage it leaves, the trauma it gives to lot the soldiers, people who were involved in the war for no reason of their own, that too in a war which is of no direct or indirect consequence to them. I would certainly tell that in the past 1 century more than 75% of the wars which we have seen are because of the selfishness, foolishness and cleverness of the people sitting on the top. George Orwell had precisely explained this in 1984. I would recommend everybody should read the book, one of those which change the way you see the world.

I am blabbering something else than coming to the point of this post. The recent happenings in Iran and the way Western Governments and Media has handled it reminds me of the Iran in 1953. At that time also we had precisely the same situation which we are now in.

Iran was headed by Mohammed Mosaddeq, a person who was democratically elected as the Prime Minister of the Iran. The crisis began in 1951 when Mosaddeq decided to nationalize the Oil resources of Iran. This came as a severe jolt to the British Government as it had the exclusive control over the Oil Industry. A war against was on Cards which was averted because of Truman's didn't budge. It is quite comical indeed to see a country not able to decide what to do with its national resources. Don’t know what does Sovereignty mean?

Luckily Truman didn't budge or else we would have seen another war, which history would have recorded as a War against the acts of the evil Prime Minister Mohammed , a tyrant paying no heed to the welfare of people. The two decades after the World War II were full of covert operations of the Two Blocs (especially C.I.A. & K.G.B.) in overthrowing the Governments which didn't agree with them either ideologically or economically. I believe Iran was the first stone on either side to fall for a covert operation.

When Eisenhower came to power in 1953, one of his first action, was to authorize C.I.A. to proceed with Operation Ajax, an operation whose goal was to overthrow Mosaddeq and install in a favorable government for the block led by USA. CIA trained, funded and armed SAVAK, the Iranian intelligence wing of Mohammed Reza Pahlevi. After the coup, Pahlevi was installed as the head of the Government and was in power till Iranian revolution in 1979.
A coup which removed a democratically elected Government by a dictator, the democracy western world is shouting about now.

After all this things do you want me to still believe that U.S. and U.K. are shouting for democracy in Iran? Absolutely not. There must be some motive behind this, don't know what exactly it is. Oil is a primary reason; one more reason is that Iran was planning to start a trading exchange for Oil, that too in Euros.
Everywhere I see the news that Iran Opposition is complaining about alleged misappropriations in the election. But if they are able to blog continuously, give photos of police beating the youth, why can't they give some solid proof of the alleged fraud in elections.

There might be something wrong in Iran and they way certain things are happening in Iran are not pretty good, especially woman rights and an individuals freedom. But certainly something of the magnitude which press and the governments are describing is not happening. Whatever maybe wrong with the internal politics of Iran, certainly they are not killing innocent civilians in their own or some other country for a threat whose odds are more than one in a million.

Why can't the western Media criticize Israel’s activities in West Bank and Gaza Strip? A country called Palestine which existed before 1947 is no more. All its inhabitants are subjected to ills which I believe nobody should ever get again.

Why didn't they talk a bit when Sri Lankan government crushed the rights of Tamils, and did Genocide? Not even a single gruesome picture came in the mainstream media during the past one year.

Certainly we are living in an Orwellian world.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Google now crawl flash files too

Read in Google's blog that it's search engine can now crawl flash files and index the external sources which a swf file might use. I would be really happy to know how it really happens, need to spend some time on it.

Saina - First Indian woman to win a Super series

Saina Nehwal beat Lin Wang(W.No: 3) of China to win the Indonesian open title at Jakarta on Sunday, June 22nd. It is the first victory for an Indian woman in a super series.

Saina is currently ranked 8th in the world and it is nice to see this 19 year old making constant stride. Lets hope time is not far when this 19 year old goes on to become the world number 1. It has to be noted that Saina's performance has been consistent, her World no: 8 ranking is a standing proof of the same.

See all articles related to Saina's victory here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Isn't this queer?

I noticed this report in IBN-LIVE's web page.
Vinita Devi has requested the Post Mortem report of her husband Gajendar Singh, a NSG Commando, who was killed in the operations during the Mumbai terror attacks last year.
This comment by Vinita Devi took me aback, "I never got any post-mortem report of his death but it would be consoling if I had one. I have the desire to see it. What i know (the cause of his death) is what was reported in the media. I will ask the NSG in this regard".
It is pretty amusing to see the fact that the kin of a miltary person who died on duty didn't get any official report regardind the death.

Yet another illustration of our media's responsibility.

I was just browsing through NDTV's site now. I noticed that the bomb blasts in Lahore has got a higher precedence than the Cyclone in West Bengal.

Worst Still, in case of CNN-IBN Deccan Chargers arrival was considered more important.

Don't know where this is going to end.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The primary aim of modern warfare

I am currently reading George Orwell's 1984. As I am reading I have two thoughts about Orwell

1. He had a mind which could conceive what would happen in future.
2. Or the world has not changed pretty much, except for technologies, since his time.

I believe the second statement is more true. I will put in a detailed review of the blog sometime sooner. For the moment, I couldn't resist putting this quote,

"The primary aim of modern warfare is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living. Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of what to do with the surplus of consumption goods has been latent in industrial society."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sainath on the f******* Indian Media

During my college days, I slowly understood that mainstream Indian media, both print and television, never even show interest in addressing the vital issues which needed to be addressed for the development of our country and our civilisation(I believe, we still have some). 

Media is one of the most important tools to make people think and our media certainly failed in this. All that grasped headlines and attention of the media were topics which are of little value when looked in a macro perspective, a cine artist's private life gains more attention than the the sucide of our farmers. Rarely they do give attention but in the most stupid way possible just as it happened during our Mumbai terror attacks, when each planned operation of our commandos were explained and analysed so that the terrorists can easily counterplan. 

Had the issues like Poverty, Narmadha Valley, unrest in North Eastern states,  the Naxal movement, Indian government's role in Sri Lanka and a lot more gained proper attention and scrutiny, lot of lives would have been saved and lot of people would have lived happily. 

All over the world, Media is the one of the best way of making sure that our rulers turn their attention towards what really mattered and required action. It is no denying the fact threat Neoliberalism has slowly gobbled Media also. 

Sainath, clearly points that out here. 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Change must come from within.................

26th of November was yet another day which was of no use to myself or this world. As the day was drawing near the end, I was trying to do something useful for the day by attempting to read Stephen Hawking's "A Briefer history of Time". My room mate was surfing the TV when he saw the militant attacks at Mumbai coming as flash news, though he got excited, I dismissed it as another series of bomb blasts which our country had learned to live with and tried to bury myself in the book. As the clock ticked towards midnight we could figure out that this is not a bomb blast but an extremely well planned operation which is going to cause a major outrage in the world. We went to sleep around 1.00 clock still unsure of what was exactly unfolding in Mumbai.

In the morning when we switched our TV sets we saw that it had been a sleepless night for thousands of people. The whole world was watching as terror unfolded its clutches across the Mumbai, there was little anybody can do. The army was pressed into action and even their seasoned NSG commandos were finding it tough to flush the militants and save the hostages, it has been almost 48 hours since everything began but still the battle to save people is going on. 

Yesterday (Nov 27th), it was raining cats and dogs here at Chennai, our house at Velacherry had had more odds of going under water. The previous night we had a small warning with the water reaching our veranda and bathroom at the back. The fear of water flooding into our house and the terrible situation in Mumbai had me in an awful state of mind and I decided to take the day off. I was alternating between Times now and NDTV to track what is happening in Mumbai till 11, but I got pissed off with some of their predictions and decided to watch a movie instead. These days our media houses are all about reporting and TRP ratings, it is really rare to see good journalism, seems with quantity has traded for quality. 

I was browsing through my room mate Pannai's collection of movies and picked Batman Begins to watch, the recent admiration of Christopher Nolan's Dark Night made me to watch the movie though I had watched it earlier. I found myself enjoying the movie which I didn't when I saw it almost about two years ago, seems laziness and prejudice has slowly crept inside me in every walk of life. As I was going through the movie I felt what Bruce Wayne had felt in Batman, the grudge against the people who are responsible for the chaos prevalent in our society. I wished there would be a person for our country, the world to save it just like Batman did it for Gotham, though it was not pragmatic, I slept off with such a dream. 

The situation was still pale at Mumbai when I woke up, but it was turning worse in my room with water slowly starting to seep in through the back door. Myself and my room mate had an intuition that this was going to worsen, hence we just shoved all the things lying around (usually too many in a bachelors room) into shelves and prepared a backpack to go somewhere. The waters level rose at alarming rate and as we left more the level was more than a feet. Wishing the situation would turn around quickly I left for my uncle's house at Beasant Nagar.

The travel was horrendous with my share auto severing along the breadth of road which had sank under water without a trace. The journey from Velacherry to Thiruvanmayur under normal circumstances takes about 20 minutes, but it was not a normal day. When we had finished three quarters of the distance, the auto came to a virtual stand still just before the Taramani junction. I waited for about 10 minutes inside the auto and thought trotting on the foot was a better alternative to reach quickly. As I came to the T junction of Velachery road and Perungidi link road there was a deadlock which any Operating system teacher would have pretty much liked to use as an example. A section of traffic was trying to take a right towards SRP tools, whereas the traffic from SRP had blocked the entire road. Worse still there was another set of vehicles trying to take a right towards the Perungudi road.

And all the vehicle drives were not just hoping but working hard to clear the traffic with persistent honking of their horns which amused me a lot. Though vice (we will discuss later what is the vice) has spread across the length and breadth of our country there are many persons who have not been still attacked by the same, maybe our population is too huge even for a vice or disease to spread. 3 persons unaffected by these vices were trying to do something for the traffic, buoyed by their spirit I also jumped in to lend my effort as far as possible. And after a struggle for about 15 minutes we were able to regulate it a bit. The worst part was we had to persuade, plead, shout at people to ease the traffice,  everybody sounded that it is urgent for them to reach home and to them it didn't matter what happened to others. 

In other words everybody was trying to follow Adam Smith's philosophy of "In a group best result comes from everyone in the group doing what's best for himself". Little did they realize that what John Nash had corrected it as "In a group best result comes from everyone in the group doing what's best for himself and the group". (Courtesy: A beautiful mind).

After half an hour of effort, I realized it is time to leave or else it will be too late to reach my uncle's house. As I walked my way to the next bus stop more than a kilometre away I was thinking about the vices which has engulfed our society. The first and foremost one is materialism, which has spread its tentacles across the length and the breadth of our society. Everybody wants to become rich, build homes, buy ornaments, cars, etc. There is nothing wrong in being materialistic but the way in which we attain materialistic is extremely vital in determining the health of a nation. I think our understanding of God is also one of the reasons why we are like this blaming everything on God and asking him for a solution instead of trying to find out one.

Call it fate or irony the fact is, the land in which Gandhi was born, people no longer have regard for the philosophy of means and ends which he adhered till his death.  If we had indeed followed that principle of Gandhi, this country would have been a better place to live. Still it is not late, we could see a turn around in the lives of each and everyone of us, but it will take some time to see the effect. Alas, the present day Indian lives in an era of instant coffee and soap operas where he has become devoid of something called patience. 

I believe the second most important thing which is proving to be a nemesis is patience. We are not even patient enough to wait for a traffic jam to clear, instead we just jump over the yellow line and take the wrong side of the road to reach our destination  which ultimately will create a deadlock or an accident and in fact worsens the problem for everyone of us. It is not just traffic, we do it everywhere in every phase of our life from paying our bills in a shop counter to taking coffee in our offices, wherever it is possible. 

The third reason is lack of social responsibility. The definition of Social responsibility has got narrowed down, by corporate India, to the helping of orphans, old age homes and destitute children. There is also another definition of Social Responsibility used by our media, it is about people coming out to help during natural catastrophes, terrorism etc. Do these things alone constitute Social Responsibility?  I believe the above said acts are due to empathy and constitute only a part of Social Responsibility. 

During the past two days I noticed lot of people blaming the Government for its inability to tackle terror, inadequacy to tackle floods. The only question I would like to ask each one of them is, "Who is the government?". If you are blaming the government it means you are blaming yourself not someone else. 

The problems faced by our country is not due to the politicians or the administration, it due to each and everyone of us. We cannot become a developed country unless each one of us change, unless each one of us bring in control the demons in us. 

I have come across many people who talk about the problems in our system and are ready to work for the change, but they want to see the change immediately. Change in a country with such a big population will not come quickly, it might take years, even centuries. For that to occur we must start now, lets strive our best to leave this world a better place for the generations to come.

For that the Change must come from within.................