Friday, November 30, 2007

The ugly Politician

“The pornography of politics gets a new variation as Deve Gowda looms over the ruins of a coalition experiment. The reckless patriarch with his dynastic impulses is not alone. There are a few others who excel in political harlotry in the name of social justice. They are united by the depravity of power.”

The opening lines of an article by the India Today in its latest issue. Unfortunately I could not scan the accompanying image which was a delightful combination of the faces of Deve Gowda, M.Karunanidhi and Devi Lal (I think). There is nothing much to be said about the farce that is played out before us in the political scene. Every politician worth his salt wants his son / daughter to take up the family business. Frankly I think that is a normal paternal attitude and I fully support it. Why would I decline the directorship of a firm my dad runs or a kingdom he rules? (Pity he does neither!)

Hereditary accession to the throne is historical and has been handed down from the early days. When a king dies, his progeny ascend the throne. In ancient Egypt it is said that the royal family married within themselves to retain the pure blood so that the heir is untainted by the blood of lesser mortals. So incest was accepted. (If you are a king you make the rules.)

Businesses are no strangers to this practice how many patriarchs have handed over the batons to their often Ivy League educated sons / daughters before they kicked the bucket or retired into obscurity? Of late however many businesses have found that the heirs are often incompetent to handle the many responsibilities of the job and end up loosing the stake holders money. Professional management is just a glorified exit route for such incompetents who exit gracefully leaving the leadership mantle to those who will not just be efficient administrators of wealth but also set about increasing it. But the invisible remote control will always lie in their hands.

Maybe these political families can do likewise? No matter how much they swindle they still are not as good enough when compared to a true professional. Maybe these politicians can sit back and watch their wealth grow by handing it over to good professional managers; after all hunger for power is just a byproduct of greed for wealth. Good governance that will happen for us poor citizens is of course, incidental.

PS: This is a classical case of diversification going wrong, wish these farmers had stuck to farming. Too many farmers get famous, become heroes and then turn villains.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tagged again!

Was tagged by Chriz, so here goes...

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
Steve Martin in Pink Panther

2. What were you doing at 0800?
I was pondering the meaning of life. (just shitting man)

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Began browsing

4. What happened to you in 2006?

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
Lisa! (trying to find my dog)

6. How many beverages did you have today?
1, H2O

7. What color is your hairbrush?
1 blue,1 green.

8. What was the last thing you paid for?

9. Where were you last night?

10. What color is your front door?

11. Where do you keep your change?
In my wallet and often it becomes a pain in the butt.

12. What’s the weather like today?

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?

14. What excites you?
I aint telling u

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
Yup, I was trying to find my face yesterday and failed.

16. Are you over the age of 25?

17. Do you talk a lot?
The day I stop talking I loose my job.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
Yes. He blows his own trumpet loudly. (Really)

20. Do you make up your own words?
Yes. I do.

21. Are you a jealous person?
Not really.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.
Have a handful, checked my cell to confirm

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.
Kevin. Had a few Karthik’s in my cell so chose Kevin.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
Solomon, Ex-RJ and now producer of Radio City.

25. What does the last text message you received say?
”The dream is not what you see in your sleep. Dream is the thing which does not let you sleep.”

26. Do you chew on your straw?
Nope. I have other uses for it.

27. Do you have curly hair?

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
Maybe back to office. I have no calls anyway.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
Have seen a few.

30. What was the last thing you ate?

Fryums. Leftovers from lunch.

31. Will you get married in the future?
Lightning seldom strikes the same place twice.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
Watched a few. None exceptional.

33. Is there anyone you like right now?

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
Still thinking

35. Are you currently depressed?
Yup. Just work related so nothing serious.

36. Did you cry today?
Nope. I even cut onions today and I was fine. (Made myself some scrambled eggs)

37. Why did you answer and post this?

Now do u understand the picture at the start of this post.

38. Tag few people who would do this survey.

Since Chriz tagged the usual suspects, here goes:


2) D

3) Gem

4) Firewhisky

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The world this week

The fires in Kolkota have consigned two other news articles to the back pages. Two articles that caught my eye before the violence in Kolkota took over. The first article was about the wife of an NRI in the USA who was beaten up and thrown put of a running car due to the lack of dowry. The second was concerning the conviction of the accused in the Uphaar fire tragedy.

If these articles have passed you by here’s a quick read.
Article 1

Dowry or groom price for the unknowns is prevalent in some cultures. I know for a fact (courtesy my classmate from Uganda) that in Uganda the grooms pay a price for their prospective brides. Often this payment was made by giving X heads of cattle. If such a practice was present in India women would not have to suffer thus. From female infanticide to husband abuse the root cause tends to be dowry or rather the lack of it.

Personally I think that a groom who demands dowry is like a prize stud bull. They do nothing and have to do nothing except reproduce and sleep. Surely he must realize that his parents are trying to sell him off to the highest bidder? Having been sold, why does he not realize that he is the property of the buyer as per the terms of a sale? So how can these studs (sic) have the cake and then go on to eat them too? If the existence and sustenance of such a groom depends on the largesse of his buyer then it implies two things that the groom is not worth the money and the bride is getting a raw deal. Coming to the story on hand the Infosys employee is making many hang their heads in shame. If a MBA graduate endured such terror in a progressive country like the US then the plight of so many more here must be horrific.

My take: Guys if you must sell yourselves become henpecked and go and stay with your buyers. If your wife has bought you then remember that she must own you. If you disagree, Good for you! Be a Man for once.

Article 2

The tragedy of Uphaar is a grim reminder of the killer buildings that thrive and multiply in our corrupt and inefficient country. Those of you who are familiar with Chennai would know how potentially dangerous our shopping arcades are. If you have read the article above and if you have visited T. Nagar I’m sure the fear of death will haunt you. I have often wondered how such buildings were built with scant disregard for government rules, all my wondering ceased when The Hindu carried an article that gave a list of all the illegal buildings that have blatantly violated rules and have gone ahead with the construction. Obviously the law does not apply if you can afford to buy it. Such buyers of the law include all the big brands that regularly advertise on the TV channels.

Why are these buildings so unsafe? For starters these buildings are grotesquely ugly and they are all box like structures walled on three sides with a glass front and no windows. Note that there are absolutely no windows because there is often no place for them (as two shops often share a common wall) and also to reduce the air conditioning costs. These buildings have one main staircase, a few lifts and no fire exits. Then these buildings are multistoried and have a minimum of four floors. Lastly in many such buildings that I have visited the only safety devices I could spot are some mandatory portable extinguishers and sand buckets (used as ashtrays).Lastly I can vouch that the employees have never done a fire drill. If a fire starts in such a building can you imagine the potential catastrophe? More people will die from suffocation, stampede and fear than the fire itself because these buildings are death traps.

My take: Avoid such death traps, T.Nagar is a mess anyway. You may save a few rupees by shopping there, but your life is priceless. It may not make a difference to the offenders and lawbreakers but I’m sure that it will make a difference to you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Good memories!

Was just bored sitting in my hotel room in Hyderabad, I had exhausted my call list and my next appointment was a couple of hours ahead, looking through a folder of snaps on my laptop taken last month and voila, I had a new post.

Last month on Gandhi Jayanthi to be precise my gang of friends from church (we actually grew up together for the better part of a decade) decided to go on a picnic on the holiday. Picnics and timeouts are so rare that even a single day outing was a real godsend and so we decided on a single day trip to the Golden Sand resort outside Mahabalipuram.

The van left late as usual and we had the medley of songs and loud jokes spicing up the journey and we hit the venue 2 hours behind schedule. I must digress to mention that D got up early in the morning and made yummy biriyani for us for the trip and we had a good quantity of junk food too.

So when we landed there the first shock that awaited us was that the prices had gone up 50% since our telephone call two days ago, so we had to shell out more money for entry. Anyway we hit the beach (Golden sand for all its moniker is just a normal beach resort, only thing golden are the prices) and as it was the birthday of one of the gang we gave him the Birthday Bums, (the origin of this painful exercise is a mystery to me and I still wonder why should the birthday be such a pain in the ass for the birthday boy / girl) we ditched cricket for a brief while (as the girls complained) and decided to play Kings.

I cant forget the lunch breaks in high school when we would hastily gobble our lunches and rush to play Kings, Knockout and Leg by leg when not succumbing to the charms of cricket. Somehow Kings was my favourite and the mad game wore out our lunches in 20 minutes flat every day. I guess that’s the big reason why I gained weight when I left school.

Anyway after a grueling and exhausting game of Kings we realized that we had a King but it was a girl and since we did not want to dilute the equity of the game we decided not to change the name of the game to Queens (Yuck, perish the thought!).

Then Shock no 2 awaited us as the resort staff informed us that outside food was not allowed and we had t eat at the restaurant. The weight of D’s biriyani played on my mind when we grudgingly agreed. We decided to hit the pool before lunch and as most of us didn’t know swimming including me we had an absolute riot doing everything else but swim in the pool. Shock no. 3 stipulated that we could not be wet when we entered the restaurant nor could we enter with swimsuits though the restaurant was pool side, so we showered quickly and hit the restaurant where the steep prices put us back. We ordered a basic meal and we shock no. (I lost count) saw the yuckiest of food being placed before us, even a thattu kadai serves better food.

After lunch we decided to hit the beach for some mandatory cricket on every trip of ours when the next shock awaited us a big North Indian family was busy munching away home cooked sandwiches under the nose of the resort staff and when we looked back in to the resort yet another north Indian was sitting in wet shorts and naked waist up eating his lunch. Our limited food left a very bitter taste as we decided to make tracks home.

The next shock will be seen in the picture, our van driver who initially did not know the route and I had to be the navigator did not even realize that his fuel was low when the engine chocked. He kept blaming everything else despite me telling him that fuel was down and the nearest pump was 10 kms away in Golden Beach. The driver was disbelieving till the vehicle ground to a complete halt. The driver looked lost till I suggested that we flag oncoming vehicles and buy diesel from them, which we eventually did.

We reached home, late, tired and upset that the resort sucked big time and very very happy, because the trip brought back the joys of friendship, bonding, outdoor games, singing, and all the small joys of life that we give a miss maybe due to work maybe due to studies or maybe because we do not have time for anyone but ourselves.

The bottomline: If you can't remember your last time out, do it right now!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Holy holy holy holy....

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to hurt the religious sensibilities of anyone but just a social comment

Driving down Chennai, I came across a hoarding about a religious discourse by a holy man. Though there are many such hoardings what caught my eye was the title of the holy man. He was addressed a Sri Sri Sri ........ (My attempt to catch a pic failed twice)

How would it be if somebody calls me Mr. Mr.Mr. Jollyroger? I would probably die of laughter. You may have heard of his holiness Sri Sri .... so is this simply a "holier than he" stunt?

I always believe a mark of holiness is humilty and I try to maintain a distance from those spiritual gurus who preach but apparently have a problem in practicing the same.

On a different tangent when i was searching for cartoons on gurus, I came upon some absolutely
hilarious ones. So just enjoy......

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Chennai @ 3:11 PM 03-Nov-07

I was wondering what to shoot for my contri to the 3:11 event. I came out from my house (short break from work) looking around I spotted nothing remarkable till I saw the sky and a profound thought occured

"Good, bad or ugly, we are all under the same sky"

Nature is a great leveller.