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Showing posts from January, 2008

Pre-marital torture

When the alliance of a girl and a boy are getting finalised, what should normally be the mood?
Happiness. An eager anticipation of a great day when two families join to become one. A day that will see two young hearts merge in a sea of love.
What should the parents of the boy and the girl be looking forward to?
Towards the happy married life of the children; towards greater happiness of the boy and the girl; towards the building of a new family.
Unfortunately this is not the scene, at least in one case, that I am getting to know.
The girl and the boy -- who got to know each other after their parents looked for an alliance -- are well-educated, and well-employed in MNCs. They are bright, knowledgeable, wise enough and well-off financially to take care of themselves. Ever since the parents decided that they had indeed found the match for their child, the two -- the girl and the boy -- have been interacting and getting to each other.
The good news: The two are hitting off well. It's after …

Barack Obama's YES WE CAN victory speech in South Carolina

This is a great speech, worth listening to. Obviously Obama and his supporters are all fired up. Because he has got a huge morale boost ahead of the February 5 Super Tuesday, when most probably the lineup for Nov 8 should be clear.

In South Carolina, it must be remembered, the African-American voters make up make up almost half the electorate, and majority of them support him rather than Hillary.

Reports say S Carolina voting was polarised along colour, gender and age. It's funny that in the world’s greatest nation people can’t look beyond these physical attributes. Probably it’s because there'sn't anything else to choose, with both Obama and Hillary speaking pretty much the same thing.

Obama is, I guess, aware of this, and tries his best to dispel it, when he says in his speech, “So understand this, South Carolina. The choice in this election is not between regions or religions or genders. It's not about rich versus poor, young versus old. And it is not about black versu…

NYT backs Hillary Clinton, John McCain

This is not something the media in India do -- openly backing a candidate in an election. The first two editorials in today's New York Times are about who the newspaper's editorial board thinks should be the Democratic and Republican candidates for the Nov 8 US Presidential election.
"As Democrats look ahead to the primaries in the biggest states on Feb. 5, The Times’s editorial board strongly recommends that they select Hillary Clinton as their nominee for the 2008 presidential election," the newspaper says. "The next president needs to start immediately on challenges that will require concrete solutions, resolve, and the ability to make government work. Mrs. Clinton is more qualified, right now, to be president."
Primary Choices: Hillary ClintonThe second edit on the Republican Party, the NYT says, "We have strong disagreements with all the Republicans running for president. The leading candidates have no plan for getting American troops out of Iraq. T…

Citizen journalist reports from Iraq

Most bloggers write from the comforts of their home. Definitely there are not many are like Michael Yon who reports from Iraq.

"He went to Iraq believing that the mainstream news media were bungling the story, and he still often criticizes the media’s pessimism. But he has also praised particular reporters from major outlets, or defended the media in general, explaining how difficult and dangerous it is to cover the war." Read this NYT report. His webjournal is: http://michaelyon-online.com/.

A few moments of panic

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It was another afternoon yesterday as I walked briskly to the bus stop to take a bus to my office. No sooner I reached than a bus arrived. Afternoons being off-peak hour, buses are rarely crowded. But this had a few passengers standing; nevertheless I got in, for no one knows when the next bus will come.
The conductor was near the entrance giving tickets, so even before I'd got in fully -- I had one foot on the last step -- I reached for my back pocket to take the wallet. Just as pulled it out, it slipped from my hand and fell down; hitting the edge of the lowest step, it fell out on to the road.
The bus wasn't moving fast, and for a split second, I saw it lying on the road. But the bus wasn't moving slow either, so I couldn't jump out. For a moment I panicked, but I quickly told the conductor to stop the bus: "My purse fell out..." I told him. He blew the whistle, the bus slowed down and I hopped out. Quickly I turned back and ran with all my life. It must hav…

Lives that long for family support

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Recently in Bangalore there was a very tragic incident. A youth, Ramesh, accidentally hit his car against the car of the former prime minister and local Janata Dal (S) politician, Deve Gowda. The accident happened in the morning, but by evening the young man, Ramesh, had committed suicide.

What actually led him to take his own life will remain a mystery, for he is no longer with us to tell the story. But from reports it looks like Ramesh had come under severe mental and emotional stress.
One, soon after the incident, Ramesh, was subjected to severe tongue-lashing by the politician's security guard. Two, Ramesh was asked by Gowda's supporters to cough up Rs 25,000. He managed to give Rs 10,000. Three, Ramesh's brothers and sisters severely reprimanded him for having invited trouble by having rammed his car, against the car -- of all people -- the former prime minster. "How can we now live in peace," they are said to have asked. (Report in The Times of India.)
What a …

Will Tata's Nano dent Maruti's 800?

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With much fanfare Ratan Tata unveiled his dream car Nano at the Auto Expo in New Delhi yesterday. He says he took up the project more as a challenge to a journalist's question whether he could provide a people's car? Any way, hats off to Tata for having kept the word and delivered what he promised in spite all the problems he had in his factory at Singur in West Bengal.

Undoubtedly, Nano is the cheapest car around. But how quickly would people junk their 2-wheelers and jump on to Nano is a question, especially in Indian cities.

Cities are getting crowded at an unprecedented pace. There's simply no place to park. You find lots of cars parked outside even residences. Even new shops and offices -- built well after we all realised that parking is a major problem -- aren't providing adequate place for visitors to park in basement or on the terrace. With the result people have no option to park on roadside and residential bylanes. No one -- neither the government nor the build…

Hillary, McCain make it a contest

Just a few hours back, I was ready to hear not just Hillary Clinton conceding New Hampshire, but even pulling out of the race in favour of Barack Obama. Over the past few days, she was looking so downcast, the feeling of resignation written all over her face. O, what an upset! It's good there is a contest out there, there's some excitement remaining. Even on the Republican side, thanks to John McCain. But where is Giuliani, who was supposed to be leading in the national polls? O, right, in NH, pollsters couldn't get even Hillary right, could they?

Harbhajan issue & Indian pride (or shame?)

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The Sydney Test between India and Australia will be remembered for all the non-cricketing reasons -- not one but many. How quickly over five days it degenerated and plummeted to shameful levels.

Two main issues (whether related is debatable) which have made the Test controversial are:

1. Some Australian players said Harbhajan Singh called Andrew Symonds "a monkey".

2. The umpires -- Steve Bucknor from West Indies and Mark Benson from England -- made horrendous errors, most them by Bucknor, and most of them, going against India, costing India the match.

Photo above: Harbhajan Singh, right, and Australia's Andrew Symonds walk past each other on day four of the second test in Sydney, Australia on Jan. 5, 2008. Credit: AP Photo/Rob Griffith,Files on Yahoo News
The match scorecard - here on Cricinfo
India fume at Aussies and umpires - here on BBCDo Indians dislike Blacks?

The debates on Indian TV channels through the controversy have been dominated by personal and derogatory remarks…

Obama, Huckabee off a great start

The excitement is on. The year-long process to elect a successor to George Bush has begun. Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee are off to a colourful start. (Read report) The race is a year long. So, there is no guarantee that one of these two will be the next President.

America has one of the most complicated process of electing its President -- arguably the most powerful person on earth. Whether one likes it or not, America, its politicians, policies, and society have a great influence on rest of the world. As the saying goes: If America sneezes, the rest of the world catches cold. It's a different matter if America realises this, and does something about it.

The election process
BBC has excellent details elaborating the complicated electoral process. Click here to know everything about it. Here are some extracts:

Most states hold state-wide votes, called primaries, to determine their preferred candidates from the two main parties. Others use a slightly different procedure involving publ…

Pak should have a national government: Waris Shere

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Recently I had the good fortune to meet a Canada-based academician -- Prof Waris Shere -- who is an expert on international affairs, which is one of my favourite subjects. We got talking on a number of global issues from the US to West Asia to Europe to Pakistan.

He says in the aftermath of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the best way forward for Pakistan would be the formation of a national government. “Under the present leadership, the future of Pakistan, which is undergoing a major crisis, looks bleak. A national unity government, comprising all major parties, would help the nation find a way out of the difficult situation it finds itself in.” he said.“There is an urgent need for dialogue, especially in the light of the current situation in Pakistan,” Shere, who had discussed global peace issues with Bhutto during her visit to Canada in mid-90s, said. “A stable and progressive Pakistan would be in the best interests of India.”Referring to the debate on opening a communication c…

Lunch at MTR on New Year Day

Yesterday a few of us, office colleagues, got together for lunch at the famous restaurant -- MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Rooms) -- near Urvashi theatre on Lalbagh road. It's an experience to dine there. It's impossible to get a seat, unless one reserves well in advance. Needless to say, we'd booked our seats. Yet, we'd to wait for about 15 minutes, along with at least 25 others.

It's like a traditional feast. Items, at least 15, are served one by one; it's so filling, it's impossible to complete the whole course. You wonder why people are willing to queue up for so long, when you get good food elsewhere. The ambiance is in no way glitzy 5-star. It's ordinary; the interiors like that of a middle class traditional house.
One reason for the crowd could be the yummy food. The other could be simple homely ambiance. The third could be a result of these two: an addictive urge to have a filling, satisfying meal at MTR. If you are in Bangalore you must check out MTR: for,…

Happy New Year...

It's New Year... It's time to look ahead with hope...

May 2008 bring in lot of joy, success and peace, to you, and all those near and dear to you.

Wish you a very HAPPY, PROSPEROUS and HEALTHY NEW YEAR...