Wednesday, January 30, 2008

to think about ....

Should there be an aim/ purpose in everything I do ?

Should the 'why' of doing an act assume importance ?

What about sheer aimlessness of doing of an act .... ?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Word of the day! 'Word of the Day' for Thursday, January 24, 2008

nolens volens \NO-lenz-VO-lenz\:

Whether unwilling or willing.

Beneath the surface, little-noticed but fundamental changes are taking place that must compel both sides, nolens volens, sooner or later to reconfigure their tortured but inseparable relationship.-- Bernard Wasserstein, Israelis and Palestinians

Events have put NATO in a position where it is the policeman of Europe and beyond, nolens volens.-- "NATO then Nato now", Daily Telegraph, April 23, 1999

After all, I'm not sure that I'm so angry with them, for it means that now you've got to remain here indefinitely -- nolens volens.-- Mina McDonald, "True Stories Of The Great War: Some Experiences In Hungary", History of the World, January 1, 1992

Nolens volens is from the Latin, from nolle, "to be unwilling" + velle, "to wish, to be willing."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Khoon (kaun?) in a democracy"

Ladees and juntelmen, bhaiyon aur behenon, aap ke liye haazir hai, ek skit of a different kind....."Khoon (kaun?) in a democracy"
[Er, how different, you be the judge!]

Claps and then….

A voice wails: "And there she lies, her blood soaked body…her life cut short by this dastardly act."
"Murder, murder, murder!"
[no, no, yeh Mallika nahi hai bhai, aise kamar ke close-ups nahi milnewala.]

Another voice joins in: "She gave her life for the country and its people! Her people!"
"Hail Martyr!"
[oops, sorry Hitler, but this line really sounded good here.]

A voice questions: "Is it a jinx or a curse? Father, sons and now the daughter? Aey Khuda, ab aur kaun bacha hai ?"

Somewhere not sure from where, a distant echo : "Abhi aur hai na! Sad 'Woh' (!), ladka and chokri abhi hai."

A voice whispers: "Khandaan ka naam tho abhi roshan karna hai!"

An agitated voice, counter-whispers: "Arey, arey, naam! Naam tho khandaan ka nahi hai, magar khoon hai na ? Jaldi naam badal dalo! Aakhir khoon khoon hi hai!"
[Bhaisaheb, khoon khoon ke sevaai, aur kya ho bhi saktha hai?]

Sad 'Woh': "Unki aakhri tamanna … unhone likhke rakhkha hai! Ab jo hoga, jaise mohtarma chahthi thi….. Mein unki ichcha ka paalan karoonga. Her wish is my command."
[AaaH!! How romanteeeq.]

A voice sternly announces: Sad 'Woh' ko tashreef karne ke liye bolo. Chori se bolo kuch naach gana na karen. Ladke ko bulao!

Mohtarma ke anthim vasiyat naama sunai ja rahi hai!

"Yeh party, meri party … iske liye maine kya nahi kiya hai…. Kitne baar jail gayee hoon, hazaaron case ladi hai maine,….. aur apna khoon bahaya hai. Aur mera khoon hi isse aage le jaayega. Aur kaun hai ?"

[Right, who else can take 10 % cuts, build mansions, open multiple bank accounts across Europe, jet-set between Dubai, New York and London. Oh, London, a bit more… New York too long, you see, gets a bit boring.]

Voices : "Ab usko yeh zimmedari leni padegi. Ladke ko. Magar padai katam karne ke baad. Abhi chota aur nadaan hai. …"

[Chota bachcha samaj ke humno na samjhana re!]

Beta ka durbar mein pravesh!

Voices : "Kitna smart dikhta hai na ? Kuch "higher studies" kar raha hai, bolte hai.
Maaloom nahi kya. "Abroad" mein!
Achchi baat hai! Aakhir uski maa ka beta hai.
Khoon ka rishta hai."

[Oh Mother! Lead us from darkness to light. Take us out of this drudgery. We shall all get our deliverance from this mire through and only through your bloodline. Yessssss!]

Beta : I shall follow my mother's wishes. This was her wish. I have no choice but to accept it. This is the only way democracy survives and democracy is the need of the hour, right now, right here. We believe in democracy. Lets all vote for my mother and the life given a(way) to democracy.

[Beta ho to aisa!!]

Sad 'Woh', in a discerning tone: "Ladka naadan hai. Aur tab tak…..main hoon na!"

[Of course, Sad saheb, hum aapke hain kaun jo 'nahi' kahne waale? Jo Zinda wohi Sikandar! Khoon bhari aag, aap mein ab bhi hai. 10 % se 50 % honewala hai!]

Curtain slowly falls. Claps galore. Some silent voices though.

[Legacy, dynasty, democracy, aah!
What legacy do I have to live to… except my own ? Shut up. You just don't have the bloodline, okay ? So forget it.]

[Ok Agreed. I shall start my own business. A political party. And shall bequeath it to my son. Nah, I'll name my daughter as my successor. Being the president for life of a political party is definitely better than being (un)married. Hee hee hee.]

(c) SG : All profits from this skit shall go to the sustainance and promotion of the bloodline of democracy.

DISCLAIMER : This is merely a satirical look at what is happening in young democracies having a feudal outlook (read : India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka... ) There is no intention to cause disrespect caused to any person (living or dead), event or situation.

on a HIGH!

The HIGH without The High continues......

I am on a high!

What could this be due to ? Life's as normal as it was... there 's something so endearing in routine :) Yet....

The dewdrops on the rose early in the morning ?
The early morning chill and the sun lazily coming out by late morning?
The sea, sea and more sea ?
the raging torrents dashing against the rocks,
the waters rushing to the shore and wetting my naked feet…

My mind draws blank.

I have no specific reason or logic or person to attribute it to. Except YT. Its just a high. And its just my state of mind.

Like the notes on a guitar stringing a lilting melody.
I am making it a high note one. :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

of brothers and employers

Pearl of wisdom from a friend on chat :

"There is not much difference in brothers and employers - they are both out there to prove how dumb you are!"

I better appeal to the Government of India to provide me with adequate security ('Z' Category) as I fear a possible threat to my life!

But then, me thinks, they do not need to try hard as such, right ?! No one is shouting from the rooftops about one's intelligence. ;)

PS : A : what are you going to do ?
Win, win win.... that's alright, but at what cost ?
And to what extent ?
Is that really the be-all and end-all in a sport ?
And to achieve that, anything and everything can be done and got away with ?

The total lack of respect to the spirit of the game, rules, fairplay, morals is appalling, to say the very least! And then, of course these guys have the temerity to lecture to the rest of the world about 'fair play' and 'spirit of the game', give press conferences on walking out before waiting for the umpire's decision, make a big hue and cry about "questioning their integrity"!

Fine, let Australia win. We should just give our wickets deliberately. First 10 balls of the Indian innings - the Indian batsmen get out. No defence, no protecting their wicket. Just getting out being the motto. And let the Aussies keep and sleep with their records.

Just leave us in peace.

Not linking it to the umpiring decision or the ban on our teammember, I strongly feel the Indian team should just leave for India and then have a "Boycott Australia" programme for the next 2 years. Never mind the monetary losses, penalties to be imposed,ad revenues et al.

If we pride ourselves in being professional cricketers, then why put up with such unprofessionalism ? Why tolerate it?

Just hit them where it would hurt.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Tryst/s with technology

Let me start my dull, insipid love affair with technology and gizmos with an honest confession – I am quite a technophobe! It takes me a while to get functional with a gadget/gizmo and it stops with that.

I know some people who truly freak out with their gizmos and love them as they come, upgrading their gizmos with every product launch. Unfortunately/fortunately (I don’t know) I am still on the other side of the fence.

When I was applying for a job some years back, I had enlisted a friend’s help to spruce up my resume. When I reached his place, he was working on his laptop and opened my resume on the laptop. Asking me to take a look at what he had done, he left the room. My first reaction - I was instantly petrified, my mind went blank…..! I had never used a laptop without a mouse and slowly started scrolling the up and down keys on the keyboard very uncomfortably, wondering what to do.

I have come a long long way since then but the reaction is quite the same - at first sight. It continued with my digital camera and cell phone. My digital camera was picked up by a friend during one of his trips abroad – he kept asking me what kind of a specification I want and all I told him was something I can easily shoot pictures with. Goes without saying that I had to spend some time reading the User manual before I started using the already ‘user-friendly’ camera. Of course, necessity is also the driver to my getting to know ways of using it with its various features and modes.

A friend of mine in the US is such a great technophobe that she does not even upload her pictures from her digital camera to a computer but just keeps buying memory cards as and when they get over! She has quite a state of the art (so it seemed to me!) GPS installed in her new car (the GPS came with the car) but it was still new and unused when I caught up with her some months back. She confessed she still had n’t figured how to use it and on the day we set out for a weekend outing, we ended up getting lost - driving miles away from where we were supposed to go and at that crucial juncture, she finally figured how to use the GPS.

In both our cases, Necessity is truly the mother of learning how to use a gadget and then including it in our lifestyle. A ‘lifestyle choice’, as dear K calls it.

The thing about technology (like with most other things) is the more you use it, the more you get addicted to it; It is difficult to shake it off. Like my transition from a desktop to a laptop…

And then my laptop crashed – I am fudging it a bit here, twisting the facts…. My laptop fell down as I was talking with a colleague! Sheer carelessness and negligence on my part. For a month, I switched back to a desktop ruminating over my trysts with technology.

And I realized I missed the laptop so much that the result of it is what you are reading now.

ok, my Ipod gift is still lying as I received it over a month back- unopened and unattended to.


There’s also a different take on this – its all about getting used to something, is n’t it? We get used to stuff. That’s all. Hence it’s the comfort factor.

When it’s no longer there, you feel some sort of vacuum – for how long and how much- that depends on us.

But after a while, you get used to it.
Life goes on as if that ‘constant’ factor which suddenly disappeared from your life was a mere aberration, a blur… And you get cosy with newer attractions and interests.

I feel this is true with most aspects of life.


A 28 year old software engineer walks into a dental clinic with his arsenal of plug-in electronic devices, wondering why online health care never made it big.

After an assessment of his problem the dentist informs him to come after a week to finish the treatment. The irate techie asks the dentist why doctors can’t work 24/7 like the techies, if need be from home and always available online.

Pat comes the reply from the dentist, “Sure, just leave your mouth with me for a couple of days and take it back once I am done” leaving the techie flabbergasted.

And then it sinks into his ‘frog-in-an-online-well’ brain. Embarrassed and red faced he leaves with his appointment finally realizing that some things are best done OFFLINE!!!


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Devaluation ... of another kind ?

Few sectors have benefited from globalization as much as the IT sector. You go to any country in the world, one definitely stands a fair chance of getting into a similar kind of job profile, if it is in the IT sector. Of course, for some, even that is getting out of one’s comfort zone – getting adapted to a whole new work culture, process and manner of going about things.

But what if one works in a sector which is quite country-specific ?

Lets take for example – law. A lawyer in India with a reasonably significant work experience in India in his area of specialisation. What would he do in a similar sector for a living, say, if he wishes to move out of India - to New York ? or Uzbekistan ? Or Peru? Or South Africa? Its definitely not as easy as the IT sector, though perhaps do-able.

A lot has been spoken about globalization ushering in free movement of labour and capital from one part of the globe to another. But besides the IT industry, has it really made a significant difference to many other sectors ?

So should that devalue the other professions ? Because they don’t get posted to 'glamorous' locations, stay in developed nations and travel to often read about places ?

In my opinion, both IT and this travel humbug are overrated and hyped… quite out of their proportion!

And all this from a self-confessed travel humbug working for (not 'in') the IT sector !

Friday, January 04, 2008

"I don't want to run away but I can't take it, I don't understand"

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

As we begin the new year,

"Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it."

- Tagore