Monday, July 28, 2008

What way ahead in Bangalore ?

The bomb blasts happened in Bangalore and one woman lost her life. There she was, an ordinary citizen of our country lying dead near the bus stop. Those pictures duly made an appearance in all the news channels and newspapers.

And then, we have a panel discussion on what was really the motto behind the blasts – Why did it happen ? As a journalist put it rather forcefully, Why Bangalore ? The ‘intellectuals’ on the panel conclude that it is to tarnish the image of the city and create a sense of panic, which in turn may affect the IT industry in Bangalore.

We are just coming to that, lets move across to Delhi where we have the Union Home Minister with us, says the Correspondent. And the Minister says, the Centre is planning to provide its cooperation and assistance and also CISF security to IT!

Right! No one disputes Bangalore’s status as the Silicon Valley of India and the incredible success of the IT industry here. But is n’t providing CISF to IT industry alone taking it a bit too far ? It’s such a short-sighted measure, wonder where is the logic to this ?

So the city may burn, get bombed and go to hell. No one cares about it, is it ? The ordinary shopkeepers, vendors and hawkers on the roads, autorickshaw drivers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, businessmen ……What do their lives matter? They do not work in the IT sector, generating export earnings in our economy…

While I understand the importance of the IT companies and also take cognizance of the fact that they are also targets which may well be within the radar of attack by terrorists and unscrupulous elements, it is utterly hilarious to provide CISF to the IT companies.

What is the need of the hour is a holistic approach where we invest money and training in our systems of policing, intelligence gathering, maintenance of law and order, coordination of intelligence agencies, crime detection and prevention.

Without such holistic technical and intelligence support, it is foolish to think that 100 cops standing around a building and guarding it would ensure the building and its occupants is safe and secure from acts of terror.

The terrorists will find newer ways of attacking and doing what they do best – spreading terror. The challenge is to stay ahead of them and win the war…..

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Think about this!

A hard-hitting article on the attitudes aurrounding rape and its defence - which is a common feature across many societies... (Full text of the article also here)

"Unfortunately, though, there are countless examples from around the world of women being blamed for rape. It’s either because of what we wear or how we behave; it’s who we sleep with, or it’s what we drink.
“Blame culture” attitudes towards rape victims are widespread: according to a poll of young people carried out by Amnesty International last year, more than a quarter of those asked said that they thought a women was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was wearing sexy or revealing clothing.
A survey in Ireland earlier this year on attitudes to rape found almost 40 per cent of the 1,000 adults questioned believed rape victims themselves bore some responsibility in certain circumstances — if, for instance, they wore sexy clothing or were flirting. "

"Scotland’s justice secretary said that it was “hard to believe” that in a modern Scotland there are people who still think that if a woman is dressed in a certain way or has been drinking it’s her own fault if she is raped. For how many decades have feminists being saying this? Why has the message not got through? And how many more women will be raped because men can pretend they are “confused” at the “mixed messages” put out by women who dress up to the nines for their own enjoyment?

Let’s be clear; women have the right to go out, dressed outrageously and be gagging to pull a man for sex. Consensual sex. Women do not want to be raped. Ever. All rape is “real rape,” even if she is wearing a skirt up to her neck, has her breasts on show and is drinking and flirting like crazy. Rape is sex without consent. Which part of that is difficult to understand? "

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Warm musings of a peaceful afternoon

Of crossing the railway track and letting yourself into a world moving at a different pace than your own.

There is no paucity of time here. It is a quiet life, offering flashes of beauty and peace, each moment bettering the previous.

Staring endlessly at the gentle ripples of the lake waters, meandering through long winding roads by the lake;
Catching a glimpse of ducks ducking in and out of the waters, the kites flying overhead, the crow cawing over a piece of left-over food and mynahs cooing in the bushes of some wild flowering plants;
Tall coconut palms swaying sensuously in the languorous breeze of the late afternoon, almost seducing the onlookers; (hi)jacked by jackfruits hanging in clusters, tempting one to pluck and eat them…
Villagers gossiping around a big banyan tree, its never-ending branches a mute witness to scores of such sessions held amidst the young and the old alike;
Young kids playing cricket on a vacant ground with a rectangular piece of wood as a cricket bat and a couple of sheep grazing nearby serving as wicket or perhaps short leg! Beautiful women in bright sarees praying in a small temple beside the peepul tree, whose trunk bears marks of kumkum and haldi;

You keep traversing the road not taken and in some time find yourself again facing the lake waters and then, out of nowhere, the sound of a sharp horn, almost blowing out like a long whistle, breaks the earthy silence, shaking you out of your reverie – only to be followed by a train speeding through the greenery, the lake waters and the coconut palms, its brownish- orange coloured engine chugging along………………..

Your mind takes it all in and feels a strange (maybe not so much) fusion of peace, quiet, contentment, elation and wonder.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mind over matter ? Tis' the Rafa Effect!

Here goes Saucy Sardonix :
Is it possible to win the French open and Wimbledon in the same year?
Even if you are not Bjorn Borg?
Well, being Rafael Nadal is good enough!!!

2008 has been a sensational year for Rafael Nadal. Not because he managed to win the French open and Wimbledon the same year, but because he has managed to sow the seeds of self doubt in the mind of a certain Mr. Roger Federer. In my amateur assessment, Wimbledon 2008 was lost by Federer because of the mind job that Rafa had pulled on him.

Anyone who saw the Wimbledon final knew that Federer was very much at the top of his game, his strokes were flowing, the aces working and the volleys dropping but Rafa had managed to break him early with some sensational ground strokes and reduced Roger Federer to 2 sets to love down after 90 minutes of play. Federer the great champion, so used to crushing opponents with his graceful accuracy, was lost in an unchartered sea. He has never been able to recover from 2 sets to love down except on 3 insignificant occasions. More importantly he has never seen those sort of situations on his favourite piece of grassland.
Yes, much to credit, Federer did manage to scramble back a set in the tie breaker of the 3rd set and save match points in the 4th set to win it again in the tie breaker. However there is no tie breaker in the 5th set of a grand slam men's event. With Roger Federer fast losing all the break points he managed to create with difficulty, the belief that the Nadal serve could be broken was fading faster than the evening London light. Eventually at quarter past 9 in the setting London sun, Nadal did what he believed he could and broke the defending champion in the 15
th game of the 5th set. After a grueling 283 mins of classic lawn set, bereft of only the vintage and hitherto dying art of serve and volley, Nadal served out the match.

Ecstasy, disbelief, fatigue and relief were given vent to in the common outflow of tears the gladiator shed before monkeying up the stands to collapse into the arms of his supporting team.
Gracious as ever in defeat Federer acknowledged that his victor was better while Rafa won the modesty competition as well by saying that one Wimbledon win doesn't make him better than Federer whom he still acknowledged as the best player around. The wounded Roger Federer said he would come back for the silver he had surrendered to Nadal, but this was the year when Rafa would do his customary biting of the trophy.

The magnitude of Rafael Nadal's achievement is that he won the French and the Wimbledon within 6 weeks beating the same opponent, Federer, and proving to the world that it's the player and not the surface that matters. The Wimbledon final between Federer and Nadal was seen as an unspoken grudge match. It was widely expected that Federer would win and prove to the world that it was the surface and not the player that defeated him. To beard the lion in its own den, to beat a Roger Federer in full flow on the centre court of Wimbledon in the finals is why Rafael Nadal's victory is spoken so highly of. As with the EURO 2008 championships the Swiss remained good hosts and the Spaniards walked home with the silverware!

A Windmill Makes a Statement

You think I like to stand all day, all night,
all any kind of light, to be subject only
to wind? You are right. If seasons undo
me, you are my season. And you are the light
making off with its reflection as my stainless
steel fins spin.

On lawns, on lawns we stand,
we windmills make a statement. We turn air,
churn air, turning always on waiting for your
season. There is no lover more lover than the air.
You care, you care as you twist my arms
round, till my songs become popsicle

and I wing out radiants of light all across
suburban lawns. You are right, the churning
is for you, for you are right, no one but you
I spin for all night, all day, restless for your

sight to pass across the lawn, tease grasses,
because I so like how you lay above me,
how I hovered beneath you, and we learned
some other way to say: There you are.

You strip the cut, splice it to strips, you mill
the wind, you scissor the air into ecstasy until
all lawns shimmer with your bluest energy.

- Cate Marvin

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Left's right : it just left

Too much drama on the news night today- the Kabul Mission bomb blast, selection of the national cricket team for the forthcoming test tour of Sri Lanka and of course, the biggest of them all - finallement, the Left has left the UPA Government.

Watched a fiery session of Barkha Dutt interviewing Ms. Brinda Karat and Mr. Kapil Sibal couple of hours back and the acidic crossfire between the two, of course with Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad from the BJP chipping in about his great party here and there (reminding me of mustard seeds tempered in a hot dish of sambhar)!

I found the exchanges between Ms.Karat and Mr.Sibal riveting – clearly that’s the effect the news channels aim for with TV audiences, a good match - in terms of English communication skills, media savviness, boldness (even temerity), adroitness at twisting around words and coming up with derisive statements made with the sole intention of making the other person in the studio seem like a first rate idiot, solely responsible for the failed relationship. It was raining aces and overhead smashes. [Perhaps the effect of watching a 4 + hours epic Wimbledon final on Sunday night.]

Mr. Sibal asserts ‘bad timing’ and Ms. Karat retorts ‘PM issued a statement on foreign soil’. ‘Hey, hold on, Brindaaa!’ shoots off Mr. Sibal, ‘PM made the announcement aboard Air India – which is considered Indian territory.’ [Whoa, Mr. Sibal, you sure do the lawyer community proud!]

Being no sore loser, Ms. Karat ups the ante bringing in ‘uranium for buses and cars’! [Oops! Which world did I suddenly find myself in ?] And, yeah, there’s more coming, baby...‘why so much push only for the Nuke deal, what happened to the Iran-Pakistan pipeline if energy security is a national concern’, belligerently demands Ms. Karat.

Mr. Sibal’s unfazed response : ‘We are acting in the national interest to end 60 years of our isolation, beyond retaining power!’ What a noble gesture to our countrymen from the country’s grand old party. And then, oozing charm, Mr. Sibal croons, as regards the Iran-Pakistan pipeline, you know the problem, Brindaaa. You know where it’s stuck and how our Petroleum minister is negotiating. Come on [hon].

So on and on it went – Each one justifying one’s position and defending the act of the political party one belongs to.

It just showed how low the relationship has sunk. As Barkha Dutt concluded, there was just so much acrimony and bitterness between the two at the moment that there hardly appears to be space for any reconciliation in the near future.

Well, who knows! Like is often said, in politics and diplomacy (and some other arenas also), there are no permanent friends or enemies - only permanent interests. Maybe the Congress and the BJP should get together. Oh, of course, lest we remember to forget, it will always be in the national interest!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


A good friend of mine called me couple of days back, wondering why I have not posted anything on my blog for a while now!

I was quite surprised to hear this - keeping in mind the nonsensical ramblings I post on the blog, (Saucy Sardonix infact considers it a 100 % waste of time- this entire blah-ging business of mine - and I politely remind him that so long as it is my time, it is okay with me!!), to take the effort to call me up and find out whats cooking on my blog, over and above wasting time reading what's posted and commenting at times, is surely something.
This friend, I suppose, must be involved in far more useless pursuits than YT! ;)