Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jab we met - again

This time, it was Mampi, ~nm and moi.

~nm and i have met earlier. This was the first time that we were meeting Mampi... and the excitement at our end was incredible.

Mampi was there with her husband. She is a charmer if there ever was one, and effortless at it. She also has the cutest, most impish smile i have seen on anyone in a long time.. VERY different from the more serious avatar one sees online.

~nm's skill is slightly different. She can put u at ease in a jiffy, and she will have you yap yap yapping in under a minute. Her son Aniruddh takes right after her.. Anirudhh and Ishaan were playing like chaddi buddies within 15 minutes of meeting, though my son is a rather shy specimen.

Mahesh, Mampi's husband, deserves a special mention. He was the only husband stuck in that house (the other 2 husbands were playing "Find me if you can") , with the TV match for company. He was soo sweet about it! Mahesh, to you goes out an extra dose of gratitude for letting us have the time of our lives!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why do we bring children into this world if..

... This is what they have to finally meet?
Israel, Africa, Iraq... how does the name of the place matter?

I was way too disturbed by these pictures to put them up on this blog. maybe its what happens to a person after they have had a child. maybe its because i just saw my sleeping son, and one of these children looks uncannily similar..

Why bring any more children into the world?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Doordarshan Quiz

Think you know your Doordarshan well? Try this and tell me what you think...
1. "Chitrahaar", the weekly program of Hindi Film songs, was telecast every _____________ .

2. This program was an adaptation of "Little Women": ______________.

3. This program was based on that eternal romance, "Pride and Prejudice" : _________.

4. "Malgudi Days" was based on a book by R K Laxman.
True/ False ?

5. This was the first serial based on mythology to appear on TV with a huge production budget. This was also the serial that marked the entry of a film production house into television. Which serial are we talking about?

6. Pankaj Kapoor made a mark as the carrot happy detective in a detective serial. The name of his secretary in the serial was _______________.

7. "Neev" was weekend viewing. The story was about a ___________.

8. Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi was made famous, justifiably, by this excellent execution of a historical. The serial we are talking about is_________.

9. They were staple faces in our drawing room once a week, as they smiled, discussed, and brought rich Indian culture into our homes - Siddharth Kak and Renuka Shahane. The TV series that brought them to us, and that played the game "Six Degrees of Separation" with its viewers was:

10. This was a 5 part serial based on Bheeshma Sahni's novel of the same name. The theme was India's partition.

11. This family saga was made special by Ashok Kumar's commentary at the end of each episode. The serial was ___________.

And your score is?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

So, what are you doing?

Palash Sen has done a brilliant post in the Times of India today. His piece shamed me, as indeed, it would have shamed every other reader.

Therefore, I, the Citizen of India, hereby pledge that:
1. I will not drive against the rules. Small things, big things, any thing. I will follow traffic rules, safety procedures, even pedestrian lights.
2. I will not condone if my child cheats in an exam.
3. I will VOTE.
4. I will read party manifestoes before every election. I will look for forums to ask questions to the people purporting to be our leaders.
5. I will, once a year, contribute to the Armed Forces Fund.
6. I will not litter public places.
7. I will not bribe.
8. If I have a bad consumer experience, I will tell other people about it, instead of keeping quiet and thinking "why should i do this for someone else?"
9. I will do a refresher course on the Indian constitution, RTI et al, and ensure that my children do it too.
10. If there is an accident, i will try and get the victim to a hospital. Or i will not be a tamasha bystander.
11. I will speak to at least one person about population control in this month.
12. I will teach at least one child around me. Preferably a girl child.
13. I will NOT keep quiet if someone around me is being troubled for dowry, is being harassed, or has undergone female foeticide. I will, at the very least, break social contact with them in toto.
14. I will only vote for one reason - the administrative performance of the person. I will not become a vote bank for religion, for language, for caste. I will not become a part of the vote bank. Period.
15. When i see someone do something that they should not be doing, i will speak up. They may not listen, but I will speak up. Its not about someone else any more.

Friday, December 05, 2008

More on Mumbai

Unlike other people who are keen on "getting on with life" post Mumbai, I doggedly hold on to the negativity, until something more concrete than people losing plum jobs happens. Until there is a strategy in place for the protection of this country. Until our policymakers realise that the voter is not an idiot. The theme of destruction continues.

Can you feel
the clock ticking?
Time
licking its minutes away
as we lie perspiring
wrapped in a rug
on an old, war beaten street
that neither you nor I recognise.
The stones
yet as familiar
as if
they have gulped our blood down
their parched throats
and a little
streaming down the sides of the mouth ...

Is this a nightmare
or does the terror of war
actually transcend Births?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Message from The Other: JOIN THE TERRITORIAL ARMY. MAKE A DIFFERENCE. DO SOMETHING.

**********

my dear politician:

Terrorism is a combat topic. Keep your traps shut. The only combat you know is the one with your spouse. That experience does not count.

Please stop adding to the mayhem with your visits after the calamity. You only add to the logistical nightmare. Stay right where you are. Give that peanut sized mind a rest. Let the combat people take the necessary decisions.

- The Indian Citizen

Mumbai is not a stand alone incident. the venue has changed from Hazratbal to Mumbai. When Srinagar or Mizoram burns the country does not go into a tizzy. We should. We should protest the first atrocity to prevent the second.

Why did we not get on the media's neck to ask, "where were you when there were terror atrocities in the rest of the country? Why were you worrying abt Raju Shrivastava?" Why were we reading the gossip section before the national affairs section?

I second Tata Tea - Jaago Re. It's time to stop blaming. its also time to stop thinking "This is about someone else."

****

Edited to add: Isn't there such a thing as "Internal Security Threat" that allows us to declare an Emergency, go hammer and tongs after every lead, and do total pest control in this country?

Much as I hated her, at times like this, I miss Indira Gandhi. She could take a difficult decision. And Act on it.

Appendix:

Part XVIII of the constitution permits the state to suspend various civil liberties and the application of certain federal principles during presidentially proclaimed states of emergency. The constitution provides for three categories of emergencies: a threat by "war or external aggression" or by "internal disturbances"; a "failure of constitutional machinery" in the country or in a state; and a threat to the financial security or credit of the nation or a part of it. Under the first two categories, the Fundamental Rights, with the exception of protection of life and personal liberty, may be suspended, and federal principles may be rendered inoperative. A proclamation of a state of emergency lapses after two months if not approved by both houses of Parliament.

Two months. Enough Time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Some days
are days
of easy bargains
when smiles
go cheap
just because
they are over-supplied

And some days
are days of auction
when
the mundane pains
bring a fortune
just because
people like
a little pickle
with their food.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dedicated to Twisted DNA's post

This post is dedicated to TDNA’s latest post.

Course: Husbands/ BFs/Something in between 101.
Course Duration: All your life, or till divorce do us apart.. or …

Chapter 1:

When you say: “ How was your day?”
You mean: “Talk to me. Give me more eyeball time than you give to that 30 second TV ad”
What you expect: Him to turn to you, talk about his day and ask about yours.
What you get: “uhhh…. Ok. Pass the beer please” with eyes glued to the TV ad yet.
What you should expect: You should not ask the question. You should not ask for more eyeball time than the TV commercial. He doesn’t give a damn about your day, or his.

When you say: “Hey, you want to watch a movie tonight? Something light?”
You mean: “I am sick of sitting in the same place year after year. Can I see what someplace outside looks like? I will even see a senseless flick if it means getting out of this hole.
What you expect: “Sure. Whatever you want baby.”
What you get: Depending on how miserly he really is, either “Yes, great. How about Star Wars 3?” or “Awww cmon! I want to snuggle into you. Lets order a flick and watch it at home.”
What you should expect: Nothing. You should simply tell him “I am going out for a movie. See you around.”


When you say : “What should I wear for tonight’s party? The blue dress I wore last Sunday or the red dress the Sunday before?”
You mean: “I have worn them both before. I need a new dress."
What you expect: “How can you repeat a dress within a fortnight? Pick up some accessories and we’ll get u a dress on the way.”
What you get: “Whatever baby. They all look nice on you.” Or “Can’t u even pick your own clothes?”
What you should expect: Wear a dress of your choice. Make sure it has a neck low enough to turn other necks at the do. Enjoy the attention. Your man may not remember your dresses. Other people will.

Disclaimer: I do not endorse gender based stereotypes(or any other stereotypes).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Words
are holy silences
Raped.

Silences
are words
Shot dead.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A tag, and a quiz

Mathew, one of my favorite writers on the blog world, has passed on a tag. Here it comes:

The Tag
Two questions from the past, present and future. Answer them and then tag your friends from the blog-o-sphere.

Yesterday
Your oldest memories...
Playing with my brother on our terrace. We were both less than 5 years of age.

What were you doing ten years ago?
I was working .. probably one of the best work places of my life. I was friends with Shraddha and Sandhya... easily the most amazing people I have ever known.. at work, or otherwise. November 1998.. oh, and working my heart out for CAT!

Today
In office
What does one do in office? ;-)

Tomorrow
What do you see yourself doing 14 years from now?
Fighting with and worrying over a 15 year old son..reading books, and doing a lot more work for Esha. Still employed (hopefully).

If you build a time capsule what would it contain?
Nothing. What we need for tomorrow we carry in our hearts.

I tag: If you have not already done this, you are tagged. :-) (As usual, i m one of the last to get tagged)

The Quiz
If you think you know a little about Indian folk arts and crafts, here is a quiz created on braingle - my current favorite place for puzzles and trivia.
Indian Folk Crafts
Tell me what you think!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Assam Blasts and more..

Is mass export of population a real problem in Bangladesh ? Yes. We are already surrounded by Bangladeshi migrant labor. There are just so many of them, that there are no local workers left where I live. In effect, we have a situation where all other ethnic classes have been driven out of work by the Bangladeshi migrants. If you have a policy of no migrant workers (as I did), do be prepared to do your own work.

The Guwahati blasts were the work of Bangladesh? For the last few decades, our politicians have been quietly importing Bangladeshis, making their documentation regular, and ensuring that they get the votes in lieu of this “meharbani”. Ditto for ULFA. They have received help in money and material long enough to now be indebted, not in a positive way. It is ok for a Bangladeshi to come and take your job, but not ok for a UPite or a Bihari? What was the ULFA thinking while allowing the mass infiltration? I have never kept much store in the ideological strength of the ULFA. But this is dumb, even for them.

It is the same for India. Wherever you go, you find Indians. Nothing wrong with that in principle. The problem is that we have made population a staple export! And we are doing nothing within the country to contain the population growth.

In a united, open world, people will go from one region to the other to some degree. The problem only arises if the sole, or main contribution of a state becomes its population, and the state is unable to create employment opportunities to match the growth in population, and is unable to do anything in the area of population control.

That is what is wrong with India and Bangladesh. Too many people, too few resources, and things like ethnicity, language, religion become determinants of who should receive the bounty.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Diwali/ शुभ दीपावली

Diwali prayer:
Let us, this year, light up a life,
Let us, this year, cleanse the within
Let us, this year, distribute the sweetmeats of kind words and RAKs(Random Acts of Kindness)..
Happy Diwali.. now, and forver...

इस साल की प्रार्थना :
इस साल, एक जीवन मे ज्योति ला पाएं,
इस साल, अंतर्मन को साफ़ करें॥
इस साल, मीठे बांटें शब्द, और कुछ अच्छे कर्म
दीपावली की शुभकामना, और सारे साल की प्रार्थना
शुभ दीपावली !!

एक अन्तर मन है, जिस का बढ़ना ज़रूरी है,
एक अन्तर दूरी है, जिस का घटना ज़रूरी है।

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hand grenade

You always knew, did you not
That you were dealing
Not with a woman
But with a hand grenade
When you pull out the plug,
You must also, throw it away..
You pried the plug loose,
But did not
Follow
The rule of the hand grenade
I exploded
Right there, in your hands..
And you ...too…
You always knew, did you not,
That we could both get annihilated?

Monday, October 13, 2008

A tag

RULE #1 People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.
RULE #2 Tag 6 people to do this quiz and those who are tagged cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by continue this game by sending it to other people.
I was tagged by Itchie.

1. If your lover betrayed you what would your reaction be?
Before marriage:
Get a strong urge to physically slap him, take all my stuff, throw his at him physically, and tell him to go to hell. In the next hour, his id would be blocked on all my messangers, his numbers deleted from all my phones and contact lists. And I'd be very likely to never get in tuch with him again, no matter how much it hurts.

After Marriage:
I'd first get personal counseling to get over the initial reaction, then finalise the terms of the divorce. Will also introspect what led to this and how things can be better in the next marriage.

After a child:
First get a personal counseling session to get over the inital reaction, then ask if he wants to pay maintenance or go for marital counseling to save the marriage contract.

2. If you have a dream come true, what would it be?
Far too many dreams.. just one? A decent teaching position in a prestigious mountains based school, where my child grows up among the moutains and we do not have to worry abt the money.

3. If you could, whose butt would you like to kick?
Just one again?? Not possible to name just one.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Buy a HUGE house in the mountains, invest the rest, and take a small luxury tour. The investment should be such that i get a decent monthly income every month for the rest of my life.

5. Will you fall in love with your best friend?
bad idea.

6. Which is more blessed: loving someone or being loved by someone?
Both, preferably with the same person.

7. How long do you intend to wait for someone you love?
Why wait? Can waiting induce love in the other person? He's either there or not there.

8. If the person you secretly like is attached, what will you do?
Nothing. its about my liking them, not about them liking me back.

9. If you could root for one social cause, what would it be?
I already do - employment for the visually disabled.

10. Do you lie?
Not unless its really necessary. And I am a bad liar.

11. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Nowhere. Still around, still blogging, and hopefully with a 11 year old son.

12. What’s your fear?
Ghosts.

13. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Nice. Good writer. Intelligent as hell.

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married and poor?
Not poor. Single, rich and feeling gud abt life, with or without a man as arm candy.

15. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously who will you pick?
The question should be - who will pick me?

16. Would you give all in a relationship?
No. Unless he is really nice.

17. Would you forgive and forget someone no matter how horrible a thing he has done?
No. Forgive will happen, forget will not.

18. Do you prefer being single or in a relationship?
Either a good relationship or none.

19. Your all time favourite song. Only ONE.
Only one? That's not fair. Thankfully i have one. Bichhade sabhi baari baari.. Guru Dutt.

20. I tag:
Almost everyone i know has been tagged to do this already and they have all given brilliant answers. If you still havent been tagged, pls take this up. Its gud fun for introspection.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Esha

Esha is looking for another beneficiary - in the NCR region.

We have a lot of work coming our way from the NCR region and a new delivery center is in order.
If you know of anyone who is:
A. Visually disabled to the extent that their normal employment options are impacted because of the disability.
B. Interested
C. Would like to be groomed into an entrepreneur.
D. Is available to work part time (but is committed)
E. Needs the money.
F. Is based in the NCR region.

Please ask them to reach me at esha_braille@yahoo.com

This person will be groomed and mentored over a 5-6 month period, to run their own show as entreprenerus, using the revenue streams of Esha, or any other revenue stream that they deem fit. At the moment, Esha has 3 revenue options (all 3 are designed for delivery by a visually disabled person):
1. Braille enabled visiting cards, stationery and greeting cards
2. Theater Workshops for Team Building - for corporates, schools and residential complexes.
3. Accessibility Audit of a building - for offices, schools, and other public places.

Have a Good Day! :-)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Ironical, no? - On Gandhi Jayanti National Holiday

MK Gandhi was a man who made multi tasking a habit, who taught us "Work is Worship"(among other things, of course)
A man who read while he ate, and held strategy meetings with evening walks.. and HIS birthday is supposed to be a Forced Holiday?? What a way to show how well we remember his principles!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

3 posts in one - a few days late

These posts should have come some time ago. But my head was elsewhere then...(as you know).

Post 1 - My answer to terrorism
अपने अपने घरों से निकलें , और फिर ये इकरार करें
हाथ पकड़ कर एक दूसरे का, आग का दरिया पार करें...

We fight
The fear in our hearts
And then
The ones who try to create it.

हंगामा कितना ही कर जाता है,
आख़िरकार सिकंदर भी मर जाता है॥

Post 2 - The NewsPaper Bag Project
One of my all time favorite bloggers - Z, has this link on her blog - to a newspaper bag project being run by Ro, her son. I am linking here, not just for her, but also because i really, really love newspaper bags. They are good recycling, and lots of fun to make, esp. with kids at home.. do try it.. HERE.

Post 3 - The Blogging Friends Forever Award
~nm gave me this award.. I am soooo overwhelmed!! Thank you ever so much. That this post should come on my last day in this location is another cute coincidence..





I now need to pass this on to 3 more people, but after a very frustrating half hour, am nowhere close to only 3 names . So here it goes, to the village that i have come to know here.. to all the friends who make Sex and the City kind of friendship feel real.. to everyone who has been here... be here forever. For Ever. That's such a nice word. Holds much hope...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Amu the Film

Finished watching Amu - The Film last night. Its a very slow movie, but conveys strongly what it sets out to convey. I could not sleep for most part of last night.

I was 7 years old in 1984. I am a Sikh. It was 13 years(in 1997) before I would recount, even to myself, what happened in that year.(I am yet to speak to anyone else)

The memory was followed by hatred, and hatred by that inevitable question - Why?

So why is this, the most personal fact about me, on this public blog? Because now, another 11 years later, I think there is an answer to that "Why?" That answer is relevant to all children of riots, and to chidren who are just getting to know about 1984, Godhra or Orissa.

1984 was not about Sikhism. Godhra was not about Islam, and Orissa is not about Christianity. It is about power. 1984 happened because Indira Gandhi could not tolerate the growing power of the Akalis in Punjab, and created a parallel force called Bhindrawale. What she had not anticipated or planned for, was the evolution of Bhindrawale into a strong force. Bhindrawale became her Frankenstein. Operation Blue Star was necessary - both to consolidate her power, and to end the internal security nightmare that she had created in Punjab.
With that operation, many believe(incl. me) , she signed her death warrant, and the death warrant of all the Sikhs in her country.
It was not about Sikhism. It was about the Akali Dal and the Congress.

It is about power. Religion is only used because it is the master key to the passions of the millions. Everyone responds strongly to religion. It is our fault. The fault of the stupid common man.

It was an organised pogrom. A very organised pogrom. How quickly things could get organised often leave me wondering whether the Congress set up was preparing for this carnage anyway, and the Indira Gandhi murder was just a convenient excuse.

It has taken a long time to sift out the emotional from the historical and to arrive at a theory.
Take it or leave it, That is my theory of Indian Riots. What's yours?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thoughts on Yesterday/ हिन्दी दिवस मुबारक

On the Delhi Blasts: The blasts were "Low intensity" but the media frenzy and the panic created by the media was not।

दिल्ली बम विस्फोट - बम कम क्षमता के थे, पर हमारे खबरी टी वी वालों का जवाब नही। सारे देश से फ़ोन करवा दिए हमे।

On "A Wednesday" : It is not fair to put all accolades in one basket - that of Naseer. He is a fine performer, but not the only one who deserves praise. The performer who stood out, from the first scene, was Anupam Kher too. My Cheers to Anupam Kher!! And while we are at it, more Pest Cleaners please.

फ़िल्म "A Wednesday" : नसीर साहब बहुत उम्दा कलाकार हैं, पर अनुपम खेर साहब का ज़िक्र कोई क्यूँ नही करता? इस चिट्ठे की प्रशंसा, अनुपम खेर के नाम! और हाँ, कुछ सफाई वाले और मंगवा दीजिये कहीं से, नसीर साहब जैसे।

On Hindi Day: The only way i got to know that today is Hindi Day, is through the Hindi newpaper that we have. The Times of India does not think of Hindi Day as being relevant to our times. ;-p
आज हिन्दी दिवस है, ये बात सिर्फ़ हिन्दी अखबार से ही पता चल सकी। Times of India को नही लगता की ये हमारे वक्त में ऐसी बात है, जिसे ३० अखबार के पन्नो में १ लाइन दी जा सके।
हिन्दी दिवस मुबारक।

On the BMW Hit and Run cases in Delhi: (There have been 2 hit and run cases involving BMW vehicles in the last week)
1. Did anyone find out if the motor cycle riders were riding as per the rules?
2. Why is it that of all the hit and run cases, only BMW is mentioned as the brand name ?

BMW केसों पर (दिल्ली में पिछले १ हफ्ते में २ BMW गाड़ियों को ले कर हादसे हो चुके हैं। ) :
१ किसी ने ये पूछा की ये नौनिहाल जो मोटर साइकिल पर थे, वे नियम के विरुद्ध चला रहे थे या नही?
२। सारे मामलों में , सिर्फ़ एक ही गाडी का ब्रांड नेम क्यूँ बताया जाता है?


Enuf Said।
बस इतना ही।

Friday, September 12, 2008

one MBA post.

As I see it, commuting is going to be, after sickness, perhaps the second biggest cause of loss of employee productivity. One does not have the figures, so it might also be the single biggest contributor.

How does one handle this situation? There are 2 plausible options:
1. Create small, self contained townships. ( a la Tatanagar, Modinagar, WIMCO nagar..)
2. Allow telecommuting as a standard practice.

As things stand, No. 1 is too expensive for companies who will spend a lot on their top executives, but pinch the others on pens and notepads and free lunches.

No. 2 requires a lot of trust, and that is missing too.

I sometimes wonder, what made it possible for the Tatas and Modis to build Tatanagar and Modinagar for their employees, and today’s organisations, with much higher net worth, find it difficult to replicate the model? (Just wondering…)

Does telecommuting make business and financial sense? You bet it does. Will it be implemented anytime soon? Ha ha ha. Unlikely, at best.

As an organisation/ employee, what would you prefer , or is there a third option?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

"I Love you." is not a phrase. It is a sentence.

Way too often, I love you is made a phrase. I love you because... I'd love you if...I love you but....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

2 Awards!! How much better can it get?!

When this blog started, it was my personal place on the wide Tundra called the internet. The url was difficult, so only the most determined readers could come back here (obviously, i never thought anyone would favorite this place or try to remember it)
A few years later, this is my friends' place - like a daily cocktail party with conversation that one likes.. a sounding board and a suport group, all rolled into one.
And now, there are also awards - 2 of them so close to each other! Does that make my day? You bet it makes the whole of my motherhood year and more!

and Mampi's Brilliante Blog Award

Thank you! And Thank you! And Thank you!

This award is for blogs whose content and design are brilliant as well as creative. The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogosphere.

1. When you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back.

2. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design.

3. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with ‘Brilliante Weblog.’

4. Show a picture of those who awarded you and those you give the prize (optional).

5. And then we pass it on!

Here is passing on the Brilliante awards:

1. Adi - His imagery with words defies description and is among the best that i have ever come across. What is more, he has been producing this kind of poetry consistently!! Brilliant is just the word for what he writes.

2. Law and other things - One of the more sorely needed blogs in India.

3. All the mommy bloggers that i have met here in the blog world. Before i went to these blogs, my idea of a mommy blog was a place where children are discussed. Correction: Children are discussed, being a woman is discussed, not in hushed tones, but in open asserted pride. Intelligence and the ability to articulate make a wonderful reading combo.

4. Nabeel - He has not posted in a long time, but every single post they make is wonderful. Nice. Informative. I am partial to this blog.

5. Soulbrush: The Giggles series is truly, genuinely brilliant!! The other series on this blog - One Word, is pretty awesome too. That's a sharp mind behind a soft veneer - a very, very sharp mind.

6. Solitaire: Quick and easy and entertaining does it. Her other blogs are nice too, but this one totally takes the cake!

7. Twisted DNA: This one goes out with a groan. Because no matter how much i try, this blog cannot be avoided if we are talking about brilliance. Not all posts are politically correct, but almost all of them are side splitting funny. This blog has also been consistently awarded every time one had the opportunity (yes, thats boring), but consistency does it - again!

And now for the I Love Your Blog Awards:

These are the rules:
1. The winner can put the logo on their blog
2. Link the person you received your award from
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you’ve nominated.

This one is personal, and can be, to some extent, biased. However, if u have got the brilliance award above, consider this one automatically awarded. These are the blogs in addition to the 7 above.

Mampi: Yes, i like both - her wordpress blog and the blogger blog. I love them both.

Z: I like her, have liked her warmth, her quiet, Brit sense of humour, and the impeccable language on the blog. I love this blog - always have.

Aurora Sky: Yes, she writes well. But its more than that. its the way she forces you to see your own ghosts in a mirror that she draws in front of your eyes. She is almost.. unreal, and yet, so real.

Cyberkitty: I just like this blog. period.

Human Being: I love the blog, and i love the person behind the blog. This is a marriage of rare interlligence with even more rare empathy and genuine human warmth.

And last but not the least, i really like my Esha blog. it helps me talk, however rarely, and i love the fact that there is a place where i can write what i feel about esha, though one does not really update that place so much any more..

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More on Ishaan

Sorry I have been away.. as can be expected, was busy with Ishaan, and then we had to travel to another city for his mundan...hence the long gap.

Ishaan is better now.. and i can only hope that this was a one off allergy. We started his homeopathy treatment right after the comments on the previous post about Ishaan..

Thank you, Village..and time to celebrate! (Ishaan had his mundan- the traditional shaving of the head, and his Birthday by the Indian calendar) - So, who wants to come for the party? :-)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Belated... Happy Independence Day!

Couldnt find anything appropriate.. till this one came along..
http://sidhusaaheb.blogspot.com/


कभी माँगता है मन भी
थोड़ी सी दवा
नींद से जागने की...
और जाग कर,
फिर वही सवाल...
तुम क्या कर लोगे अकेले?

सोये रहो.... सोये रहो....
नींद में मनाओ खुशियाँ
आंखों पर लगाओ सुंदर से चश्मे
सोये रहो सोये रहो॥


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More on Ishaan

The diagnosis is confirmed. It is a respiratory tract infection brought on by an allergic reaction of the respiratory tract. Both the upper and the lower tract are involved (i.e., everything from the nostrils to the lungs).

That part, we know of. It is the unknown that is worrying me. The doctor confirmed that he looks pale. He is still not eating or digesting anything that he eats. Last night, we managed to get 3 spoons of dinner into him, and it all came out an hour later. All of it was completely undigested. Exactly as it went inside. His eyes are puffy and he is gritting his teeth too much.

He needs extra care, bcs children with Atopic dermatitis are expecially prone to Asthma , and this is his first allergy.

There are times when i wonder why a little child has to go through all this. At other times, i am fighting other people at home to do certain things for him.

And then, i think of you - of friends in this virtual world who hear me out, send good words my way, and perhaps also a prayer or two (I strongly believe in the power of prayer), and an involuntary smile comes along.

How many times can one say, Thank you.. and yet, each time comes as heartfelt as ever, if not more.. I dont know what i would have done without you.. and my dependance on u grows... :-)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Update on Ishaan

He was put on antibiotics immediately( the day of the last post) and was recovering well till the 16th (Saturday).
The UTI test result came up negative (????)

And then, on the 17th morning, he woke up with a runny nose and phlegm loaded cough. This was new. The other symptoms appeared to be under control.
We opened a new bottle of the oral antibiotic. He ingested just a bit and reacted very violently. He threw up immediately - the medicine and all the meagre quantity of food that we had managed to put into him.
By afternoon, the runny nose was worse, the cough had become insistent and heavily loaded with phlegm. The doctor and the parents were both confused.
Then, i gave him a home made concoction to control the runny nose and the phlegm. It worked and he was almost normal by evening. We tried to give him the second dose of the antibiotic, and then our nightmare began.
He threw up the first dose that we tried, and coughed up a lot of phlegm, which was funny. The runny nose came back in full force, and the boy was totally lethargic for the next hour that he was awake. Then we made the mistake of trying to give him the antibiotic a second time. All the consequences of the first time were repeated, with a fever that ran up pretty quickly and stayed that way for most part of the night.
We managed to put him to sleep nearly an hour after the second effort of the dose. And then spent the rest of the night sponging, holding, comforting him as he spewed more and more phlegm(where WAS this coming from?) or cried out of discomfort / body ache - we won't know which.
He finally slept peacefully at 8 the next morning, for 1.5 hours.

His diagnosis this morning is that he has an upper respiratory tract infection. (????)

Am taking him for one more opinion.

And people, thank you for being my village one more time! :-)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My village... Once More! aka Please Help!!

There was a blog post somewhere that said "It takes a village to raise a child" and the post ended accurately with "You, my blog friends, are my village" - I went "Bingo!" When i read that line.. so true!

There are these symptoms about Ishaan that are troubling me. He is now 11 months old.

1. He has a under the skin smegma deposit in his penis . (3 weeks ago)
2. Appetite badly hit for the last 2 weeks, to the extent that the boy is now pale and the apple anaar juice we are using is not working.
3. Has difficulty passing urine.
4. For the last 2 weeks, some random part of his body gets very warm, stays warm and then cools on its own in about 15 minutes or more. This part is usually the arms or the legs.
5. For the same period of time, he becomes hot in his sleep, hot to the point of suspecting fever, and this is all over, not just in some parts of his body.
6. For the last 10 days, the boy has been more restless in his sleep than he usually is.
7. Today, the boy is running a mild fever, is active and playing, but i m worried.
My gut feel tells me that there is something here that we are not able to put a finger on. Has anyone ever faced this with their child? Anyone has anything to say? Please say it..

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

All tyrants are hated by those who are tyrannised. This is as true of Idi Amin as of the Man of the House.
Be careful, even tyrants must some day be old, or infirm, or unwell.

Aside:
Most men retire to find that while they were away being loyal to their work, their families have created a life without them. And the office is merrily chirping away- the hole they thought they created was made in water.
Why am I writing this? After seeing many men in close circle who have retired and live a rather lonely life. In the house and all that, but lonely.
Not altogether their fault, because in their generation, no one taught them any other way. But men(and women) of our generation? What's their excuse for wishing the same loneliness upon themselves?

Well, forget it. This is just a rambles and ruminations post..

Monday, August 11, 2008

Don't be in a hurry to erase people from your life, to junk things you no longer need, to avoid events that you are invited to be a part of..

One day, you will grow old and wish you had a souvenir of that day, wish you could pick up the phone and talk to someone you stopped talking to, wish that you had enjoyed things more instead of being petty at the time..

Love people..one day you will be old, you will crave to be with people, and people will not be there..

On an aside, here is something that brightens up my day and makes it lovely to be alive:
http://www.blindekuh.ch/e/basel/restaurant/restaurant.html

http://www.blindekuh.ch/e/basel/story/story.html

Does anyone want to replicate the business idea in India? I think they accept franchises outside Europe.. anyone who has eaten here? What was it like?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Tag- Favorite Literary Characters

किताबों से कभी गुज़रो , तो यूँ किरदार मिलते है ,
गए वक्तों की ड्योढी पर बिछडे कुछ यार मिलते हैं


This tag is about your favorite literary characters. Comes to me from ~nm.

The problem with the tag is, my memory with names and faces. So the list will be very small, but not necessarily the complete list of friends made in the pages of books.

Here is my list:
1. Dominique Francon and Peter Keating from The Fountainhead. (not Roark)
2. Alka from Nagmani and the lead lady in Arial - Amrita Pritam.
3. Most women characters in Amrita Pritam's books.
4. Its Always possible - Kiran Bedi. (you never said fictitious literary characters)
5. All child characters in Ruskin Bond's works. But there was this tribal girl in one of his short stories - Madhu, i think.
6. All child characters in Premchand's stories.

Who do i tag? Anyone who likes this tag, but i'll be very happy if Aurora Sky, Adi and Thought Safari take this up.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cuill and Scour

This fortnight's highlights were the 2 new search engines - cuill.com and scour.com

cuill.com is supposed to be Google's nemesis to be, started by an ex employee, and "not-for-sale".

Positives
- The Search Results Layout : What a Layout! Easy to read, easy to search and in general, way better than the generic word for net search - google.
- Search Speed - Almost as fast as google.

Negatives
Oh, everything else. The search results were not relevant and in general, it took a long time to find what we wanted. Not one for utility. Not yet at any rate.

Scour.com is unique in another way. It supposedly gives u loyaly points every time u use the engine and then the loyalty points are converted to money - hard cash. Another first.
Also, scour.com depends on network marketing(one more time). If u introduce ppl, u get 1/4th of their points - just like that. (These points are also converted to hard cash)

Positives
- You see search results from yahoo, google and msn, complete with how high up this link appears on each engine (double somersault of glee)
- You can vote for relevant and irrelevant links and even post comments. You get points for this participation. Net net, its like collecting your opinion overtly, unlike google that picks up usage and click statistics and does not pay you for that information.

Negatives
- You need to sign in each time if you want points(unless u leave the cookies undeleted)
- Oh, the speed, the speed, the speed! Just the home page takes forever to load! And then one has to sign in and then search! Not happening.
- The toolbar functions in a way that is best described as "Dissapointing"

Have u tried these? What do u think?

Monday, July 28, 2008

One mention and a website.

I was just wondering what to write next, when 2 wonderful things happened..

1. This website came along. Its one of the most brilliant things i have seen in a long time, and is sooo sorely needed. The best part is the visuals. Bright and high contrast without being flashy and destructive to the eye.

2. This blogger liked Esha - here. Makes my day!! More on this on the Esha blog.

Simple things that make up a life. Moments all, but not all fleeting.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The final Logic Puzzle- The Case of the Four Busy couples

This one, I have been told, takes longer and needs a pen and pencil. :-)
Tell me what u think.

1. This case has 4 couples. All husbands have different professions. All wives also belong to different professions. No one is unemployed.
2. No 2 people of the same profession are married to each other.
3. P,B and C go to the same work place – the W Multi Speciality Hospital.
4. D and R have creative professions.
5. A is married to his doctor sweetheart, whose best friend is S, the teacher.
6. P does not like B who, in spite of sharing her profession, does not share her ethics.
7. Since the singer ( R ) and the engineer (Q) had a fight over the latter’s car park, R does not speak to Q or her husband B.
8. The dentist was lucky to find a job at the multi speciality hospital, all thanks to his best friend B.
9. While R is universally acknowledged as the most graceful young lady in the group, the best looking male is usually acknowledged to be S’s husband, D.
10. There are 2 engineers, but only one painter in the group.

What is each one’s profession, and who is married to whom?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Logic Puzzle 2 - Aunt Maurice’s Gifts

Aunt Maurice got 7 balls for the 7 children of her brother. But she made one BIG mistake. She got 7 different colors. Now each child wants a color of his choice. Check if Maurice has balls enough to meet everyone’s choice.

1. Asha does not want a blue ball or a white ball.
2. Chandru MUST have only his purple ball or the blue ball. He likes the purple ball better though.
3. Fanny quite fancies the purple and hates the red, green, blue, white, violet.
4. Bela is a good dancer and wants to be rewarded with a green ball. That is final.
5. The yellow ball is for Donna.
6. Esha will take anything that no one else wants, but Guddu wants either red or violet.

Question: Can everyone’s needs be met?

If no, please stop here.. If yes, here is your final clue:
Finally, Asha chooses the red ball.
Now, complete the list of which child got what.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Logic Puzzle - The Parker Children

I have always wanted to create the kind of Logic puzzles that one enjoys doing so much. Here is the first set that i have ever been able to finish. This one is a very simple puzzle. Tell me if you liked it. If you have never done logic puzzles, this is an excellent starting point too. Finish the puzzle and then post your answer in the comments.

The Parker Children

4 children were born to May and Julie Parker. Both May and Julie died together last week, and the children are here for the funeral(and the will). The will has some curious clause. It says the eldest gets 40% of the estate, the next born 30% of the estate and so on. Each child now claims to be the first born.

Only some old women from the village will remember, but their memory is less than perfect, so they sit down to exchange notes.

1. The first born was a girl. How Julie used to fuss over her “My Baby! My Doll! My Norma!”
2. Oh no, she came later. Norma was after Janice. I’m sure of that.
3. Clay was before Treo, but after Janice.
4. Janice was elder to Treo for sure.
5. And Norma was also elder to Treo.
6. Clay was built smaller than Norma.
If you answer all the following questions now, you can get a bonus of 10 points:
· Who was the first born?
· Who was the second?
· Who was the third?
· Who came first – Norma or Clay?
· Who is the youngest?

OK, it is not possible to answer 3 of these questions – yet. So the old women sit down again and one of them suddenly exclaims:
“Oh, I remember now. Norma was 2 years old at the time of the bull fight. She was the youngest of the Parker children, and clung to all 4 other Parkers by turns.”

What is the order of the children?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here is the whole long story - Brahma's joke.

Notes: Brahma: Indian God of Creation. Bhagwan: Lord.

One day, Brahma was sitting, ROTFL, and could hardly hold his sides up. An angel happened to pass by and asked “bhagwan! What seems to be the matter?”

Brahma, laughing through his tears and still unable to hold his laughter, said “Wait till u hear this.”

“One day, a species of monkeys devised a way by which they could gather food faster. This would save them time and effort and give them more food for every hour that they worked.”

“Oh splendid. They must have been intelligent monkeys.”

Brahma (still clutching his sides) “No, no wait till u hear the whole thing.”

“Then, they did the same thing with their hunting – they made tools that will help them slay better, bigger, faster, and they got organized as hunters.”

“Oh good. All this must have given them a lot of time to spend on things they like to do, and to spend time with their children.”

“No, next came the need to do something about the cold. They made the fire, and they made clothes. Clothes would keep them warm in winters.”

“But Bhagwan! All other animals are provided with skins that perform this function effectively. Why did you deprive only this species of a skin that saves them from winters?”

“Oh they had a skin all right, they just wanted to be more comfortable than that.”

“Aaah. More comfortable with a foreign element on our bodies all the time?”

Nodding in the affirmative, Brahma continued to laugh and speak in between “After a while, they forgot the comfort of living in their skin alone. Even in hot summers, they would wear this fake skin. “

The angel was silent this time.

They used to make sounds in a particular way that sounded better than normal talking. They also used to make rhythmic sounds on things like rocks and leaves.”

“Why would they do that?”

“For enjoyment. But that’s not the point. As soon as they had some time on their hands, they decided that the rhythmic sound from the mouth and from the leaves needed to be learnt, studied, and it became a job to learn what they now called Music. They would move their bodies rhythmically to this “music” – they called this natural movement “Dance” and some people’s job became to learn this music and dance.”

“You mean they made a job of something that was enjoyment to start with!?” The angel was smiling now. “Why?”

“Oh, they thought it would be better that way. What resulted was that only a few of the monkeys could understand the new, difficult compositions, and what should have been for enjoyment became studies and learning.”

The angel had started to laugh a little. “And then what happened Bhagwan?”

They used to have stories to tell to each other and to their children. They realized that they must preserve the stories, so learning the stories became another job”

“Why couldn’t they just think up new stories with time?”

“Don’t ask. I have no clue, they just wanted to carry their past with them.”

“So, instead of enjoying the stories, they made work of them?”

“Yes. But wait, it gets even better. After this, they came up with more time saving devices – made of metal and much easier to handle and faster to work with.”

“Finally, they were actually saving time to enjoy themselves!”

“There my man, you forget that the making of these implements became another job, their maintenance, their oiling, and shining…some people specialized only in this”

“Groan!”

“Then there was jewelry. Men and women wanted to adorn themselves with shining pieces of metal, shell etc to look better”

“To look better? What can look better than glowing skin and a healthy body?”

“Apparently, shells and metal. To take our story further…”

“Wait Bhagwan, let me guess.. the making and maintenance of these pieces is another job created by the monkeys, right?”

“You are getting intelligent, my dear. Things went on like this till they became too many monkeys to hold in individual groups, and they make social institutions.”

“What is a social institution?”
“Oh, for example, you take a female of the species and you promise to take care of her for her whole life while she bears your children and cooks and keeps home. That is called marriage. The starting of this union is celebrated..”

“Groan… more work created! Why did these monkeys not just go out and enjoy?”

“Angel, do you want to hear more?”

“Tell me….”

“Earlier, fathers used to come home in the evening, before sun down, and spend time with the children… then, they created offices”

“Lord, what are offices?”

“Offices are places where fathers have to stay until after sun down so they hardly get any time with their wives and children. To compensate, the monkeys decided that the offices should remain closed for one day in the week.”

“Bhagwan, now you are telling me that in the pursuit of creating time saving devices, they actually created more work, and so much work that even their basics like spending time with each other were compromised?”

“Oh, it gets better. They wanted to get more organized. They wanted to do things faster, so they created computers.”

“And?”

“Now, they have less time than they ever had, they have no time to eat, no time to drink, they breathe poisonous air, and die earlier than ever, of diseases created by them.. and they are still trying to do better…”

“Lord, what you are telling me is, that this is a species of monkeys that thinks it wants to create leisure, but has actually been working hard to create more work for centuries on end? What is so funny about that?”

“I’m just wondering.. how long before They figure this out?”

Monday, July 14, 2008

What was Brahma's joke? - Part I

One day, Brahma was sitting, ROTFL, and could hardly hold his sides up. An angel happened to pass by and asked “Bhagwan! What seems to be the matter?”

Brahma, laughing through his tears and still unable to hold his laughter, said “Wait till u hear this.”

“One day, a species of monkeys devised a way by which they could gather food faster. This would save them time and effort and give them more food for every hour that they worked.”

“Oh splendid. They must have been intelligent monkeys.”

Brahma (still clutching his sides) “No, no wait till u hear the whole thing.”

“Then, they did the same thing with their hunting – they made tools that will help them slay better, bigger, faster, and they got organized as hunters.”

“Oh good. All this must have given them a lot of time to spend on things they like to do, and to spend time with their children.”

“No, next came the need to do something about the cold. They made the fire, and they made clothes. Clothes would keep them warm in winters.”

“But Bhagwan! All other animals are provided with skins that perform this function effectively. Why did you deprive only this species of a skin that saves them from winters?”

“Oh they had a skin all right, they just wanted to be more comfortable than that.”

“Aaah. More comfortable with a foreign element on our bodies all the time?”
Nodding in the affirmative, Brahma continued to laugh and speak in between “After a while, they forgot the comfort of living in their skin alone. Even in hot summers, they would wear this fake skin.

Want to read more? Comment and let me know.. the more comments, the faster the next part comes up (think hours, not days) (yeah, i m mean)... :-)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Bulle Shah

माटी किदम करेन्दी यार
वाह वाह माटी दी गुलज़ार!

माटी घोडा , माटी जोडा,
माटी दा असवार,
माटी माटी नु दौडान्दी
माटी दा खडकार

माटी माटी नु मारण लग्गी,
माटी दे हथियार
जिस माटी पर बहुती माटी,
सो माटी हंकार!

माटी बाग़ बगीचां माटी,
माटी दी गुलज़ार
माटी माटी नु देखन आयी,
माटी दी ए बहार!

हंस खेड फिर माटी होवे,
सौन्दी पांव पसार,
बुल्ला ए बुझारत बुझे
तां लाह सिरों भुइं मार
************
माटी उछल कूद करती है, देखो माटी की रौनक!
माटी का घोडा, माटी का झोला, और उस पर माटी का ही सवार
माटी माटी को दौडाती, माटी के कोडे से.

माटी माटी को मारे, माटी के हथियारों से.

जिस पर ज़्यादा मिट्टी(चर्बी) चड जाती है, उसे अहंकार हो जाता है.

माटी का बाग़ बगीचा, माटी का सारा सौन्दर्य!
और इस माटी के सौन्दर्य को देख्नने, माटी के बने लोग आते हैं – क्या बात है!

हंस खेल कर हम सब को फिर माटी में ही मिल जाना है,
और मर कर पांव पसार कर माटी सोती है..
बुल्ला, ये पहेली बूझ ली, तो सारा बोझ सिर से उतार कर ज़मीन पर फेंक दोगे..

This is a Sufi rendition that talks about the "Dust to Dust, Earth to Earth concept. How everything is so temporary and perishable, yet we hold it dear... Also, the element of "Advaita" - there is no Other, everything is the same, also comes out in this beautiful poem.
THere is a translation, but its crude. It is intended more to guide you to the meaning than to explain the meaning of this verse..

Translation:
It is Earth that jumps so well, see the magic that it creates!
An earthern horse, with an earthern saddle, ridden by a rider made of earth.
Earth rides the earth, with an earthern whip to boot.

Earth kills earth, with weapons made of earth. One more loaded with earth becomes proud of his wealth. (in effect, it is just earth that he has accumulated)

It is the same element that makes up the lovely garden, and the same element that comes to savor its beauty… Imagine!

We laugh and dance, only to return, Dust to Dust, Earth to Earth.. and the dust will sleep well six feet under.
If you understand this Bulla, you will put away the burden that you carry on your shoulders, and be the lighter for it.
This tag comes from Manpreet, and honestly, is not a good read.

I'm: who knows?
I think: more than is necessary.
I know: nothing.
I want: Deliverance.
I have: a lot more than I deserve.
I wish: sab kuchh khuda se maang liya tujh ko maang kar, Uthate nahi hain haath mere, is duaa ke baad.
I hate: on a good day, nothing. On a bad day, everything.
I miss: time with my mother, old friends, and nights under the moon on a hostel terrace.
I fear: ghosts!!
I feel: a lot more than one can afford, a lot less than one wants.
I hear: my current fave songs – Show Me Your Jalwa from Aaja Nach le.. such a wonderful song to draw mothers out!
I smell: good coffee..
I crave: CHOCOLATE!
I search: google, always google.
I wonder: where the sense of wonder went…
I regret: not being kinder, not enjoying attention when it was being paid, being as direct as I have been.
I love: on a good day, everything. On a bad day, just Ishaan.
I ache: aaah!!
I care: for the trees. And I worry for them.
I am not: Since I don’t know what I am, pointless to think of what I m not. If I am at all…
I believe: in God.
I dance: only the Gidda.
I sing: for Ishaan. All the time.
I cry: easily with movies.
I don’t always: think before I speak. (like just now)
I fight: more than there is time for in the world.
I write: absolute complete nonsense.
I win: God, I don’t win bets. And used to win hearts.
I lose: easily and well.
I never: play unfair. No matter how big or small the game.
I always: pray at least once a day.
I confuse: ALWAYS names and faces.
I listen: to the small still inner voice.
I can usually be found: with Ishaan.
I am scared: of ghosts.
I need: food, water, clothing, shelter and peace.
I am happy about: Lots of things.

Please do take up the tag if you fancy it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Women's Day


This is the Email that I sent out on Women's Day. :-) Storing it for posterity. Laugh Away!

Women still remember the first kiss after men have forgotten the last.- Remy de Gourmant (French writer)

A man loses his sense of direction after four drinks; a woman loses hers after four kisses.- H.L. Mencken (American writer, 1888-1956)
Why get married and make one man miserable when I can stay single and make thousands miserable?- Carrie Snow

I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb…and I also know that I'm not blonde.- Dolly Parton

You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy.- Erica Jong
I've been on so many blind dates, I should get a free dog.- Wendy Liebman
Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.- Erma Bombeck
If high heels were so wonderful, men would be wearing them.- Sue Grafton
I think-therefore I'm single.- Lizz Winstead
When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country.- Elayne Boosler
Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.- Maryon Pearson

In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman.- Margaret Thatcher


I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.- Gloria Steinem

If men can run the world, why can't they stop wearing neckties? How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a little noose around your neck?- Linda Ellerbee

"Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same."- Oscar Wilde

"Insurance is like marriage. You pay, pay, pay, and you never get anything back."- Al Bundy

"I recently read that love is entirely a matter of chemistry. That must be why my wife treats me like toxic waste."- David Bissonette

"If variety is the spice of life, marriage is the big can of leftover Spam."- Johnny Carson

"If you are afraid of loneliness, don't marry."- Chekhov

"Maybe this world is another planet's Hell."- Aldous Huxley
"Sex alleviates tension. Love causes it."- Woody Allen
"Sex is hereditary. If your parents never had it, chances are you wont either."- Joseph Fischer
"Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. "Yes" is the answer."- Swami X
"The right half of the brain controls the left half of the body. This means that only left handed people are in their right mind."- Anonymous

"We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up."- Phyllis Diller


"I'm an excellent housekeeper. Every time I get a divorce, I keep the house."-Zsa Zsa Gabor
"The only thing worse than a man you can't control is a man you can."- Margo Kaufman
"I don't worry about terrorism. I was married for two years."- Sam Kinison
"I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury."- Groucho Marxv
"Eighty percent of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe."- Jackie Mason
"When you see what some girls marry, you realize how they must hate to work for a living."- Helen Rowland
"Whenever I date a guy, I think, is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?"- Rita Rudner
"We had a lot in common. I loved him and he loved him."- Shelley Winters
"I'm not into working out. My philosophy: No pain, no pain."- Carol Leifer
"A hotel is a place that keeps the manufacturers of 25-watt bulbs in business."- Shelley Berman
"I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three."- Elayne Boosler

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Come, Blue Bird

Come Blue bird,
The one with the blue neck
That drank of the nectar of death
And lived to tell the tale.
Come, Blue bird,
Bring that nectar
To souls parched for death
The multitudes left uncounted
Because the world only recognises
Souls parched for eternal life.
A brief life can be bliss too.

Come, Blue Bird,
To the ones not counted
To the thirst not yet quenched.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why reservation is misused by the REserved

The occasion was the selection of candidates for a well known business school. The panel i got was 9 candidates aspiring to make it using the OBC quota.

Of these, 4 were from middle to high income class, and 5 were from a disadvantaged background.

In addition to the fact that the 4 who were from a well off background did not make the basic cut, they had one other disqualification that led to their summary rejection.
When you have had educated parents, with one or both parents being in government service, have gone to above average educational institutes and have been an average student or more, have afforded CAT coaching and GD/PI coaching as well, and if you still want to take the reservation route to an admission just because of the caste that you were born into, that tells me that your ethics are all in the wrong place. It tells me that in a fight, you will not think twice about using unfair tactics. It also tells me that you are willing to step over other people to serve your end, even if they justifiably deserve the opportunity more than you do.

Is that the kind of manager that a B School wants to send into the world? Is this what we want to portray in our alumni?
We decided against it. We want alumni whose integrity is at least as good their intelligence.
And therefore, I am personally against all people using the quota route when they don't have any disadvantage in their background. They rob a deserving candidate of a fair seat, and they use an unfair mechanism to further a selfish end.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

From "A Thousand Splendid Suns"

"Each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. That all the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below.
As a reminder of how women like us suffer," she'd said.

"How quietly we endure all that falls upon us"

If you don't know already, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" is Khaled Hosseini's second book. This one is about women in the Afghanistan of the Taliban.

More than anything else, this book makes one feel grateful to have the right to education and livelihood, the right to go out of one's house unescorted, and the right to travel alone.

We forget that these are rights, and in some parts of the world, nearer than we think, (i.e., right here in India), there are women who do not have these rights.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fund For Lalit Mehta

On May 14. 2008, Lalit Mehta of Vikas Sahyog Kendra was brutally murdered by those threatened by his work.

Lalit’s colleagues and friends have now come together to raise funds for his family. The aim is to raise a sum of Rs 6 lakhs that would enable Ashrita to receive an interest of Rs. 4000 per month. In addition , FD of Rs. 1 lakh each in the name of the 2 children. Thus the target is to receive at least Rs. 8 lakhs. Please send your donations in the name of Vikas Sahyog kendra . The account details are:
SBI , Daltonganj Bazar Branch, A/c No – 10801981840;
For Direct transfers – IFSC Code – SBIN0001221;
For FCRA Donation, A/c No. 10801935906 ; IFSC Code – SBIN0001221
In case you are mailing a cheque, please send it to – Manij Singh, President, Vikas Sahyog kendra
Chhatarpur , Dist. Palamau, Jharkhand. – 822113
Tel no – 0656-285483; 290013

Please also send an email to vskmanoj@yahoo.co.in stating the purpose of donation as support for Lalit Mehta Family.

So why is one posting this? One did not know of Lalit Mehta before this. I do not know if he was indeed doing what he was purporting to do (which is a mean thing to say, but one is the devil's advocate today) .

However, I do believe that even if he was a bandit(which he decidedly was not), that does not change the fact that his family needs financial security - his wife and children were not Veerappan, and we owe them something for the loss of an engineer husband who did not want to work in a corporate jungle and instead, chose the grassroots for his work.

I have not made too many appeals on this blog- that goes against my nature. But in this one case, if you can donate, please do. No amount is too small, and SBI has branches all over.

PS: And if you want to know more:

http://www.doccentre.net/Tod/TOD1_80519zzz1_B.php

http://www.binayaksen.net/2008/05/murder-of-lalit-mehta-in-palamau-aimless-crime-or-planned-intimidation/

Monday, June 09, 2008

You will want to read this.

http://lawandotherthings.blogspot.com/2008/06/niyamgiri-and-ramar-setu-study-in.html

Totiya Manmotiya by Rabbi Shergill

In Rabbi Shergill's first album was a song - Totiya Manmotiya.

What is this song about? Its a deeply stirring song, and one has heard it at least hundreds of times, and have a strong feeling that it is connected with something in our world, but can't put my finger on it. Does anyone know? can guess?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Bridges of Madison County

It is strange when a book in English (The Bridges of Madison County) inspires thought in Punjabi.
When the thought first came , it was written, and then adjudged to be too tacky to be shared. S.m.a.r.t thought otherwise, and has inspired me to put this on the blog. She says the brickbats can be directed to her(but then, of course, we do know that all the readers are too polite to offer brickbats even when they are due.)

So here goes, with reference to context - The Bridges of Madison County.

ਤੇਰੀ ਯਾਦ

ਮੈਂ ਸਾਂਭ ਕੇ ਰਖੀ

ਇਕ ਦਿਨ ਹਵਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਕੋਲ ਆਯੀ

ਤੇ ਬੋਲੀ

ਸੁਗਨ੍ਧੀ, ਬਨ੍ਦ ਪੋਟ੍ਲੀ ਵਿਚ ਸਾਹ ਨਹੀ ਲੈ ਸਕਦੀ

ਐਨੇ ਮਰ ਜਾਨਾ

ਤੇ ਮੈਂ

ਓਦੀ ਗਲ ਮਨ ਕੇ

ਤੇਰੀ ਯਾਦ

ਹਵਾ ਦੇ ਹਵਾਲੇ ਕੀਤਿ

ਹੁਣ ਸਾਮ੍ਭੇ

ਯਾ ਪਰਸ਼ਾਦ ਵਾਂਗਨ ਵਂਡ ਦੇਵੇ
ਮੇਰੇ ਜਯੇ ਹੋਰ ਕਮਲਯਾਂ ਨੁ

ਹਵਾ ਦੀ ਮਰ੍ਜ਼ੀ ..

ਮੇਰੀ ਪੋਟ੍ਲੀ , ਮੈਨੁ ਪਤਾ ਹੈ

ਚਿਟ੍ਟੀ ਤੋਂ

ਗੁਲਾਬੀ ਹੋ ਗਯੀ ਹੈ.

तेरी याद
मैं सांभ के रखी
इक दिन हवा मेरे कोल आयी
ते बोली
सुगन्धी, बन्द पोट्ली विच साह नही लै सकदी
ऐने मर जाना
ते मैं
ओदी गल मन के
तेरी याद
हवा दे हवाले कीति
हुण साम्भे
या परशाद वांगन वंड देवे

मेरे जये होर कमलयां नु
हवा दी मर्ज़ी ..
मेरी पोट्ली , मैनु पता है
चिट्टी तों
गुलाबी हो गयी है.

Your memory

was in safekeeping.

Untile one day

the Wind came to me

and said,

"Fragrances cannot breathe in closed knapsacks."

Obligingly, i handed over

your memory to her

For safekeeping

Or, to give away as holy offering

to other mad people like me.

What do i care?

For i know

that my knapsack, once white

is pink now.

*****************

So there, i still think its hideous(and no, am not fishing for compliments here), but there it is, for you to suffer.

A post worth reading

if you've been here before, you know Amrita Pritam. Am ever so grateful to Aaina ji for posting this by Amrita Pritam. Haven't read this before, and am pleasantly surprised. Do read.

http://aaina2.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/ek-shahar-amrita-pritam/

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Nice Matters Award


~nm just gave me a Nice Matters Award… the last time I got this award, it was for nice stuff on the blog, but this time, I m the one who’s nice, which is sooo much better! (BIG GRIN)

Time to pass on the award to more people:

The Thought Safari– A new blog that is totally mind blowing awesome!! Sure is a thought safari..
Z – For as long as I can remember(which is, since I started blogging), I have loved her blog and looked up to her. Respected her and loved her at the same time. Her intelligence amazes, and her eloquence delights. Reading Razor Blade of Life is a treat that one gives to oneself!
Twisted DNA – No prizes for guessing that this is my ROTFL and then RSM(Roll some more) space on the web.
Mathew – When I started reading this blog, it was funny and serious both. Now I just hold my tummy while reading the blog. At the end of it, one rolls the eyes and goes “Where do u get your ideas?” Living in Germany for some months(years?) is beneficial to your sense of humour. Apply for German visa en masse.
Aaina – As always, good, sturdy, logical writing. One does miss the creative writing(esp. the Munna bhai series) that used to happen on this blog. But its one of my all time favorites! I have been inspired more than once to write in hindi because of this blog.
So what happens next? Simple, these nice people create a link on their blogs and pass on the award to some other people.. and we create chains of nice people..

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wanted: A few Tree Planters

Oil Price hike, does not, by itself surprise anyone. What is all wrong, is the timing. The backdrop of all round soaring inflation and high food prices is hardly the perfect setting. But that is not my immediate worry. The next thing that might hit us soon, unrelenting and unmanageable, is a case of severe food shortage. We are staring into the face of a modern day drought.

It takes a few years for wrong macroeconomics to make its presence felt. A few decades at the most. Likewise, a wrong like this cannot be corrected through short term first aid measures. It takes a few years of great economic planning and execution to correct a situation as mammoth as this. In short, we need tree planters and not manicure shrub gardeners.

Therein, ladies and gentlemen, lies the problem. Our 5 year term democracy has many benefits. But there is one shortcoming. It does not encourage people to be tree planters. Everyone wants to make their 5 years look good. That creates manicure shrubbery that looks good on paper and in photographs. Even good minds that are a part of the current government have not been able to give serious thought where it is due(which is what heightens the frustration. One does not expect good macro economics from Advani. But a Montek Singh Ahluwalia or a Manmohan Singh not doing what they do best, is unforgivable)

Unfortunately, one only has the problem. No solutions.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More Lessons from being a parent

The umbilical cord is never cut. I now understand that about my own mother, my husband's mother, and the child..
*********************
At night, suddenly, he wants to be held ever so tightly, and sleeps blissfully in your arms. Barely 15 minutes later, he is kicking away the embrace and screaming in his sleep to be allowed to sleep "free".. never mind that in about half an hour, he wants the embrace again ;-)
There is a smile, son, as one realises that this is a pattern that we are going to have to follow for a long, long time to come. When you want to be close and be hugged and accepted, we will be there. When you want your space, we will have to respect that too. Our parents have been doing that for ages, and its payback time.. I smile again..

Update on Ishaan :
We started homeopathy, and he is better. BIG thanks to everyone who convinced us that homeopathy is the way to go, and a special thanks to the person who recommended this doctor. More on that later.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Borrowing from Gulzar

Nargis
Earthquake in China
Serial Blasts in Jaipur (India)

रोज़ सुबह अखबार मेरे घर , खून से लथपथ आता है ॥
( I get a blood soaked newspaper every morning)

And on the sudden rains in Delhi, my favorite rain song, and my favorite lines

फिर से आइयो, बदरा बिदेसी, तेरे पंखों में मोती जडूंगी
तुझे मेरे काली कमली वाले की सौं


तेरे जाने की रुत, मैं जानती हू
मुड के आने की रीत है के नही,
काली बरखा से पूछूंगी जा के,
तेरे मन में भी प्रीत है के नहीं..

कच्ची पुलिया से, हो के गुज़रियो,
कच्ची पुलिया के, नारे मिलूंगी...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Kitty Party

We take that loneliness
From the yoke on our napes
And dilute it
With laughter
Tinged with
A slow poison

We giggle
While downing
The heady cocktail.

Monday, May 12, 2008

What got my goat?

The Times of India today(12th May) has a front page column news on an accident involving 6 Indian tourists in the US, and the news of 8 jawans dying in Kashmir is a 53 word report on P 14. Why do you expect anyone to die defending your borders if you cannot even give them basic recognition? And enough money to buy them food clothing and shelter? Enough respect to their family when they are dead? Enough arms to fight with? Enough equipment to keep them safe?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Jab We Met

It all started with an innocuous line in an email " Lets meet over coffee sometime." At 1130 hours. By 1700 hours, the coffee was happening over ice cream, and there was pure crackle in the air.

~nm has written about it really nicely here, but I love the sound of my voice and had to put it up too.

We met over coffee.. my first time of meeing a blogger.. Some things are just meant to be. That is why we try to meet some people and don’t end up meeting them over months, and we meet some people within a few hours of the first email exchanged with them.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Pangea Day Mission & Purpose

http://www.pangeaday.org/
10th May, 23.30 IST (21.30 is the pre-show time at NCPA)

Pangea Day is a global event bringing the world together through film.
Why? In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it's easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that – to help people see themselves in others – through the power of film.
The Pangea Day Event
Starting at 18:00 GMT on May 10, 2008, locations in Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro will be linked for a live program of powerful films, live music, and visionary speakers. The entire program will be broadcast – in seven languages – to millions of people worldwide through the internet, television, and mobile phones.
The 24 short films to be featured have been selected from an international competition that generated more than 2,500 submissions from over one hundred countries. The films were chosen based on their ability to inspire, transform, and allow us see the world through another person's eyes. Details on the Pangea Day films can be viewed here.
The program will also include a number of exceptional speakers and musical performers. Queen Noor of Jordan, CNN's Christiane Amanpour, musician/activist Bob Geldof, and Iranian rock phenom Hypernova are among those taking part.Here's the info:Mumbai, IndiaNational Center for Performing ArtsNCPA Marg, Nariman PointMumbai 400 021, IndiaDoors and Pre-Show 9:30 PMPangea Day Globalcast 11:30 PMGeneral Admission tickets available at: http://pangeadaytickets.com/pa1.php?id=India

Friday, May 02, 2008

We Indians do not know our age.

Serious!

Till about 2 generations ago, few, if any, knew their age or the year of their birth. Large parts of the country still remember their birth as "It was some 3-4 days after the Poornima, in the season of spring." or "i was born the year we had the drought. My mother says there was no water for us." or simply, "Some year, at night. It was summers, my mother tells me."

I've been thinking of this - the lack of need to remember a birthday, a date and the year. What an awesome luxury!! You are old if you do not have your teeth any more. You are an adult if you start to do *ahem* adult things, and you are a child if you do not do hard labor in the fields. Simply put, when we remove that number, we remember our life by its REAL milestones - that I am a grandmother now, that my teeth have come, that i have started to lose hair, that it is now difficult to put hard labor in the fields.. the things that really matter.

When you do that, you can not hide behind a number to explain why you have cholesterol, why you cannot have any more children etc. Some months ago, there was this news item of a man who fathered a child at the reported age of 90. The mother of the child was then 45. How did she give birth to another child, in the middle of a village, at the age of 45? Simple, she had no idea that women are not supposed to give birth at 45. What's more, she did not know she was 45 and should be looking at menopause, not childbirth.

Having a number and a day next to our existence on earth is of great value. It helps us measure (and get a birth certificate). But doing away with that number has its advantages too.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thank You!

Thank you people, for everything. For the messages, comments, advice and wishes, Thank you for everything.

I am way less hyper after hearing from you. We are also planning to start homeopathy treatment for Ishaan soon(this weekend at the latest).
Let's hope it works for him. Will keep you posted if you'd like..

Right now, I will be hoping and praying..

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Need Help/Suggestions Please!

Ishaan (my 7 month old son) was diagnosed with Eczema.

It's been a month and the little thing has been on steroids non stop.
The doctor assures me that the only way to treat Atopic Dermatitis is through Steroids, Antibiotics and then Non Steroidal Anti inflamatory drugs, when the symptoms are not so bad. (Basically, symptom supression)

He has been on anti allergy drops for children for over a month. Still, we encounter a new allergy practically every week!

I am, at the moment, pretty inconsolable, and anything you can say to help, WILL help.

Has any of you ever encountered another child with Atopic Dermatitis? What helped? Has anyone ever tried Homeopathy? Did it work? Anything else that I should know?

Thanks people!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Simple things you can do for a better world.

1. Waste less food.
2. When not necessary, do not leave the TV, tubelights, fans and ACs on. Or any electrical appliances.
3. Try eating with the whole family together. That helps you save energy - the food does not need to be re-heated over and over again, and brings you close.
4. Where not necessary, do not buy wood. Alternatively, stop complaining about deforestation and lack of greenery. That greenery is in your drawing room, as a sofa.
5. Use the old fashioned bucket and mug instead of the shower. It really really saves water.
6. Pearls are the cancerous tumours of the oyster. To get you those pearls, the creators of pearls induce this painful foreign element in the oyster and then wait for the growth to develop. You don't want someone to wear your tumours as jewelry. Or maybe you do.
7. To make a silk hanky, hundreds of silk worm larvae are boiled alive. Imagine getting up from sleep one day and dying of heat, wondering all the time, "what just happened?" . When you wear that silk, you are in effect wearing a few thousand corpses. Happy Glittering.
8. Look for cosmetic products that are not tested on animals. Testing involves pouring shampoo inside the eyes of a rabbit them to see whether the shampoo is corrosive. Actually, that is the least gory experiment.
9. Solar heating and rain water harvesting work. Really.
10. When you see someone obviously in need of help, stop and help.
11. Have fewer children, and inspire others to do the same.
12. Speak in your mother tongue. Vernaculars are dying around the world.
13. Get out of your house when there is a protest march for something that is obviously unfair. Make that voice heard before it is stifled for good.
14. VOTE.
15. Generate less waste. Most appliances are good for a lot more than they are currently used for. And second hand things are not always bad. The companies do not want you to believe that, but its true.
16. Try to not litter a public place. You are a bad example for everyone.
17. A small car is good if you are traveling alone. Most days, we travel alone to work. We do not need the boot on mostdays. What we need, is a small car, ideally a 2 seater, or a car pool. Smaller cars mean smaller jams on the road, less fuel guzzling, and honestly, as a civilisation, we just cannot afford the Big Car = Big Ego equation any more.
18. If you have plants, you could put your bio-degradable waste in them. Fruit peels, raw vegetable parts you don't use, anything..

Monday, March 31, 2008

Each one is special...

Each one of these pieces is special. They have all hit me and stayed in the heart ever since. They are repeated often, and perhaps have appeared earlier on this blog.
IMHO, each of these pieces captures an important idea in 2 lines or less.
What do you think? Which one do you like? I like the last one best.
*************
Don’t dismiss a good idea simply because you don’t like the source.
You miss 100% of the shots you never take.

मुन्ह की बात सुने हर कोई,
दिल के दर्द को जाने कौन
आवाज़ो के बाज़ारों में
खामोशी पहचाने कौन

मेरे हाथों की चाहो तो तलाशी ले लो
मेरे हाथों में लकीरों के सिवा कुछ भी नही..

भूखे बच्चों की तस्सली के लिये
मा ने फिर पानी पकाया देर तक

कहने वालों का कुछ नही जाता
सहने वाले कमाल करते हैं
कौन ढूंढे जवाब दर्दों के
लोग तो बस सवाल करते हैं

पत्थर हमारे सेहन में आये खुशी हुई,
ग़म तो गया कोई हमें जानता नही.

अब मैं राशन की कतारों में नज़र आता हूँ
अपने खेतों से बिछडने की सज़ा पाता हूं

इतनी महंगाई कि बाज़ार से कुछ लाता हूं
अपने बच्चों में उसे बांटते शर्माता हूँ

देख कर मुल्कों की सरहदें
पंछी उडते रहते हैं
इधर भी इंसान रहते हैं
उधर भी इंसान रहते हैं

खुद को पढती हूं छोड देती हू
एक वर्क़ रोज़ मोड देती हूं

हमें अपने सभी बेसुध करें करते ही चले जायें
मगर सुधियां उमर भर साथ रहने को उतारू हैं

सभी सुख दूर से गुज़रें गुज़रते ही चले जायें
मग़र पीडा उमर भर साथ रहने को उतारू है

तुम्हे मिलें तो इत्तला करना,
सब सुख हुए फरार हमारे

एक अंगूठे ही के कारण
चुकते नही उधार हमारे

दुख की नगरी कौन सी नगरी,
आंसूं की क्या ज़ात
सारे तारे दूर के तारे,
सब के छोटे हाथ..

सब का खुशी से फासला बस एक कदम है
हर घर में बस एक ही कमरा कम है
कुछ तुम्हारे लिये पल्कों में छिपा रखा है
देख लो, और न देखो तो शिकायत भी नहीं

मां मां कह बुलाती आयी थी,
वह मिटटी हाथ में लायी थी,
कुछ मिट्टी खा कर आयी थी,
कुछ मुझे खिलाने लायी थी..
:-)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

BarCamp returns to Mumbai again - Third Edition – 29 March at IIT Bombay

BarCamp Mumbai 2 was a big hit with over 200 attendees and a day full of discussions on many interesting topics and ideas. BarCamp Mumbai 3 is now on the cards for 29th March at School of Management at IIT Mumbai. In the true spirit of BarCamp it's an open platform which anyone can make her own. Anyone can participate, anyone can speak, agenda is drawn collectively at the start and any topic is welcome as long as you have others interested as well.

This time the infrastructure has been extended in view of the overwhelming participation last time. The venue can accommodate around 400 people. In addition, the open spaces within the building will have mattresses which can be used by groups of people to discuss or to just take a break.

This edition will also host a BlogCamp which will have people talk about all things blog and also other aspects of social media and marketing. There is also FireTalk where you can talk about your idea and exhort like minded people to join you – it can be a cool app or a full scale business plan. The people gathered thus prepare a broader blueprint offline and then present it to larger audience later in the day.

Come and make this your own BarCamp. Over a 100 people have already registered.
Register your participation for free at the wiki:
http://www.barcampmumbai.org/BCM3_registrants
Register your topic at the wiki: http://www.barcampmumbai.org/BCM3_topics

Tittle Sponsorer of Barcamp Mumbai3 is Sun Microsystem & Associate Sponsorer is Directi.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Your problem is, you think like a man and feel like a woman.

What's wrong with that?

Everything. A woman can process multiple inputs at the same time and can think much better than men. A man can keep his emotions under control, but they are a woman's undoing. You should think like a woman and feel like a man.

Touche!

What do you think? :-)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Agricultural Sector Reform

Without going into the details of why, here is what I propose:
1. There should be no control price on procurement.

2. There should be no subsidies on inputs. All inputs must be governed by market prices. i.e., Fertiliser Corporation of India must continue to supply fertilizer, but it must be forced to cut its own costs to stay price competitive.
3. Food Corporation of India(FCI) must be forced to compete with other market players to procure at market prices. Minimum Support Price must be the least amount at which a sale can happen in a government regulated market.
4. There should be public-private partnership to create a chain of warehouses. The pricing mechanism should be such that the farmer does not pay for the storage – the procurer pays. What this means is that the longer a produce is in the warehouse, the more the bill of the procurer. This will transfer the pressure of selling from the farmer to the buyer. Also, since the farmer does not stand to gain anything by keeping the produce for long in the warehouse, and in fact loses liquidity and negotiation advantage, he will also be interested in reaching an early deal, but will not be under pressure to do so.

5. Once the procurement has been completed by the FCI(Food Corporation of India), the produce must be transferred to a central nodal distribution agency, which could be a part of FCI. There have to be 2 parallel distribution mechanisms – one for perishable primary produce like fruits and vegetables, and the other for staples and cereals.

6. The distribution is done at subsidized prices. The Govt. of India, along with the states, bears the differential between procurement prices and distribution prices. The more the demand-supply gap in a state, the more its burden of subsidizing.

7. Not every citizen should be expected to have a ration card. A ration card should be authorisation to get produce from the subsidized PDS. For identity proof, the voter ID card or an alternative for minors should be used.

8. Any leakage is the responsibility of FCI’s distribution wing, and the respective governments.

9. Until there is stabilisation of logistics on the ground, all speculative acitivity in these commodities should be made illegal.

What this arrangement will hopefully do:1. Stop the starvation deaths of farmers.
2. Introduce corporatisation of agriculture that goes a step beyond contract farming.
3. Plug the multiple infusion of subsidy and introduce a single injection point of money form the government to the food distribution mechanism of India. This hopefully means less corruption, or at least all corruption concentrated at one point. This also means more accountability of the nodal agency and an ability to place the blame where it should lie.
4. Make available both perishable farm produce and staples at a less price to the BPL citizens of India. Currently, the public distribution system (PDS) only takes care of staples.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Remember elementary Maths? We started with an equation that went:
CP+P = SP

CP – Cost Price
P – Profit
SP - Sales Price.

Now, assume a section where "SP is less than CP" i.e., cost of production is higher than the selling price . Assume further that this "SP less than CP" is not because of market dynamics, but because of government regulations.

That means, that the equation now looks like this:
CP + -(P) = SP
-(P) obviously refers to the continual, unending loss being made by the sector.

However, to correct this situation, the government does this:
CP = CP1 + S.CP1 - Actual cost borne by the producer.
S – Subsidies.
i.e., we will provide part of your expenditure, such that you do not suffer a loss.
In this, the assumption is that, at least, S is provided to the extent where CP1 becomes less than SP. (i.e., the producer's cost is less than the controlled selling price)

Flawed Assumption #1: "CP1 less than SP. "

Suppose further that the amount of S as per the government’s books is XXXXX, but the amount that actually gets disbursed as S is XXX. i.e.,

CP = CP1+ XXXXX – in the books of the state.

CP = CP1 + XXX for the producers.

Axiom – CP1 must rise to the extent that S is reduced, because the cost of production is not impacted by the availability of subsidies. If the state does not bear the cost, the producer must.

The government fixes SP on the basis of equation 1 above. (CP = CP1 + XXXXX) but the farmer has to bear CP to a much higher extent.

Therefore, no matter what the quantum of S, because of the inherent flaw in the process of calculation, the government will never find out the exact S required, and will also, never be able to fix a SP such that the producer suffers no loss.

That, imho, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the main problems with the Indian agriculture sector.

And if that stupidly drafted post made no sense, all one is trying to say is that control prices in agriculture go against a very basic principle of economics, where a producer must get returns for his efforts.