Monday, October 31, 2005

The Most Hilarious Stuff on Indian TV

I would like to list the things that come on our channels and you (rather I) just cant stop laughing (these are not meant to make you laugh) -

1) Telebrands ads specially this one (Allah ka Darwaza !!!)
2) All Ramanand Sagar's Mythological Serials - plz notice that "Brahma Ji"s left (or right) head is crooked (waakda)
3) Tau 2 Rupiye ki chaai kam pee lena par hamesha - dandi namak :)
4) Yaadasht Kho jaana in almost all serials !!!! (What are the odds of that)

I have omitted other ads like - Muh Mein Rajnigandha and Waaghbakri Chaay because I believe too many such ads will pile up in the list...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Of 11/9 and 9/11


I recently read Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat. He speaks of the reasons the world became flat and first reason is 11/9 (11th November 1989) when the Berlin Wall fell. I grimly remember that day in history, I was 6 yrs old, and color TV (notice the missing 'u' in color) had triggered a sort of neighbourhood competition as whose TV is the best, when Prannoy Roy's The World this Week covered the event . During that time I somehow recollect the coverage of the fall of the Berlin wall and the ceremonial removal of Felix Dzerzhinsky staue in Moscow that occurred after 2 years (December 1991), shown on the now defunct Doordarshan. Then I used just see the pictures in India Today (The copies are still lying in the raddi of my old house) and I had felt somewhat bad that East Germany was no more. (That was because I hated West Germany because they had beaten Maradona and I hated Steffi Graf for no particular reason - any guesses which F1 racer I don't like ???). But that was then.

I reread these articles of India Today when my mom made me clear the age old 'raddi' sometime when I was in 10th or 11th and saner. I realized that the media was really unaware of the reasons that caused the breakdown of Communism. Freidman in his book, mentions three major reasons that the "evil empire" collapsed - The Afghan War, Reagan's Arms Race and Buildup of forces in Europe and most importantly the Information revolution (the early Internet). Also there is a mention of how Mikhail Gorbachev's failed Glasnost and perestroika. In that same December 1991 Issue of India Today I remember having seen a cartoon Harkishen Surjeet, Jyoti Basu and Somnath Chaterjee (Hon'ble LS Speaker) as Gandhiji's three simians with the hammer and sickle stuck in their mouths. Also I have seen the 2 phenomenal shows by Discovery and BBC - Days That Shook The World.

Now back to the main point, 11/9 was really historical. It was the victory of freedom and the best part was that this "UNREVOLUTION" was mostly peaceful and was an implosion where the people themselves overthrew the Commies. Not only was it a victory for Individualism but it was an example of how Globalization was impacting the world. Today while, it is so easy to communicate with any email user in the world (barring North Koreans) it is really amusing to know how politics had kept minds apart from each other during the cold war. My Multimedia book described how PAL, NTSC, SECAM were developed in such a way that Eastern Bloc nations people wouldn't be able toreceive any other TV channels than their state owned ones. Actually the black markets in the Communist countries were selling Video cassettes of all Western Shows, which contributed to the demise of the State run media concept. Later on computers which ran DOS and Unix (even in the East Bloc) also helped work against the totalitarian top-down regime. The stories of freedom were there for the people to see and beleive and they demanded their share.

I have gone through a lot of stuff about the fall of Communism, most striking detail is that the CIA which worked day and night to bring down the "Evil Empire", had no clue of both 11/9 and Yeltsin's victory. The war they fought for aver 40 years ended on their TV sets. Thus, globalization hit the world in a big way making the world flat (according to Friedman). Even now everytime anything about these events is shown on TV, I watch it wth intrigue.


The seeds of "terrorism" were sown way back during 1945-49, first when Ben Gurien was supported by America after the MiddleEast mess leftover by the Brits and the Holocaust causing the Jews to flee to their promised land. Another seed was the US collaborating with the Shah of Iran and the King of Saudi Arabia. The third seed was the Afghan Mujahideen and strangely US support to Saddam wasnt directly causing any sort of terrorism. Thus global terror networking began. Today terrorism is rooted all over the world, epicentre - Pakistan Kashmir, Ireland, Indonesia, Half free Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Saharan Africa, Spain, Chechnya, Latin American Druglords, African Minelords, Nepali - Indian Leftists, Sri Lanka and so on. Unlike the old days when ideology was of major concern terror nowadays is mercenary activity. While brainwashing is the cause of suicide attacks, deadly weapons are easier to get now.

Global terror is a real problem but nobody is there to stop terrorism. America's war on teror is just a shameless way of justifying America's hunt for OIL. As world oil prices soar, maybe alternative fuels will emancipate man from the dependancy on arab oil. But one thing is for sure Globalization has helped incease terrorism than reduce it.

Monday, October 17, 2005


I have renamed my blog - something Latin was all that I was lookng for. Fortunately I got a phrase that suits me. I have always been second. third, etc, never the best in no matter what I have tried. So this title suits me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Way to go Gaurav

I am highly impressed by Gaurav's step. While showing immense bravery and prudence in taking this step, Gaurav also has challenged the self-styled hyped Institute(s) for a fair duel.
We must remember "SATYAMEVA JAYATE" - truth always persists - and no matter how hard "they" try to out-publicize the issue in their favour. Read the truth here.

On the one hand it is really disheartening to know that Private Colleges and Universities use newspapers and magazines to publicize and hype their institutes and rope in as many students as possible charging the students large sums of money. On the other hand it is a big relief to find out that crusaders of truth are trying to stop the madness by exposing these private institutes. A few months ago there were similar controversies involving a university named after the surname of India's second Miss World and another University that has its name as a synonymn for friendship - mon ami. While all such matters were hushed up by the media who have more interest in the advertisement money they get, no one came out in support of the students who were duped by these institutes apart from some overworked cops who failed to understand why people paid lakhs of rupees to get their son an MBA while he wasn' t even capable completing an arts degree in the first place.

While I am wholeheartedly supporting Gaurav for standing up for the truth, I am really appalled by the means these institutes are using for "selling their college". I would like to shout out my opinion on MBA. Historically MBA was never meant to make good managers out of any Tom, Dick or Harry. The fact that 60% of the IIM grads are engineers and 20% are science grads is ample evidence to prove that qualities needed for becoming a better manager include a strong scientific approach to management. While science students are trained to ask questions, the same is not the case with India's burgeoning commerce studying junta. I am very sure that 90% of our commerce undergraduates do not know who P Chidambaram is or what kind of Government runs in China. This hapless crowd of wannabe MBA's then shell out their parents' hard earned (?) money in getting admission to MBA. The lure of earning large amounts of money once you become an MBA even when you are not competent, has helped the fast growing "business of education". Not only has the quality of MBA programs reduced to mere "rattaoing" answers and copying projects, even the placements are being rigged in numerous ways. Private Management Institutes, unlike Private Computer Training Institutes do not need specialised staff or special infrastructure. Any building with rooms can be converted into a n MBA college and staff doesnt matter anyway. And there is also no credible method to evaluate the performance of the students in private and deemed institutes. While professional degrees like medicine, law, engineering require huge amount of effort in order to be completed, MBA has become synonymous to a bunch of subjects and a project. While many institues private or university - affiliated, are trying hard to maintain the standard, few institutes have actually succeeded in doing this.

I am feeling personally hurt because of this whole episode because eventhough it was the victory of truth, a brilliant guy like Gaurav had to quit his IBM job where he worked an basis of his technical and managerial merit and skills. I am hoping that his action will cause furore among the thinking community in India and justice will be served to the Institute that counts its chickens (or rather bills its students) before they hatch !!!!!