Sunday, October 07, 2007

Proud or what

There seems to be such a hullabaloo of India's rising stock market and our so called booming economy, growing cellphone usage and many spin-doctored figures that people "proudly" forget the 2 most inhuman and shameful features of our nation - hunger and sex-based discrimination

Hunger and Destitude -

The WHO, FAO and UNDP have found that India's number of hungry and undernourished increased in the last decade and suspect that it still is increasing due to lack of reach to them from any of the concerned. Shows how much our media and our government is out of touch from the harsh realities. Here are some articles.

Numbers - though we have 6 billionaires in the top 20, at least 233 million - a staggering fourth of our country is still hungry and does not get 2 square meals.
another 37.1 % people are below the poverty lines which suggests that only a third of the poor are able to feed themselves fully despite having the world's largest grain reserves and potential to buy out the shortage of rice and a vast PDS. Causes extreme strife, school dropouts, rise in crime and social backwardness and ignorance and disharmony with the big picture.

The growing discord between impoverished masses has led to communist revolt in the eastern belt from Nepal to Kerala and from Vidarbha to Assam thanks to the strong presence of the Communists in Eastern India and Nepal and the source of revolution that is present in our powerful neighbour. The sting-operation-obsessed, spin doctored news channel oriented and haplessly retarded media of ours has neither the courage nor the conviction of reporting any of this.

Sexual Discrimination against Women -

Although well known and documented, the statistics and numbers still show rise in the massive scale of injustice meted out against women in India.
Lower estimates itself say are that 42 Million - that is 4.2 crore Girl infants and foetuses were killed in cold blood by our people upto 2001. (Leading were those who were educated, wealthy and having access to the world class health services) The sex ratio is so skewed in Punjab, Haryana, North Rajasthan and Gujarat and now spread widely all over the nations big cities that trafficking of women has increased and women are being sold as commodities in all these places. Human and girl trafficking has reached new heights with victims being innocent children mostly girls being sold off in big cities into flesh trade.

Not only this women in India are still subject to more torture domestically, including forced work, teenage pregnancy, denial of education or health care and purposeful undernourishment to favour the male child in the house. Add to it the bane of dowry violence and domestic sexual exploitation makes it probably the worst nightmare for any woman. I am really surprised that chain e-mails saying this never circulate among us the more fortunate lot.

Articles /Research -

IS this to be proud of or to be ashamed of ?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Another Semester - This time in ASU

After sufferring 8 grueling bi-annual torture sessions in Pune University which were interspersed with week long "vacations" and month long "PLs", the American semester seems quite tame. There is no fear of miserable failure and there are no "submissions" in the UoP sense. The best part is that the grading is done by your own professor and not some random fellow as it was in my Engineering Degree time. After a long time it really feels nice to undergo education without the academic pressure but this time I face other problems - like the exhorbitant fees that I am paying for a Master's Degree and occaisonal homesickness.

Still hoping for the best to come out of this new experience ...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Its painful, its mean, its absurd, its life.....

At times you are so happy that you are living your life happily as a human being and enjoying this beautiful world...but most of the times you are sad, depressed, lonely, angry because something went wrong and you seek answers to questions that defy logic...
The last two days have been the same for me. In a flash from a position of high hopes and great prospects, I am back in a dark deep well. Hope can no longer keep up with the darkness, the fathoms of depth that fate can push you to. Near and dear ones, friends and family who are half a planet away try to convince you that not to worry, somethings are meant to happen and better things follow... but your mind does not listen... its just darkness, hollow endless darkness.....

Sometimes you seek solace in prayer, sometimes you question Him, how could this happen, why me, why now, how long will Thy testeth me? Sometimes you deny He exists, sometimes you just crack under the pressure. You break in silent tears, it was not my fault God ! This is just something that destiny puts you through... After all ...the fruits you are expecting from your efforts ... are they worth the pain and suffering? From the eternal darkness and eerie shadows, there is hope - there is strength - great men might have derived it.. I remember the story of the Count of Monte Christo - How hard fate is on Edmond Dant├Ęs and how it turns for him.

but if good days are due to come is it worth the wait? Is success measured in making a billion a year or a simple smile a day .... Darkness has its say ...Life has its way !

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mac Vs PC - Enjoyyyyy

With baring Sabers and gnashing teeth - Cool, smart and "successful" Steve iCon Jobs Fights the dorky glassed and fat William Gates - this is how Apple's ad campaign targets American buyers and tries to prove users that the Mac is cool whereas the PC is just for nerds. (Though I have seen people buying Apple mac books and simply running XP on it. )

Here are the few ads of Apple for just enjoy.

And thats not it Later I found this video which is a movie version of Bill and Steve fighting.

Mac Vs PC Animated

And for once people visit my blog now onwards - me gonna upgrade !!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Internet - tainment

My TV addiction is finally cured - Web based video Channels like Sopcast, Youtube, Peekvid and interesting India's own Rajshri, and many other Movie casting sites offer a treat for everyone who wants on demand videos and don't care about the quality.

Though I doubt that these Internet based video sites can ever replace the spontaneity of television, or replicate the awe of a movie theatre, but when you are stuck anywhere in the world and long to see that old Mahabharat episode, reminisce the great Indian Laughter Challenge, or relive the "Fusilli Jerry" or the "Soup Nazi"or sit back and enjoy Dexter's Laboratory episodes, or Go down to Southpark and meet fat ass Cartman and his buddies, you got it all up there. Even old DD serials, and even all the Tintin comics ..and everything else is up on the web... Enjoy !!!! Truly as long as I have fast Internet, I won't miss TV.... but here having both TV and high speed Internet is like having icing along with the cake ...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

My Friday Movie - "Black Friday"

Having missed the movie screening at the PIFF 2005 for reasons known to all Engineers (read Pune University) as "Fearum Factorum Endum Termum Submission-itis", and having struggled to find time to watch it later, I knew that I had not seen a great movie - so I gathered all my resources and finally saw the movie on my PC. My rating - ****1/2 (though nobody cares)

And in true appreciation of Anurag Kashyap's cinematic excellence, I felt that I was seeing the revival of Indian "sensible" cinema through this film - I am assuming this revival already happend in the late nineties and is now gaining foothold in our multiplexes. I kept in mind the context that the movie was made in 2004-end, and was really amazed by the awesome work of ACP Rakesh Maria by Kay Kay Menon (he wasn't that critically acclaimed then) and Tiger-"bhai" Pavan Malhotra and the rest of the cast. (distinguish Menon and Memon please !!!)

The attention to detail is critical in the movie, be it the gruesome images of the blast victims (I remember the fear since my father was in his office near Crawford Market that day but luckily was safe), the sequences shot in the Sion, Malad and Santa Cruz slums, the railway overbridges and the police stations, villages, cities and all the neat closeness to reality - make it a technically perfect movie, topped with really mind numbing music sequences - like the "arey ruk jaa re bande" and some other folk songs - really good work.
Throughout the movie Kashyap makes sure that the movie does not look like another Ramu Underworld movie (mainly because the characters here are real people and not fictitious) and has used his skills to portray the behind-the-scenes reality of the Bombay Blasts.

Personally the events that led to the blasts have had great impact on me as a child. I remember the turmoil of those times, as I was once on the street shouting "Mandir Wahi Banayenge" in 1989 for my shakha, and witnessing the rath yatra in the city and also remember being worried about my father who was posted in Bombay (Mumbai from 1994) from 1991 through 1994. I know friends and relatives or someone who were in the trains of the Ghatkopar blasts, the 7/11 Mumbai train blasts, and know how close they came to being the victims. These events always reminds me of how we take things for granted and how harsh reality can be.

-- Spoiler Warning (parts of movie added)--

And the last epilogue part is really the crux of the reality in the movie. The D-company - ISI meeting where the entire plan is hatched, with the sending of bangles to Dawood Ibrahim mocking him for not taking care of his folks, you see kar sevaks, Bombay Riots, and real TV footage in true-blue 1990s style, Yakub Memon's interview, the Paki foreign minister's "bayaanbaazi", background talks by Advani, PVN Rao, and some other leaders, all look just too realistic .....

"Black Friday" is a must watch.

Also Read -
Ramanand's Review

Friday, February 23, 2007

Digital Reincarnation

Got a new title (will keep this one for a long time) and a nice new layout.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Hindi - No Hindi Debate

Watch non-multilingual Indians lash out at each other here and refer the story above too ...
the first comment (from some Debashish Roy) seems to me is a Bengali who is in USA lashing out at Tamilians who don't know Hindi.. Ha ha .. talk about the diversity here :D

Grow up folks ... If we really have a national language, it must be gibberish !!!! Best option is as thus - let each Indian have her/his own national language :D -

The National Language Algorithm v1.0
// Hindi Speaking Area includes the "cowbelt" and Mumbai which is the capital of UP
enum Lang GetNationalLanguage(Indian desi)
if( desi.mother_tongue != Lang.Hindi)
if(desi.AreaOfStay == GetAreaByLanguage(Lang.Hindi) )
if(desi.wellKnownLanguage == English && desi.dontLikeHindi)
LearnLanguageToSurvive(desi, Lang.Hindi); // study only little Hindi to survive
return Lang.English;
return Lang.Hindi;
else // if you stay in a non-Hindi State or out of Mumbai (capital of UP)
if(desi.wellKnownLanguage != Lang.English)
LearnLanguageToSurvive(desi, Lang.English); // study only little English to survive

// Now you must know English
return Lang.English; // English becomes National Language if u dunno Hindi


Problem Solved .. If you stay up North learn Hindi. If you do not stay in Hindi areas - you should at least know English ...
Don't be freaking Language imperialist in your own nation... our heritage is too precious and too ancient to be involved in a linguistic majority-minority debates and brawl ..... ... Let's just be Good Indians .. Good desis ...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Grand Canyon State

I am here and really homesick... This happens when you have lived your entire life in the same city (from kindergarten to the last day of my job i was always in Pune) ... SO I am hoping to get over the feeling soon. But being soooooo far away from loved ones is the most depressing thing in life. Though I have found a pretty decent place to stay and good roomies, there is a lot left to be desired since we are all on strict stingy budgets.

As of the University, so far I am finding ASU a pretty good place to study, just wishing and praying that the fairly high tuition fees get waivered off as soon.

My latest experience in America is that winters really do get too cold.(Even Sunny California is experiencing bouts of very cold weather.) The long walk from my apartment to my university buildings seem to take an eternity eventhough we are in the "milder" winter of the desert state of Arizona (3 degrees Celsius is causing so much pain - imagine what minus 30 would do!!!).

Hoping that I will make it through this tough time on my own ... but will need all the help possible from well wishers to keep my spirits up !!!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Going, going, ... finally really Going

Quitting a decent job does seem to be the toughest decision to take in life which I did last month and now I am all set to go for me masters. I enjoyed a nice month off from work and got ample time to prepare for my haul in USA as a student. Hoping everything turns out fine !!!!