Friday, March 31, 2006

Blank Noise

The blank noise project had a blog-a-thon sometime back and truthfully I did not even know there was something called a blank noise project in the offing at that time. But now knowing about the worthy project, I could not resist putting my two cents in.
Coincidently... on women's day, disgusted with the whole brouhaha, I wrote this blog , and in it I had included a link to the blanknoise's blog, without even realising what blank noise was.

LatelyI have been reading many articles posted in the blog-a-thon and they seem to have covered just about everything i wanted to say and more... even the swear words :-)

What is sad is that - as one of the ladies had said, when one girl talks about the harrassment she has suffered, every other girl in the vicinity has one to match hers, some even worse than hers. To sate my curiousity I took a small survey amongst girls/ women I knew and I don't think there was even one woman who could say, "No I have never had to face any abuse or harrassment". Every one had a story. Infact one friend of mine who used to travel alone almost every weekend, told me she always preffered the inside top berth in the trains and climbed up as soon as she got in, but never slept the night. She would miss her sleep, rather than take a chance and sleep in the night in a train.

It was shocking to see how many women take it as a part of life and suffer silently.

A girl's daily schedule almost goes like- get up, get ready to school, get pawed on they way to school/work, school/work (if u r lucky u don't get pawed at school/work), get pawed back home from school/work, and back home (I am not even gonna talk about what could happen at home).

My 3 year old niece is learning karate, when I asked her mother if she was not too young to learn martial arts, pat came the reply "she is going to need it when she grows up and has to go to school by bus or travel anywhere alone".

Just after reading all the different articles my first impression was an impotent rage, I wanted to wring the neck of every man I saw. But I knew I was over reacting. I can't go around blaming all men for the scum that is oozing out of the drudges of the society(OK, oozing out even from the highest echelons of society). I do know some men who are really decent...infact, it was a guy who told me about the blank noise project and asked me to express my solidarity to it.

So kudos to all the women and all the decent men who are striving towards this worthy goal. And I sure hope and pray for its success, so the next generation of women atleast would know the real meaning of freedom.

Here are some of the links to articles I read... (I hope the owners of the links don't mind, as I have not asked your explicit permission)

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Reminds me of the first time my bro left for London. At the airport his friends had brought lots of going-away gifts (mostly shirts and jackets) for him and he wanted to take as many of them as possible with him. He had already checked in his baggage and so when there was no more place to stuff anything else in the hand luggage he decided to wear the stuff. The guy at the security check was rather stunned afterhaving asked my brother to remove his outer clothes. Other than the jacket he had on his arm, my bro had on a leather jacket, a sports jacket, a shirt and a T-shirt...we were just grateful no one had gifted him with trousers :-)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Seriously Funky Quotes :-)

There are many ... but they are all cute...

• Someone is boring me… I think it is me. – Dylan Thomas
• Life is like mail sometimes you just don't get it
• I say no to drugs they just don't listen
• The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was the genius.
• If you cannot change your mind, are you sure you have one?
• The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it.
• There are 10 kinds of people…Those who understand Binary; and those who Don’t.!!
• Live everyday as if it's your last day on earth, one day it will come true.
• It is proven that the celebration of birthdays is healthy. Statistics show that those people who celebrate the most birthdays become the oldest
• TEAMWORK means never having to take all the blame yourself.
• The beatings will continue until morale improves.
• Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.
• We waste time, so you don't have to.
• A snooze button is a poor substitute for no alarm clock at all.
• When the going gets tough, the tough take a coffee break.
• Please, Lord, let me prove that winning the lottery won't spoil me.
• No matter how rich you become, how famous or powerful, when you die the size of your funeral will still pretty much depend on the weather. - Michael Pritchard
• I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me. -- Dave Barry
• I talk to myself because I like dealing with a better class of people
• Quit smoking! Take air pollution straight.
• Finally 21, and Legally Able to Do Everything I've Been Doing Since 15.
• 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
• Marriages are made in heaven. But so again, are thunder and lightning.
• When you are arguing with an idiot, make sure he isn't doing the same thing
• Don't follow me. I m lost too.........
• Get fired - No one can call you a Quitter !
• They can't fire me, slaves have to be sold.
• It might look like I'm doing nothing, but at the cellular level I'm really quite busy.
• Everyone should have a spouse, because there are a number of things that go wrong that one can't blame on the government.
• Artificial Intelligence is no match to Natural Stupidity
• How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on
• Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.
• Smile - it makes people wonder what you are upto
• I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.
• I don't break the rules. I merely test their elasticity
• Some men are alive simply because it is against the law to kill them.
• When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. -mark twain
• Suicide is the most sincere form of self-criticism
• I often have long conversations all by myself, and I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.
• If you can laugh at yourself, you've got a really sick sense of humour.
• If most people said what's on their minds, they'd be speechless
• We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?
• There are two kinds of secrets : one is not worth keeping and the other is too good to keep.
• There should be a better way to start a day than waking up every morning.
• Skill is successfully walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls. Intelligence is not trying.
• Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
• If I worked as much as others, I would do as little as they.
• Many people quit looking for work when they find a job.
• When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded.
• Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.
• I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.
• I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
• "I have nothing to declare but my genius "---Oscar Wilde at NewYork Customs
• In spite of the cost of living, it's still popular
• To err is human... to blame your computer for your mistakes is even more human; in fact it is downright natural
• Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning
• Sure, I'm crazy. But that used to mean something. Now, everybody's crazy.
• There are two kinds of person in the world. Who's who and who’s he.
• It is better for civilization to be going down the drain than to be coming up it.
• Of course UNIX is user-friendly; it's just choosy about its friends!
• Originality is the art of concealing your source
• Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you
• When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried
• A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it sure will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort
• Smoking helps you lose weight ... one lung at a time!
• Wisdom eventually comes to all of us. Someday it might even be your turn.
• You are proof that God has a sense of humour.
• Never be afraid to try something new. Remember professionals built the Titanic…Amateurs built the Arc.
• Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former -Albert Einstein
• He who smiles in a crisis has found someone to blame.
• Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so.-Douglas Adams
• Tell me what you need and I'll tell you how to get along without it.
• In life, it's not who you know that's important, its how your wife found out.-- Joey Adams
• Don't feel bad. A lot of people have no talent.
• Nothing is foolproof for a sufficiently talented fool!
• To iterate is human, to recurse is divine

Monday, March 27, 2006

Heart Vs. Mind

I just attended a training about the culture differences between US and india. I was expecting the trainer to go on about the greatness of US. Actually the people who attended it before I, told me to she would. But i was pleasantly surprised when the lady waxed rather patriotic. She was like " They don't understand you and truthfully they don't care to understand you. you are the alien creature in their habitat ... so when in rome... you don't have to be a roman but atleasr behave like one. Of course there is a question of how long one can pretend before it becomes a habit and a belief.

I came back feeling that the americans were weird people, more self centered machines than humans. everything is logic with them and no emotions. their attitude is I, me , myself - first, middle and last

I do not understand the kind of independence they seem to enjoy. I need poeple ... loads of them. I thrive in crowds (Ah! actually I am claustrophobic...but u get the idea right?!). I was told proactive help is frowned upon, we were told not to offer any unless specifically asked, caselets were read out where people got into trouble for helping others , whereas here we are taught to help even without being asked. (forget the statistics of how many people actually do it).

But the americans love us for our amazing tolerance level. After all we go out of our way to get things done ... even at the cost of our sleep and health.

I remember an instance when a friend of mine was blasted by his american manager. poor guy was flabbergasted. The mistake he had done did not warrant such an extreme reaction from his manager. Later his manager apologised to him and told him that if he had vented his fury on another american, that guy would have quit and sued him :-p... it never even struck my friend to do that.

That's probably coz we have been trained from our childhood that the authority figure is seldom wrong and to blindly obey .. the manager's word is our command... he says jump and we ask how high :-p

Anyways after the training i told myself that now that i know the thinking of the americans and with added help from books i had read, i would also think like one atleast in office... use logic and not emotions. think of myself first..

But at the time of reckoning i found that i just could not think of my colleagues as just colleagues, an entity that sits in the cubicle next to me. They were people to me, people with lives, happiness, sorrows, insecurities, and No i cannot mind my own business. Not just coz i am curious as to what is happening with them but coz i am programmed to offer help when i see someone i know in distress. and i know i will get the same offer when i am in a soup. Yeah! i might have to work a bit later to make up for the time i spent with them, but i don't mind. If nothing else i got to know someone better and maybe made a friend.

I am not trying to say the american way is wrong, it suits them, so good for them! But to think like them is sooo difficult for us... and well, we have to, if we have to work with them.

On the flip side, we also become scape goats, most times agree when asked to do extra work and generally get trodden upon and generally taken advantaged of

But when all is said and done we still think with our heart and not our mind and guess what, in the long run, its ok :-) just means we go that extra mile rather than hurt some one and maybe get hurt ourselves in the process ... hmmm! guess thats what makes us humane and indians :-p

PS: Never been to US, don't even have an american friend... so everything i am saying about 'em is heresay.

PPS: My old counter was not free... so had to remove it ...boohoo :'-(

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bogey Man- Medicine Man

Hospitals make me nervous! Common enough complaint! But when your imagination is as rampant and wild as mine and you have additional inputs from books, it is something closer to fear than just nerves.

Robin Cook’s new book Marker was the latest book I have been reading. A good enough book if u are reading a Cook book (pardon the pun :-p) after a long time. Cook has an unfortunate tendency to follow the same tried and tested route over and over again that after couple of books one tends to guess what will happen at the end even as one reads. Of course his Invasion and Mutation were different and good too.

I started reading Cook coz of the popularity of “Coma” but by the time I could get my hands on Coma, I had already read most of his other books and Coma, to say the least, was anticlimactic. Maybe if it was the first book of his I read I might have been equally impressed, but reading it
as I did, I could almost foretell what was to come in the next page…and left me wondering what made it that popular.

But Cook, without fail, leaves me frightened sick of hospitals and the mysterious goings on there in.

As such I am not very familiar with what goes on inside my body. Most things I hear about it leaves me gaping with awe, wonder and a tinge of disbelief... you know the surely-things-like-that-are-not-happening-inside-me kinda feeling.
My medicinal knowledge begins and ends with a Saridon for headache, Crocin for fever and Vicks for Cold So I have amazing respect for the people in medical profession. After all they have had the patience to go through 5 years of intensive training and a few more years of internship and have bravely dissected all those cadavers (I remember getting violently ill when I had cockroach dissection in my 9th class.. oh yuck!)… But when all is said and done… it is my body and I am still suspicious of these guys. Sure the docs explain what they are gonna do… but hey! I am medically challenged. Most times I just grin and nod my head very knowledgeably, when actually its all flying way above my head. Of course I get a thrill out of it when the doc gives some real fancy sounding name for what ails me.

But what happens if they forget and stitch their watch inside while suturing after the surgery? (Wasn’t there a movie about this?). How do I know the injection they say they are giving is what they are giving and is gonna make me all better?

And to boot we have this reservation system, which allows students with hardly 50- 55% in their school to get a medical seat, and even there they only have to get the minimal of minimal mark to pass. How do I know the doc I am seeing is not a reservation candidate, who has just learnt to differentiate the scalpel from the kitchen knife?

I remember the time when my bro broke his big toe and had to be operated. We paid big money and what should have been a simple sticking of bones was made so complicated by the doc that the poor kid lost half his big toe…

Gee! Sure is frightening to think how we have to trust our bodies to these strangers and hope and pray that they know what they are doing, coz we sure don’t :-) ..But what's life without a little trust huh?!

*Phew* that sure got the jitters off the system... now y'all can start feeling jittery :-p


I am feeling angry, aggravated, annoyed, bedeviled, betrayed, bitter, chafed, choleric, convulsed, crabby, cranky, cross, cussed disappointed, disenchanted, disillusioned, dispirited, displeased, enraged, exacerbated, frayed, frustrated, furious, galled, graveled, harried, ,hassled, huffy, ill-tempered, incensed, indignant, infuriated, irate, irritated, let down, mad, miffed, miserable, nettled, outraged, peeved, pissed, provoked, provoked, rankled, resentful, ,riled, sad, sore, steamed, sulky, sullen, testy, truculent, vexed, wild, wrathful….

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Woman's Day Wishes!!!

These past few years every March 8th there is a big to do about woman's day. Hallmark, Archies and other gift and greeting cards shops mint money. The different magazines and channels wish every woman a happy women's day, I think even the president wished the women. Special offers on everything from feminine accessories to cell phones to trips abroad are offered.

hmmm! does this mean that one day every year women are given accolades and the left to her pathetic state the rest of the year?
What is the concept of a woman's day? Other than a great chance for shops to market their products?

Is it to celebrate the liberation of women? Who should women get liberated from?
Is it to show appreciation to all the things women do? is it to acknowledge that women are a great species?

I just don't get the funda behind all this. Yesterday I probably got about 20 mails wishing me. Do the people who wished me even know what they are celebrating and why.
It’s become an "in-thing", every one wish, so let’s also do it.

Have women really become equals? Is she accorded the same treatment and respect as her male counterparts? Can she travel safely in a public transport without being pawed and abused? Can she really wear anything she wants and not be termed loose or indecent?
If a girl (even one who covers herself from head to toe) is rap*d, she is still held responsible for having "asked" for it and having "seduced" the guy. Even her own relatives are not ready to understand the girl's physical, emotional and psychological torture and stand by her. she becomes a fallen woman by no fault of hers. And where the girls' life is ruined forever, the guy perpetuating this pretty much goes free in most cases, as the girl's family hardly ever complain, fearing the consequences.
It makes my heart ache to see school/college girls being pawed by the old lecherous slobs in buses and other places, and bearing it silently with tears and misery in their eyes.

Female infanticide is still prevalent. In blue collar jobs, men and women in the same cadre have different pay scales. Despite many government giving free education to girls, only a small percentage of them are allowed to enjoy this scheme. Most girls are made to stay home to learn cooking and house keeping.

Just the other day I saw an awareness program in DD. There is this 12 – 13 year old girl playing outside her house and her father comes home from outside and asks her to go inside and start learning cooking and stuff, as he has got a great proposal for her. An old lady enters and advices him not to get the girl married at such an age, instead to let her study. The state of affairs in the country is such that even the childhood of a girl child is dependent on the whims of her elders, and they have to be made aware of their responsibility.

This is not just something faced by women in developing countries; Women even in the so called developed countries face humiliation and discrimination in one form or another.

Is this what we are celebrating on March 8th?
I really don't get it... wish someone would enlighten me.

PS: Y'all might be interested in reading this article too

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Heroes or Villians?

Every one has read The Mahabharat or at least have heard the stories from the great epic or thanks to B.R. Chopra seen it in DD. The story deals with the very virtuous Pandavas being oppressed by their wicked and villainous cousins the Kauravas and how the good overcomes evil at the end.

But are the Kauravas really the villainous people they have been depicted as, or the pandavas as pious or virtuous?

Duriyodhana, the eldest Kaurava, was considered the most wicked of the lot. The same Duriyodhana, who befriended, the then low class, Karna and made him king of Anga. It could be argued that he was friendly with Karna only for defeating Arjun. Maybe that was how it started, but there is a sequence in the story where Karna and Duriyodhana’s wife Banumathi are playing chess and Duriyodhana enters the room and Banumati stands up in haste at his sight, Karna whose is back towards him catches her and the ornamental belt around her waist breaks. Any ordinary husband would have been immediately suspicious, but all Duriyodhana asks them is, if he should just collect all the pearls or string them for her also.
And we all know the kind of loyalty given to him by Karna. Can a villainous creature like Duriyodhana really inspire this depth of feeling from an indubitably virtuous person like Karna, or find in himself such trust towards his wife and friend.

One could wonder of course if the Kauravas were such nice people, why would they try to kill their cousins. I don’t doubt for a minute that anyone in the Kauravas place would have done the same thing.

From the time of their birth, they are brought up with the belief that they would be the next rulers. Then in their teens, they are told that their cousins who had been in exile, would be joining them and they would probably be the next rulers, and to add insult to injury, the new cousins are hailed as the next best thing since sliced bread. Where the kauravas were once the favorites of their teachers, they are now ignored for the new cousins and constantly compared with them.

When parents have a second child, the first kid becomes naturally jealous and feels threatened and the parents are counselled to make the first child understand that the presence of a second child will not be a threat to the affection it gets from them. When this is true of children of the same parents, I cannot even gauge the amount of bafflement, resentment and inferiority complex that would have been felt by the kauravas.

Also, as we read about their childhood, we find that every time Bhim or one of the pandavas play a prank on the kauravas, it was laughed away as a childish prank and if the kauravas retaliated, they were punished and called wicked.

And to boot, they had a father who could never show them the right path and was blinded by not only by birth but also by his greed and an uncle who was always ready to steer them on the wrong path.

Seriously, can we blame the Kauravas for being what they were? They were just normal people, whose childish resentment and inferiority complex was left to fester to their adulthood and had no means to let it out but to fight their “so-called” perfect cousins.

Talking of the Kuruksethra war, it can be noticed, not even one of the kaurava warrior was killed in fair war. Karna was killed when he was repairing his chariot. Duriyodhna was killed by being hit in his thighs, when it was considered bad sport to hit below the belt, Drona was beheaded when he was meditating, after hearing the death of his son, which was a lie perpetuated by the oh so pious and virtuous Dharma and Bhishma was shot dead by a eunuch, coz he refused to fight against one, and put down his arms.

The Mahabarat is not really a story of good overcoming evil. It is a lovely epic and it talks about people, just normal people, with complexes and greed and emotions just like anyone. No one is either fully good or evil. It is a story that talks about life in its entirety. Life is grey, there is no black or white in it.