Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pepsi and Christian missionaries


The marketing and sales strategy of Pepsi co. has always been to project its products in a ‘local’ flavor. In India we have Sachin and his ‘gang’ running around the ground sipping Pepsi and in Pakistan a similar setup with more greenery (the green clad players gulping down the drink). Its interesting to note how the two neighbors are oblivious to the fact that when the two nations are fighting it out on the cricket ground the commercial breaks are inspiring both the nations to cheer for their players by drinking the beverage which has make the players strong enough to beat their arch rivals.
This same marketing practice, interestingly, works marvelously in another area. This is how the message of Jesus is spread in the whole world (and in India). If you visit a temple you would notice that the prayers (mantras, etc.) are all in Sanskrit and the Holy Scriptures written again in the same language which has become indecipherable for most of us (which is a matter of shame indeed, but a fact!). On the contrary, when you attend a mass on a fine Sunday morning in a church you would notice that the people are able to communicate with God in their own mother tongue. The priest would deliver the mass in the local language and offer the prayers in a way which all can understand!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007



Today marked the opening of movie club at NIA, and it started with one of my personal favourites, Rang De Basanti. When announced couple of days back, my first impression was “O! Not again...”, because I had watched it over 5 times and didn’t want to spend Rs 20 on it. But then on second thoughts I and all my friends decide to go for it.
The show was at our college auditorium 6:15 with a mixed crowd of students and executives at our campus. Everyone was on top of their spirits and we started cheering for everything, the opening words, entry of the actors and all the humorous lines and songs. We compared the character with people amongst us and had a parallel humour track running. Some of the hilarious ones are like comparing the act of Laxman stopping the party with our warden disturbing the late night birthday celebrations in hostels and so on.
But then there are certain things that made me feel as if I am watching it for the first time. I did get goose flesh during some scenes just as earlier. I was surprised to note this impact and wasn’t expecting them to happen for the sixth time.
The moments in the movie which touched me the most were:

* Laxman coming to Sue, offering to play the character of Ram Prasad Bismil. The poem “Sarfaroshi ke tamanna ab humare dil mein hain…” put silencer on all our mouths and I started feeling very patriotic.
* Then came in the scene depicting Jalanwala Bagh; I needn’t describe it. We all know how bad it was; indeed one of the most shameful incidents in the history of mankind.
* The engagement between Ajay and Sonia was again very emotional.

Then it was the time for interval; but most girls walked back to hostel as they were back after watching Harry Potter – Order of the Phoenix and didn’t wish to spoil their mood by watching the second half of RDB. They complained that the characters die in the second half, and they don’t like to see film without happy endings. Rating Harry Potter over Rang De Basanti.. can’t believe it..
Anyways, I never understand girls, so no point in discussing their choices.

* The movie continued with another tragic scene, Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqulla Khan were tortured and hung, and the background score was the merger of prayers of three different religions.
* Bhagat Singh and his peers going on a fast for 114 days, facing all the atrocities but not giving up.
* Then the song “Lukha chuppe”, along with all the scenes like the handling over the national flag in which Ajay’s body was rolled for his last journey. It did fill my eyes with tears, but then I safely rolled them back.
* My blood started becoming less viscous and flowed at greater pace while watching the protests against the corrupt Defence Minister. Especially the “Kyoon chala” song and the laathi charge..
* And finally, the last 15 minutes; their confession on radio and people’s reactions were really very lively and did awaken everyone and brought in the josh to do something good for the society and the country at large.
But not sure how many seconds it took to fizz out and get everyone back to their normal routine..

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Ray Of Hope............

Last night i had a conversation with a friend of mine and we happened get into a discussion as to how the mentality of people can get very conceited, and how people tend to start behaving wierdly.
Just a little while ago i came across this poem which i had penned down a few years back and it seemed quite relevant with all that we discussed .so i thought i should probably put it up here.
so here it is..........

I still remember that day,
When things were not this way
The lovely gaze of those eyes,
Would stealthily pass by

The past seems to fly like
A frustrated butterfly
And nothing else will ever comply
To the request of dear thy

Witnessing someone in distress,
Has become something very blessed!!
Grabbing someone’s joy,
Is all that people enjoy!!

Talk about the selfishness,
That fills the world’s breast.
Talk about the envy,
That one’s face can convey.

Just when the fact gets to be known
That, one is greater than what he is shown
People begin to bloom with hatred,
And relatively cease to do things that are sacred.

Oh God, thy ought to know
How people could be so low
And cross all limits somehow
To be the lowest among the low!!!

Where is that love??
That shows people do care
Where is your dove??
The peace propagator when allowed!!!

Hatred has become the thing of today.
The waves of kindness having flown away
Only thy ought to know the birthday,
Of yet another wonderful day……

A day which is promising,
Amusing and encouraging.
A day which will make
A lonely man’s day……

A time which will come,
And make one’s life handsome..
And fill once again his soul
With all the happiness that it stole…..

Head bowing low
I pray to thee dear lord
To make some broad way
For the dawn of that new day.

Midnight's children


At 5 A.M. last night or rather should I call it this morning!! I realised that they is a big change in the sleeping habits of young Indians. Two songs that I can corelate this situation are "Amma dekh.. aa dekh tera munda bigda jaye...." and "raat ko bara bage din likalta hai.. subah ko shai bage raat hoti hai..". Well, I am not talking about the disco and party culture, although that maybe the first thing that might have popped up in your mind. But I am going to speak about the different sectors of people who are very busy during late nights. Firstly, all the employees of BPOs are busy through out the night attending calls and delivering quality service. But then a big cluck of the student community also gives them a good company.
Even I find myself to be quite active between 10 PM – 4 AM. And the best part is that I do find a nice company during this time, as most of my friends also have similar traits. This time period is utilised in two ways; first the more useful one - it being the best time for preparation before exams (of course it's just my personal opinion and I am not challenging those who prefer studying early morning). A good smart work and efficient use of this time before the exam does help people to do well in their academics and score decent grades.
The second and even more popular way of utilising this time period is by using the internet. We find quite a number of people online and then getting into chats and scraps (for people on orkut) and the conversations go long and sometimes interesting and helpful too. Mind it, this is not restricted only to people who have an access internet, there are quite a number of them who get busy with other communication channels like SMS, phone calls and help to make most of the discounts or attractive offers provided by the cellular services (free SMS, cheaper call rates from 9-9 and many more).
But then the short coming of this is what I'm having these days. I feel sleepy in class and loose out on the knowledge that the esteemed staff is delivering. So while one makes good use of the late nights, he/she must ensure that this doesn't affect their performance during all the crucial moments in the day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Employment 4 all by 2010........


At a recent press meet, the Economic Adviser, to Prime Minister, Mr. Rangarajan said “A study that I have done shows that by 2010, the labour force and the work force will almost be equal in the sense that there will be no unemployment even assuming a growth rate of 8 per cent. In fact the economy will grow at a higher rate than this. Therefore the question that remains is not so much of quantity employment as the quality and this will depend on improving the total factory productivity both in agriculture and unorganised sector”.
Isn’t this interesting?? While most economists are trying to predict the year in which India will outshine America and eventually China to become a world leader, here comes a prediction that’s quite meaningful and brings in a ray of hope to all the budding Indians who are worried about the increasing competition to enter the corporate world since they are busy cooking sweet and sour.
I truly pray that the unemployment issue gets sorted out at the earliest; because it will indeed help solving many other problems in the country like poverty, child labour, exploitation, and will also help in bridging the big gap between the rich and the poor. It will also reduce the crime rate, and help in the social and economic development of all parts of the country. Remember, every fourth poor person is an Indian. So once employment is generated to all and then their wages start growing, we can minimize the number of people below poverty line and bring in prosperity to all.
Even then we need to be cautious and make sure that this supply-demand ratio for man-power is well maintained. Population should be kept under check and the growth of industry, services and agriculture should constantly open more doors for employment.
But hang on! Doesn't all this ring a bell?? I can still hear echoes of "India Shining” campaign by the NDA government. So I am keeping my fingers crossed and hope this too doesn’t turn out to be mere election propaganda for the parliamentary elections. Hope the prediction does come true and all of Indian truly Shines!!

Corruption and "ME" the future "Indian"

"Be careful ". "Ok mom, I will be" and i raced off on my bike to meet a couple of friends on necklace road in Hyderabad. In my hurry, or rather carelessness I had forgotten to put on my helmet and as fate would have it, I was apprehended by the traffic police guys and pulled over to the side of the road. The scene described in these few lines is not uncommon, infact i feel most of the riders reading this article would have been in the above situation, and i am very confident that most of them would have done what I did. Guesses??? Yes! you are right. "Kya sahib, chod do na sahib chaalan bahut zyaada hai sahib"."To? Galti to aapka hai na, aap helmet nahin daale, ab aap hi bolo hum kya karein?".After that i don a very innocent look on my face and hint towards a possibility of an "outside settlement"."Theek hai side mein aao aap", I take out a fifty and he says-"ye to kam hai,aapke paas Dl bhi nahin hai challan total 500 hota aapka..",and i make it 100 and he pockets it and lets me go free, and i dont even realise that i have just become a part of this cancer called "corruption at a very grass root level. "I", "Me", "The future Indian".
I had the opportunity of being involved in clubs at my university and many other groups of teenagers and elders alike in the past few years and one of the hottest topic of discusssion was always corruption, be it in politics or law enforcement or public services.I distinctly remember how all of my compatriots,including yours truly would lash out at the corrupt government, the corrupt officials and the list could go on,the point being that we would point out and depricate those we held guilty of it.These issues generally also led to a discussion of our development ,growth,blah blah blah..with each of them resulting in a conclusion that we were the future of this country and we are not only aware of the cancer but also have the hatred and strength in us to stay away and free from it.I guess even i had a very high self esteem and had many a times made derogatory comments against the "corrupt".
Now hypocrisy has always been one of the most sordid attributes of a man according to me and yet today when i look back I see how I myself was a follower of it,and here I use "I" to refer to myself only,but if there is a reader whose gone through similar discussions and a similar situatuion then it applies to them too. The point is that while i was in that situation I paid no heed to my anti corruption policies and was more concerned with saving some cash and infact honestly I never realised what i was doing.In fact, the sad part is how i would boast about having done it to my friends and yet again call the same guy i bribed a "Chor",while condoning the fact that I myself had become a bigger one, as i was the source of the incentive to that chor.
The whole issue burns down to the point where everyone wants to save his own skin and wants to be out of trouble the cheaper way,and well the oficials too are like us,they want easy money and hell they know I am not a maniac,I wont kill someone tomorrow,so no harm in them letting me go.While I have majorly concentrated on law enforcement guys here,people will always raise questions regarding other fields like government offices etc..etc..Now I can discuss them too all day long but it would be of no use! would it??
The realisation I had today was that I need to worry more about me being honest and following the law than worried about who is not and what names he should be called by.We are a young country they say, and i most certainly believe we are a very capable one at that.So guys if there is anyone out there like me,who has been a hypocrite,please realise what we are doing here and how "We the people" we the "Bundle of sticks" are making hollow our own future.I have realised by paying a challan that I will never again not wear a helmet,or forget mi DL at home.but more importantly I have learnt that if I am not corrupt on ten occasions,I stop 10 other people from being corrupt.We will be every where,guys like me,who are not very strong willed ,I request you all to just try...and hopefully succeed...
PS: the following lines are something i came up with while I was on a holiday this month..
"The only thing that brings down a rising tide in an ocean is a receding wave"

Sunday, July 15, 2007

BEFORE.............. AFTER..........

Of late Indians are becoming increasingly health conscious and are using various techniques to keep themselves fit and in good shape. All major cities are teeming with gyms, health centres, beauty clinics, parlours and spas. People are discussing and trying to implement various methods like yoga, jogging, exercise, rigorous workouts in the gym and then most importantly giving a lot of emphasis on their diet and food habits.
This health and fitness sector is going bullish, forcing many people to give it a serious thought. Everyday other day, the newspapers carry advertizements pertaining to issues like weight loss.
But then have you noticed the common link between all these ads??
They all carry a pair of pics; an ugly one termed "before" and a good one termed "after". Many a times,I have pondered whether they regard people to be so foolish to believe that both the pics are of the same person. But now a recent observation has changed this myth totally.

Pics of adnan 'before' n 'after'

Yes the above two pics are of the same person, the famous singer and music director Adnan Sami. He stands testimony to all those people who think on my lines that it is very much possible to cut the extra adipose and trim down to a healthy body.

Adnan has lost over 100 kilos by participating in a 3 month course at America. He was going good as far his professional life was concerned but then a doctor in London cautioned Adnan's father that Adnan might not be able to live long and that if he did not pay attention to his health ,then he would not be able to survive for more than six months. From then on, Adnan left all his professional commitments behind and went all out to reduce the excess fat in his body.
Now as u might have seen in the videos of this upcoming album. He is almost half his previous size (as he proudly calls it the 'better half'). He lost over 100 kilos and is looking better and a lot fitter.
The same thing applies to many others like Sekhar Suman who has donned a look muscular look and is also into open chest and shirtless acts.
So now with these living examples in front of us, many can aspire to improve upon their physique and get fitter and better..

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Love your nation not for what it is......but despite what it is!!!


Well this being my first post I m a bit nervous if I will be able to match up to the standards of CnC…but anyways I will try to do my best!!!! And so here it begins….

I would like to start with a recent experience of mine which has had a profound impact on my thoughts and my feelings. Last week I was just back from a trip to Dubai (now don't think that just like any foreign return guy I would start bragging about it…..but yes I will talk a gr8 deal about it as I ve noticed several points during this visit which made me think deeply.) I tried to enjoy every moment of my stay there but always there were constant nagging thoughts in my head which kept pestering and annoying me. When ever I saw a sky scrapper there it pinched me that there are hardly any comparable buildings in the whole of our country, the lush green road sides and parks made me wonder how they could maintain them at temperatures soaring past 40 degrees on a daily basis when our own parks and city gardens are in a pitiable condition despite abundance of water, how is it that in a matter of 3 years they have built the tallest building in the world and are well on their way to building buidings as high as a kilometer and a mile(refer burj dubai and al burj on wiki)when we are struggling to build something even one quarter that high, the quality and cleanliness of the rods there made my head hang in shame when I compared them with our own roads back home, how is it that despite the depletion of its oil resources(oil now contributes only abt 3% to its GDP) the economy of UAE is still booming, and the fact that UAE has shown such tremendous economic growth without charging a penny of income tax(or sales tax) from its residents made me wonder where all the taxpayers money of our country is going, how is it that Dubai international airport can manage a landing and take off every half a minute when we are struggling with to provide even basic amenities at our international airports.(when I landed at Ahemedabad Int'l airport it was a total chaos. There were no basics facilities like trollies, the toilets were horrible, there was no AC we were sweating at 4 in the morn though it was raining out side, the conveyor for luggage was spoiled. all this made our exit very difficult and my parents, both about 60years had to literally run for the fear of missing our domestic flight to chennai)

Such stark contrasts made me realize how far behind we still are in very many aspects even in comparison to countries like the UAE and I thought that I will never be able to love my country again and was worried that I might even develop aversion to it. But when I landed back home I was surprised to note that I in fact felt very happy to be back. Not that I missed some one here (because my whole family was with me) but I really did miss my country. Yes our country has several defects and is very very backward in some respects but despite everything it still is our own country, our very own homeland (mathru bhoomi). (Though polluted) it has given us air to breath,(though contaminated ) it has given us food to eat, (in spite of high levels of pesticides and germs) it has given us water (And pepsi) to drink, (though lowly paid than abroad) it has given us lively hood to raise our families. how can u ever hate u r own country. I ask of everyone that would you dare hate your mother if God forbid one day she gets mutilated in say an accident. I think that our mother land is mutilated by some selfish people who ve hampered her from exhibiting her full potential for their own gains and the onus is on all of us to love and take care of her(ya I know I m sounding too boolywood or even tollywoodish but this is how I really feel). I m not telling that India is the best country(or mera bharat mahan!!!) in the world because I know that it is not but let this not deter us from showing our love to her.
and now I wonder that when a selfish boy like me (I always as a child dreamt of becoming an American citizen) could feel this way how can our politicians and bureaucrats who have sworn their lives in the service of this country hate her so much that they often commit despicable acts of crime which bring shame upon the entire nation???i guess like all my other questions I will never find answer even for this question of mine!!!!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007



"YOU" have been voted by the TIME magazine as 'The Man of the Year'. But, who are 'YOU'?
Well, this may be one of the toughest questions to answer at times.The answer could be multi-fold. It could range from a person's first name, his/her father's name, place on one hand to his/her religion, caste, school, college, academic scores, social status, hobbies on the other. But just think again......... do these include every single thing, which when fudged together help to portray your entire personality?? This aspect surely does need a bit of reconnaissance.
A very important process in understanding one self is the process of self analysis and introspection. But then, who is a better person to judge and rate us?? Is it I- myself or a person who is watching me and knows about me?? I may be a little biased to myself and my ego may come in between while judging myself, but then the other person may not know the real me.. he may be just looking at the 'mask' that I put on when I am with him. We as human beings are governed by a hoard of emotions. Our decisions and actions in response to various circumstances are also dependent on these emotions to a great extent. We are different while at home, while with friends, with teachers, during our profession.. So who can tell us who we really are???
To make these queries simple there is a concept called ’The Jo-Harry window'.
This window points out that there are 4 different facets to the personality of a human being, which are present in every individual. So let's analyze them individually:

SELF : Known
OTHERS : Known

SELF : Known
OTHERS : Unknown

SELF : Unknown
OTHERS : Known

SELF : Unknown
OTHERS : Unknown

  1. Open or Arena: This is an open facet that we put up in public and so we
    know these things about our self and also the people know about us. So
    it's always preferable to be in this facet as much as possible as the
    analysis becomes easier and better and also it reduces the task of
    multiple masking.

  2. Known or Masked Area: These are things about us that are known to us but
    not to others. We deliberately put on a mask and deceive people but our
    conscience knows the

  3. Unknown or Blind Spot: These include the things that we do
    not know about ourself but the others may point out. While
    introspecting ourselves we may not be able to recognise these
    things but others may be able to get to know them through their
    knowledge and interactions with us.

  4. Hidden or Dark Den: These are those things that neither we know nor
    others are able to find out. But, when the situation demands
    they come to the

So every person is a combination of all the above 4 categories. The proportions for each of these categories cannot be set. It varies from person to person. But generally one should try to keep the Arena as the largest chunk and shrink the Masked Area as far as possible. Blind Spot should not be null, because that gives us a chance to know new things about ourselves and our hidden talents come out. Dark Den should be ideally zero but then, we must try doing new and different things to keep a check on all our capabilities and also to understand our hidden potentials and talents.
Now try to carry on self introspections repeatedly keeping in mind the above and taking few feedbacks from people. It will certainly help you know the real you and will help you to become a better person.

15,000 + 15,000 !!!


Very surprisingly we got to see the significance of the number 15,000 twice this week. First when our Cricketing God Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman ever to reach the score in One Day Internationals and secondly when our Sensex rose to 15k after a long wait and high hopes.
Quite similarly both them rose well at good pace but recently had tough time and took longer time to reach this benchmark then the expected and anticipated time.
Anyways let’s hope both of them do well and keep all the cricket enthusiasts (who are on a decline after India's bad run in the World Cup) and all the investors, market-men, analysts and brokers happy.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Israeli visitors !!!


Israel is one place which I’ve always heard about and never heard the right thing. I guess to most of the people it stands as a complete mystery which they claim to know quite well. I was traveling from Trichy to Thanjavur and met two amazing people from Israel with huge backpacks, carrying everything they would need on their shoulders (this included camping stuff for a camp in Kerela). The things that they spoke among themselves were all Hebrew for me (see the pic above) but we started our conversation in English and all of us were comfortable with the way each other spoke (except for a few words). Coal was a dancer and Hogard a musician (I know, quite a people to meet!). I didn’t have a really tough time starting the conversation, unlike other foreign visitors that I have met these were very friendly and we picked up our conversation instantly. We spoke of so many things that made me form a totally different image of Israel than what I had before (the image which was painted by the news channels for me).
They said that they were Jews but not religious and though it sounded like the coolest thing to me it was quite a dangerous statement to make for a person living in Israel. It sure must be a very pitiable situation when you cannot express your own views in your own country. Coal said that it was sad that in their own country they were under immense pressure to ‘behave’ in a ‘religious’ way. It was dangerous to such an extent that they had to think many times before visiting a place of religious significance in Israel. The collaboration which seems so natural to us as Indians with the Israel is in fact only on the political level, the people of Israel do not welcome secular thoughts very often (though the number of Indian students in Israeli universities has increased drastically and Coal expressed her happiness for the fact).
Political instability is something that they have got accustomed to now and the constant feeling of unrest is not alien anymore! The most depressing thing that I heard was that even Jews who preferred to stay secular (and peaceful) were scorned at and felt unsafe in their own land. I read about a similar situation prevailing in Turkey (Orhan Pamuk’s Snow), where being secular was not always an option for an individual without power. As Indians I think we are much better off.

The land of the poor :-(


“Jobs arrived in India barefoot and threadbare. This is how he chose to dress, as an expression of a specific ideal or aesthetic. In India he was confronted for the first time with people who were poor – not the way California hippies were poor, by choice, but poor by fate. It was an eye-opener for him. The complete contrast with the material comforts of American life was intense and shocking, and it challenged everything he thought he knew up to that moment.”
The above is an excerpt from the book iCon by Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon. The book is about Steve Jobs, the man behind the company which challenged the way people thought and gave them things beyond their imagining, Apple. He came to India much earlier than he became the man the world recognizes today, in search of peace, in search of true knowledge, in search of his ‘guru’. It has been many years since then. Governments have changed, people have become more ‘educated’, industries have been flourishing; money has been flowing now in India like never before. Today the world talks about Ambanis and Mittals and the world of technology has had the Indian impact in the western world which even Jobs recognizes today.
So, what would be the picture in front of Steve Jobs if he happened to visit India in the near future? He would perhaps land on the Mumbai airport, his plane caressing the world’s largest slum, Dharavi. He would then be escorted to his hotel and along the roads would notice small children thrust into begging. As a face of the technology world, he may want to visit the mecca of Indian technology, Bangalore. He better choose either to go on a chopper or make a trip at the time of a public holiday else the traffic would kill the good old man! And ironically, these are just the few of the ‘best’ places that any visitor to India may want to see. The Himalayas and the other tourist attractions are replete with so much commotion nowadays that the ‘firangis’ are easily baffled.
Today we may be able to boast of some of the richest men of the world belonging to India, but the fact remains that poverty is not abating. The number of people living below the poverty line is increasing by the hour. ‘Every fourth poor is an Indian’ has become a cliché (and is sadly true). Diseases like AIDS, cancer are engulfing the urban and rural alike and we still feel ashamed to discuss sex in front of our children while make no fuss about the tobacco that we smoke even with little children at home. Beggary is a bigger ‘industry’ than 'khadi'. The money is indeed flowing into our economy and India is getting rich but the percolation of this huge wealth is not yet happening. Add to these the troubled borders of India. Surrounded by arch rivals, petty beggars, infiltrators, have-nots, politically unstable nations and those that have a long history of stabbing on the back, India is indeed not in the situation which most of the European nations enjoy (with all of them surging forward competitively). Add to this our internal security threats and civil agitations like the ‘gujjar’ uproar recently. Sadly for India, though a lot of positive things are happening, we still are years behind the true independence that every human being dreams of; the true happiness is still elusive.

Tree plantation@ NIA


Here goes another personal experience. This happened yesterday at my college – National Insurance Academy, Pune. Our Director tries to implement innovative ideas to get maximum returns of very small deeds. One such practice is what the above picture depicts. Each and every student is made to plant a new plant in the campus and is considered its foster parent and thus has to take care of it till his stay at campus. Also this activity has lot of hidden advantages added to it.
Firstly it makes the campus greener and makes the place more peaceful and cooler. We all know how quickly we are moving into an environmental catastrophe. So everyone on this planet should share some responsibility to avoid this and planting more trees and maintaining the greenery is the basic step that we should undertake.
Then this activity will remain as a remembrance for all students in the campus. All the plants carry the names of its foster parent and the college ensure its maintenance after the student leaves the campus.
This also increases the responsibilities of the students. He has to check and make sure that his plant is growing well, water it regularly and take care of all its needs.
Thus to conclude I loved this activity and feel it as a good initiative taken by my college. Hope more and more people get involved in similar activities and improve the health of our mother Earth which is down with fever (global warming)..

Wednesday, July 04, 2007



It wasn’t long that not many Americans knew about India and the only things the country was associated was with animals and snake charmers.. But thanks to the nuclear tests in 1999, the brain drain and the rise of IT; our country has gained immense popularity in this century. Slowly Yoga, Indian food, and even Bollywood are making their entries into main stream American culture.
But history will be created on July 12th when Hindu prayers will be recited at the opening ceremony of the US Senate. Rajan Zed, a Hindu chaplain has been asked to deliver the prayer for the first time since its inception in 1789. Zed who is busy choosing lines from the Rig Veda, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita says “July 12 will be an illustrious day for all Americans and a memorable day for Indian Americans when prayers from ancient Hindu scriptures will be read in the great Hall of democracy”.
Isn’t this looking a feel good factor after the recent tough run for the Nuclear Deal and the arguments surrounding docking of USS Nimitz at Chennai..

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Freedom fighter are indeed "amar"


An interesting report in Times of India (02/07/07) which points out that the number of freedom fighters in India is on a rise, considering the number of them collecting pensions.
While anyone would expect this number to go down with time; our home ministry’s list of people under the “Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension” is increasing, that too 60 years after the Independence!!
In fact there isn’t a single state or Union Territory in which the numbers are declining. From a total of 1,67,873 in July 2004, the list kept on increasing and now in March 2007 it reached 1,69,984.
Now everyone lets try to reason this out.. either none of the freedom fighter who must be atleast over 70 years by now hasn’t met dead in the last 3 years(though the average life expectancy of Indian is between 65-68 years) or they might have left behind widows or independent unwed daughters who are eligible for the pension.
But even if we consider the above two to be feasible reasons, can some one explain me why the numbers are on rise in every part of the country??

Monday, July 02, 2007



The modern day is the day of information. Not just the availability of information, but the ease with which you can have it and how easily can it be dissipated! TV made its way into the Indian homes in the early 1980s. From the early days of the good old ‘doordarshan’ the television has come a long way. The early 90s saw the advent of a number of private channels with Zee leading the crusade against the friendly ‘Deepika ji’ ads in the crisp breaks of serials like ‘Hum log’. The enhanced vibrancy of the new age TV made people opting soap operas over a matinee show in a hot humid afternoon. Color television sets soon became a necessity and if you see a commercial for a television set on your old TV nowadays, you’ll find a number of options which reduce the strain on your eyes so that you can watch the repeat telecast of your favorite show (the fact that all soaps look like the repeat telecast of each other is another debate). I am a staunch enemy of the soaps operas basically because they steal my right of the daily dose of sports and music and news (which is happening all the time on TV now), and I have to submit meekly to the demands of my mother wanting to watch ‘Prerna’. With the world of entertainment changing so fast, we have got a new entrant. Well, not very new if you think of it but the way the ‘reality shows’ have captured the imagination of the people is something incredible.
Any channel you tune into has its own reality bite for you. People trying to make a lot of money through ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, people trying to be the ‘Indian Idols’, people trying to become the ‘Biggest loser’, people trying to ‘live together’ with ‘Big Boss’ around, etc. etc.! The TV today is full of such real shows which we know are mostly staged and well rehearsed.
Instant stardom has become such a common thing today that the next person I see at a mall seems to be belonging to some ‘Fame Gurukul’. The much hyped fame evaporates as easily as it was got. But the most intriguing aspect of this instant fame is how a few of the most ordinary people have been able to change their lives overnight. Take for instance the typical couch potato of the ‘Numa Numa’ fame. This Romanian song was lip-sung by a fat (and interestingly cute) male which he recorded on his (ordinary) web cam and broadcast it over This video became one of the most watched, shared and downloaded video of all times and the fat gentleman became a celebrity with offers for live shows pouring in.
So far so good! But when it comes to news the same reality TV type of hoopla created around local issues and non-important news items to catch the viewers’ eye is beyond imagination. What the news channels are being doing recently is opening the doors of our homes to the world; the private life is a myth with a number of journalist fighting hard to bring that very special ‘hatke’ report of a local issue perhaps which would give them an edge over their competitors. The universal pretence is ‘we bring to the people what they want to see…’ how far do we want to see a ‘real-life’ couple fighting on national news channels provoked by the news anchor is for us to decide!!! As far as I am concerned, I don’t like to watch an ugly, fat manager of some call centre beaten with ‘kolahpuri chappals’ by his employee for some alleged sexual abuse as part of my daily news update in the night.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

IIM-C now has international students


The demand for Indian CEOs have always been on rise.. People like Indra Nooyi, Arun Sarin are at top posts in the some of the largest organisations of the world. And the biggest factory for this is the prestigious institution called Indian Institution of Management.
We all know how much every Indian craves to join this institution. But now the success stories of these institutions are now reaching all corners of the world. A 26-year-old Californian, Travis Donselman is now the first foreign-origin student to join IIM-C for the regular 2 year PGP program. His decision is not because of the cost but its because he received some great feedback from Indian students as well as the faculty as the University of California. The institute’s curriculum and calibre and its previous placement records were, in fact, the clincher. Now after spending 1 week in campus, he is overwhelmed by the economics and financial planning and said “very few universities are as strong as IIMC is in finance, barring a few like the University of Chicago, MIT, Wharton and Columbia”.

So now along with the reputation, even the intake of IIMs are going global..