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Monthly Archives: August 2006

Pain of a Kashmiri Pandit…

Rahul Pandita is one of my favorite writers on the web! I love his sensitive writing style... here is a poem from him that captures his family's pain of having left Kashmir and the notalgia that still prevails.

For a man who no longer has a homeland, writing becomes a place to live: Theodor Adorno

Two days ago I saw
My land like a tourist
On the Discovery channel

My father shouted and
Told my niece:
Look that is the Dal lake
Where lotus stems come from

In his shikara
Gulla carried
Bunches of Narcissus
Which we would decorate
In a brass plate
Along with a pen
And a coin to
Welcome the spring

Now springs are spent
In colouring rusted coolers
To enable them to
Provide succour in heat

Relatives from Jammu
Arrive every few months
Bringing with them
Souvenirs of my land
Green saag with roots
And local sesame bread

My father and mother
Arrived in Delhi
A few years ago
From Jammu

And now when
He refers to Jammu
My father says:
Back in Srinagar

And then he stops
When he realises
That Srinagar was
What he left
Sixteen years ago

And then for days
He keeps silent
He keeps on staring
At the ceiling
He also does not
Then read newspapers

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Men will be men!!

Men will always be men!! This was a funny looking pic I saw that I thought twice about posting it here.. but it was so hillarious that I couldnt stop myself!

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Secessionist Movements in the Indian Sub Continent: Is Balochistan another Bangladesh?

Balochistan is on fire. Because Musharraf's Army killed Bugti - the Baloch leader - and his closest men. Is this the beginning of secession of Balochistan? I think so. Is it going towards the Bangladesh direction? Maybe. Should India help the Balochs? Heck yes! Why? Because really speaking I am sick and tired of Pakistan's many games. There are only so many ways to deal with it. One of the best way, that a pacifist friend of mine once articulated was - just break them into smaller countries so they keep fighting amongst themselves and wont bother about us! I think he was very right!! The time to fight a full fledged war is gone. But Pak would not stop from creating terrorist attacks on India ... ever! But there HAS to be a way to blunt its ability to keep "bleeding" India because it cannot rise anyway!

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Cities of India

This is a funny characterisation of the people in Indian cities:How to Identify cities in IndiaScenario 1 Two guys are fighting and a third guy comes along, then a fourth and They start arguing about who's right.You are in KolkataScenario 2 Two guys are fighting and a third guy comes along, sees them and walks on.That's MumbaiScenario 3 Two guys are fighting and a third guy comes along & tries to make peace.The first two get together & beat him up.That's Delhi

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Rain in S. Miguel II: Flickr Pic of the Day

Rain in S. Miguel II
Originally uploaded by PauloSantos.
Its raining and the landscape is beautiful... green and lusciously so! The slopes blend in each other as if in an eternal peaceful and love-ful embrace of lovers!

The distant water merges into the green lovers as their extension.. darkness is falling while sun doesnt want to let go .... its a tussle... that creates the mood of love and conflict!

Love and Rain.. Rain and Love... the lovers rejoice!

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Sikhs in Sports

Interesting article on the Sikhs in sports - motivated by the rise of Monty Panesar. The writer, Frank Keating, starts with Bishen Bedi - one of the best all time spinners in cricket!

Bishen Singh Bedi was the very same age, and I savour the thrill of enchantment at my very first sight of him twirling his softly supple southpaw slows alongside the gasometers that midsummer of 1971. The preening choc-caps of Surrey were on their way to another county championship but that day, against the Indian tourists, successively one by one their batsmen - Stewart, Younis, Roope, Storey, Intikhab, Long, Arnold - were dispatched to the hutch, shaking their heads in baffled embarrassment at the Sikh's placidly lethal cocktail of curve and loop and spin.

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The Arms Link for the Dawood Company

Here is an important and interesting news article where the arms links for Dawood and his cronies is laid out!

An alliance between a former KGB officer-turned-arms smuggler and one of Dawood Ibrahim’s top lieutenants has given Indian sleuths a vital clue to link Mumbai’s organised crime with international terrorism.The missing link is Abdul Qayyum Shaikh – the Azamgarh-born arms baron — who was like a “brother” to Anis Ibrahim, Dawood’s brother. Shaikh was the man, who “apparently” gave actor Sanjay Dutt a 9 mm pistol and according to the police, the “prime recruiter” for the 1993 serial blasts.

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Flickr Pic of the Day

Originally uploaded by Drishtikone.
This was a ppicture I took at the India Fest last year in Houston. This dancer looked striking in the background that was put up!

The fest involved a weekend show of different things - dances, stalls, food and crafts of India in the heart of Houston Downtown. Great picture taking time!

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How Rafi – the God of Indian Movie Music – was Ill-treated by Nonentities!

I had heard about the problems that Rafi had with Lata and then the low time he saw during the Rajesh Khanna-Kishore Kumar combine era.. but I could have never imagined that Mohd. Rafi could have been meted out the sort of treatment that Raju Bharatan - the veteran film journalist narrates here in this article!! Even though its been ages since he was gone.. still the number of singers who imitate and swear by Rafi sahab is the highest that is there in any competition or film industry! Here is an example of the treatment that Rafi - in my mind, God's own voice if there ever was one! - got from some folks!

Also, please check out my tribute to him in the "Special Series" section under the Creative Indian Personalities titled - Mohd Rafi - Saranga Teri Yaad Mein

It is unimaginable that anybody alive in the music industry of India had any stature in 1970s to even begin to tell Rafi how to sing.. but such was the case during that time!

It happened at the height of the Rajesh Khanna wave --- in the after-1970 Aradhana glow when Mohammed Rafi's confidence was at its lowest ebb. The Mohammed Rafi who had sung, for Naushad, a total of 149 songs (81 of them solo) through 35 years. That ace composer had heard about how sheer nonentities, in the recording room, had begun dictating to Mohammad Rafi.

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Pluto's demotion Vindicates Aryabhatt and Varahamihira Centuries back Calculations

Pluto was recently demoted from the planetary status! It no longer remains one of the nine. We will have to be contented with eight of them. Too bad! It has had larger implications in practical terms as the text books and planetariums have been thrown out of whack by this sudden 'decision' based on various criteria.

Now, Astrologer is a close cousin of Astronomy. What do the Astrologers do? Well they are steadfast at calculating the influence of Pluto in the big picture.

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Using Sex to Sell Funerals in China!

I have read and seen some really crazy rituals but this one by far beats all of them! People can go to ay lengths to advertise for stuff... in this case advertising for the funerals has necessitated using sex too. Sex, by far, seems to be the most potent way to sell anything in this world.. even for the dead!

Striptease send-offs at funerals may become a thing of the past in east China after five people were arrested for organising the intimate farewells, state media reported on Wednesday.

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Houston Downtown: Flickr Pic

houston downtown
Originally uploaded by Drishtikone.
Here is another of my pictures that I uploaded to Flickr, which I have persoanlly liked a lot. This is from the Houston Downtown. I like the composition that I got at that time... with the nice sky light and the palm leaves peeking from the left in an otherwise concrete area!

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Hair vs Inzamam is a Christian vs Muslim fight??

Thanks to Atanu of Deeshaa.org about the hat tip.Here is an article where the author reproduces the comment from Pakistan's Manager. While there is little doubt that Hair has had decisions and behavior that does show his racist leanings, but this remark from Shahriyar is about as stupid as it could possibly get!!Pakistan Cricket Board is now looking towards the BCCI (Indian Cricket Board) for help.. but I think BCCI folks remember too well the incident of Sachin Tendulkar, the giant of modern cricket, being hauled up for ball tampering. He is one guy who would never indulge in such a thing.. but he was called up for that and India was furious.. of course, we never walked out of the match or made it as HIndu vs Christian fight.. but its doubtful that BCCI will forget that in a hurry.... lets see how this drama unfolds.. the signs are not so good!

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Hitler's Cross and the Hypocrisy of Indian Politics!

A lot of what goes on in the world has a strange and different reverbration in India.. I think we in India view the world polity at times with a sense of detachment.. as I am sure many do! This incident underscores a major point - that only loud voices and vote banks everywhere get themselves heard and someone to take note of their hurt. While India was quick to ban Da Vinci code on the protest of the Church and also have its politicians' heart beat for the Muslim community over the cartoon controversy.. it doesn't hurt anyone if Jews' pride and mind is messed with! If it wasnt for the militant Hindus, the same treatment, strangely is meted out to the Hindus as well.. by Hindus themselves!! Foreign hand in Indian polity has an upper hand!

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Bangladesh: Bengali Culture vs Islamic Jehadists.. who will survive?

The Concert for Bangladesh (Limited Deluxe Edition)Some Trouble with Cows: Making Sense of Social Conflict

This is an interesting article by Delwar Hussain - who is based out of UK and is a researcher of Bangladeshi politics and its diaspora. Here he outlines the dichotomies that exist in the Bangladeshi politics - where AWL (Awami League) and Bangladeshi National Party (BNP) are at loggerheads! Between the success or failure between them lies the fate of Bangladesh's youths' future - whether they will live in a secular society steeped in Bengali culture or they will live in an Islamic country with little regard for Bengali culture!

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How the World changed in the last Century

Sometimes you have to read old books to know and appreciate how the world of today has changed in many areas!Interesting article on author's reading of the 1911 Brittanica Encyclopedia.. since then a lot has changed in this world. For example in the topic on Solar System, there was no mention of Pluto.. which was discovered in 1930.Similarly women and Blacks were given rough treatment that today will be considered downright offensive!!

Back in the living room that evening, I find that the article has two authors. Thomas Athol Joyce, assistant in the department of ethnography at the British Museum, astonishes by saying not only that "Mentally, the negro is inferior to the white," but also that "the arrest or even deterioration in mental development is no doubt very largely due to the fact that after puberty sexual matters take the first place in the negro's life and thoughts." A more nuanced section on "The Negro in the United States" was composed by Walter Francis Willcox, chief statistician of the United States Census Bureau. "The negroes in the United States have played and are playing an important and necessary part in the industrial and economic life of the southern states," he wrote. But those states were "changing with marvellous rapidity," he said, and it was impossible to say "whether the negroes would be given an equal or a fair opportunity to show that they could be as serviceable or more serviceable" as they had been in the past.

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Bulleh! ki Jaana main kaun?

Close on the heels of the other Sufi Qawwali here are lyrics of another one sung by an Indian singer going by Rabbi. Got it from this page.

Na maen momin vich maseet aan
Na maen vich kufar diyan reet aan
Na maen paakaan vich paleet aan
Na maen moosa na pharaun.

Bulleh! ki jaana maen kaun

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Darrell Caught in Pakistan's Hair!

An unprecendented thing happened at Oval when the umpire Darrell Hair changed the ball in a Pakistan-England match on charges of ball tampering and without any answers or replies. And Inzamam Ul Haq, Pakistani Captain, simply didnt come back on ground after tea protesting against the decision. There was some drama but in the end the match was awarded to England.

There are some observations I have:

1. Some of the England and Australian umpires are downright racist!! And it has more than obvious in the matches against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India. That the fulcrum of entire cricketing world has moved to South Asia doesnt help their ego management any bit! More than 50% of the revenues in the world cricket are due to sponsorship from the companies in India!!

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Flickr Pic of the Day

Bose Building
Originally uploaded by deshkapoor.

This is my picture. Again one that I have loved a lot. It was evening and I was coming out of this building of Bose Acoustics. The frame from this side of the parking lot was just fantastic.. with the clouds.. and evening sky. .. but I was unmindful of that.. what I really wanted to get was the really very nicely done building design!

I think i really got it right here!!

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Imam Bukhari at his anarchist best

This guy is a classic anarchist in India. First of all, he or these other Islamists do not even begin to comprehend God and worship in its true sense... and then they go about creating an entire population of sub-optimal citizens who can't contribute economically or socially to the society they live in!

National song Vande Mataram is 'against Islamic beliefs' and asking Muslims to sing it would amount to 'suppression' of the community, Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari said on Sunday.

Addressing a press meet in Allahabad, Bukhari, who is also patron of the United Democratic Front, said according to the tenets of Islam, one could love one's country and even lay down one's life for it if the circumstances so demand.

"But when it comes to worship only Allah is given that honour. A Muslim cannot worship his or her parents, motherland and even the Prophet though they are held in high esteem," he said, reacting to a Central directive to states for recitation of Vande Mataram in educational institutions during a celebration on September 7 to mark the national song's centenary.

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Dependency ratio: Explaining the Economic Miracles of Ireland, China and India

This is an interesting article about how not the total population itself.. but the structure of population as captured by the Dependency Ratio is the best indicator of a country's potential!! I was intrigued by a line in the article that I have emphasized below in bold. In a way that line brings out the fragile nature of China's economic miracle!

This relation between the number of people who aren't of working age and the number of people who are is captured in the dependency ratio. In Ireland during the sixties, when contraception was illegal, there were ten people who were too old or too young to work for every fourteen people in a position to earn a paycheck. That meant that the country was spending a large percentage of its resources on caring for the young and the old. Last year, Ireland's dependency ratio hit an all-time low: for every ten dependents, it had twenty-two people of working age. That change coincides precisely with the country's extraordinary economic surge.

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"Ladies cannot teach Men says Bible!"

Something is wrong with today's America! Christian fundamentalist are bent upon destroying its very fabric and strength! Read below

The minister of a church that dismissed a female Sunday School teacher after adopting what it called a literal interpretation of the Bible says a woman can perform any job -- outside of the church.The First Baptist Church dismissed Mary Lambert on August 9 with a letter explaining that the church had adopted an interpretation that prohibits women from teaching men. She had taught there for 54 years.

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Vegetarianism and West's discovery of India

The vegetarianism is not a new phenomenon! It was there for thousands of years in India. This is a book by Tristram Stuart called "The Bloodless Revolution: Radical Vegetarians and the Discovery of India" where he talks of how the discovery of India brought the West in touch with the benefits of vegetarianism!!

Although the word "vegetarian" was not coined until the 1840s, as long ago as the sixth century BC Pythagoras propounded a theory of immortality that entailed the transmigration of the soul between living creatures “ and thus the immorality of eating the flesh of any of them.

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Lesbians from Ahmedabad Unite in Canada!

IT is obvious that things are a changing in the Indian society... and that too in hitherto smaller or Tier 2 cities. But for Ahmedabad to have the first immigrant to Canada on basis of lesbian conjugal partner visa is indeed an amazing revelation!

Sexual preference helped a 29-year-old woman from the city secure a permanent resident (PR) visa to Canada. The lesbian woman migrated earlier this week after she was sponsored by her girlfriend in Canada, who declared her as conjugal partner."She is probably the first first-ever lesbian from the country to immigrate to Canada as a conjugal partner," immigration consultant Lalit Advani, who assisted the girl in securing the resident visa, told TOI.

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