Monday, December 31, 2007

Wombs..... outsourced.....

It was my friend Maddy who first mentioned it while he wrote on outsourcing.. and yes we are seeing one more outsourcing industry in action.. the wombs...

I am not sure about the moral implications on this one. But it is bringing happiness to the surrogate mothers and the future parents of the surrogate baby. To be childless is not easy in our society. It is every woman’s dream to hold her child in her hands if God deems. So now we have a whole queue of willing women signing up to keep the baby in her womb for 9 months and then give it up to a happy couple.

As the article states, it will have its ups and downs. When this industry catches up with all and sundry, then it has a chance to become dirty. And there is also this chance of couples who cannot be bothered with pregnancy to opt for surrogate mothers. It may be similar to some mothers opting for the caesarean although a normal delivery is possible so that she can escape from the great pain, the tales of which has been passed on from generation to generation.

But even before all this happened, the Malayalam movie industry had a film on this same topic. Dasharatham (1989) directed by the great Sibi Malayil himself. Mohanlal plays the role of a wealthy but lonely guy who feels the need to love someone, yet is not ready to marry. He chances upon Rekha who agrees to be the surrogate mother so that she can pay for her husband Murali’s treatment. Rekha is looked after well but when the time comes to give up the child she goes back on her word. It was a very touching movie.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

These are a few of my favourite things....

Rain drops and roses and whiskers and kittens.. thus she sang in the famous “Sound of Music”. A movie which millions repeatedly watch, yet wouldn’t mind watching it again. Well, we all have something which we like to see..so here I go...

1- On the top of my list is a smiling baby. All babies in the word are beautiful and innocent and when they smile.. they bring the heaven down to our earth! Look into their eyes and one cannot deny that they comprehend us. It is we who twist the heavenly wisdom that they are born with.

2- To hear a person laugh. Those guffaws of laughter that starts from the stomach. For that moment that person is the happiest on earth and it makes me happy too, to see someone laugh. I guess that is why I like all those comedians and humorists on earth. They make us laugh and maybe for silly stuffs but it make us happy.

3- An early morning drive anywhere on Earth. Everything is so fresh, even the faces. The roads are less crowded and you are on your own. Those moments can be very special and I don’t know why! The air itself is full of promises and assurances. Maybe it reminds me of the long trips made as a family when I was a child. Those carefree days with no care in the world except for teachers and examinations.

4- Opening an email from someone we care for. Those moments of expectations to read what he or she has written. To know that you were thought of and hence those few words maybe even across the globe.

5- Opening a gift. I guess this feeling is universal and I don’t need to elaborate, except for those who are gifted often and hence are bored with the whole process. Well.. they are unlucky I should say!

6- Shopping. This I am sure is only for the fairer sex and not for the rest. Don’t know why even why a window shopping can make one happy. I am sure I don’t have to go into details and scare my male readers.

7- Those quiet moments in a religious place. The peace that descends upon you is precious. I still remember the moments that I spent on Vivekananda Rocks at Kanyakumari inside the meditation hall (Dhyana Mandapam). There was absolute tranquillity and you could feel the presence of the Almighty. (This rock was built in 1970 by the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee in honour of the visit of the great spiritual teacher Swami Vivekananda to Shripada Parai during the month of December 1892 for deep meditation and enlightenment)

8- The smell of new clothes. Hey.. who doesn’t like that? Talking of smells: baby smell, the smell of earth after the first rain, the smell of fresh cement, some even like the smell of petrol like my Father.

9- To drink a glass of water when one is very thirsty. Haven’t you thought that was the tastiest item in world?

10- To see those faces from our childhood days other than our relatives. It is not easy to experience this since many could have moved around. But to see someone who has seen you growing up gives one a very happy feeling.

11- To see newly married couples. I love to see their hopeful faces. Their hands would normaly be linked and you can see the Husband caringly hold those hands. One can see the lingering smiles and remnants of laughter after having shared secret jokes. Now before I hear from hardcore bachelors/spinsters and frustrated couples, let me also add that I love to see even older couples who still enjoy each other.

12- To have a good book fall into your hands and settling down with it for a long read......nd now I am reading... I never thought Sawamiji could be so interesting.. I really hope my friend Maddy has more treasure to share on this one too...

Well.. this is all I could think of right now.. but I am sure there are many more and I would love to tag a few of my friends to see what they come up with. I know I still have some tags left which I myself have not completed.

An update

My FIL is getting better and may be shifted to the ward in a day or two. It was some sort of Syndrome affecting the veins. Since the doctors started the treatment early it did not spread. It started with his legs when he was diagnosed by another doctor (different hospital) as lack of calcium. He was using a “Walker” to walk around. But then his legs started giving away and he fell down. This made them admit him in the ICU. By God’s grace they started the treatment immediately, on advice from Dr. Madhusudan with some Chinese medicine which is very expensive.

When we enquired with a Nuerosurgeon here in Kuwait he was of the opinion that this is a good medicine and that most such medicines come from either China or Korea. The company name is Hualan Biological Engineering Inc.

If they hadn’t started the treatment in time, he would have been paralysed completely. They say the infection could have started after a normal fever.

Thanks for all the wishes and prayers.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holidays.....

For the first time I had 6 days holidays... and felt very good.

We had planned for an outing with friends which did not work out instead made a few visits.

The only sad part is that Hubby's Father is admitted in Hospital hence he had to cut short the holidays and travel to Kerala. Pray that he gets well soon.

But Xmas and New Year will be a lonely affair with just the kids and me.

Had a Japanese dinner at Sakura Restaurant with chop sticks, of course the modified one.

We liked the taste, though we tried only the cooked ones and not the raw ones.


And YES... MODI is returning to Power again! A hat trick. A great New Year for the BJP Party and their Man of the Match.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Modi and Afzal

Will Modi come to power again? Yes.. this is what I think. Now shouldn’t each of us ask the question why? I am sure the election is fair and that he is the choice of the people although the number of votes may come down this time. But why is the question.

He cites many reasons for which he should be elected. One being the development that Gujarat is facing and another his fight against terrorism. Now BJP is not a secular party and hence Modi is not secular. Hence when Afzal Guru is not hanged, it goes in favour of Modi. Now I don’t know why Afzal Guru is not hanged. I searched the net and came up with this

Can the protectors of law tell us if Afzal guru is guilty or innocent? If he is guilty he should be punished since his crime cannot be forgiven. He killed those who were trying to protect our Parliament. Although those who were protected deserved this or not is another question in itself! But it was the Indian Parliament and every Indian would want to avenge this.As for Modi, he thinks only Hinduvata is the answer for terrorism. Can religion alone decide your patriotism? Every individual who believes in God thinks better of his own religion. This is natural since he is born into it. But this does not mean that it kills your patriotism. I believe religion is something personal and we should leave it there. Let us not try to measure our patriotism in terms of religion since this will create more Modi’s and Afzals.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Where else but in India..

The monkeys will decide the man! In Himachal Pradesh nothing else will work if you need to win. Shoo the monkeys off or lose your money and stay at home.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bushism

No other Head of State is entertaining the world the way Bush is doing! The world is really going to miss him!

He has given wars for the actions lovers and for the rest of us he has provided with endless jokes and quips. Every sentence he utters is hilarious hence a new word has evolved “Bushism”

I am sure the joke creators will have a hard time from next year onwards since humor creation is not going to be that easy. I do really hope the Americans are also enjoying these Bush jokes keeping their patriotic sentiments aside. And most of the jokes are made by Bush’s own citizens.

I recently discovered that about.com has a site fully dedicated to Bush inspired jokes!


George W. Bush's Resume
George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Past Work Experience
• Ran for congress and lost.
• Produced a Hollywood slasher B movie.
• Bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas; company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.
• Bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money. Biggest move: Traded Sammy Sosa to the Chicago White Sox.
• With father's help (and his name) was elected Governor of Texas.
Accomplishments in Previous Positions
• Changed pollution laws for power and oil companies and made Texas the most polluted state in the Union.
• Replaced Los Angeles with Houston as the most smog-ridden city in America. Cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas government to the tune of billions in borrowed money.
• Set record for most executions by any governor in American history.


continued.....

"President Bush went to Iraq to boost the new government. That shows you how rough the situation is in Iraq when a guy with 30% approval rating stops by to give you a boost." --Jay Leno
"President Bush said catching a 7.5 pound fish was his best moment since becoming president. You know the sad thing, a lot of historians would agree with that." --Jay Leno
"It's tax time and President Bush is saving a lot on taxes this year. He's writing off his entire second term." --David Letterman
"I heard somebody say, 'Where's (Nelson) Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead. Because Saddam killed all the Mandelas." --George W. Bush, on the former South African president, who is still very much alive, Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2007

One of my concerns is that the health care not be as good as it can possibly be." --George W. Bush, on military benefits, Tipp City, Ohio, April 19, 2007



........

and now......
"Are you telling me a president that's briefed every single morning, who's fixated on Iran, is not told back in August that the tentative conclusion of 16 intelligence agencies in the U.S. government said they had abandoned their effort for a nuclear weapon in '03?" Biden asked in a conference call with reporters.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," Bush said, pointing out that Tehran continues to try to enrich uranium for civilian purposes and therefore develop technology that could be used for a weapon.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I wish someone would tell Bush that every country would like to have nuclear weapons and every country has the knowledge necessary to develop a nuclear weapon..you just have to give them some time. But does this mean that he is going to bomb all of them?
I wish he would target Iran for other reasons... their primitive ways of punishments, fanatic religious views etc. And for this reason there are many other countries begging to be changed.... I mean if he just cannot resist meddling.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Kids!

The other day I heard our daughter answering the phone and then saying some secret codes. On enquiring she asked me not to tell her brother about the secret code that she shared with her girl friends. And then I remebered how our son fooled two of them the other day!

Daughter was having her bath and the call came from the 1st friend. I heard our son discussing notes, sharing answers etc. And then slyly he came and told me that she never knew it was him! And then he was lucky to receive one more call and he kept her also entertained. He was happily chatting with her and enjoying it fully.

We cannot blame these girls since me and Hubby still cannot distinguish them over the phone! I guess we have to wait for our son to break his voice and since the girls cannot wait that long they devised the secret code! How else can they share girlish secrets!

Angels..

Let me thank the Almighty for keeping us in His care. Yesterday after the kids reached home, I received a distress call from our daughter saying that the exhaust fan in the bathroom was burning! She dint have the guts to go into the bathroom but saw the fire from the balcony. Well.. i dint know what to say but then suddenly one Arab saw the fire from down and came running up.. first he asked my daughter to douse the fire but knowing well she couldn’t do it, he came running up to the third floor. I immediately called Hubby who called the nearby Indian Shop to send someone. Anyway thanks to the stranger, the fire was doused well in time even before the guy from the shop could come. When Hubby came, the kids had locked the house and the flat was still full of smoke.. this could have been another disaster.. but God is great..
They say this is the first time they hear that an exhaust can catch fire.. but a major disaster was averted. I could only thank the considerate stranger over the phone for being there and acting in haste.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Mess

I guess I need to explain why I settled for the “Mess”!
When one joins a new company, all one strives for in the first few years is to keep the job in midst of the usual office politics etc. I did just this and besides there were financial constraints too which did not give me the flexibility to take risks. Then you settle down and find the place comfortable. It is only much later that you start thinking about the job itself!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Change

Finally I did it. I joined a new company after having served almost 10 years in the previous one.

I do miss my colleagues since the workplace had turned out to be like a second home to me.

But working too long in a company which has no appraisal systems gives you no returns. You end up being taken for granted. They keep you going with promises but with no intentions of doing so. They think that if she has worked so long in this company why should she think of moving out now? And yes, one feels very comfortable and the thought of moving on keeps you awake at night. You have hundreds of doubts and questions.

When one has worked too long in one position, the job becomes a routine and everything is just too easy for you. This means that one who sees you feel that you are not doing much. But this ease of job comes with experience. I also found out that one should come up with more problems so that your Boss can solve them. It makes them think that you are working! Well this goes for Gulf. We had one colleague who thinks he is indispensable to the organization and kept reminding the same through emails and conversations. He is the only one who regularly got increments and promotions. Every morning one gets to read minimum 5 emails, send with time and date stamp including holidays and ungodly hours. He will describe various problems with work and colleagues while pretending to solve them. But for some firms these characters are essential.

I started looking out a while ago, mainly since I wanted to know if my CV was still acceptable! I got to attend a couple of interviews and got to know my options. Finally, by the grace of God, I found one which was good for me. There is no mess like the previous one ( I had started enjoying the mess and even got addicted to them!).

I guess for everyone, even if they enjoy their current jobs, it is good to look out and if possible attend a few interviews. Keeps you updated with the current market demands and you never feel insecure.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Will it ever be worth it?

A few years down, there will be discussions and debates...

Was it worth it?

....More than 3,850 US troops have died during the Iraq war...
....More than 1.... civilians (Iraqis) have died.....
.... More than 1..... are displaced.........
......More than..1..... women have been widowed....
........More than ....1..... children have been orphaned...

nd for what?

... in return for democracy???
... in return for Saddam???
.... in return for Oil???

Evey day more women are selling themselves to feed their family.. they are begging and foraging on the streets for daily bread..

r these exaggerated news or the truth?

or will we one day say that it never happened like some say about the Holocaust.. since it would be more convenient...
----------------------------------------

Decay and death


David Smith reflects on the filthy state of a once-wealthy Baghdad neighbourhood and attends the memorial service for a fallen US soldier

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sister Abhaya

One of my readers prompted me to write this today..

After all the drum beating, this case is dying again. Woe to all those criminals who are behind this. It is a pity that there is only a Joemon Puthepurakal to uphold justice in our country. After Nawab Rajendran, we have one more to follow his footsteps. I think we need more like this if our courts and police are dead.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The return

I have always believed that when there are more people wanting to get into a country than get out, then the country is making progress. I also believed that the time when those in Gulf find a reason to return to their home country then there is proof of progress.. and I see that it is already happening..

Will India's Construction Boom Lure Laborers Back Home?
by Sanjeev Choudhary, The Economic Times, India Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Tuesday, November 06, 2007 India's growth story has thrown up immense job opportunities for expat and NRI managers, pilots and other high-salaried professionals, so far. Now it's the turn of cheap and skilled labor from outside India to participate in the growth story. Companies have already started hiring or plan to hire such labor by the thousands.

The Energy Challenge...

Fuel Without the Fossil

Kevin Moloney for The New York Times

Mitch Mandich is among the entrepreneurs using chemical methods to try to make fuel from material like pine chips.

Published: November 9, 2007

DENVER — Mitch Mandich proudly showed off his baby, a 150-foot contraption of tanks, valves, hoppers, augers and fans. It hissed. It gurgled. An incongruous smell wafted through the air, the scent of turpentine.

It stings..

Death stings…. It has been a week full of mourning. First it was Hubby’s uncle who succumbed to cancer. It was only a month back that I saw him full of health and vigour and thought maybe he had defeated his enemy.

Then one of our Egyptian colleague died in a car accident in Egypt. The last time I saw him was when he was completing his leave formalities and now his picture is up on our notice board. Having seen him around for more than 10 years, his face still looms large.

And the latest was the death of a 9th standard boy in our children’s school. A picnic that turned into tragedy. It is always sad to hear the death of a youngster. You think of the life that was snuffed out so early and then you grieve for the parents who can never be consoled. After all these years of upbringing, suddenly your beloved child is no more! Oh it hurts!

But then death is not the end of everything. Back in Kerala, we have these hearse (small ones) used for funeral processions. I have seen a lot of them during my child hood vacations spent in my hometown Mavelikara. My Father’s house used to be on the main road side and higher than the level of the road. This means we had a good view of the dead and the mourning relatives. But what caught my eye was this ominous phrase written on the carriage “Today me, tomorrow you”! What a simple explanation for those who are left behind. Yet we continue to ignore this truth. Death of another is just a reminder of our mortality. It reminds us that we have no control on the next seconds and it urges us to stops fighting and hating each other. It nudges us to love, be kind, faithful and forgiving to each other. It tells us to go slow, to smell the roses, to hug your loved ones and to thank them for being there for us. It tells us to stop hoarding your wealth for the future but to enjoy the present. It tell us not to worry and hurry.. since we don’t know if we are present in those moments that we plan for.

If only we were aware of this simple truth, there would be no wars and yes… there would be peace on earth.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Hole

Stephen Cohen, of the Brookings Institution thinktank, and the author of a new book, The Idea of Pakistan,said: "The American and British governments have dug such a big hole for themselves, they have no choice but to support Musharraf in whatever he does."

Read..

Stephen has hit the Bulls Eye with his statement! Keep lauding and loading Pakistan...since this does not have a break! You just wait for the crash...

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Couldnt help posting this....

"The president is a strong defender of freedom and the people of Pakistan," Bush said that day, side by side with Musharraf.


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U.S. aid supports Pakistan military

Most U.S. aid to Pakistan goes toward military support; the U.S. counts on Pakistan to help capture al-Qaida operations and provide intelligence. "We're obviously not going to do anything that will undermine the war on terror," said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for Bush.

and all in favour of Osama...isnt he one smart aleck?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Down Memory Lanes

Last night while getting ready to sleep, saw Jayabharathi and Nazir on the screen (Soorya TV).. I realized that I knew the movie and that I was present while this song was being shot. Suddenly there was a rush of memories of the good old days. It was the old movie “Ariyapadatha Rahsyam” – by Thambi Kannanthanam. Artists: Nazir, Jayan, Jayabaruthi, Prameela, Jose Prakash, Janardhanan etc. It was produced by a family friend, hence we got a close look at the film world. The film was released in 1981 and I was still in school. I still remember most of the scenes and even the down to earth Nazir on the sets. He was the favorite of the Actresses and they spared no time to seek his attention. And then there was the ever lasting Jayan. His fight with an elephant looks very silly now and the kids were forcing me to switch channels. Somehow I wanted to sit there and take a walk along the memory lanes. Some shots were from the Estate where we grew up. This friend of ours took one more movie “ Thavalam” and then he was broke! The movies back then had plots so thick with twists and turns that towards the end it is fun to see how they wind up the story. As for Jayabharati, she was looking sexy and beautiful as ever. The perfect screen mate for the evergreen lover Nazir! It was sometime after this that Jayan met his untimely death. But the mimicry artists have copied his style with no exaggeration!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Hiroshima - Right or Wrong?



Hiroshima bomb pilot dies aged 92

Gen Tibbets (centre) always said he had no regrets

The commander of the B-29 plane that dropped the first atomic bomb, on Hiroshima in Japan, has died.
Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr died at his home in Columbus, Ohio, aged 92.

The five-ton "Little Boy" bomb was dropped on the morning of 6 August 1945, killing about 140,000 Japanese, with many more dying later.

On the 60th anniversary of the bombing, the three surviving crew members of the Enola Gay - named after Tibbet's mother - said they had "no regrets".

____________________________

I am not sure if in all his 92 years he dint have a single day of regret. Of course he was only dispensing orders. And what about the person who made this decision? Did he ever regret? I guess one has to be a Japanese to answer this.

In short every country will have their own justifications if and when a N-Bomb is dropped again. But if we dont have any regrets over the first one then the next one is inevitable.

Phil Collins & Sean Kingston


After a long time I listened to Phil Collins on VH1... I suddenly remembered that he was one of my favourite singers but I had forgotten him in the hustle and bustle of life.

His songs had meaning and his concern looked genuine.

Philip David Charles Collins (born January 30, 1951 in Chiswick, London) is an English singer, songwriter, drummer, and actor. He is best known as the lead singer and drummer of progressive rock group Genesis and as a Grammy and Academy Award-winning solo artist. He is also an actor, having starred in numerous films.


Another Day In Paradise

She calls out to the man on the street
";Sir, can you help me?
It's cold and I've nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?";

He walks on, doesn't look back
He pretends he can't hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there

Oh think twice, it's just another day for
You and me in paradise
Oh think twice, it's just another day for you,
You and me in paradise

She calls out to the man on the street
He can see she's been crying
She's got blisters on the soles of her feet
Can't walk but she's trying

Oh think twice...

Oh lord, is there nothing more anybody can do
Oh lord, there must be something you can say

You can tell from the lines on her face
You can see that she's been there
Probably been moved on from every place
'Cos she didn't fit in there

Oh think twice...

and talking about current singers, me and kids run to the small screen whenever
Sean Kingston
sings "Beautiful Girl".. dont know why.. it is a beautiful song. The rythm is great.. and the tune also...

When he stops we make our son sing it...


Kisean Anderson was born in Miami, Florida,[1] but he was predominantly raised in Kingston, Jamaica after moving there at the age of six.[1] Today he uses the moniker "Sean Kingston" to represent Kingston, the capital of Jamaica.

Chorus:
You're way too beautiful girl
That's why it'll never work
You'll have me suicidal, suicidal
When you say it's over
Damn all these beautiful girls
They only wanna do your dirt
They'll have you suicidal, suicidal
When they say it's over

Verse 1:
See it started at the park
Used to chill at the dark
Oh when you took my heart
That's when we fell apart
Coz we both thought
That love lasts forever (lasts forever)
They say we're too young
To get ourselves sprung
Oh we didn't care
We made it very clear
And they also said
That we couldn't last together (last together)

Refrain:
See it's very define, girl
One of a kind
But you mush up my mind
You walk to get declined
Oh Lord...
My baby is driving me crazy

Chorus:
You're way too beautiful girl
That's why it'll never work
You'll have me suicidal, suicidal
When you say it's over
Damn all these beautiful girls
They only wanna do your dirt
They'll have you suicidal, suicidal
When they say it's over

Verse 2:
It was back in '99
[ Beautiful Girls lyrics found on http://www.completealbumlyrics.com ]
Watchin' movies all the time
Oh when I went away
For doin' my first crime
And I never thought
That we was gonna see each other (see each other)
And then I came out
Mami moved me down South
Oh I'm with my girl
Who I thought was my world
It came out to be
That she wasn't the girl for me (girl for me)

Refrain:
See it's very define, girl
One of a kind
But you mush up my mind
You walk to get declined
Oh Lord...
My baby is driving me crazy

Chorus:
You're way too beautiful girl
That's why it'll never work
You'll have me suicidal, suicidal
When you say it's over
Damn all these beautiful girls
They only wanna do your dirt
They'll have you suicidal, suicidal
When they say it's over

Verse 3:
Now we're fussin'
And now we're fightin'
Please tell me why
I'm feelin' slightin'
And I don't know
How to make it better (make it better)
You're datin' other guys
You're tellin' me lies
Oh I can't believe
What I'm seein' with my eyes
I'm losin' my mind
And I don't think it's clever (think it's clever)

You're way too beautiful girl
That's why it'll never work
You'll have me suicidal, suicidal, suicidal...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Yogurt Can Save Your Life

Take time to read what Sunny Sky has to offer in her blog. I am sure we have many of our own home remedies which we seldom use.

I remember during my childhood, mother never used any OTC medicines, but she always had her own home remedies and it always worked. This was more because we grew up in a remote area so before the medicines could be procured we were already on our way to recovery. My mother got so used to this concept that even now she has much difficulty in taking medicines.

Outsourcing

I thought Child Labour is more in China than in India. We are more civilized aren’t we? Remember we send them to schools instead...

I thought outsourcing means those Call Centers, but outsourcing equals child labour too.

Gap has huge contracts in India, which boasts one of the world's fastest-growing economies. But over the past decade, India has also become the world capital for child labour. According to the UN, child labour contributes an estimated 20 per cent of India's gross national product with 55 million children aged from five to 14 employed across the business and domestic sectors.
Gap may be one of the best-known fashion brands with a public commitment to social responsibility, but the employment [by subcontractors ultimately supplying major international retail chains] of bonded child slaves as young as 10 in India's illegal sweatshops tells a different story,' says Bhuwan Ribhu, a Delhi lawyer and activist for the Global March Against Child Labour.


Next time we buy cheap clothes made in India, China or Thailand, I guess we should ask ourselves how we get it so cheap. But alas, you and me will never do that since we are already sagging under our own financial burdens.

But I guess the Corporate world is under scanner and is forced to enforce stricter laws. This is a relief. There is no other way child labour can be stopped.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Qurbani


Hubby was playing a few old Hindi movies in the car and that is when I heard the song “Aap Jaisa Koi “ from Qurbani. I am sure none has forgotten the sweet voice of Nazia Hassan, the Pakistani singer. It was during my school days that Qurbani was released and the songs were being played everywhere. No music collection was complete without these songs. Later we heard that Nazia was diagnosed with cancer. We dint hear much about her. Today I wanted to find out and googled. Yes.. she succumbed to cancer in the year 2000. What a loss. I am not sure if she continued singing until her death. But her voice was terrific. The songs were also good.

Hindi Song Title: Aap Jaisa Koi Meri Zindagi Mein Aaye
Hindi Movie/Album Name: QURBANI
Singer(s): NAZIA HUSSAIN

Hindi Lyrics:
Aap Jaisa Koi Meri Zindagi Mein Aaye
To Baat Ban Jaaye, Haan Haan Baat Ban Jaaye …

Phool Ko Bahaar, Bahaar Ko Chaman
Dil Ko Dil, Badan Ko Badan
Har Kisiko Chahiye Tan Ka Milan
Kash Mujh Par Aisa Dil Aapka Bhi Aaye
To Baat Ban Jaaye …

Maein Insaan Hoon, Farishta Nahin
Dar Hai Behak, Na Jaun Kahin
Tanha Dil Na Sambhlega Pyar Bina Yeh Tadpega
Aapsa Kahan Hai Dil Aapko Hi Paaye
To Baat Ban Jaaye …


Albums
1. Disco deewane (1980)
2. Young Tarang (1984)
3. Hotline (1987)
4. Camera Camera (1992)
5. Kismat (2006)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Slap slap..

Those days are gone.. yet it was shocking to hear that an actress was slapped by a director.

I like Padmapriya. She reminds me of yet another actress that I love to watch on the screen - Shobana.

Padmapriya left her executive job to pursue a career in acting and she is an inteligent girl. The director's excuse that it was because she was not acting properly is pathetic.

You are left!

This is what we face now. Anyone who opposes the nuclear deal are dumped with the Left and they are also seen as opposing the one saving factor that will help India to achieve the Global power status.

I am neither left nor right. But after seeing the world through my eyes all these years, I have my reservations.

Somehow I like this article that I found in Outlook...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Poll-Tricks

"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." This is what Jesus told Pharisees and Herodia (who were sent to trap him) when he was asked about paying taxes to Ceaser. What an apt response and how crystal clear was the reply!

You might wonder why I am writing this here. It is about the recent media hype on late Mathai Chacko. Pinarayi’s violent reaction on the Bishop’s statement looked pathetic. Can Pinarayi ever decide who loses or gain faith in their own religion? Has he taken over the minds of his communist flock? Is he God to read the minds of his cronies? If Mr. Chacko did have faith can Pinarayi do anything to change it. Why was Pinarayi so shocked and agitated?

On the other side why did the Bishop drag poor Mathai Chacko to the center of this controversy? If Mathai lost his faith who is to blame for this? The religious institutions cannot wash their hands and stand by claiming to have no part to play. If it was in response to the statement from the Communist Leaders, then it was totally un-called for.

Religion is something personal and it is between you and the Almighty. And the Almighty sees only your heart, he is not bothered with the flags that you wave down on this earth. Even if one takes the last rites or not, it is after all your own heart that communicates with the Almighty. As Nikesh of India Vision commented, it is not the job of a Bishop to reply in the same coin to the politicians. Their job is only to look after the spiritual health of their sheep and if you have done right, they will for sure choose the right path. And if you want to bring them back to your fold, please choose the right means.

But then.. it is again dirty politics.. and sadly even the Church seems to love all the attention. Or are they diverting the attention from other glaring truths? Maybe the Sister Abhaya Case?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tales From Mouse Ward

Since many of you are working in the IT sector, thought I shall share this article.. if you havent read it already. I know it is stale news.. but still...some needs reminders!


Tales From Mouse Ward

Urban Indians are paying with their health the price of being in computer-intensive jobs

Nothing about Vijaykumar’s daily schedule suggested any kind of health risk. For a young man, still pushing 33, he seemed to have an impeccably balanced lifestyle. He woke in the morning to drive to the Bangalore offices of IT major Cisco, where he worked as a programmer. He spent eight or nine hours at his computer, steadily tapping out code. His was a serious workday, but not an oppressive one, compared to the 14-hour shifts call centre workers clocked in over on Bannerghata Road. When he had time, he swam a few laps in the pool, and headed home to spend time with his family.
In 2003, however, something changed.

"It was a numbness in the hand," he recalls. "Then a cold sensation from my shoulder to my palm, and sometimes my hand became paralysed." We’re all getting older, he thought, gritting his teeth, and this must be the beginning of the inevitable wear-and-tear. And so he swam more to stay limber, tried yoga, ointments and pranayam to ease the pain. He relaxed his pace of work, moved the mouse from his right hand to his left. But that only shifted the pain to different places. The orthopaedist he consulted told him not much else could be done.
The condition progressed. A year ago, Vijaykumar stopped driving his car. Then he discovered he could not lift his kids—one and three years old—and carry them in his arms. "Five months ago, people started telling me I looked thin and worn out," says Vijaykumar. "And I realised I was living with a lot of pain, and barely sleeping at night.


So, I had to take indefinite leave, and hoped the problem would die down." It wasn’t till he was home one afternoon, browsing the web, that he came across a website that described his symptoms perfectly, and he realised it was his computer doing the damage all along.


...It afflicts even those who are young, fit, starting their first computer-dependent job. Average age: 27.




In the computer-intensive sectors of the Indian economy, bad ergonomics and work habits are more the rule than the exception. Businesses operate out of rented spaces, pre-equipped with shoddily designed desks and flimsy chairs. Hands, elbows and torsos lock in crooked formations between monitors, keyboards and mouses. The glaring screens look like they were installed to kill flies.

Rice

Can someone tell me why the export of Indian rice has been stopped?

It is a fact that most Indians cannot do without rice. As for me, if I havn't had my quota of rice for the day then I had nothing!

When I first landed in Kuwait, there was not much choice of rice. The closest rice to our taste was “American Chef”. It looked just like the rice back home and was clean and easy to cook. We were completely hooked onto it until the arrival of a variety of rice like the “Palakkadan Matta”, “Nirapara" etc. Though the cooking time was more than the American one, we switched over to the Indian variety. I always preferred the brown rice to the white one.

And now they say this will be stopped. I am sure the prices will soar and we will soon be back with the Amercian Rice. There is the Egyptian rice too, but it is too thick and not like the ones we are used to.

Whatever may be the reasons for this ban, it is the Indian government who stand to lose to the American and Thai rice. And it was only the Indians who were consuming this rice.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Shameful!

We mallus were very eloquent when it came to criticizing the ill treatment meted out by the Sponsors in Gulf. We were astonished, shocked and in tears seeing those who were tortured by their sponsors.. but now it is more shocking to realize that we may be no better.

The treatment given to those two ladies were shocking. One was even pregnant and yet she was not spared. We even saw a child trying to stop this and being tossed around. And the reason – they suspected her of stealing an anklet. No proof, yet verdict given so easily.

Next time we open our big mouths to criticize, let us stop and think…

Monday, October 8, 2007

FATHER FORGETS W. Livingston Larned

The other day, I discovered that our son was not eating his sandwiches, lovingly packed by myself. He used to keep it in his bag and I as usual used to ask him daily if he finished it. "Yes" was the answer always. Naturally I was mad with him for lying, for not eating and for wasting food.

I asked him why and he said he wanted to play during break time. I lost my temper and thrashed him! Yes I did.. and then remorse set in. Why did I do it? but my poor son is as always very forgiving... he lovingly accepted all the kisses that I showered upon him. Sometimes I cant but act out the proverb "Spare the rod and spoil the child" .. anyway thank God it only rarely and my Hubby has much better patience when it comes to thrashing, more because he feels he will go out of control. But as for criticism, I guess both of us are equally bad.. we expect too much from our kids.

I am reading Dale Carnegie's book - How to win people and influnse friends.. a great book and I came across this article which was re-printed from the Readers Digest...

...................................................................

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw
crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your
damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few
minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave
of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.
There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I
scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your
face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning
your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things
on the floor.
At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down
your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too
thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for
my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, "Goodbye,
Daddy!" and I frowned, and said in reply, "Hold your shoulders
back!"
Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the
road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were
holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by
marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive -
and if you had to
buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a
father!
Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you
came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I
glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you
hesitated at the door. "What is it you want?" I snapped.
You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and
threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small
arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your
heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were
gone, pattering up the stairs.
Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my
hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit
been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding - this
was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love
you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you
by the yardstick of my own years.
And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your
character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over
the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush
in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have
come to your bed-side in the darkness, and I have knelt there,
ashamed!
It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these
things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow
I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you
suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when
impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: "He is
nothing but a boy - a little boy!"
I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now,
son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby.
Yesterday you were in your mother's arms, your head on her
shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.
Instead of condemning people, let's try to understand them. Let's try
to figure out why they do what they do. That's a lot more profitable
and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and
kindness. "To know all is to forgive all."
As Dr. Johnson said: "God himself, sir, does not propose to judge
man until the end of his days."
Why should you and I?


Principal I - Don't criticize, condemn or complain...

Hope to condense the book and put it up here.. I am sure many have done it already....

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Aradhana


I think it was the song "Mere Sapnon Ki Rani" that brought me running to the entertainment box.. nd there I sat to watch this old, yet beautiful movie.

Call me old fashioned, but there is something lovely, innocent, dignified in these old movies. The herione looks great and even sexy but yet she has not exposed herself.

Both Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila have acted so well. I love watching the dimples play upon Sharmila's cheeks.

Sigh.... they dont make such movies anymore.

Banner: Shakti Films
Producer-Director: Shakti Samanta
Story: Sachin Bhowmick
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Music: S D Burman
Cinematography: Aloke Dasgupta
Starring: Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore, Sujit Kumar, Abhi Bhattacharya and
Farida Jalal

Saturday, October 6, 2007

I-Pill

Here comes the I-Pill.. the one solution to your reckless moments. The advertisement has been so frequent and clear that even the kids have it imprinted in their minds.

So what can we expect out of this?

More promiscuity?
More rapes?
More extra-marital affairs?
More teenage puppy loves and broken hearts?

And how subtly they have worded it.. unwanted pregnancy. If it was unwanted then why go for it in the first place?

And has any doctor published the side-effects of these drugs? I am sure any drug will have its own side effect. I read that most of the enquiries came from men. Why? Are they happy that now they can enjoy the moments and pop a pill into their partner’s mouth for peace of minds.. after all, the killing part will be done in their partner’s womb and not his.

Whatever they may call it, this is just another quick fix abortion. But please stop calling it otherwise.

Credibility

Has he has lost it?

Power corrupts and we are seeing it. Until this time, he never reached the office of the CM and finally when he got it, he seems to have lost his integrity. It is time he resigned like Anthony. When Anthony could not keep up his clean image, he resigned. Maybe it was weakness from his part but then it was better than to lose the trust a multitude of people placed upon on you.

V.S. sent 3 of his best men to Munnar with great speeches but now the same team has been replaced with more efficient members. Why?
The Public Works is in great need of a Minister, yet the CM does not want to take a decision. He prefers to wait for the tainted Joseph to return.

Is it time to measure the land of our CM too?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Gandhi Jayanti

Today is Gandhi Jayanthi.

For India today is a national holiday, while the world observes today as the "International Day of Non-violence".

Gandhiji and his ideas of non-violence is getting more relevant in this present world. In Trivandrum a course offered by Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi is having many takers from the young and the old but to the astonishment of many the majority is the young from communist Kannur District - known for its long history of political violence. This course is offered for a fee or 100 IRS and runs for 1 year. From Gandhiji’s principles to his messages of love and the hardearned lessons of freedom that the Mahatma taught using ahimsa would be part of the curriculum. They will also have a project at the end of the course.

Mahatma stressed that "literacy is not the end of education nor even its beginning. It is only one of the means whereby man and woman can be educated and that only those who receive a fulsome education of body, mind and spirit can play an effective role in resisting violence and fighting injustice and oppression. They alone can build a social order that promises human dignity". He stressed on character building and value education.

I think Gandhiji left us with a lot of valuable and timeless tools, but sadly it still remains in "quotes" and "speeches". Some political parties want only his name but forgets all what he stood for.


Is life relevant?
Is truth relevant?
Is morality relevant?
It has become a fashion to question the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi today. I suspect the people who ask this question are the ones who are convinced that he is irrelevant and useless. I want to ask them if they feel life, truth and morality are also irrelevant? Because the corner stones of the Gandhian philosophy are life, truth and morality.

Monday, October 1, 2007

See through Frogs!


I am sure everyone remembers their Zoology labs for one thing... dissection of frogs. I remember mine and how I detested the very act of cutting those poor souls. And then we had to pin them up for inspection. The smell of formaldehyde still lingers...ugh!

Maybe.. kids will not have to do that anymore.... The Japanese as usual let their gray matter to do some work... the See Through Frogs

September 28, 2007—For high school students everywhere, this revealing amphibian may be a cut above regular frogs.

That's because the see-through frog does not require dissection to see its organs, blood vessels, and eggs.

Masayuki Sumida, a professor at the Institute for Amphibian Biology at Japan's Hiroshima University, bred the frog to be a humane learning tool.

"You can watch organs of the same frog over its entire life, as you don't have to dissect it," Sumida told the news agency Agence France-Presse. The scientist announced his research last week at an academic meeting.

Dissecting animals for science has sparked controversies worldwide, even prompting some companies to create computer simulations as cruelty-free alternatives.

Researchers bred the sheer creature—a type of Japanese brown frog—for two recessive genes that make it pale.

Though not yet patented, the frog is the first four-legged, see-through animal to be bred by scientists. Some fish species are also clear.

Only 1 in 16 frogs end up see-through, and Sumida's team has not yet figured out how to pass on the transparent trait to offspring.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wind Power



So much power and we still want to cling on to a nuclear power for dear life? It is not as though I am opposed to the Nuclear Power, but when this country has not utilized other resources which is much cheaper then we have no right to talk thus. Producing, maintaining and protecting nuclear energy is very expensive compared to other sources of energy. Wind energy like solar energy still remains a power un-tapped except in few states like TN, Maharashtra etc. Even otherwise TN has always gone ahead with many projects successfully.

Today I read in the news that the Indian Railways may go for more wind power. It has found much unused land in its coastal network and wants to use it to tap wind energy.

"We get power at Rs 6 per unit whereas we can get power from our own generation units at as low as Rs 4.50 per unit," the official said.
The pilot project at Perambur would need an investment of Rs 40 crore. Depending on its success, larger projects would be set up near existing wind energy farms.
The government has identified wind energy as one of the renewable energy sources where the country has tremendous potential for growth. It is thus encouraging investment in this area by offering sops that include interest subsidy and capital subsidy, 80% accelerated depreciation, tax holiday under Section 80 IA and various subsidy schemes.

The present wind energy capacity is close to touching 5000 MW mark much ahead of the targeted year of 2011-12. The country has potential to add 45,000 MW of power under this route in the next 15 to 20 years.

Worldwide Installed Capacity of Wind Power A Worldwide installed capacity of wind power is 78,728 MW as on 31st March 2007. The first five countries are Germany (20,952 MW), Spain (12,500 MW), USA (12,376 MW), India (7093 MW) and Denmark (3136 MW).

(Source : Wind Power Monthly, July 2007)

The Indian wind energy sector has an installed capacity of 7093.9 MW (as on March 31, 2007). In terms of wind power installed capacity, India is ranked 4th in the World. Today India is a major player in the global wind energy market.
The potential is far from exhausted. Indian Wind Energy Association has estimated that with the current level of technology, the ‘on-shore’ potential for utilization of wind energy for electricity generation is of the order of 65,000 MW. The unexploited resource availability has the potential to sustain the growth of wind energy sector in India in the years to come.

New Wind Power Projects in Kerala It is learned that Kerala Government has given technical approval to Suzlon and Vestas India for developing wind power projects at Agali, Palakkad and Ramakkalmedu in Idduki District respectively. In the first phase, Suzlon is likely to installed 4.8 MW capacity and Vestas India 9.75 MW capacity during the financial year 2007-08.


Of course this energy has its limitations too...

And talking about Nuclear Energy, finally when the nuclear has been signed and ready to be installed, the country will face yet another resistance. Which State will accept the responsibilities that goes with it? Definitely not Kerala, we will be the first one on the streets to make it go away. Anyway the Center will never consider Kerala for obvious reasons so we rest in peace.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

That is the way!

I felt very happy reading this news. It is not often that you see such acts coming from those who have achieved much in their lives. They have gained the best education that our country can provide and should be on their way to enjoying some of the best jobs a company can offer. This is enough for one to forget the rest of the world and enjoy what they have gained with their hard work. But they have thought beyond themselves.

IITians run school for children of labourers

Yogesh Vajpeyi, IANS
Hamirpur (Uttar Pradesh), September 27, 2007


The children of Bidokhar village call it Apna Skool, or our school. An NGO - formed by the faculty and student of Kanpur's Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - has set up the non-formal school in Hamirpur district of Uttar Pradesh for elementary education of children of migrant labourers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Inside Man



Since we are having Ramadhan timings, we have much time in our hands and hence all those movies that were waiting to be watched are now being enjoyed.

Inside Man is about a Bank Heist Thriller... the main actors being Denzil Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster. I have always liked Denzil.

We enjoyed this movie and it is the first time that I watched an American Action/Thriller movie where none gets killed!

This reminds me of the day I was first introduced to an American Action movie. It was Arnie’s Total Recall. Until then I never had a chance to see such movies since the place where I grew up did not have a theatre showing English Movies. The nearest theater itself was many kilometers away and our Father used to drive us there only once a month, whenever a new movie was released.

It was in the year 1990 that this picture was released and I was in Trivandrum. It was in Sreekumar theatre and we were a bunch of cousins and friends. As you know Total Recall is a science fiction full of gore and violence. My senses were shocked and jostled around. I just couldn’t take the violence in the movie. It was the first time that I saw a gun being used so freely and dead bodies falling every scene. Somehow I managed to sit through the whole movie. When we came out I from my naivety blurted out how they can show such movies. My cousins who were all veteran American movie goers started laughing. I told them that this could affect the minds and dull the conscience of the movie goers. I guess I did not think about PG rating. But even with PG rating, I still think that some movies go beyond normalcy in showing crime and gore. I am not talking about American movies alone, the same goes for others too. Even now I cannot watch violent movies.. I still close my eyes or watch elsewhere!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Jai Hind

We won! We won! We won.. after so many years.. finally we have done it.

What a game it was! The second we settle down and think that India is going to win, the Paki’s turns it right back! And finally the tension ended. I think both the teams deserve great applause and even this time I wouldn’t have minded if our boys had lost to the Paki’s. It was fantastic cricket.

Hope you caught the Pathans piggy riding, Dhoni shirtless, Bhaji with his moustache turned up and his dance! And what were they digging on the ground? Each of our boys gave their best shot.

And then comes the comments from the veterans. 20-20 is not THE cricket. It is test cricket that tests a cricketer and after that the 50 overs one-day. They talk about “Temperament” . My dictionary says temperament is quality of mind. So did our boys lack it? Dint they continue playing smartly without buckling under pressure? Even when they lost the mighty Yuvraj and their captain dint they take the score to a decent level. But then for them to prove themselves they should be allowed to play for the coming series. Then let us judge them. But for now let us enjoy this moment.. dint we wait too long and to a point where most of were disgusted with Cricket.

Dhoni is a good study material for a "Leader". I loved the way he came running whenever one of his boy's faced a tough situation. I also hear that after the win with Aussies, he let the boys celebrate instead of continuing with practicing. For a team that went as underdogs, each win was a victory.

As Kapil Dev pointed out, it is good to remind ourselves that this in only a game. Maybe we shall have to wait again but until then we should stop throwing stones at those players even if they lose. Can we? Dhoni's house under contruction was razed to the ground and now he has collected enough and more money to build a complete steel structure! Oh.. it is cricket and neither the players nor their fans are going to change!

I still remember the year we lifted the world cup and also the Sharjah cup. And once Ravi Shastri visited Trivandrum for a match while I was in college. I forgot the year. But some of our girls visited him in his hotel room and that was a scandal! I still remember the bickering and snickering behind their backs. How dare they visit a hotel to see a cricketer!

I think the whole country and the Indians all over the world are celebrating. Yesterday we watched on TV the crowd in front of a shop at Calicut. It could have been half a stadium!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Blood Diamond


Finally finished watching Blood Diamond yesterday. A superb movie! Wonderful acting and great originality.

I don’t know if this had any impact on all the movie goers but I am sure only the hard hearted can get out of the theatres without any difference.

Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea on the north and Liberia on the south, with the Atlantic Ocean on the west. The name Sierra Leone was adapted from the Portuguese name for the country: Serra Leoa, literally "Lion Mountain Range". During the 18th century Sierra Leone was an important center of the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans.

The movie portrays the Diamond smuggling amid the civil war during the period 1991 to 2002.

In one scene when Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou enters a village strewn with dead bodies they meet a guy who still seems concerned. He asks them if they are lost and then rambles on. He wonders if diamonds could do this to a country, what if oil is ever discovered!

It also brings one point through Solomon. He says he can understand the outsiders doing thus to the country but not their own people. And another fact, if one has no unity within one’s own country then it is sure to be trampled upon by greedy blood suckers.

I guess Africa still has child soldiers which happens to be the worst part. Even a matured person cannot live a normal life after a war so imagine a child! So does Sri Lanka among the Tamil Tigers. This is the worst crime against humanity.

Now there is peace in Sierra Leone.... let us pray that it continues...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jai Hind

Gosh! I cant believe that I am back enjoying cricket. The youngsters lured me back with their positive and energetic game. Was ready to forgive them even they had lost to the mighty Aussies.

Harbajan Singhs’s dance, Yuvi’s mighty roar… it is been a while since we witnessed pure joy from a game. And we have those dancing females barely covered by Reliance. Our son did the same dance for every Six and Four.

Some say that the 20-20 game is like a fast food and not fair enough. Who cares? At least it stops some senior players from clinging to their bats to increase their 50’s or 100’s. We had enough of that. Now, one has to perform or get out. And we reached the Finals with most of our Senior players out of the team. I guess this should have been done even for the last world cup.

I think only the Indian and Pakistan games bring the stadiums to full. And it is going to be a terrific game on Monday. Our Son has already taken permission to bunk his Karate classes and he also has his assessments on Tuesday. I dont think I can keep him away from the game unless India plays hopelessly!

And I am with Dhoni. Whatever the outcome maybe, let us not be tensed, but enjoy the game. Finally our boys are playing positively.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mallu Land

I was planning to blog this for a while and that is when I read Maddy's article...

If one looks at the current political dramas one cant help praying that the whole Secretariat building along with its entire occupancy (when it is in full session) disappears! Poof! How great it would be.
We see MLA’s fasting with no visible signs of fatigue on them. The opposition brings a new allegation and the ruling party is quick to come up with counter allegation and then it dies sooner than the media or the poor subjects can even think! Aren’t they all enacting a drama? I am sure behind our backs both the opposition and the ruling parties find ways to cover each other’s back.

This brings to my mind a recent comedy skit on one of the Malayalam Channel Since this is the season of talent contests, our political leaders, namely, Anthony, Chandy, Karunakaran and VS were invited for a contest. The winner will be provided a fully paid trip abroad for 3 months in addition to 10 million or so cash and the same is sponsored by the viewers. And after the usual drama, the judges declare all four as the winner since their performance were equally good. After the price money was declared, the contestants ask the Judges, how this can be afforded since all of them needed to be paid equally. And the judges reply “they are ready to pay even more just to get you guys out of this State” - good riddance to bad rubbish!

It has come to this stage and I wont be surprised if we see the people taking law into their own hands like how it happened in Jhakarnd and Bihar.

Swami Vivekananda, you are right and we at GOC will continue to uphold your verdict

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sister Abhaya

Thought I shall share this shocking video that was forwarded by my friend.

Well.. I dont know what to say.

When ex-minister P.J. Joseph was accused, I never believed initially, but now I have reasons to believe from close quarters. Those who are close to him says he was taking medicines for depression. Does depression make one behave indecently?

Anyway it is time the whole Christian community irrespective of their denomination work towards bringing to light the murderers of Sister Abhaya. To stop speculations, rumours, and character assasinations and to purge the church, it has become necessary.

I pray that the authorities find the courage to publish the facts without any prejudice or fear since CBI has already submitted their report.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jet Airways




Jet Airways will fly Gulf from Jan-2008.

This is good news to us Gulf wallas specially to GOC residents. All these years we were dependant on the State Carriers Air India and Indian Airlines for direct connection.

Our last trip to India was on Air India and we vowed never to board that plane again. And it was not even a Budget Airlines. We chose it since the kids were travelling unaccompanied and hence we wanted a direct flight. But it was not even direct but flying through Chennai. The agents did not tell us while booking. I know I sound un-patriotic. But then this feeling is shared by many. Air India has contracted Turkish Airways (incl crew) to fly the Gulf Sector. These planes are very small with 2 rows of seats and hence little luggage space. We were asked to shove our bags under our feet! As soon as we were settling down we heard a baby wailing. A Tang bottle had fallen from the luggage hold onto the poor baby’s head! There was shouting and swearing and it was acceptable since even the mother started crying. And the Turkish crew who knows no word of English just couldn’t console them. One of our friend who traveled in this Airlines asked for Pampers and the crew couldn’t understand what he was asking. Finally he had to produce the soiled Pampers to get a new one! (now I don’t know why he dint have a spare pamper with him!)

The worst part was the toilets! It started smelling the minute we settled down and the crew used to empty cans of neutralizers occasionally. And they don’t let you use the toilet while refueling and even when the plane has taken off. They asked us to wait until the seat belts signs are off. I think the pilot or whoever has to do it forgets to switch it off! Since there are less toilets the queue in front of the toilets are a sight to see.

I hear the Jet airways flights are well maintained. I know there will be no concession in rates during the peak seasons but at least the money that you spend is worth.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Good bye my feathery friend..

Yesterday our white Love bird died. It was the most active and we had a special love towards it.

We have been rearing Love Birds since some years and several have died since then. Since both myself and hubby grew up with pets, we thought the kids should have at least the pleasure of seeing a few love birds. For the kids only the initial excitement was there. They lost interest since Love Birds don’t need special attention like a dog and they are not friendly too.

We were surprised when one of the birds started laying eggs and then sitting on it. We never expected anything to come out of it since we saw the same at our friend’s place. But one day we were surprised to hear small chirps and yes they had hatched! They looked like fishes since they did not have any feathers on them. But their growth was very fast, before a week they were covered with feathers. Unfortunately the mother died and it was up to the father bird to feed them. I think it fed them for a while since 2 of them died. The third was very friendly and used to hop on our hands as soon we put our hands inside. I believed that the Father was feeding it, but one day when I came back from work I saw the little one lying down. The minute it saw me, it stretched out and died. I was heart broken. It looked as though it waited for me. I think the Father had stopped feeding it and I had no idea how to feed such a small thing. Then we decided not to have any more Love Birds. That is when Hubby’s friend asked us to look after his Love Birds since it was getting too hot in his flat. And then the cage was full again. And with this batch came our white one.

From the beginning he was special. He did not have a pair and maybe since he was still too young. All the rest were in pairs. And it is always a pleasure to see them preening each other and no wonder they are called Love Birds! Whenever I stand near the cage, the White one will start pecking my clothes.

It was before our trip to India that he injured his legs. We left them with our friend and hoped it would heal. But it was still the same when we returned , but yet he was managing. But 2 days back I saw blood in the cage. We don’t know what happened and how it injured his legs again. Maybe a fight with his partner? Yesterday, he couldn’t climb even to the perch and I took him out and he did not protest at all. We thought it will recover but it was too weak and it died after sometime.

And now we have just one left and I am sure she will die of loneliness since we don’t plan to buy any more Love Birds!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Still regret…

It was during my first Pre-degree days. Me and my cousin sister were shopping at Trivandrum and were inside a small Ladies store, when suddenly a guy came barging inside, all excited. I could see that he had left a bunch of his friends outside. To my horror he came right up to me and asked me.

“Aren’t you so and so?”

I replied yes. I just couldn’t place this guy.

“Do you remember your class mate Sunil in school?”

I think I was too shocked to think or remember and just stood there like an idiot. Still fresh from school and in the big city (for me!) it was already giving me a jitter.

He left.. much disappointed.

And then I remembered. Yes he was Sunil and he left our school when he was in the 8th Standard if I remember. He was known as Sunil Gavaskar during those days. I think he had contacted my brother who was also studying in Trivandrum and came to know that I was in Trivandrum.

I still regret and feel hurt that I never recognized him. I tried to see him later but could never catch him.

If ever I get to see him again, I would like to apologize.

I know it gives us great pleasure to see our class mates. Even now I keep searching for mine through batchmates.com and alumini.net.. in vain. None of my school mates have registered in those sites, though I have made contacts with a few of my seniors and juniors.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Adam’s Bridge

Lord Rama built this bridge to rescue his wife Sita from the clutches of Ravana but little did he think that it would create wide spread protests and traffic jams so many years later!

Adam's Bridge, known in India as Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu, is a chain of limestone shoals, between the islands of Mannar, near northwestern Sri Lanka, and Rameswaram, off the southeastern coast of India. The bridge is 30 miles (48 km) long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (southwest) from the Palk Strait (northeast). Some of the sandbanks are dry and the sea in the area is very shallow, being only 3 ft to 30 ft (1 m to 10 m) deep. This seriously hinders navigation. It was reportedly passable on foot up to the 15th century until storms deepened the channel: temple records seem to say that Rama’s Bridge was complete above sea level until it broke in a cyclone in 1480 AD.[citation needed] This landbridge once connected Sri Lanka to South India during the Wisconsin glaciation


Space images taken by NASA reveal a mysterious ancient bridge in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. The recently discovered bridge currently named as Adam´s Bridge is made of chain of shoals, c.18 mi (30 km) long.

The bridge´s unique curvature and composition by age reveals that it is man made. The legends as well as Archeological studies reveal that the first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka date back to the a primitive age, about 1,750,000 years ago

According to the legend of Ramayana, the land bridge was constructed by large numbers of monkey like beings under the supervision of Rama, who according to Hindus is a personalized almighty incarnation. The purpose of the construction was to reach Srilanka (across the sea) from the Indian mainland to rescue Rama's wife from the demon king Ravana. Ramayana, according to the Hindu time calendar, is supposed to have taken place in Tredha Yuga (The ancient scriptures in Hinduism discuss about events in terms of Yugas (Time phases of evolution) numerically four namely Sathya (17,28,000 years), Tredha (12,96,000 years), Dwapara (8,64,000 years) and Kali (4,32,000 years)). The current phase according to the calendar is kali, out of which 5000 years are supposed to have passed by. This means that Ramayana, to have relevance with the bridge, should have taken place between 8,69,000 to 21,65,000 years back (between the time period 0.869 - 2.165 million years).


The controversial Sethusamudram project


The route under the project,which involves dredging over a width of 300 metres and depth of 12 metres on Adam's Bridge, though inaugurated by Prime Minister on July 2, 2005, was approved as far back as October 2002 during the NDA regime.

"In fact, the project was vetted and endorsed by no less than 4 ministers of the previous NDA government - Arun Jaitley on March 9, 2001, V P Goyal on October 29, 2002, S Thirunavukkarasar on October 25, 2002, and Shatrughan Sinha - hence objections to the project are completely baseless," the Centre said.

It also rejected another contention of the petitioner that Adam's Bridge could qualify as an ancient monument and said there was no scientific basis to this contention. It was only a ruse to stop the project that would generate revenue from fees obtained from traffic passing through the channel. It said Taylor's proposal in 1860 was followed by similar proposals from Townsend (1861), Parliamentary Committee (1862),William Deninson (1863), Stoddart (1871), Robertson (1872), Sir John Code (1884), South Indian Railway Engineers (1903) and Robert Bristow (1922).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dabbawala - Amazing!



Recently the discussion in our office turned to the Dabbawallas in Mumbai. I haven’t noticed them during my short stays in Mumbai but heard about them a lot!

1- No unions!
3- No forward and backward reservations!
4- No Congress, BJP, Left or right!
5- No fights – they don’t have the time!
6- The most respected.
7- A compartment in the local trains allotted just for them.
8- They give lectures to the IIM’s!
9- They have been awarded the Sig Sigma Rating!

So who are these dabbawalas?

They are the wonder workers in the bustling city of Mumbai or Bombay as it was called. They satisfy the needs of 1000’s of office workers who are forced to leave their homes at unholy hours and hence their food does not get packed in time. The home made food is delivered to their work place without any fail and it is till fresh and warm.

- They have been awarded the Six Sigma rating. A few years ago, US business magazine Forbes gave Mumbai’s dabbawallas a Six Sigma performance rating, or a 99.999999 percentage of correctness — which means one error in six million transactions.

Six Sigma is a process that helps organisations focus on delivering near-perfect products and services. If you use Six Sigma you can measure how many defects there are in a process and can systematically figure out how to eliminate them and try and achieve zero-defect status.

- Secretary of the Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust Gangaram Talekar and M Medge, a tiffin carrier contractor — both essentially dabbawallas — have been delivering lectures at premier institutes like the IIMs, CII conferences, Symbiosis institutes, WTC, for the last six years.

“It started with the Confederation of Indian Industry inviting us for a lecture,” said Talekar. “Our connections are well-managed, which is what we talk about at the lectures. Without putting in any capital ourselves, we manage to achieve a difficult feat,” he added.

Dabbawallas

* They rely on low capital and use cycles, wooden carriages and local trains to achieve their target.

* There are several groups that work independently and network with each other to achieve one goal.

* They meet once a month where all the groups gather and thrash out issues.

* There is no retirement age. People work as long as they want. to.

* Since their lifestyle is simple and involves a lot of physical exercise, they rarely suffer from illnesses.

* The dabbawallas have a credit society which gets them through money crunches.

How the dabba is delivered

* The first dabbawalla picks up the tiffin from home and takes it to the nearest railway station.

* The second dabbawalla sorts out the dabbas at the railway station according to destination and puts them in the luggage carriage.

* The third one travels with the dabbas to the railway stations nearest to the destinations.

* The fourth one picks up dabbas from the railway station and drops them of at the offices.

* The process is reversed in the evenings.

I guess every Logistic company would love to learn from these dabbawalas!

Mallu Interview.. too good!

Bill Gates organized an enormous session to recruit a new Chairman for Microsoft Europe. 5000 candidates assembled in a large room. One candidate is Kunju Abdullah, an Indian guy.

Bill Gates thanked all the candidates for coming and asking those who do not know JAVA program to leave.2000 people leave the room. Kunju says to himself, "I do not know JAVA but I have nothing to lose if I stay. I'll give it a try"

Bill Gates asked the candidates who never had experience of managing more than 100 people to leave. 2000 people leave the room. Kunju says to himself " I never managed anybody by myself but I have nothing to lose if I stay. What can happen to me?" So he stays.

Then Bill Gates asked candidates who do not have management diplomas to leave. 500 people leave the room. Kunju says to himself, "I left school at 15 but what have I got to lose?" So he stays in the room.

Lastly, Bill Gates asked the candidates who do not speak Serbo - Croat to leave. 498 people leave the room.
Kunju says to himself, "I do not speak one word of Serbo - Croat but what do I have to lose?" So he stays and finds himself with one other candidate. Everyone else has gone.

Bill Gates joined them and said "Apparently you are the only two candidates who speak Serbo - Croat, so I'd now like to hear you have a conversation together in that language."

Calmly, Kunj turns to the other candidate and says "Entha Sugham alle" (How are you?)

The other candidate answers " Nee Poda Pulle" (Get lost you a*****le!)

Mallus yet again!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Cross









Lately I have been getting many forwards on the cross. It is mostly about the cross that each one of us has to carry on this journey of life. If you look at the meaning of the word cross in this context it says “a difficulty in somebody’s personal life that is particularly testing, troubling, or painful”.

We all have to carry our crosses and there is no escape from this. But there are many who would like to escape from this and hence resort to drugs, liquor or other quick fixes which this world currently offers. But as depicted in these pictures, these quick fixes can never help you. You may feel that you have shed your worries or your troubles but a time comes when you are suddenly woken up from the false comfort and find that there is no escape. The cross that you ought to have carried would have equipped you to move forward but you discarded it for something temporary. Some then resort to do away with their life, since they did not gain the fortitude to carry it forward.

Whatever your cross, whatever your pain, there will always be sunshine, after the rain ....

Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall, but God's always ready, to answer your call ... HE knows every heartache AND sees every tear,

"God always sends rainbows .... after the rain ...

Bin Laden

I keep wondering if Mr. Bush and Laden have secret moments over the communication system.

Hey Bin.. time for another tape man.. my polls are yet again going down and they want our boys to get out of Iraq. Why don’t you give those shivering brains a scare in your usual style and please don’t forget to mention September 11.
No problems Bushy boy.. as along as you don’t let your boys come anywhere near my bunker.

Sept 11 – 2001. And today it is more than 5 years and the world’s largest and most sophisticated military power is not able to capture their number one enemy. Even when they have considerable power over the countries like Afganistan and Pakistan, Bin Laden seems to keep shifting his hiding place every day. My puny brain is not able to digest these facts. Help me God!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sister Abhaya

We read that there have been more breakthroughs in this case. The police may soon arrest the culprits. As suspected initially, the priests and the nuns were involved in the murder. Sister Abhaya was killed since she saw something which ought to have never happened in a Convent.

This murder made a lot of impact upon the GOC residents. For me personally, since then, I lost whatever respect that I had for the priests and the nuns. I studied in a Convent School and I have seen the various faces of the nuns. There were good ones and the bad ones. But it was an accepted fact that they had given up a normal life for the work of God. But with this murder, whatever was bottled up against this class among the normal residents broke free. I think it was from this point of time that we heard the Mimicry artists mimicking the priests and making fun of them.

I am not saying that an act of a few has made the whole Clergy community bad but it has made a difference. After all, no one forced them to give up anything to do God’s work. It was their choice and they knew what they were giving up. This is similar to the sexual abuses which came to light and is now the cause for many law suits.

May God bring the murderers to light and may this be a lesson to all who profess to have given up everything to do God’s work. Let those who hid the murderers behind their cloaks remember that nothing can be hidden from the Almighty.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Prawns.....yummy!

It is Shrimp / prawns season in Kuwait!

Even we bought a good share of shrimps and last night I made Shrimp curry. It turned out okay, though hubby says it would have been better with a little more salt!

I put some coconut pieces to get those crunchy bites and enough red chilly powder. And while I was searching for a good recipe to make more curries, I came upon this site: It is great...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Great One liners

Thought I should post this here...

LESSONS IN LIFE

By Regina Brett, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45
lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested
column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK t o get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over-prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25 No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you re ally does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read some good books. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

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