Wednesday, January 26, 2011

God of the faithful and the faithless

First of all let me wish every Indian a very Happy Republic Day. Let me also echo/copy the sentiments of a friend.

Wishing all my friends greetings on the occasion of the Republic Day of a prosperous, compassionate, developing India with an active judiciary, neat governance and a vibrant democracy to lead the world into the new times of change and growth accessing technology and advances in Science for the benefit of mankind, flora and fauna all over.

I shall soon be boarding the plane to let our children have some time with their grandfather (Hubby’s father) who may soon bid adieu to this world. Later, they would need to get back to their studies and their world full of promises and so also heartaches. They loved their grandfather like every other grandchild and I am not sure how they shall deal with such inevitabilites of this life. As for me, let me gather my strength and hold onto to my own faith in the Almighty. One needs it all the more at times like this.

The following is an email forward from my blogger friend and many may have read it. It is just another bid to try and convince a few who hold on to their faithlessness.

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects.
When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists."
"Why do you say that?" asked the customer.
"Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving a God who would allow all of these things."
The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and un-kept.
The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist."
"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked o n you!"

"No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."
"Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me."
Exactly, affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don't go to Him and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

God's own country

God’s own country has once again acted like God.

With no mercy, it has taken away the lives of more than a hundred and all because they sought solace from the Almighty.

Like many, I think it was an avoidable disaster. Everyone, including those in authority knew that lakhs were using this route to reach Sabarimala, yet they were not stopped. But stopping them would not have been easy either since it would then having been akin to hurting religious sentiments. Yet, something could have been done especially since there is no lack of money pouring in.

But then there are Hindus who think otherwise too. For them, a pilgrimage to Sabarimala has always been a penance. They take Vritham (fast) for 41 days and undergo many trials to reach the Sannithanam. In earlier days, this journey was even more dangerous since there were also wild animals to face. Yet, they undertook the journey even if they had to face death. Having lived in the high ranges, I have seen pilgrims from the state of Tamilnadu walking a whole lot more distance in earlier days, to reach Sabarimala.

After the 1999 tragedy at Sabarimala, as usual, there were discussions and commissions and recommendations from well meaning people. But nothing was done.

I am not sure if it is only the increase in population in India, but overall there is an increase in the number of people thronging to religious places, be it the Church, Temple or Mosque. As for Christians, there are now more thronging to places and people outside the traditional Church. I think people have lost faith in humanity and are desperately seeking God. May the Almighty Himself give us a solution?

Friday, January 7, 2011


The vision of SAI India represents what we aspire to become: We strive to be a global leader and initiator of national and international best practices in public sector auditing and accounting and recognised for independent, credible, balanced and timely reporting on public finance and governance.

Just when this organization is celebrating it's 150 years of existence, Kapil Sibal tells the nation that it is made up of fools!

Will Kapil step aside and give his seat back to A. Raja?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

All is well

Looking back at my blog, I realized that I have stepped into this New Year with nothing but complaints :)

Like many, I joined Facebook and last year I also succumbed to Farmville (FV).

I played FV with much enthusiasm and tried luring neighbours [mostly my children’s friends :)]. But FV also made me realize what consumerism really is. As you know, consumerism is the belief that the buying and selling of large quantities of consumer goods is beneficial to an economy or a sign of economic strength. In FV, you buy things, even if you don’t want them, just so as to earn points and re-sell these same goods at a much lesser cost, to buy even more. You get into this frenzy of buying and selling, just to see those points grow bigger and to cross into the next level. I am sure the pleasure one gets while patting the animals or feeding them in the virtual world is nothing compared the same in real life. Yes, I have had the pleasure of doing it during my growing up years. Seeing a real garden blossom under your care can never compensate for that at FV. Anyway happily for me, my vacation forced me out of FV and I dare not peek into it again.

And like in FV, so also in real life, greed can never be satisfied. One can spend the whole life yearning for material things and get no lasting satisfaction after acquiring them. And many of us may have realized over the years that doing manual labour is indeed liberating, although we try our best to minimize the same. I believe, all that we learn in this fast moving world of consumerism over the years, takes us far from the real world to a world filled with wants and more wants.

                                                          Image Courtesy: Point of Return

This year, I wanted some encouraging news desperately and that is when I remembered Good News and Point of Return, of which I had mentioned at the end of Year 2009. At Good News, I got to read of Project Why once again and understand the woman behind it a little more.

I was following the venture at Point of Return for a while, until I got too busy. Today, after visiting them and reading their progress I felt very happy and refreshed. The article “What moves Point of Return” is very encouraging.

Sunil is a young well-wisher of pointReturn, who works in the USA and has been following this project from its inception. He often mentions our work in his blog. He has been intrigued somewhat. In September, 2010 he posted some questions for us to answer in order to understand what it was all about. Questions were tailored and addressed to each of us. Recently we answered them.

The following is Sunil's reflection:

I said to myself: “Bah, who’s going to give him his life and join him to work in the wilderness”. Boy, was I in for a surprise! Karpagam and Sriram did exactly that. What surprised me was that both are well educated and with good careers; how did they decide to leave their comfort zone and step out to work under the harsh sun in the interest of common good.

If I have managed to raise curiosity and not confusion, please do hop into their site and read the rest.

Let me wish everyone a Very Happy and Prosperous Year 2011.

Let me also continue to utter the words "All is well", despite the setbacks, disappointments and heart breaks that last year may have given.

Edited to add the following comment that I found at Point of Return.. I realize, it is not only Indians who are being inspired:
Carolyn Robbins

September 23rd, 2010 at 6:02 pm

I draw inspiration continually from all that you do, every one of you, at pointReturn. I am s designer with an avid interest in green building and have been following DV’s project since the first windmill. Now, a project you all create. Just the other evening, in a round table discussion on the growth of gardens in my home town, I presented many photos and descriptions of your project, to the Board of Supervisors. Three years of development and hard work I showed. I had everyone’s attention for more than an hour in describing the true genius of your project at pR. Most of the questions I couldn’t answer, but I directed so many interested people to your website for further study.

So I say to the person above, who asks: “Does it help society?” Yes, it has helped this society of hard working green builders in Marin County California, across the world but with the same concerns. A new era is emerging and young people care so much, that progress will happen no matter the struggles in front.

To of all of you folks at pointReturn, by being the beacon that you are; we have modeled our garden project after yours!

What a truly small world we are, when it comes to common minds and passionate projects!

Congratulations to Karpagam, Sriram, Siddarth and especially a wink from me, in your direction DV.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Corruption kills one more.

Yet another RTI activist has been killed, when none has been punished/booked for the earlier deaths.

The latest victim is Shashidhar Mishra who was just another hardworking Indian who made his living by selling sweets and biscuits on the roadside. But he also tried to fight against corruption is his own way.

You can read more on these pages..


Caravan Magazine

The RTI act was passed in 2005.

On 12 October 2005, the law was passed in parliament to great fanfare. Manmohan Singh claimed that the RTI Act would herald the beginning of a new era and “eliminate the scourge of corruption.”

It seems this act, instead of eliminating corruption is eliminating the activists themselves!

But do we really need such an act to get information in a democratic country?

Is there a need for secrecy in anything?

Is it not the right of the tax payer to know what is happening with his money right from the start of a project?

When India is being hailed as the super power in IT, why cannot information related to government projects be out on the web?

But then even getting this RTI act implemented was not easy, so let us continue to hope that those brave men have not died in vain.

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