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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Twenty Five years later...31st Oct, 2009

Twenty five years ago, the then Prime Minister of India, Mrs Indira Gandhi was killed.Shot by her own security guards, those who were supposed to be protecting her, but decided otherwise.

They were two Sikhs who had decided that they wanted to avenge the storming and destruction of so much,inside the Golden temple, Amritsar.

Not even beginning to realize, in their widest dreams, the kind of repercussions that would follow their calculated/miscalculated action.

Hours after that, the storm that would rage for the next many days in Delhi began.When a systematic pogrom to decimate and kill thousands and thousands Sikhs in retaliation was set in motion.

And now, it has been proved without a doubt that the state and administrative machinery in many cases, played a role in making it happen.

Today as I caught a part of a TV programme that tried to understand the "whys and hows" of that day and the days thereafter, I couldnt help but wonder...

If what happened that day could happen in a free and independent India, years after its Independence, what are the chances that it will not happen AGAIN?



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Freedom- at what cost and lessons to re-learn

Sometimes we need to look back at history to appreciate where we really are today.For many a time we are guilty of taking things for granted. Or then treat them casually.

For instance, the fact that we(all Indians)are a free and independent people and that today we can do anything/go anywhere that we may choose to.

Yet this freedom did not come easy, in fact the price was extremely high. Particularly for the many, many tens of thousands of people who lost their lives, fighting for it.

Or then, the equally large number or even more, who were displaced from their homes and hearths and had to move to a completely different area resulting in the creation of two distinct and seperate nations- India and Pakistan.

Today, like manay times in the past, these same two nations are engaged in a war of words. For if India is convinced that Pakistan sends in people to mount terror attacks, Pakistan claims that India is funding the Taleban.
And so it goes on and on...and on. A vicious cycle/circle and one that really has no solution.

Unless those who matter and can make a difference to people's way of thinking can step in and reawaken the sometimes sleeping consciences.

So that we can really look deep inside our hearts and minds and sift the wheat from the chaff.

Because the lessons that we should have learnt from 1947 and Partition really need to be re-looked at.It is only then that we really will be able to awaken to a bright new morrow.

Monday, October 26, 2009


"What on earth are you 'tweeting' for " I'd ask some of my friends who had signed up for it earlier this year.

Simply because I thought that it was a waste of time.

Yet, one day, it happened.
The day when I too bit the bullet.
And now I'm a 'twitterer/tweeter' as well and happy to be one.

Because like in many other things, there really is "a time and a place for everything'.

And so I do what I do.
When I want to.

Even if it is 'finally' being on Twitter!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tears- Of Sadness as well as of Joy

When I was much younger, I'd really wonder.
Particularly when I saw my mother start crying whenever she felt happy...

Thinking to myself, was that the way one was supposed to express happiness?
Yes, it was understandable and even permissible when one was sad or upset about something.

But otherwise.....?

But then we all grow up and become like our mothers.
Or then, sometimes like our fathers.
Which includes some of those characteristics we thought we'd never inherit, or display.

I now find myself constantly surprised,particularly at the ease with which emotions rise upto the surface and roll out as tears.

But these are tears of joy.
Such as when I watch the end of a match, or then a movie with a Happy ending.
More so when it appeared as though either of the two wouldn't be possible.

So this is what I've now wisely concluded.
It really doesn't matter if we let our tears roll out, or even if the world around us sees us crying.

Emotions are what they are.
Resulting in tears of sadness and many a time..
Tears of Joy as well.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Almost like Home

There is a place called 'Home.'And then there are possibly a few other places that feel 'almost' like it..

Where one feels a comfort level, coupled with a sense of calm and security.
Something that envelopes one right from the moment that one steps foot in there.

Like the homes of one's parents, or a few great friends..

Yesterday, I clearly identified one other place that now gives me that same feeling.The Embassy of India in Muscat.

Living as an expatriate in a foreign country, is a different situation from living in one's home country. And however long one has lived there, and however comfortable one might be with life and society in general, one will always expatriate.

Which is why 'its important to have a place where one can go to.
Anytime the need arises, or then even just....

So this is now the place that all Indians living in the Sultanate can feel is 'Almost like home'. Thanks to all who work there and make us feel that way

Monday, October 19, 2009

Slow and steady wins the race

Faster, higher, more.....
Words that come to mind in a flash, more so when we want to reach out and get where we want.

When "getting there" seems to be the only goal in sight.And we want to do everything in our power to achieve it.

But here's the quandry and one where the old story of the hare and the turtle comes back to remind us.
"Slow and steady wins the race."

Simply because Rome was not built in a day and thats the whole truth.

Small steps will get one there.But they have to be consistent and focused, so that when one is half way up the mountain and one can actually look up and see the peak, the exultation of finally getting to the top will really be worth it.

Worth their weight in gold and much, much more.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wishing you a very Happy Diwali

This is a special post. To wish everyone a very Happy Diwali

Diwali is the joyous celebration of the triumph of good over evil. The uniqueness of Diwali is that it harmonizes five varied philosophies, with each day assigned to commemorate a special thought or idea.

According to a legend, which is also taken to be a history of diwali, the world celebrates Deepavali as the day the goddess stopped dancing after her battle with Mahishasura.The festival begins with Dhanteras, which is the celebration of the birth of goddess Lakshmi from the bottomless ocean.

The second day is "Narak Chaturdhashi", which commemmorates the felling of Narakasura by Satyabhama with the help of Indra. This is again another view of history of diwali. Some also believe that the second day is dedicated to Bali the generous king, who returns to his kingdom amidst celebrations.

The most famous legend behind the celebrations of Diwali is about the prince of Ayodhya, Lord Shri Ram Chandra, his defeating Ravana and his return from exile by lighting lamps on this darkest night of the year.

 Lamps which look lovely, and light up everyone's lives....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Happy day and a wonderful drive

Some days are lovely. Like today is.

When the sun shines, just right...

With that tinge of warmth, yet with  a mild nip in the air, heralding the beginning of Autumn.

Making one feel good. About life in general.
Like I did.

Knowing too, that Diwali is right around the next corner.

And then I drove by this lovely, lovely road, the Muscat expressway, with hills on either side.

Stopping  by the side of the road to look at the sea, this being the view that I looked at .

And remembered a long forgotten phrase, "All things bright and beautiful."

Hoping that there would be many more days like this, because these are what can truly be defined as 'happy moments'.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The evolution of Social networks and their undefined potential.

Among the many articles and stories one reads on a daily basis, there are certainly a few that merit a second, or sometimes even a third reading.

As did this story which I would like to highlight.

Harvard Graduate student Erez Leiberman, has propunded an Evolutionary Graph theory which is encouraging people to think about Social networks as an "evolving population."Developed in association with Harvard Mathematics Proffessor, Martin Nowark, who helped lay its foundation, it builds upon the work of previous mathemeticians Paul Erdos, Peter Clifford and Adian Sudbury.

Basically, on networks such as Facebook and Myspace, networks evolve as people influence one another( changing the configuration of the nodes)and also are new friendships are forged and developed.This can give rise to Pro Social behaviours and this is an idea now called 'network reciprocity'

But the fact is that its hard to quantify the influence that people exert.So according to Lieberman, the only way to predict how a social network will evolve is to construct an artificial one and track the flow of ideas within it.What is the likelihood of people 'forwarding' items that they receive on Facebook, for instance?..

So in principle, the idea that we really need to explore is "what is the likelihood of a particular stimulus within a social network leading to a particular response?" asks Leiberman?

If this gets more structured in terms of measurement criteria, he predicts a lot more organized marketing efforts on social networks as well as Systematic influence campaign.

Personally, I tend to agree...this theory could revolutionize the way Advertising and Marketing can be really made to work in 'not so distant' times...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ask Yourself

I have a book which is simply titled 'The Book of Questions" by Gregory Stock.

This book is a great book because it makes me think.

And every now and then, when I feel like putting my 'thinking cap on', I go back to this book.To read it all over again.

So these are the Questions that jumped out at me today and these are also the ones that I will now spend some time pondering over..

1.You discover that your wonderful one year old child is, because of a mix up at the hospital, really not your own.Would you want to exchange the child to try and correct that mistake?

2.For an all expenses paid one week holiday anywhere in the world, would you be willing to kill a beautiful  butterfly by pulling off it's wings?

3.Your house containing everything that you own, catches fire.After saving your loved ones and your pets, you have a chance to safely make a final dash to save any one item.What would that be?

Ask yourself these .. you really may be surprised at what you might uncover...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

At the Crossroads of life.

Say you are at the prime of your life, and all is well with the world....
Your children are doing brilliantly, as is your husband, and you have made a nice way of life and living for yourself...

Then one day you feel an inexplicable, nagging pain in your chest and it gets worse by the hour. Until you can't even breathe...eating, in any case seems to be out of the question.

All the while the doctors suspect one minor illness or the other, (including acidity) and you are made to go through a range of medications..But nothing helps....

Then on one bright morning, you go for a chest X Ray, and the world will never be the same again.For when the report comes out, it's as if one lung just isn't there any more, filled instead with 5 and a half litres of fluid.Which needs to be removed over three painful procedures..

And once that is done, tests are conducted, only to find a malignant tumour in that lung...

I tried, just for a moment to step into my friend's shoes today...but failed...Miserably..

Yet knowing that that she really is at the crossroads of her life, tried my level best to give her the sustenance and encouragement that she needs...

By telling her that in addition to the prescribed treatment,faith and prayer will keep her going, as will the love and care of friends and family.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Some memorable Vignettes from Hindi films

Though there are lots of scenes one can recall from Hindi movies, particularly if one sits down to think, I challenged myself just now, and this is what I've come up fact, as I write...

Choti, Choti Baatein-a very old Hindi film starring Motilal.

The family sits down for dinner, there are three grown up children, a husband and the wife. The table is groaning with food, and it all looks good. The dishes are passed from person to person as the family dives into the food...The father, ie. in this case, the main bread earner, gets each dish last. In most cases, the food has been cleaned out, or something very close to it..

He just goes ahead and eats whats left.
Then at the end of the movie, he simply walks out..
Out of his own home and their lives.....

Vijeyta- Produced by Shashi Kapoor.Rekha and Shshi Kapoor, playing husband and wife in the movie, share a strained relationship, the reasons for which are never really clearly defined.

One day, she simply breaks down dissolving into tears, sobbing and sobbing endlessly.All the while on her husband's chest, while he holds her and tries his level best to comfort her.

Then she simply says, "why is it that sometimes one just feels like crying? Even when there is no explicable reason.?

And in the nexrt scene, she is dead, of a sudden heart attack..while the father and son mourn her death.

Junoon.Again produced by Shashi Kapoor.

Shashi Kapoor, playing a Pathan, loves Nafisa Ali, a British girl at the height of the Indian Mutiny of 1857.
But the real question is, does she love him too?

Well we get to know this at the end of the movie..when he finds her after having galloped on his horse, like a mad man, just to catch a glimpse of her. He finally does reach her home, where she looks up and sees him, and they exchange a look...

One which says it all..

Ad then he turns his horse away and gallops away, fighting those same Britishers in war. He's killed and she remains unmarried till she dies.... at a ripe old age.

I'm sure we can all think of many such scenes in movies, scenes which have impacted us in many ways, but these came to me right away.

More another time

Friday, October 2, 2009

Do I/Don't I ? The mind and it's inherant contradictions

And so here it is again...

Time to leave Delhi and go back home to Muscat..

And there begins the eternal question yet again, quite simply this...Do I /Dont I?

Yet, common sense creeps up, right behind that very thought.
Too much of a good thing perhaps?

Followed immediately by, when is enough ever enough?

Never ending circles, with no clear answer,perhaps?

And I find re-assurance in the fact that we now live in such a global age, and the world now looks so very flat.
Where everything is just a mere 'click' away.

Finally telling myself that this is what being a grown up is all about.
When one has learnt to move on, adapt and then re-adapt..

Whatever be the place or the occassion
Or then, the rhyme or the reason