Tuesday, 31 August 2010

So - are you in a good mood today?

Yesterday's post featured five ways to raise your mood. Here are five more:

6. Think of something you're grateful for.

It is surprisingly easy to think of something you're grateful for. It only takes a few moments. And as soon as you think of something, you feel noticeably better. If the first thing you think of doesn't raise your mood enough, ask yourself what else you're grateful for. We naturally have our attention on our goals and what we'd like to attain in the future, and the mind naturally compares what we have with what we want to have. That's motivating sometimes, but it can also make you feel demoralized or frustrated. It is equally legitimate — and ought to....continue reading

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Shame On You, Pastor Terry Jones

“Terribly shocked” is a term that at best faintly describes my feeling when I came to know about this insane named Terry Jones, and his heinous plan to burn The Quran to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the infamous 9/11.

Does the man know what he is saying? Does he have any idea about what a tremendous communal tension can erupt from such an extremely irresponsible as well as despicable act? More

Necessity of “Categorization” Of Terrorism

It is very common to come across objections from the liberal minded Muslim ladies and gentlemen on the use of terms like “Islamic terrorism”, “Islamic terrorists”, etc. I have also come across people who object to the use of terms like “Kashmiri terrorists” and “Tamil terrorists” (i.e. the LTTE people). And now India’s enterprising Home Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram is being criticized across the political circle for his “Saffron Terror” remark. More

Subtle Racial Implication In KBC Ad

In the ad all the three “negative characters” – Ms. Sushma, Mr. Jha and Mr. Sinha are shown to be speaking with a strong “Bihari” accent. In fact, the surnames Jha and Sinha are well known Bihari surnames. And so this idea has been very clearly given that all these three people are Biharis. More

Saturday, 28 August 2010


It's been a while. I've really become very lazy when it comes to posting a Blog post. Whenever I sit in front of the computer, trying to think of something to write, I'm overshadowed by an empowering emotion of sorts. Sub-consciously, I'm told to not write. So I leave it at that. But today is different...

Friday, 27 August 2010

Yet another scathing write-up on food security

"Maharashtra ended famine forever by passing an Act that deleted the word ‘famine' from all laws of the State."
Food Security - by definition
"....Who will you export it to? Are there good global prices for rotting grain? Grain that even when in best condition was not of superior quality? What you will do is flog it at rock bottom prices to traders who know you won't consider any other option — like letting the hungry eat it — and can knock your prices through the floor. And then the traders can export it as cattle feed — like India has done before in this very decade. About the only thing Iran and Iraq could agree on in 30 years was that the grain exported to them from India was unfit for human consumption. Both rejected shipments early this decade. But there are always, never fear, European cattle. Talk of sacred cows — these will be subsidised by some of the hungriest humans on the planet....."

Why isn't P Sainath our Minister for Agriculture?

Thursday, 26 August 2010

A friendly fight

For some people, this is a truly radical idea:

There is no need to fight with your partner. Ever. Accusations, recriminations, character assassination, threats, name-calling, and cursing, whether delivered at top volume or with a quiet sarcastic sneer, damage a relationship, often irrevocably.

Nobody needs to be a monster or to be treated monstrously. Nobody who yells will ever be heard. In the heat of a moment, it is always a choice whether to go for a run or run your partner down.

On the other hand, continue reading...

Appan Cheyal

This description was given to me by my brother and brother-in-law telling me that he was the one chosen by them to be my husband, adding that he was not that old. His being sixty and me six the age difference was a mere zero, they teased.

Read more

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The CWG Mess – Kalmadi Must Be Expelled From The Parliament

Yes, we cannot avoid the mess and chaos that are going to take place during the Games. But certainly we can punish the culprits. And that is something must be done by the Indian government. Immediately after the Games the government must initiate a detailed investigation, aimed at identifying all the culprits. More

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Onam Greetings

See photograph.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

NOOOOOOOOO.......! We need Swaraj once again!

The morning's headlines have given an extremely sick feeling in the pit of the stomach. "Government set to let suppliers off the hook".

Sunday, 15 August 2010


I watched the Malayalam movie “Ritu” at a friend’s home last week. The movie is ostensibly a new genre of Malayalam movie. What I saw left me disappointed and annoyed. Disappointed, because the story is a contemporary retelling of an old tale i.e. the Malayalee returning to the homeland to start a business venture etc. Annoyed, because the story is written by someone who has no knowledge of the subject in the modern/IT context and panders to the misconceptions that people in Kerala have (specially the older generation) about IT professionals and Bangalore. The story is written to touch the raw areas and sweet spots of its audience. Nothing sells like misconception that people hold dear because it gives them a sense of security of knowledge...more.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Happy Independence Day

This photo is of the first postage stamp of free India.

The value given is 3 ½ Annas. The currency system in India at that point of time was:

1 Rupee = 16 Annas

1 Anna = 4 Pice

1 Pice = 3 Pies

It would be also interesting to see the posts

Azad Hind

Capt. Lakshmi: From stethoscope to Sten gun


Protection Mechanism For Whistleblowers – A Positive Development

Personally I feel these are very significant development. It is an open secret that the corporate world is very vulnerable to irregularities of various types, and practices that cannot be called fair. Under such circumstances, whistleblowers are likely to play a very significant role, and it is a must to ensure that they are able to share their findings/doubts without any hesitation. More

“New/Social Media” – The Emerging Specialized Field Within The Communications Domain

And this clearly highlights the emergence of New/Social Media Communications as a specialized field within the domain of Public Relations/Communications. Quite naturally, I find many people bagging lucrative jobs with prestigious organizations simply by virtue of their experience in New/Social Media tools, while being virtually rookie in the fields of Media Relations, Government Relations, and other PR/Communications areas. More

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Shyamala goes digital

Shyamala is on Facebook, but she rarely accesses it. A message I had left on her page several weeks back still remains unread. She has an e-mail account, but she doesn’t check mail for days at a stretch. Shaymala’s case that she doesn’t have time for networking may have merit...More...

Monday, 9 August 2010

Compulsions of urban livelihoods

City dwelling mynahs probably adapt themselves in myriad ways to their surroundings. After all, trees and shrubs are hard to come by in concrete jungles. Here is how two different families have settled in a bustling highway. Family One - our immediate neighbours - have a small dwelling, and the address line 1 reads - Telephone Post No 2, Road No 220 North. More...

Friday, 6 August 2010

Commemorating the 6th of August

It's now six decades and a half since Hiroshima-Nagasaki. It appears that this person is the only surviving member of the 12-member crew on Enola Gay that brought hell on Earth.
Apparently he has no regrets over what he did - "I've never found a way to fight a war without killing people. If you ever find that out, let me know." More...

Kalash – The non-Muslim Tribe Of North-Western Pakistan

Just today I came across an interesting Wikipedia piece on the Kalash people, an indigenous community residing in the Hindu Kush mountain range in the Chitral district of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (formerly North Western Frontier Province) province of Pakistan. More

United Nations Lends Strong Support For Right To Water

Nobody needs to be an expert or exceptionally rational to know how true it is. Potable water and sanitation are two quintessential components of human civilization. And it is extremely painful that even in the 21st century a huge number of people are deprived of these basic amenities. More

The Possible Hike In EMI On Bank Loans – My Question For The Indian Banking Fraternity

Despite being a layman with little grasp of financial issues, I had no problem in understanding the direct relationship between a hike in Repo Rate and a hike in the rates of interest for the loans provided by banks. In fact it is an issue that anybody will find to be crystal clear.

However, there is something that I will like the banking sector mandarins to take note of. More

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

A Juhu mechanic and Shekar Kapur’s Blackberry

Mr Kapur, unable to find a service centre that could repair his handset, was on way to buy a new one when he spotted a fading signboard that read – ‘Cellphoon reapars’ - at Juhu Market. On impulse, he stopped the car in front of this 6′x’6′ hole in the wall, to ask the boy minding the store, ”Can you fix a blackberry ?”. . .More ...

The typewriter

The one thing that fascinated me in his office was the typist who 'click-clacked' on the machine with some speed but with some pauses as he looked into the document beside him to decipher some words . Sometimes my grandfather would take me and others .... Read more...

The irrepressible "Congress groundnuts"

Pointing to the bottle, he would say "Give me 250 grams of this." There were other bottles containing whole nuts coated with salt and red chilli and spiced-puffed rice (mandakki puri and avalakki puri). This 'Congress' comes with the seed separated into its two halves and the recipe suited this. Read more...

Monday, 2 August 2010

Yeh Bambai meri Jaan....

How does one understand the city, Mumbai? You will never really understand it. It will surprise you each time you try to paraphrase it; you cut it open to decipher it; it will open into something else.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

The Chinese fishing nets at Kochi

Now and then a question comes up – about the origins of the Cheena Vala or the Chinese fishing net in Cochin. Some opine firmly that they are of ancient Chinese origin, dating to Kublai Khan’s times (mid 13th century); some others say it arrived even before that and others grandly announce they actually date to Zheng He’s arrival (early 15th century). To get to a factual answer, one has to try & search hard and long, possibly fruitlessly, even though the very name of the net signifies that the connection had to be Chinese. My own introduction to the Cheena Vala came by a (non detail) textbook which we studied in school titled so and written by our lecturer CKC Nair (I did not see one though until much later). A wonderful collection of short stories, this specific story detailed the life of a Cheena vala operator in Cochin and I still remember the laborious attempts of his in placing a Petromax gas lamp into position before he retired for the night, near the net, for fishes to get drawn to. Though I had forgotten the story, the net remained in my mind, a majestic but forlorn contraption, which remains operational to this day even after so many hundred years (I am not saying the wooden poles or nets date that long back and I do not know if at all that is the case anyway), now an object of intense tourist scrutiny. These nets can be found only around Cochin and people look at them with much curiosity and awe and walk away consigning them into their notes and diaries written about their fascinating trip to the backwaters, penning in memories of the ‘karimeen’ fish fry, the local ‘kallu’ coconut liquor and the boatmen in the covered house boats as they traversed the backwaters. All this time, these Chinese cantilever fishing nets, suspended like giant webs along the tip of Fort Cochin, silently watched millions pass by.

What are they, where did they come from? We will find out. Are they indeed centuries old? Possibly the only surviving 800 year old machinery, man made? Are they found in China? We had never seen a picture of an installation in china in recent times, mind you - said a friend. Unable to resist the challenge, I donned my research cap (like an ancient Viking with his helmet) and set about into the not so dusty digital annals of history with my trusty weapons, the PC and the mouse, right hand clad in a special glove making it look like a medieval gladiators hand (though it is actually meant to tackle telltale signs of a carpal tunnel issue cropping up) holding a trusty sword. Ah, you can see that I am losing it, must be age catching up..

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